Evening Newscasts Wrap: ABC News Political Unit

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ABC leads with an Islamic website showing another beheading. Pierre Thomas reports. NBC leads with new details about Babar, an Al Qaeda operative living in the U.S. Pete Williams reports. CBS leads with the hurricane season. Jim Acosta reports.


ABC's Jonathan Karl notes "the day's first attack came in Missouri from the Vice President suggesting John Kerry and John Edwards aren't fit to make decisions about national security." Cheney SOT. Also today, President Bush "hit Sen. Kerry for being unclear about what he'll do in Iraq." Bush SOT. Karl notes "the Bush/Cheney campaign is clearly playing the commander-in-chief card." While President Bush has been challenging Kerry over whether he voted to go to war, Sen. Kerry said that the still would have voted "to give the President the authority to go to war, but he would have used that authority differently." Kerry SOT from yesterday. "For the Bush campaign, the race comes down to a battle to define what kind of commander-in-chief John Kerry would be indecisive and the fervor of the attacks suggest Republicans are worried Kerry is gaining ground."


ABC's Dan Harris reports Kerry hit back today, taking "dead aim at the President's Medicare prescription drug benefit." Kerry SOT: "I proudly and I think rightly voted against this prescription drug bill that the President has put in place that hurts seniors in this country." President Bush has not mentioned his plan in ads or even in his stump today in Albuquerque. A new poll shows a large margin of Medicare recipients have an "unfavorable view of the program." The poll also shows that they want to legalize drug importation from Canada. The Bush campaign argues that Kerry is misleading seniors. They argue first, "there's no guarantee that drugs imported from Canada are safe, and second, the Medicare drug benefit has been the victim of a democratic misinformation campaign." Terry Holt SOT. In closing, Harris notes, "the problem for the President, is with fewer than three months left before the election, he doesn't have much time left to sell the plan."


NBC's David Gregory notes the southwest is "ground zero" for Hispanic voters. In Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado the air war has been going on for some time in attempt to target the "critical" Hispanic vote. Both campaigns have spent more money on television ads than during the 2000 campaign. In the 2000 election, Bush received 35 percent of the Hispanic vote. His advisors insist they must do better this time around. The Bush campaign is targeting first generation Hispanic voters who support "President Bush's conservative stance on abortion and gay marriage."


(Elizabeth Vargas substitutes)

1. Islamic website shows another beheading. (Pierre Thomas, Washington, D.C.) 2. The US military said it was planning a major offensive against militia loyal al Sadr in the holy city of Najaf. 3. President Bush and Vice President Cheney unleashed their harshest attacks yet on Senator Kerry. (Jonathan Karl, Albuquerque) 4. Kerry touts his prescription drug plan. (Dan Harris, Henderson, Nevada) 5. Saudi Arabia said it will pump an additional one-point-three billion barrels a day to bring down the price of oil. 6. With two storms on the way, there is a state of emergency in Florida. 7. Closer Look: The latest on the terror threats. (Brian Ross, NY) 8. Exclusive interview with the Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. (Mike von Fremd, Baghdad) 9. 40 people were rescued off the coast of the Dominican Republic. 10. The British government has given scientists permission to clone human embryos for stem cell research. 11. The U.S. Women's soccer team has pulled off its first win at the Olympics. 12. The Next Big Thing: Digital cameras. (Ned Potter, NY)


1. New details about Babar, an Al Qaeda operative living in the U.S. (Pete Williams, Washington, D.C.) 2. Fighting throughout Iraq. (Jennifer Eccleston, Baghdad) 3. Islamic militant website showed a beheading of a supposed CIA agent. 4. Divided We Stand: Hispanic voters. (David Gregory, Albuquerque) 5. Olympic torch makes its way back to Athens. 6. Security for Athens. (Richard Engel, Athens) 7. The U.S. ambassador to the Olympics (Tom Brokaw) 8. Florida is bracing for back to back storms. 9. Oklahoma is cleaning up from storms. 10. Prosecutors in the Kobe Bryant case have asked the court to put the trial on hold 11. Saudi Arabia has offered to increase production of oil. 12. Volatile day on Wall Street. 13. Profile of swimmer Michael Phelps. (Tom Brokaw)


(Scott Pelley filling substitutes)

1. Hurricane Season: Bonnie and Charley (Jim Acosta, Panama City, Florida) 2. Iraq Violence and Insurgents (David Martin, Pentagon) 3. Sec. Rumsfed Visits Afghanistan (Lara Logan, Afghanistan) 4. Security of the Olympics (Lee Cowan, Athens, Greece) 5. Saudi Arabia Oil Production 6. Dow Jones and NASDAQ down 7. Anti-radiation Drugs 8. Inside Story: Body Armor (Mark Strassmann, North Carolina) 9. Eye on America: Asian Carp (Bob McNamara, Lake City, Minnesota) 10. Prescription Drugs 11. Voters Reject Ballot Initiative to Ban Exotic Circus Animals in Colorado 12. Michael Wallace Arrested