A major leader of the Al-Qaida terror network is reportedly dead--
It's NOT Osama bin Laden, but one of his key men.
The latest on events in Afghanistan, coming up.
And "Harry Potter" casts his spell on moviegoers across the country today.
We'll find out how local ticket sales are going.
Dry weather will continue into the weekend which will lead to a clear night for viewing the Leonid meteor shower early Sunday Morning...I'll have more on that in my forecast.....
News 7 at noon, right after the break.
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Osama bin Laden's number Two man is believed to be dead.
That as U-S defense officials reveal that American soldiers are involved in ground combat in Afghanistan.
[GRAPHIC=News 7 at Noon]
Good Afternoon, I'm Kimberly McBroom.
There's evidence that one of Osama bin laden's top advisers has been killed.
A U-S official say Mohammed (AH-tef) Atef was killed by airstrikes sometime over the last two days.
Atef was in line to be bin Laden's successor in the Al-Qaida network.
He's believed to have been one of the planners of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Atef was also indicted for his involvement in the U-S Embassy
bombings in Africa in 1998.
Jim Acosta joins us now from Washington with an update.
[SUPER=141-Jim Acosta/CBS News;]
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[SUPER=141-Donald Rumsfeld/U. S. Secretary of Defense;]
[SUPER=141-Heather Mercer/Released Aid Worker;]
[OUT Q=back to you.]
CBS News had learned U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan have killed the top
military leader of Osama Bin Laden's Al Queda terrorist network.
Mohammed Atef is believed to have trained some of the September 11th
hijackers. He was also wanted for the 1998 American embassy bombings in
It's the latest reported victory for American forces -- adding more
weight to claims by Pentagon officials that the noose is tightening on
And as these pictures show, U.S. soldiers blending into the harsh
Afghan landscape -- riding horseback dressed in camoflage garb, and
moving equipment by donkey.
Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld warns the hunt for Bin Laden will take
SOT: Donald Rumsfeld/Defense Secretary
....If you're running around chasing a chicken...")
U.S. planes are bombing more Taliban targets including the crumbling
regime's stronghold of Kandahar and the city of Kunduz. The assaults
continue -- as promised -- as muslims begin the holy period of Ramadan.
Meanwhile, out of harms way are the two American aid workers held
captive by the Taliban since August. One of the Americans says despite
the ordeal, she wouldn't trade it for the world.
SOT: Heather Mercer/Released Aid Worker:
"Not only am I changed but a nation's changed."
Decontamination is under way at a Raleigh mail distribution center, where a trace amount of anthrax was found.
But the amount was so small that public health officials deemed it
"not medically significant."
Officials say the trace of anthrax spores pose no threat to the public, and the building remains open.
The anthrax spores were discovered following precautionary tests of nearly 300 postal facilities across the nation last week.
Officials say they were found in an isolated area of the building, they describe as a vault.
A 12 year old murder case in Halifax County ended last night with a guilty verdict.
A jury found Raymond Pin guilty of capital murder for the stabbing deaths of Frank Syndor and his step-daughter in Halifax County in 1989.
[SUPER=03-Halifax Co./1989; :06]
Pin was found living in Pennsylvania last year after someone recognized him from a segment on America's Most Wanted.
The killings were apparently over a gambling debt.
During the trial, defense attorney's argued Pin killed the two in self defense.
The jury is considering sentencing today.
Pin faces the death penalty or life in prison.
Mother Nature is wreaking havoc in the Lone Star State this week.
Record flooding in central Texas has claimed at least three lives, and the wet weather is expected to continue.
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Meanwhile two tornadoes have blown through the San Antonio area, damaging a truck stop and gas station.
The twisters ripped the roof off the truck stop last night.
The storms also brought traffic to a standstill on a major interstate, where an 18- wheeler jack-knifed.
No one was injured.
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[SS=NONE]LEO IN WX-CENTER
[SS=NONE]LEO TOSS BACK
Hundreds of people in southwest Roanoke County are without power right now.
A blown transformer near Tanglewood Mall is affecting about a thousand customers.
A-E-P says it's not sure how long it will take to fix it.
Harry Potter and the magic of the "Hogwarts" arrives in theatres today--
[SUPER=04-"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone";]
The movie version of the wildly popular book about a boy wizard is lighting up about a fourth of the movie screens across the country.
Thousands of "Harry Potter" fans lined up for hours to catch the first showing of the film in Chicago, right after the stroke of midnight.
The scene was much the same in other cities--
You might have to wait a while to see the flick--
Tickets sold out early for the midnight screenings, and for much of
[GRAPHIC=Hold Harry Potter]
There was a line outside the Valley View Grande theater before the first showing of the Harry Potter movie.
