The Israeli Cabinet has formally branded the Palestinian Authority and two other groups as organizations that support terrorism.
This morning, Israeli tanks moved within a few hundred yards of Yasser Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban continue to guard Kandahar, their last stronghold, from opposition forces.
Troops loyal to Osama bin Laden have been firing missiles at U-S warplanes.
So far, they've had no hits.
Meanwhile, four Afghan factions meeting in Germany have agreed on a framework for a post-Taliban government.
Cindy Pena has the latest on the war now from Washington D.C.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=In Kandahar today,]
[SUPER=01-John Stufflebeem/Pentagon Spokesman;]
[SUPER=01-Tom Ridge/Homeland Security Director;]
[OUT Q=back to you.]
((IN KANDAHAR TODAY, RIVAL FACTIONS CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR CONTROL OVER THE
TALIBAN'S LAST REMAINING STRONGHOLD.
U.S. MARINES STATIONED AT A NEARBY BASE ARE CUTTING OFF SUPPLY ROUTES IN
AND OUT OF KANDAHAR -- TO PREVENT THE TALIBAN FROM INCREASING THEIR
STOCKPILE OF WEAPONS.
We assume that they have a sizeable amount of inventory with them or
they wouldn't be in the positions that they are."
IN EASTERN AFGHANISTAN, U.S. SPECIAL FORCES ARE GATHERING INFORMATION ON
OSAMA BIN LADEN FROM RESIDENTS THERE.
IT'S STRONGLY BELIEVED THAT BIN LADEN AND HIS FOLLOWERS ARE HIDING IN
ONE OF THE ELABORATE CAVES NEAR JALALABAD.
MEANWHILE, U.S. OFFICIALS ARE TRYING TO DECIDE WHAT TO DO WITH JOHN
WALKER AND TWO OTHER FORMER TALIBAN FIGHTERS ... WHO CLAIM TO BE
THEY COULD BE TREATED AS PRISONERS OF WAR, OR RETURNED TO THE STATES.
IN GERMANY, RIVAL AFGHAN LEADERS HAVE FINALLY AGREED ON A BLUPRINT FOR A
POST-TALIBAN GOVERNMENT. THE PLAN CALLS FOR A 29-MEMBER INTERIM
BACK HERE AT HOME, THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS ISSUED ITS THIRD
TERRORISM ALERT SINCE THE SEPTEMBER 11TH ATTACKS. THE FBI HAS PUT
18-THOUSAND LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ON THE HIGHEST ALERT, AND AMERICANS
ARE URGED TO BE EXTRA VIGILANT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.
(SOT: TOM RIDGE/DIRECTOR, HOMELAND SECURITY)
Bob Kopstein is out as president and C-E-O of Optical Cable in Roanoke County.
The company's board of directors made the decision yesterday citing Kopstein's current legal situation as a main factor.
Teresa Hamilton has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Bob Kopstein is ]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :07]
[SUPER=01-Brian Gottstein/Legg Mason Financial Advisor; :30]
[SUPER=@Teresa1; 58 ]
[OUT Q=Hamilton, NEWS7, Roanoke County.]
(( Bob Kopstein is no longer chairman and C-E-O of the company he founded nearly 20- years ago.
According to a news release issued by Optical Cable-- the company's board of directors made the decision based on a recommendation by a special committee.
The committee was formed in October shortly after the board learned that Kopstein was losing his shares in the company because of debts he incurred trading stocks.
Brian Gottstein is a financial advisor with Legg Mason in Roanoke.
[IN Q= QUITE]
(( QUITE FRANKLY, I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED THAT THE FOUNDER OF AN 18 YEAR OLD COMPANY AND CEO WAS REMOVED FROM HIS POST. ))
[OUT Q= FROM HIS POST.]
According to the company's news release--- the special committee recommended that Kopstein be removed from the helm be
cause it felt Kopstein NO longer had the time to his focus on his duties as President and C-E-O because of ongoing disputes with brokerages firms and other litigation.
((AN ACTING PRESIDENT HAS BEEN NAMED-- NEIL WILKIN THE COMPANY'S SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT WILL TAKE OVER THE ROLE UNTIL A SUCCESSOR CAN BE FOUND.))
Wilkin spoke with NEWS 7 by phone...
He says he considers Kopstein an incredible entrepreneur... who's created a company with 60- million in annual sales while bringing jobs into the Roanoke Valley.
