Top of the News
BILL WOLFF: This is NPR.
(Soundbite of music)
MATT MARTINEZ: Thanks, Mike. The president is in Iowa today to survey damage from the floodwaters there. Mr. Bush is asking for two billion dollars in aid for the areas. Parts of downtown Burlington, Iowa, are still underwater, but sandbagging has mostly stopped in that state. Meanwhile, officials with FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are continuing to survey flood damage in southern Wisconsin. Yesterday, five more counties there were declared disasters. The village of Gays Mills is considering picking up and moving all together. Here's more from Wisconsin Public Radio's Steve Roisum.
STEVE ROISUM: Residents of Gays Mills saw their second major flood in 10 months last week. A couple hundred people showed up at a public meeting Tuesday night. Village trustee, Pat Brockway, says most favored moving the community uphill to its industrial park. Brockway says voters could decide in the next two months whether the community of over 600 should move.
(Soundbite of interview)
Mr. PAT BROCKWAY (Village Trustee, Gays Mills, Wisconsin): We're going to put out a referendum, and put three of four different options out, we'll kind of come out with them, you know, and see which way the people want to go.
ROISUM: Brockway favors moving Gays Mills uphill. He says he'd rather watch the river go by instead of being flooded again.
MARTINEZ: Steve Roisum of Wisconsin Public Radio. The flooding along the Mississippi continues. Forecasters are predicting near-record crests from Quincy, Illinois, to Winfield, Missouri. A ceasefire is in effect between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. But last night, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned that the truce, was quote, "fragile and likely to be short-lived." And the Hamas armed wing issued a statement today saying it was ready to attack and, quote, "shake the Zionist entity if they do not abide by all the items of the calm."
A militant group in Nigeria launched an attack against an offshore oilrig today. The owner, Royal Dutch/Shell, has shut down production. The militant group is called the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta. Its goal is to force the federal government to send more industry oil profit to their areas. Word of the attack caused oil prices to rise in Asia over concerns about possible supply outages.
The parliament in Sweden approved a law that allows authorities to eavesdrop on all cross-border email and telephone traffic. NPR's Rob Gifford reports.
ROB GIFFORD: The law, which comes into effect in January, will give the Swedish government the most sweeping eavesdropping powers of any country in Europe. It gives Swedish defense officials the right to scan international phone calls, emails and faxes, for sensitive keywords without a court order. The law was passed narrowly in parliament, despite strong opposition. Hundreds of protesters gathered, handing out copies of George Orwell's novel, "1984," about a fictional, futuristic police state. The Swedish government rejects claims the law will give it unlimited powers to spy on its own citizens. Supporters argue the law will help prevent terrorist attacks.
MARTINEZ: NPR's Rob Gifford reporting from London. And a thief made off with 1,000 pounds of coffee beans on Hawaii's big island. The coffee was from the famous Kona region. Police are asking the public to report anyone trying to sell green coffee beans. Kona is some of the most expensive coffee in the world, some blends going for 35 bucks a pound. That's the news for now. The news is always online, all the time, at npr.org.
WOLFF: This is NPR.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.