Top Of The News The latest headlines.

Top Of The News

Top Of The News

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The latest headlines.


Welcome back to the Bryant Park Project from NPR News. We're on digital, FM, Sirius Satellite Radio, online at, and generally speaking, on the up and up. I'm Mike Pesca. Coming up, history unzipped...

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PESCA: From Napoleon to JFK. How was my...

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PESCA: That was my zip sound effect, sorry. But first, let's get the latest news headlines from the BPP's Mark Garrison.


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MARK GARRISON: Thank you, Mike. A bizarre attack rocks Jerusalem today. A Palestinian man rammed a bulldozer into a string of vehicles on a crowded street. At least two are dead and many more injured. Several cars were flattened and buses damaged or flipped over. An off-duty soldier shot and killed the attacker.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is facing increased pressure from African leaders. The African Union summit approved a resolution, calling on him to negotiate with the opposition party. The BBC's Martin Plaut has more on the division between African leaders, on how tough to be.

MARTIN PLAUT: There were some African leaders who didn't want to have any kind of criticism of Robert Mugabe at all. There were others who, as you heard from the Botswanans, and frankly, from the Nigerians, wanted a very tough statement. So I suppose then, in a sense, this resolution splits the difference. But you know, they did express deep concern that the violence that have been inflicted on the people of Zimbabwe, although they didn't name who had actually inflicted it.

MARK GARRISON: The BBC's Martin Plaut reporting from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. That summit reconfirms South African President Thabo Mbeki as a mediator between Mugabe and the opposition. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai isn't happy about this. He's gone after Mbeki for not publicly criticizing Mugabe. Opposition leader Tsvangirai said today that Mugabe - that Mbeki alone, rather, isn't enough. He says there needs to be an African Union official involved or there won't be progress.

A fight over U.S-beef imports is now affecting South Korea's auto industry. The union is staging partial walkouts at Kia and Hyundai plants. They were angry about the president's decision to end the ban on American beef. The move has already sparked protests around the country over Mad Cow fears.

In the U.S., bad news for Starbucks fans. The coffee colossus will close 600 stores nationwide. Austin Jenkins of Northwest News Network has more.

AUSTIN JENKINS: The list of stores to be closed has not been made public, but Starbucks says most are newer stores that opened in the past couple of years. Sharon Zackfia is an analyst at Chicago-based William Blair & Company. She's also a Starbucks shareholder. She says the company, like many retailers, is feeling the pinch of the downturn in the economy.

Ms. SHARON ZACKFIA (Analyst, Retail and Hospitality Industries, William Blair & Company): You know, for Starbucks that frappuchino in the afternoon for their customers is an indulgence, and this is indulgence that a few less people are taking part of, when the gases are four dollars a gallon. It certainly doesn't seem to be something that Starbucks specific.

JENKINS: The store closures are a turning point for Starbucks after years of rapid expansion. In January, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz took over again as CEO and launched a major shakeup of the company.

GARRISON: Austin Jenkins of Northwest News Network reporting. Elsewhere in business news, Blockbuster is pulling its proposal to buy Circuit City. The movie rental chain said the deal doesn't make sense now. They're still - they'll still try to merge their business with selling electronics, but inside Blockbuster stores instead. The video-rental business has been tough lately. DVD-by-mail companies, like Netflix, are a part of the reason why.

A telegenic but misguided group of dolphins will spend the July 4th weekend near the Jersey Shore. The dolphins got lost and ended up in a river a couple of weeks ago. They've starred on local coverage ever since. Scientists think they made a wrong turn while chasing fish. There was concern that crowds and fireworks would be bad for the dolphins, but authorities decided chasing them out wasn't a good idea. So police will be on hand to keep partiers at a safe distance. That is the news for now. It is online all the time at

WOLFF: This is NPR.

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