Imus Fired From CBS, Deadly Explosion Hits Iraqi Parliament In The MTV NewsFeed

Also: White House e-mail scandal grows; Army stints now three months longer due to Iraq troop surge.

Don Imus was fired from CBS Radio on Thursday (April 12), a day after the syndicated host's racially inflammatory led MSNBC to drop his show, The Associated Press reports. One of the nation's best-known broadcasters, Imus had initially been given a two-week suspension for referring to the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos" on his April 4 show, but the outrage has continued and advertisers have been backing out. "There has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society," CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said, announcing the decision. Stacey Brann, the Rutgers women's basketball team spokeswoman, said the team would issue a statement later Thursday. ...

An explosion inside a cafeteria in the Iraqi parliament building in Baghdad Thursday (April 12) killed eight people, including two lawmakers — one a Sunni, the other a Shiite — and wounded 20, in a serious breach of security in the heavily fortified Green Zone, CNN reports. According to a New York Times account, it was unclear if the blast was caused by a suicide bomber or a bomb that had been planted in one of the most heavily guarded buildings inside the Green Zone. Either way, it was a setback for the American military two months into a new security plan in Baghdad intended to make the streets of the capital safer — the bomber would, in theory, have had to go through at least six checkpoints to reach the site of the bombing. ...

Most active-duty Army units serving in Iraq and Afghanistan (and those on their way) can expect 15-month tours of duty — three months longer than the standard one-year stint — the military announced on Wednesday. According to The New York Times, President Bush's recent troop surge in Iraq made the increase inevitable. Democrats and outside military experts said the move could damage morale and possibly undermine recruiting in the future. ...

The slowly unfolding scandal about the private White House e-mail system took another turn on Wednesday when the administration revealed that it may have lost potentially thousands of messages sent through the system used by political consultant Karl Rove and at least 50 other top officials. The Los Angeles Times reported that the e-mails are considered to be potentially crucial evidence in inquiries launched by Congressional Democrats into what role partisan politics may have played in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. In a rare admission of guilt, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said, "The White House has not done a good enough job overseeing staff using political e-mail accounts to assure compliance with the Presidential Records Act," in a teleconference with reporters on Wednesday. He declined to estimate how many e-mails might have been lost, but the system, which was operated and funded by the Republican National Committee, was used by dozens of officials for more than six years. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy responded by suggesting that Bush's aides are lying about the e-mails, according to AP. "They say they have not been preserved. I don't believe that!" the Democrat said on the Senate floor. "You can't erase e-mails, not today. They've gone through too many servers. Those e-mails are there, they just don't want to produce them. We'll subpoena them if necessary." ...

You'd think by now that presidential candidates would know better, but on Tuesday, Republican hopeful Rudy Giuliani was tripped up by the oldest trick in the book: the price of milk. Campaigning in Alabama, the former New York mayor was asked the cost of basic groceries — and cited prices that might have been accurate 20 years ago. According to a USA Today story, Giuliani, running as a fiscal conservative, pegged the cost of a gallon of milk at $1.50 and a loaf of bread at $1.25, while a check of the Web site of a New York grocery story listed them as $4.19 and $2.99-$3.99, respectively. He was closer when asked the average price of a gallon of gasoline: "Gas, I think, is $2.89." ...

Despite a veto threat from President Bush, the Senate voted Wednesday to ease restrictions on federal funding for some embryonic stem-cell research. A previous stem-cell bill earned the only veto to date of Bush's presidency and, the Boston Herald reported that the 63-34 vote was just shy of the 2-to-1 margin needed to pass the measure over presidential opposition. Bush said the Senate bill "crosses a moral line that I and many others find troubling. If it advances all the way through Congress to my desk, I will veto it."

[This story was originally published at 11:40 a.m. ET on 04.12.2007]