Skip to main content
CNN.com
Search
Home World U.S. Weather Business Sports Analysis Politics Law Tech Science Health Entertainment Offbeat Travel Education Specials Autos I-Reports
WORLD header
News update

Thursday, April 26

Adjust font size:
Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

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 Time.

Richardson cites Roe opponent White as model Supreme Court justice

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (CNN) -- During Thursday night's debate among 2008 Democratic presidential hopefuls in South Carolina, the conversation turned to abortion rights and last week's Supreme Court ruling upholding a ban on a late-term abortion procedure, which the candidates strongly criticized.

The moderator, Brian Williams of NBC News, then asked them to name their model Supreme Court justice. The first of the eight candidates to answer the question was New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who had denounced last week's ruling as a "dangerous step backward." "It would be Justice 'Whizzer' White," Richardson quickly replied, a reference to the late Byron White, a football-star-turned-lawyer from Colorado appointed to the high court by President John F. Kennedy in 1962.

White, who served 31 years, was on the court when the pivotal abortion rights case, Roe vs. Wade, was decided in 1973. However, he was not in the majority that found a constitutional privacy right protecting a woman's decision to have abortion. Instead, White joined the late conservative Chief Justice William Rehnquist in opposing the ruling.

Before Richardson could elaborate on his views on the late Justice White, Williams asked him to answer the question again, this time limiting his response to "someone who is among the living." Richardson then replied, "It would be -- in this particular case -- Judge Ginsburg, who said that this was an erosion of a woman's right to choose and degraded the ability of a woman to protect herself health-wise."

The reference was to sitting Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who wrote the dissent in last week's case in which she argued that, in upholding the federal law prohibiting some late-term abortions, the high court had undermined Roe -- a ruling which, if White's view had prevailed, would never have happened. Ironically, when White retired in 1993, the abortion rights' block on the court was strengthened by then-President Bill Clinton's appointment of Ginsburg to replace him. (Posted 10:22 p.m.)

2008 Democratic hopefuls take debate to Palmetto State

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (CNN) -- The calendar on the wall may still read 2007, but the nation's political calendar officially flipped to 2008 Thursday night, when eight Democratic presidential hopefuls took the stage to debate each other in the first bona fide event of the fledgling campaign season.

During the 90-minute event at South Carolina State University -- billed as the "earliest presidential debate ever" by its sponsor, MSNBC -- the top-tier candidates largely kept their rhetorical elbows in check, even demonstrating some common ground on core Democratic issues such as health care and the environment.

Not surprisingly, most of their sharpest fire was aimed at President Bush in general and the war in Iraq in particular.

-- By The CNN Wire's Richard Shumate (Posted 9:42 p.m.)

Tenet: 'Slam dunk' comment cost me my career

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former CIA director George Tenet says in an interview to be aired Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes" that his infamous "slam dunk" comment referring to Iraq and weapons of mass destruction made him a scapegoat for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and effectively ended his career.

Tenet, who resigned from his position in July 2004, said the comment was never meant to mean that it was a "slam dunk" that Saddam Hussein had WMD, but rather that "We can put a better case together for a public case."

Tenet tells CBS that the comment was a passing one, made after the invasion had already been decided. Months after the meeting at which he said it, the comment was leaked to Washington Post editor Bob Woodward.

Tenet said the administration's constant referral to the comment ruined his reputation. (Posted 8:45 p.m.)

Fugitive who skipped out on jail and kidney donation to son will be sent to Kentucky to face charges

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Byron Perkins -- nicknamed the most hated dad in America -- will face extradition to Kentucky where he will face charges for skipping town last year after being released from jail to donate a kidney to his son, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled Thursday.

Perkins' girlfriend will also be extradited.

The two will be transported back to the south as soon as U.S. Marshals can arrange it, Judge Jeffrey Johnson said Thursday. Both were denied bail, he said, because they pose flight risks.

U.S. authorities captured Perkins and his girlfriend, Lea Ann Howard, Wednesday in Puerto Vallarta on Mexico's Pacific coast, a deputy U.S. Marshal said. Howard will also face extradition to Kentucky. (Posted 8:44 p.m.)

