Thursday, April 13
Editor's Note: The CNN Wire is a running log of the latest news from CNN World Headquarters, reported by CNN's correspondents and producers, and The CNN Wire editors. "Posted" times are Eastern Daylight.
In initial call, police say alleged Duke rape victim is 'passed out drunk'
(CNN) -- One of the first police officers to encounter a woman who claims she was raped by members of Duke University's lacrosse team described her as "passed out drunk," according to a tape of police radio traffic released Thursday.
Durham, N.C., police said the tape, released by the Durham 9-1-1 center, was a tape of the police dispatch to a Kroger store early March 14, after the alleged assault occurred. The call, police said, "eventually became the sexual assault call."
It was unclear exactly what time the conversation, between an officer and a dispatcher, took place. In it, the officer gave the code for an intoxicated person and said the woman was unconscious. The dispatcher asked if medical attention was needed, and the officer replied, "she's breathing and appears to be fine. She's not in distress. She's just passed out drunk."
Durham police had no comment on the radio traffic, according to spokeswoman Kammie Michael. (Posted 10:02 p.m.)
Sources: Grand jury looking at whether Bonds' lied about steroid use
SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- Federal prosecutors may be pursuing a perjury case against San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds, stemming from his denials of steroid use during a federal grand jury appearance in 2003, multiple sources have told CNN.
For more than a month, a different federal grand jury has been hearing evidence about whether Bonds may have lied during his testimony on Dec. 4, 2003, the sources told CNN. The U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco would neither confirm nor deny that a grand jury has been hearing testimony about Bonds.
Bonds, who now ranks third in career home runs, has steadfastly maintained he never knowingly used steroids. He was one of several prominent athletes called to testify as part of an investigation into BALCO, a Bay Area laboratory accused of distributing steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
At the time, Bonds and the other athletes were given immunity by federal prosecutors, provided they told the truth on the stand. Bonds' lawyers were unaware that a grand jury had been convened, said Harry Stern, a spokesman for his legal team. -- From CNN Correspondent Ted Rowlands (Posted 8:25 p.m.)
Bausch & Lomb strengthens warning on contact lens solution
(CNN) -- Three days after federal health officials warned that a contact lens solution made by Bausch & Lomb might put users at risk of eye infection that could lead to blindness, the company urged consumers not to use it and asked retailers to remove the product from their shelves.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that public health officials in 17 states were investigating 109 cases of Fusarium keratitis, a rare fungal infection that damages the cornea. Eight patients underwent corneal transplants. After that announcement, the Rochester, N.Y.-based company said it was suspending all U.S. shipments of ReNu with MoistureLoc lens-care solution made at its plant in Greenville, S.C., but did not recommend its use be stopped.
On Thursday, the company's CEO strengthened that message. CEO Ron Zarrella, in a letter to consumers posted on the Rochester, N.Y.-based company's Web site and to be published Friday and Sunday in regional newspapers and USA Today, said tests have not linked ReNu with MoistureLoc to the infections. Still, noting that most of the infected patients reported using ReNu with MoistureLoc made at the U.S. facility, he urged Thursday that use of ReNu with MoistureLoc be discontinued "for the time being." (Posted 8:04 p.m.)
Jackson reaches deal to restructure finances
(CNN) -- Facing a financial squeeze, Michael Jackson has reached an agreement with the co-owner of his lucrative song catalog and several financial institutions to restructure his finances, according to a statement issued Thursday by the one-time King of Pop.
The statement did not disclose details of the new arrangement between Jackson and Sony Corporation of America, his partner in a song catalog that includes most of the music of the Beatles and Elvis Presley. But The New York Times reported Thursday that Jackson agreed to give Sony the option to buy half of his stake in the catalog, which has been valued at about $1 billion, at an undisclosed price.
Jackson bought the rights to the songs in the Beatles catalog in 1985 for $47.5 million, outbidding Paul McCartney. He later sold half of the enterprise to Sony and used the rest as collateral for loans from Bank of America. (Posted 7:25 p.m.)
Possible case of mad-cow disease identified in British Columbia
(CNN) -- The Canadian government said Thursday it is testing samples from a cow in British Columbia that tested positive in a preliminary test for mad-cow disease.
The dairy cow did not enter human or animal feed chains, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said in a written statement. The cow was about 6 years old and was identified on a Fraser Valley farm through the national surveillance program for mad-cow disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The program targets animals deemed at highest risk of having BSE.
