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News Wrap: Afghan Official Leaves Election Commission

October 12, 2009 at 12:00 AM EDT
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In other news, an Afghan official resigned from a commission charged with determining whether fraud occurred in the nation's presidential election, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the world will not be deterred by new missile testing in North Korea.
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GWEN IFILL: In other news today: An Afghan official resigned from a commission investigating the disputed presidential election. He claimed three foreigners on the U.N.-backed panel are making decisions without consulting the two Afghan members.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Clinton said Washington expects more of the Afghan president. If his reelection is confirmed, she said, Hamid Karzai must work harder to stabilize his country.

Secretary Clinton also warned the world will not be deterred by new missile testing in North Korea. South Korea’s news agency reported the communist regime fired five short-range missiles today.

Traveling in Northern Ireland, Clinton said the focus remains on ending North Korea’s nuclear program.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, secretary of state, U.S.: Our goals remain the same. We intend to work toward a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula that can demonstrate in a verifiable way that it is. Our consultation with our partners and allies continues unabated. It is unaffected by the behavior of North Korea. We pursue this goal like we pursue all of our national security goals.

GWEN IFILL: Just last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il told China he might be ready to resume international talks.

A court in western China has sentenced six men to death after the worst ethnic violence in decades. A seventh man got life in prison. The men were the first sentenced of the scores arrested last July. Nearly 200 people were killed in the rioting between Muslim Uighurs and members of the Han Chinese majority. All those sentenced today were Uighurs.

Two Americans won the 2009 Nobel Prize in economics today, including the first woman ever to receive the honor. Political scientist Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University shared the award with economist Oliver Williamson at the University of California, Berkeley. They studied rules that citizens use to influence economic systems.

In Bloomington, Indiana, Ostrom said the prize shows women can excel in her field.

ELINOR OSTROM, Nobel laureate: I think we’re entering a new — we have already entered a new era, and we recognize that women have the capabilities of doing great scientific work. And, yes, I appreciate that this is an honor to be the first woman, but I won’t be the last.

GWEN IFILL: A record five women have won Nobel Prizes this year.

On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 20 points, to close above 9885. The Nasdaq fell a fraction of a point, to close at 2139.