News Wrap: Pelosi Seeks Democratic Minority Leader Mantle
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will try to stay on as Democratic minority leader. She’d come under pressure after Tuesday’s sweeping losses that handed power to Republicans.
But, in a statement today, Pelosi wrote: “Driven by the urgency of protecting health care reform, Wall Street reform, and Social Security and Medicare, I have decided to run.” In addition, Jim Clyburn of South Carolina said today he wants to remain party whip, which now becomes the number-two post. It was unclear if Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the current majority leader, will challenge Clyburn.
A suicide bomber killed at least 67 people at a mosque near Peshawar, Pakistan, today. The attack, just after midday prayers, left blood-stained wreckage and sent scores of wounded to local hospitals. TV reports said the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility because some of the worshipers had supported the government and the military. Three more Pakistanis died later in a grenade attack on another mosque in the northwest.
In neighboring Afghanistan, a teenager blew himself up in a crowded bazaar, killing at least nine people and wounding 30. Police said the target there was the head of a local provincial council. Also today, NATO reported three coalition troops were killed by insurgents.
Hurricane Tomas spared western Haiti a direct hit today, but heavy rain from the storm brought new misery and a new threat of disease to survivors of January’s earthquake.
Jon Snow of Independent Television News has this report.
JON SNOW: Scuttling clouds singling the hurricane’s passing safely offshore, not another natural disaster, but another day in Haiti’s evolving agony. So delicate is her ecological imbalance here that even this ramps up the threat of something you cannot see, a mass life-threatening epidemic in a country that had not seen cholera in six decades.
What has happened as a result of the tropical rains is the stoking of the highways by which cholera is spread, spontaneous watercourses cascading through refuse-strewn waterfalls, then to stand in roadways to be stirred by passing traffic, finally to swell the rivers, threatening productive farmland, and worse, bearing at speed the (INAUDIBLE) detritus of a population with little other means of waste disposal.
This is the construct of disease, vile polluted waters, filth on the riverbanks, pigs working through it, the drenched population beyond, an A to Z of disease construction.
The place of safety should be this, in the lea of deforested hills, a United Nations camp beyond Port-au-Prince, but it’s being evacuated.
MAN (through translator): All our beds are wet and things and our property inside of our homes are wet.
JON SNOW: Ten months on from the earthquake, with no large-scale house-building yet, this is long-term housing. Gardens are encouraged, but these tents have been placed on a floodplain.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Five hundred U.S. Marines are standing by to help once the storm passes. They’re on the amphibious ship USS Iwo Jima.
Scores of bodies were found today in Indonesia after the most explosive eruption yet from the Mount Merapi volcano. The death toll grew to 122. Around midnight, a torrent of searing gas and ash blasted down the mountain, leaving an
entire village incinerated. In some places, the ash was more than a foot deep. Scientists said it was Merapi’s biggest eruption since the 1870s.
A Cuban passenger plane crashed in Central Cuba late Thursday, killing all 68 people on board. The Aerocaribbean flight declared an emergency before losing contact with air traffic control. Flaming wreckage was found in a remote mountainous area. The cause of the crash was under investigation.
Fort Hood, Texas, marked the first anniversary today of the shootings that killed 13 people and wounded dozens more. A private ceremony paid tribute to the victims. Army leaders also honored those who helped the wounded and the police who fought the gunman.
JOHN MCHUGH, secretary of the Army: Today, November 05, will forever more in our Army be a day of overwhelming sadness. And it’s a chapter in this Army that, no matter how many tears may fall, will never, never be washed away. It is a part of our hearts, a part of our history forever
HARI SREENIVASAN: The accused killer, Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan, is charged with 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.