[DOUBLE BOXES= /Microwave;]
That's where we find Shannon Young.
Shannon is there magic in the air?
((ROLLCUE:..jump on the expected crowds.))
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[SUPER=01-Dick Sher/Moviegoer; :03]
[SUPER=01-Chris Carrier/Age 10; :18]
[SUPER=01-Geri Lynn Lambert/Harry Potter Fan; :33]
[SUPER=01-Sue Wallace/Harry Potter Fan; :41]
[OUT Q=at least I think that.]
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kimberly/Shannon Microwave;]
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Coming up next on the newscast, the state backs off on using a loophole to get MILLIONS of dollars from the federal Medicaid budget,
Also we will hear from some of the Aid workers who were freed this week from Taliban capitivity.
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Freed American aid workers Heather Mercer and
Dayna Curry say they thank God they're finally out of Afghanistan.
They add that they hope they'll soon see Afghanistan free, as well.
Tom Fenton has their story.
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[SUPER=01-Tom Fenton/CBS News; :00]
[SUPER=04-U. S. Defense Department; :07]
[SUPER=01-Heather Mercer/Freed Aid Worker; :32]
[SUPER=01-Dayna Curry/Freed Aid Worker; 1:34]
[OUT Q=Tom Fenton, CBS News, Islamabad.]
The eight aid workers, including the two young American women, have
spent their first night of freedom here in Islamabad.
After their dramatic midnight rescue by helicopter, they were flown the
rest of the way on an American C130 transport plane. This Defense
Department video shows them tucking into emergency rations, before
arriving at a Pakistani air base for a warm welcome from family, friends
This morning, Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer, faced the media. Mercer
described the moment when anti-Taliban gunmen freed them from prison.
ALL OF A SUDDEN WE HEARD DOWN AT THE FRONT PRISON DOOR JUST MEN AND
SOLDIERS MEN COMING BACK BANGING DOWN THE PRISON DOOR, I CAN SPEAK FOR
MYSELF AN PROBABLY FOR ALL OF US, WE THOUGHT THAT WAS THE TALIBAN COMING
BACK AND THAT WAS, THIS WAS THE END OF THE ROAD. AND WE JUST SAT IN
THE ROOM AND WE WERE PRAYING THAT GOD WOULD DELIVER US FROM ANYONE WHO
WOULD WANT TO HARM US. / AND ALL OF A SUDDEN AN OPPOSITION SOLDIER
COMES IN WITH REAMS OF AMMUNITION AROUND HIS NECK AND HE JUST STARTS
SCREAMING YOUR FREE, YOUR'RE FREE. THE CITY'S FREE THE TALIBAN HAVE
LEFT (33 secs)
But the final stage of their rescue was the most dramatic ... three
American special forces helicopters could not find them in the dark
until Mercer ripped off her scarf and used it to make a bonfire.
(SOT HEATHER MERCER)
WE SET OUR HEAD COVERINGS ON FIRE ON THE TARMAC THERE. WE FOUND OUT
LATER IT WAS VERY HELPFUL.
Danya Curry described the moment when the choppers swooped down to pick
(SOT DANYA CURRY)
WHEN THE MAN CAME UP AND ASKED ARE YOU THE DETAINEES? AND WE WERE
LIKE YES AND THEY HELPED US GET ON THE AIRCRAFT. SO WHEN WE GOT ON,
THAT'S WHEN I FELT SAFE AND FREE.
It was something out of a movie.
(SOT HEATHER MERCER)
THE MEN WHO CAME AND RESCUED US DID A FABULOUS JOB, I DON'T THINK
HOLLYWOOD COULD HAVE DONE IT BETTER (LAUGH)
The Gilmore administration has postponed a plan to take advantage of a loophole to collect nearly 260- million dollars in federal Medicaid money to help balance the state budget.
The administration has asked seven local governments to participate in the plan.
Only two have agreed.
Others have balked, calling the plan unethical ... even though several other
states are doing the same thing.
The plan calls for localities with public nursing homes to borrow money from a bank.
The state would then promptly send localities Medicaid money they could use to repay the loans.
That would allow the state to draw federal matching funds.
In Virginia, only Bedford County and the city of Petersburg agreed to take part in the plan.
Meanwhile, Governor Jim Gilmore had to call a halt to the next round of the car tax phase- out.
The Governor says the current fiscal year budget has a shortfall of 890 million dollars.
[SOT 15:12:45 ]
[IN Q=Revenues will not meet]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: REVENUES WILL NOT MEET THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS TO ADVANCE THE FINAL PHASE OF THE CAR TAX RELIEF NEXT YEAR. THIS IS OF COURSE DISAPPOINTING TO ME.))
[OUT Q=of course disappointing to me.]
