Annapolis Peace Conference Begins

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The meeting in Maryland will be the first Israeli-Palestinian talks in seven years.

BILL WOLFF (Announcer): This is NPR.


Thanks, guys. And good morning, everyone.

Officials from more than 40 nations are in Annapolis, Maryland, today. The goal: the start of the first Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in seven years.

President Bush spoke to the gathering last night.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: We've come together this week because we share a common goal: two democratic states - Israel and Palestine - living side by side in peace and security.

MARTINEZ: But major obstacles are ahead for the envoys. Some Arab diplomats are reluctantly attending. Saudi Arabia's foreign minister is only doing so on the condition that he doesn't have to shake hands with Israelis.

We've talked with somebody who has been there and done that - former Israeli Ambassador Uri Savir. That's coming up later on in the show.

The U.S. military is reporting that two people are dead after American troops fired on a mini bus in Baghdad. The bus drove into an area limited to cars. The U.S. says the driver ignored a warning shot. Iraqi officials are saying the number of the dead is higher, as many as four.

Doctors performed a heart procedure on Vice President Dick Cheney yesterday. Doctors say he's back to normal, though. Doctors at George Washington University Hospital shocked the VP's heart. Doctors spotted the condition while doing a check-up at the White House for a lingering cough from a cold. And the vice president is back at work.

Steve Fossett's wife says she wants him declared dead. She says it's time. She's asking a Chicago area court for the declaration. Peggy Fossett says she believes her millionaire-adventurer husband was killed in a plane crash in September. The 63-year-old Fossett disappeared September 3rd after taking off in a single-engine plane from a Nevada airstrip.

Michael Vick's lawyers will go before a Virginia judge today to set a trial date on state dog fighting charges. Vick won't attend the hearing. He's already in jail, though, after pleading guilty to federal dog fighting conspiracy counts. His lawyers say they'll fight the state charges on grounds that Vick can't be convicted of the same crime twice.

And finally, nearly 80 officers were injured as rampaging youths hurled fire bombs and set cars ablaze in Paris. Police also say they were shot at. A police union official says officers are facing genuine urban guerillas. The rioting started after two teens were killed in a crash with a police car on Sunday. People say officers left the scene without helping the teens after their motorbike collided with the car.

The news is always online at

WOLFF: This is NPR.

MARTINEZ: Rachel and Alison, right back to you.

STEWART: Thanks, Matt.

MARTINEZ: You're welcome.

MARTIN: Thanks, Matt.

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