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News Wrap: Mudslides Strike China, India

August 18, 2010 at 1:48 PM EDT
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HARI SREENIVASAN: New disasters struck at several points around the world today. In China, there were fresh landslides. At least 67 people were missing after heavy rain sent a torrent of mud into a mountain village. Twenty-five others were reported hurt.

Another mudslide demolished a school building in northern India. At least 18 children were killed there. Eleven children and two teachers were missing.

And in the northern Philippines, 41 people died when a passenger bus plunged off a mountain highway into a ravine. Nine survivors were taken to local hospitals.

In southern Afghanistan, a suicide car bomber slammed into a police car, killing a district police chief, two other policemen and a civilian. The attack in Kandahar Province was the latest to target those linked to the Afghan government or international forces.

Meanwhile, in Helmand Province, Afghan and coalition troops freed 27 people from a compound that the Taliban used as a prison. And, in the east, hundreds of protesters blocked a main highway over a NATO raid that killed two men overnight. NATO said the men were insurgents.

President Obama made his case on the economy in a backyard in Columbus, Ohio, today. The setting was an informal gathering with a small group of families. The president acknowledged public concerns about the slow pace of recovery, but, he argued, things are — quote — “on the right track.”

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: But what we’re trying to do is create sort of a virtuous cycle, where people start feeling better and better about the economy. And a lot of it’s sort of like recovering from an illness. You get a little bit stronger each day, and you take a few more steps each day. And — and that’s where our economy’s at right now.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The president has tried to boost support for his policies as he campaigned for Democrats in the last several days. But a new Associated Press poll today found his approval rating on the economy has fallen

to just 41 percent.

Stocks made slight gains on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than nine points to close at 10415. The Nasdaq rose six points to close at 2215. And General Motors filed the initial paperwork to sell new stock to the public. The sale could come in October.

Another round of primary elections has set the matchups for November in several states. On Tuesday, voters in Washington State renominated Democratic Senator Patty Murray, and they chose Republican Dino Rossi to run against her.

In Wyoming, former U.S. Attorney Matt Mead narrowly beat Rita Meyer in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Meyer had the backing of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

And, in California, Republicans held a key state senate seat in a special election. Democrats had hoped to get within one vote of a two-thirds majority in the Senate.

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