By THOMAS HARGROVE
Scripps Howard News Service
April 07, 2006
Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay said Tuesday he'll resign rather than seek re-election amid a swirl of scandal that threatened his own seat and the GOP's control of Congress. Delay said he wanted to avoid a "nasty" campaign against challenger Nick Lampson, a former Democratic congressman. Delay is stepping down while under indictment for violating Texas campaign finance laws and following a guilty plea last week by former aide Tony Rudy, who confessed to taking bribes from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Libby says Bush ordered leak of classified information
President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney ordered former White House top aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to leak information from the highly classified National Intelligence Estimate to a reporter, according to court papers filed Thursday by a special counsel investigating the leaking of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Libby said he was ordered to tell a New York Times reporter that Iraq was "vigorously trying to procure" uranium. The court documents do not say Bush or Cheney ordered the release of Plame's identity, but do indicate Libby was concerned about releasing classified material.
Violent thunderstorms ravage Midwest, killing 28
A violent line of thunderstorms spawned tornadoes and softball-sized hail storms across the middle of the country Sunday, killing 28 people and damaging hundreds of homes. Worst hit was Tennessee, where tornadoes touched down in five counties, killing 24 along a 25-mile path of destruction from the towns of Newbern to Bradford. Among the fatalities were an infant and a family of four. "The wrath of God is the only way I can describe it," Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said after a helicopter inspection of the scene.
Charles Taylor faces war crimes tribunal
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor made his first appearance Monday before a U.N.-sponsored international war crimes tribunal meeting in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He faces 11 counts for crimes against humanity and war crimes including sexual slaver and mutilation. He is the first former African president to face war charges, an event human rights groups say could help stabilize the continent.
Iraq charges Saddam with genocide of 100,000 Kurds
Iraqi investigative judge Raid Juhi charged Saddam Hussein with genocide Tuesday, accusing him of a bloody campaign in 1988 that killed up to 100,000 Kurds in northern Iraq. At issue is "Operation Anfal" in which the Iraqi military moved brutally to suppress an independence movement among the Kurds during the final months of the bloody Iran-Iraq war. That operation included the March 1988 gas attack of the Kurdish village of Halabja in which 5,000 men, women and children died.
Two New York ex-cops guilty of moonlighting as mob hitmen
A federal jury Thursday convicted two retired New York City police detectives on charges of moonlighting as hitmen for the mob in what Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Wenner called "the most violent betrayal of the badge this city has ever seen." Louis Eppolito, 57, and Steven Caracappa, 64, were convicted of racketeering conspiracy (charges that included eight murders), obstruction of justice, witness tampering, money laundering and drug violations. Both were decorated, highly regarded detectives who could be sentenced to life in prison.
London Judge says "Da Vinci Code" plot not stolen
A High Court judge in London ruled Friday that "The Da Vinci Code" author Dan Brown did not commit copyright infringement when he wrote the 40-million-copy bestseller suggesting Jesus married Mary Magdalene and produced a line of still-living descendants. The ruling allows the May 19 release of the film version starring Tom Hanks. The charge was brought by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, whose 1982 book "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" first suggested Jesus had descendants. The judge ruled only literary style, not ideas, can be protected by copyright.
Suicide bombings kill 79 at Shiite mosque
Suicide bombers wearing women's clothing set off explosives Friday that killed 79 people at a Shiite mosque in Baghdad, the deadliest single attacks on civilian Shiites this year. More than 160 people were wounded. The Iraqi Interior Ministry earlier had warned worshippers to avoid large crowds amid concerns over possible car-bombings. Rescue workers used wheelbarrows and pickup trucks to evacuate the wounded.
Moussaoui jury begins painful reliving of 9/11 horrors
The death penalty trial of admitted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui entered a painful phase Thursday as jurors heard heart-rending testimony and saw videos of the painful deaths that thousands faced in the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon. The first witness, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, choked back tears while describing how his longtime personal secretary lost her firefighter husband in the attacks. Moussaoui, who seeks the death penalty, made light of the suffering at the end of Thursday's hearing. "No pain, no gain, America," he said in court.
Compromises on immigration reform snagged in Senate
An immigration reform bill that would have opened a path for citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants unexpectedly, perhaps fatally, stalled in the Senate Friday as opponents threatened it with a lengthy series of amendments. President Bush continues to support a guest worker plan against opposition from some GOP conservatives that it gives amnesty to lawbreakers. A parliamentarian move to block further amendments failed with only 38 or the 60 votes needed.
Couric to be nation's first solo female news anchor
NBC "Today" show host Katie Couric celebrated her 15th anniversary on the air Wednesday by announcing she was switching networks to become anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric." CBS officials hope their selection of the popular Couric as the nation's first female solo anchor will end their dismal ratings for evening news broadcasts. A survey by The Associated Press and "TV Guide" found that only 29 percent approved of the time change, while nearly half prefer Couric in the morning slot.
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