Text of Original CNN Stories
Topping our news this evening a U.S. Army scout helicopter was brought down by enemy fire Friday, killing one pilot, wounding the other, then a sneak attack by insurgents masquerading as news reporters, according to the U.S. military.
According to military officials, five enemy personnel pulled up to the crash site driving black and dark blue Mercedes. They were wearing black press jackets with clearly written in English. The enemy personnel fired upon U.S. forces with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades.
No U.S. troops were hit, and later, four suspects were detained. It was a one-two-punch tactic that was also employed in an earlier attack on a U.S. convoy. A 5,000-gallon fuel truck was set ablaze by RPG and small-arms fire after, first, a roadside bomb stopped the convoy.
Overall, the number of attacks against U.S. troops is down, from about 50 a day 2 months ago to about 20 a day now. But the enemies of the U.S. continue to refine their methods.
One military source was quoted as saying that “We are seeing a small uptick in the capability of the enemy. They are getting a little more complex. And for what reason, we don’t know. But they are getting a little more sophisticated of late.”
There’s no letup in the U.S. counterinsurgency operations. In the last 24 hours, the U.S. conducted more than 1,500 patrols, launched 28 offensive operations, and captured 88 anti-coalition suspects.
North Korean Inspection
A door appears to be opening up in North Korea. According to South Korean officials, there’s going to be a U.S. delegation that is going over to visit one of the nuclear sites there. What makes this significant is that it would be the first time that you would have foreigners to actually visit that nuclear site since inspectors were kicked out about a year ago.
But what is important to note as well is that U.S. government officials say, look, this is a private venture, that this is not something that is sanctioned by the government.
However, they do acknowledge that there is some interest in what happens. Will they get to that country? Will they be allowed to that site? All those things they are going to be keeping a close eye on, because while U.S. officials say they are focused on the six- party talks involving other nations to get North Korea to disarm, those talks appear to have stalled.
Female Suicide Bomber
It was bloody and shocking, a suicide bombing at the Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel carried out by a young mother of two. A scene of devastation where the Palestinian suicide bomber struck. The attack on Israeli troops at Gaza’s main crossing into Israel is a grim return to bloodshed.
According to Brig. Gen. Shamni of the Isreali Defense Forces, “A woman suicide bomber came into the worker’s pass in Erez industrial site, and exploded herself, killing four people, three soldiers and one civilian, and wounding several other people.”
Among the injured were Palestinian workers caught in the blast. Thousands pass through the Israeli security post every day to work in Israeli factories or gain access to Israeli services that impoverished Gaza simply doesn’t offer.
According to the Israeli Army, the suicide bomber, who was a woman, said she needed a permit to get into Israel because she needed urgent medical attention. But, as she was waiting to be processed and searched by a female Israeli soldier, she dropped to her knees, burst into tears, and detonated.
The suicide bomber, who has been identified as a 22-year-old from Gaza City, was married with two children. Hamas says it’s the first time they’ve used a woman to kill. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which claims joint responsibility, has used female bombers before. Her attack, they say, was in response to Israeli military incursions and the construction of what Israel calls a security barrier in the West Bank.
An Israeli governmental spokesman characterized the attack of this morning as particularly shocking because, as a gesture of goodwill, Israel allows Palestinian workers to come into Israel. And the Palestinian terrorist organization took this opportunity in order to kill as many people as possible.
For its part, the Palestinian Authority has called for a mutual cease-fire to make room for peace talks. But this latest bombing and the possible Israeli response may only deepen the mistrust.
The White House is considering another major new initiative, this one to promote and to sustain marriage in this country. The initiative would be supported by $1.5 billion of taxpayer money.
With a million of the 2 million yearly marriages ending in divorce court, love and marriage may go together like a horse and carriage, but happiness isn’t assured. According to Courtney Knowles of the Equality in Marriage Institute: “We like to sometimes call the marriage aisle today the aisle of assumptions, because we think a lot of people are walking down it thinking they know their partner, thinking they understand what life is going to be like together, but not really wanting to kind of burst that bubble of warm, fuzzy feelings.”
One of the more interesting things about marriage and divorce is that, for a nation so concerned about such things, we don’t keep good records. There’s no official national data on divorce collected.
Budget cuts put an end to that in the mid-1990s. Among the things we do know, we are getting married at an older age now than we were in the 1950s. And we also know that divorce rates rose after World War II, when soldiers returned home, and they rose again in the 60s, with the advent of no-fault divorce laws. But perhaps the most shocking statistic is the one not about marriage. One-third of all children born today will be born out of wedlock and into a single-parent home.
According to Theodora Ooms of the Center for Law and Social Policy: “A lot of the problems we see in society today that have to do with the fact that children are being raised in single-parent or broken homes or homes where there is a lot of instability. Children are much more poor for that reason. They don’t do as well in school. They are much more likely to have children out of wedlock themselves.”
And that logic alone in the minds of many is enough for the government to get involved.
And finally tonight, did Saddam Hussein really want to keep al Qaeda at arm’s length?
According to U.S. officials, as well as a document found with Saddam Hussein when he was captured, Hussein warned supporters to be wary of cooperating with what were described as “foreign jihadists coming into Iraq to fight Americans”. Some in the Bush administration have contended there was close cooperation between Saddam’s government and al Qaeda. Officials say the document appears to have been written after Saddam lost power.
