(Updated at 9:15 p.m.) President Bush, defending an unpopular war, ordered gradual reductions in U.S. forces in Iraq onThursday night and said, The more successful we are, the more American troops can return home. Still, Bush firmly rejected calls to end the war, saying the insurgents who threaten Iraq s future are a danger to U.S. national security. American troops must stay in the battle, Bush said, and more than 130,000 will remain after the newly ordered withdrawals are completed in July.
(Posted at 12:38 p.m.) The man convicted in the November arson that killed four people was sentenced to death Thursday afternoon after Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Gary Cook imposed the sentence recommended by a jury last month. Wayne Powell, 43, was convicted Aug. 21 on 10 counts of aggravated murder and one count of aggravated arson in the deaths of two women and two children. He was also found guilty on 26 death penalty specifications and after a hearing, the jury of nine women and three men recommended the death penalty.
(Posted at 11:20 a.m.) The most prominent figure in a U.S.-backed revolt of Sunni sheiks against al-Qaeda in Iraq was killed Thursday by a bomb planted near his home in Anbar province, 10 days after he met with President Bush, police and tribal leaders said. Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha was leader of the Anbar Salvation Council, also known as the Anbar Awakening an alliance of clans backing the Iraqi government and U.S. forces.
(Posted at 11 a.m.) HOUSTON Humberto, the first hurricane to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast in two years, sneaked up on south Texas and Louisiana overnight and crashed ashore Thursday with heavy rains and 80 mph winds, killing at least one person. The system weakened to a tropical storm by midmorning and bore into central Louisiana. The greatest concern for many Texas residents was the heavy rain falling in areas already inundated by a wet summer.
(Posted at 9:40 a.m.) An apartment building in the 3000 block of Hilltop Boulevard near North Byrne Road in West Toledo was evacuated about 6:45 this morning for what apparently started as a stove grease fire in one of the apartments.
(Posted at 10:20 a.m.) WARREN, Mich. - A 4-month-old was fatally mauled by a 120-pound Rottweiler while her mother had stepped away to warm her bottle during a party attended mostly by teenagers at a home, police said.