In the day's other top news, Wall Street sagged over the debt ceiling debate and a Muslim-American soldier has admitted to planning an attack on Fort Hood in Texas.
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On Wall Street, stocks faded in the afternoon to end mostly lower in the run-up to the vote on the debt ceiling. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 62 points to close at 12,240. The Nasdaq rose more than a point to close at 2,766.
A Muslim-American soldier has admitted to planning an attack on Fort Hood in Texas. Pfc. Naser Abdo went absent without leave in early July from his base in Fort Campbell, Ky. He was arrested yesterday at his motel near Fort Hood, the Army post where 13 people were killed in a shooting rampage in 2009. An Army e-mail alert said Abdo had ammunition, weapons and a bomb inside a backpack and admitted under questioning to planning an attack on the Army base.
A team of bombers in Afghanistan orchestrated a surprise attack on a government compound today, killing 19 people. Two suicide attackers blew up vehicles packed with explosives in Tarin Kowt, the capital of southern Uruzgan Province. The bombings set off hours of fighting between insurgents and security forces. The Taliban claimed responsibility for it all. Ten children were among the dead, and so was a BBC journalist.
It is the latest uptick in violence in the south, following the killing of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's half-brother on July 12.
A twin bombing at a bank in northern Iraq today killed a dozen people. A suicide bomber and car blast rocked the city of Tikrit, as Iraqi policemen and security forces were picking up their paychecks. Thick smoke could be seen billowing from the scene of the explosions. More than 30 people were wounded. It's the fourth major attack on the city so far this year.
The head of the rebel armed forces in Libya and two of his aides were killed today. The head of the National Transitional Council announced the deaths and said Abdul Fatah Younis was killed by gunmen while on his way to questioning over a military matter. Younis was Moammar Gadhafi's interior minister before defecting early in the Libyan uprising.
There was heavy fighting in Somalia's capital today, with a half-dozen people killed. The African Union launched a new operation to protect famine relief efforts from attacks by the militant group Al-Shabab. It is linked to al-Qaida. A Somali military commander said 40 people were injured, but all from Al-Shabab.
IBRAHIM YAROW, Somali military commander (through translator): This morning, we launched an offensive on different positions that Al-Shabab used to control and we forcefully captured people from all those areas. The casualties are on their side. They are now on the brink of collapse.
The World Food Program has been unable to deliver humanitarian aid to more than two million people in portions of southern Somalia that are under militant control.
The death toll from floods and landslides in South Korea grew to at least 57 today. Massive rainfall since Tuesday has disrupted the capital city of Seoul, home to 10 million people. Cleanup crews were out in force to pick up the mud and debris from the landslides that swept away entire buildings. More rain was forecast for tomorrow.
Norway's intelligence chief said today the man who confessed to killing 76 people in a bombing and shooting spree acted alone. She told the Associated Press Anders Behring Breivik wasn't part of a larger network, as he claims. Police officials will interrogate Breivik again tomorrow. Meanwhile, the search for more victims in the waters around Utoya Island, where 68 people were gunned down, continued. But, on the island itself, police said the search had been called off.
Those are some of the day's major stories.