Hogs that ingested toxic agent have entered the human food supply

(CNN) -- Several hundred hogs that may have ingested tainted pet food are believed to have entered the human food supply, federal officials said Thursday.

Approximately 300 hogs from Kansas and Utah made it into the commercial supply but it is not yet known how many may have been consumed, according to USDA spokeswoman Nicole Andrews.

Separately, agriculture officials confirmed that 50 additional hogs have entered into the human food supply at a custom slaughterhouse in California where hogs are sold on an individual basis.

USDA officials say the risks to humans who eat tainted meat are minimal. (Posted 8:09 p.m.)

Longtime Hollywood lobbyist Valenti dead at 85

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Jack Valenti, the longtime head of the Motion Picture Association of America, died Thursday of complications from a stroke he suffered in March, his family announced. He was 85.

Valenti spent 38 years as president of the U.S. movie industry's trade association, serving as its top lobbyist and spokesman until his retirement in 2004. He died in Washington less than a month after being hospitalized for a stroke, the MPAA announced Thursday evening.

Valenti joined the MPAA in 1966 after serving as a special assistant to then-President Lyndon Johnson. He was central to the 1968 creation of the modern MPAA move-ratings system -- now G, PG, PG-13, R and NC-17. Though the system is frequently ridiculed by filmmakers and critics, Valenti defended its value as a resource for parents. (Posted 7:38 p.m.)

New Hampshire senate passes civil unions bill

(CNN) -- A bill that would allow same-sex couples to join in civil unions was passed Thursday by the New Hampshire Senate and is set to be signed in to law by Gov. John Lynch next week.

The Senate voted 14 to 10 to pass the bill guaranteeing gay couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. The House of Representatives voted earlier in the month and passed the bill by a wide margin, 243 to 129.

-- From CNN's Amy Sahba (Posted 7:05 p.m.)

Former Hollywood spokesman Valenti dead at 85

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Jack Valenti, the longtime head of the Motion Picture Association of America, has died at age 85, the association announced Thursday. (Posted 6:56 p.m.)

Feds seek to ensure contaminated swine do not enter human food supply

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Federal authorities sought Thursday to ensure that as many as 6,000 swine fed contaminated feed do not enter the human food supply, though they could not guarantee it has not already happened.

State authorities have been notified that swine fed the adulterated products will not be approved to enter the food supply, said Capt. David Elder, director of the office of enforcement at the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Regulatory Affairs.

He told reporters in a conference call that the likelihood of anyone getting sick after eating pork contaminated with melamine and melamine-related compounds is considered "extremely low."

Melamine is the contaminant that led to the recent recall of more than 60 million cans of pet food after about 17 cats and dogs died of kidney failure. (Posted 6:39 p.m.)

6 'Free Militia' members arrested on drug, weapons charges

(CNN) -- Six members of a group calling itself "The Free Militia" were arrested Thursday after federal search warrants were executed at four DeKalb County, Ala., homes, authorities said.

Among the items found were 130 grenades, an improvised rocket launcher with live rounds, a grenade launcher, numerous firearms, 70 improvised explosive devices, commercial fireworks and "enough ammunition to fill a U-Haul trailer," said Alice Martin, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.

Also found were more than 120 marijuana plants, Martin said. Federal, state and local officers executing the search warrants found booby traps at one location. (Posted 6:25 p.m.)

2 Atlanta police officers plead guilty in federal court to a civil rights conspiracy resulting in death in connection to botched drug raid

ATLANTA (CNN) -- Two Atlanta police officers pleaded guilty Thursday in both state and federal court on a variety of charges connected to the shooting death of an elderly woman during a botched drug raid last year, court officials said.

A third officer also faces charges.

Officer Gregg Junnier, 40, who retired after the Nov. 21 shooting, pleaded guilty in a federal court to civil rights conspiracy resulting in death, according to a Department of Justice statement. Earlier in the day he pleaded guilty to manslaughter, violation of oath by a public officer, criminal solicitation and making false statements in state court.

Officer Jason Smith, 35, who retired earlier this week, pleaded guilty in state and federal court to the same charges as Junnier, as well as to perjury in state court, the justice statement said.

