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Wednesday, November 29

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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.

'Mass grave' with 28 bodies found near Baquba

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Iraqi soldiers found 28 bodies in a "mass grave" south of Baquba Wednesday, a U.S. military statement released Thursday said.

The site was identified by members of the Iraqi army and coalition forces.

According to the U.S. military, the bodies were first moved to the Narwan area for identification by family members and were then transported to an Iraqi Police station in Baghdad.

Iraqi authorities are investigating the incident.

Baquba is located about 30 miles (50 km) north of Baghdad (Posted 2:22 a.m.)

U.S. soldier dies in Iraqi capital

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- A U.S. soldier has been killed during combat operations in Baghdad, a U.S. military statement released Thursday said.

The soldier was a member of Multi-National Division - Baghdad and died around 3:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m. ET) Wednesday.

Since the start of the war, the U.S. military has suffered 2,885 fatalities in Iraq. (Posted 1:52 a.m.)

Trainer in good condition after being held underwater by killer whale

SAN DIEGO (CNN) -- A SeaWorld trainer was in good condition Wednesday after a killer whale grabbed his foot and held him underwater while performing a show, park officials said.

Mike Scarpuzzi, head trainer at SeaWorld, said Kasatka, a 30-year-old killer whale who is a veteran of many performances, grabbed the trainer and pulled him underwater. Other trainers were able to convince the whale to surface, allowing the trainer a breath of air, but enacted emergency procedures in place for such instances, Scarpuzzi said.

The other trainers got a net in the pool, and the trainer, who also had years of experience, was able to calm the whale, swim to the other side of the net and get out of the pool, he said. (Posted 10:25 p.m.)

Group recommends new guidelines for pregnant women using anti-depressants

From CNN Senior Medical Producer Jen Pifer

ATLANTA (CNN) -- The nation's leading group of health-care professionals for women Wednesday called for closer consultations between pregnant women using anti-depressants and their doctors, particularly singling out one of the medicines -- known as Paxil -- as a risk for birth defects.

In a statement released Wednesday, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) said doctors and expectant mothers together need to weigh the risks and benefits of using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors during pregnancy.

The group also advised that paroxetine, known by the brand name Paxil, be avoided by pregnant women when possible because of a potential risk of birth defects. It also recommended that women who used Paxil during the first few months of pregnancy undergo a fetal echocardiography to monitor the fetus' heart development. (Posted 8:08 p.m.)

Atlantic hurricane season closes quietly, well below predictions

(CNN) -- Following two years in which the United States was battered and bruised by nearly a dozen hurricanes, the 2006 Atlantic season draws to a close Thursday without a single hurricane -- and only three tropical storms -- making U.S. landfall.

The sense of quiet, though, is relative. While 2006 might have seemed tame compared to the carnage of 2004 and 2005, the season's total of nine named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes was actually right at the historical average for the last 150 years, according to data from the National Hurricane Center.

However, this year's tropical activity fell well short of predictions made the beginning of the season, which called for an above-average number of storms, though not as many as last year's record-shattering season.

Why did the forecasters' crystal balls prove so cloudy? Weather experts say the unexpected formation of the El Nino phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean in mid-summer -- which even the most sophisticated computer models couldn't see coming -- dampened tropical activity in the Atlantic. (Posted 7:30 p.m.)

Pentagon issues ID of missing airman

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The family of Maj. Troy L. Gilbert, a U.S. airman missing but presumed dead after his F-16 crashed near Baghdad on Monday, issued a statement Wednesday praising him as a husband, father and military officer and noting that at the time of the crash, he was protecting the lives of other service members.

"Troy was first and foremost a wonderful husband and father, whose Christian faith, personal values and work ethic guided his personal life and his career as a military officer," said the statement, read to reporters during a news conference at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., where Gilbert was based. "He was highly respected and deeply loved by so many.

"At the time of the tragedy during combat operations, he was unselfishly protecting the lives of other American military members. We, his family, cherish the worldwide prayers and support during this extremely difficult time."

The Pentagon identified Gilbert on Wednesday. His status is listed as duty status whereabouts unknown, but the military believes he was unable to eject and died in the crash. (Posted 7:18 p.m.)