After initial tests produced inconclusive results, samples from the animal were sent to the National Center for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg, which issued a preliminary positive result. Final testing is expected to be completed over the weekend. (Posted 6:46 p.m.)
GAO finds State Department abuse of premium-class travel
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. taxpayers have spent millions of dollars for "unauthorized and improper" premium-class travel and unused airline tickets for State Department employees, a GAO report says.
The report, issued this week, details an audit of 260 State Department travel accounts amid concerns about fraud, waste and abuse in government travel-card programs.
The GAO found that between April 2003 and September 2004 the department's centrally billed accounts were used to purchase over 32,000 premium-class tickets costing almost $140 million. About 67 percent of this premium-class travel was not properly authorized, justified, or both, the report found.
The State Department's regulations governing premium-class travel permit upgrades for people with disabilities, for security reasons or if the travel exceeds 14 hours non-stop. --From CNN State Department Producer Elise Labott (Posted 5:51 p.m.)
Egypt reports fourth death from avian flu
(CNN) -- A fourth person in Egypt has died from avian influenza, the country's health ministry told CNN Thursday.
The latest death was an 18-year-old woman from a province north of Cairo, officials said. She was hospitalized Monday.
The woman had handled domestically kept birds that were infected with the virus, according to a health official. She had been on a respirator in the hospital, and died despite receiving Tamiflu, an anti-viral medication thought to be the best method of fighting the virus.
Egypt has so far reported 12 human cases of bird flu. (Posted 4:58 p.m.)
Pennsylvania man charged with killing 6 family members
(CNN) -- A Pennsylvania man has been charged with criminal homicide in the deaths of six of his relatives, a crime the county coroner said Thursday was "beyond belief."
Jesse Dee Wise, 21, was taken into custody Wednesday, Lancaster County District Attorney Donald R. Totaro said. He is accused of killing his grandmother, Emily Wise, 64; two aunts, Wanda Wise, 45, and Arlene Wise, in her 30s; and three male cousins, Skyler Wise, 19, Jessie James Wise, 17, and Chance Wise, 5, according to East Lampeter Township police.
The slayings occurred last weekend, and all six bodies were found in the basement of a home on Main Street in Leola, Pa., Lampeter Township Police Chief John Bowman told reporters. Five of the bodies were found Wednesday, and the sixth was found Thursday morning, police said. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Officials said investigators have recovered an "instrument" that may have been involved in the crime, but would not elaborate further. --From CNN News Assistant Katy Byron (Posted 4:35 p.m.)
Moussaoui: No remorse for 9/11
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CNN) -- Convicted al Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui told jurors Thursday that not only does he have "no regret, no remorse" over the deaths that occurred in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he is disappointed additional attacks were not carried out.
"I just wish it could have gone on the 12th, the 13th, the 14th, the 15th, the 16th, the 17th, the 18th. We can go on and on," Moussaoui said. "There's no remorse for justice."
During cross-examination, prosecutor Robert Spencer asked Moussaoui if he would participate again, if he could, in the terrorist hijacking conspiracy that led to nearly 3,000 deaths on Sept. 11, 2001. "You would do it again tomorrow, Mr. Moussaoui?"
"Today," he replied.
He said his hatred of the United States is rooted in American support for Israel, its treatment of Muslim nations, and his interpretation of the Koran that Muslims must fight against those who don't share their beliefs. "We have to be the superpower, we have to be above you, and you have to be subdued," Moussaoui said. "You organize the misery of the world." -- From CNN Senior Producer Phil Hirschkorn (Posted 4:13 p.m.)
Another retired general calls for Rumsfeld to step down
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The general who led the elite 82nd Airborne during its mission in Iraq has joined the chorus of those calling on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to leave the Pentagon.
"I really believe that we need a new secretary of defense because Secretary Rumsfeld carries way too much baggage with him," retired Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack, former commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, told CNN's Barbara Starr on Thursday.
"Specifically, I feel he has micromanaged the generals who are leading our forces there," Swannack said in the phone interview.
"And I believe he has culpability associated with Abu Ghraib prison scandal and so rather than admitting these mistakes, he continually justifies them to the press ... and that really disallows him from moving our strategy forward." --From CNN Pentagon Producer Larry Shaughnessy (Posted 4:02 p.m.)
Amid calls for his ouster, Nepal's king addresses nation
KATHMANDU, Nepal (CNN) -- Under pressure to step down from power, Nepal's King Gyanendra early Friday vowed for "no delay in dialogue" with the country's political parties.
The king, in his annual new year's address, also restated his call for a general election, which is scheduled for April 2007, with the "active participation of all political parties."