Wilkin would NOT say if Kopstein will receive a severance package.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7, Roanoke County.))
A hunter's discovery over the weekend has authorities looking for answers.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Department says a few very old bones and what looks like part of a human skull were found.
A hunter came across the material on the mountains off Meadowbrook Road on Sunday.
Authorities are investigating and will send the bones to the medical examiner for evaluation today.
A third man from a Charlotte County Muslim community is charged with trying to illegally obtain a handgun.
The U-S Attorney for the Western District of Virginia says (bill-AL BEN-YOO) Bilal Benu lied about his police record in order to get a pistol in late 19-98.
Benu's also charged with possessing a box of AK-47 ammunition.
Owning the ammo was illegal in light of a former conviction for possession of a controlled substance.
Last Friday, two other members of the same Charlottte County community were found guilty on similar charges.
Authorities say 44-year old convicted felon Vincente Pierre used his wife, 37 year old Traci Elaine Upshur, to obtain a 40 caliber handgun in March of 19-99.
Pierre has been linked to the Muslim Al-Fuqra terrorist organization.
There will be no second chance for a woman accused of trying to blow up Los Angeles police cars more than 25 years ago.
[SUPER=03-Los Angeles, CA;]
Former fugitive and Symbionese Liberation Army member Sara Jane Olsen tried to withdraw a guilty plea.
Previously, she had admitted she placed pipe bombs under two police cars.
Olsen claimed her attorney forced her to plead guilty.
Prosecutors ridiculed it as the "I'm just a girl" defense.
The judge denied her request... saying he did NOT believe for a second that Olsen was innocent of the charges.
Olsen will be sentenced Friday. She faces 20 years to life in prison.
In business news this morning, Cox and Comcast are showing some interest in buying A T and T's broadband unit.
Here's Barton Eckert with a look at the morning's top business stories..
[SUPER=01-Barton Eckert/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=in Washington.]
(( GOOD MORNING THIS TUESDAY THE 4TH OF DECEMBER.
HERE'S WHAT'S HAPPENING THIS MORNING.
FROM THE WORLD OF CABLE T-V AND HIGH SPEED INTERNET ACESS.
COX AND COMCAST MAY TEAM UP WITH A BIG PLAYER LIKE MICROSOFT, TO
TRY AND BUY A-T-AND T'S BROADBAND CABLE UNIT...
AT T DOES NOT WANT RIVAL AOL TIME WARNER TO GRAB CONTROL.
ALL THIS WHILE COX AND COMCAST STRUCK SEPARATE DEALS WITH EXCITE
AT HOME TO ENSURE UNINTERRUPTED INTERNET ACCESS FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS
INVESTORS REMAIN WORRIED ABOUT ENRON'S FALLING INTO
BANKRUPTCY... PLUS THEY ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE RISING TENSIONS IN THE
ON ASIAN MARKETS OVERNIGHT .. IN TOKYO.. A MIX AS JAPAN'S CREDIT
HAS BEEN CUT AGAIN BY MOODY'S
ON WORRIES ABOUT RISING DEBT AND BAD BANK LOANS.
THERE IS ALSO CUSTOMER FALLOUT FROM COLLAPSE OF ENRON.
DRUGMAKER ELI LILLY SAYS IT IS NO LONGER BUYING NATURAL GAS FROM
ENRON WITH WHICH IT SIGNED A $1.3 BILLION, 15-YEAR ELECTRICITY AND
NATURAL GAS DEAL.
GLASS CONTAINER MAKER OWENS-ILLINOIS SAYS IT IS LOOKING INTO THE
IMPLICATIONS OF ENRON'S BANKRUPTCY FILING FOR ITS 10-YEAR $2 BILLION
ENERGY MANAGEMENT DEAL.
-------------------------- TURN THE "PAGE"...AN ERA IS OVER.. .
THE COMPANY THAT INVENTED THE PAGER IS GETTING OUT OF THE ONE WAY
MOTOROLA SAYS MOBILE PHONES AND TWO WAY PAGERS CUT TOO FAR INTO
THEIR BUSINESS, SO THEY ARE ENDING IT IN MID 2002.
THEY'LL STILL MAKE - IN FACT EVEN BOOST R D -- ON TWO WAY
MESSENGERS AND RELATED PRODUCTS LIKE THOSE SHOWN HERE.
