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Top News Stories 2008-04-25 07:03:45

Front Page: Not Guilty in Bell Case, al-Sadr Calls Truce, Syria Secret Nuclear Program

  • Not Guilty in Bell Case: Three New York City police officers have just been found innocent of all charges in the shooting death of an unarmed black man, Sean Bell, who was killed by 50 bullets on his wedding day. Bell, 23, was shot along with two friends, after a bachelor party at a strip club in November 2006. The case has generated outrage in New York's black community. A New York State Supreme Court judge cleared two officers of manslaughter and other charges and a third of reckless endangerment in the death.

  • al-Sadr Calls Truce: Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr this morning called for an end to fighting between his militia and Iraqi troops. al-Sadr declared that his threat of an "open war" will be carried out only on US-led foreign forces. al-Sadr urged Iraqi soldiers and policemen "not to support the occupiers in combating your brothers." In other Iraq news, the largest Sunni bloc has just agreed to return to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s cabinet after a boycott of almost a year. A recently passed amnesty law and the government’s crackdown on Shiite militias were cited as reasons for the move.
  • Syria Secret Nuclear Program: The United States has accused North Korea of helping Syria build a nuclear reactor that "was not intended for peaceful purposes." The US released photographs it said linked North Korea to a plutonium-producing reactor under construction in Syria. The accusation was an effort to put pressure on Pyongyang to come clean about proliferating nuclear technology. Though the accusations are not expected to derail international talks aimed at ending the communist state's own nuclear arms program, Japan is concerned saying, "of course, if North Korea was helping Syria's secret. . . nuclear activities, then this is a serious issue."
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