News Wrap: In Syria, Apparent Suicide Bombing Kills at Least 10
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KWAME HOLMAN: An apparent suicide attack rocked the capital of Syria today. State TV reported at least 10 people were killed, and nearly 30 were wounded.
We have a report from Bill Neely of Independent Television News in Damascus.
BILL NEELY: The target, riot police and troops. The attacker, a suicide bomber with an explosive belt.
Syrian forensic teams looked for evidence, the regime desperate to stem a tide of attacks that is turning Damascus into a battleground. And if President Assad loses control of Damascus, he loses everything. The troops and riot police who survived were clearly shaken. They’d been deployed close to a mosque to confront demonstrators after Friday prayers.
The bombing is significant not just because it happened here in the central of the capital city, Damascus, but because of the method of the attack. A bomber wearing a suicide vest attacking troops may be common in Iraq, but not here in Syria, not until now.
U.N. monitors are stationed close to the scene of the bombing. They didn’t visit it. They were on the road to another town. There are only 13 of them in the whole country. More than 200 others still haven’t arrived. But there is no peace to monitor here, no real cease-fire to keep.
KWAME HOLMAN: Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon charged today the Syrian regime still is killing people. But that didn’t prevent thousands of protesters from turning out again today after Friday prayers.
In Afghanistan, a NATO service member was killed by insurgents in the South. That came a day after a bomb attack that killed three Americans. In all, at least 36 foreign troops have died in Afghanistan this month.
The U.S. and Japan have reached a deal to move 9,000 U.S. Marines away from Okinawa. It’s aimed at easing longstanding tensions over the U.S. military presence on the Japanese island. Under the agreement, the Marines will be relocated from Okinawa to Guam and other points in the Pacific. About 10,000 Marines will stay on Okinawa.
A judge in Florida will decide whether to impose a higher bond for George Zimmerman. He’s the neighborhood watch volunteer accused in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager. Zimmerman was freed Monday on $150,000 bond. His family said they’d have trouble raising it. At a hearing today, defense attorney Mark O’Mara said it turns out a Web site raised $200,000 for Zimmerman’s defense. He said the family didn’t realize they could use the money.
The Federal Communications Commission ordered TV stations today to post their campaign advertising rates online. The information already is available for public inspection at each station, but advocates of the new rule said putting the data online makes it far more accessible. Broadcasters warned it will give their competitors sensitive information about how much they charge for commercials.
Wall Street finished the week on a quiet note. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 23 points to close at 13,228. The Nasdaq rose 18 points to close at 3,069. For the week, the Dow gained 1.5 percent; the Nasdaq rose more than 2 percent.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.