First Lady Laura Bush condemned on Thursday a recent assault on Afghani schoolgirls, describing the act as "cowardly and shameful."
On Wednesday adult male attackers used a water pistol to spray acid at schoolgirls in Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar, hurting 15 of them, three seriously.
"My heart goes out to the victims and their families as they recover from this cruel attack," said Bush in a statement.
Kandahar and other large Afghan cities have suffered from a surge of assassinations and bombings by the radical Islamist Taliban movement.
Bush commended Afghani women and girls for thriving in a country where just nine years ago, under Taliban rule that lasted between 1996 and 2001, women were denied many basic rights, includingf trading.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 6.67 per cent on Thursday as investors looked for bargains after a punishing three-day market sell-off, setting aside more bleak economic and corporate news.
"The rally is just driven by bargain hunting after the sharp dips," said Kazuhiro Takahashi, equity trading information chief at Daiwa Securities SMBC.
There are no high expectations for the talks on the global economic crisis starting in Washington on Friday, he said.
United at the Emirates, and the murmurs of a discontent would have swelled to a fully-fledged roar.
Then, as suddenly as it had erupted, the doubts died down. United were vanquished 2-1 in a breathless, brilliant spectacle which encapsulated all that is great about Wenger's purist philosophy.
The club's largely teenage second string the delivered an encore with the kind of coruscating performance against Wigan in the League Cup which gives the lie to the old adage that youth is wastid.
"We have lost one competition and this is not normal for us. We want to win all competitions and we need to understand this. Now it is time to start to work for Saturday's game."
If Scolari could cherry-pick a match in which to exorcise the memories of Wednesday night, a trip to West Brom might just be it. The West Midlanders are one of the more stylish sides to have emerged from the Championship in recent seasons, but their vibrant attacking play cannot mask their soft centre.
But South Korean midfielder Park Ji-Sung insists that United remain firmly in the hunt for the title, despite the early setbacks.
Park said: "We lost against Arsenal, which was obviously not good, but we're still in the season and there are many matches ahead, so I'm not worried."
Despite an impressive home record this term, Stoke have picked up just two points away from the Britannia Stadium, but Jamaican striker Ricardo Fuller insists that the squad has what it takes to improve on that record.
Fuller said: "We've beaten Arsenal and drawn at Liverpool, so when you're performing in those games it's ideal for building confidence.
"If you take your chances when they come, you can beat anybody. We did it against Arsenal, and Arsenal managed it against United last weekend."
Fuller claims that criticism labelled at Stoke since their victory over Arsenal has been unfair and wide of the mark.
He said: "We're not dirty, we're definitely fair. What has happened in the last few weeks with Arsenal is done and dusted.
"If they had got three points, they wouldn't have spoken about it. But that happens in football, people try to deflect what the real topic should be about."