CIA Director to Testify
BILL WOLFF (Announcer): This is NPR.
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KORVA COLEMAN, host:
And hello, everyone.
Algerian authorities say at least 45 people have been killed in an explosion today in Algiers. Police say two powerful bombs went off in the Algerian capital, one of them near the country's Supreme Court, the other in a neighborhood where the United Nations refugee offices are located. Algerian radio says the blasts were about 10 minutes apart.
Suicide bombers have killed two policemen today in an attack on Iraqi politicians' homes. At least a dozen people were hurt. A powerful car bomb went off outside the home of former interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. The house belonging to the head of a small Sunni political group was also damaged.
Gunmen have also assassinated the chief of Iraq's biggest psychiatric hospital. Dr. Ibrahim Ajil was on his way home from work in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood when he was shot to death. Iraqi doctors have recently been targeted for assassination. The Iraqi health ministry says more than 600 medical employees have been killed since the Iraq War started in 2003.
CIA director Michael Hayden will appear behind closed doors today, in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He's to testify why the CIA destroyed videotapes of interrogation sessions with terrorism suspects. Hayden has insisted Congress was informed about the existence of the tapes and the plan to erase them. But his claim's contradicted by some lawmakers who say there is no evidence or testimony to support that.
The New York Times is reporting today CIA lawyers authorized the destruction of the tapes ahead of time. There have been calls for a special prosecutor to investigate. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino says the matter will be scrutinized.
Ms. DANA PERINO (Spokeswoman, White House): The Justice Department and the CIA have started a preliminary inquiry. We are supportive of that. We are in a fact-gathering stage, and we are providing them information.
COLEMAN: Colorado police have now identified a 24-year-old man from suburban Denver as the gunman they believe killed all four people in two church-related shootings this weekend. Matthew Murray apparently entered the offices of the Christian missionary group Youth With A Mission on Sunday and killed two people there. About 12 hours later, he apparently opened fire at the New Life Church, where the missionary group has a small office. Colorado Springs Police Sergeant Jeff Jensen says Murray appears to have had strong feelings about the missionary group.
Police Sergeant JEFF JENSEN (Colorado Springs Police): He did express his discontent. However, we're not at a point in the investigation that we can release what exactly he was expressing that he was upset about.
COLEMAN: Friends say Murray was raised in a deeply religious family and attended the youth missionary training school in 2002.
And the head coach of the pro-basketball team, the New York Knicks, has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit lodged by a former female team executive. Isiah Thomas and Madison Square Garden were ordered to pay more than $11 million in punitive damages to Anucha Browne Sanders for harassing her. She was actually going back to federal court to claim compensatory damages when the settlement was reached. Browne testified she was subjected to offensive insults and repeated sexual advances by Thomas. Thomas says he's innocent of the charges, but that this is the best course for Madison Square Garden.
Remember, the news is always online at npr.org.
WOLFF: This is NPR.
COLEMAN: Alison and Luke, back to you.
LUKE BURBANK, host:
Thank you very much, Korva.
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