By THOMAS HARGROVE
Scripps Howard News Service
February 18, 2007
The Democratic-controlled House Friday approved a nonbinding resolution criticizing President Bush's decision to send additional troops to Iraq. The vote was 246-182. "The stakes in Iraq are too high to recycle proposals that have little prospect for success," said Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California. Republican lawmakers - who lost their majority status on Capitol Hill in November's elections - said the resolution would lead to moves to cut off funding for the troops. The Senate planned a rare Saturday session for its debate.
North Korea agrees to nuclear disarmament
North Korea agreed to a tentative deal Tuesday that might lead to its nuclear disarmament in exchange for 500,000 tons of oil and other energy and humanitarian assistance. The agreement was reached among representatives from six countries holding a 16-hour negotiation session in Beijing. President Bush called the deal "a good first step." Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said it was a bad deal for the West. North Korean negotiators promised to "disable" their main nuclear reactor system within 60 days.
Bush: Iranian weapons used in Iraq
President Bush said Wednesday that the Iranian military has supplied high-tech explosive devices to Iraqi insurgents for use against U.S. troops. American intelligence officials briefed reporters Sunday about the new weapons, called "explosively formed penetrators," which can pierce tanks and other armored vehicles. Officials said the weapons have killed at least 170 U.S. troops. Bush said the weapons were provided by an Iranian military group called the "Quds Force," but said he cannot prove whether Iranian political leaders approved of the distribution.
Winter blast hits Midwest, Northeast
Old Man Winter conspired with Pennsylvania state government snafus to strand hundreds of motorists on a 50-mile stretch of Interstate 78, some for as long as 24 hours. National Guardsmen in Humvees and other good Samaritans on snowmobiles brought in food, water and baby supplies to those stuck in the snow and ice. The storm was blamed for at least 24 deaths throughout the Northeast and Midwest. A storm-related backlog left hundreds of JetBlue passengers stranded for more than eight hours on parked airliners at New York City's Kennedy Airport, waiting for the arrival of buses to take them back to the terminal.
Iraqi security crackdown begins in Baghdad
Iraqi military and police Wednesday launched a long-awaited security crackdown - code-named "Operation Imposing Law" - with the help of recently augmented U.S. forces. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the new offensive will target anyone who wants to " continue with rebellion." Authorities established new checkpoints throughout Baghdad, randomly searched cars, set more stringent curfew hours and promised tighter security along Iraq's international borders.
Former top CIA official indicted
Kyle Foggo, former executive director of the CIA, was indicted Tuesday by a federal jury in San Diego on charges of accepting from expensive vacations and rides on jets and helicopters from California defense contractor Brent Wilkes. Foggo, once the No. 3 at the CIA, is accused of accepting an estate vacation worth $44,000 and air travel worth $16,000. The indictments stem from a federal investigation that last year sent former Rep. Randy Cunningham, R-Calif., to prison for eight years.
Teen immigrant kills five at Utah shopping mall
Bosnian immigrant Sulejman Talovic, 18, carried a shotgun, a .38-caliber pistol and a backpack crammed with ammunition into Salt Lake City's Trolley Square shopping center Monday and indiscriminately shot nine people. Five died and four were hospitalized. An off-duty police officer from Ogden, Utah, confronted Talovic, who was then killed by police. Talovic and his Muslim family moved to the United States after fleeing Bosnia when the nation was overrun by Serbian forces in 1993.
Smith's will released
The 2001 will of one-time Playboy Playmate of the Year Anna Nicole Smith was released Friday. It said that Howard K. Stern, her lawyer, should be executor and hold the estate in trust for her son, Daniel. Daniel died last September at age 20, just days following the birth of Smith's daughter, Dannielynn. Meanwhile, there was a fight over control of Smith's remains. Stern wants her buried in the Bahamas next to her son, but Smith's mother, Vergie Arthur, wants her buried in Texas. Smith died at a Florida hotel Feb. 8. She was 39.
Chrysler to cut sixth of work force
Chrysler announced Wednesday that it will cut 13,000 assembly jobs in a restructuring plan that also will close its Newark, Del., factory and reduce the work force at plants in St. Louis and Warren, Mich. Company executives blamed the restructuring on poor sales and changing consumer tastes away from trucks and SUVs in favor of more fuel-efficient vehicles. The company will lose 16 percent of its work force.
Ex-CIA contractor sentenced for detainee death
Former CIA contract employee David Passaro, 40, was sentenced to more than eight years in prison Tuesday for his conviction on charges of beating a detainee in Afghanistan, who later died. Passaro is the first civilian charged with mistreatment of detainees in the war on terror. "Passaro's conduct was an affront to all of our men and women serving and fighting to spread freedom and the rule of law," said U.S. Attorney George Holding. U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle said Passaro was not charged with murder because no autopsy was performed on the detainee, Abdul Wali.
In sunny Florida, a spreading NASCAR cheating scandal is tainting the sport and the weekend's Daytona 500. So far, five teams - including that of two-time Daytona winner Michael Waltrip - have been cited for infractions such as using fuel additives and punching illegal holes in wheel wells to improve the aerodynamics.
Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.scrippsnews.com
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