Ash from Iceland's volcano continues to cause flight disruptions, Goldman Sachs defends itself against fraud allegations and two al-Qaeda leaders are killed in Iraq. I'm Marisa Bramwell and here's the latest from the ABC News desk:
VOLCANIC ASH FLIGHT DELAYS: “Tonight European officials announced what they’re calling a ‘slow and progressive opening up of European airspace.’ This after a day in which beleaguered European carriers slammed their governments, calling their approach to this crisis chaotic and embarrassing,” Nick Watt reported on WORLD NEWS. On Tuesday some airliners, including Lufthansa and Air France, will operate long-haul flights, relieving some of the passenger backlog. Europe’s airspace will be divided into three zones: open skies, a caution zone where some flights will be allowed and a “no-fly zone.” At New York’s JFK Airport, Sharyn Alfonsi spoke with some of the hundreds of stranded passengers that “are settling in for day six. The Red Cross delivering 1800 blankets and 600 cots.” Reporting from Paris, Miguel Marquez caught up with a family in “France's northern port city of Calais. They took the very long way home to the UK…trains all the way… Turkey to Romania – that alone was 20 hours – then to Hungary, another to Switzerland, finally on to Paris, then Calais… Total travel time 84 hours. And that doesn't include the boat trip home.”
Activity continued at Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano Monday, continuing to create a health hazard for the people and animals living in the surrounding areas. “An astonishing 750 tons of ash are released every second – enough to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool in three seconds,” Neal Karlinsky reported on WORLD NEWS. “It’s not healthy for these people to be here…still, many of these stoic and sturdy farmers stay…”
FINANCIAL REFORM/GOLDMAN SACHS: Goldman Sachs defended itself against allegations of fraud and a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit Monday, saying “we believe that the firms’ actions were entirely appropriate, and will take all steps necessary to defend the firm.” The suit comes as Democrats push for increased financial regulatory reform, and some say Goldman is being used as an example. “Inside the bank, outrage – say industry insiders. A belief Goldman is being made a scapegoat for the kind of product that was pushed by many of the biggest investment banks,” David Muir reported on WORLD NEWS. On Tuesday Goldman Sachs will release of its first-quarter earnings (7am ET) and then hold a conference call where it will likely discuss the lawsuit (8am ET).
AL QAEDA LEADERS KILLED: Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayoub AL-Masri, two al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq, were killed in military operations two days ago in Tikrit. Here’s Martha Raddatz: “There’s no question these are very significant deaths…the two men were in charge of al Qaeda operations in Iraq. Taking out the two of them together could have a real effect…” The White House said capturing or killing al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden remained a priority.
OKC ANNIVERSARY: Monday morning survivors and family members of those killed in the Oklahoma City bombings 15 years ago commemorated the event at a memorial service. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating and current Governor Brad Henry spoke at the ceremony. For WORLD NEWS Ryan Owens took a look at those who survived the attack, and noted “there is another dramatic survival story – the story of this city. Oklahoma City has rebuilt itself, revitalized its downtown, and even managed to boom during the recession…a city with a bright future…and a long memory.”