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Other News: Obama Renews Vow to Withdraw From Iraq

October 20, 2009 at 12:00 AM EDT
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In other news, President Obama vowed to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by next October, and an Iranian-American was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in an Iranian jail for participating in demonstrations against the nation's government.

JEFFREY BROWN: In other news today: Six people were killed in bombings across Iraq. Most of the victims were police. And the U.S. military announced an American soldier was killed in a roadside bombing on Monday.

In Washington, President Obama said today he still plans to have all U.S. combat troops out of Iraq by next October.

An Iranian-American scholar was sentenced to 12 years in prison in Tehran today. Kian Tajbakhsh was the only American in an ongoing mass trial of opposition members. He was arrested in July during a crackdown on protests against the presidential election outcome. The U.S. State Department today called for his immediate release.

The Vatican reached out to disaffected Anglicans worldwide today to join the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI approved a new policy making it easier for Anglicans to convert. They would be allowed to maintain some traditions that go against Catholic teaching, including having married priests.

At a news conference, Cardinal William Levada acknowledged other differences remain.

CARDINAL WILLIAM JOSEPH LEVADA, prefect, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: A very difficult question is the forms in which some provinces of the Anglican communion have given approval to homosexual activities, such as the ordination of clergy who are practicing homosexuals or the blessing of homosexual unions.

JEFFREY BROWN: The worldwide Anglican communion includes U.S. Episcopalians. The church has been riven by disputes over the ordination of women and gay bishops.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear an appeal from 13 Chinese Muslim Uighurs being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They have been there for nearly eight years, despite being cleared for release in 2004. The Uighurs want to be released into the U.S., if no other country will take them. The Obama administration wants to move the detainees to the Pacific nation of Palau.

The former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik has been sent to jail. A federal judge in New York revoked Kerik’s bail today, ahead of his corruption trial next week. The judge said he improperly disclosed sealed information to the trustee of his legal defense fund. Kerik is charged with conspiracy, lying to federal officials, and tax fraud.

In U.S. economic news, home construction rose less than expected last month. The Commerce Department also reported permits for future construction were down.

The news disappointed Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 50 points, to close above 10041. The Nasdaq fell nearly 13 points, to close at 2163.