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News Wrap: $40 Billion Pledged for Global Poverty Fight

September 22, 2010 at 5:01 PM EST
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In other news Wednesday, more than 140 presidents, prime ministers and kings have been meeting at the United Nations to launch a $40 billion global strategy to help end poverty. Also, up to 5 million containers of infant formula will be recalled by Abbott Laboratories due to contamination.
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HARI SREENIVASAN: U.N. member states and nonprofit agencies pledged more than $40 billion today to fight poverty. The announcement came as more than 140 presidents, prime ministers, and kings wound up a poverty summit in New York.

It featured a speech by President Obama this afternoon. He said the

U.S. will change its approach, to focus less on spending money and more on helping nations develop.

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: What’s needed most right now is creating the conditions where assistance is no longer needed. So, we will seek partners who want to build their own capacity to provide for their people. We will seek development that is sustainable.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The money pledged today is part of the U.N.

millennium development goals set 10 years ago. The new funds will focus on reducing maternal and child mortality.

On Wall Street, the stock market took a break from its September rally.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 21 points to close at 10739. The Nasdaq fell more than 14 points to close at 2334.

Abbott Laboratories will recall up to five million containers of infant

formula because they might be contaminated with insect parts. The Similac brand powder formula was sold in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam, and some Caribbean nations. The company said today the products could contain small beetles or larvae. If swallowed, they can cause digestive problems.

Owners of two egg farms were called before Congress today over a

salmonella outbreak. The farms in Iowa recalled more than half-a-billion eggs last month. Up to 1,600 people reported getting sick.

At a House hearing today, Congressman John Dingell pressed the owner of

one farm, Peter DeCoster, for answers. The Michigan Democrat said federal inspectors found a long list of violations.

REP. JOHN DINGELL (D-Mich.): Barns were infested with flies,

maggots and scurrying rodents, manure piled four to eight feet high in certain areas, leaking manure pits, employees working without protective clothing, and uncaged hens tracking manure from a manure pit to other areas of the operation.

Is that true?

PETER DECOSTER, Wright County Egg: We have — if we could take one of these at a time, the comment about the employees…

REP. JOHN DINGELL: Well, it’s either true or not. Is it true, or is it not true, yes or no?

PETER DECOSTER: Well, I would say that it’s partially true.

REP. JOHN DINGELL: Partially true. Well, it’s — that’s like being

partially pregnant. It’s pretty hard to do.

HARI SREENIVASAN: DeCoster did suggest the outbreak may not have been

his company’s fault. He said the salmonella could have come from contaminated feed instead. The owner of a second farm declined to answer questions. He cited his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Three top U.S. security officials warned today of a growing threat of

homegrown terror. FBI Director Robert Mueller said groups tied to al-Qaida are actively targeting the U.S., but they have changed their approach. He testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

ROBERT MUELLER, director, FBI: Since 2006, al-Qaida has looked to

recruit Americans or Westerners who are able to remain undetected by heightened security measures.

For example, last year, for the first time since September 11, al-Qaida

successfully trained and deployed an operative to the United States to carry out such an attack. That operative was Najibullah Zazi, a lawful U.S. permanent resident who was plotting to attack the New York subways.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The chairman of the committee, Connecticut Senator

Joe Lieberman, said at least 63 Americans have been charged with or convicted of crimes related to terror since 2009.

A bombing at a military parade in northwest Iran killed 12 spectators

today. It happened in a largely Kurdish area near the Iraqi and Turkish borders. Local officials said most of the victims were women and children. More than 70 people were wounded. The provincial governor suggested a Kurdish separatist group was behind the attack.