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Weekly News Wrap - Chavez, Imus, Iran, the CIA and more

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Take a delicious bite of the New Times' weekly news wrap, and get everything you need to know in one spot. Because knowing is half the battle...

1. Referendum voted down by Venezuelan people – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez proposed a referendum that would have given him more power. Bu by a narrow 51 to 49 percent margin the referendum was defeated. Chavez conceded defeat.

2. Intelligence report says that Iran stopped its nuclear program – The National Intelligence estimate, which was released on Monday, said that Iran had stopped its covert nuclear program in 2003. Bush insists that Iran is still a threat and that the existence of the program is proof.

3. Republican party to hold debate, translated into Spanish – The Republican Party hopes to gain some of the Hispanic vote through their debate on Sunday which will be translated into Spanish. This is a first for the Republicans. Univision will host the debate at the University of Miami.

4. Mortgage plan won’t help South Floridians – Bush’s program to freeze mortgage interest rates, an attempt to slow the mortgage crisis, won’t help a lot of people in South Florida because to qualify a person has to be current on their mortgage payments. Most people are 90 days late on the house payments.

5. Marlins trade Cabrera and Willis – The Florida Marlins sealed a deal that would trade Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis for six players from the Detroit Tigers. A lot of focus is on Andrew Miller, and Cameron Maybin, who are said to be top prospects.

6. Art Basel – Art Basel, the biggest art bash in the world, began on Thursday and will continue until this Sunday. Art galleries and satellite fairs abound.

7. Imus returns to radio – Don Imus returned to radio at six a.m. Monday on WABC-AM. His show will now feature two black comedians, Karith Foster and Tony Powell. Imus promised that he will not do anything that will cause regret for putting him back on the air.

8. Writers encounter stumbling block during talks – Negotiations to end the writers strike continue, but issues concerning reality television writers and animation and how it plays into the new contracts have arisen.

9. CIA destroys interrogation tapes – The Central Intelligence Agency stated that they destroyed tapes of the harsh interrogations of two al-Qaeda suspects. The tapes were meant to be a check against the interrogators and to capture any confessions the suspects made. The CIA destroyed the tapes after they said that they didn’t have tapes of interrogations to a federal judge in connection with the case against Zacarias Moussaoui, an al-Qaeda operative.

10. Omaha gunman appears to have concealed weapon in clothing – Authorities are saying that Robert A. Hawkins, the teenager who went on a shooting spree in an Omaha mall, might have gotten past security by hiding the assault rifle in his sweatshirt.

-- Elvis Ramirez

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