For more than a week, Nepal has been gridlocked by protests, which were organized by the political parties to take place in the days ahead of the king's annual address.
Dozens of protesters have been injured, at least three have been killed, and more than 750 have been arrested since the protests began.(Posted 3:28 p.m.)
Disney reopens ride that was closed after woman's death
(CNN) -- Walt Disney World on Thursday reopened a ride at its park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., that was closed following the death of a 49-year-old woman who had ridden on it, a statement from the theme park said.
The woman, identified by the Orange County medical examiner as Hiltrud Bluemel of Germany, was taken to a hospital after riding "Mission: Space" on Tuesday. She died on Wednesday.
Disney spokeswoman Kim Prunty said the ride was thoroughly inspected overnight by engineers and ride system experts who "found it to be operating properly." The medical examiner said an examination of the body will be conducted Friday. (Posted 3:23 p.m.)
IAEA chief: 'Ample' time for solution to Iran nuclear issue
TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iran has not yet agreed to international demands that it halt uranium enrichment work, but plenty of time remains to settle the standoff over its nuclear program, the top U.N. nuclear watchdog said Thursday.
"I don't think the issue of enrichment right now, emotional as it is, is urgent," International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said after talks with Iranian officials in Tehran. "So we have ample time to negotiate a settlement by which, as I said, Iran's need for nuclear power is assured and the concern of the international community is also put to rest."
Iran declared Tuesday that it had produced enriched uranium in concentrations capable of running a nuclear power plant, defying the Security Council's call to suspend its uranium enrichment activities. The Security Council has given Iran until the end of April to do so and asked ElBaradei to report back to it at that time.
Iran agreed Thursday to boost its cooperation with IAEA inspectors to clear up "gaps" in the history of its nuclear program, IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told CNN. But it did not commit to halting its production of enriched uranium, as the Security Council has demanded, she said. (Posted 2:06 p.m.)
Car bomb explodes near Baghdad; 15 killed
BAGHDAD (CNN) -- A car bomb exploded around 8 p.m. in the majority Shiite area of Sab' al Boor, 10 kilometers north of Baghdad, Iraqi police said. Fifteen people were killed and 22 were wounded, according to police.(Posted 1:45 p.m.)
Bombing destroys Baquba shrine
BAQUBA, Iraq (CNN) -- Bombs Thursday destroyed a major Shiite shrine in Baquba, Iraq, police said.
The bombers placed explosives around the dome of the Imam al Sharif Al Radhey shrine and detonated them around 8 p.m., according to police.
The shrine is in Baquba's city center, and is frequently visited by Shiite pilgrims. Baquba is 60 kilometers north of Baghdad.(Posted 1:10 p.m.)
Moussaoui testifies, again
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CNN) -- Convicted al Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui told jurors deciding whether he'll get the death penalty his planned defense is to argue he would have value if kept behind bars because he could be a "bargaining chip" to save American lives.
Testifying Thursday at the start of his defense team's case to spare his life, Moussaoui said he rejects the defense theory that he is mentally ill. When his attorney, Gerald Zerkin, asked him what his defense would be, Moussaoui came up with a scenario in which Americans fighting abroad might be taken hostage, and he could be negotiated away in exchange.
"This could work on even the most revengeful juror," Moussaoui said. "Let's put him in jail, and one day he can save American life."
Moussaoui said he would also tell the jury that martyrdom is a reward, and that life in prison is harsher punishment. --From CNN Senior Producer Phil Hirschkorn (Posted 1:03 p.m.)
15 Marines injured near Falluja; locals recruited for Iraqi army
FALLUJA, Iraq (CNN) -- Multiple mortar attacks injured 15 Marines about 15 miles northeast of Falluja at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, the U.S. military said.
Members of the 1st Marine Expeditionary force were building an observation post for the Iraqi Army when they came under attack by insurgents, military officials said.
Meanwhile, the Falluja Iraqi police celebrated the grand opening of a new headquarters Thursday. Falluja's largely local Sunni Iraqi police force is trusted by citizens more than the Iraqi army, which is largely Shia, some Falluja citizens told CNN.
Once one of Iraq's most violent cities, Falluja has become safe enough that a few hundred families have moved to the area to escape sectarian violence elsewhere in the country, according to police. --From CNN Video Correspondent Arwa Damon (Posted 12:33 p.m.)
