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News Wrap: Car Bombs in Baghdad, Other Iraq Cities Kill at Least 66

June 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT
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HARI SREENIVASAN: A wave of car bombings in Iraq killed at least 66 people today. More than 200 others were wounded. In all, 16 bombs exploded in Baghdad and other cities. The targets were mostly Shiite pilgrims, marking the eighth century death of a saint. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but past attacks have often been the work of Sunni militants.

A tense calm came to western Myanmar as heavy rains dampened five days of sectarian violence there. The clashes pit Buddhists against Muslims in Rakhine state. At least 21 people have died there, and more than 1,600 homes have burned. The fighting has triggered a wave of Muslim refugees, with thousands fleeing the area. Many are traveling by boat to neighboring Bangladesh.

The war on wildfires raged on today in the Southwest. Some 1,000 firefighters worked around the clock against the High Park blaze in northern Colorado. So far, it’s scorched 73 square miles and forced hundreds of people to flee.

Fire commander Bill Hahnenberg warned today that his crews are in for a long fight.

BILL HAHNENBERG, incident commander: The last couple of days have been not great, but pretty good, and if we’re making progress — and we are — that may be the best we can expect. You know, these fires are long-duration. This is not the kind of fire we’re going to spend a few days on and go home. You’re probably going to see firefighters around this community until you get substantial rain.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Wildfires are also burning in New Mexico and in at least seven other Western states.

Federal prosecutors announced today they will not retry former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. He was acquitted last month of taking illegal campaign contributions, allegedly to hide a mistress. The jury deadlocked on five other counts.

Also today, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency accused cyclist Lance Armstrong of using performance-enhancing drugs. The seven-time winner of the Tour de France called the charges baseless.

North Dakota voters decided that they want to dump the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname. A proposal to retire the moniker carried easily in Tuesday’s referendum. The NCAA had deemed the name offensive to American Indians and imposed sanctions on the university. The state’s board of higher education is expected to make the change official and retire the nickname.

Wall Street was hit by new worries today over Europe’s debt troubles. Stocks fell after Cyprus warned it might become the latest nation to seek a bailout. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 77 points to close at 12,496. The Nasdaq fell 22 points to close at 2,818.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.