AND THAT'S YOUR FIRST BUSINESS CHECK ON THE MORNING'S TOP
I'M BARTON ECKERT IN WASHINGTON.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
Cox "At Home Internet" customers should not have to deal with an interruption in service.
The company said it's reached an agreement with Xcite to keep high speed internet service running until Cox gets its own network operational.
Last Friday, a federal judge cleared the way for bankrupt Excite-At-Home to turn off its high-speed Internet cable network.
About 15 percent of "At-Home" customers nationwide lost their internet access over the weekend.
Roanoke County Supervisors hope the first company to move into the Center for Research and Technology will become an anchor in the area's biotechnology industry.
Yesterday, Novozymes Biological announced plans to move into the business park.
The company was recently purchased by Denmark based Novozymes A-S, the world's leader in enzyme production.
County Supervisors hope Novozymes' decision to stay in the Roanoke Valley will bring other biotechnology related businesses to the area.
(///// SOT at :19 /////)
[IN Q=I believe it will give other companies...]
((JOE "BUTCH" CHURCH/ROANOKE COUNTY SUPERVISOR: I BELIEVE IT WILL GIVE OTHER COMPANIES A NEW VIEW OF ROANOKE COUNTY. WE CAN BE A LITTLE BIT MORE CHOOSY BUT YET PROGRESS TO THE POINT THAT WE CAN HAVE A MORE CURRENT AND RECENT SEQUENCE.))
[SUPER=01-Joe "Butch" Church/Roanoke County Supervisor;]
[OUT Q=a more current and recent sequence.]
President Ted Melnik says Novozymes' expansion plans will result in the creation of 25-jobs.
A Pennsylvania dairy farm is home to the "Crazy For the Hokies" contest winner..
This V-T logo was created by relatives of Tech graduate Heather Grice and her sister Meghan, a current student.
They told their uncle and brother about the contest...which was to reproduce a Tech logo in a big, crazy manner.
Even though the pair is University of Pittsburgh alumni, a Tech opponent, they created the 55 by 85 foot design.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=i sent them ]
((HEATHER GRICE/CONTEST WINNER; I SENT THEM ALL THE WEBSITE INFORMATION IT WAS JUST AS LIKE A JOKE I'D SEND IT TO THEM AND THEY COULD WIN SOME PRIZES AND THEY JUST RAN WITH IT THEY DECIDED TO DO IT AND YOU CAN SEE WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE.))
[SUPER=01-Heather Grice/Contest Winner;]
[OUT Q=WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE.]
The family is going to split the first place prizes.
Organizers say the contest will be an annual event.
It drew in 32-entries this year.
Second and third place go to a Monster truck and V-T made of balloons.
[GRAPHIC=Mornin Health Check]
In medical news, Parents of young children should keep activated charcoal handy in case of an emergency.
Doctor Dave Hnida has that story and more in this morning's Health check.
[SUPER=01-Dr. Dave Hnida/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=CBS News, New York.]
((IF YOU HAVE YOUNG CHILDREN IN THE HOUSEHOLD- AN IMPORTANT ADDITION TO
YOUR MEDICINE CHEST MAY BE ACTIVATED CHARCOAL.
ITS A FINE POWDERY SUBSTANCE WE OFTEN USE IN A HOSPITAL SETTING TO TREAT
AND A NOW A STUDY IN THE JOURNAL PEDIATRICS SAYS ACTIVATED CHARCOAL CAN
BE SAFELY GIVEN AT HOME - BY PARENTS- TO TREAT A BROAD RANGE OF INGESTED
HOUSEHOLD ITEMS SUCH AS COUGH MEDICINES- PAINKILLERS- AND CLEANING
CHILDHOOD IMMUNIZATIONS DO NOT CAUSE DIABETES- THATS THE CONCLUSION OF A
NEW REPORT - ALSO IN THE JOURNAL PEDIATRICS- WHICH LOOKS AT MORE THAN
ONE THOUSAND CHILDREN WHO RECEIVED ROUTINE VACCINATIONS- INCLUDING NEWER
ONES SUCH AS FOR HEPATITIS B AND CHICKENPOX.
CHILDREN GETTING VACCINATIONS WERE NO MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP DIABETES
THAN CHILDREN WHO WERE NOT VACCINATED,
FINALLY TODAY-FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN A DECADE- THE NUMBER OF
TRIPLETS, QUADS - AND SO FORTH UPWARDS -- DID NOT INCREASE.
