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Friday, October 13

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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.

U.S. files appeal of Detroit ruling striking down NSA surveillance program

From CNN Justice Producer Terry Frieden

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration Friday night appealed a federal judge's ruling two months ago which struck down the National Security Agency's "terrorist surveillance program."

In a 72-page brief filed with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, the Justice Department argued the lower court judge was wrong to find the warrantless surveillance program, aimed at eavesdropping on possible al Qaeda phone calls to and from the United States, was unconstitutional.

The ruling by U.S. District Court judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit declared the controversial NSA surveillance program violated the constitutional rights of citizens whose communications were monitored. Taylor attempted to shut the program down, but an appeals court earlier this month agreed with the administration that the NSA program can continue to operate while the case is being appealed. (Posted 10:17 p.m.)

Intelligence director: Analysis detects 'radioactive debris' consistent with nuclear test in N. Korea

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Preliminary analysis of air samples from North Korea shows "radioactive debris consistent with a North Korea nuclear test," according to a statement from the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The statement was drafted and sent to Capitol Hill, but not released publicly. CNN obtained it from a congressional source.

The samples were collected on Wednesday, the statement from John Negroponte's office said. Analysis found debris that would be consistent with a claimed North Korean nuclear test "in the vicinity of Punggye" on Monday.

"Additional analysis is ongoing and will be completed in a few days," the statement said. (Posted 9:20 p.m.)

Source: U.S. has evidence of radioactivity from N. Korean nuclear test site

From CNN's Jamie McIntyre

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States has evidence of radioactivity from a site where North Korea earlier this week was thought to have conducted a nuclear test, a U.S. official said Friday.

The official said the evidence is preliminary, but if it is confirmed, the United States will be in a position to say the North Korean test was nuclear. (Posted 7:22 p.m.)

FAA bans fixed-wing flights on East River

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In the wake of a crash Wednesday in which a fixed-wing aircraft slammed into a New York condominium building, the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it was banning such aircraft from the so-called Visual Flight Rules Corridor over the city's East River, unless they are under the supervision of air traffic control.

The restriction is effective immediately, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said in a statement, and is because of "safety considerations."

New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, 34, and flight instructor Tyler Stanger, 26, both died Wednesday when Lidle's Cirrus Design SR20 aircraft struck the 50-story condominium tower on 72nd Street. (Posted 6:52 p.m.)

Justice Department opens preliminary inquiry into congressman's camping trip

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. attorney in Arizona has begun a preliminary inquiry into a 1996 camping trip that included Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., and two male former congressional pages, among others, according to two federal law enforcement officials familiar with the issue.

The officials stressed the initial assessment by prosecutors in Arizona stems from a single allegation regarding Kolbe's behavior on the trip.

"This inquiry has just recently begun and it is much too early to know whether there is anything there," said one official with knowledge of the matter.

Spokesmen for the Justice Department refused any comment.

Kolbe's spokeswoman, Korenna Cline, said she was not aware of the U.S. attorney's initial inquiry. (Posted 5:57 p.m.)

Judge denies motion to free Marine charged in Hamdaniya killing

SAN DIEGO (CNN) -- A military judge denied a motion Friday to free a U.S. Marine -- charged in the death of a 52-year-old Iraqi civilian near Hamdaniya last April -- from pretrial confinement at Camp Pendleton near San Diego.

Lance Cpl. Jerry Shumate is being held on charges of murder, larceny, conspiracy, assault, housebreaking and kidnapping.

The judge, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Meeks, set Shumate's next hearing for Nov. 21, at which time the Marine is expected to enter an official plea.

At the beginning of Friday's hearing, Meeks asked for a plea and Shumate answered "not guilty," but his attorney quickly jumped in and said he wanted to "reserve the plea" for a later date. (Posted 5:46 p.m.)

Police: Missing Vermont college student found dead

BURLINGTON, Vt. (CNN) -- The body of a University of Vermont college student was found Friday morning by police on rural road in the town of Richmond, the Burlington Police Department said.

