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News Wrap: Attacks Kill 11 in Southern Afghanistan

April 15, 2010 at 12:00 AM EDT
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In other news on Thursday, a suicide car bombing in Afghanistan killed seven foreign workers in the southern city of Kandahar and rescue workers in China continued the search for survivors of Wednesday's powerful earthquakes.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Still to come on the NewsHour: a Tampa town meeting, but first, the other news of the day.

Here’s Hari Sreenivasan in our newsroom.

Welcome back from vacation, Hari.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Thanks, Judy. It’s good to be back.

Militants in Afghanistan struck on several fronts today. In the south, a suicide car bombing killed at least six people. Three were said to be foreigners, possibly Britons. The blast rocked the city of Kandahar, where NATO troops plan to carry out a major operation this summer. To the north, four German soldiers were killed in a rocket attack. Five others were wounded.

The president of Kyrgyzstan has resigned and left the country eight days after protests forced him from the capital. Kurmanbek Bakiyev flew to nearby Kazakhstan on a Russian military plane. In the meantime, full operations resumed at a Kyrgyz air base that supplies U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Crews in Western China worked nonstop today searching for earthquake survivors. A series of powerful quakes rocked the region near Tibet on Wednesday. The official death toll climbed to 760 today, with more than 11,000 others injured. Rescuers battled strong winds and high altitude in the mountainous area. In some places, they pulled villagers alive from beneath the rubble.

President Obama has ordered a review of coal mines with a history of violations. An explosion at a West Virginia mine last week killed 29 men. The president criticized mine owners today for using endless litigation to block safety enforcement. And he said current safety laws are riddled with loopholes.

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I refuse to accept any number of miner deaths as simply a cost of doing business. We can’t eliminate chance completely from mining, any more than we can from life itself. But, if a tragedy can be prevented, it must be prevented.

That’s the responsibility of mine operators. That’s the responsibility of government. And that’s the responsibility that we’re all going to have to work together to meet in the weeks and months to come.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The president said he wants quick action to get more inspectors into mines that have troubling safety records.

Wall Street edged higher again today. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 21 points, to close at 11144. The Nasdaq rose more than 10 points, to close at 2515.

Civil rights leader Benjamin Hooks died today at his home in Memphis, Tennessee, after a long illness. Hooks became the executive director of the NAACP in 1977. And, over 15 years, he more than doubled its membership. In 2007, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Bush said Hooks never faltered in demanding the nation live up to its ideals.

Benjamin Hooks was 85 years old.

Those are some of the day’s main stories. I will be back at the end of the program with a preview of what you will find tonight on the NewsHour’s Web site — but, for now, back to Jim.

JIM LEHRER: This was April 15, the deadline for paying income taxes. It sparked new protests over government spending and carried special significance in this election year.