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News Wrap: Turkey Warns Syrian Crackdown Could Bring Turmoil to Region

November 23, 2011 at 12:00 AM EDT

HARI SREENIVASAN: The president of Turkey today warned the Syrian government’s deadly crackdown on opposition could bring turmoil to the entire region.

President Abdullah Gul said Syria has come to a point of no return. Security forces could be seen patrolling the streets of several cities today. Protesters near Damascus burned tires to block the troops from reaching them. The United Nations has reported some 3,500 people have been killed in the eight-month-long uprising.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had a warning for the U.S. today over its missile defense program. He said Russia might target U.S. missile shield sites in Europe unless the U.S. guarantees the weapons are not targeting Russian nuclear forces.

In Moscow, Medvedev also warned Russia could opt out of the New START arms control deal with the U.S.

DMITRY MEDVEDEV, Russian president (through translator): Russia retains the right to refuse to take any further steps towards disarmament and over rearmament. Further to this, taking into account the direct links between strategic, offensive and defensive weapons, the circumstances could arise in which we had grounds to pull out of the START Treaty.

HARI SREENIVASAN: A White House spokesman today said the U.S. is forging ahead with its implementation of the missile shield and sees no basis for the threats to withdraw from it.

The world number two in mobile networks is slashing 17,000 jobs around the world. Nokia Siemens plans to eliminate the positions by 2013 to cut more than a billion dollars in costs. The layoffs amount to nearly a quarter of Nokia Siemens’ work force. The Finnish-German company now plans to focus more on its mobile broadband network and services market.

Just as the holiday shopping season kicks off, the U.S. economy got a mixed batch of news. Consumers barely increased their spending in October, but Americans’ pay rose by the most in seven months.

Continuing concerns over the European debt crisis pushed stocks on Wall Street down today. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 236 points to close at 11,257. The Nasdaq fell 61 points to close at 2,460.

The capital city of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, is not legally allowed to seek bankruptcy protection. A federal bankruptcy judge made that ruling today. The city has more than $300 million of debt tied to lawsuits over its 40-year-old trash incinerator. The City Council approved the bankruptcy declaration in October, against the mayor’s wishes.

The head of Medicare resigned today. Don Berwick stepped down after Senate Republicans were able to block his confirmation. The Harvard professor has been tasked with carrying out President Obama’s health care law.

A new study found evidence that eating canned soups sends levels of the common chemical BPA soaring. The plastic chemical coating lines soup cans and many other food containers. The study was published in “The Journal of the American Medical Association.” It found people who ate a can of soup a day for five days had more than 10 times the usual levels of BPA in their urine. Those who ate soup made from fresh ingredients had levels more in line with those of the average American.

Travelers took to the roads, skies and railways today ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. AAA estimates more than 42 million Americans will travel to their destinations. That’s the highest number since the start of the recession. But, for some, the journey was hampered by bad weather, snow and sleet that fell in New England and Upstate New York, triggering power outages and flight delays. Meanwhile, heavy rains spawned flooding across parts of the Eastern U.S.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.