HARI SREENIVASAN: The investigation into the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya took new turns today.
CBS and ABC News reported American officials in Libya had asked for more security personnel, but the State Department refused. Meanwhile, Libyan officials said President Obama’s top counterterror adviser, John Brennan, will be in Libya tomorrow to discuss the investigation.
A warning from Congress today: U.S. companies should stop doing business with China’s top two telecommunications firms, Huawei Technologies and ZTE. The House Intelligence Committee reported both have close ties to the government of China. It said using their components in U.S. computer networks could let them steal trade secrets or even shut down vital systems in a time of crisis. The two firms denied any such association to the Chinese government.
Venezuela’s leftist President Hugo Chavez will serve another six years after winning reelection on Sunday. His margin of victory was 10 points, the narrowest in his 14 years in power. It was a bitterly fought race against challenger Henrique Capriles, who conceded defeat. Chavez welcomed that concession last night, as supporters poured into the streets and surrounded the presidential palace.
He addressed them from the balcony.
PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ, Venezuela (through translator): My gratitude to the right-wing candidate and his campaign managers who announced to the country that they recognize our victory. This is a very important step for peace in Venezuela, for our coexistence.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Chavez is expected to step up his push for socialism and to continue his longstanding criticism of U.S. foreign policy.
Turkey retaliated again today for shelling coming from Syria. It was the sixth day of cross-border strikes. The long-range skirmishes were sparked by Syrian shells that landed in Turkey last week, killing five civilians. Immediately after, the Turkish parliament approved military operations to combat the shelling.
In Ankara today, Turkish President Abdullah Gul urged the international community to intervene in Syria before things get even worse.
ABDULLAH GUL, Turkish President (through translator): The worst-case scenario that we have all been dreading is unfolding in Syria right now. The Syrian people are suffering greatly. And as you have seen, once in a while, we’re also affected. Some of our citizens have died.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The U.N. secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon, also weighed in. He warned today that the escalating conflict along the Turkish-Syrian border is extremely dangerous.
A commercial cargo ship was en route to the International Space Station today on track to arrive Wednesday. The Falcon rocket, with its unmanned Dragon capsule, was launched last night from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It’s the first of 12 supply runs under a contract between the private firm SpaceX and NASA. The capsule carries about 1,000 pounds of experiments and other gear.
The price of gas in California has hit another record high for the third day in a row, in the wake of a pipeline and refinery shutdown. People pumping gas across the state today paid an average $4.67, a gallon, that is, the highest in the nation. And in parts of Southern California, drivers at some stations are paying close to $6 a gallon.
On Sunday, Governor Jerry Brown ordered the sale of winter-blend gas three weeks early to increase supplies.
Wall Street started off the week on the losing side. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 26 points to close at 13,583. The Nasdaq fell nearly 24 points to close at 3,112.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.