Another officer, Arthur Tesler, 40, has been charged with making false statements and false imprisonment, state court documents show. He is on paid administrative leave from the police department.

All three officers were involved in the serving of a "no-knock" warrant on Kathryn Johnston's home Nov. 21. (Posted 5:32 p.m.)

Explosive device found at Austin women's clinic

(CNN) -- An explosive device "which could have caused substantial harm" was found Wednesday in the parking lot of an Austin, Texas, women's clinic where abortions are performed, authorities said.

Austin police responded to a 9-1-1 call regarding a suspicious device at the Austin Women's Health Center about 2:15 p.m. (3:15 p.m. ET), according to a police statement. The call was placed by a clinic employee, who also notified the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as per clinic protocol, police said.

The clinic, an insurance agency and an apartment building behind the clinic were evacuated.

Bomb technicians conducted a controlled detonation of the package. Southbound lanes of nearby Interstate 35 were closed while the detonation took place. (Posted 5:04 p.m.)

MIT dean resigns after admitting to falsifying credentials

(CNN) - The dean of admissions at one of America's most prestigious schools resigned Thursday after the university discovered she had lied about her academic credentials.

Marilee Jones, who joined the staff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979 to lead the recruitment of women at the university, stepped down from her post after admitting that she had "misrepresented her academic degrees to the institute," according to a statement posted on MIT's Web site.

-- From CNN's Zak Sos and Richard Davis (Posted 4:40 p.m.)

Senate sends Iraq spending bill to White House for threatened veto

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Senate on Thursday approved a $124 billion Iraq war spending bill that calls for the withdrawal of most U.S. troops, with Democratic leaders urging President Bush to drop his threat to veto the bill.

"The president has a choice: Heed the call of the American people, a bipartisan majority of Congress and military experts to change course, or keep our troops committed to an open-ended civil war," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said. "The choice is an easy one."

But White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Bush would follow through on his veto threat, "and he looks forward to working with congressional leaders to craft a bill that he can sign."

The spending bill passed by a 51-46 margin -- far short of the two-thirds vote needed to override a presidential veto. Along with about $100 billion in war spending, it sets a March 2008 goal for the withdrawal of American combat troops. (Posted 4:28 p.m.)

Gonzales dismisses calls for resignation; says he's focused on his job

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Dismissing a call from Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain to resign, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Thursday said he is "going to stay focused on doing my job."

If Gonzales hoped getting out of Washington would divert attention from the controversy over the firing of the eight U.S. attorneys last year, he was wrong. He was peppered with questions about it during a press conference in Rochester, N.Y., in which he announced new grants to four cities to help them combat gang violence.

During an appearance Wednesday on CNN's Larry King Live, McCain said he was disappointed in Gonzales' performance regarding the firing of the prosecutors. Asked whether he thought the Attorney General should leave, McCain said, "I think out of loyalty to the president that -- that that would probably be the best thing that he could do."

-- From CNN Senior Producer Kevin Bohn (Posted 4:10 p.m.)

Electricity begins to return to Colombia after massive blackout

BOGOTA (CNN) -- Electricity began returning to Colombia on Thursday afternoon, several hours after a massive power failure blacked out nearly all of the country.

Power was flowing in about half of the country by mid-afternoon, said Juan Guillermo, a reporter for the Bogota newspaper El Tiempo, citing authorities in the energy sector.

The blackout began around 10 a.m. (11 a.m. ET), and affected about 80 to 90 percent of the country, said Adrianna Vargas, a reporter for RCN Television, who cited officials from the Ministry of Mines and Energy. (Posted 3:45 p.m.)

Israeli police search houses of Israel-Arab politician

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli police Thursday are searching houses in Haifa and Jerusalem belong to an Israeli-Arab politician suspected of laundering money and passing information to the enemy during Israel's war with Hezbollah militants in Lebanon last summer.

On Wednesday, police announced the charges against Azmi Bishara after a court-imposed gag order was lifted.

Bishara resigned from Israel's parliament, the Knesset, on Sunday. He submitted his resignation to the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, giving up his parliamentary immunity from the charges. (Posted 3:44 p.m.)

