Nation & World briefly

U.S. confirms Afghan civilians wounded at site of NATO airstrike

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan (AP) - The top NATO commander in Afghanistan said Saturday that local villagers were among those wounded at the site of an airstrike on hijacked fuel tankers, declaring his resolve to limit civilian casualties that threaten to undermine the war against the Taliban.

U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal inspected the spot where a U.S. fighter jet blasted the hijacked tankers early Friday, killing as many as 70 people. The pre-dawn strike occurred despite McChrystal's new orders restricting the use of airpower if civilian lives are at risk.

McChrystal also visited a hospital Saturday where the wounded were taken, stooping low to talk with a 10-year-old boy with severe burns, his arms and legs swathed in gauze.

Negotiator to move ahead on health care without compromise

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate's chief Democratic negotiator on a health care bill is indicating it's time to act and has told his colleagues he won't wait much longer for a Republican compromise.

"I am committed to getting health care reform done - done soon and done right," Montana Sen. Max Baucus said in a statement. He is considering making a formal proposal soon to the small group of Senate negotiators who call themselves the "Bipartisan Six."

Baucus held a nearly two-hour teleconference on Friday with the other five negotiators from his committee. While careful to leave the door open to a long-sought deal, Baucus clearly signaled the time has come for him to move ahead.

G-20 pledge continued stimulus

LONDON (AP) - Top finance officials from rich and developing countries agreed Saturday to curb hefty bankers' bonuses, but the proposed crackdown on excessive payouts so far falls short of European demands after the U.S. and Britain shied away from imposing a cap.

The Group of 20 finance ministers also pledged to maintain stimulus measures such as extra government spending and low interest rates to boost the global economy, warning that the fledgling recovery that provided the backdrop to their meeting here is by no means assured.


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