KWAME HOLMAN: A suicide attack in eastern Afghanistan killed three NATO troops and an Afghan civilian today. Two Taliban bombers struck in Kunar Province, an insurgent stronghold on the Pakistan border. In all, 15 NATO troops have been killed in the Afghan fighting so far this August.
In the U.S. presidential campaign, the major candidates traded fire today over welfare and health care. Republican Mitt Romney stepped up his accusations that President Obama has weakened welfare reforms.
Romney spoke at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa.
MITT ROMNEY (R): With a very careful executive action, he removed the requirement of work from welfare. It is wrong to make any change that would make America more of a nation of government dependency. We must restore and I will restore work into welfare.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
KWAME HOLMAN: The Obama campaign insisted again that the president simply granted states more flexibility to deal with welfare paperwork.
And, in Denver, the president addressed a largely female crowd and talked about what Romney’s vow to repeal health care reform would mean.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Mr. Romney is running as the candidate of conservative values.
There’s nothing conservative about a government that prevents a woman from making her own health care decisions.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: He says he’s the candidate of freedom, but freedom’s the chance, the opportunity to determine for yourself the care that you need when you it.
KWAME HOLMAN: The president is on a two-day campaign swing. Romney is set to begin a multistate bus tour on Friday.
Republicans have picked their nominee for one of the most closely watched races in the battle for the U.S. Senate. On Tuesday, Missouri Congressman Todd Akin won the GOP primary and will go head-to-head with Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Also Tuesday, two Democratic congressmen were defeated by House colleagues after their districts were redrawn. In Missouri, Rep. William Lacy Clay defeated fellow Democrat Russ Carnahan. And, in Michigan, Congressman Gary Peters topped Representative Hansen Clarke after they landed in the same district.
For the first time, the U.S. began work today on cleaning up remnants of dioxin in Vietnam. The chemical was widely used in the herbicide Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, but dioxin has been linked to cancer and other health problems, and it stays in soil and river bottoms for decades. The initial cleanup will excavate two-and-a-half million cubic feet of soil at the Da Nang airport at a cost of $43 million.
Wall Street struggled to keep its winning streak going today after McDonald’s and other firms warned that weak demand in Europe is hurting earnings. The Dow Jones industrial average did gain seven points to close at 13,175, but the Nasdaq fell four points to close at 3,011.
At the London Olympics, the U.S. and China kept the battle for medal supremacy going. Spoiler alert: You may want to tune out for a few moments while we give some of today’s results.
In women’s beach volleyball, Americans Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor won their third straight gold medal. They beat another U.S. team, April Ross and Jennifer Kessy, in straight sets. Three other Americans won in track and field. Allyson Felix took the women’s 200 meters. Brittney Reese placed first in the women’s long jump. And Aries Merritt took the gold in the men’s 110-meter hurdles.
China today finished a sweep of the gold medals in table tennis.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.