2 Atlanta police officers plead guilty to manslaughter in shooting death of elderly woman during botched drug raid

ATLANTA (CNN) -- Two Atlanta police officers pleaded guilty to manslaughter and other charges Thursday in the shooting death of an elderly woman during a botched drug raid last year, the Fulton County district attorney's office said.

Officer Gregg Junnier, who retired after the Nov. 21 shooting, was originally charged with three counts of felony murder, two counts of burglary and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

He pleaded guilty to manslaughter, violation of oath, criminal solicitation and making false statements.

Officer Jason Smith was initially charged with four counts of felony murder, two counts of false statements, two counts of burglary and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to the indictments.

He pleaded guilty Thursday to the same charges as Junnier, as well as to perjury. (Posted 3:36 p.m.)

Apartment building collapses in Turkey; 2 people freed from rubble

ISTANBUL (CNN) -- Rescuers Thursday freed a young girl and a man who were trapped beneath a multi-story apartment building that collapsed in Istanbul, apparently as construction workers tried to tear down a building next door.

It's believed there may be another person still in the debris, journalist Andrew Finkel told CNN, and rescue crews were listening and digging.

No deaths have been reported. (Posted 3:09 p.m.)

Colombo blacked out over fears of Tamil Tiger air attack

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- Sri Lanka's capital Colombo was brought under a blackout and the international airport was shut down temporarily Thursday over fears of an air attack by Tamil Tiger rebels.

Government officials said the Sri Lanka Air Force received reports that three unidentified aircraft, suspected to belong to Tamil Tiger rebels, were located flying over the coastal town of Puttalam, 101 kilometers north of the airport town of Katunayake.

The air force base located there began firing anti-aircraft guns as armed airmen evacuated passengers at the international airport from the upper floors to the lower one. Security forces stopped traffic leaving Colombo for the international airport as they placed a security cordon around the area. (Posted 2:42 p.m.)

Apartment building collapses in Turkey; 2 people freed from rubble

ISTANBUL (CNN) -- Rescuers Thursday freed a young girl and a man who were trapped beneath a multi-story apartment building that collapsed in Istanbul, apparently as construction workers tried to tear down a building next door.

It's not believed that anyone else is in the debris, journalist Andrew Finkel told CNN.

Construction workers were trying to tear down a building next door and authorities believe that is what caused the apartment complex to collapse around 6 p.m. (11 a.m. ET), Istanbul's mayor Kadir Topbas said. (Posted 2:27 p.m.)

Body found in burnt farmhouse IDed as alleged state trooper killer

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Authorities have confirmed that the the charred body discovered Wednesday evening in the rubble of a New York farmhouse destroyed by fire belongs to the suspect who killed a state trooper and wounded another.

The body was identified as Travis Trim's through fingerprint matching.

Police say the body was found in a doorway holding a rifle.

Trim is believed to have killed one state trooper and wounded another during a manhunt that began Tuesday after he allegedly shot and wounded another state trooper during a traffic stop. (Posted 2:20 p.m.)

New Jersey governor takes first steps

(CNN) -- New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine has taken his first steps since he was badly injured two weeks ago in a car wreck.

Using a walker, Corzine took his first few steps Tuesday, his office said Thursday in a news release.

A drainage tube remains in the area surrounding his lung, but doctors are pleased with his progress, the news release said. It added that President Bush called the Democrat Wednesday to wish him well.

Corzine, 60, was removed last week from a respirator and is talking with his family and doctors. (Posted 2:19 p.m.)

Senate sends Iraq spending bill to White House for threatened veto

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Senate on Thursday approved a $124 billion war spending bill that calls for U.S. combat troops to leave Iraq in 2008, sending the measure to the White House for a threatened veto by President Bush.

The bill's 51-46 margin is far short of the two-thirds vote needed to override a presidential veto, which Bush says he will deliver swiftly. The House passed the same measure on a 218-208 vote Wednesday night.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the measure funds U.S. troops in the field while acknowledging that the 4-year-old war needs a political, not military, solution.

But Republicans said the bill amounted to an admission of defeat.