Michelle Gardner-Quinn, 21, of Arlington, Va., has been missing since early Saturday morning, when she was walking back from downtown Burlington to her dormitory campus after a night of bar-hopping with friends.

Burlington Chief of Police Thomas Tremblay named Brian Rooney, 36, whose cell phone Gardner-Quinn borrowed as she walked home Saturday morning, as the main suspect. No charges have been filed in the case, Tremblay said. --From CNN's Deborah Brunswick in New York (Posted 5:34 p.m.)

Detainee dies at U.S. facility; 6th in 2 years

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- A detainee died Thursday of an apparent heart attack at Camp Bucca in southern Iraq, the U.S. military said Friday. The announcement marked at least the sixth time since January 2005 that the U.S.-led military has announced a detainee at the facility died of natural causes -- several of them due to apparent heart attacks.

"The detainee was admitted to the hospital on Oct. 5 after complaining of chest pains and had remained in the hospital since that date," the military said in a written statement. "At 1:40 a.m. Oct. 12, the detainee called for assistance. Doctors in the Intensive Care Unit attempted to assist him in breathing; however, a cardiac monitor showed no pulse. CPR and further attempts to resuscitate the detainee failed." (Posted 4:43 p.m.)

Dow's narrow gain good for another record

NEW YORK ( -- Stocks finished higher again Friday, meaning the Dow Jones industrial average set another record high.

Markets overcame a weak retail sales report and disappointing General Electric profit while looking ahead to next week's packed earnings calendar.

The Dow gained 12.81 points, 0.1 percent, to end at 11,960.51, setting a new closing high for the sixth time in the last nine sessions.

That closing level also was a record intraday high.

The broader S&P 500 index rose 2.79, 0.2 percent, while the tech-fueled Nasdaq composite gained 11.11, about 0.5 percent. (Posted 4:17 p.m.)

South Korean FM to be next U.N. secretary-general

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The U.N. General Assembly Friday appointed South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon to serve as the United Nations' next secretary-general, succeeding Kofi Annan when his second five-year term expires at the end of the year.

"Mr. Ban, I am delighted that your election turned out this way -- early and orderly," Annan said after the approval. "Surely that is the way we would wish all secretaries-general to be elected. I would say that the process worked well because member states were determined to achieve an early outcome, and because the winning candidate had exceptional qualifications."

Ban, 62, will be the world body's eighth secretary general and the first from Asia since U Thant of Burma (now Myanmar) served from 1961 to 1971. (Posted 3:44 p.m.)

Page Board chairman goes before House committee in Foley probe

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The lawmaker charged with overseeing the House page program went before a House ethics panel Friday to explain how he handled concerns raised about former Rep. Mark Foley's contacts with pages last year.

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., is one of three House members on the Page Board, which manages the program that draws teenagers to Capitol Hill to serve as messengers.

Shimkus told reporters after his testimony that he had spoken with the committee members "honestly and forthrightly," but would honor the request of the committee that he keep what was said "in confidence."

He and then-House Clerk Jeff Trandahl delivered a private warning to Foley after learning of "overly friendly" e-mail the disgraced congressman sent to a teenage Louisiana boy who had served as a page in 2005. (Posted 3:29 p.m.)

Southern Command to investigate Guantanamo abuse allegations

(CNN) -- The U.S. Southern Command has been ordered to investigate allegations of abuse of Guantanamo Bay detainees by guards at the Naval prison there, according to the Pentagon's inspector general's office.

The allegations surfaced in a sworn affidavit from a sergeant working for the defense of one of the detainees. The affidavit was attached to a complaint from Marine Lt. Col. C.C. Vokey, who represents one of the detainees.

In the affidavit, the sergeant, whose name is redacted, describes comments made by several of the guards. One guard, she said, described "taking a detainee by the head and hitting the detainee's head into the cell door." Another said "he hates the detainees ... and doesn't like having to take care of them or be nice to them."

