HARI SREENIVASAN: Six children died in a suicide car bombing in Southern Afghanistan today. They were in a market area when the bomb went off. It happened in a district west of Kandahar City. The target appeared to be a police truck carrying an Afghan official. He escaped unharmed.
President Obama today acknowledged huge challenges remain in Afghanistan, but he said there has been progress. On Sunday, the Netherlands became the first NATO country to withdraw troops from Afghanistan -- 1,900 Dutch soldiers began leaving yesterday.
Wall Street opened August with big gains today. The rally took off after news that factory activity has now increased for 12 straight months. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 208 points to close at 10674. The Nasdaq rose 40 points to close at 2295.
And the price of oil moved back above $80 a barrel, for its highest close in nearly three months.
Another veteran Democrat, California Congresswoman Maxine Waters, now faces charges of violating House ethics rules. The House Ethics Committee announced today she will face trial in the fall. Details were not available, but investigators focused on Waters seeking federal help for a bank where her husband was a board member. She has denied any wrongdoing.
Fellow House Democrat Charles Rangel of New York also faces an ethics trial this fall.
In Russia, the death toll from hundreds of wildfires has now hit 40 -- 500 new fires broke out in the last 24 hours alone, concentrated in central and western Russia. Firefighters put most of them out, but, in recent days, 77 towns and villages have been damaged or destroyed. Smoke from the fires has even draped Moscow in a haze. A record heat wave has fueled fires, and readings may hit 100 degrees again this week.
Those are some of the day's major stories -- now back to Gwen.