The Senate Finance Committee fought Gilmore this past winter, even on phasing out the car tax 70 percent.
It's chairman was relieved to hear the Governor's announcement.
[SOT 15:42:41 ]
[IN Q=I think the Governor is]
((SEN. JOHN CHICHESTER/R-STAFFORD CO.: I THINK THE GOVERNOR IS ACTING VERY PRUDENTLY, IN THE FACT THAT THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT HOLE IN THE BUDGET IN '02. THAT HE IS NOT MOVING FORWARD WITH THE NEXT PHASE OF THE CAR TAX. I THINK THAT'S IN RECOGNITION OF THE ECONOMIC SHORTFALL THAT HAS BEEN UPON US FOR A YEAR.))
[SUPER=01-Sen. John Chichester/(R) Stafford Co.;]
[OUT Q=that has been upon us for a year.]
Gilmore also signed an executive order today.
It increases unemployment benefits for all 140 thousand workers laid off statewide.
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Coming up next on the newscast,
musician Dan Tyminski takes enough time off the road to talk about the future of bluegrass music.
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They've performed for the Pope and Nelson Mandela... even at the Olympics in Australia.
Last night the Harlem Gospel Choir entertained and informed here in Roanoke.
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[IN Q=NAT Music]
[OUT Q=spread my wings and fly away]
Some 700 people filled the Jefferson Center for the fundraising concert.
Proceeds will benefit the Downtown Music Lab... an after-school recording and music program in Roanoke.
The Valley Youth Choir, made up of children from seven area churches, got the evening started.
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[IN Q=Nat Music]
[OUT Q=praise the lord.]
A leading bluegrass musician from Franklin County is taking a break from the road.
Dan Tyminski returned home early Wednesday morning after winning two Country Music Association awards last week.
[SUPER=03-Nashville, TN/Country Music Association - CBS;]
Tyminski picked up Single of the year and album of the year for the movie soundtrak "O Brother Where Art Thou."
Tyminski hopes the recognition will encourage more people try out bluegrass music.
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[IN Q=I've seen bluegrass take a]
((DAN TYMINSKI/ALISON KRAUSS AND UNION STATION: I'VE SEEN BLUEGRASS TAKE A PRETTY BAD RAP BY BEING MISREPRESENTING A LOT. AND I JUST THINK THE ALBUM, THE O BROTHER STUFF WAS A REALLY GOOD REPRESENTATION OF WHAT ROOTS MUSIC IS AND WHAT JUST GOOD HONEST PLAYING AND SINGING CAN DO AND ITS NICE TO SEE THAT PEOPLE HAVE A HUNGER FOR THAT STUFF.))
[SUPER=01-Dan Tyminski/Alison Krauss and Union Station]
[OUT Q=for that stuff]
Tyminski plans to relax with his family in Ferrum for the next ten days before hitting the road to tour with Alison Krauss and Union Station.
Tyminski also plans to release a new solo album sometime next year.
On Wall Street at Noon, the Dow was DOWN 10 points.
Nasdaq has lost two points.
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Coming up in sports - in high school football, it's time for the semi-finals.....See how things are matching up.....
and William Flemming has a shot at being the Region 3 champions.....
We'll have details.
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William Fleming has made it to the Region 3 championship game. The Colonels beat Heritage last night 42 to 38.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Fleming vs. Heritage; :]
Heritage coach Ty Gafford talking to one of his players during the game--
But Fleming's Anisha Rasheed throws the ball down court to Olivia Grant, who lays it in for the deuce.
Heritage works the half- court trap.
Monica Dawson ends up with the ball, and she takes it to the hoop for the score.
The Pioneers go to Nahdia Shelton for some offense.
She throws up the air ball, but Tekita Butler is underneath for the put- back.
But the Colonels' Shrita Mayo helps out her teammate.
She steps to the ball and then takes it around the key for the layup.
Fleming wins it 42 to 38.
And the Colonels are set to play Northside in the regional Championship game. The Vikings defeated Appomattox County 56 to 23.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Northside vs. Appomattox Co.; :]
The refs talking to the captains before the opening tipoff--
The Vikings work it around the key to Brittany Hughes.
She steps up just inside the three point line, and hits the jumper.
Appomattox scored only 2 points in the first quarter.
Jenny Stratton takes the pass and nails the two pointer.
[SUPER=34-Northside/56/Appomattox Co./23/; :]
But Northside keeps pouring it on.
Jessica Wilkerson with the pass to Corrie Fertitta, who lays it in.
The Vikings win it 56 to 23.
No matter what happens in the championship game, Fleming and Northside are in the state.
It's time for high school football playoffs - they open tonight.
Here's a look at Friday Football Extra's regional semi-finals contests.
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FINAL LOOK AT THE WEATHER
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