In other news Wednesday, Toyota is considering a recall of its best-selling Corolla model after complaints of steering problems. Also, NATO troops in Afghanistan continued their offensive against the Taliban resistance in the southern town of Marjah.
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Toyota may be facing yet another recall, this time with the top-selling Corolla sedan. The company said today it's investigating complaints of power steering problems in 2009 and 2010 model Corollas. Toyota already recalled millions of vehicles over sticking gas pedals and possibly faulty brakes.
But, in Tokyo today, the automaker's president, Akio Toyoda, insisted his company is not covering up anything.
AKIO TOYODA, president & CEO, Toyota (through translator): Once we found this problem, we immediately acted to deal with it. And we are proceeding with it currently. I want you to understand that it is not that we are evading or cheating.
Mr. Toyoda said he will not testify at U.S. congressional hearings next week. Instead, U.S. executives of the company will appear.
For the record, Toyota is a "NewsHour" underwriter.
In Afghanistan, NATO and Afghan forces reached a new milestone in their offensive in the southern town of Marjah. Afghan forces raised their country's Afghan flag above a marketplace that had seen heavy fighting. Meanwhile, NATO reported a total of six foreign troops killed so far in the assault.
Also today, officials in the Maldives said Afghan lawmakers and Taliban officials held secret peace talks there in late January.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Haiti today, promising $400 million dollars in aid. He was the first French president to visit since Haiti won its independence from Paris in 1804. Sarkozy viewed the earthquake damage by helicopter and told the Haitian people, "You are not alone."
And a Haitian judge today freed eight Americans who had been accused of child kidnapping. Two others still face questioning.
The International Space Station now has a direct view of the Earth for the first time. Astronauts today opened the shutters on a new observation deck. The Italian-built dome has seven windows that offer a 360-degree view. Up to now, astronauts had to use robotic cameras to see outside the station.
Things were looking up on Wall Street for a second day. Stocks rose again on upbeat reports about corporate earnings and home construction. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 40 points to close at 10,309. The Nasdaq rose 12 points to close at 2226.
At the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, the results are in for the women's downhill ski competition, one of the most intensely anticipated events of the Games. American Lindsey Vonn won the gold medal in the race today, despite a shin injury. Teammate Julia Mancuso finished just over half-a-second behind to take the silver. And two Russian skiers raced to a photo finish to take gold and silver in the men's cross-country sprint.