Shuttle a go for first night launch in 4 years

(CNN) -- NASA flight managers gave the green light Wednesday to Space Shuttle Discovery to launch as planned at 9:36 p.m. ET on Dec. 7, according to NASA Associate Administrator Bill Gerstenmaier.

The launch will be the first at night in four years. NASA had barred night launches in the wake of the Columbia disaster in order to better monitor any foam-strike incidents like the one that doomed the Columbia and its seven-person crew in 2003.

Commanded by astronaut Mark Polansky, Discovery will dock with the International Space Station. While there, spacewalkers will do extensive electrical rewiring of the station to accommodate new solar arrays and pave the way for additional laboratories on the orbiting outpost. (Posted 6:44 p.m.)

Iraq Study Group to issue its report Dec. 6

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Iraq Study Group, the bipartisan panel assessing U.S. policies in the war in Iraq, will issue its report next Wednesday, the group's co-chairman said.

"Let me say two things about the Iraq Study Group," former House member Lee Hamilton, a Democrat, said. "No. 1, early this afternoon we reached a consensus. And No. 2, we will announce that on Dec. 6. That's all I can say."

The report, prepared at the urging of Congress, is expected to include recommendations that will help the Bush administration deal with the conflict, which has deteriorated into what many people now say is a sectarian civil war.

The study group is chaired by Hamilton and former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, a Republican.

Two officials close to the group said that Baker and Hamilton will brief President Bush on Wednesday morning about their findings, followed by a briefing of congressional leaders of both parties. (Posted 6:31 p.m.)

U.S. military planning to shift more U.S. troops into Baghdad

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In an effort to restore security in strife-torn Baghdad, U.S. military plans to move at least three battalions of additional American soldiers into the Iraqi capital, a senior Pentagon official told CNN.

The official said the troops will not include Marines based in Sunni-dominated Anbar province, where there has been fighting along the Euphrates River corridor between troops and insurgents. Instead, the official said, the troops will be moved from areas where it is relatively more peaceful -- such as the northern area where there are Stryker battalions.

The troop shifts won't require an increase in total forces in the country, the official said.

An Army official said about 1,600 troops will be moving into Baghdad.

Some of the troops are already in the general Baghdad area but will be moved closer into the city. (Posted 6:22 p.m.)

Reid: Immigration reform a top priority

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Calling illegal immigration reform the "most perplexing issue that faces America," incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told CNN Espanol Tuesday he plans to introduce a comprehensive immigration bill at the beginning of the 110th Congress.

Reid said his bill will include boarder security initiatives, a guest-worker program, a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States, and sanctions against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

Reid said Congress cannot afford a delay on passing immigration reform. "I think we have no choice -- we must address this most perplexing issue that faces America. It's something that must be done; it's something we will do," Reid said.

"We have to have comprehensive immigration reform -- it would be bad for the country to go for two years without doing something about this." -- From CNN Espanol Correspondent Juan Carlos Lopez (Posted 6:02 p.m.)

Arrested illegal immigrants had access to restricted areas at Atlanta airport

ATLANTA (CNN) -- Immigration officials Wednesday arrested six illegal immigrants hired to work at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where they had security badges allowing them access to restricted areas, including the tarmac, authorities said.

The six Mexican citizens were working for a drywall company based in Alpharetta, Ga., outside Atlanta, according to a written statement issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The investigation into the circumstances of the immigrants' employment and their possession of the badges continues, ICE said, noting that knowingly hiring illegal immigrants violates U.S. immigration law.

The arrested immigrants will be "quickly processed and ultimately returned to Mexico," ICE said. (Posted 5:23 p.m.)

Girls basketball coach wins settlement after high court victory over discrimination claims

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- An Alabama high school coach who won an important discrimination retaliation case before the Supreme Court after he was fired from his job has reached a settlement with his local school board.

Under terms of the deal, Roderick Jackson will keep his job as head of the girls basketball program at Jackson-Olin High School in Birmingham, and the Board of Education has promised to provide equal facilities citywide for all girls and boys teams.

Jackson, who is African-American, sued local officials after he was dismissed from his job, a move he claimed was retaliation for his repeated complaints that the basketball facilities for the girls team were dismal compared to those for boys. The gym they used for practice had no heat and bent hoops, and the team relied on inferior transportation to games, including car pools, while the boys used buses.

