HARI SREENIVASAN: New trouble erupted in Iraq today, as bomb blasts in and around Baghdad killed at least 10 people. In one attack, two car bombs blew up in a street in the suburb of Husseiniya. Another went off outside a restaurant at lunchtime. Violence has spiked in Iraq following a security crackdown on a Sunni camp last month.
In Afghanistan, the weekend marked one of the deadliest in the last year for U.S. troops. Seven were killed in attacks on Saturday. Five died in a roadside bomb in the south, and two others were killed when a soldier with the Afghan national army turned his weapon on U.S. soldiers. About a week ago the Taliban announced its new spring offensive, including an emphasis on insider attacks.
Authorities in Bangladesh banned new rallies as clashes between police and hardline Islamists spread. At least 20 people were killed. Overnight, protesters blocked roads with burning tires, demanding that blasphemy against Islam be outlawed. Police fired rubber bullets and beat some protesters in the streets. Meanwhile, the death toll in the collapse of a garment factory rose to 675. Crews continued digging in the ruins of the building.
A friend of the Boston bombing suspect has been released from federal custody. Robel Phillipos was charged last week with lying to investigators about visiting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's dorm room after the bombings. He will remain confined to his home until his trial. Meanwhile, the question of what happens to the remains of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the other bombing suspect, remains unresolved. So far, no place in Massachusetts will accept the body for burial.
The Senate moved today to let states charge sales tax for purchases made over the Internet. Currently, sales tax applies only when the online company has an actual store or office located in a given state. Retailers have lobbied in favor of the bill, but it's expected to face opposition in the House.
On Wall Street, stocks edged up and down. The Dow Jones industrial average lost five points to close below 14,969. The Nasdaq rose 14 points to close near 3,393.
Those are some of the day's major stories -- now back to Ray.