Other News: FBI Investigates Corporate Fraud, Tornadoes Rip Through Oklahoma
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JUDY WOODRUFF: In other economic news today, the FBI said it is now investigating more than 500 potential cases of corporate fraud. The deputy director said some of the cases involve big names in corporate finance, but he gave no details. He also said more than 1,800 mortgage fraud investigations are underway.
Wall Street rebounded a bit today. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 50 points to close at 7,939. The Nasdaq rose 5 points to close at 1,530.
And the price of oil fell another $2 to finish below $36.
And in more news of the day, rescue crews in Oklahoma combed through wreckage a day after tornadoes ripped through the state. At least eight people died in the town of Lone Grove, when the rare February twisters struck late yesterday. They flattened homes and businesses, littering the area with twisted debris. Two mobile home parks were virtually wiped out.
In Afghanistan, Taliban suicide attackers killed at least 20 people at key government buildings in Kabul. We have a report from Nick Paton Walsh of Independent Television News.
NICK PATON WALSH: For three hours this morning, the war raging across Afghanistan came to the center of its government in Kabul. These special forces called in to stop what should have been impossible, at least seven Taliban gunmen launching a coordinated attack on some of the capital’s most secure buildings, the government ministries.
The key point about today’s attack is not, worryingly, the rising number of dead, but the fact that the militants could get here to the heart of the city, inside the Ministry of Justice, and in the building stage a gunfight with police that lasted over an hour.
The Taliban saying they launched the assault because it thinks militants held in Afghan jails are mistreated.
One survivor telling us the gunmen were from neighboring Pakistan. Officials also suggested they were from across the border in Pakistan.
AMBULLAH SALEH, chief, Afghan Intelligence Agency: As they were entering the Ministry of Justice, and before starting their indiscriminate killing of the civilians there, they sent three messages to Pakistan.
NICK PATON WALSH: This brazen attack meant to show the Afghan government is losing its grip on the sanctuary of Kabul, as well as the rest of the country.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The Kabul attacks came as U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke was in neighboring Pakistan.
A pair of car bombs ripped through Baghdad today, killing at least 12 people. More than 40 others were wounded. The explosions blew the roofs off of stalls at a market and targeted Shiite pilgrims at a crowded bus terminal.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in today as the prime minister of Zimbabwe. The oath of office was administered by longtime President Robert Mugabe. The two men reached a power-sharing agreement last year after a disputed election.
Two of President Obama’s major nominees advanced today. Two Senate committees endorsed Leon Panetta for CIA director and Hilda Solis as labor secretary. The Solis nomination had been delayed by reports of tax liens against her husband’s business. Both nominees need confirmation by the full Senate.
The owner of the peanut company linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak refused today to testify to Congress. Stewart Parnell of the Peanut Corporation of America invoked his right against self-incrimination at a House hearing.
But investigators released e-mails showing he ordered employees to ship contaminated products. The committee also heard from the owner of a lab that tested PCA’s products.
CHARLES DEIBEL, president, Deibel Laboratories: It is not unusual for Deibel Labs or for other food-testing laboratories to find that samples clients submit do test positive for salmonella and other pathogens. What is virtually unheard of is for an entity to disregard those results and place potentially contaminated products into the stream of commerce.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The salmonella outbreak is blamed for the deaths of at least nine people, including one reported today in Ohio.
Baseball star Miguel Tejada pleaded guilty today to lying to Congress about steroids. The former Most Valuable Player appeared in federal court in Washington. He admitted he lied to congressional investigators about the use of drugs to boost performance in baseball.
Congressman John Dingell is now officially the longest-serving U.S. House member in history. The Michigan Democrat was honored today on the floor of the House. He first took office 54 years ago in 1955. Dingell is now 82. Last fall, Democrats replaced him as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.