HOWEVER- THE NUMBER OF TWINS BORN CONTINUE ITS STEADY 20 YEAR CLIMB...
RIGHT NOW ABOUT 3% OF BIRTHS ARE TWINS
THE STUDY ALSO FOUND BABIES BORN IN THE YEAR 2000- HAVE A LIFE
EXPECTANCY OF JUST ABOUT 77 YEARS- THE HIGHEST EVER,
THATS A LOOK AT SOME OF THE DAYS TOP HEALTH STORIES, IM DR DAVE HNIDA
FOR CBS NEWS.))
(Kimberly tosses to bump)
[SUPER=#4050; HEADLINE BANNER]
Optical Cable's board of directors ousts founder Bob Kopstein from his role as chairman and C-E-O.
And the U-S government has to decide what to do with three former Taliban fighters who claim to be Americans.
(ad lib weather)
(ad lib live tease)
News-7 Mornin' is next.[11County-Fire]
A Roanoke County family lost most of its furniture and its pet in a fire.
Firefighters were called to the home on Martin Creek Road around 8:30 last night.
Three people inside the home got out safely but the family dog did not.
Most of the family's furniture was damaged by smoke and water.
Firefighters aren't sure how the blaze started.
An ATV accident in Lynchburg sent one man to the hospital.
42 year old Barry McCrickard was riding his four-wheeler alone near Top Ridge Road yesterday afternoon when he lost control of the vehicle and it flipped over.
McCrickard used his cell phone to call his wife who then phoned paramedics.
Rescue workers on the ground coordinated with a helicopter to help locate the injured man.
McCrickard is in stable condition at Lynchburg General Hospital.
Police outside Seattle continue their search through the homes where a suspected serial killer used to live.
Friday, sheriff's deputies arrested the man they call the "Green River Killer" in connection with four of the community's 49 murders from the early 80s.
Reporter Richard Thompson has the latest on their investigation.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="It's kind of weird"]
[SUPER=03-SeaTac, WA; :05]
[SUPER=01-John Urquhart/King Co. Sheriff's Dept.; :11]
[SUPER=01-David Malo/Neighbor; 1:12]
[SUPER=01-Eileen Petrie/Neighbor; 1:17]
[OUT Q=Thompson for CBS News.]
In business news, Violence in the Middle East and massive layoffs at embattled energy trader Enron
helped to depress the mood on Wall Street yesterday.
Ed Crane has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Ed Crane/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=your local stocks]
((GOOD MORNING..STOCKS ARE TRYING TO REBOUND FROM A SLUGGISH DECEMBER
THE DOW CLOSED OFF 87 POINTS
AND THE NASDAQ SHED 25 POINTS
INVESTORS HAVE BEEN SPOOKED BY MONDAYS ISRAELI ATTACKS ON P-L-O
POSITIONS AND BY THE CONTINUED FALL OUT FROM THE DEMISE OF ENRON..THE
TROUBLED ENERGY COMPANY HAS FILED FOR WHAT MAY BE THE LARGEST BUSINESS
BANKRUPTCY IN U-S HISTORY...CITING DEBTS OF ABOUT 13 BILLION DOLLARS..
ESS=stocks to watch:enron/citigroup/jp morgan chase
NOW A PENNY STOCK ENRON GAINED A BIT BUT WORD OF THE BANKRUPTCY DROVE
DOWN THE PRICE OF TWO BANK STOCKS...CITIGROUP AND J-P MORGAN CHASE,
WHICH TOGETHER HELD ABOUT 3 BILLION DOLLARS IN LOANS TAKEN OUT BY
ENRON'S ANNOUNCED THE LAYOFFS OF SOME 4 THOUSAND WORKERS AT IT'S HOUSTON
THOSE ZERO PERCENT FINANCE OFFERS HAVE SENT CONSUMERS SCURRYING INTO THE
NEW CAR AND TRUCK SHOWROOMS
ESS=new car fever: gm/f
...GM SAYS SALES ROSE 13 POINT 2 PERCENT LAST MONTH..FORD SAW SALES RISE
5 PERCENT BUT REPORTED AN OVERALL FALL OFF FROM LAST YEAR AND MITSUBISHI
RECORDED IT'S BEST U-S SALES EVER IN NOVEMBER WITH AN INCREASE OF 27
HERE'S SOMETHING CONSUMERS AREN'T LOOKING FOR THIS HOLIDAY SEASON...MORE
DEBT...FOR THE FIRST TIME..THE USE OF DEBIT CARDS IS OUTPACING CREDIT
CARDS AS A WAY OF PAYING FOR THOSE HOLIDAY GIFTS....
