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News Wrap: Qantas Plane Shoots Flames During Flight, Lands Safely

November 4, 2010 at 4:39 PM EST
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Wall Street got a big lift today from the Federal Reserve’s plan to spend $600 billion on boosting the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average had its highest close since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September of 2008. The blue-chip index gained more than 219 points to finish at 11434. The Nasdaq rose 37 points to close at 2577.

The Australian airline Qantas grounded its entire fleet of Airbus A-380 super-jumbo jets today, after one of them blew an engine in flight. The plane made a safe emergency landing in Singapore with 459 people on board. The engine closest to the fuselage had visible burn marks and was missing a metal plate section. And passengers reported hearing loud bangs.

NEAL SHEPHERD, passenger, Australia: Yes, I was sitting just behind the wing. So — so, we felt this just loud thud. Everybody sort of was pretty shaken by it. So, you can imagine now how — how pretty full-on it was. But — but, like I said, the pilot did a fantastic job.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Qantas sent a team of specialists to investigate. The A-380 is the world’s newest and largest airliner.

Federal agents in San Diego have seized more than 20 tons of marijuana, one of the largest hauls ever in the U.S. It was smuggled through a tunnel connecting warehouses on either side of the border with Mexico. The tunnel stretched the length of six football fields. The marijuana has a street value of more than $20 million.

And, in Mexico today, police near Acapulco searched for more bodies at a mass grave, after finding 18 people on Wednesday. In a YouTube video, two men said they carried out the killings as revenge on a rival drug cartel. Their bodies were also found.

Three more NATO troops were killed today in Eastern and Southern Afghanistan. In both regions, coalition forces are trying to root out Taliban insurgents. The NATO forces have lost 612 killed so far this year.

Researchers have the first clear evidence that spiral C.T. scans can save heavy smokers who get lung cancer. The National Cancer Institute reported today on a study of 53,000 people. Deaths were 20 percent lower among those who

had the scans. The screening can spot growths that are too small to show up in a standard chest X-ray. But the Cancer Institute also warned the scans often give false positives.

NASA got its latest close-up look at a comet today. The Deep Impact spacecraft was 13 million miles from Earth and just over 400 miles from comet Hartley 2. Rare close-up pictures showed a mass of ice and rock about a mile-and-a-half wide. The images showed jets of gas coming off the peanut-shaped body. Deep Impact fired a probe into a larger comet in 2005.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.