JIM LEHRER: President Bush signed a sweeping housing bill into law today. It was aimed at helping homeowners and two huge mortgage lenders.
The bill allows the Federal Housing Administration to offer $300 billion in home loans. Up to 400,000 homeowners will be able to re-finance into the lower-cost mortgages.
The other part of the bill gives mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a government line of credit, if they need it.
The signing came with little fanfare. The president had initially opposed parts of the bill.
Congress failed again today to break a stalemate on energy policy. House Democrats fell short in a bid to curb oil speculation. It was the latest in a series of bills Republicans have blocked as they demand a vote on off-shore drilling.
The stand-off led to sharp exchanges between leaders on the House floor.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), House Minority Leader: We've already had a speculators' bill on the floor once in the past and a number of other ideas that are nothing more than a way to try to divert attention from the fact that they refused to have a bill on floor that's supported by a bipartisan majority of this Congress that would allow energy development in America.
REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD), House Majority Leader: Unfortunately, when some of my Republican colleagues speak, they say, "Democrats don't want to drill." That is absolutely not true, false, a misrepresentation, said, in my opinion, for political purposes to accomplish an objective for politics, not for policy or for energy independence.
JIM LEHRER: The speculation bill failed in the Senate last week. And today, Senate Republicans also blocked a vote on a bill containing a wide array of tax breaks. They demanded action first on energy, including off-shore drilling.
The price of oil broke its fall today. It gained more than $4 after the government reported a drop in gasoline supplies. That sent oil stocks higher and helped Wall Street.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 186 points to close above 11,583. The Nasdaq rose 10 points to close above 2,329.
In the presidential campaign today, the two candidates battled over economic policy and leadership. In Missouri, Democrat Barack Obama charged Republicans have no answers for the country's woes. He said, "What they're going to try to do is make you scared about me."
In Colorado, Republican John McCain charged Obama is all talk and no action. He said, "Senator Obama's words, for all their eloquence and passion, don't mean all that much." We'll have more on the campaign right after this news summary.
Israeli Prime Minister Olmert resigned today the face of corruption probes. He said he would step aside in September, when his party, Kadima, chooses new leaders. Olmert said he was choosing the public good over his own interests.
EHUD OLMERT, Prime Minister of Israel (through translator): I have decided that I will not run in the Kadima primary. Likewise, I have no intention of intervening in the internal elections that will be held as decided on my own initiative and I will welcome their results.
My decision was not taken out of bitterness or preaching morals. I came just to say a little about what has been in my heart for many months.
JIM LEHRER: The change could leave Middle East peace talks in limbo, unless Olmert's successor can quickly form a new governing coalition.
The highest court in Turkey refused today to order the ruling party to disband, but it was close. The constitutional court came within a single vote of taking that step. The case involved allegations the Justice and Development Party has steered the country toward Islamic rule. The court did decide the party will lose half its public funding.
The former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was handed over to a U.N. war crimes tribunal today. He was extradited from Serbia, to The Hague in the Netherlands. We have a report narrated by Jonathan Miller of Independent Television News.
JONATHAN MILLER: It's 0345 hours, and a convoy of black Land Rovers exits the Belgrade war crimes court. And one of the world's most wanted fugitives was en route to The Hague after 13 years on the run.
In the dawn light over Rotterdam, the small Serbian government executive jet delivered its cargo. The former president of the Bosnian Serb republic and author of the euphemism "ethnic cleansing," who's indicted by the U.N. tribunal on two counts of genocide, five counts of crimes against humanity, and four of war crimes, accused of individual criminal responsibility.
Radovan Karadzic was then transferred by helicopter to the Scheveningen detention center. Tomorrow, he'll appear in court and will be asked to enter a plea.
The chief prosecutor said today his victims had had to wait a long time for this moment. And in The Hague, they weren't taking any chances.
NERMA JELACIC, Spokesman, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia: I can confirm that the tribunal is now in custody of Radovan Karadzic after he has spent more than 13 years on the run.
JONATHAN MILLER: This is his new home: a cellblock currently holding 37 of Karadzic's erstwhile enemies and allies, accused of some of the worst atrocities in postwar European history; 45 Serbs, 12 Croats, and four Muslims have been convicted; 27 currently on trial.
This, the cell where Slobodan Milosevic was held, and where he died.
Serbia's diehard nationalists were out on the streets in Belgrade again this afternoon in support of Radovan. Last night, there were violent riots. These ultra-nationalists have branded the Serbian president a traitor for sanctioning Karadzic's arrest and extradition.
But the man who'd fooled the world with his disguise as new age guru Dr. Dragan Dabic -- this is him at a party just last month -- is finally to have his day in court. As president of Republika Srpska years ago, he denied he was a war criminal and swore he'd never go to The Hague. Tonight, he's there, and now he'll have to convince the judges.
JIM LEHRER: In Washington, a State Department spokesman called the extradition a "positive development."
Power-sharing talks between Zimbabwe's rulers and the opposition will resume on Sunday. The main mediator, South African President Mbeki, announced it today. The talks broke off earlier this week, but Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, said today, "We're still negotiating. We want to succeed. Negotiations are negotiations. They are not a card game."
In Iraq today, a military offensive in Diyala province moved into a second day. Some 50,000 Iraqi troops backed by U.S. forces went door-to-door, hunting al-Qaida fighters. An Iraqi regional leader said the operation was expected to last about two weeks.
Heavy fighting erupted near the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan today. It happened in Pakistan's Swat Valley. The army said at least 25 militants and four Pakistani soldiers were killed. Some of the people who lived there complained today the country's leaders can't decide if they want peace with the militants.
PAKISTANI CITIZEN (through translator): The present situation is that the government is sometimes saying we're in dialogue, sometimes saying we are starting an operation. Nobody knows what is happening. After over a year, no solution has been found in Swat. They must do something.
JIM LEHRER: In Afghanistan today, there was word a British soldier died on Tuesday when militants attacked his convoy in the south.
A huge increase in U.S. funding to fight AIDS globally was signed into law today. It nearly triples funding for AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria to $48 billion over five years. Congress still has to make the actual appropriations. We'll have more on AIDS later in the program tonight.
A House committee recommended today that Karl Rove be cited for contempt of Congress. The former Bush presidential adviser has refused to answer questions about the firing of federal prosecutors. Today's vote was down party lines. It was unclear if Democratic leaders would ask the full House to act on the recommendation.
Former Ambassador Anne Armstrong died today of cancer at a Houston-area hospice. In the 1970s, she served as national leader of the Republican Party and as a cabinet-level adviser to Presidents Nixon and Ford. She also became the first woman to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. Anne Armstrong was 80 years old.