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News Wrap: U.S. Budget Deficit to Top $1.2 Trillion for Year

August 24, 2011 at 12:00 AM EDT

KWAME HOLMAN: Wall Street scored new gains, thanks partly to news of improving orders for autos and aircraft. The Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 144 points to close above 11,320. The Nasdaq rose 21 points to close at 2,467.

The federal budget deficit will top $1.2 trillion this fiscal year, the Congressional Budget Office reported today. The red ink will be slightly down from the last two years. But CBO analysts also warned that weak economic growth will continue, with unemployment falling only slightly by the end of 2012.

In Syria, government forces stepped up their crackdown on a key city in the eastern part of the country. Activists reported tanks stormed Deir el-Zour, and troops arrested dozens of suspected government opponents. Meanwhile, the European Union imposed sanctions on an elite military unit from Iran. The E.U. said the Quds Force is aiding the Syrian government.

At least 36 militants were killed in southern Yemen today in new fighting between government troops and a branch of al-Qaida. Officials also reported eight soldiers died in the clashes. They said the trouble broke out late Tuesday near Zinjibar. The government is trying to retake several towns in that region.

Google has agreed to pay $500 million to settle a federal investigation involving drugs imported from Canada. The focus was on Internet search ads for rogue pharmacies that illegally sold prescription and over-the-counter drugs to Americans. Google said today it never should have permitted the ads.

The sports world echoed with praise today for Pat Summitt, the legendary women’s basketball coach at the University of Tennessee. The 59-year-old has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s, but she vowed Tuesday to keep coaching as long as she can. Summitt has won more games than anyone else in women’s basketball, including eight national titles.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.