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News Wrap: Times Square Bombing Suspect Arraigned in NYC

May 18, 2010 at 12:00 AM EDT
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KWAME HOLMAN: The prime suspect in the Times Square bombing attempt in New York had his first court appearance late today. Faisal Shahzad went before a federal magistrate for just 10 minutes. He did not enter a plea and was ordered held without bail. Shahzad is accused of trying to explode a car bomb in Times Square on May 1. He was arrested two days later, just before he could fly out of the country.

A Taliban suicide bomber killed five American troops and one Canadian today in Kabul, Afghanistan. A dozen Afghans also died, and nearly 50 others were wounded.

It was the deadliest attack the Afghan capital has seen in months. The suicide car bomber struck a NATO convoy on a major thoroughfare during morning rush hour. The huge blast wrecked 20 vehicles, including five in the convoy and a civilian bus.

The attack came on a section of Darulaman Road lined with government ministries, and it defied recent efforts to intercept potential bombers before they strike.

President Hamid Karzai called it a tragic incident. And the NATO force known as ISAF pledged to work even harder to stop the Taliban.

BRIG. GEN. JOSEF BLOTZ, Spokesman, International Security Assistance Force: I can tell you that, alongside the Afghan national security forces, we do what we can, not only condoning — this site and investigating this particular incident, but also trying to improve security in Kabul.

KWAME HOLMAN: In the U.S., a White House spokesman traveling with President Obama said: “The Taliban offers only destruction. The United States and the Afghan government remain steadfast in our determination to build security and stability.”

The last major attack in Kabul came in February, when suicide bombers stormed two small hotels, killing 16 people. It also was the worst single loss of life for NATO since a suicide bombing killed six Italian soldiers last September. NATO forces now are making ready for an offensive against the Taliban stronghold in Kandahar.

Two more NATO troops were killed in separate attacks today in Southern Afghanistan. One was an American.

Fresh violence also erupted in Northwest Pakistan, where a roadside bomb killed at least 13 people. The target was a police patrol. Three of the dead were police officers, the others civilians. Fifteen other people were injured.

Hope for a cease-fire in Thailand faded today, as troops and protesters clashed in Bangkok for a sixth day. The government rejected an offer of peace talks with the opposition, demanding demonstrators first leave their barricaded camp. The protesters vowed to keep up their fight until the army retreats. meanwhile, the death toll from the standoff rose to at least 39 people.

A series of U.S. Senate races was in the spotlight this primary Tuesday. Two Democratic incumbents faced stiff challenges, Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas and Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, a longtime Republican who switched parties last year.

And, in Kentucky’s Senate primary, Republicans split between Rand Paul, with Tea Party backing, and Trey Grayson, recruited by party leaders.

A veteran Indiana congressman is resigning after admitting a sexual affair. Eight-term Republican Mark Souder made his announcement today in Indianapolis. He said he had what he called a mutual relationship with a part-time staffer.

REP. MARK SOUDER, R-Ind.: In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C., any personal failing is seized upon, twisted for political gain. I am resigning, rather than put my family through a painful, drawn-out process, of which any legal question would have been clearly resolved and I would have been exonerated.

KWAME HOLMAN: Souder is an evangelical Christian who promoted sexual abstinence for young people. He won a close primary race just two weeks ago.

Wall Street took another hit today, as the euro currency fell again. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 115 points to close just under 10511. The Nasdaq fell nearly 37 points to close at 2317.

Those are some of the day’s major stories — now back to Judy.