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News Wrap: McChrystal Surprised by Taliban’s Strength

September 25, 2009 at 12:00 AM EDT
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In other news, five more Americans were killed in Afghanistan on Thursday, and a U.S. missile strike in Pakistan killed 12 militants.
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JIM LEHRER: In other news today, the U.S. military announced five more Americans were killed in Afghanistan on Thursday. And the overall U.S. commander there, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, said he’s been surprised by the strength of the Taliban. He told the CBS program “60 Minutes,” “In some areas, the geographic spread of violence is a little more than I would have gathered.”

The general also submitted his formal request for more troops today. There was no official word on how many he wants.

In Pakistan, there was word a U.S. missile strike killed 12 Afghan militants. Pakistani intelligence officials and villagers said a drone aircraft attacked a house near the border. U.S. drones have carried out several strikes in that same area in recent months.

The former prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, went on trial for corruption today. It’s the first time any Israeli prime minister has faced criminal prosecution. On his way into court in Jerusalem, Olmert again proclaimed his innocence. He’s formally charged with fraud and breach of trust. It stems from his time as mayor of Jerusalem. Prosecutors say he took illegal funds from an American supporter and then double-billed Jewish groups for trips abroad.

On Wall Street today, stocks took another hit after the government reported orders for durable goods fell in August. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 42 points to close at 9,665. The Nasdaq fell 16 points to close at nearly 2,091. For the week, the Dow lost more than 1.5 percent; the Nasdaq fell 2 percent.