Saturday, April 28, 2007

National and International News - Sat. April 28, 2007

LONDON (AP) - There are reports of structural damage but no injuries from a moderate earthquake in southeast England this morning. The U-S Geological Survey puts the force of the quake at magnitude four-point-seven. People say they heard loud cracking noises and felt about ten-to-15 seconds of shaking.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional Democrats are reaching out to Republicans in an effort to pass an Iraq war-funding bill that President Bush will sign. Bush plans to veto a bill with troop-withdrawal language, but has invited leaders from both parties to the White House next week to discuss alternatives.

WHITE HOUSE (AP) - President Bush puts the Iraq war aside for a moment today to push for immigration overhaul. He'll use a commencement speech at Miami Dade College and his weekly radio address to push for a guest visa program that conservatives balked at last year.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A new book by an ex-C-I-A director says the Bush administration was warned months before the 2003 Iraq invasion about possible bad consequences. Former Director George Tenet writes that C-I-A analysts came up with several scenarios similar to what's occurring now.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Vice President Cheney says progress in the cause of peace and security never comes easy. Speaking at a political fund-raiser in Oklahoma yesterday, Cheney said an Iraq troop-withdrawal timetable is a bad idea. Underscoring President Bush's veto promise, Cheney says the only way the U-S can lose in Iraq is to quit.

WAYCROSS, Ga. (AP) - The wildfires that have scorched 95 square miles of drought-stricken forest and swampland in southeast Georgia continue to burn despite the efforts of hundreds of firefighters. Most evacuees have been allowed to return home but officials are keeping a nervous eye on the wind.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch are taking the lead in trying to make sure any global push toward biofuels to replace gas and oil is sustainable. A commission has proposed ways to make sure that biofuel crops don't do more harm than good.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghan and coalition forces say they've killed at least 21 insurgents in separate clashes today with Taliban militants. NATO-led forces are on their largest ever operation to root out militants in southern Afghanistan. Meantime, a new al-Qaida video claims the terror group is ready to "finish off" the coalition.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Saudi Arabia says one of the biggest roundups since it started cracking down on religious extremists has broken up terrorist attack plans that included air assaults on refineries and suicide assassinations. The Saudis say the sweep netted 172 Islamic extremists.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Police in Michigan say a 15-year-old student has admitted he planned a massacre at his Traverse City high school like the one at Virginia Tech. Detectives say they found ammunition and 12 guns at the boy's home that apparently belong to his parents. The boy is being evaluated at a hospital.

UPHAM, N.M. (AP) - A portion of the cremated remains of Star Trek actor James Doohan will head for space today if all goes as planned. The ashes of Doohan will be on a suborbital rocket to be launched from a spaceport in New Mexico. Ashes from about 200 others will also be on board, including astronaut Gordon Cooper.


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