HARI SREENIVASAN: President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney returned to campaigning in earnest today for the first time since the Colorado shootings.
Romney spoke to a small business roundtable in Costa Mesa, Calif., and he charged again that the president doesn't understand business.
MITT ROMNEY, (R): For people who have spent their entirely livelihood working -- working in government, that they sometimes don't appreciate just how hard it is to start a business, grow a business, maintain a business, so that you can maintain employees and pay them better wages and better benefits.
There's a sense that somehow you're the bad guys. I see you as the good guys. If you're employing people and hiring people, I want to see you do better.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Later, Mr. Obama addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno, Nev. He warned that major defense cuts are looming at year's end if Congress can't agree on deficit cuts. And he said the blame lies with Republicans.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: They would rather protect tax cuts for some of the wealthiest Americans, even if it risks big cuts in our military.
And I have got to tell you, VFW, I disagree. If the choice is between tax cuts that the wealthiest Americans don't need and funding our troops that they definitely need to keep our country strong, I will stand with our troops every single time.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
HARI SREENIVASAN: Romney will speak to the VFW tomorrow.
Markets around the world were jumpy today on fears that Spain is sliding ever closer to a bailout. Spanish banks already have a deal for international aid, but the government may need one, too, as it struggles to deal with its debts.
Worries about the situation pushed Wall Street lower. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 101 points to close at 12,721. The Nasdaq fell 35 points to close at 2,890.
The U.S. stepped up its commitment today to the effort to stop the spread of AIDS. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed an international conference in Washington and said the Obama administration is pledging an extra $150 million to poor nations.
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: The United States is committed and will remain committed to achieving an AIDS free generation. We will not back off. We will not back down. We will fight for the resources necessary to achieve this historic milestone.
HARI SREENIVASAN: More than 34 million people are living with the AIDS virus. There were two-and-a-half million new infections last year.
It was a deadly weekend in Afghanistan for NATO troops. Five were killed in roadside bombings in multiple attacks in the east and south. And two American contractors and a Briton died in the western city of Herat. A man wearing an Afghan security uniform turned his gun on them at a training site.
Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space, died today of pancreatic cancer. She served as a mission specialist aboard the shuttle Challenger and made history when she blasted off from Kennedy Space Center in June of 1983. Later, she went on to found Sally Ride Science to encourage young people, especially girls, to stick with their interest in science. Sally Ride was 61-years-old.
Those are some of the day's major stories.