Two Republicans -- Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Gordon Smith of Oregon -- joined Democrats to support the bill. Connecticut independent Joseph Lieberman, who caucuses with the Democrats, joined Republicans in opposing it. (Posted 1:33 p.m.)

Most of Colombia loses electrical power

BOGOTA (CNN) -- Most of Colombia was blacked out Thursday by a power failure.

The blackout in the capital began around 10 a.m. (11 a.m. ET), and has affected about 80 to 90 percent of the country, said Adrianna Vargas, a reporter for RCN Television, who cited officials from the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

There was no immediate indication that terrorism may have been involved, she said, citing local officials, who were predicting that power would be restored by late in the afternoon. -- CNN's Karl Penhaul contributed to this report (Posted 1:33 p.m.)

8 dead in chain-reaction crash on Indiana Toll Road

(CNN) -- Eight people were killed Thursday in a chain-reaction crash on the Indiana Toll Road about 30 miles east of South Bend, state police said.

First Sgt. Brian Olehy said the accident occurred near Bristol, Ind., around 6:45 a.m. when a tractor-trailer ran into the back of a passenger car in traffic that was slow due to an earlier road incident.

That sparked an "accordion style" crash involving a total of four passenger vehicles and three tractor-trailers, Olehy said.

Two others were injured in the accident, one of them seriously, he added.

None of the truck drivers were seriously hurt, Olehy said.

Five of those killed were in the same car, he said.

The westbound lanes of I-80 were closed in the aftermath of the crash. (Posted 1:13 p.m.)

Petraeus stresses perils of al Qaeda in Iraq, Iranian influence in Iraq

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The top U.S. commander in Iraq -- taking aim at two major American nemeses in the violence-ravaged nation the administration has been trying to pacify -- underscored the urgent threats emanating from al Qaeda, the Sunni terror network, and Iran, the Shiite nation that is a pariah to the Bush administration.

Gen. David H. Petraeus, who conducted a wide-ranging press briefing on Thursday to Pentagon reporters about the state of affairs in war-torn Iraq, said the activities of the al Qaeda network are probably the worst of the many perils faced by Iraqis and that the cell behind the killings earlier this year of five U.S. soldiers in Karbala had links to Iran.

Petraeus also discussed and answered questions about the "surge" troop escalation and about Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's much-criticized government in the hour-long appearance.

He said al Qaeda considers Iraq its "central front" and says the al Qaeda in Iraq network is a "very significant enemy."

"We do definitely see links to the greater al Qaeda network. I think you know that we have at various times intercepted messages to and from. There is no question but that there is a network that supports the movement of foreign fighters through Syria into Iraq," Petraeus said.

While there has been a decrease in the number of sectarian killings, the general said, the killings and injuries caused by al Qaeda in Iraq car bombers and suicide attackers have kept the level of casualties across Iraq steady. (Posted 12:55 p.m.)

3 Atlanta police officers charged in connection with murder of elderly woman during botched drug raid

ATLANTA (CNN) -- Three Atlanta police officers were indicted Thursday in the shooting death of an elderly woman during a botched drug raid last year, with two of them facing felony murder charges.

Officer Gregg Junnier, who retired after the Nov. 21 shooting, was charged with three counts of felony murder, two counts of burglary and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Officer Jason Smith was charged with four counts of felony murder, two counts of false statements, two counts of burglary and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to the indictments.

Junnier and Smith are expected to enter into a plea agreement to some of those state charges when they appear in court Thursday afternoon, and all three officers are to appear before a federal grand jury later in the day, one of their attorneys said.

And Officer Arthur Tesler has been charged with making false statements and false imprisonment, the documents show.

The officers were involved in the serving of a "no-knock" warrant on Kathryn Johnston's home Nov. 21. Johnston's family gave her age as 92, but a medical examiner said she was 88.

Police initially said that Johnston fired at them with an old pistol, and they shot back in self-defense.

Junnier, Smith and Officer Cary Bond, who was not charged in the shooting, sustained gunshot wounds in the incident. Tesler was not wounded.

Initially, the officers said that they got the warrant after a drug informant bought drugs at Johnston's home. But the informant later said he had never been to that address. (Posted 12:55 p.m.)

