Evening Newscasts Wrap

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ABC and NBC lead with the military's attempts to try to track down Zarqawi. ABC: Jim Sciutto/ NBC: Jim Miklaszewski. CBS leads with the continued insurgency in Iraq. Kimberly Dozier reports.


ABC's Martha Raddatz reports the document obtained by ABC News is nine pages in Arabic and details the alleged contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda in the mid '90s. Defense and intelligence analysts say the document appears to be authentic. The contacts allegedly occurred in Sudan where bin Laden lived at the time, and before he was widely known as an international terrorist. One section of the document calls for "joint operations against foreign forces" in Saudi Arabia, but does not indicate whether that was actually approved or carried out.


Elizabeth Vargas reports "President Bush arrived in Ireland today for a summit with leaders of the European Union. He will be trying to get European leaders to take on more responsibility in Iraq. Mr. Bush's visit sparked a number of demonstrations by people opposed to the war."

NBC's David Gregory reports the President will make a last ditch attempt to enlist foreign help for Iraq. In Turkey where Bush will join other NATO leaders, there were large protests and even a bomb scare. Bush says he wants the NATO alliance to play a larger role in Iraq. In a testy interview with Irish TV, Bush said Europeans must help Iraqis at this critical moment. Irish news also captured the President in his undershirt, and image the Irish government did not want broadcast.

CBS's Bill Plante reports that tensions surfaced in interview between Bush and an Irish journalist. Many troops were deployed in Ireland, unlike most usual welcomes for a previous U.S. President, says Plante. Sen. Biden says to the international community that they need to set aside political difference because "this is much bigger than Kerry, bigger than Bush."


CBS's Jim Axelrod calls Gephardt and Edwards "frontrunners" with Graham and Vilsack as other possibilities. Axelrod reports that, in a Kerry rally today in Ohio, Edwards was an overwhelming, though not unanimous, choice today from the people in attendance. It's unclear how much Kerry actually cares what voters seek, but how well they can be president.


NBC's Kelly O'Donnell reports Kerry traveled to Canton, Ohio today, but he is also on the road to the political middle, a detour away from the liberal label his opponents have attached to him. At every stop, Kerry tried to line up in the center, hoping to reach beyond his own Democratic base. Senior aides say they see no obstacle to this middle road and claim Kerry is feeling no pressure from the far left. (Stu Rothenberg SOT). He has tried to put his own liberal credentials on mute. Senior aides acknowledged that Kerry is working off a successful Clinton centralist model, decidedly not the populist class warfare Kerry aides say Al Gore waged.


ABC's Dean Reynolds reports Jack Ryan seemed to have it all, until a couple of weeks ago. His decision to quit the race comes as no surprise to anyone who was following the story. Details of his divorce were released by a California judge, which included taking his ex-wife to sex clubs in New York and Paris and that he had tried to coerce her to have sex with him in front of strangers. Republicans were worried about how this kind of talk would play out in the rural areas of the state. There was also a sense of betrayal among them after Ryan had assured them that there was nothing damaging in his divorce records.

NBC's Brian Williams reports Jack Ryan has dropped out. Party leaders urged Ryan to drop out this week. Ryan said he was quitting to avoid a "brutal scorched earth campaign."


ABC's Dan Harris takes a closer look at Michael Moore's criticisms in his new film. In one instance, Moore comments that while the FAA closed all the airports in the U.S., some planes were authorized to pick up members of the bin Laden family and transport them out of the country. That is one of the harshest criticisms in the movie. However, Moore neglects to say that those flights were green-lighted by the same man Moore uses to bash Bush in the movie: Richard Clarke. (Clarke SOT). Moore also hints that the Bush family's financial ties to the Saudis may have made him less vigilant before 9/11. (Moore SOT from "This Week"). Clarke says "That's nuts." Finally, when Moore criticizes the war in Iraq, he uses idyllic pictures of life under Saddam Hussein. Moore admits he made no attempt to be balanced and he does point out facts that viewers may not be aware of, for instance that most members of Congress did not even read the Patriot Act.

