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News Wrap: Bombers Strike in Afghanistan, Pakistan

November 13, 2009 at 12:00 AM EDT
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In other news, at least 24 people died in a suicide bombing near a U.S. military base outside of Kabul, and in Pakistan, a truck bomber killed at least 10 people outside the northwestern headquarters of the Pakistani intelligence services.
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JIM LEHRER: In other news today: A suicide bombing in Afghanistan wounded at least two dozen people. It happened near a U.S. military base outside Kabul on a road used by international forces. Nine NATO troops were among the wounded.

To the east, a pair of suicide bombings killed 16 people in Pakistan. A truck bomber attacked the northwestern headquarters of the Pakistani intelligence agency. Ten people died there. The early-morning blast sent up a huge plume of smoke and destroyed most of the three-story building. In addition to the dead, 55 others were wounded in the attack.

President Obama today defended the time he’s taking to decide on Afghan war strategy. He told reporters in Japan he’s trying to make the best possible choice when it comes to sending more U.S. troops.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I recognize that there have been critics of the process. They tend not to be folks who I think are directly involved in what’s happening in Afghanistan. Those who are recognize the gravity of the situation and recognize the importance of us getting this right.

JIM LEHRER: The U.S. has urged NATO nations to send more of their own troops to Afghanistan. And, today, British Prime Minister Brown said he’s trying to persuade allied nations to send another 5,000 soldiers. He said Britain will be part of that.

Morale among U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan has fallen, as fighting increases. It’s improving for those in Iraq. The U.S. Army reported those findings today, based on surveys earlier this year. It also found a shortage of mental health workers for those who need help.

The accused Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan, may be paralyzed from the waist down. His lawyer said today that Hasan told him he has no feeling in his legs and he has extreme pain in his hands. The Army psychiatrist was shot four times during the attack last week. He is recovering at a military hospital in San Antonio, Texas.

NASA has found evidence of water on the moon. The space agency reported that discovery today. The so-called LCROSS satellite was flown into a lunar crater last month. Mission scientists said there was water in the dust thrown up by the impact, lots of water.

ANTHONY COLAPRETE, NASbrA Ames Research Center: In the 20- to 30-meter crater LCROSS made, we found maybe about a dozen of these 2-gallon buckets worth of water. So, this is initial results. It’s preliminary.

JIM LEHRER: Finding large amounts of water on the moon could make it easier for future astronauts to work there.

The parents of the so-called balloon boy have pleaded guilty in a Colorado courtroom. In October, they reported 6-year-old Falcon Heene was on a runaway balloon that floated 50 miles before landing. Instead, he was found at home, safe and sound. Today, the father pleaded guilty to a felony charge of misleading the sheriff. The mother pleaded to a misdemeanor of false reporting. Sentencing is set for late December.

On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 73 points, to close at 10270. The Nasdaq rose more than 18 points, to close above 2167. For the week, both the Dow and the Nasdaq gained about 2.5 percent.