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New Wrap: Roadside Bomb in Afghanistan Kills 19 Civilians En Route to Wedding

October 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM EST
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HARI SREENIVASAN: A roadside bombing in Afghanistan today killed 19 people on their way to a wedding. Most of the victims were women and children. The group was in a minibus, heading to the groom’s home in a northern district to congratulate the newlyweds. Afghan President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the attack.

In Yemen, suicide bombers in military uniforms stormed an army barracks in the south, killing 14 soldiers and wounding more than 20. The attack came one day after at least seven al-Qaida militants died in what were believed to be U.S. drone strikes in the same area.

A Pakistani schoolgirl activist who was shot in the head by the Taliban is now able to stand without help. Doctors treating 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai in Britain said today she still has signs of infection. They also released a photo of her, showing a large bruise under left eye. Overall, they said, her condition is stable.

DR. DAVE ROSSER, Queen Elizabeth II Hospital: At this stage, we’re not seeing any deficit in terms of function. She seems to be able to understand. She has some memory. She’s able to stand. She’s got motor control, so she’s able to write. Whether there is any subtle intellectual or memory deficits down the line, it is too early to say.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Yousafzai was flown to Birmingham, England, on Monday. She had advocated for girls education in Pakistan and against Taliban atrocities. The militant group has warned it will try again to kill her.

New disclosures emerged today about the assault that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya. The Associated Press reported the CIA station chief cabled Washington the next day. He cited evidence it was a terrorist attack, and not a protest, as top U.S. officials said for another week.

Today, in a radio interview, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan called for President Obama to say more in Monday’s final debate.

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-Wis.: They refuse to answer the basic questions about what happened. You know, and so his response has been inconsistent, it’s been misleading. And more than a month later, we still have more questions than answered. And so hopefully on Monday night, they can — that will give the president a chance to explain himself.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The president pointed out in this week’s debate that the day after the assault, he said — quote — “No acts of terror will ever shake U.S. resolve.” Republicans insist he was speaking only generally.

In another development today, The New York Times reported that one of the alleged ringleaders of the attack has yet to be questioned and is defiantly showing himself in public.

The president didn’t address the subject of Libya today, but he did go after his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney. Campaigning in Northern Virginia, Mr. Obama said Romney seems to be forgetting the more conservative positions he took during primary season.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I mean, he’s changing up so much, and backtracking and sidestepping, we have got — we have got to name this condition that he’s going through.

(LAUGHTER)

BARACK OBAMA: I think — I think it’s called Romnesia.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

HARI SREENIVASAN: Both candidates will spend the weekend preparing for that final debate Monday night in Boca Raton, Florida.

Wall Street had one of its toughest days in months. The market tumbled after Microsoft, General Electric, and McDonald’s turned in earnings that fell below expectations. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 205 points to close at 13,343. The Nasdaq fell 67 points to close at 3,005. For the week, the Dow eked out a gain of one-tenth of a percent; the Nasdaq fell more than a percent.

European leaders have taken a new step toward dealing with their long-running debt dilemma. After all-night negotiations in Brussels, they agreed a plan for creating a central banking supervisor should be in place by Jan. 1. They didn’t say when the watchdog would begin work. The supervisor would oversee efforts to bail out European banks so hard-pressed governments won’t have to.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.