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Other News: 2 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan

June 19, 2009 at 6:20 PM EDT
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JIM LEHRER: In other news today, two American soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan. Seventy-six U.S. troops have died in fighting there so far this year.

And a Pentagon report found a U.S. air strike most likely killed 26 Afghan civilians. It happened last month in western Farah province. Afghan officials claimed 140 people were killed. The U.S. report said the air strikes did not follow strict rules.

Billionaire Texas banker Allen Stanford has been indicted on federal charges of fraud and obstruction. He surrendered yesterday in Richmond, Virginia, and he appeared in federal court there today. Stanford and six others allegedly carried out a $7 billion scheme. In Washington, federal officials said they defrauded up to 6,000 investors.

ROBERT KHUZAMI, Securities and Exchange Commission: Stanford’s victims were not looking for one of those get-rich-quick schemes that we hear so much about and seem somewhat obvious to avoid. Stanford’s investors were simply looking for safe investments and low-risk opportunities.

And with Stanford, they thought they had found such an opportunity. But what they had actually found was a complicated array of phony financial statements, fabricated performance, and sham audits, all to create the illusion of safety and liquidity.

JIM LEHRER: Stanford already faces civil fraud charges. He could get 250 years in prison if he’s convicted on all of the criminal counts. But his lawyer said today, Stanford believes a fair jury will find him not guilty.

U.S. Senator Roland Burris of Illinois will not face state charges of perjury. A prosecutor announced today there is not enough evidence to pursue the matter. Burris has denied lying about his dealings with then-Governor Rod Blagojevich before being named to the Senate. Blagojevich was later ousted on charges he tried to sell the Senate appointment.

Secretary of State Clinton had surgery today on her fractured right elbow at a Washington hospital. She was injured Wednesday night when she fell in the State Department’s parking garage. In a statement, the department said Clinton returned to her home after today’s operation. She’s expected to recover fully, with no lasting damage to her arm.

In economic news, the Labor Department reported unemployment rose in all but two states in May. It was the worst in the West, with a jobless rate topping 10 percent.

And on Wall Street, stocks were mixed today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 15 points to close at 8,539. The Nasdaq rose more than 19 points to close at 1,827. For the week, the Dow lost 3 percent; the Nasdaq fell more than 1.5 percent.