News Wrap: Search Underway for Bodies Near Japanese Nuclear Plant
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HARI SREENIVASAN: More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week for the first time in three weeks. And wholesale prices shot higher, fueled by the rising cost of gasoline.
On Wall Street, the economic data held stocks in check. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 14 points to close at 12,285. The Nasdaq fell one point to close at 2,760.
Japanese police in protective suits searched for bodies today near a disabled nuclear plant. Radiation levels have fallen enough to let search teams get within six miles of the site. They’re hunting for up to 1,000 earthquake and tsunami victims. Meanwhile, Japan’s emperor and his wife made their first visit to the disaster zone and met with evacuees. About 140,000 people are still living in shelters.
In Libya, the city of Misrata came under heavy shelling again from Moammar Gadhafi’s troops.
We have a report from Emma Murphy of Independent Television News who is in Libya.
EMMA MURPHY: They hurry through Misrata’s devastated streets in search of sanctuary and supply. Both are limited. This town is under siege and under relentless attack.
Reports suggest 13 people were killed in a 90-minute bombardment by Gadhafi loyalists close to the port. Doctors believe humanitarian boats on their way in were deliberately targeted. The port is the only supply route into Misrata. And so they are arming their fishing boats in Benghazi for the 36-hour journey to smuggle goods in.
Within a few hours, this boat will be en route to Misrata, taking with it the aid for the people but also the weapons that the rebels so desperately need if they’re to hold the town against Gadhafi forces.
Lorry load after lorry load of weaponry and ammunition is being brought to the port to resupply brother fighters. It’s hidden amongst food and water, which is also in desperately short supply.
MASHALA AGUP, relief boat organizer: We support our people in Misrata by sending food, medicine and some kind of the ordnance, especially the bits of the — of Kalashnikov.
EMMA MURPHY: Far away from the violence, NATO’s foreign ministers met in Berlin. There’s still no true agreement on the way forward, but there’s a clear need for more ground attack aircraft to lead the assault against Gadhafi forces.
HARI SREENIVASAN: At that NATO meeting today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appealed for unity. She warned Gadhafi is testing our determination.
Meanwhile, in Tripoli, the Libyan leader took to the streets, appearing through the sunroof of a car. Libyan state television said it took place during airstrikes on the city.
A mudslide in Colombia smashed into a bus late Wednesday night, killing at least 20 people. Rescue workers searched for bodies at the scene today near the city of Manizales. It was the latest tragedy caused by heavy rain from the La Nina weather cycle. The downpours have led to hundreds of deaths and forced more than two million people from their homes.
Two million babies are stillborn every year, more than all the children killed by malaria and HIV combined. The medical journal “The Lancet” reported the numbers today, based on estimates by the World Health Organization and others.
In the United States, there were six still births per 1,000 deliveries, but the rate was nearly double for African-American mothers. Experts said at least a million of the deaths are preventable with better medical care.
Ford Motor Company is recalling nearly 1.2 million F-150 pickup trucks because of air bags that can deploy without warning. Nearly 100 injuries have been documented. The company conducted a similar recall on a smaller scale earlier this year. It initially told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that a larger recall was unjustified. The action includes trucks made between the 2004 and 2006 model years.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.