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News Wrap: In Pakistan, Suicide Bomber Kills at Least 20

May 4, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Today’s jobs report sent stocks plummeting on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 168 points to close at 13,038. The Nasdaq fell nearly 68 points to close at 2,956. For the week, the Dow lost more than a percent; the Nasdaq fell nearly 4 percent.

In Pakistan, a teenage suicide bomber killed some 20 people today at a marketplace near the Afghan border. Five of the victims were local members of the Pakistani security force. More than 40 people were wounded. The explosion damaged over a dozen shops in the town of Khar. Rescue crews searched through the rubble for people trapped inside. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility.

Syrian forces opened fire on protesters in Aleppo today, killing a teenager and wounding almost 30 others. The violence comes a day after four people died in a government raid on the main university there. Activists reported today’s anti-government demonstrations in Aleppo were the largest the city had seen since the uprising began last year. Mass protests also broke out elsewhere across the country.

Fresh violence erupted in Egypt today as thousands of people in Cairo demonstrated against military rule. Armed forces fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowds. One soldier was killed and at least 373 people were wounded. Members of hard-line Islamist groups also joined today’s rally to press the ruling generals to hand over power to civilian control. Egypt’s military council later imposed an overnight curfew around the site of the clashes.

A pair of car bombs exploded overnight in Russia’s North Caucasus region, killing at least 13 people. More than 130 others were injured. The twin blasts went off outside a police station in the Russian republic of Dagestan. The first explosion occurred when a car pulled up to the station for an I.D. check. The second blast came minutes later as investigators, troops, and firefighters rushed to the scene.

Local officials feared Islamic militants were behind the attacks. They frequently target police in the area, but major bombings are rare.

The Obama administration unveiled new standards today for companies that drill for natural gas on public lands. The companies will be required to disclose chemicals used in their hydraulic fracturing operations. The process, known as fracking, involves injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to break up rock holding oil and gas. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the new rules would allow for expanded drilling while protecting public health. Industry groups contend the process is already regulated by the states.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reminded American troops today to live up to the strict standards of the U.S. military. His remarks follow a series of incidents involving U.S. forces that include the massacre of 17 Afghan civilians, and images of Marines urinating on dead insurgents. Panetta told soldiers at Fort Benning, Ga., such misconduct could have harmful consequences.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LEON PANETTA: Those headlines impact the mission that we’re engaged in. They can put your fellow service members at risk. They can hurt morale. They can damage our standing in the world. And they can cost lives.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Panetta also warned that America’s enemies could seek to turn such incidents in their favor at the very moment they are losing the war.

Rapper and hip-hop pioneer Adam Yauch died today after a lengthy battle with cancer. Yauch, also known as MCA, was a member of the popular hip-hop trio the Beastie Boys. For over 20 years, the group fused together rock and rap to create innovative sounds. That led to three Grammy Awards and the sale of more than 40 million records. He was only 47 years old.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.