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News Wrap: Pair of Bombings Strike Separate Parts of Damascus

September 7, 2012 at 12:00 AM EST
In other news Friday, Syrian capital Damascus faced damage and casualties from two bombings in separate parts of the city. Head of the International Red Cross says talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad this week have been "positive." Also, Amherst College believes it has only the second known photo of poet Emily Dickinson.
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KWAME HOLMAN: Wall Street scratched out small gains, despite disappointment in the jobs report. The Dow Jones industrial average added 14 points to close at 13,306. The Nasdaq rose a fraction of a point to close at 3,136. For the week, the Dow gained more than 1.5 percent; the Nasdaq rose 2 percent.

In Syria, a pair of bombings struck separate parts of Damascus today. The first bomb was rigged to a motorcycle that exploded near a mosque in the northern part of the capital. At least five policemen were killed in the blast. Later, a car bomb went off near two government ministry buildings. There were no casualties there.

Meanwhile, in Geneva, the head of the International Red Cross, Peter Maurer, said his talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad this week were positive.

PETER MAURER, International Committee of the Red Cross: I had a sober, to-the-point, and a discussion focused on humanitarian issues. And the president during the conversation I had with him showed his commitment to work on many of the points I brought forward to him as being obstacles.

KWAME HOLMAN: Maurer said he also asked for access to people detained by Syrian authorities.

Canada severed diplomatic ties with Iran today over Iranian military support for the Syrian regime. The Canadian government also announced it has closed its embassy in Tehran. It cited safety concerns in the wake of attacks on the British Embassy there last year. Under today’s declaration, Iranian diplomats will have to leave Canada in five days.

Scholars at Amherst College in Massachusetts may have identified only the second known photo of poet Emily Dickinson. The image, believed to date to 1859, appears to show the famously reclusive Dickinson seated on the left, next to a friend, Kate Scott Turner. A collector gave the photo to the college in 2007. Researchers have since painstakingly compared it with an 1847 image of Dickinson, the only one ever authenticated.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.