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Hey, thank you for joining the Bryant Park Project from NPR News. However you listen to us, we love it, whether that be digital, FM, Sirius Satellite Radio, or online at npr.org/bryantpark. I'm Alison Stewart, and coming up, the third stage of grief, bargaining, as we work our way through our last week. Right now, though, we're going to get some headlines from the BPP's Mark Garrison.
BILL WOLFF: This is NPR.
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MARK GARRISON: Thanks, Alison. At Guantanamo Naval Base, the first war-crimes trial since World War II is underway. On trial, a man the U.S. says was Osama bin Laden's personal driver. NPR's John McChesney was there for opening arguments.
JOHN MCCHESNEY: The prosecutor opened by saying that Salim Hamdan, the accused, knew the target of the first hijacked plane. Navy Lieutenant Commander Timothy Stone said that Hamdan heard bin Laden say the plane was headed for the dome, a reference, Stone said, to the U.S. Capitol building. The plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field. Stone said Hamdan was one of the few who knew the destination.
Defense lawyer Harry Schneider told a jury panel that Hamdan was just a low-level salary man who needed a job. Prosecutors also presented a witness who said the car driven by Hamdan was carrying two surface-to-air missiles. But under cross examination, he acknowledged he wasn't certain which car Hamdan was driving when apprehended. Hamdan faces a maximum life sentence if convicted. The trial could take two or three weeks.
GARRISON: NPR's John McChesney reporting from Guantanamo. Before terrorism was a household word, piracy scared people. Pirates haven't gone away. They are just more high-tech now. They stormed a cargo ship off the coast of Somalia. Its Philippino sailors are now hostages. Africa's waters are a hotspot for pirates, especially off the coast of Somalia and Nigeria. The Philippine government says it will not pay a ransom.
Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama, is wrapping up his Middle East tour. He's in Israel today, meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Obama will speak in Germany on Thursday. His Republican challenger, John McCain, is on American soil, but still plenty of talk about what happens overseas, namely Iraq. Both candidates have different ideas about how and when American troops should leave. New Hampshire Public Radio's Josh Rogers is covering McCain's visit to that state.
JOSH ROGERS: John McCain didn't spell out the terms of any possible withdrawal during a town hall meeting in Rochester, but he did stress that the troops would return home in what he termed, honor and victory.
Senator JOHN MCCAIN (Republican, Arizona; 2008 Presumptive Republican Presidential Nominee): Everybody recognizes, including Prime Minister Maliki, that we have to have conditions phase withdrawal. If we all - we are going to withdraw. We will withdraw. The fact is whether we withdraw in victory or whether we withdraw in defeat.
ROGERS: McCain attacked Barack Obama's Iraq policy, saying Obama was wrong to oppose the troop surge and wrong to support a timetable for troop pullout. McCain also claimed Obama would choose to lose the war if it could win him the election.
GARRISON: New Hampshire Public Radio's Josh Rogers reporting. And that's the new for the moment. You can get more online at npr.org.
WOLFF: This is NPR.
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