News Wrap: Al-Qaida’s Third in Command Reported Dead
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JIM LEHRER: Now: the other news of the day.
Here is Hari Sreenivasan in our newsroom.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Al-Qaida acknowledged today its number-three leader has been killed. The group announced the death of Mustafa al-Yazid, along with his wife and other relatives. It gave no details.
U.S. and Pakistani officials said it happened in North Waziristan along the Afghan-Pakistani border. They said al-Yazid was killed by a U.S. missile attack last month.
Iraq has moved one step closer today to a possible end of its election impasse. The country’s Supreme Court ratified the results from last March. The secular alliance led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi won two more seats in Parliament than Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his coalition’s total. But no one claimed a majority, and the parties remain at odds over how to form one.
In Afghanistan, elite government troops recaptured a remote district in the northeast, backed by U.S. helicopters. Hundreds of Taliban fighters had seized the district in Nuristan Province in a week’s worth of fighting. The Afghan government also defended a national peace conference that opens tomorrow.
A spokesman dismissed criticism of the so-called peace jirga.
WAHEED OMER, Afghan presidential spokesman: I don’t think there is logic in saying that this is going to be useless. Of course, we — this jirga is not — wasn’t supposed to be a jirga between Afghan government and its opposition.
So, the Afghan government is not participating, nor is the opposition participating. This is a jirga where the Afghan people are participating to advise the government.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Some 1,600 delegates are expected to take part in the three-day meeting in Kabul, but the Taliban warned today the penalty for participating is death.
The toll from Tropical Storm Agatha rose today to 179 killed in Central America. The weekend storm dumped heavy rain that left death and damage. The devastation was evident in a huge sinkhole in Guatemala City. It opened over the weekend, reached nearly 100 feet deep and 65 feet across and swallowed an entire intersection and a clothing factory. Some 125,000 people have been evacuated in Guatemala.
The U.S. Supreme Court placed new limits today on Miranda rights. By 5-4, the justices said criminal suspects must tell police if they’re invoking the right not to talk to authorities. The decision came in a case from Michigan. A man convicted of murder claimed he had invoked his right to remain silent by remaining silent.
Wall Street tumbled today after the failure to plug the oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. The continuing spill weighed down energy stocks and the broader market. The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 112 points to close at 10024. The Nasdaq fell more than 34 points to close at 2222.
Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, put out the word today that they are separating. An e-mail announcing the split was circulated among the couple’s friends. In it, the Gores said it was a mutual and mutually supportive decision. The Gores have been married for 40 years.
Those are some of the day’s major stories — now back to Jim.