HARI SREENIVASAN: Hurricane Sandy beat a path across eastern Cuba and the Bahamas today as a Category 2 storm. It’s being blamed for at least four deaths so far. Sandy brought strong surf, heavy rain and winds topping 105 miles an hour, and it left behind a trail of downed power lines and uprooted trees.
The edges of the storm will likely bring tropical storm conditions to Southeast Florida, and as it moves north, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast could also feel the effects through early next week. Forecasters are also predicting Sandy could collide with a blast of arctic air from the north, creating conditions for a super storm along the East Coast.
A new wave of ethnic violence has erupted across western Myanmar, killing at least 56 people. Dozens more were wounded in the clashes between Buddhists and Muslims. The violence reignited on Sunday in Rakhine State, triggering the worst fighting the country has seen since June. Nearly 2,000 homes were also destroyed and thousands of residents fled the area.
In Afghanistan, two U.S. troops were killed in what appeared to be another insider attack. It happened on a late-morning patrol in Southern Uruzgan Province, when a man in an Afghan police uniform turned his gun on the troops. It’s the second suspected insider attack in two days. Yesterday, two British service members died in a shooting with an Afghan police officer.
In U.S. economic news, new claims for unemployment fell last week, indicating slow, but steady job growth. Stocks on Wall Street edged higher today on a handful of corporate earnings reports. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 26 points to close above 13,103. The Nasdaq rose more than four points to close at 2,986.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.