HARI SREENIVASAN: Markets around the world started the new week on a strong note, after the turmoil of last week. On Wall Street, stocks were up for the third session in a row. The Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 214 points to close just under 11,483. The Dow has now erased all of its losses from last week. The Nasdaq rose 47 points to close at 2,555.
The market got a boost from Google’s announcement that it plans to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash. The cell phone maker builds devices that run on Google’s Android platform. Industry analysts said the Internet giant wants to stake its claim in a mushrooming market.
BEN SCHACHTER, Macquarie Capital Incorporated: Google clearly is very interested in making sure that they are there when people are trying to get to the Internet through a mobile device. Mobile devices are growing the fastest rates in the industry.
Already today, more than 10 percent of all Google page views are happening on mobile devices. So they need to make sure that if you want to get to the Internet, and you have a smartphone, they want you going through their device and not just through Apple or Microsoft or others.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The acquisition also gives Google control of up to 25,000 patents either already held by Motorola or pending approval. That, in turn, could help Google fight a string of legal battles with competitors Apple, Microsoft and Oracle.
A wave of bombings swept across much of Iraq today, killing at least 63 police and civilians. The attacks hit cities from north to south and demonstrated that insurgents still have the ability to strike where they will. The deadliest incident came in the southern city of Kut. At least 37 people were killed there when twin explosions blasted a crowded market.
And, in Najaf, a suicide bomber plowed his vehicle into a police checkpoint. Four people were killed, and 32 were wounded.
In Afghanistan, at least nine people died in separate attacks by militants. One attacker hit a fuel depot near the main international military base in the south. A day earlier, a team of suicide bombers killed 22 people at a security meeting near Kabul. Three more NATO troops were killed on Sunday as well.
Two more cities in Syria faced heavy assault today by the country’s military. The attack on the coastal city of Latakia began over the weekend, including tanks, troops and even naval gunboats. Soldiers also stormed part of Homs in central Syria. Meanwhile, the foreign minister of neighboring Turkey warned the Syrian government to end the bloodshed or face unspecified action.
There was word today that thousands of pounds of food meant for famine victims in Somalia have been stolen and sold for cash. The Associated Press found sacks of food from the U.N., the U.S. and other donors in markets throughout Mogadishu. One official estimated half of all aid sent to Somalia has been diverted.
Refugees in the city appealed again for help.
NISEY GABAL, Somalia (through translator): I haven’t received any food aid from the U.N. agency since we came here. Even the little food we get from the people is extorted by the militias and the thugs, who think that we are weak and vulnerable.
HARI SREENIVASAN: A spokesman for the Somali government said he doesn’t believe the stealing of food aid is occurring on a large scale.
A judge in Egypt has ordered cameras out of the courtroom in the trial of ousted President Hosni Mubarak. The order came after a hearing today turned into a near-circus. Some lawyers bickered and nearly came to blows, while others waved at the cameras as the judge looked on the entire time. The ailing 83-year-old Mubarak was also there. He is accused of complicity in killing protesters during the uprising against his rule. The trial has now recessed until Sept. 5.
The Royal Dutch/Shell company now estimates that nearly 55,000 gallons of oil have spilled from a North Sea rig east of Scotland. The spill began last week, but went unreported until Friday. By today, it covered an area 19 miles long and more than 2.5 miles wide. The oil company said the spill was under control and was unlikely to reach shore. It was small in comparison to last year’s spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but still ranked as the worst off Britain in a decade.
Residents waited for the water to recede today in parts of the U.S. Northeast. Record-setting rain hit the region on Sunday. In southern New Jersey, flash floods washed out roads and submerged cars after 11 inches of rain fell. The downpours also flooded roads in Connecticut and New York State.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.