"The abuse explained in the affidavit is offensive and violates United States and international law," Vokey wrote in his complaint. (Posted 3:17 p.m.)

4 found dead along south Florida turnpike

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA (CNN) -- A man, a woman, and two children clasped in her arms were found shot to death early Friday on the southbound shoulder of a south Florida expressway, officials said.

They appeared to have died of multiple gunshot wounds, said St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara. They were found near the Florida Turnpike's Fort Pierce exit, around mile marker 149, not far from its intersection with I-95

"The woman was clutching her boy and girl as if trying to protect them, Mascara told CNN. The dead were lying on the shoulder of the southbound lanes of the Florida Turnpike, all shot "multiple times," he said.

None of the victims were being identified by name, Mascara said during an afternoon press conference. The woman, 25, was carrying a Florida ID, he said, and the children are believed to be between 4 and 6 years old. The man, 29, was found lying near the other victims.

The four, shot while kneeling or lying on the ground, were Hispanic, he said. (Posted 2:24 p.m.)

Upstate New York gets hit with surprise snowstorm

BUFFALO, N.Y. (CNN) -- After an unexpected snowstorm Thursday night and Friday morning, more than half a million upstate New York residents are without power, according to local authorities.

William Misztal, Buffalo's police inspector for the past 38 years, called the unseasonable October system a "once in a lifetime" storm that caught city officials off guard.

Twenty inches of snow caused power lines and trees to come down through the night, Misztal told CNN. The Buffalo police department received more than 2,000 phone calls related to the storm, he added.

Approximately 280,000 National Grid customers were without power, according to the New York power provider.

The storm is attributed to the "lake effect," which occurs when cold air moves over the relatively warm water of Lake Erie, building up moisture-laden clouds. --From CNN's Katy Byron in New York City (Posted 1:58 p.m.)

Mosul fighting results in deaths, detentions

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Iraqi security forces and U.S. troops in the northern city of Mosul fought a wearing battle with insurgents Thursday night, killing and detaining many.

Iraqi police said the confrontation followed an operation conducted by security forces that had been backed by American soldiers.

The U.S. military said the security forces eventually defeated what it described as "a complex attack" that lasted hours over various neighborhoods.

Iraqi police and military numbers varied.

A police official said 10 insurgents were killed and three were wounded, while a police officer was killed and four were wounded. At least 50 insurgents were detained, the official said.

The U.S. military said 12 insurgents were killed in a few separate incidents, while many insurgents were killed and detained in another instance. Twelve coalition soldiers and five security forces were wounded, the U.S. military said.--From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq (Posted 1:19 p.m.)

U.S. citizen admits sending money to Hamas

ATLANTA (CNN) -- A U.S. citizen living in Georgia has pleaded guilty in federal court to providing material support to the militant Palestinian group Hamas, the U.S. Justice Department said Friday.

Mohamed Shorbagi, 42, of Rome, Ga., pleaded guilty in August to providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. The plea agreement and information about charges against Shorbagi were unsealed Friday, said Atlanta U.S. Attorney David Nahmias.

"Shorbagi provided the support through donations to the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development," Nahmias said. "Shorbagi knew that money provided to HLF was actually funneled to Hamas in part because he was a Georgia representative for HLF." (Posted 12:36 p.m.)

Rice to visit Asia next week

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit Asia next week.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Friday that Rice will be traveling to Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing from Tuesday through Oct. 22

The trip will be made in the wake of the expected passage Saturday of a U.N. Security Council resolution involving North Korea and its nuclear test.

"She's going to be talking about the passage of that resolution certainly, but really what comes after. She's going to be talking about how to go about actually implementing that resolution." McCormack said. (Posted 12:13 p.m.)

Congressman pleads guilty in Abramoff scandal, faces expulsion

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Republican leaders of the House of Representatives will move to expel Ohio Rep. Bob Ney unless he resigns this month, after his Friday guilty plea to corruption charges, the party's leadership said.

