KWAME HOLMAN: All 33,000 U.S. troops sent to Afghanistan as part of a military surge now have left the country. The official announcement came today from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
President Obama ordered the extra forces two years ago to help defeat the Taliban and train Afghan security elements. Nearly 100,000 NATO troops remain in Afghanistan, including some 68,000 Americans.
A court in Turkey today convicted 326 military officers of plotting to overthrow the government in 2003. The defendants included the former heads of the Air Force, Navy and Army. They were accused of planning to topple Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His Islamic-based government first took power in 2002.
California Congresswoman Maxine Waters will not be charged with violating House ethics rules. The Los Angeles Democrat had faced allegations she sought $12 million in federal bailout money for United One, a bank her husband owns stock in. But the committee’s outside counsel, Billy Martin, found Waters believed she was acting on behalf of all minority-owned banks.
BILLY MARTIN, attorney: We recommended to this committee in a written report that covers almost 150 pages that the evidence on the record doesn’t support a knowing violation of ethics rules or any other standard of conduct with respect to Rep. Maxine Waters by a clear and convincing standard.
KWAME HOLMAN: The report did raise questions about actions by Waters’ grandson and chief of staff, Mikael Moore. Moore has denied any wrongdoing, but he may receive a letter of reproval from the Ethics Committee.
General Motors is recalling nearly 500,000 cars to fix a transmission problem. They can remain in gear and roll away even though they appear to be in park. The recalled vehicles are the Chevy Malibu, Pontiac G6, and Saturn Aura from model years 2007 through 2010. All have four-speed automatic transmissions. GM said it knows of four crashes from the problem, but no injuries.
Wall Street closed out the week on a down note. Stocks mostly failed to hold earlier gains, and the Dow Jones industrial average lost 17 points to close at 13,579. The Nasdaq managed a small gain, four points, to close near 3,180. For the week, both the Dow and the Nasdaq lost one-tenth of — a tenth of 1 percent.
The nation’s largest cancer center has launched a campaign to find cures for eight types of cancer. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center hopes to spend up to $3 billion on the effort in the next 10 years. Some of the cancers being targeted are early breast and ovarian, lung, prostate, melanoma, and two types of leukemia. It’s estimated more than one-and-a-half million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year. More than 500,000 will die from it.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.