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Top of the News

Top of the News

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RACHEL MARTIN, host:

Hey, welcome back to the Bryant Park Project from NPR News. You know, we're in all the corners of your news universe, digital, FM, Sirius Satellite Radio, and online at npr.org/bryantpark. I'm Rachel Martin.

ALISON STEWART, host:

And I'm Alison Stewart. Coming up on the show, our Assisted Listen series continues with Erykah Badu's new album. Sasha Frere-Jones from the New Yorker is here to sit and explain, because it does need a little bit of explaining.

MARTIN: Little bit of explaining.

STEWART: Yeah, great record, but thick, textured, dense. First, let's get some news headlines.

BILL WOLFF: This is NPR.

MARTIN: Zimbabwe's troubled election is headed for a recount. Election officials said Sunday they'll recount votes from 23 districts. In all but one, the opposition party beat the ruling party of President Robert Mugabe. The opposition won control of parliament in the March 29th vote. Presidential results have been kept secret.

If enough results are overturned, the ruling party will keep control of parliament. The opposition party went to court to stop the recount. They say the government wants to rig the results. Zimbabwe's high court is due to rule today on whether it should release the presidential numbers.

Thirteen hundred Iraqi soldiers and police are now out of a job. The government fired them over the weekend for deserting or refusing to fight last month in Basra. The government launched a major campaign against Shiite militias there. Many government fighters dropped their weapons and just left. At the time, the government took harsh criticism of their battle plans.

Beijing is cracking down on pollution. The city wants to clean the air ahead of the Olympic Games. The city's environmental cops say they plan to scale back construction starting in July. Heavy polluting industries must cut emissions by 30 percent. The upcoming Games have focused criticism on China for a variety of reasons, including repression in Tibet, ties to Sudan, and other human rights issues.

Meanwhile, Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama denies Chinese government claims that he's behind the recent turmoil in Tibet. He tells NPR that he regrets that the Chinese people don't have a reliable source of information about him.

(Soundbite of interview)

THE DALAI LAMA: One sadness is millions of Chinese, those innocent Chinese who have no other way to access the information, totally are relying on government information.

MARTIN: NPR spoke to the Dalai Lama from Seattle where he is attending a conference there. More of that interview at npr.org. And "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling is going to court today. Rowling will testify in a New York courtroom in hopes of blocking the publication of an encyclopedia about the "Harry Potter" series. She sued the creator of a popular website after he announced plans to turn it into a book. The site is an index of spells, potions, characters, and history from the fantasy series. Rowling has linked to the site in the past, but says using the content to sell books violates her copyright.

(Soundbite of movie "Prom Night")

Unidentified Woman: Leave me alone!

MARTIN: Yup, that's all it takes to be number one movie at the box office. Last weekend, slasher-film remake "Prom Night" raked in 22.7 million dollars in its debut over the weekend. "Street Kings," a cop drama with Forest Whitaker and Keanu Reeves, opened in second place with 12 million dollars. And "21" filled the third, taking in 11 million. That's the news. It's always online at npr.org.

WOLFF: This is NPR.

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