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News Wrap: Coordinated Bombings and Shootings Throughout Iraq

August 17, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT
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HARI SREENIVASAN: The death toll from a wave of attacks in Iraq rose to at least 93 today. The coordinated bombings and shootings began Thursday before dawn, and lasted well into the night. It was the second deadliest day since U.S. forces withdrew out last December.

The aftermath was still evident today in Baghdad, as bombed-out buildings and twisted debris lined the streets. A pair of car bombings there accounted for 35 of the dead.

In South Africa, the government launched an investigation into yesterday’s bloody confrontation at a platinum mine. Police fired at charging miners, killing nearly three dozen and wounding many more.

We have a report narrated by Carl Dinnen of Independent Television News.

A warning: Some of the images may be disturbing.

CARL DINNEN: Where yesterday there was gunfire, today there was singing. The wives of the Lonmin miners had come here to protest in front of the mine, dancing in the place where their husbands had dived for cover.

WOMAN: The reason why we are here now is just to ask the government, why, government, they don’t give our families what they want and that they kill them?

CARL DINNEN: Some of the women are still searching for their loved ones.

WOMAN: My brother, maybe he’s dead. We don’t know — or in the hospital. Since yesterday, we tried to call him. The phone, just ringing.

CARL DINNEN: This was yesterday, police opening fire on the striking miners. It left 34 men dead and 78 injured.

Afterwards, one policeman can be seen recovering a pistol and the police say they fired in self-defense. It has been a violent strike. Four policemen and security guards were killed earlier in the week. This evening, the South African president, who has cut short a regional summit, announced a commission of inquiry.

PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA, South Africa: The loss of life among workers and members of the police service is tragic and regrettable.

CARL DINNEN: The sheer scale of yesterday’s violence has taken everyone in South Africa by surprise.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The chairman of the mining company, Lonmin PLC, issued a statement today saying the deaths were deeply regretted. Shares in the company dropped as much as 8 percent.

A global study released today found alarming patterns of tobacco use. Researchers based at the University of Buffalo found roughly 40 percent of men in developing countries smoke or use tobacco. And women are starting to smoke at younger ages. The findings were published in the British medical journal “The Lancet.” They’re based on surveys done between 2008 and 2010.

In the presidential race, the Obama campaign challenged Republican Mitt Romney to release at least five years of his tax returns. Romney’s campaign said no, and accused the president of avoiding issues that really matter. Romney said yesterday he’s paid at least 13 percent of his income in taxes every year for the past decade.

Wall Street finished this Friday with modest gains. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 25 points to close at 13,275. The Nasdaq rose 14 points to close at 3,076. For the week, the Dow gained half a percent, the Nasdaq rose nearly 2 percent.

Also today, Facebook stock finished just above $19. It’s lost half its value since the company’s initial public offering back in May.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.