Ney, the former chairman of the House Administration Committee, faces more than two years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple counts stemming from the long-running probe into disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

"Bob Ney must be punished for the criminal actions he has acknowledged," GOP leaders, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert, said in a joint statement issued after Ney's plea. "He betrayed his oath of office and violated the trust of those he represented in the House. There is no place for him in this Congress."

The leaders said they would move to expel Ney, R-Ohio, when Congress returns in November unless he quits. He is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 19, and his lawyer, Mark Tuohey, said Ney would resign sometime before then -- but not immediately. (Posted 11:55 a.m.)

Bolton: U.N. to vote Saturday on N. Korea sanctions

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The U.N. Security council will vote Saturday morning on whether to slap sanctions on North Korea in response to its claimed nuclear test earlier this week, diplomats said Friday.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and Japanese U.N. ambassador Kenzo Oshima said the council members agreed to hold the vote at that time.

A resolution instituting sanctions against Pyongyang would be the next stage in the international response to its claimed nuclear test.

The United States had hoped for a vote on the draft resolution Friday, but Oshima told CNN earlier that a Friday vote was very unlikely. (Posted 11:23 a.m.)

Security bill aimed at safer ports

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A security bill signed Friday by President Bush will increase security at U.S. ports by adding radiological detectors at 22 ports and screening port workers.

The bill also will funnel $400 million a year over five years for training, require background checks for workers, and set up plans for resuming operations after a terrorist attack. And it sets up pilot programs at three international ports using new technology for inspections.

The SAFE Port Act also includes non-security items. One provision that the president did not mention prior to signing the bill cracks down on Internet gambling. It bans the use of credit cards, checks or electronic transfers to pay gambling debts.

The president instead focused his remarks on how the new law will help prevent terrorists from getting a nuclear, biological or chemical device into the United States inside one of some 11 million cargo containers passing through the nations ports each year.

The nation's 22 largest ports, which handle the bulk of incoming cargo, will install radiation detectors by the end of next year, Bush said. (Posted 10:30 a.m.)

U.S. soldier killed in Iraq

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- A U.S. soldier was killed in a bombing Thursday in northern Iraq, the military said Friday.

The soldier -- a member of Task Force Lightning Soldier from the 105th Engineer Group -- was killed by "an improvised explosive device while conducting vehicle operations."

The number of U.S. military deaths in the war is 2,754 and the number of deaths this month alone now stands at 40. (Posted 10:14 a.m.)

U.N. refugee agency rethinks priorities as violence spurs flight of Iraqis

(CNN) -- The U.N. refugee agency Friday said it plans to refocus its priorities on the "tens of thousands of Iraqis who have been fleeing their homes" -- many leaving the country -- in what is described as "a steady, silent exodus."

The massive dislocation has been spurred by the upsurge of Shiite-Sunni sectarian violence that erupted in February.

The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees -- which briefed government donors recently in Jordan about the problem -- in a statement released Friday expressed "growing concerns over the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation facing hundreds of thousands of displaced Iraqis, both within and outside their country."

The Iraqi government and the UNHCR "estimate there are now more than 1.5 million people displaced within Iraq itself, including more than 365,000 newly displaced who have fled their homes and communities" since the February bombing.

It is estimated that "up to 1.6 million Iraqis are now outside their country." (Posted 8:42 a.m.)

8 Afghan civilians, 1 NATO soldier dead in suicide car bomb strike in Kandahar

(CNN) -- Eight civilians and a NATO soldier were killed on Friday in a suicide car bomb attack on a NATO convoy in southern Afghanistan, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.

The incident took place at 9:45 a.m. in the city of Kandahar. Two ISAF soldiers and "an unspecified number" of Afghan civilians had been wounded. One of the soldiers wounded later died. The nationalities of the ISAF troops were not immediately available. (Posted 7:56 a.m.)

U.N. mulls N. Korea sanctions

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The U.N. Security Council could vote on sanctions against North Korea as early as Saturday, diplomats said, the next stage in the international response to Pyongyang's claimed nuclear test.

