JIM LEHRER: The secretary-general of the United Nations
warned today Iraq is on the brink of a breakdown. Kofi Annan addressed the
Security Council a day before world leaders convene at the U.N. He said Iraqis
have reached a crossroads, as the violence continues with no let-up.
KOFI ANNAN, U.N. Secretary-General: If they can address the
needs and common interests of all Iraqis, the promise of peace and prosperity
is still within reach. But if current patterns of alienation and violence
persist much longer, there is a grave danger that the Iraqi state will break
down, possibly in the midst of a full-scale civil war.
JIM LEHRER: U.N. officials also met today to consider the
next step in Darfur. The government of Sudan has refused to let the U.N. take
over a peacekeeping force there. We'll have more on the U.N. right after this
In Iraq today, more than 40 people died at the hands of
bombers and gunmen. In the north, a suicide bomber in Talafar killed at least
20 Iraqis. To the west, a police station in Ramadi was bombed, leaving at least
two officers dead. And in Baquba, just north of Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed
three Iraqi soldiers.
A series of suicide bombings in Afghanistan killed 19 people
today, including four Canadian soldiers. The Canadians were part of NATO forces
patrolling in Kandahar province. The bomb went off as they handed out pens and
candy to children.
In Kabul, four Afghan policemen were killed when a suicide
bomber blew up his car; another blast killed 11 people in western Afghanistan.
The president of Somalia narrowly escaped an attempt on his
life today. Eleven people were killed in a suicide car bombing and gun battle. The
president's brother was among the dead. It happened just outside the parliament
building in Baidoa, the only city the government controls.
The foreign minister linked the attack to the killing of a
nun over the weekend.
ISMAIL MOHAMED HURRE, Foreign Minister, Somalia: We think
that the attempt that what happened today in Baidoa is somewhat associated with
what happened in Mogadishu yesterday, in the assassination, the cold-blooded
assassination of the Italian nun in Mogadishu. Whoever was after that, behind
that, is also behind this.
JIM LEHRER: The foreign minister said the nun's killing and
today's attack had the hallmarks of al-Qaida. The Islamic militia that controls
most of Somalia denied it had any role in the violence.
The Bush administration moved late today to revise its
proposal on terror suspects. A spokesman for Republican Senator John Warner
said he expects to receive the new draft. Warner and at least six other
Republicans opposed the president's initial proposal; it called for more leeway
and legal safeguards for CIA interrogators.
Protesters across the Muslim world demanded a full apology
from the pope today. In a speech last week, Pope Benedict XVI cited a Byzantine
ruler who once linked Islam to violence. Yesterday, he said he was deeply sorry
Muslims were offended, but he stopped short of retracting his statements. We'll
have more on this story later in the program tonight.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled out tampering
today in the spinach scare. An E. coli outbreak linked to fresh bagged spinach
has spread to at least 21 states. There have been more than 110 cases and one
The FDA has traced the problem to a California company. Investigators
have not found the source of the bacteria. We'll have more on this story later
in the program.
On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost
more than five points to close at 11,555. The Nasdaq rose a fraction of a point
to close above 2,235.