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News Wrap: Jerusalem Bombing Kills 1, Injures Dozens

March 23, 2011 at 6:19 PM EDT
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HARI SREENIVASAN: A bomb ripped through a crowded bus stop in central Jerusalem today, amid rising tensions between Israel and the Palestinians. One person was killed and more than 20 others wounded. The area had been crowded with buses, travelers and passersby when the bomb exploded. Police said it was left in a bag on the sidewalk.

MICKY ROSENFELD, Israeli police spokesman: There was an explosion which took place at a bus stop here in Jerusalem approximately 150 meters from the central bus station. This is the first explosion and attempted attack that has taken place for more than four years.

HARI SREENIVASAN: There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Israelis blamed Palestinian militants.

In Syria, witnesses said security forces killed at least 15 people in daylong attacks. Residents in the city of Daraa said live ammunition was used in a raid at a mosque where protesters had camped since last week. State television reported police seized weapons, hand grenades and stashes of money from the mosque after an armed gang attacked an ambulance.

The Parliament of Yemen has voted to give sweeping emergency powers to President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The action suspends the constitution, bans protests and allows for media censorship and arrests without judicial process. But demonstrators in a main square in the capital dismissed the move and kept up protests today. For weeks, they have been calling for Saleh to step down immediately.

A U.S. Army soldier pleaded guilty today to murdering three Afghan civilians last year. Spc. Jeremy Morlock appeared before a court-martial at a base in Washington state. Under the plea deal, he agreed to testify against four other soldiers in the case. Earlier this week, the German magazine “Der Spiegel” published graphic photos of the troops posing with the bodies of the dead Afghans.

A federal investigation has figured out why a blowout preventer failed to prevent last year’s Gulf oil spill. A 550-page report today said the drill pipe buckled inside the 300-ton device. That blocked a huge pair of shears from cutting the pipe cleanly and sealing the well against surging oil pressure. The report did not assign blame, but it did fault the blowout preventer’s overall design.

On Wall Street, stocks managed to shake off a sharp drop in new home sales in February. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 67 points to close at 12,086. The Nasdaq rose 14 points to close at 2,698.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.