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Top of the News

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The latest news headlines.

BILL WOLFF (Announcer): This is NPR.

(Soundbite of music)

RACHEL MARTIN: Thank you, Bill.

Good morning, everyone.

Another major opposition lawmaker in Kenya has been killed, exacerbating the political and ethnic violence in that country. Reports say that lawmaker David Too of the Orange Democratic Movement, or ODM, was shot by police at a roadblock. Another opposition leader, Mugabe Were, was fatally shot Tuesday as he drove to his house in suburban Nairobi.

The ODM party has accused Kenya's president, Mwai Kibaki, of stealing the presidential vote in last December's election. The disputed poll has triggered mass violence around the country. More than 800 people have been killed and thousands run out of their homes.

Stay with us. Bill and Alison will talk with a journalist on the ground in Kenya for an update of the situation there.

A multitrillion dollar class-action lawsuit on behalf of New Orleans residents, government agencies there and businesses, has been thrown out by a federal judge. The lawsuit charged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was responsible for a levee breach that led to much of the flooding of the city following Hurricane Katrina.

NPR's Carrie Kahn is in New Orleans.

CARRIE KAHN: U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval ruled Wednesday that the Army Corps of Engineers protected from such lawsuits because of an 80-year-old law immunizing the federal government on flood control projects like levees break.

Nearly 350,000 claims in New Orleans have been filed, charging that the Army Corps of Engineers was responsible for a breach in the main levee in the city. The lawsuit is one of two filed on behalf of hundreds of thousands of residents and businesses.

In his ruling, the judge said he was forced by law to reject the lawsuit, but pending stinging rebuke of the agency for squandering millions of dollars on the levee system that was known to be inadequate. Lawyers for the plaintiff say they will appeal.

MARTIN: NPR's Carrie Kahn reporting there.

And a California slaughterhouse has fired two employees after the Department of Agriculture launched an investigation yesterday into whether the plant used inhumane tactics to get sick cows on the marketplace. The investigation was triggered by an undercover video released by the Humane Society.

(Soundbite of cows mooing)

MARTIN: Here, employees are shown using electric prods to get sick animals on their feet, or forklifts or chains to move the cows down a ramp to be slaughtered.

The Humane Society alleges that the sick cows were then slaughtered for food that then made its way into student lunches around the country.

The slaughterhouse has partnered up with Westland Meat Company of Chino, California.

Yesterday, the U.S. secretary of agriculture suspended the company's participation in the Federal Student Lunch Program.

The president of Westland issued a statement in response to the video and investigation, saying we are shocked and sickened by what we've seen, and operations have been suspended pending the investigation.

That is the news. It is always online at npr.org.

WOLFF: This is NPR.

MARTIN: Alison and Bill.

STEWART: Thank you, Rachel.

MARTIN: You're welcome.

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