RACHEL MARTIN, host:
Hey, good morning everyone.
Tough talk on Iran is expected today from Washington. The Bush administration has accused an elite branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard of being a terrorist organization. And today, administration officials will argue for putting sanctions on Iran.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson are scheduled to deliver the announcement today. They're expected to accuse the Revolutionary Guard of spreading weapons of mass destruction. According to The Washington Post, this would be the broadest set of punitive measures against Iran since the 1979 hostage crisis, and the first time the U.S. has taken such measures against the armed forces of a sovereign country. U.S. officials have long accused Revolutionary Guard members of providing weapons to Shiite militias in Iraq, a charge Iran continuously denies.
And a top official with the U.S. State Department has resigned amidst scrutiny of the use of private security firms in Iraq. Richard Griffin, the head of diplomatic security for the State Department, delivered his resignation letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday. Griffin, who has worked for the State Department for 36 years, gave no explanation, but it came just one day after a study commissioned by Secretary Rice found serious lapses in the department's handling of private security firms operating in Iraq. Griffin headed up the office that hires agencies like Blackwater USA and others, and oversees their work in Iraq.
In the wake of the September shooting in Baghdad involving Blackwater, the State Department this week ordered new rules for private guards hired to protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq.
And it was an historic flight. The world's biggest jumbo jet landed safely in Sydney, Australia, today, ending its first commercial flight from Singapore. The Singapore Airlines' Airbus A380 super jumbo emerged from low-laying clouds to touch down on time in Sydney. Here's a bit of audio from the landing from CNN.
(Soundbite of recording)
Unidentified Man #2: Caller 791. That runway three called it. Threshold wind is zero, five, zero degrees at one, zero knots. Clear to land.
MARTIN: The 455 passengers bid for tickets on the inaugural flight as part of a charity auction, and they went for up to $100,000. The new plane boasts two passenger decks and first-class suites with proper beds. The aircraft returns to Singapore tomorrow. Singapore Airlines is expected to take delivery of another five of these flying cruise ships in 2008.
And in case you haven't heard, game one of the World Series was last night in Boston, and the Red Sox used their hometown advantage to crush the Colorado Rockies 13 to 1. The Sox set the record for run scored in a series opener, and the loss brought the Rockies' 10-game winning streak to a definitive end. The Rockies will try to turn things around tonight in game two.
That's the news. It's always online at npr.org.
Unidentified Man: This is NPR.
PESCA: Thank you, Rachel.
MARTIN: I almost forgot who was sitting in the chair. Mike, it's you.
PESCA: What did you call me? Call me…
MARTIN: Sorry. I don't want to call you Luke. Mike and Alison, back to you.
STEWART: Rachel Martin, thank you.
PESCA: I'm just thinking that the people who bid on that jumbo jet…
PESCA: Do you think they used Priceline? Do you think it got kicked back to them and they're like, all right, just 700 seats or above…
STEWART: They saw a special in travelcity.com…
(Soundbite of laughter)
STEWART: …is what it was.
PESCA: All right. I didn't get the jet, but I got a nice booking at a Motel 6.
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