He brought a legal claim under Title IX, the landmark law requiring equality for women in scholastic sports as a condition to receive federal funds. --From CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears (Posted 3:39 p.m.)

Radioactivity found on planes in investigation of spy's death

LONDON (CNN) -- Very low traces of radioactivity have been found aboard two British Airways aircraft identified as part of the investigation into the death of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, the airline said Wednesday.

Three aircraft were identified as part of the investigation, BA said in a written statement, and all three Boeing 767s have been pulled out of service.

A spokesman for the British Home Office said tests had begun on two of the three aircraft and preparations are being made for tests on the third plane.

"British Airways understands that from advice it has been given that the risk to public health is low," the airline said. "The airline is in the process of making contact with customers who have traveled on flights operated by these aircraft, which operate within Europe." (Posted 3:15 p.m.)

52 bodies found in Baghdad

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Police in Baghdad on Wednesday said they found 52 bullet-riddled bodies across the capital.

Most of them were found on the west side of the Tigris River, which has a mostly Sunni population. However, it is not known if the slain people were Sunnis, Shiites or both.

Dumped bodies are a common mode of sectarian killings, and many slain people are found shot and tortured every day in Baghdad. --From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq (Posted 1:49 p.m.)

Al-Maliki skips dinner with Bush, Jordanian leader

AMMAN, Jordan (CNN) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki arrived in Jordan on Wednesday and met with Jordan's King Abdullah. However, he skipped a dinner with President Bush and Abdullah, and is to meet with the president on Thursday, said Counselor to the President Dan Bartlett.

Because that bilateral meeting was held, it was decided that a three-way meeting was not required, Bartlett said.

It had been reported that Bush-al-Maliki meetings -- focusing on the out-of-control security situation across Iraq -- would start Wednesday. There have been reports that the start was put off to Thursday after a U.S. memo cast doubt on al-Maliki's ability to deal with the sectarian warfare in Iraq.

The political bloc of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced earlier Wednesday that it would suspend its activities in the Iraqi government because the meeting was being held. The group also threatened to eventually quit the government if certain demands weren't met.

But Bartlett said there was nothing odd about this arrangement and the leaked memo had no part in it. The schedule change will give Bush and Abdullah an opportunity to discuss other issues in the region, he said. (Posted 1:48 p.m.)

Part of highway closed in Ohio after suspicious device found

CINCINNATI (CNN) -- Two miles of Interstate 71 going through metropolitan Cincinnati were closed Wednesday and hundreds of people were evacuated after a suspicious device was found near a bridge on that road, police said.

Sgt. Thomas Stein of the Norwood Police Department said the device -- which consisted of a liquid, a clock attached to a 9-volt battery and a fuse -- was found by a worker with the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Another Norwood police official told reporters the device -- which authorities confirmed was an incendiary device -- was safely detonated around 12:30 p.m.

CNN's Mike Brooks said a source working at the scene reported that the device appeared to have been at the site for some time, possibly since the summer, because the battery was dead and the clock was not working. (Posted 1:39 p.m.)

Wrongly accused man settles lawsuit with U.S. government for $2 million

PORTLAND, Ore. (CNN) -- An Oregon lawyer wrongly arrested for being involved with the 2004 Madrid train bombings has settled a lawsuit against the U.S. government for $2 million, according to his attorneys.

Brandon Mayfield was arrested in Portland on a material witness warrant in May 2004, less than two months after the train bombings.

According to the FBI, his fingerprint was identified as being on a blue plastic bag containing detonators found in a van used by the bombers.

However, the FBI's fingerprint identification was wrong and Mayfield was released several days later. --From CNN Senior Producer Henry Schuster in Atlanta (Posted 1:13 p.m.)

Frist won't run for president in 2008

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Wednesday he will not seek his party's nomination for president in 2008, explaining that he and his wife plan "a sabbatical from public life."

"In the Bible, God tells us for everything there is a season, and for me, for now, this season of being an elected official has come to a close. I do not intend to run for president in 2008," Frist, a physician, said in a written statement.

"At this point a return to private life will allow me to return to my professional roots as a healer and to refocus my creative energies on innovative solutions to seemingly insurmountable challenges Americans face," he said. "Karyn and I will seek the best opportunity to serve. I may eventually return to what I've done for most of my adult life, heal through medicine and health.

