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In other news, officials in Afghanistan said coalition air strikes killed at least 30 civilians on Monday, and police in Turkey arrested 11 people charged with carrying out a massacre at a wedding party.
In other news today, officials in Afghanistan said coalition air strikes killed at least 30 civilians on Monday. They said U.S. troops called in the bombing runs in a western province during fierce fighting with Taliban militants. U.S. officials promised an investigation.
The dispute came as Afghan President Karzai visited Washington. He meets with President Obama tomorrow.
In Turkey, police arrested 11 people charged with carrying out a massacre at a wedding party. Funerals began for 44 people killed late last night in a rural village in the southeast. They included the bride, the groom, and three pregnant women. Investigators said masked men opened fire with assault rifles in a feud between rival families.
The U.S. will consult allies in the Middle East about efforts to improve relations with Iran; Defense Secretary Gates made that pledge in Egypt. He said, so far, Iran's reaction to the new overtures has not been encouraging.
ROBERT GATES, secretary of Defense: We're not willing to pull the hand back yet, because we think there's still some opportunity. But I think concerns out here of some kind of a grand bargain developed in secret are completely unrealistic and, I would say, are not going to happen. And what is important for our friends to understand is that we will keep them informed and be transparent about this process.
The Middle East has been rife with talk of a U.S.-Iranian deal in which the U.S. would ask Israel to ease demands on the Palestinians if Iran dials back its nuclear program.
Washington, D.C., has moved one step closer to allowing same-sex couples to marry. The city council gave final approval today to a measure that recognizes gay marriages performed elsewhere. The bill becomes law in 30 days, if Congress does not act to block it.
The U.S. health insurance industry offered today to stop charging women higher premiums than men pay; the industry's top trade association made the concession at a Senate hearing. It's the latest effort to head off creation of a new government plan that would compete with private insurers.
On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 16 points to close at 8,410. The Nasdaq fell 9 points to close at 1,754.
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