News Desk

May 2007

Morning Buzz: May 31, 2007

This morning's top stories:

  • The Russian businessman accused by British officials of playing a role in the death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko counteraccused the British this morning, saying he had evidence that their special services were involved in the murder.
  • Meanwhile, Russia and the ...
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    Friends of Scooter Libby Fear He'll Be Sent Immediately to Jail

    When Lewis "Scooter" Libby is sentenced next month for his involvement in the Valerie Plame-CIA spy scandal, friends and legal allies fear that he will immediately be shipped to jail.

    "I think that he will get some jail time and probably be sent away that day," said a member of the Libby Legal ...

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    An American in al Qaeda

    The most recent threat released by al Qaeda on a popular website for militants features a familiar face and something unusual for a jihadist video: an American accent.

    Adam Gadahn, the man featured in the video that promises attacks on American soil worse than 9/11, is a California native and al ...

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    Woods Plays Red, White and Blue on the Green

    Golf great Tiger Woods jetted into Washington today to promote his upcoming AT&T National Invitational tournament as a potentially "historic" event meant to honor service members and their families. The tourney, to be held through the week of Independence Day at suburban Maryland's Congressional ...

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    Obama Gets Headstart from Facebook-insider on Staff

    The popular social networking website unveiled a major new initiative to boost its traffic and membership last weekend with the "Applications" feature, in which members can add functionality to their profiles, like music and movie players, that are programmed and offered by third ...

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    An Iraq Cleric's Knotty Reemergence

    Today's news that the radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is back in the spotlight after a four-month absence throws another monkey wrench into the U.S.-led efforts to secure Baghdad.

    In a fiery sermon today, Sadr instructed his followers not to engage Iraqi troops but was expressly ...

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    Hurricane Season: Seven Days and Counting

    It's seven days and counting until Opening Day of hurricane season and in advance of it, the Census Bureau released some newly tabulated population figures today for the coastal regions between North Carolina and Texas, where the threat is the highest.

    • Square mileage of danger zone: 180,155
    • 1950 ...
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      Delay on Immigration Vote a Risk

      Note: Updated at 3:42 p.m. ET.

      Republican worries are growing over the increasingly harsh reaction among grass-roots conservatives to the bipartisan Senate agreement on overhauling the immigration system.

      As debate over amendments continues, it's clear that the leadership's decision to delay a vote ...

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      Murtha Survives Reprimand Vote

      A bitter legislative quarrel in the House, played out in the parliamentary vocabulary of reprimands and motions to table, raged on yesterday as the Democrats pushed back a Republican attempt to officially chastise Rep. John Murtha, the combative Pennsylvanian whom Speaker Nancy Pelosi ...

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      Goodling in the Hot Seat

      The distinctly D.C. psychodrama of the fired U.S. attorneys is back in the spotlight today as Monica Goodling, the former White House liaison at the Department of Justice during the time of the firings, testifies today before the House Judiciary Committee.

      Ahead of the hearing, the committee ...

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      TSA: Liquid Explosive Tests Going Well

      The era of dirty hair for shampoo-deprived airline passengers is a step closer to ending.

      A new device that can detect liquid explosives inside sealed bottles will soon be rolling off the shelf, the Transportation Security Administration announced this morning. Early results have been so positive,

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      Filtering the E-Activists

      As we've written about before in this space, the hosts of user-generated news sites and blogosphere barometers are ripe for the picking for motivated E-activists. Enough fingers on the mouse can launch story after story on a given subject to the top of sites like, which rely on votes from ...

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      Doc: An $880,000 Lawsuit Between Congressmen

      Note: This article ran on May 21, and was updated with a response from McDermott, below, on May 22 at 10:45 a.m. ET.

      A legal battle between two longtime congressmen has cost the winner $880,000, according to the winner's lawyer.

      A federal court ruled earlier this month in favor of House GOP leader ...

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      With Immigration Deal Reached, Now Come the Delays

      As criticism begins to build over the Senate bipartisan immigration reform bill, lawmakers--especially Republicans--are expected to push Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for a debate extension of at least three weeks so that there is enough time to discuss hot-ticket issues in the bill.

      "Look for ...

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      Behind the News: Violence in Lebanon

      A violent clash between Lebanese troops and a group called Fatah Islam that is accused of terrorist ties reached its second day today. Lebanese officials have accused Syria of stirring up trouble in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, which Syria denies.

      The violence in the area, along with a

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      Snow: Immigration Deal Is a 'Template'

      White House Press Secretary Tony Snow tells U.S. News that the deal reached on immigration reform announced yesterday will serve as a "template" for cross-party cooperation in President Bush's remaining 19 months in office.

      "This is a big deal," Snow said, casting the agreement as a major victory ...

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      Should Debate Footage Be Free?

