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Top of the News

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The latest headlines.

BILL WOLFF (Announcer): This is NPR.

KORVA COLEMAN: And hello again, everybody. Happy to talk to you. I just want to let you know that the Washington Post reports CIA director Michael Hayden believes the Taliban and members of al-Qaida assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The agency says the Taliban leader helped plan the murder. Bhutto was killed as she campaigned for her political party last month. Her assassination has so rattled Pakistan Pakistani leaders postponed parliamentary elections until next month.

Hollywood directors have settled their disagreement with producers and reached a tentative contract.

Reporter Rosalie Fox says the most difficult issue - how to pay for material that's put on the Internet - seems to have been settled.

Ms. ROSALIE FOX (Entertainment Correspondent, Associated Press): The agreement between studios and directors includes payment for programs offered on the Internet. That's been a big sticking point between studios and striking writers and this new deal with directors puts pressure on writers to end their walkout, which has lasted more than two months and shut down dozens of TV shows.

COLEMAN: The tentative directors' contract would run for three years. Hollywood studios say they hope the proposed deal will lead to the end of an extremely difficult period for their industry.

It's getting harder to find goods in Zimbabwe. Runaway inflation has made it nearly impossible for people to buy goods.

The BBC's Peter Biles says the Zimbabwean government has now released its highest denomination banknote ever. The face value: 10 million Zimbabwean dollars.

Mr. PETER BILES (Ethiopia Correspondent, British Broadcasting Corporation): There had been long queues every day at banks as people have struggled to withdraw cash. The government's only response is to print more money. In the meantime, many people have become dependent upon imported goods. There are still severe shortages of fuel and power supplies remain erratic.

COLEMAN: The 10-million dollar Zimbabwean note is worth about 4 American dollars on the black market exchange rate. Economists say the decision to make the currency more expensive probably won't help for very long.

Five people have now died in Brazil from yellow fever. Brazilian health authorities say a sixth person is sick, but recovering in the hospital. Yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes. It is suspected as many as 20 people may actually have it now.

Folks are lining up at health clinics to get vaccinations. But there's a developing problem - one of the suppliers of the vaccine is having manufacturing problems.

Iceland Radio says former world chess champion Bobby Fischer has died. The grand master defeated Soviet star Boris Spassky to take the world title in 1972. Bobby Fischer also gained controversy. He made many anti-Semitic statements and accused U.S. authorities of hounding him.

An Ethiopian distance runner, Haile Gebrselassie, failed to set a new world record for the fastest marathon run ever. He raced the distance of two hours, four minutes and 53 seconds today, but he came in 27 seconds short of the mark and he lost out on a million-dollar price offered by the Dubai government. He only get to take home a quarter of a million dollars.

Stay tuned, Alison and Rachel, we'll talk to Robert Johnson, a coach at Cornell University and co-founder of Letsrun.com about this attempt of the record.

Remember, the news is always online at npr.org.

WOLFF: This is NPR.

COLEMAN: Alison and Rachel, back to you.

STEWART: Thank you, Ma'am.

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