May 23rd, 2007

Iraqi Police: Body Found In US Uniform

Iraqi police found the body of a man who was wearing what appeared to be a U.S. military uniform and had a tattoo on his left hand floating in the Euphrates River south of Baghdad on Wednesday morning. One Iraqi official said the body was that of an American soldier.

The man had been shot in the head and chest, Babil police Capt. Muthana Khalid said. He said Iraqi police turned the body over the U.S. forces.

Navy Stages Latest Show Of Force Off Iran Coast

The U.S. Navy staged its latest show of military force off the Iranian coastline on Wednesday, sending two aircraft carriers and landing ships packed with 17,000 U.S. Marines and sailors to carry out unannounced exercises in the Persian Gulf.

The carrier strike groups led by the USS John C. Stennis and USS Nimitz were joined by the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard and its own strike group, which includes landing ships carrying members of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

"...The Beginning Of The End Of The President's Policy On Iraq"

Congressional Democrats relented Tuesday on their insistence that a war spending measure set a date for withdrawing American combat troops from Iraq. Instead, they moved toward a deal with President Bush that would impose new conditions on the Iraqi government...

...While Democrats were bruised by the veto fight and their decision to back away from the showdown, they believe they are slowly gaining ground. "I view this as the beginning of the end of the president's policy on Iraq," said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

Documentary On Poisoned Russian Spy Debuts At Cannes

A documentary on Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, whose murder last year caused a growing rift between Moscow and the West, is to be shown as a late entry at the Cannes film festival, organizers said.

The film, entitled "Rebellion. the Litvinenko case" by directors Andrei Nekrasov and Olga Konskaya will be part of the festival's official selection.

DC Madame Prefers To Be Called Washington Madame Because "It's... Classier"

First, we learned that adult movie star Jenna Jameson supports Sen. Hillary Clinton's run for president of the United States.

Now, we learn that another, um, Taboo Titleholder backs the New York senator's White House ambitions: Deborah Jeane Palfrey, aka, the "D.C. Madam."

Yeas & Nays tracked down Palfrey following her appearance at Nathans of Georgetown's "Q&A Cafe" Tuesday (where she told Nathans owner Carol Joynt that she's a "conservative Democrat") and inquired into the politics of this former escort service owner.

Lost Whales Stalled 70 Miles From Pacific Ocean

Two wounded, lost whales circled near a Sacramento River bridge as boat crews banged metal pipes to try to herd them toward the open waters of the Pacific Ocean.

The whales, lost since more than a week ago, spent a second day Tuesday circling near the bridge about 70 miles from the Pacific. Both whales were apparently wounded during a run-in with a boat's propeller.

"The wounds appear to have worsened over time and their skin has changed from smooth and shiny to irregular and pitted," said Frances Guiland of the Marine Mammal Center.

Video: "I May Have Taken Inappropriate Considerations Into Account On Some Occasions. And I Regret T

The Justice Department's former White House liaison testified to Congress today about her role in the firings of US Attorneys last year. In an opening statement, Monica Goodling told the committee, "Nevertheless, I do acknowledge that I may have gone too far in asking political questions of applicants for career positions. And I may have taken inappropriate considerations into account on some occasions. And I regret those mistakes"

Watch the video from C-Span 3:

Takeover Activity Pushes Dow Above 13,600 For First Time

Wall Street advanced Wednesday, briefly driving the Dow Jones industrials above 13,600 for the first time on another wave of takeover activity.

The biggest gainer among the 30 companies that make up the Dow was Alcoa Inc., after its $27.6 billion hostile bid for aluminum competitor Alcan Inc. was rebuffed. Though Canadian media reported that Australian mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd. might make its own offer, investors remained confident that Alcoa will be a key player in a potential industry merger.

Stewart To Education Secretary Spellings: You're The Only Member Of "The Executive Branch Who Is Not

US Secretary Of Education Margaret Spelling appeared on "The Daily Show" Wednesday. Host Jon Stewart plugged her with questions on The No Child Left Behind Act, the school lunch program and other issues handled by her office. Stewart ended the interview with a pop SAT question on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Watch the video from Comedy Central:

Army Considers Shipping Body To US To Determine If It's A Missing Soldier

A corpse found floating in the Euphrates River south of Baghdad on Wednesday may have to be shipped to the United States to determine if it is the body of one of three missing U.S. soldiers, according to a U.S. military official.

An official with Iraq's Interior Ministry told CNN the body pulled from the river was dressed in what appeared to be an American military uniform.

Former Coke Secretary Gets Eight Years For Scheming To Sell Secrets To Pepsi

A former Coca-Cola secretary convicted of conspiring to steal trade secrets from the world's largest beverage maker was sentenced Wednesday to 8 years in federal prison.

Joya Williams, 42, faced up to 10 years in prison on the single conspiracy charge in a failed scheme to sell the materials to rival Pepsi for at least $1.5 million. She was convicted Feb. 2 following a jury trial in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, where The Coca-Cola Co. is based.

Bush Works To Motivate Coast Guard Graduates: "...Dangerous Winds Are Swirling And These Winds Could

President Bush portrayed the Iraq war as a battle between the U.S. and al-Qaida on Wednesday and shared nuggets of intelligence to contend Osama bin Laden was setting up a terrorist cell in Iraq to strike targets in America.

Bush, who faces a public weary of war and is at odds with Democrats in Congress over funding troops, said that while the Sept. 11 attacks occurred in 2001, Americans still face a major threat from terrorists.

I Didn't Need To Tell Gonzales His Statements Were Inaccurate

The Justice Department's former White House liaison testified to Congress today about her role in the firings of US Attorneys last year. Goodling was questioned about her conversations with Attorney General Gonzales concerning his press statements.

