In other news, four U.S. Marines died in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan, and the Obama administration is considering a new plan to remove billions of dollars worth of troubled loans from the books of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
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In other news today, four U.S. Marines died in a roadside bombing in western Afghanistan. That made at least 15 Western troops killed so far in August. During July, there were 44 Americans killed in Afghanistan, plus 31 soldiers from other countries.
On the U.S. economy, the Labor Department reported first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week.
But it wasn't enough to lift Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 24 points to close at 9,256. The Nasdaq fell nearly 20 points to close at 1,973.
Federal immigration officials have announced a major overhaul of how the U.S. handles detention and deportation. Under the new plan, immigration detention would shift away from a criminal system to a civil system. It would also provide more direct monitoring of conditions at facilities that range from local jails to federal centers. As a first step, families will no longer be sent to a former Texas state prison. It was criticized for placing children behind razor wire.
Movie director John Hughes died today of a heart attack in New York. He worked on a series of popular films in the 1980s and '90s. His credits included directing "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" in 1986, as well as writing the screenplay for "Home Alone" in 1990, plus two sequels. He also wrote the screenplay for "National Lampoon's Vacation" in 1983. John Hughes was 59 years old.