Top Of The News

The latest headlines.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


Welcome back to the Bryant Park Project from NPR News. We're on digital FM, Sirius Satellite Radio, online at, and on the wings of eagles. I'm Mike Pesca. Coming up, the most-viewed and read stories on the Internet, The Most. But first, let's get the latest news headlines from the BPP's Mark Garrison.


(Soundbite of music)

MARK GARRISON: Thank you, Mike. It took a long time, but Israel finally gets to bury its dead today, funerals for two soldiers kidnapped by Lebanese guerrillas in 2006. Their remains came home as part of a deal with Hezbollah. For returning them, Hezbollah got five prisoners back, as well as the bodies of many more slain fighters. NPR's Ivan Watson is in Beirut.

IVAN WATSON: Israel has handed over the bodies of nearly 200 Lebanese and Palestinian fighters killed during decades of conflicts. Some of them were killed battling Israel long before Hezbollah was even created. Lebanese media has showed black-and-white photos of some of the more famous fighters whose bodies have been returned. The Shiite movement is claiming victory over its archenemy, Israel, with this prisoner exchange. Yesterday, Hezbollah organized huge celebrations to welcome home five Lebanese militants who were also released as part of the prisoner swap.

MARK GARRISON: NPR's Ivan Watson reporting from Beirut. The corruption probe of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert enters a critical phase today. His lawyers cross-examined an American businessman who says that Olmert accepted a lot of his cash. Police suspect bribery. Olmert denies wrongdoing. He says he'll resign if he's indicted.

There's a high ranking U.S. diplomat meeting with Iran this weekend. That doesn't happen every day, but the administration says it doesn't mean they're changing their view of Iran. The international talks cover possible incentives for Iran if it stops enriching uranium. Here's NPR's Paul Brown.

PAUL BROWN: Undersecretary of State William Burns will attend the meeting in Geneva on Saturday. The U.S. has rejected direct contacts with Iranian diplomats unless Iran first stops enriching nuclear fuel. So, Burns' presence this weekend is widely seen as a shift for the Bush administration. But State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, says there's a more important point.

Mr. SEAN MCCORMACK (Spokesman, U.S. Department of State): It sends a strong signal to our partners. It sends a strong signal to the world. It sends a strong signal to the Iranian government that the United States is committed to diplomacy, to finding a diplomatic solution to this issue.

BROWN: McCormack says there's no change in the substance. He says the U.S. still wants Iran to abandon nuclear activities and won't negotiate directly with Iran unless it stops enriching uranium.

GARRISON: NPR's Paul brown with that story. And that is your news for now. More online at

WOLFF: This is NPR.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.