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Other News: 30 Taliban Fighters Killed in Afghanistan

September 28, 2009 at 12:00 AM EDT
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In other news, U.S. forces reported killing at least 30 Taliban fighters in Western Afghanistan, and in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel set to work building a new center-right coalition following her election win on Sunday.
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JIM LEHRER: In other news today, U.S. forces reported killing at least 30 Taliban fighters in western Afghanistan. Elsewhere, a dozen Afghan civilians died in attacks by insurgents. According to U.N. figures, more than 1,500 Afghans were killed from January through August of this year. That’s up from the 1,100 killed in the same time period last year.

A new center-right government in Germany could be in place by November 9th. That will be the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The ruling Christian Democrats and other conservative parties won enough seats in Sunday’s election to form a new majority coalition.

Today, Chancellor Angela Merkel promised to move quickly.

ANGELA MERKEL, chancellor, Germany: I will talk to the head of the Free Democrats and the head of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria very quickly and discuss how we will run the coalition talks in the next days and weeks. We want to do this quickly. Of course, quality takes priority over speed, but Germany is entitled to have a new government quickly.

JIM LEHRER: The election outcome puts an end to Merkel’s uneasy alliance with the more liberal Social Democrats, who lost badly.

The death toll from a tropical storm in the Philippines hit 140 today. The capital of Manila and surrounding towns were hit hard by the storm on Saturday. It dumped more than a month’s worth of rain in just 12 hours, leading to widespread devastation. Nearly 500,000 homes were flooded, and officials called today for international aid. They also warned another storm could hit by Friday.

Movie director Roman Polanski vowed today to fight extradition from Switzerland to the United States. Swiss authorities arrested him on Saturday on a fugitive warrant. In 1977, Polanski pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles. He then fled to France after the judge went back on a plea deal. Polanski is now 76 years old.

On Wall Street today, stocks made up some of their losses from last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 124 points to close at 9,789. The Nasdaq rose more than 39 points to close above 2,130.