"In the short term, I will resume my regular medical mission trips as a doctor around the world to serve those in poverty, in famine, and in civil war."

Frist, 54, did not seek re-election in this month's midterm elections. (Posted 1:09 p.m.)

KBR to pay $8 million to settle fraud allegations for an Army contract

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root has agreed to pay $8 million to settle allegations the firm overcharged the U.S. Army for logistical support of military operations in the Balkans in 1999 and 2000.

The allegations involved double billing and delivery of products that did not conform to requirements for use in construction of an Army camp in Kosovo. Other claims involved inflation of prices for various goods resulting from the alleged failure to ensure competitive procurements, the Justice Department said.

"The Department of Justice remains committed to vigorously pursuing allegations of procurement abuses affecting the military," said Peter Keisler, assistant attorney general for the department's Civil Division.

The Justice Department said the settlement resolves allegations that concerned various purchase orders awarded to 10 foreign KBR subcontractors or vendors. --From CNN Justice Producer Terry Frieden (Posted 1:05 p.m.)

Iran's president calls on Americans, Democrats to help change the mistakes of the Bush administration

TEHRAN (CNN) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written a letter to the American people praising them as "truth-loving and justice-seeking" and urging them to "play an instrumental role" in helping to reverse their government's foreign policy mistakes.

The five-page letter also warns the Democratic Party that it could lose the 2008 presidential election if it does nothing to change the current policy now that it controls both houses of Congress following this month's mid-term elections.

In his letter, Ahmadinejad explains that he is addressing the American people because the two countries share similar values, including the desire "to promote and protect freedom and human dignity and integrity."

State Department spokesman Tom Casey called the letter "a public relations stunt" by Tehran and refused "to dignify" the Iranian president's accusations of the Bush administration "with a specific reaction." (Posted 12:39 p.m.)

Pentagon issues ID of missing airman

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Pentagon on Wednesday released the identity of the missing airman whose F-16 crashed near the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Monday.

He is Maj. Troy L. Gilbert, who is listed as duty status whereabouts unknown pending DNA identification of human remains found at the scene, the Pentagon said.

Gilbert was piloting an "Air Force F-16C engaged in support of coalition ground combat operations that crashed" about 12 miles northwest of Baghdad, the Pentagon said.

It said Gilbert "is assigned to the 309th Fighter Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and currently deployed to the 332nd Expeditionary Wing, Balad Air Force Base."

The military has launched an investigation into the crash. (Posted 12:32 p.m.)

Powell: Iraq violence meets the standard of 'civil war'

DUBAI (CNN) -- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Wednesday said Iraq's violence meets the standard of a "civil war" and that if he were heading the State Department now, he might recommend that the administration use that term to describe the carnage in the war-torn nation.

The Sunni-Shiite sectarian warfare that exploded this year and caused thousands of deaths and widespread displacement has prompted many news organizations and observers of the conflict to conclude that what is happening in Iraq now is a "civil war."

Powell's comments are significant since he was a backer of the war effort and was the top U.S. diplomat when the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 and toppled the Saddam Hussein government.

Powell called this phase three of the conflict. He said phase one was the invasion, phase two was the insurgency. (Posted 11:46 a.m.)

Economy grew faster than initially thought in third quarter

NEW YORK ( -- The economy grew at a much faster pace in the third quarter than originally estimated but a key measure of inflation dipped, the government said Wednesday in a report that economists and Wall Street both welcomed.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic activity, grew at a 2.2 percent annual rate in the quarter, up from the 1.6 percent rate the government estimated a month ago. Economists surveyed by had forecast a revision up to 1.8 percent.

The report's key inflation measure, known as the core PCE deflator, which measures prices paid by consumers for goods other than food and energy, rose at a 2.2 percent annual rate, down from the 2.3 percent rise originally reported, suggesting that faster growth can take place without increased price pressures. --From's Chris Isidore (Posted 10:51 a.m.)

Ahmadinejad warns countries against supporting terrorism in Iraq

TEHRAN (CNN) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday warned countries supporting terrorism in neighboring Iraq to end their activities, and said the United States should pull its troops out of Iraq now and leave power in the hands of the Iraqi government.

