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News Wrap: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Fails in Senate

December 9, 2010 at 4:30 PM EST
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Senate Democrats failed in a bid to repeal the ban on gays serving openly in the military. They got 57 votes, but needed three more to force action. Most Republicans opposed repeal outright. They also said they would block action on everything until Congress funds the government and approves the tax cut package.

It was a day of street battles in London, as furious protesters raged against tripling the cost of university tuition. The House of Commons approved the increase as part of government austerity plans.

We have a report from Neil Connery of Independent Television News.

NEIL CONNERY: For the students, this was their last chance. Thousands took to London’s streets as the final countdown to the vote on tuition fees ticked away.

MAN: We are apoplectically annoyed about the — this new legislation, because it puts — its puts poor people off going to university.

NEIL CONNERY: But it didn’t take long before tensions started to rise, leaving this policeman injured.

With Westminster firmly in their sights, these students are determined to make their voices heard. But, given the trouble at previous demonstrations, the police are also out in force, determined to make sure this demonstration doesn’t spiral out of control.

But the anger of some have now reached boiling point. Flares and other missiles were thrown at the police. As the afternoon wore on, mounted officers charged part of the crowd as they tried to keep order.

MAN: Out of the way!

NEIL CONNERY: Both sides suffered injuries as the clashes continued.

When the vote came through, the reaction was clear. M.P.s may have voted, but in the streets around Westminster this evening, the anger of many shows little sign of abating.

HARI SREENIVASAN: At one point, the protesters attacked a car carrying Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla. They were unharmed.

There were new skirmishes today in the cyber-war over WikiLeaks. Supporters of the Web site threatened online payment service PayPal again for cutting off financial access to WikiLeaks. They had already attacked MasterCard and Visa.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder said officials are looking into the cyber-attacks. He is already investigating WikiLeaks for releasing thousands of secret U.S. government documents.

In Afghanistan, insurgents killed a NATO soldier in the south, the 13th so far this month. There was no immediate word on the victim’s nationality. Meanwhile, in Iraq, the U.S. military announced an American soldier was killed Wednesday.

Wall Street had a quiet day, as the stock market waited to see what Congress will do on taxes. The Dow Jones industrial average lost two points to close at 11370. The Nasdaq rose seven points to close at 2616.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.