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Other News: National Security Adviser Meets with Afghan Candidates

June 23, 2009 at 6:20 PM EDT

JIM LEHRER: In other news today, the U.S. national security adviser, Jim Jones, met with presidential candidates in Afghanistan. The retired Marine general held talks with President Karzai and his top three challengers in Kabul. Jones called for a free and fair election in August, and he said the U.S. will stay neutral in the contest.

Also today, three German soldiers were killed in fighting in southern Afghanistan.

In Pakistan, intelligence officials reported U.S. drone aircraft killed up to 40 Taliban militants in missile strikes. The Pakistanis said the first attack hit a Taliban training center; a second strike hit a funeral for one of those killed earlier. Some 60 other people were wounded in the strikes.

On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 16 points to close below 8,323. The Nasdaq fell 1 point to close below 1,765.

And Ed McMahon died early today at a Los Angeles hospital. Johnny Carson’s long-time television sidekick had been ill for some months. But for 30 years, until 1992, he was a fixture on “The Tonight Show.”

ED MCMAHON, former co-host, “The Tonight Show”: Here’s Johnny!

JIM LEHRER: McMahon was known for that trademark show opening introduction and for his booming laugh and constant banter with Carson. In later years, he did commercials and hosted talent shows. Ed McMahon was 86 years old.