Evening Newscasts Wrap

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LEADS:

All networks lead with Zarqawi's threat to the new Iraqi Prime Minister. ABC: Martha Raddatz/ NBC: Tom Apsell/ CBS: Kimberly Dozier

CHENEY A LIABILITY?

CBS' Cynthia Bowers package was about the suggestion that Vice President Cheney is a liability to the Bush campaign. In his intro, Rather said that on the Democratic side, the choice could be "Edwards, Gephardt, or some surprise," and on the Republican side there is "some negative talk about President Bush's decision to stick with Dick Cheney." Bowers reported that Cheney "now finds himself the subject of a full frontal attack." Sound bites from former Des Moines Register editor James Gannon, who wrote a letter suggesting Cheney step down, Sen. McCain, who dismissed the suggestion on Face the Nation that he might replace Cheney on the ticket, and campaign adviser Linda DiVall, who said that Cheney is the President's choice and they're going forward with that.

BUSH'S NORTH KOREA POLICY:

CBS' John Roberts reports the White House has finally put a deal on the table for North Korea today. President Bush offered to trade Pyongyang's nuclear program for energy support and security guarantees. If North Korea signs the deal, it would immediately receive shipments of desperately needed fuel oil for its power plants. If within three months its shows signs of cooperating, the U.S. will give Pyongyang assurances it won't be attacked and open talks on lifting economic sanctions. The offer is a partial retreat for President Bush. Sen. Kerry criticizes that the White House disengagement has made North Korea more dangerous.

BUSH'S AIDS PLAN:

Elizabeth Vargas reports "in Philadelphia today, President Bush touted his administration's efforts to fight AIDS. He made Vietnam the 15th country eligible for help under his global AIDS relief plan. Mr. Bush also talked up abstinence, being faithful in marriage and condom use as ways to stop AIDS. It was his 29th visit as President to Pennsylvania, a crucial state in this year's election."

NEGROPONTE SWORN-IN:

Elizabeth Vargas reports "at the State Department today, John Negroponte was sworn in as the new US ambassador to Iraq. He will head the largest US embassy in the world. In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, Mr. Negroponte acknowledged there was a difficult road ahead: "I'm not arguing or suggesting that the situation can be turned around completely, overnight, nor that every problem can be solved right away. Sometimes, as Americans we, we tend to be a bit impatient. But I do think it's possible to get the trend moving in the right direction."

Brokaw reports as Negroponte's wife held the bible, Secretary of State Powell gave Negroponte the oath. Negroponte talked about the great challenges ahead. Baghdad is Negroponte's fifth diplomatic post.

Rather reports at the ceremony, Colin Powell called Negroponte "a pillar of confidence and courage." Negroponte will preside over a long-term multibillion dollar U.S. effort to rebuild and foster democracy in Iraq.

CIA BOOK:

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