Apartment building collapses in Turkey, trapping people below; 1 girl freed

ISTANBUL (CNN) -- Rescuers Thursday freed a young girl who was beneath a multi-story apartment building that collapsed in Istanbul, apparently as construction workers tried to tear down a building next door.

Istanbul's mayor Kadir Topbas told CNN Turk at least two people have been spotted in the debris, and it was unclear if one of those included the girl.

Construction workers were trying to tear down a building next door and authorities believe that is what caused the apartment complex to collapse around 6 p.m. (11 a.m. ET), Topbas said.

Crowds of people immediately descended upon the pile of debris, frantically searching for anyone who might be trapped below.

A reporter on the scene said people were hearing voices from the debris.

The apartment building is located in the Sirinevler neighborhood of Istanbul, near the airport.

Residents said they evacuated the building after hearing a crack in the roof, but some went back inside before the building collapsed, Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler told CNN Turk. (Posted 12:42 p.m.)

Fighting in Afghanistan near Pakistani border; remains of 5 militants found

(CNN) -- U.S. Special Forces soldiers and Afghan Border Patrol officers battled "foreign fighters" in eastern Afghanistan near Pakistan on Wednesday, the coalition command said on Thursday.

"The remains of five enemy fighters" were found in the area of the fighting in Paktia province.

The coalition said the incident started when "10 foreign fighters" fired their weapons at a checkpoint, and officers fired back.

The Afghan and U.S. forces "pursued the enemy fighters in vehicles before dismounting and pursuing the enemy fighters for three kilometers through mountainous terrain."

The troops pinned down the insurgents in a valley and called in air support to hit the militants. (Posted 9:24 a.m.)

Senate to vote on Iraq funding bill with troop withdrawal deadline

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Senate Thursday is set to vote on a $124 billion war funding bill that was narrowly approved in the House a day earlier, and -- if it passes -- will be vetoed by President Bush.

The bill, which provides the funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, sets a goal of withdrawing U.S. combat forces from Iraq next year.

Bush has said he will veto any bill that sets an "artificial timetable" for withdrawal.

Speaking on CNN's "American Morning," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said it is unclear when the bill will make it to the president's desk.

"You know the phrase, 'it's dead on arrival', but this one is dead before arrival," Perino said.

If the Senate OKs the bill, Perino said "soon after that I think you'll see that the president will meet with congressional leadership and try to work it out."

The final vote in the House was 218-208, with two members voting present. The tally was largely along party lines, with just two Republicans voting for it and 13 Democrats voting against. (Posted 9:09 a.m.)

Police: Wife, daughter of notorious Saddam-era official shot dead

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Gunmen on Thursday shot and killed the wife and daughter of a man whose brother was a notorious Saddam-era official, police in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit said.

The wife and daughter of Hashim Hassan al-Majid were killed at their home in Tikrit, the Salaheddin province city that is executed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's hometown.

Al-Majid, the former mayor of Hilla during the Saddam era, is the brother of Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as Chemical Ali, who is facing genocide charges in the Anfal trial.

Anfal is the name of the bloody military campaign that the Iraqi army under Saddam Hussein carried out in Iraq's Kurdish region in the 1980s.

It is not clear whether Hashim Hassan al-Majid is in U.S. custody.

Chemical Ali is a first cousin of the late Saddam Hussein and a former senior member of his regime. (Posted 9 a.m.)

Car bomb strikes near Baghdad University; at least six dead

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- At least six civilians were killed and 18 others wounded on Thursday when a car bomb detonated near Baghdad University, an interior ministry official said.

Police say most of the casualties were university students.

The attack happened around 4 p.m. in Jadriya in central Baghdad, between the Hamra hotel and Baghdad University.

Last week, a suicide car bomb exploded in the same neighborhood, killing at least 12 people and wounding 28 others. -- From CNN's Jomana Karadsheh (Posted 8:38 a.m.)

16 Iraqis killed in Thursday violence in Iraq; in addition, 7 insurgents killed in military raids

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Suicide car bomb attacks killed at least 16 people, including nine Iraqi soldiers, in two cities north of Baghdad Thursday morning, according to Iraqi officials.

