National news in brief
EU, U.S. Say Deal Near on New GPS System
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- The European Union and United States said Wednesday they had resolved most of Washington's objections to Europe's plan to build a rival version of the U.S. global satellite navigation system.
In a joint statement following two days of talks in Brussels, the delegations said they reached agreement on "most of the overall principles" of cooperation between the U.S. Global Positioning System and the EU's planned competitor, dubbed Galileo.
"The few remaining outstanding issues ... concern primarily some legal and procedural aspects," the statement said, adding that work would continue "diligently" to resolve them.
The EU hopes to have the 3.6 billion euro ($4.5 billion) satellite system operational in 2008. But it has come close to crashing several times because of costs and clashes with the United States, which feared it could interfere with GPS signals.
Wednesday's statement said areas where agreement was reached include confirmation of interoperability and commitment to preserve national security capabilities.
Stewart Lawyers to Give Closing Arguments
(AP) -- Lawyers in the Martha Stewart trial will deliver their closing arguments early next week, and 12 jurors will begin deciding the fate of the celebrity homemaker Wednesday morning.
U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum set the schedule after Stewart's lawyers presented a defense that took less than an hour -- and did not include an appearance on the witness stand by Stewart herself.
The only witness on Stewart's behalf Wednesday was Steven Pearl, a lawyer who took notes in her Feb. 4, 2002, interview with federal prosecutors and securities regulators.
The government claims Stewart lied repeatedly that day, including saying she did not know whether there was a record that stockbroker Peter Bacanovic had left her a message on Dec. 27, 2001, the day she sold ImClone Systems stock.
But Pearl's scribbled notes show Stewart may have been responding instead to a question about what time Bacanovic called her that day.
Under cross-examination by prosecutors, Pearl admitted that his notes were incomplete and that there may have been a question about the message log he did not write down.
Referring to his notes and a memo he prepared after the interview, Pearl said: "Neither one is a verbatim transcript." House panel to hear from broadcast executives about indecency
(AP) -- On the eve of a House hearing on broadcast indecency, the nation's largest radio station chain suspended shock jock Howard Stern's show, saying it did not meet the company's newly revised programming standards.
Stern expressed a measure of frustration on his show Thursday, which is still being carried on stations owned by the rival radio network that distributes his show to major city markets nationwide.
"I'm not even sure I should talk about it," he said near the beginning of his show.
"I could blow my stack. ... I'm trying to be cryptic," he said later. "To tell you the truth, I don't know what's going on. I don't even know what's going on. ... They are so afraid of me and what this show represents. ...
"The thing I just don't like about Clear Channel (NYSE: CCU) being forced to suspend me, it makes it seem like I did something wrong on Tuesday. ... They are being forced to say that I did something wrong. ... A caller called in and used the `n' word, and I hung up on him. ... I'm so tired of this."