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News Wrap: Yemeni Defense Minister Narrowly Escapes Death in Car Bomb Explosion

September 11, 2012 at 12:00 AM EST
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HARI SREENIVASAN: A powerful car bomb in Yemen today narrowly missed killing the country’s defense minister, as he drove through the capital city.

At least a dozen other people were killed in the explosion as it struck the last vehicle in the convoy. Nearby, the force of the blast knocked out windows and scorched a building. Yesterday, officials announced the death of Said al-Shihri, al-Qaida’s number two in Yemen, in a U.S. drone strike.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stepped up warnings today about an insider’s account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Panetta said the former Navy SEAL who wrote the book “No Easy Day” may face penalties for failing to clear it with the military.

On CBS, the secretary argued the stakes go beyond just the legal arguments.

DEFENSE SECRETARY LEON PANETTA: I think when someone who signs an obligation that he will not reveal the secrets of this kind of operation and then does that and doesn’t abide by the rules, that when he reveals that kind of information, it does indeed jeopardize other operations and the lives of others that are involved in those operations.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The author has been identified as Matt Bissonnette. He denies the book contains any information that could affect national security.

The cost of health care premiums has risen up another 4 percent this year. It is less than last year, when premiums rose 9 percent, but the increase is still more than twice the rise in wages.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reported today that the average cost of annual premiums is now just under $16,000. Workers pay about a quarter of that cost.

House Speaker John Boehner voiced doubt today that Congress can reach a budget deal and avoid automatic spending cuts and tax hikes in January.

Boehner said House Republicans have done what’s needed by passing bills to avoid the looming fiscal cliff. Instead, he put the blame squarely on Senate Democrats and the president.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-Ohio: Well, I’m not confident at all. Listen, the House has done its job on both the sequester and on the looming tax hikes that will cost our economy some 700,000 jobs.

The Senate at some point has to act. And on both of these, where is the president? Where is the leadership? Absent without leave.

HARI SREENIVASAN:
Negotiations on avoiding the cuts are not expected until after the November elections. In the meantime, the Moody’s rating agency said today it will likely cut its AAA credit rating on U.S. government bonds if the budget talks fail.

Wall Street managed to move ahead today, recouping some of Monday’s losses. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 69 points to close at 13,323. The Nasdaq rose half-a-point to close at 3,104.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.