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Top News Stories 2008-07-29 07:00:05

Front Page: New Offensive in Iraq, Fire Consumes UK Landmark, Oprah School Abuse Trial Begins

  • New Offensive in Iraq:
    Iraqi forces with support from American troops just launched a new major operation against insurgents in the Iraqi province of Diyala, one of the last pockets of al-Qaeda militants in the country. The commander of the Iraqi ground forces says the operation's goal is ''to clear al-Qaeda in Diyala. We have a list of wanted persons that the troops will arrest during the operations.'' The offensive comes after deadly attacks in Baghdad and Kirkuk.
  • Fire Consumes UK Landmark:
    The historic seaside pier, the Grand at Weston-super-Mare, was consumed by fire yesterday. Stretching a quarter of a mile into the water, the two-story wooden structure was reduced to ash in a couple of hours. The fire broke out in a kitchen on the pier, though no one was hurt. A spokesman for the pier, Nigel Heath, says, “it is a tragedy. It epitomized the English seaside resort.”
  • Oprah School Abuse Trial Begins:
    The trial of the former matron at Oprah Winfrey's school in South Africa has begun with the defendant pleading not guilty. The six alleged victims will testify in private, amid reports that they're "very scared". The defendant, 28, was arrested at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy near Johannesburg last year. The $40 million school opened in 2007.

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