Saturday, February 24, 2007

National and International News - Saturday Feb. 24, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans are keenly aware of how many U-S troops have been killed in the Iraq war. But a new A-P-Ipsos poll finds a lot of uncertainty about how many Iraqi civilians have been killed. Although it's estimated that more than 54-thousand Iraqis have died, the median estimate by Americans polled is around 99-hundred.

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Another warning to Iran from the United States. Vice President Cheney says "all options" are on the table if Iran continues to defy U-N orders to stop enriching uranium. Cheney also says the U-S is "deeply concerned" about Iran's support of terrorism and inflammatory statements by its president.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Jurors in the C-I-A leak trial are taking the weekend off but will be back at work Monday. Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff is accused of obstructing the investigation of who leaked the name of C-I-A operative Valerie Plame. Lewis Libby also is charged with lying to the F-B-I and a grand jury.

SEATTLE (AP) - An Army lieutenant who refused to serve in Iraq faces another court-martial. The first was declared a mistrial by a judge who said Ehren Watada didn't understand a pre-trial agreement he had signed. The Army refiled the charges yesterday but no new trial date has been set.

PARRISH, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say they're astounded at what's being called a miraculous escape by 13-year-old Florida boy from a kidnapper. Clay Moore was abducted at gunpoint from a school bus stop yesterday morning but got away hours later. He wasn't hurt and the kidnapper is being sought.

WHITE HOUSE (AP) - It's only make-believe. President Bush's Cabinet today is holding a terrorism readiness exercise. It's designed to test how officials would respond if several improvised explosive devices were detonated across the nation. Officials say it's not based on any real threats.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Democratic field for the White House is narrowing already. Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack has quit the race, saying he couldn't raise enough money to compete against better-known and better-financed rivals. As Vilsack puts it, the reason is "money and only money."

WASHINGTON (AP) - As Americans get busy doing their taxes, the government is reminding them to ask for a refund they have coming from the now defunct telephone tax. It's worth 60 dollars at most, but the I-R-S says many early filers have neglected to ask for it. So far taxpayers have received almost 87 (b) billion dollars in income tax refunds.

LAMBRIGG, England (AP) - A passenger on a high-speed train that derailed in England says it felt like the train was being battered by heavy winds before it flipped over. She says things went "flying everywhere." One passenger was killed and close to 80 were injured on the train headed to Scotland.

NEW YORK (AP) - The Oscar buzz surrounding former Vice President Al Gore is reviving talk of another run for the White House in 2008. Gore's documentary about global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth," is a heavy favorite for an Oscar tomorrow night and 2000 Democratic presidential nominee will be walking the red carpet.

SURABAYA, Indonesia (AP) - For nine months now, a geyser in Indonesia has been spewing noxious mud that has buried entire villages. But now engineers think they have a solution. They hope to plug the geyser with giant cement balls. Conditions permitting, the first try comes today.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Officials in Philadelphia say a high school teacher was assaulted by two teen-agers after he took an i-Pod away from one of them. The 60-year-old teacher is in the hospital with broken bones in his neck. The 17-year-old and 15-year-old face criminal charges and will be expelled.

DENVER (AP) - The people who make a caffeine-packed energy drink called Spike Shooter say it's not meant for kids. But some Colorado high school students drank it and got sick. Seven-Eleven has pulled the energy drink from its stores in Colorado.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Since soul singer James Brown died in December, several people have come forward claiming Brown is their father. So trustees for his estate are seeking D-N-A samples before he's buried to prove paternity. Brown named six adult children in his will, and his partner says her young son is Brown's child as well.

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) - Sometimes a wrong number is more than just an inconvenience. Kentucky state police say a middle school teacher who wanted to buy pot mistakenly text-messaged a state trooper instead of a drug dealer. The trooper arranged a sting, and the teacher now faces a variety of drug charges and has been suspended.


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