U.S. Credit Rating Downgraded; 31 American Troops Reportedly Killed in Afghanistan Helicopter Crash; New Orleans Cops Found Guilty

Standard & Poor's downgraded the United States' long-term credit rating from AAA to AA+ last night. The company said that the messy and prolonged political squabble around the debt ceiling bill was responsible for the new valuation. "The downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenge," they said in a statement. The White House responded that Standard & Poor's made a large mathematical mistake in their judgment, overstating the national debt by $2 trillion. [NYT]

31 American troops reportedly died in a helicopter crash last night. The incident occurred in Afghanistan's Wardak province. The soldiers are believed to be special forces, but the numbers or identities of the casualties have yet to be released. The Taliban has taken responsibility for the incident, but NATO has not confirmed if they caused the crash. [CNN]

Five New Orleans police officers were found guilty of shooting civilians during the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The shootings occurred on the Danziger Bridge in 2005. Two men were killed and an additional four people were injured. [Reuters]

Teresa Yuan, a Queens woman, was arrested for threatening and stalking French actress Marion Cotillard. Yuan sent a video to a Cotillard fan site, saying that, "After it happens I'll feel no regrets whatsoever ... that's apparently how it feels to be a killer, to be a murderer." [NYDN]

It's going to be in the mid-eighties today with a chance of thunderstorms tonight. [Weather.com]

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