News Wrap: Three NATO Troops Killed in Afghanistan by Roadside Bombing
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HARI SREENIVASAN: The Food and Drug Administration approved overt-counter sales of the morning after birth pill for girls 15 and older. Before now, the pill was available to those 17 and over. Earlier this month, a federal judge ordered that the age restrictions be lifted, but the FDA said today’s decision had been in the works before the judge’s order.
Three NATO service members were killed in a roadside bombing in Southern Afghanistan today. It came on the third day of the Taliban’s spring offensive. The militants have vowed to target foreign military bases and diplomatic areas and to use insider attacks by Afghan soldiers and police to kill NATO troops. NATO didn’t identify the nationalities of those killed today.
In Libya, a confrontation escalated as militiamen surrounded the Justice Ministry in the capital city of Tripoli. It’s the third day of trouble, as armed groups test the government’s political transition. Gunmen stood guard today — stood guard today beside trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns. Roads around the Justice Ministry were sealed off, the building was closed, and visitors were turned away. The militias are trying to force out members of Moammar Gadhafi’s regime who are still in government posts.
The Parliament of Cyprus narrowly passed a multibillion-dollar bailout plan today, avoiding national bankruptcy. The government struck the deal with its euro partners and the International Monetary Fund last week. Officials had warned that without the agreement, the country faced economic collapse and possible withdrawal from the euro system. The deal has angered many Cypriots by forcing large bank depositors to take major losses on their savings.
More signs of growth for the U.S. economy today. Consumer confidence rose in April, after falling in March. The Conference Board, a private research group, says hiring and pay raises helped. And the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index showed more — home prices jumped more than nine percent in February. That’s the biggest increase in nearly seven years.
On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 21 points to close well over 14,839. The Nasdaq rose more than 21 points to close above 3,328.
Those are some of the day’s major stories — now back to Judy.