SADDAM EXECUTED: Ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has been executed for committing crimes against humanity. He was hanged just before dawn today (Saturday) in Baghdad, four days after Iraq's high court turned down his appeal. The 69-year-old former dictator had been sentenced to death November fifth for ordering the killing of 148 Shi'ite villagers in 1982 following a failed assassination attempt on Saddam. Iraqi television has broadcast video of the hanging, showing several masked men walking a shackled and handcuffed Saddam to the gallows, then placing a noose around his neck. Saddam, who refused to wear a hood over his head, appeared calm in the moments before his hanging.
SADDAM REACT: President Bush has called the execution of former Iraq i dictator Saddam Hussein an "important milestone" for Iraq on its path to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain and defend itself. Mr. Bush says Saddam's death marks the end of a difficult year for the Iraqi people, but warned it "will not halt the violence in Iraq." The president also noted the ousted dictator received a fair trial - something denied to Iraqis under Saddam's "tyrannical rule."
IRAQ: Iraqi officials say a car bomb in the southern city of Kufa has killed 31 people and wounded at least 58 others. The explosion occurred today (Saturday) in a crowded fish market as people shopped ahead of the the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday. Women and children are reported among the dead. Kufa is one of the holiest cities in Iraq for the country's majority Shi'ite Muslims. The car bombing happened just hours after former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was executed in Baghdad, but there is no indication it is related to his death.
GERALD FORD: The body of former U.S. President Gerald Ford will be flown to Washington today (Saturday) where it will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol. The late president's remains will arrive from Palm Desert, California, where it is lying in repose at the church he and his wife Betty attended. Thousands of people are expected to file past the flag-draped casket to pay their final respects to Mr. Ford, the 38th U.S. president who died Tuesday at the age of 93.
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