The president's comments came after a meeting that wrapped up three days of talks with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on Iran's role in creating a more stable Iraq.

Acknowledging the sectarian strife currently wreaking havoc across Iraq, Ahmadinejad said he is certain his neighbor, "through national and Islamic unity, will successfully pass through this stage."

As for countries who support terrorism in Iraq, the president said it is the "most reprehensible" thing they could do. (Posted 10:46 a.m.)

One person dies in fraternity house fire at University of Missouri

ST. LOUIS (CNN) -- One person was killed Wednesday in a fire at a fraternity house just off the campus of the University of Missouri at St. Louis, a university spokesman said.

Robert Samples said the body has not yet been identified but is presumed to be that of a university student.

Three people lived in the Pi Kappa Alpha house, Samples said. The other two residents escaped the 3:45 a.m. fire, he added. The cause of the blaze is under investigation. The fraternity house is not on university property. (Posted 10:04 a.m.)

Al-Sadr lawmaker: Bloc suspending activities in government

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- A spokesman for the powerful political bloc of Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said the group has suspended its participation in Iraq's government.

This move, confirmed by Falah Hassan Shanshel, the head of the al-Sadr bloc in parliament, is no surprise. The group had threatened to take such action if Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki met with President Bush in Jordan this week.

The meetings begin today in Amman and will continue Thursday.

There are about 30 lawmakers loyal to al-Sadr in the 275-member parliament, and six Cabinet ministers in his bloc, which supported al-Maliki -- a Shiite -- for prime minister. (Posted 9:50 a.m.)

Report details hardships Iraqi refugees face in Jordan

(CNN) -- Iraqis fleeing their war-torn country have been facing hardships and insecurity in the neighboring state of Jordan, according to a Human Rights Watch report.

The report, issued Tuesday, coincides with a meeting between President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that begins Wednesday in the Jordanian capital of Amman -- a meeting hosted by Jordan's King Abdullah.

"Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis living in Jordan face a daily threat of arrest, fines and deportation because the Jordanian government treats them as illegal immigrants rather than refugees," the HRW report said.

A Jordanian government spokesman was quoted in Jordanian media as criticizing the report regarding its description of visas and residency requirements and saying it contained inaccuracies.(Posted 8:59 a.m.)

Pakistani court rules Scottish-Pakistani girl must return to Britain

LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- A Pakistani high court ruled Wednesday in favor of a Scottish woman who had been fighting an international custody battle for her 12-year-old girl who was living in Pakistan with her father.

Misbah Irum must return to Britain "within seven days to make arrangements for her onward travel to Scotland," a Lahore High Court judge said.

Wednesday's ruling ends an international custody battle between the parents. They had been fighting in court since Irum's father received a favorable ruling in September that denied the Pakistani government the authority to send the girl back to Britain. (Posted 8:43 a.m.)

Military: 11 senior-level 'terror' leaders arrested in Iraq

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Eleven "senior-level terrorists" with the Ansar al Sunni group were among those arrested during raids in north-central Iraq, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

The mid-November raids led to the capture of "the terrorist emirs" of "Iraq, Ramadi, Baquba, Tikrit, Qaim, Bayji and Baghdad." Also captured, the military said, were two terrorist facilitators, a courier, an explosives expert and a financier. The military said Ansar al Sunna "is considered by some to be a leading terror organization in Iraq" and is responsible for suicide strikes, roadside bombings, kidnappings,and small arms attacks in central and northern Iraq.

The military contends that some of the senior leaders "allegedly hide in Iran" and "continually plan attacks to disrupt Iraqi reconstruction efforts." (Posted 8:18 a.m.)

Pakistan government launches massive crackdown against opposition parties

LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan's police force waged a massive crackdown against opposition party members rebelling against the government in southwest Pakistan and Lahore on Wednesday.

The spokesman for the Balouchistan National Party said the government is panicking from its own "unpopularity" and has therefore resorted to arresting opponents.

In the capital, for instance, police arrested about 100 opposition party members after an angry mob set three cars on fire and blocked roads for hours. The arrests came a day before planned anti-government rallies, police said.

Local tribal leaders said the security forces suffered heavy casualties but security officials denied such claims. They did not offer their own figures.