NBC's Lisa Meyers examines some of Moore's assertions in his film. The sometime embarrassing video of powerful officials is authentic. The story of Lila, whose son was killed in Iraq was undeniable. Moore ambushes politicians on Capitol Hill, but Moore left out what congressman Mark Kennedy said.(Rep. Kennedy SOT). The film suggests ties between the Bush family and the Saudis and that Saudis as well as members of the bin Laden family were allowed to depart on 9/11. The 9/11 commission says no one was allowed to leave that the FBI wanted to question. One character in the film even suggests that President Bush is even worse than Osama bin Laden, "one of the excesses and distortions that may undermine credibility of Michael Moore's message."


CBS's Bob Orr reports that the exchange began when "Cheney and Leahy began trading barbs." Cheney responded to Leahy's comment about Republicans calling Democrats anit-catholic with "F- yourself" according to CBS sources. Cheney said it made himself feel better in a later interview. Kerry also used the same word in Rolling Stone. Bush "dropped an 'A' bomb" at the same time as they were trying to improve party relationships within the government, said Orr.


NBC's Don Teague highlights an event in Atlanta this weekend where over 100,00 Christians will gather for entertainment and enlightenment. Teague notes that this growing group cannot be ignored will undoubtedly have an impact on the economy and the election.


(Elizabeth Vargas substitutes)

1. The day in Iraq (Jim Sciutto, Baghdad) 2. ABC News has obtained a document which shows some contact between Iraq and al Qaeda back in the mid '90s (Martha Raddatz, Pentagon) 3. Arab perspectives on the U.S. efforts in Iraq (Peter Jennings, Beirut) 4. President Bush arrived in Ireland today for a summit with leaders of the European Union. 5. Authorities found what appeared to be a bomb in the car park of Istanbul's international airport. 6. Jack Ryan drops out of Illinois Senate race. (Dean Reynolds, Chicago) 7. Peter Jennings interviews the man in charge of interrogations at Guantanamo 8. Closer Look: "Fahrenheit 9/11" (Dan Harris, Washington) 9. Person of the Week: Martina Navratilova


(Brian Williams substitutes)

1. The U.S. military missed the attempted to kill Zarqawi in a military strike. (Jim Miklaszewski, Pentagon) 2. Violence in Iraq continued today. (Tom Aspell, Baghdad) 3. Bush will try yet again to gain the help of European nations in Iraq. (David Gregory, County Clare, Ireland) 4. Explosives were found in parking garage in Istanbul 5. Kerry's message seems more tailored to the middle. (Kelly O'Donnell, Canoton, Ohio) 6. The Christian movement: gathering in Atlanta to celebrate a "god event of Olympic proportions" (Don Teague, Atlanta) 7. "Fahrenheit 911": How truthful are Moore's assertions? (Lisa Meyers, Washington) 8. Jack Ryan has dropped out. 9. Where do the preparations stand for the Athens Olympics (Robert Hager, Athens) 10. A baker from Maine came up with the DaVinci Diet (Roger O'Neil, Portland, Maine.)


(John Roberts substitutes)

1. Five days till Sovereignty - Tracking Terrorists. (Kimberly Dozier, Baghdad) 2. Two U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan, one injured. 3. Bush in Ireland (Bill Plante, County Clare, Ireland) 4. Cheney's 4-letter word (Bob Orr, Washington) 5. Kerry rally in Ohio gives voters insight on Vice Presidential choices. (Jim Axelrod, Arie, Ohio) 6. Jack Ryan withdraws from Ill. Senate campaign. 7. Polio epidemic in Nigeria. (Gretchen Carlson, New York) 8. Schwarzenegger budget cuts include animal shelters. 9. Actual GDP rise is 3.9%, lower than 4.4% estimates last quarter. 10. Defective counterfeits (Jim Acosta, New York) 11. "Riding star" on motor bike racing (Cynthia Bowers, Pontiac, Michigan)