Rep. Arthur Davis: Did you tell the Attorney General that you felt that part of his testimony, or part of his public statements, were not fully accurate?

Goodling: No, I didn't.

Davis: And was there a reason that you didn't share with the Attorney General that part of what he has said to the committee or the public might not be accurate?

Goodling: I just...I feel like, it...I feel like after he had the press conference, people came out fairly soon and said the statements were inaccurate.

Read more about the testimony here.

Watch the video from C-Span 3:

Rosie And Elisabeth In New Feud: "You Can Say All The Republican Crap You Want"

Watching Rosie O'Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck squabble on ABC's "The View" is nothing new, but Wednesday's dustup seemed particularly nasty with the co-hosts trading accusations and personal digs.

A political discussion over the war in
Iraq became heated when an angry O'Donnell decried Hasselbeck for not standing up for her when media outlets suggested that she'd called U.S. troops "terrorists" during a previous debate.

Leaked Campaign Memo Advises Clinton To Skip Iowa Caucuses

Hillary Rodham Clinton's deputy campaign manager wrote a memo this week urging the Democratic front-runner to bypass next year's Iowa caucuses to focus time and money on New Hampshire, South Carolina and several large states hosting primaries next Feb. 5.

The memo from deputy campaign manager Mike Henry emerged days after a Des Moines Sunday Register poll of likely caucus goers showed Clinton trailing rivals John Edwards and Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) in Iowa, which is to hold the first voting contests Jan. 14, 2008.

US May Negotiate With Iraqi Insurgents

U.S. officials said Wednesday that a "joint campaign plan redesign team" is preparing a new diplomatic and military strategy for Iraq, which is expected to be approved by the end of the month.

The team, led by Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, is laying out a new course for how to proceed in the four-year-old war, the officials told CNN.

New Jersey Governor Gave Ex-Girlfriend $6 Million Upon Breakup

New Jersey's multimillionaire governor gave his ex-girlfriend, a powerful union leader, more than $6 million when they broke up in 2004, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Gov. Jon S. Corzine and Carla Katz, president of Communications Workers of America Local 1034, have repeatedly refused to discuss the financial arrangement between them. The newspaper cited unidentified lawyers familiar with the deal and union officials who conferred with Katz during recent contract negotiations in its report.

Key Democrats Say They Will Vote Against New Bill That Excludes Iraq Timetables

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared victory but indicated she will likely vote against it because it doesn't have a timetable for troop withdrawals. Other House Democrats said they, too, would oppose it.

"I'm not voting for anything unless it ends the war," said Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

Military Fired 58 Arabic Linguists For Being Gay

Lawmakers who say the military has kicked out 58 Arabic language experts because they were gay want the
Pentagon to explain how it can afford to let the valuable specialists go.

Seizing on the latest discharge, involving three specialists, House members wrote the House Armed Services Committee chairman on Wednesday that the continued loss of such "capable, highly skilled Arabic linguists continues to compromise our national security during time of war."

Monica: "I Believe I Crossed The Line"

The Justice Department's former liaison to the White House testified before Congress today that she improperly weighed political factors in considering applicants for career positions in the department, and she said she was sorry.

But the former liaison, Monica M. Goodling, told the House Judiciary Committee that, contrary to public impressions, she did not play a major role in the controversial dismissals of United States attorneys last year.

Military Identifies Found Body As Missing US Soldier

he body of a U.S. soldier found in the Euphrates River in
Iraq was identified Wednesday as a California man who was abducted with two comrades a week and a half ago, a relative said.

Military officials told the family of Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr. of Torrance that a commanding officer identified the body, but that DNA tests were still pending.

Clinton Says She'll Compete: "I Never Saw The Memo"

Senator Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she is "unequivocally committed to competing in Iowa" despite a top aide's memo suggesting she bypass the state's caucuses in favor of campaigning in other key states.

Clinton, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, said in an interview she's not read the memo and had decided early on to compete in the Iowa caucuses as part of her White House bid.

17-Year-Old Jordin Sparks Named American Idol

Jordin Sparks, a teenager with a big voice and big dreams, was crowned Wednesday as the newest and youngest "American Idol." Sparks, 17, of Glendale, Ariz., prevailed over beatboxer Blake Lewis, 25, of Bothell, Wash., after a triumphant performance Tuesday that wowed the show's judges and the viewers who gave her a majority of the record 74 million votes cast.

"Mom, Dad, I love you," Sparks, the daughter of retired NFL player Phillippi Sparks, said tearfully after a bearhug from Lewis.

Judge Orders OJ Funds To Goldman Family

O.J. Simpson must give any money a Florida lawyer is holding for him to the family of slaying victim Ronald Goldman to satisfy a multimillion-dollar wrongful death judgment, a judge has ruled.
Attorney Leonardo D. Starke is believed to be holding about $3,500 for Simpson in a client trust account in Florida, where the former football star now lives, Goldman attorney David Cook said Wednesday.

Senate Votes To Halve Number Of Guest Workers In US

The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to cut in half the number of guest workers that would be allowed into the United States under a controversial immigration overhaul backed by the White House.

The 74-24 vote was the first major change to a "grand bargain" unveiled last week and sent to the Senate floor for debate on Monday.

Daily Flights Between US, China To Double By 2012

The United States and China yesterday announced a broad aviation agreement that will more than double the number of daily passenger flights between the two countries by 2012.

As the U.S. and Chinese economies become more intertwined, with trading volume of $343 billion last year, passenger traffic between the countries has surged and flights are crammed with business travelers, tourists and students.