Police said Wednesday's crackdown comes a day after 200 activists and opposition leader Sardar Akhtar Mengal were arrested. (Posted 8:13 a.m.)

Iraqi leader's skills questioned in memo by Bush national security adviser

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A classified memo prepared by President's Bush's national security adviser after a recent trip to Iraq questions whether Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki can rise above Iraq's widening and bloody Sunni-Shiite divide.

It outlines steps the United States could take to fortify Iraq's security capabilities and to strengthen his political position, including bringing his "political strategy" with powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr "to closure," developing moderate political forces and bolstering troop strength in Baghdad.

The text of the memo appeared in Wednesday's edition of the New York Times and a senior administration official confirmed its authenticity for CNN. Bush will hold talks Wednesday and Thursday with al-Maliki in Amman, Jordan. The leaders are expected to discuss a political and security strategy for Iraq. (Posted 8:02 a.m.)

Pakistan test launches medium-range, nuclear-capable missile

LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- The Pakistan military announced it successfully test launched a medium-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missile Wednesday.

The Hatf 4 (Shaheen-1) missile has a range of about 700 km (435 miles), a Pakistan Army spokesman said.

After observing the launch, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Gen. Ehusan Ul Haq, congratulated the officers on their success.

Earlier in the month Pakistan test launched the intermediate range ballistic missile Hatf 5 (Ghauri). That missile had a range of about 1,300 km (807 miles). (Posted 7:29 a.m.)

U.S. reports two soldier deaths outside Baghdad

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Two U.S. soldiers were killed in combat over the last two days in volatile provinces outside Baghdad, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

One soldier was killed and another wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle during an operation in Iraq's Salaheddin province Tuesday. The Task Force Lightning Soldier who died was assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

Salaheddin, north of Baghdad, includes key cities such as Samarra, where the Feb. 22 bombing of the Shiite shrine occurred. That bombing has sparked a nearly year-long Sunni-Shiite sectarian war.

Another soldier, assigned to Regimental Combat Team 7, died Wednesday "from wounds sustained due to enemy action" in Anbar province.

With the deaths, 2,884 U.S. military personnel have died in the Iraq war. (Posted 6:59 a.m.)

10 Iraqis killed in fighting in Iraq

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Ten Iraqis were killed during various operations around Iraq Wednesday, officials said.

The U.S. military said coalition forces killed eight "al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists" during a raid near the Iraqi city of Baquba, but Iraqi officials said the troops killed eight civilians -- including two women -- Wednesday morning.

A Diyala Joint Coordination Center official said the overnight raid on civilian houses west of Baquba resulted in the death of two civilian women and six others.

The U.S. military in a statement Wednesday said "two female local nationals" were caught in the cross-fire during a raid aimed at netting terrorist leaders.

Separately, an Iraqi emergency police official said two civilians were killed and seven people were wounded -- including two police officers -- when a roadside bomb exploded at a bus station in central Baghdad. (Posted 6:10 a.m.)

Rap artist 'Snoop Dogg' arrested again for weapons, narcotics possession

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Rap artist "Snoop Dogg" was arrested on weapons and narcotics charges Tuesday evening after being pulled over by Burbank police following a television performance.

According to Sgt. Kevin Grandalski, the charges include possession of a gun, cocaine and marijuana, as well as having a false compartment in a vehicle. The weapons charge is a felony.

Snoop Dogg -- whose real name is Calvin Broadus -- was arrested shortly after performing songs "That's that S......!" and "I Want to Love" on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." (Posted 2:40 a.m.)

4 dead, 10 injured in Colorado van crash

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CNN) -- Four people died and 10 were injured Tuesday when a minivan crashed on Interstate 70, the Colorado State Patrol said.

The crash occurred about 1:50 p.m. (3:50 p.m. ET) on eastbound I-70 near Idaho Springs, said Master Trooper Ron Watkins. The 1998 Dodge minivan ran off the road, striking a tree and rolling over once. Most of its 15 occupants were ejected, he said.

Four were dead at the scene, according to CNN affiliate KUSA. Ten others were transported to St. Anthony's Hospital in Denver, Watkins said. The driver fled on foot, and was captured a few hours later by authorities using tracking dogs. He was being held by immigration authorities. (Posted 11:22 p.m.)



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