Suicide, roadside bombs kill 3 U.S. soldiers,
BAGHDAD (CNN) -- An American soldier died Thursday in a roadside bombing southwest of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. The incident, which happened at 11:30 a.m., is under investigation, and the name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
In Raweh, Iraq, a suicide bomber killed a soldier on patrol on Tuesday, the military said Thursday. And near Raweh, a soldier died Saturday when a bomb exploded near his Stryker vehicle during patrol operations, the military said. Both of those soldiers were from the 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska. (Posted 11:26 a.m.)
Former Central Command deputy dismisses criticism against Rumsfeld
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A top Marine general who helped lead U.S. forces in the initial phase of the Iraq war rebuked several of his fellow retired generals for their recent criticism of Donald Rumsfeld from, saying the defense secretary is "tough to deal with" but "effective."
"Dealing with Secretary Rumsfeld is like dealing with a CEO," retired Lt. Gen. Mike DeLong of the U.S. Marines told CNN's "American Morning" on Thursday.
"When you walk into him you've got to be prepared, you've got to know what you're talking about. If you don't, you're summarily dismissed. But that's the way it is and he's effective."
DeLong served as the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command from 2000 to 2003, under Gen. Tommy Franks. (Posted 11:04 a.m.)
Israeli force enters Gaza; will leave later in the day
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- An Israeli military force entered Gaza Thursday looking for explosives near where two Palestinians were killed Wednesday night trying to enter Israel, military sources told CNN.
The sources described the operation as "pinpoint" and said the forces would leave Gaza later in the day. (Posted 10:01 a.m.)
Moussaoui's defense takes over 9/11 trial
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CNN) -- Zacarias Moussaoui is expected to take the stand again Thursday in his own death penalty trial, as his court-appointed defense team begins the case to spare his life.
It will the second time Moussaoui speaks directly to the jurors who will decide whether he is sentenced to die by lethal injection or whether he will spend the rest of his life in a federal prison.
Moussaoui, 37, from France, is the first person tried in the U.S. for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people when four hijacked planes commandeered by al Qaeda terrorists crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The jury found in the trial's first part that Moussaoui contributed to those deaths by lying to federal agents who interrogated him after he aroused suspicions at a Minnesota flight school.
Until he testified on March 27, Moussaoui steadfastly denied any advance knowledge or involvement in the September 11 plot. But he has told the jury he was aware the trade center was targeted and he intended to pilot a fifth hijacked jetliner into the White House. --From CNN Senior Producer Phil Hirschkorn(Posted 9:29 a.m.)
65,000 flee fighting in Iraq
BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Fleeing ongoing sectarian violence, the number of internal refugees in Iraq has more than doubled in the past two weeks, according to a spokesman from Iraq's Ministry of Displacement and Migration.
The spokesman told CNN on Thursday that there are at least 65,000 internal refugees across the country. The ministry, which also measures the refugee population by numbers of families, says that 10,991 families are on the move across the country. The previous number, given on March 30 -- stated that 30,000 people were displaced.
"Most are women and children fleeing the ongoing fighting and sectarian violence," said an official from the Red Crescent Society in Iraq.
"We are very concerned about communicable diseases in the camps that have formed -- like cholera and typhoid. This exponential increase of refugees is quite disturbing," the official added. --From CNN Baghdad Bureau Chief Cal Perry (Posted 8:35 a.m.)
Libby's lawyers: Prosecutors shortchanging them in discovery process
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Lawyers for indicted former White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby have accused the prosecution of withholding information needed to provide a thorough defense, while expanding the case to include the roles of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
In documents filed Wednesday, defense attorneys said prosecutors can't "have it both ways." They can't broaden the case when it suits political interests, yet deny total discovery to Libby.
Defense attorneys say that while the government claims that issues in the case pertain only to Libby, prosecutors have broadened the case by offering details about events surrounding disclosure of parts of the classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE).
Last week, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald set off "an avalanche of media interest" when he said Libby had testified that Cheney told him in 2003 that Bush himself had authorized the release of certain parts of the NIE.
Bush this week acknowledged that he had authorized the release of the documents because some Americans questioned his reasons for going to war with Iraq. (Posted 6:29 a.m.)
Toyota recalling 57,000 Lexus vehicles
TOKYO (CNN) -- Toyota Motor Corp. will recall about 57,000 of its Lexus vehicles because of a problem with the device that winds the seat belt, which prevents the safety mechanism from being used, the company said Thursday.
A release from the world's No. 2 automaker said 29,000 of the luxury vehicles will be recalled in North America, 11,000 in Japan, 10,000 in Europe and the rest in other markets. (Posted 6:26 a.m.)
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