News Wrap: Ohio Rep. Kucinich Concedes Defeat in Redistricting Showdown
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HARI SREENIVASAN: The Super Tuesday results cost one former presidential candidate his seat in Congress. Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich lost in the state’s Democratic primary last night. He was one of the most liberal members in the U.S. House, and had represented the Cleveland area since 1997. Kucinich was beaten by Democratic Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, after redistricting forced them into the same district.
President Obama issued a new appeal today to wean the nation from its dependence on oil. He said it would mean lower gas prices. The president spoke at a Daimler truck plant in North Carolina. He called again for developing American wind, solar and nuclear power and more efficient engines.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We can place our bets on the fuel of the past, or we can place our bets on American know-how and American ingenuity and American workers like the ones here at Daimler.
BARACK OBAMA: That’s the choice we face. That’s what’s at stake right now.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The president also urged Congress to provide $1 billion in grants for cities to buy and use vehicles with advanced technologies.
Wall Street rebounded today from Tuesday’s big losses. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 78 points to close at 12,837. The Nasdaq rose 25 points to close at 2,935.
In Syria, the Red Crescent got into the devastated Baba Amr section in the city of Homs, a week after a government siege ended there. The relief group said most civilians had fled the area. Syrian state television broadcast video showing cleanup efforts. The government claimed terror groups were behind the destruction. The U.N. humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos, was also allowed to visit Baba Amr as she began a three-day mission to Syria.
In Washington, Pentagon leaders counseled caution over intervening militarily in Syria. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta appeared at a Senate hearing, and was challenged by Republican John McCain of Arizona. McCain has called for U.S. airstrikes against the Syrian military, and he pressed Panetta on the issue.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-Ariz.: Can you tell us how long — how much longer the killing would have to continue, how many additional civilian lives would have to be lost in order to convince you that the military measures of this kind that we are proposing necessary to end the killing and force — to leave power, how many more have to die, 10,000 more, 20,000 more?
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LEON PANETTA: Before I recommend that we put our sons and daughters in uniform in harm’s way, I’ve got to make very sure that we know what the mission is. I’ve got to — I have got to make very sure that we know whether we can achieve that mission, at what price, and whether or not it will make matters better or worse.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin Dempsey, said the U.S. military would be ready if the president orders a strike on Syria.
British forces in Afghanistan suffered their worst losses in years on Tuesday night. Half-a-dozen soldiers were patrolling in the Helmand Province when an explosion tore into their armored vehicle, killing all of them.
We have a report narrated by Chris Ship of Independent Television News.
CHRIS SHIP: This is the dusty track just off the main highway through Helmand Province, where yesterday six British soldiers lost their lives.
Two military cranes now stand over the remains of the vehicle they were in. This bomb was so big, even the Warrior, one of the best armored vehicles available to the British army, could not protect those inside.
This is the type of armored vehicle which was hit in what is the biggest single loss of life here for the British since 2006. In one day and in one explosion, the total number of British troops killed in Afghanistan both reached and then exceeded 400.
DAVID CAMERON, British prime minister: This is a desperately sad day for our country and desperately sad, of course, for the families concerned.
CHRIS SHIP: The U.K.’s 10,000 troops in Afghanistan cannot and will not digest this news lightly, but Britain’s most senior officer said tonight it will not distract any of them from the mission.
GEN. SIR DAVID RICHARDS, chief of defense staff: I can tell you their resolve is, if anything, stiffening, for two reasons, one, to make sure that those lives are not lost in vain and all the others that have died in this campaign, but also because we all believe it’s all about protecting our own security.
CHRIS SHIP: In Camp Bastion, the main British base, they remember the fallen at this memorial, where they will also reflect on how many more tours must be completed before, in 2014, the combat mission will end.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Two bombings, one right after the other, killed 14 people today in Northern Iraq. More than 20 others were wounded. Officials said a car bomb went off near a crowded restaurant in Tal Afar. When a crowd gathered, a suicide bomber blew himself up. The city was a center of the insurgency in Iraq in the first years after the U.S. invasion.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.