JIM LEHRER: In other news today, a suicide bomber in Pakistan attacked the U.N. World Food Program’s office. Five people were killed. The bomber, picked up here on a surveillance tape, wore a military uniform and managed to bypass tight security. Afterward, the U.N. temporarily closed all its Pakistan offices.
Three Americans have been awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine. The honor today went to Elizabeth Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco; Carol Greider of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; and Jack Szostak of Harvard Medical School.
They discovered a key growth enzyme in cells 30 years ago. It set the stage for potential new therapies to slow aging and to block cancer. This was the first time two women have shared the medicine prize in a single year.
Rescue teams in Indonesia called off the search today for survivors of last week’s devastating earthquake. Officials on the island of Sumatra said there was little chance of finding anyone else alive.
At the same time, one of the last people found alive late last week told of her ordeal. We have a report from James Mates of Independent Television News.
JAMES MATES: It was one of the miracles of the Sumatran earthquake. Suci had been buried for 48 hours in the classroom where she had been teaching. Two of her students lay dead beside her. But watched by her husband and her father, they did finally get her out.
Today, Suci is still in great pain, her legs badly damaged, but she remembers everything, the hours in which she could hear the rescuers, but wondered if they’d ever arrive.
SUCI WULANSARI, earthquake survivor: I never feel afraid.
JAMES MATES: Were you shouting for them?
SUCI WULANSARI: All the time, I shout until I can’t shout anymore.
JAMES MATES: And did you think that they wouldn’t be able to get you out?
SUCI WULANSARI: I believe that I have to live.
JAMES MATES: Her colleague, Sari, was buried with her and was also pulled alive from the rubble. The two women had kept each other believing.
What were you saying to each other?
SUCI WULANSARI: That I’ll survive, we have to survive. I want to see my son.
JAMES MATES: While we spoke, Suci’s mother called and briefly put her 14-month-old son on the line, the son who throughout her ordeal she knew she had to see again. They’ve stopped searching now at Suci’s school as they’ve stopped searching in most of Padang. It seems that hers will be the last story of survival to come out of this dreadful tragedy.
JIM LEHRER: The official death toll in the earthquake stood at 609. It’s expected to climb into the thousands eventually.
In U.S. economic news, a business research group reported the U.S. service sector grew in September for the first time in more than a year. That was welcome news on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 112 points to close at 9,599. The Nasdaq rose 20 points to close at 2,068.