HARI SREENIVASAN: The former chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan weighed in today against keeping the Bush era tax cuts alive. He said the country cannot afford them at a time of trillion-dollar deficits. He called for letting the tax cuts expire at the end of the year and for cutting federal spending.
On Wall Street, stocks moved higher after news that industrial output rose last month for the 12th time in 14 months. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 46 points to close above 10572. The Nasdaq rose 11 points to close at 2301.
Tropical Storm Karl hit a thinly populated section of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula today, with winds of 65 miles an hour. The storm was on track to cross into the Gulf of Mexico tomorrow, and then hit Mexico again on Saturday, possibly at hurricane strength. Images from the space station showed two far more powerful storms, Igor and Julia, far out in the Atlantic. Neither posed any immediate threat to land.
That blown-out BP oil well in the Gulf should be killed for good by Sunday, five months after the oil spill disaster began. The government's point person, Thad Allen, said today a relief well should be completed within 24 hours, allowing crews to pump in mud and cement from below. The top of the well was sealed earlier. Also today, the Interior Department announced oil companies will have to seal nearly 3,500 inactive wells in the Gulf.
The latest Middle East peace talks ended today in Jerusalem, on a day marked by attacks in both Israel and Gaza. Israeli jets bombed a smuggling tunnel along the Gaza border with Egypt, after militants fired mortars and a rocket into Israel. At the talks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met again with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: They are getting down to business, and they have began to grapple with the core issues that can only be resolved through face-to-face negotiations. I believe they are serious about reaching an agreement that results in two states living side by side in peace and security.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The U.S. has set a one-year target for getting a framework peace agreement. U.S. troops joined Iraqi forces today in a raid in Fallujah, the former insurgent stronghold. They were searching for a senior al-Qaida operative. It was unclear if he was one of the six people killed. Earlier this week, American units fought in a two-day battle with al-Qaida militants. U.S. forces officially ended their combat role on September 1, but they can still take part in operations, if the Iraqis ask for help.
In Afghanistan, police fired into the air to disperse hundreds of protesters just outside Kabul. At least one person was killed and 45 others wounded. The protesters were demonstrating against scattered burnings of the Koran in the U.S. last weekend. Most of the injuries came from ricocheting bullets. Police said the Taliban are using the rallies to incite violence, ahead of next week's elections.
Lawmakers in France voted today to raise the retirement age to 62 to stem losses in the pension system. The National Assembly, the lower house of the French Parliament, approved sweeping retirement reforms after a contentious overnight debate.
Outside, several thousand people protested, demanding the bill be withdrawn. France's current retirement age is 60, one of the youngest in the European Union. President Nicolas Sarkozy's plan now goes to the French Senate for debate.