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News Wrap: Bombings Kill 2 Troops in Afghanistan

July 19, 2010 at 12:00 AM EST
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Roadside bombings in Southern Afghanistan killed two

more American troops today. That made a total of 42 U.S. deaths this month, compared with 60 in June. Meanwhile, security was tightened in Kabul on the eve of an international aid donors summit. Thousands of Afghan troops and police set up checkpoints to search cars and drivers.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Kabul today from Pakistan. While there, she announced more than $500 million in new aid projects. Clinton rounded out two days of high-level talks with Pakistani military and civilian officials in Islamabad. And she tried to calm fears that America’s focus in Pakistan is solely on fighting militants.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, U.S. Secretary of State: That thismisperception has persisted for so long tells it us we have not done a good enough job of connecting our partnership with concrete improvements in the lives of Pakistanis. And, with this dialogue, we are working very hard to change that perception.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The secretary also attended a town hall meeting with Pakistani students and business people. She said they seemed more receptive than during her visit last fall.

An 18th person has died in the city of Torreon, Mexico, a day after gunman stormed a birthday party. Officials blamed on drug gangs battling for territory. Video of the aftermath showed a bloodstained patio with overturned chairs. Police found more than 120 bullet casings at the scene.

Former President Clinton appealed today for countries to make smarter use of funds they receive to fight AIDS. He addressed a world conference in Vienna, Austria, and said too much money is spent on reports and travel, and not enough on treatment.

Mr. Clinton warned that donors will not continue to give unless they think their contributions are worthwhile.

Poverty may be the key to HIV infections among heterosexuals in American cities. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that today in the first federal study of its kind. The report said HIV is epidemic in many low-income urban areas in the U.S. and the poor are twice as likely to be infected as those better-off. At least 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV.

Wall Street managed a modest rebound today after Friday’s sell-off. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 56 points to close at 10,154. The Nasdaq rose 19 points to close at 2,198.

Those are some the day’s major stories — now back to Jeff.