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Other News: Car Bombings Rock Afghanistan, Pakistan

December 15, 2009 at 12:00 AM EST
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In other news, car bombings in both Afghanistan and Pakistan killed at least 40 people and wounded scores more, and medical research pointed to possible danger from radiation during CAT scans.
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HARI SREENIVASAN: It was a deadly day in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, as suicide car bombings rocked both countries. In Central Pakistan, an explosion ripped apart a market. The blast killed at least 33 people and wounded 60 more. And in Kabul, Afghanistan, a car bomber blew himself up outside the home of a former vice president. At least eight people died there.

A Senate committee heard appeals today to clear the backlog of 180,000 untested rape kits across the country. In 2004, Congress passed a law to fund DNA testing in general. It did not specify the money be spent on rape kit testing. The law was named for Debbie Smith, a rape victim who waited years until her attacker was found.

DEBBIE SMITH: Each box holds within it vital evidence that is crucial to the safety of women everywhere. Statistics prove that the average rapist will rape eight to 12 times before he is caught. How many of these rapes could be prevented? I merely existed for six-and-a-half years, waiting for my rapist to be identified, trying my best to deafen the sound of his voice in my ears.

HARI SREENIVASAN: New legislation would require the federal government to collect data on untested rape kits and prioritize testing the evidence.

Some 800,000 doses of swine flu vaccine for young children have been recalled. The Food and Drug Administration said the potency of the shots have dropped since they were shipped out, but FDA officials said children who received the shots are still protected. That means they won’t have to be vaccinated again.

More than 50 million Roman-style window shades and roll-up blinds are also being recalled. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said today they might strangle young children who get entangled in the cords. Eight such deaths have been reported since 2001. The window coverings were sold at major retailers, including Wal-Mart, Pottery Barn, and J.C. Penney.

The Washington, D.C., City Council voted overwhelmingly today to legalize gay marriage, starting in March. The bill now goes to Mayor Adrian Fenty, who’s expected to sign it. From there, the measure goes to Congress, which has the final say over the district’s laws.

Television evangelist Oral Roberts died today at a hospital in Newport Beach, California. He suffered complications from pneumonia. Starting in the 1950s, Roberts created a multimillion-dollar faith healing ministry. He also founded a private Christian university bearing his name in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Oral Roberts was 91 years old.

In economic news, the Labor Department announced wholesale prices rose nearly 2 percent last month, much more than expected. That raised fears of inflation on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 49 points, to close at 10,452. The Nasdaq fell 11 points, to close at 2,201.