      A coalition of bloggers, online advocates, and lawmakers, both liberal and conservative, is waging a campaign to make footage from the 2008 candidate debates available for free use, allowing bloggers and others to repost footage afterward. Doing so, they argue in letters to the chairmen of both the ...

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      The Tancredos v. Kennedys: The Immigration Debate

      Heading into what Sen. Ted Kennedy called "D-Day" this morning for an immigration compromise--the last real day a compromise could be reached before Sen. Harry Reid's firm Monday deadline--some people were hopeful a compromise was on the horizon, but the prospects didn't look great. What's emerged,

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      Candidates Hit the Commencement Circuit

      This Saturday, both Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will pause from official presidential campaigning to congratulate graduates--aka young voters.

      Clinton is scheduled to deliver the commencement address at New Orleans's Dillard University, while Obama takes the stage at Southern New ...

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      Iran's "Illegal" Jailing of an American Scholar

      A prominent Iranian-American policy scholar who has been imprisoned in Iran is innocent of any wrongdoing and should be released immediately, her Iranian attorney said Thursday afternoon during an unusual visit to Washington.

      The attorney is Shirin Ebadi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who herself ...

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      Finally, a Deal on Immigration

      Senators from both parties announced a long-sought deal on immigration reform today that has won the praise of the White House, a major milestone for a topic that has consumed national attention and piqued emotions on all sides of the debate.

      The deal allows for the quick legalization for many of ...

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      Another Sizzling Summer

      Here's to hoping AccuWeather fails to live up to its name. This morning, the premier private weather service released a grim forecast predicting hotter-than-average temperatures, yet again, for the United States this summer.

      The heat will be joined with lower-than-average rainfall in the Southwest ...

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      War Czar: Good Choice, Bad Role?

      With President Bush's announcement naming Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute as war czar came recognition that his wife, too, has some extensive international credentials. With a Ph.D. from Stanford in political science, Jane Holl Lute is highly regarded in her role as United Nations assistant secretary general ...

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      First Person: Laughing With Yolanda King

      In response to the unexpected death of Yolanda King, Chief Legal Correspondent Chitra Ragavan recalls the summer she spent with the eldest child of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.:

      I had the privilege of working with Yolanda King in 1983, when I was a graduate student at the University of ...

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      The Need to Know: Justice vs. White House

      The scene that former Deputy Attorney General James Comey described before a Senate panel yesterday was pure pulp: high-ranking officials from the White House duking it out with their counterparts at the Department of Justice at the hospital bedside of an ailing attorney general.

      As Comey describes ...

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      DOD Blocks MySpace, YouTube, But Effect May Be Overplayed

      The U.S. military's decision to block access on Department of Defense-owned computers to popular sites like,, and may have less of an effect on soldiers at war in Iraq and Afghanistan than the headlines initially suggest.

      The policy does not affect the soldiers ...

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      Boehner Faces Intraparty Revolt

      Update (5:15 p.m. ET): House Republican leadership aides today brushed aside complaints over the choice of Rep. Ken Calvert to replace embattled Rep. John Doolittle on the Appropriations Committee.

      "We've not heard anybody complain directly," said one aide, who called U.S. News to dispute an ...

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      Jerry Falwell: a Complex Legacy

      The Associated Press is reporting the sudden death today of the controversial evangelist Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority and president of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

      Falwell leaves behind a complicated legacy, in which he made himself into one of the most influential and ...

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      Everybody Hates Washington

      President Bush may have historically low approval ratings, but at least he has this on his side: He's heading what may be only the second-most-unpopular branch of government after Congress, which has surpassed the president in Gallup Poll approval ratings only once since the Democrats took over in ...

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      GOP Ex-Speaker May Face Tough Fight

      Dennis Hastert, a onetime speaker of the House with close ties to the Bush administration, may find himself in trouble back home come 2008. Democratic strategists believe that Illinois district represented by Hastert, who was the longest-serving Republican speaker before the party lost the majority ...

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      Net Spying Law Has Bloggers Agitated

      Nothing quite excites the blogosphere like a threat to its fiefdom. On Friday, Wired magazine's "Threat Level" blog published a reminder that today is the deadline for Internet service providers to comply with a 1994 law, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), that requires ...

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      Behind the News: Mullah Dadullah

      A Taliban spokesman has acknowledged the death of the militant group's top commander in Afghanistan, Mullah Dadullah in a statement boasting that the group will continue its attacks on U.S. troops, the AP reports.

      For a closer look at who Dadullah was and what role he played in the Taliban, see ...

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      Richardson's YouTube Video at No. 1

      Self-pity may not ultimately get Gov. Bill Richardson elected president, but it sure is getting him a lot of attention on YouTube.

      Last Tuesday, the New Mexico Democrat's campaign posted this political ad on YouTube, in which a bedraggled Richardson is sitting for a job interview, fielding questions ...

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