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News Wrap: October Off to Deadly Start for NATO Troops in Afghanistan

October 4, 2010 at 5:51 PM EST
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HARI SREENIVASAN: The NATO casualty count is climbing again in

Afghanistan. Three troops were killed today in bombings in the south. A fourth died when insurgents attacked in the east. There was no immediate word on their nationalities. At least 11 NATO troops have been killed already in October. There were 59 for all of September.

New reports on the U.S. economy today showed continuing signs of stress. Factory orders fell more than expected in August, and contracts for new homes remained far below the pace of last year. In response, Wall Street pulled back after its big September rally. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 78 points to close at 10751. The Nasdaq fell 26 points to close at 2344.

The California Supreme Court has upheld Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s power to furlough state workers. The unanimous decision today rejected a challenge by state employee unions. Schwarzenegger imposed the furloughs to ease the state’s budget crisis. More than 200,000 workers stay home without pay for three days a month, saving $80 million.

This was the first day of competition at the Commonwealth Games in New

Delhi, India. Crowds were small, after weeks of problems with completing and cleaning the facilities. A Nigerian woman won the event’s initial gold medal in weight-lifting. And, in swimming, Australian women won two golds in the early going.

In the meantime, organizers continued spraying insecticide to control

mosquitoes at competition venues and the athletes village. The insects can carry dengue fever, a potentially deadly ailment.

The presidential race in Brazil is headed to a runoff. In Sunday’s

election, the ruling party candidate, Dilma Rousseff, fell just short of winning an outright majority of the vote. She will face Jose Serra, a former Sao Paulo governor, in the runoff on October 31. Both candidates have promised to continue policies that helped make Brazil an economic power.

Early results from Sunday’s elections in Bosnia point to continued

stalemate. Voters split largely down ethnic lines in choosing a Parliament and three-person presidency. The leading Croat and Muslim presidential candidates advocated a unified Bosnia. The Bosnian Serb candidate wants to secede and create a separate nation. Bosnia’s divisions have held back economic reforms and hindered its chances at joining the European Union.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.