In addition, coalition forces killed seven insurgents in raids on Thursday near Baghdad's Sadr City and near Taji -- north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. The military said two women and two children may have been killed in an airstrike during the Taji encounter.

A roadside bomb detonated near Baghdad's Shorja market -- a common target for insurgent attacks -- killing two civilians and wounding four others, an interior ministry official said. The attack happened around 1:15 p.m.

Nine Iraqi soldiers were killed when a suicide car bomb exploded at their checkpoint in Khalis, about 50 miles north of Baghdad, police said.

The blast, which happened at 9 a.m., also wounded 10 soldiers and five civilians, according to police.

An hour earlier, two cars loaded with explosives crashed into a Kurdish Democratic Party office in Zamar, killing at least five people and wounding three others, the city's mayor said.

West of Taji, coalition soldiers killed "four terrorists" during a hunt for people linked to al Qaeda in Iraq car bomb networks, according to the U.S. military.

Coalition forces launched another operation targeting what the U.S. military said was a terror training network in Baghdad's Sadr City. Three insurgents were killed during that operation. --CNN's Jomana Karadsheh in Baghdad contributed to this report. (Posted 7:05 a.m.)

U.S. military prison commander faces charges, accused of giving cell phones to detainees

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- A U.S. Army officer who commanded the military prison that holds thousands of suspected Iraqi insurgents and was Saddam Hussein's last home has himself been jailed.

Lt. Col. William H. Steele, who was commander of the U.S. Army's Camp Cropper, was charged with giving cell phones to suspected insurgent prisoners, a charge that was described as "aiding the enemy."

He also was charged with having an improper relationship with a detainee's daughter and an interpreter, and possessing pornography, according to the U.S military.

Steele was arrested last month and confined in a military jail in Kuwait while he awaits an Article 32 hearing, the military's equivalent to a grand jury, according to U.S. military spokeswoman Lt. Col. Josslyn Aberle.

Camp Cropper, located near Baghdad International Airport, houses thousands of suspected insurgent detainees and some high profile prisoners. It was where former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was kept until he was hanged last December.

The military gave few specifics about the charges which allegedly occurred between October 2005 and February 2007.

The four charges also accuse Lt. Col. Steele of possessing and mishandling classified information, disobeying an order and not doing his duty in the approval of funds, according to the U.S. military. (Posted 7 a.m.)

Lawyer: Indian court issues arrest warrant for Richard Gere

NEW DELHI (CNN) -- An Indian court issued an arrest warrant for American actor Richard Gere Thursday, accusing him of violating the country's obscenity laws earlier this month when he kissed Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, an attorney who filed the case told CNN.

According to Poonam Bhandari, the warrant was issued by a lower court in Jaipur, a tourist city about 185 miles (300 km) west of New Delhi. Under the warrant, Shetty has been requested to appear in court on May 5.

Court records were not immediate available.

"I was annoyed that Indian traditions had been violated," Bhandari said. "I'm a vigilant citizen. I've done my duty."

The case stems from an April 15 AIDS awareness event in the Indian capital in which Gere wrapped his arms around Shetty and kissed her several times on her cheeks.

The encounter was played repeatedly on Indian TV and around the globe, prompting angry crowds in several Indian cities to burn effigies of Gere.

Such cases are often filed against celebrities in India and clog the country's the judicial system.

Gere can appeal the case to a higher court. (Posted 6 a.m.)

Checkpoint attack kills 9 Iraqi soldiers

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Suicide car bomb attacks killed at least 14 people, including nine Iraqi soldiers, in two cities north of Baghdad Thursday morning, according to Iraqi officials.

Nine Iraqi soldiers were killed when a suicide car bomb exploded at their checkpoint in Khaliss, about 50 miles north of Baghdad, police said.

The blast, which happened at 9 a.m., also wounded 10 soldiers and five civilians, according to police. (Posted 4:35 a.m.)

Dual car bombs attack KDP office in northern Iraq

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Two cars loaded with explosives crashed into a Kurdish Democratic Party office in Zamar Thursday morning, killing at least five people and wounding three others, according to the city's mayor.

