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Top of the News

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The latest headlines.

MIKE PESCA, host:

Welcome back to the Bryant Park Project from NPR News. We're on digital, FM, Sirius Satellite Radio, online at npr.org/bryantpark. We're always on time and under budget. I'm Mike Pesca. Coming up, movies with Daniel Holloway, but first, let's get the latest news headlines from the BPP's Mark Garrison.

BILL WOLFF: This is NPR.

(Soundbite of music)

MARK GARRISON: Thank you, Mike. It's another day of catch-and-release campaigning in a troubled African nation. Police detained Zimbabwe's opposition presidential candidate again today. They let him go after two hours. He was also detained earlier this week. That runoff election is set for June 27th.

The Air Force secretary and its top general are out. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is angry at problems with security of nuclear weapons. NPR's Tom Bowman has more.

TOM BOWMAN: Gates says the Air Force has declining standards when it comes to its nuclear weapons. That assessment comes from a classified report by a Navy admiral criticizing how the Air Force maintains its nuclear weapons. One source called it "pretty damning." Sources say the report chided the Air Force for not having a senior person overseeing its nuclear weapons and for losing focus on maintaining the arsenal. Several other generals are said to be criticized in the report. Gates asked for the report after an Air Force mishap. Fuses used to trigger nuclear ballistic missiles were mistakenly sent to Taiwan in 2006 and discovered only in March. Last year, another incident when 52 pilots accidentally ferried six nuclear warheads across the United States.

GARRISON: NPR's Tom Bowman reporting from the Pentagon. After a long legal fight, Blackwater's California's training grounds are now open. The military contractor had to sue local officials to open it. The company has drawn criticism for its work in Iraq. It says lawmakers who tried to stop the facility were playing politics.

Five men accused of planning the 9/11 attacks were arraigned in a Guantanamo Bay courtroom yesterday. NPR's Jackie Northam was there.

JACKIE NORTHAM: Military officials say it's the first time all five men have been together since their individual arrests at least five years ago. Before court began, the men were laughing and gesticulating, and continued to talk to each other while the arraignment was going on, at times, offering advice to each other, particularly when it came to the issue of self-representation. Each of the five prisoners wants to represent himself, but some agreed to keep military or civilian lawyers on as advisers. The judge deferred making a decision in other cases over concerns of whether the prisoner is competent.

GARRISON: NPR's Jackie Northam reporting from Guantanamo Bay. And high schoolers in Pennsylvania had an actual senior at their senior prom last night. Eighty-three-year-old World War II veteran Kenneth Smith never got to go to his prom. He was drafted in 1943. So last night he put on a tux and took a limo to the dance. He says it's not just for him, but for other GIs who never got to go to their proms. That is your news for the moment. It's always online at npr.org.

WOLFF: This is NPR.

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