ABC News Update

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4:38 | 02/09/12

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Transcript for ABC News Update
-- -- threatened by foreclosure may soon be getting some relief thanks to a joint settlement reached with the nation's largest banks. ABC's Karen Travers explains how it all works. Help is on the way for nearly two million American homeowners hurt by the housing crisis. The largest joint federal state civil settlement. In the history of this nation. The government announced today that attorney five billion dollar deal was reached between 49 states and the nation's five largest banks this agreement reflects our commitment. They're both the federal and state levels to ensure justice and to recover losses for victims of reckless and abusive mortgage practices. Under this deal about one million homeowners who owe more than their -- -- are worth will have their debt reduced by lenders or will be able to refinance at lower rates. Another 750000. Americans who lost their homes in the last three years. -- get a check for about 2000 dollars many of the very same financial institutions responsible for so much of this crisis. We're making it worse the settlement comes after nearly a year and half of contentious negotiations between the banks and state attorneys general. The government charged the banks with a laundry list of abuses that occurred after the housing bubble burst. Not just the robo signing conduct but a long list of mortgage servicing issues such as lost paperwork long delays. Miss deadlines. Critics say this will only help -- small fraction of the millions of homeowners who are drowning under their mortgages or facing foreclosure with this -- the government says is more important is dabble but there's more work to be done. We are using this opportunity to fix a broken system. Mortgage is owned by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will not be covered under this agreement Karen Travers ABC news Washington. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is set to vote today on building the nation's first nuclear power plant in a generation. And it is expected to approve 2 new reactors for eastern Georgia at a cost of fourteen billion dollars the NRC approved a new reactor design in December. Westinghouse claims the EP 1000 is unlike any reactor built before designed to withstand earthquakes and plane crashes. And be less vulnerable to operator error or a total loss of electricity. Momentum is building -- Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum he raised more than and they. Santorum got one of the most enthusiastic receptions of his campaign in a converted barn in Plano Texas. We're supporters also gave him a ten gallon -- said. Right now. -- and -- is playing down Tuesday's losses saying he's spent little time campaigning in those three states anyway. He was in Atlanta yesterday ahead of Georgia Super Tuesday primary and pointed out that John McCain. -- more than a dozen states on his way to the 2008 nomination. -- also still has party leaders firmly behind him today -- -- President Obama is giving ten states a waiver from the No Child Left Behind law. The bush -- reform requires that all students be proficient in reading and math by 2014. That ambitious goal has become a huge burden as the deadline nears critics say the tough requirements actually hurt students rather than help them. The states led out of it has promised to improve how they prepare and evaluate students. The Syrian government's battle to crush dissent has -- a six day. The images coming out of the war torn country grow more -- each day hundreds of people have reportedly been killed this week alone. As the US and other countries debate how to deliver aid and whether to arm the opposition. -- Romania's parliament has approved a new government which the ruling coalition hopes will improve its popularity ahead of elections this year. Lawmakers voted 237. To two today to approve the cabinet of the country's foreign espionage -- 43 year old knee high -- ban. And -- -- is known for his pro American outlook and has pledged to respect Romania's agreements with the I am Matt the European Union and at the World Bank. Berlin is under -- severe deep freeze with single digit temperatures. Cold buses have been rescuing homeless people in danger of freezing to death. This has been one of the coldest winters on record in Europe. The -- bus program in Berlin began seventeen years ago when this year it really is making a difference between life and death.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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