HARI SREENIVASAN: Insurgents in Afghanistan killed eight Afghan police today. They stormed a checkpoint near the northern city of Kunduz. The police fought back, wounding several of the militants.
Meanwhile, Afghan President Hamid Karzai warned the U.S. timetable for withdrawing troops next July is empowering the insurgency. Karzai told a visiting U.S. congressional delegation the deadline gives the Taliban morale value.
A report in The New York Times today revealed one of President Karzai's aides is being paid by the Central Intelligence Agency. The article cites officials in Kabul and Washington and says the aide has been paid by the CIA for a number of years. The aide, Mohammad Zia Salehi, is at the center of a politically sensitive corruption investigation. He was arrested in July and released after Karzai intervened.
In Iraq today, gunmen killed a group of six pro-government Sunni militiamen in an ambush. The attack happened about 60 miles north of Baghdad, in the Diyala province. The victims were all members of the anti-al-Qaida Awakening Council. Today's violence comes a day after a wave of attacks targeting government forces that killed nearly 60.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Iraq's political deadlock and U.S. troop withdrawal are both contributing to the violence.
HOSHYAR ZEBARI, Iraqi foreign minister: In such environment, these terrorist networks flourish actually and would love to deepen division among Iraqi politicians to apportion blame on each other in order to create as much chaos as possible.
HARI SREENIVASAN: President Obama will address the nation next Tuesday evening about the formal end to the U.S. combat mission in Iraq.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il made a surprise visit to China today for the second time since May. It was widely reported Kim took a special armored train, possibly with his son and likely successor. The visit came as former President Jimmy Carter was in North Korea as a private citizen, negotiating the release of an American prisoner jailed for illegally trespassing. Carter was expected to return to the U.S. today, but has extended his trip.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials have found positive samples of salmonella that connect two Iowa farms to an egg recall. The salmonella was discovered in chicken feed that was sold to the two farms. More than half-a-
billion eggs were recalled this month after being linked to some 1,300 cases of salmonella poisoning.
FDA officials said tests indicate the contaminated feed is likely not the only source of the outbreak.
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich will face a federal retrial early next January in Chicago. But a judge today stopped short of setting a specific date. Last week, jurors deadlocked on all but one of the 23 corruption charges against the Democrat. Prosecutors also dismissed all charges against his brother Robert. He was accused of plotting with the former governor to sell an appointment to the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.
Toyota announced a recall today of more than a million cars in North America because their engines may stall. The recall affects Corolla sedans and Matrix hatchbacks from the model years 2005 to 2008. The company will replace
engine control modules on the recalled vehicles at no charge. Toyota has recalled more than 10 million vehicles worldwide over the past year for a range of problems.
On Wall Street today, the Dow slipped below the 10000 mark for the first time since early July, as investors braced for the latest reading on economic growth due out tomorrow. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 74 points to close above 9985. The Nasdaq fell more than 22 points to close above 2118.
Those are some of the day's major stories now back to Jeff.