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News Wrap: Bombings Mark Deadly Day in Iraq

May 10, 2010 at 12:00 AM EST
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JEFFREY BROWN: And still to come on the “NewsHour”: one man’s tale of survival aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig; the IMF and European Union’s trillion-dollar bailout fund; and the life and times of Lena Horne — but, first, the other news of the day.

Here’s Hari Sreenivasan in our newsroom.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Markets around the world rebounded today, and U.S. markets followed suit, after a weekend deal to avert a European debt crisis.

European leaders and banks announced an array of emergency lending measures totaling nearly $1 trillion. That sent the Dow Jones industrial average up more than 404 points to close at 10785. The Nasdaq rose 109 points to close at 2374.

A series of attacks across Iraq made today the deadliest day of the year so far. At least 99 people were killed in violence that began in the early morning and continued into the night. Hundreds more were wounded. Nearly half of the victims died in a pair of car bombings outside a textile factory in Hillah. As a crowd gathered to help those victims, a suicide bomber blew himself up. The violence also included coordinated shootings targeting Iraqi security forces at six checkpoints in Baghdad.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown agreed to step aside this year and let his Labor Party find a replacement. It is part of a bid to keep his party in power. He said the move would give him time to focus on coalition talks with the Liberal Democrats, who placed third in the election.

In a news conference outside Number 10 Downing Street, Brown noted his own failures in the election.

GORDON BROWN, British prime minister: The reason that we have a hung parliament is that no single party and no single leader was able to win the full support of the country. As leader of my party, I must accept that that is a judgment on me. I therefore intend to ask the Labor Party to set in train the processes needed for its own leadership election.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Brown said he hoped a new leader would be in place by September, when the Labor Party conference is held.

The Conservatives, led by David Cameron, won the most seats in the election, but not enough for a majority. They made a final offer of their own to the Liberal Democrats today: a referendum on election reform.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai began a four-day visit to Washington today. The trip comes after months of public strain between Karzai’s government and the Obama administration. The security situation in Afghanistan and civilian casualties are expected to be high on the agenda.

At the White House today, the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, acknowledged, relations between the two countries haven’t always been easy.

KARL EIKENBERRY, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan: Every bilateral relationship, especially ones as close as we have with Afghanistan, they experience ups and downs.

But what measures true partnership is the ability, when the stakes are as high as they are for Afghanistan and the United States of America, to be able to work our way through difficulties and come back together, and still find ourselves well-aligned.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Eikenberry said he expects even better alignment between the two countries after this week’s talks. Karzai meets with President Obama on Wednesday.

The U.S. put more pressure on the government of Pakistan to crack down on the Taliban there, this after last week’s failed bombing in New York City’s Times Square. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Sunday the suspected bomber received training from the Taliban in Pakistan. And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned, Pakistan would face — quote — “severe consequences” if a successful attack in the U.S. was ever traced to Pakistan.

Hope dimmed in Russia as rescue crews searched for 58 people trapped under the country’s largest coal mine. A pair of explosions rocked the mine in western Siberia this weekend, killing 32 people. The cause of the first blast was believed to be from a buildup of methane gas.

Many of the dead were rescue workers who entered the mine after the first explosion. But, later, a second, more powerful blast destroyed the main air shaft and a five-story building on top of the mine.

A mass grave of victims from the war in Kosovo has been discovered in Serbia. The burial site contains the bodies of 250 Albanians who were killed in Kosovo during the 1998-1999 war. Serbian war crimes prosecutors found the bodies hidden beneath a small building and a newly built parking lot in a town about 100 miles south of Belgrade. It is the fourth mass grave of its type discovered in Serbia since 2001. Some 1,800 ethnic Albanians are still missing from the Kosovo war.

Those are some of the day’s major stories. I will be back at the end of the program with a preview of what you will find tonight on the “NewsHour”‘s Web site — but, for now, back to Jeff.