Around the Nation

Around the Nation

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gates Says Second Carrier In Gulf Is a 'Reminder' to Iran

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said yesterday that the Navy has added a second aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.

Asked if the carrier move went hand in hand with rising Bush administration rhetoric against Iran, Gates said: "I don't see it as an escalation. I think it could be seen, though, as a reminder."

Gates said during a trip to Mexico City that the deployment of the second carrier to the gulf "has been planned for a long time." He declined to elaborate and provided no details about the deployment.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell later said the second carrier is expected to replace one scheduled to leave the gulf in two days.

Man Freed After 27 Years in Prison

DALLAS -- A Dallas man who spent more than 27 years in prison for a murder he did not commit was freed Tuesday, after being cleared by DNA testing.

James Lee Woodard, cleared of the 1980 murder of his girlfriend, became the 18th person in Dallas County to have his conviction cast aside. No other wrongfully convicted U.S. inmate had served a longer incarceration.

"No words can express what a tragic story yours is," state District Judge Mark Stoltz told Woodard at a brief hearing before his release.

Billions in Overruns Cited in Tank Program

Poor management by the Defense Department and General Dynamics Corp. has led to billions of dollars in overruns and years of delays for a key Marine Corps tank program, a congressional panel said. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform found that major development flaws have pushed up the cost of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program by 168 percent per tank and have pushed the production deadline back by eight years.

Franken to Pay Back Income Taxes

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Senate candidate Al Franken says he will pay about $70,000 in back income taxes in 17 states going back to 2003. Republicans have attacked the Minnesota Democrat for not filing tax returns in California for several years when the comedian-turned-candidate earned money there. Franken says that he paid his entire income tax bill to the city and state in which he lived.

-- From News Services

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