The first suicide car bomb tried to ram the KDP headquarters and exploded short of the building as guards fired their guns at it, the mayor said.

Another suicide car bomber approached the building moments later and also detonated just outside, he said.

Zamar is about 35 miles west of Mosul in northern Iraq.

The KDP's headquarters in Tal Uskuf, also near Mosul, was attacked on Monday by a suicide car bomb that killed at least 10 people and wounded 20, according to KDP official Abdul Ghani Yahya. (Posted 3:40 a.m.)

Body found after fire during manhunt for suspect who is believed to have killed a state trooper

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Authorities believe the charred body discovered Wednesday evening in the rubble of a New York farmhouse destroyed by fire belongs to a man police suspect of killing a state trooper and wounding another.

In a statement released Wednesday night, New York State Police said they strongly believe the person who shot two officers Wednesday morning and the burned body found after the fire are that of the same person, Travis Trim.

"I would say that this person is the person who engaged our troopers in gunfire this morning," said New York State Police Acting Superintendent Preston Felton.

"There is a degree of certainty on my part, but can I say 100 percent? I can't say that. I can't even say 95 percent."

Police say the body was found in a doorway holding a rifle. A completed autopsy will determine if the remains are those of Trim.

Earlier, Felton said officials have a "reasonable degree of certainty" that Travis Trim was inside the building during the fire.

Trim is believed to have killed one state trooper and wounded another during a manhunt that began Tuesday after he allegedly shot and wounded another state trooper during a traffic stop.

While the cause of the blaze remained unknown, Felton said authorities fired several canisters of tear gas into the building shortly before the fire broke out at 6 p.m. "We're not saying it can absolutely not cause a fire, but it's not constructed to cause a fire," he said. (Posted 11:45 p.m.)

Kidney transplant fugitive caught in Mexico

(CNN) -- A Kentucky man who went on the lam more than a year ago when he was let out of jail to donate a kidney to his son was captured Wednesday in Mexico, according to a deputy U.S. Marshal.

Byron Perkins and his girlfriend, Lee Ann Howard, were captured in Puerto Vallarta on Mexico's Pacific coast, said Deputy U.S. Marshal Dawn Izgarjan (prono: iz-GAHR-ee-yan). The pair arrived Wednesday night in Los Angeles, where they face an initial court appearance Thursday.

Perkins was released from jail without bond by a federal judge in January 2006 so he could complete testing before donating a kidney to his teenage son, Destin. At the time, he was awaiting a possible life sentence following a conviction on drug, weapon and other charges. Doctors said Perkins appeared to be a perfect match for his son. But on the final day of hospital tests, he failed to show up. U.S. Marshals put him on their "Most Wanted" list.

"I don't know how he could lay his head down at night, just knowing that he ran away and left me up here to die like that," Destin Perkins told CNN's Anderson Cooper after receiving news of his father's capture. "That's just one of my main questions, is why he did it and how he could do it." -- CNN's Susan Candiotti contributed to this report. (Posted 10:41 p.m.)

House passes Iraq funding bill with troop withdrawal deadline

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Moving closer to a veto showdown with President Bush, the House late Wednesday narrowly approved a bill funding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that sets a goal of withdrawing U.S. combat forces from Iraq next year.

The final vote on the $124 billion funding bill was 218-208, with two members voting present. The tally was largely along party lines, with just two Republicans voting for it and 13 Democrats voting against.

The Senate will take up the bill Thursday morning, setting up a likely confrontation with Bush, who has repeatedly vowed to veto any appropriations measure that contains a timetable for withdrawing troops.

Reacting to the House vote, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the bill was "disappointing legislation that insists on a surrender date, handcuffs our generals and contains billions of dollars in spending unrelated to the war."

"Tonight, the House of Representatives voted for failure in Iraq, and the president will veto its bill," she said in a statement. (Posted 10:21 p.m.)


Advertisement

Advertisement

Career Builder.com
Quick Job Search
  More Options
International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise with Us About Us Contact Us
Search
© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
SERVICES » E-mails RSSRSS Feed PodcastsRadio News Icon CNNtoGo CNN Pipeline
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by CNN.com
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more