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News Wrap: Afghanistan Claims a Dozen International Troop Lives in July

July 5, 2010 at 12:00 AM EDT
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Three U.S. troops and a British soldier were killed

by roadside bombs in Afghanistan today. That made a dozen international troops to die in the first five days of July.

Meanwhile, leading U.S. senators warned Americans must expect more such days. Republican John McCain spoke in Kabul.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-Ariz.: There are obviously obstacles that lie ahead. There will be more difficult times, and, in the short-term, casualties will go up. But I’m convinced we can succeed and will succeed. And Kandahar is obviously the key area. And, if we succeed there, we will succeed in the rest of this struggle.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Kandahar is a Taliban stronghold. The planned

offensive to seize the city has been delayed.

The Democratic Republic of Congo began two days of mourning today for at least 242 people killed in a tanker truck explosion on Friday. More than 200 others were hurt. The truck tipped over near a site where people had gathered to watch the World Cup soccer matches. Dozens ran toward the truck and began scooping up fuel before the explosion. Some 61 women and 36 children were among the dead.

In Mexico, the ruling party managed to hold off a resurgence by the former ruling party in Sunday’s elections. President Felipe Calderon’s conservatives aligned with leftists to win control of three states from the Institutional Revolutionary Party. The PRI, as it’s known, had run those states for more than 80 years, and it still won nine governorships. Voter turnout in some states was low because of ongoing drug gang violence.

Poland’s electoral commission officially declared a winner today in the

presidential election. Bronislaw Komorowski, a pro-business conservative, he took more than 53 percent of the vote in Sunday’s balloting. His rival was former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski. He is the twin brother of the late President Lech Kaczynski, who died in a plane crash last April.

China has sentenced an American geologist to eight years in prison for buying data on the Chinese oil industry. Forty-five-year-old Xue Feng was already in custody for two-and-a-half years, and says he’s been tortured. The U.S. government has asked for his immediate release. China claims he violated state secrecy laws and endangered national security.

Toyota began a large recall of Lexus and Crown vehicles in Japan today. The company said the cars could stall because of flaws in the valve springs, a crucial engine component. The recall is expected to extend to 270,000 vehicles around the world, including about 140,000 here in the U.S.

Since last October, Toyota has recalled more than eight million vehicles for a variety of problems.

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