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Bhutto's Son to Lead Her Party
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Bhutto's Son to Lead Her Party

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Bhutto's Son to Lead Her Party

Bhutto's Son to Lead Her Party
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Bilawal Zardari, the son of Pakistan's assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, will chair his mother's Pakistan Pepole's Party. Meanwhile, a new video casts doubt on the official explanation that she died after hitting her head during a terrorist attack on her campaign. The nation's election commission will announce Tuesday whether the parliamentary elections scheduled for Jan. 8 will take place as planned.

BILL WOLFF (Announcer): From NPR News in New York, this is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT.

(Soundbite of music)

ALISON STEWART, host:

This is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News, your home for some news, information and New Year's greetings to some of our friends abroad. Happy New Year to everyone in Kamchatka, Russia. Yup, it just turned to be 2008 in downtown Kamchatka.

I'm Alison Stewart.

(Soundbite of song "All By Myself")

Mr. ERIC CARMEN (Singer): (Singing) All by myself. Don't wanna be all by myself…

STEWART: But I am. That's true. I'm hosting the show alone, steering the ship all by myself. It's Monday, December 31st, 2007, New Year's Eve. I guess everybody else got to jump on the big party tonight.

Last day of the year. Hey, reminder to you. If you want to make any sort of contributions to charity, today is the last day to do it to get in your tax return. Just like a little news you can use at the top of the show.

Hey, what else is coming up on the show today? We are going to have the latest from Pakistan - so much going on there. Benazir Bhutto's People's Party appointed her 19-year-old son as the head of the party. More details about that, as well as if and when the elections will happen.

We're also going to talk about this case about a man named Marty Tankleff. Now, he was a boy when he was convicted of killing his parents. He spent 18 years in prison. He claimed he was innocent the whole time. Late last week, let out of jail because an appellate court said the evidence used to convict him might have been faulty, and there was a presentation of new evidence that may be someone else was involved. We will talk to Marty Tankleff's attorney about how he's doing and what's next for his client.

And you - believe it or not, game on in Iowa this week, the Iowa caucus happening at the end of the week. Can you imagine what it's like for the candidates running for president? We'll talk to Politico's Jim Vandehei about what's going on in Iowa right now.

Well, also, I won't be by myself for too much longer. They've promised me in about 45 minutes that two Canadian Mounties are going to come up to the studio, apparently. I hope they're wearing their outfits.

We also have a little - a BRYANT PARK PROJECT New Year's tradition. We'll explain why the Mounties are actually in New York City.

We'll also have the BPP's Laura Conaway with the headlines in just a minute.

But first, we do want to get you the BPP's Big Story.

(Soundbite of music)

STEWART: Big news is expected from Pakistan, as the country remains in turmoil after last week's assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Pakistan's Central Election Commission will announce tomorrow if the parliamentary elections scheduled for January 8th will go on as planned.

And the big news from the weekend, Bhutto's political party has picked her successor, and new video footages are raising questions about the official explanation of what killed her.

(Soundbite of crowd noise)

(Soundbite of gunshots, explosion)

STEWART: That is audio from video obtained by NBC from Britain's Channel 4 News, where you can actually see Benazir Bhutto's head and scarf move as those three gunshots go off. The footage is leading at least one expert to conclude she was struck by those bullets. The new footage may contradict the Pakistan government official version of events. It says the gunman didn't kill Bhutto, but that she died after the suicide bomber detonated his explosives, causing her to hit her head on the sunroof of her car.

This, all of Bhutto's opposition group, the Pakistan People's Party, selected her 19-year-old son, Bilawal Zardari, to take over as chairman.

Mr. BILAWAL ZARDARI (Appointed chairman, Pakistan People's Party): My mother always said democracy is the best revenge.

STEWART: Bilawal - excuse me - Bilawal's father, Benazir's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, has said he will lead the PPP while Bilawal finishes his undergraduate studies at Oxford.

That's the BPP's Big Story. Now here's Laura Conaway with even more news.

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