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News Wrap: At Least Seven Dead in Sectarian Gun Battles in Lebanon

October 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT
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KWAME HOLMAN: Fears that Syria’s civil war could spill into Lebanon escalated today. The Lebanese army promised a crackdown to stop gun battles that killed at least seven people since last night. Sunni gunmen roamed the streets of Beirut and Tripoli today, clashing with Shiites. And Lebanese soldiers took up positions on major streets around the capital.

The trouble started Friday with the car bomb killing of the Lebanese intelligence chief. The fighting in Syria also has rippled across the border with Jordan. Overnight, a Jordanian soldier was killed in clashes with militants trying to enter Syria illegally. It was unclear if the gunmen were Jordanians or foreign fighters bent on battling the Assad regime in Syria.

A gunman who opened fire in suburban Milwaukee on Sunday had a history of abuse. That’s according to court papers obtained today by the Associated Press. Radcliffe Haughton targeted this spa where his estranged wife worked. He killed her and two other women and wounded four more before shooting himself. The court documents showed Haughton had threatened to kill his wife. Last Thursday, a judge granted her a restraining order.

The outbreak of fungal meningitis in the U.S. is nearing 300 cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported today it has confirmed 297 people were made ill from tainted painkilling injections. They’re spread across 16 states; 23 people have died in the outbreak.

Wall Street struggled today just to stay even, after a batch of disappointing reports on corporate earnings. The Dow Jones industrial average gained two points to close near 13,346. The Nasdaq rose 11 points to close just below 3,017.

Native American activist and actor Russell Means died today at his home in South Dakota. He had throat cancer. Means was a leader of the American Indian movement in the 1970s, and he was at the forefront of the sometimes violent occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in 1973. In later years, he had an acting career, appearing in “The Last of the Mohicans” and other films. Russell Means was 72 years old.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.