Text of Original Fox News Channel Stories
In Iraq today U.S. authorities define well-coordinated attacks as being carried out by “an enemy that does not respect any values.” Three targets were hit in Karbala with devastating results. Two coalition army bases were hit along with the town council building in Karbala.
Attackers used four suicide car bombs as well as machine gun and mortar fire. The car bombers were shot before they could get all the way into the bases which limited the number of casualties. At least six soldiers were injured, four from Bulgaria and two from Thailand, and another two dozen were wounded. We’re told that several American soldiers received minor injuries.
As in most of these cases the majority of those injured or killed were Iraqi civilians. More than a half dozen died and more than 80 were injured.
U.S. officials describe the operations performed by Iraqi and foreign fighters as low-intensity and being carried out by those trying to turn back the hands of time in Iraq.
Nuclear weapons inspectors from the United Nations arrived in Libya today. Inspectors traveled from Italy to Libya to begin their initial investigation into the extent of Libya’s efforts to build nuclear weapons.
Libyan leader Momar Khadafi announced just last week that his country would scrap its weapons of mass destruction program. The International Atomic Energy Agency says this first trip will demonstrate just how cooperative Khadafi will be in dismantling Libya’s uranium enrichment facilities.
The agency will also investigate a suspected connection between the nuclear weapons programs in Libya and Iran.
Mad Cow Fears
It took just one cow with mad cow disease for the department of Agriculture to launch a massive investigation. Investigators are focusing on where that cow came from, what it was fed, and what happened to its meat as some of it might have landed on store shelves.
Investigators said today that they have made progress in finding out more about where this cow came from. Officials say they believe it was imported to the U.S. in August of 2001 from Alberta, Canada. It came in with 73 other cows.
Now determining exactly where this cow came from is crucial to this investigation. What they want to know is what’s called the “birth herd”, which may lead them to other cows who ate the same feed and may also have been exposed to mad cow.
Inspectors are also still pulling meat from the shelves that may have come from the infected cow. Parts may have ended up in Oregon, Washington State, California, and Nevada.
This first ever mad cow case in the U.S. has agriculture officials considering new regulations. Most agree changes will be coming. One option is more testing for mad cow. Last year just over twenty thousand out of 3 million cows were tested, which is low compared to Western Europe who tested 10 million and Japan who tested 1 million.
Still, experts say the danger to consumers from the meat is almost nil. Mad cow effects the brain and nervous system presumably leaving the muscle safe to eat. That, however, is not recommended.
Illegal Alien Story
A major question for President Bush is whether his immigration policy will put teeth into the current law. Right now a business that hires an illegal immigrant is subject to a ten thousand dollar fine. It sounds pretty tough but the reality is business has little to worry about.
The General Accounting Office says that there are an estimated two hundred thousand business employing illegal immigrants. In 1992, 1,000 businesses were fined; by 2000 that number dropped to 13.
Last year President Bush spent 791 million trying to keep illegal immigrants from crossing the border, on top of the money spent on fences and other technology. However, he spent only 20 million trying to catch those who did cross illegally.
There have been some high profile busts such as Wal-Mart and Tyson, but investigators say it is very difficult to prove these businesses knew they were hiring illegal help because as lawyers point out the documents are pretty good and businesses are often caught between a rock and a hard place as employers have a duty not to discriminate against those who do have lawful documents.
Others say this is hogwash because companies know who works for them but need the cheap labor so they won’t seek these people out. They say it is almost a don’t ask, don’t tell. Immigration reform advocates say the “the technology is out there but we don’t use it because we choose not to know. Employers want to go on hiring these people with the excuse that “the documents looked good to me.”
Truly it is part of the national ambivalence that says on one hand we need cheap labor but on the other hand these people are breaking the law and should be punished. But if the federal government was intent on rounding these people up they could go to any home improvement store in Southern California and do so.
They don’t, so clearly the want is not there.
U.S. officials confirm that among the documents obtained from Saddam Hussein at the time of his capture was a directive from Hussein to his loyal followers for them not to join forces with foreign Arab fighters which may be coming across the border to fight coalition forces in Iraq.
This directive appears to be authentic according to officials. It was essentially a strict warning from Hussein to his loyalists not to get too close to Islamic Jihadists entering Iraq. With this document and other evidence officials have essentially determined Hussein believed foreign Arab fighters were eager for a holy war against the west while his Baath party was eager to return to power.
Critics are saying this document shows how thin the relationship between Hussein and Al Qaeda really was. Officials stand by their earlier characterization of that relationship due to the meetings they have logged between the two groups. They do concede that the document appears to show Al Qaeda fighters were not the means by which Hussein wanted to fight the coalition.
U.S. Commanders have told Fox that they believe very few foreign fighters are behind recent attacks in Iraq and that this document supports this fact. The numbers vary but officials suspect only a few hundred foreigners are in Iraq fighting the coalition. Commanders think suicide bombers may be foreigners because Iraqi’s don’t want that job.
The tie between the two groups as far as planning is still unclear this document does show that Hussein didn’t want radical Islamics running the show. Senior Defense Officials point out that this document may not have even made it out of Hussein’s hole; it just shows that he wanted some control over the regime’s attacks against the coalition.
Experimental Cell Demographics