FOX HOPES IT WON'T BE THE FIRST FEBRUARY FIRE SALE IN SUPERBOWL
HISTORY..BUT THE NETWORK THAT WILL CARRY THE NFL'S BIG GAME IN NEW
ORLEANS SAYS THERE ARE
A LOT OF COMMERICAL SPOTS OPEN. SOME OF LAST YEARS ADVERTISERS ARE
TAKING A PASS IN LIGHT OF THE SOFT AD MARKET..A NUMBER OF OTHERS...FROM
DOT COM LAND...ARE OUT OF BUSINESS...
FOR MORE BUSINESS NEWS HEAD TO OUR WEBSITE..CBS DOT MARKETWATCH.COM.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
More bad news about Virginia's economy from Governor Jim Gilmore.
Yesterday, Gilmore reduced the state's official revenue estimate by an additional 112- million dollars.
That puts the hole in the state budget at one billion dollars.
Gilmore would NOT discuss plans for spending cuts yesterday... but said he would NOT propose a tax increase in his budget.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=My goal is]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE; MY GOAL IS TO LEAVE THE PEOPLE OF VIRGINIA AND MY SUCCESSOR THE MOST FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE BUDGET THAT I CAN. IT IS ALSO MY GOAL TO LEAVE A BUDGET THAT MAKES THE HARD CHOICES SO THERE'S NO NEED TO RAISE THE TAXES ON THE PEOPLE OF VIRGINIA.))
[OUT Q=on the people of Virginia.]
Gilmore said he made the decision after business leaders and economic advisors told him the recession would last longer and economic recovery would be more gradual than projected.
State lawmakers are telling local officials to prepare for more bad news.
Yesterday afternoon, members of Roanoke City Council and the city school board sat down to discuss the upcoming General Assembly session.
Area legislators said expect the state budget shortfall and the prospect of significant funding cuts to continue to grow.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It's going to be tight]
((DEL. VIC THOMAS/(D) ROANOKE: IT'S GOING TO BE TIGHT. A LOT OF THINGS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO BE PUT ON HOLD. AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE WORK HARD TO STAY ON TOP OF THINGS.))
((SEN. JOHN EDWARDS/(D) ROANOKE: IT'S GOING TO HURT LOCAL GOVERNMENTS PROBABLY MORE THAN ANY OTHER COMPONENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH. OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS HAVE BEEN HURTING FOR THE LAST NUMBER OF YEARS, ANY WAY AND THIS IS JUST GOING TO AGGRAVATE THE SITUATION.))
[SUPER=01-Del. Vic Thomas/(D) Roanoke; :00]
[SUPER=01-Sen. John Edwards/(D) Roanoke; :09]
[OUT Q=to aggravate the situation.]
With the budget shortfall continuing to grow, lawmakers say a freeze of the car tax cut may not be enough. They say the General Assembly may have to consider a roll back to something less than 70 percent.
Jim Gilmore's Secretary of Education is quitting early.
Wilbert Bryant will resign today to take an education job with the Bush administration.
There are still some seats available to see Virginia Tech play in this year's Gator Bowl.
Director of Ticket Services, Sandy Smith says more than 9-thousand seats have already been sold.
Smith says Tech has a total of 12-thousand 5-hundred in Jacksonville.
Kickoff is 12:30 New Year's Day against Florida State... tickets cost 40-dollars.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=we did a preorder]
((SANDY SMITH/DIRECTOR TICKET SERVICES; WE DID A PRE ORDER FOR OUR CONTRIBUTORS AND SEASON TICKETS HOLDERS, THEY'VE BOUGHT UP ALL OF OUT 60 DOLLAR TICKETS WHICH IS THE CLUB SEATS.))
[SUPER=01-Sandy Smith/Director of Ticket Services; :]
[OUT Q=IS THE CLUB SEATS.]
Smith says Tech is known for a loyal fan base willing to travel with the team.
To purchase tickets you can go to or call the University box office.