HARI SREENIVASAN: Security forces in southern Afghanistan have recaptured at least 71 inmates who escaped from Kandahar’s main prison Sunday night. Officials said today two others were killed resisting arrest. More than 480 prisoners got away after Taliban militants tunneled their way into the Kandahar jail. Nearly all were insurgents.
Clashes raged today along the border between Thailand and Cambodia. It was the deadliest fighting the region has seen in years. The two governments said at least 13 soldiers have died since Friday. They’re battling for control of disputed territory that holds the ruins of ancient temples. Some 50,000 villagers have fled the border area to escape the conflict.
In economic news, Ford Motor Company posted its best first-quarter profit in 13 years. That in turn helped drive Wall Street higher today. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 115 points to close at 12,595. The Nasdaq rose 21 points to close at 2,847.
At the same time, a Standard & Poor’s survey found home prices in most major cities have hit the lowest point since the housing bubble burst.
More state governments are getting into pension trouble. The Pew Center on the States reported today 31 states face shortfalls in their public employee pensions. That’s up from 22 in 2009. When the cost of retiree health care is added, the states are nearly $1.3 trillion short of what they will need in coming decades.
Congressman Ron Paul of Texas moved today to join the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. He announced in Iowa that he will formally explore running. Paul ran for president in 2008 as an anti-war libertarian. He is the fourth major Republican candidate to put his hat in the ring for next year.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.