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A suicide bomber struck mourners in Kandahar today, further evidence that Afghanistan faces both increased violence and further destabilization since the assassination of President Karzai's half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai. We look at the prospects for American interests and the schedule for beginning withdrawal of troops. Also, Eric Cantor blames Obama for tense debt-ceiling meeting. On Reporter's Notebook, after a two-week shutdown of government, Minnesota's Democratic governor has offered a compromise. Will Republicans go along?

Banner image: Mourners pray over the grave of Ahmad Wali Karzai, brother of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, during a funeral in Dand district of Kandahar province on July 13, 2011. Photo by Mamoon Durrani/AFP/Getty Images

Making News Eric Cantor Blames Obama for Tense Debt-Ceiling Meeting 7 MIN, 37 SEC

With another meeting scheduled today between the President and congressional leaders, the leader of Senate Democrats, Harry Reid, says House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor shouldn't be at the table. Reid says Cantor is "childish." Major Garrett is congressional correspondent for the National Journal.

Major Garrett, National Journal (@MajoratNJ)

Main Topic Assassination and Power Politics in Afghanistan 37 MIN, 41 SEC

karzai.jpgA suicide bomber set off explosives concealed in his turban today in one of Kandahar's largest mosques. Hundreds of mourners were paying their respects to Ahmed Wali Karzai, President Hamid Karzai's half-brother, who was assassinated on Tuesday. His death has created a power vacuum in the southern part of Afghanistan, destabilized the central government and threatened American efforts to cope with the Taliban and begin withdrawing troops before the end of the year. How much will the power vacuum in the South weaken the central government? Will the Taliban seize the moment for new offensives?  What will it mean for US efforts to negotiate with the Taliban and for the withdrawal of American soldiers by the end of this year? 

Photo of Ahmed Wali Karzai: ISAF Headquarters Public Affairs Office from Kabul, Afghanistan

Alissa Johannsen Rubin, New York Times (@alissanyt)
Steve Clemons, New America Foundation / The Atlantic (@SCClemons)
Harlan Ullman, Atlantic Council
Matthew Hoh, Center for International Policy (@matthewhoh)

Reporter's Notebook Governor Moves to End Government Shutdown in Minnesota 5 MIN, 14 SEC

It's been two weeks since Minnesota's government shut down parks, mothballed road construction and prevented 22,000 workers from getting their paychecks. Miller-Coors says it will have to remove all its beer and liquor from Minnesota because state licenses haven't been processed. Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and a legislature controlled by Republicans have different ideas about how to erase a projected $5 billion deficit. Now Dayton wants to make a deal, as we hear from Molly Pederson, Public Affairs Director at Conservation Minnesota.

Molly Pederson, Conservation Minnesota

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