Japanese U.N. ambassador Kenzo Oshima, in an interview with CNN, all but ruled out a Friday vote -- despite U.S. efforts to get a vote on a draft resolution by the end of the day.

There are signs that Russia and China are not prepared to go as far, or as fast, as their American counterparts.

In the midst of the diplomatic efforts at the United Nations, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun arrived in Beijing Friday for meetings with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao.

The two leaders were expected to discuss "bilateral relations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula," according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. (Posted 7:55 a.m.)

Bodies of 14 kidnapped construction workers found in Iraq

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Police recovered the bodies of 14 construction workers who had been kidnapped by gunmen Thursday, an official with Salaheddin Joint Coordination Center said.

They were abducted on a road in the mainly Sunni town of Dhuluiya in Salaheddin province after leaving work. The men's bodies had been dumped in an orchard near Dhuluiya, with their throats slit and hands and legs bound, the official said. Dhuluiya is about 50 miles north of Baghdad. (Posted 7:53 a.m.)

Coroner's inquest: Journalist in Iraq unlawfully killed by American forces

LONDON (CNN) -- A coroner ruled on Friday that a British journalist who died in the Iraq at the start of the war was unlawfully killed by American forces. Lloyd, a correspondent with ITN, was killed outside Basra in southern Iraq in 2003. (Posted 6:47 a.m.)

Israeli airstrikes kill Hamas member, hit suspected weapons-facility

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- A Hamas member and two other passengers were killed during an Israeli airstrike targeting their car in the northern Gaza village of Beit Lahiya Friday, according to Palestinian security and medical sources.

Israel Defense Forces issued a statement saying troops "carried out an aerial attack against a vehicle in the northern Gaza Strip, laden with Qassam rockets and carrying Hamas terrorists on their way to launch the rockets at Israel."

The IDF said "the cell was involved in yesterday's rocket launching at the Israeli city of Sderot." That city has been the regular target of Qassam strikes from Gaza.

In an earlier airstrike, Israeli forces targeted a suspected weapons-manufacturing facility in southern Gaza, an IDF statement released Friday said. The facility is located in Sajaiya. The IDF provided no information on the aftermath of the attack. (Posted 6 a.m.)

Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank win 2006 Nobel Peace Prize

OSLO, Norway (CNN) -- Bangladeshi banker Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank, a bank he founded, won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Friday.

Head of Norwegian Nobel Committee Ole Danbolt Mjoes said Yunus and the bank were awarded the prize "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below."

The 66-year-old banker, who has penned an autobiography titled "Banker to the Poor," is the founder and managing director of the Grameen Bank.

According to the GB Web site, Grameen provides credit to "the poorest of the poor in rural Bangladesh without any collateral."

The bank is credited with reversing "conventional banking practices" by removing the need for collateral and created a banking system based on "mutual trust, accountability, participation and creativity," the Web site said.

His long-term vision is to "eliminate poverty in the world," Mjoes said. (Posted 5:40 a.m.)

Explosion at Hilla police headquarters kills police commander

HILLA, Iraq (CNN) -- An explosion inside the headquarters of an elite police squad killed the commander of the force and his aide, and wounded eight other officers in the Iraqi city of Hilla Friday, police said.

According to Hilla police, Col. Salam al-Mamoury died in the the morning blast. He was in charge of the force known as the "Scorpion" team.

A preliminary investigation indicates a bomb was the source of the blast.

Hilla is located about 60 miles (95 km) south of Baghdad. (Posted 5:27 a.m.)

Roh in China for talks with Hu

BEIJING (CNN) -- South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun arrived in Beijing Friday for meetings with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao as the regional powers search for a response to North Korea's claim of having conducted a nuclear test earlier in the week.

The two leaders were expected to discuss "bilateral relations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula," according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Hu and Roh were to meet privately before official talks in the Great Hall of the People, according to Xinhua. (Posted 12:23 a.m.)



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