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News Wrap: Military Court Sentences Fort Hood Shooter Nidal Hasan to Death

In other news Wednesday, Army Maj. Nidal Hasan was sentenced to death for the murder of 13 people during his 2009 shooting rampage at the Fort Hood Army base. Hasan could become the first American soldier executed in more than 50 years. Also, a series of coordinated car bombings in Baghdad killed 70 and wounded 200.

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    A military jury at Fort Hood, Tex., today sentenced Army Major Nidal Hasan to death for killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 in a 2009 attack. He could become the first American soldier to be executed since 1961.

    The American-born Muslim has said he acted to protect Islamic insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. He represented himself at his court-martial, but offered no defense.

    The New York City Police Department is facing new questions about its surveillance of Muslims. The Associated Press reported today that, since 9/11, the department has labeled at least a dozen mosques as terrorist organizations. The tactic allowed officers to spy on imams, investigate worshipers, and plant undercover officers in those organizations, often without direct evidence of wrongdoing.

    In Iraq, coordinated car bombings in Baghdad killed at least 70 people and wounded some 200. The charred wreckage of cars and buildings littered streets. The Iraqi capital and other cities have suffered a surge of attacks since April, with more than 500 people killed this month alone.

    Iran has boosted its ability to enrich weapons-grade uranium, but delayed starting up a new nuclear reactor. The International Atomic Energy Agency detailed those findings today. Its quarterly report said Iran now has 1,008 centrifuges that can spin uranium gas into high-grade nuclear material for reactors or warheads. At the same time, Iran said a new reactor will not be ready to begin operating in early 2014 after all.

    More moisture in the air helped firefighters in California today in their battle against a huge wildfire on the edge of Yosemite National Park. The blaze has consumed nearly 300 square miles of densely forested terrain in the Sierra Nevada mountain range almost two — for over almost two weeks. Crews now have managed to extend containment lines around about one-quarter of the fire's perimeter.

    Brokerage giant Merrill Lynch has agreed to the largest settlement ever in a racial discrimination case. Lawyers for some 1,200 black financial advisers said today the payout would be $160 million. They have alleged a pattern of bias that resulted in their clients earning less money than white employees. The company declined to confirm any details.

    Wall Street made up a little of this week's losses today. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 40 points to close at 14,824. The Nasdaq rose nearly 15 points to close at 3,593.

    Those are some of the day's major stories.