News Wrap: Consumers, CEOs Hold Gloomier Economic Outlook
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HARI SREENIVASAN: U.S. consumers and business executives alike have
turned more pessimistic about the future.
The business research group Conference Board reported today that
consumer confidence is now the lowest since February. And a new survey by the Business Roundtable found CEOs are less hopeful about future sales than they were in June.
But, on Wall Street, the September rally resumed. The Dow Jones
industrial average gained 46 points to close at 10858. The Nasdaq rose more than nine points to close at 2379.
President Obama stepped up his efforts to energize supporters, with
midterm elections just five weeks away. He spoke in the yard of a family in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and he warned, Republicans would undercut any progress Democrats have made on education.
Separately, in an interview with “Rolling Stone” magazine, the president urged Democrats to go to the polls in November. He said, “People need to shake off this lethargy. People need to buck up.”
Former President Jimmy Carter became ill today as he flew to Cleveland
for a book signing event. Mr. Carter was taken to a local hospital for
overnight observation. A grandson said he had a stomach bug, but was doing fine, and planned to continue his tour tomorrow. The former president turns 86 years old on Friday.
In Afghanistan, a suicide bomber assassinated a deputy provincial
governor. The bomber rammed a motorized rickshaw into the official’s vehicle as it drove to his office in the eastern province of Ghazni. Five other people were killed as well.
Later, in Kabul, President Hamid Karzai made a tearful appeal to end the violence.
HAMID KARZAI, president of Afghanistan (through translator): I swear, I feel the pain.
HAMID KARZAI (through translator): I’m scared. I’m scared that maybe
my son will flee Afghanistan and abandon the country and become a foreigner. For the sake of God, stop the fighting. I don’t want my son to be a foreigner.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Shortly after the attack, the Afghan government
appointed 70 people to a new High Peace Council. It will try to reconcile with Taliban leaders and militants who renounce violence.
Across the border in Pakistan, intelligence officials reported a U.S.
drone aircraft killed four militants with a missile strike near the Afghan border. The news came as reports surfaced that the CIA has drastically stepped up the attacks, with more than 20 so far this month. Pakistani officials said al Qaeda’s regional commander was among those killed this week.
A landslide buried up to 300 homes in a village in Mexico overnight,
after weeks of heavy rain. It happened in Oaxaca state, southeast of Mexico City. At least seven people were confirmed dead, with 128 more missing.
Heavy rains also triggered a deadly mudslide in Colombia on Monday.
Amateur video showed a mountainside collapsing. Thirty people were killed, and rescue officials said today it will take at least a week to recover the bodies.
There was good news today about the global fight against HIV, the virus
that causes AIDS. In poor nations, just over half of infected pregnant women received drugs to protect their unborn children last year. The World Health Organization reported that as a major improvement from five years ago, when only 15 percent of such women had access to the drugs. Still, the report warned that most people living with HIV don’t know they have it.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.