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Other News: Obama Reaches Out to Muslim World

April 6, 2009 at 6:10 PM EST
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GWEN IFILL: In other news today, President Obama used the first of two days in Turkey to reach out to the Muslim world. In an address to the Turkish parliament in Ankara, he called for a partnership with Islamic nations, not solely based on opposition to terrorism.

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The United States is not and will never be at war with Islam. In fact, our partnership with the Muslim world is critical not just in rolling back the violent ideologies that people of all faiths reject but also to strengthen opportunity for all its people.

GWEN IFILL: President Obama also supported Turkey’s bid to join the European Union. His speech was carried live on two of the largest Arabic satellite channels.

In Iraq, a string of six bombings tore through Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad. Iraqi police reported at least 37 people were killed and more than 100 wounded. The blast sites were littered with mangled wreckage and burned-out cars. The deadliest attack happened at a busy market in the western part of Baghdad.

And the U.S. military announced the first American death in Iraq since mid-March. The soldier was killed in combat yesterday.

The remains of an American serviceman killed in Afghanistan’s Helmand province this weekend were returned to Dover Air Force Base overnight. The ceremony surrounding the return of Air Force Staff Sergeant Phillip Myers’ flag- draped coffin was opened to media coverage for the first time in 18 years. The Pentagon has lifted its ban on media coverage of war dead, if the family approves.

Federal officials from several government agencies announced a crackdown today on mortgage scams. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said a growing number of criminal actors are preying on desperate homeowners who are facing foreclosure.

In Washington, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz said offenders would face criminal and civil charges.

JON LEIBOWITZ, Federal Trade Commission Chairman: In four of these cases, we charged the defendants with using copycat names and logos to trick homeowners into believing that they were working with the government or with the Hope Now Alliance, a nonprofit group that actually does offer free assistance. These companies gave people false hope; they’re as shameless as they are opportunistic.

GWEN IFILL: The FBI is currently investigating about 2,100 mortgage fraud cases. That’s a 400 percent increase from five years ago.

On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 41 points to close above 7,975. The Nasdaq fell 15 points to close above 1,606.