Update as of 0800 Eastern Time:
Bottom Line Up Front:
1. Bailout Plan
3. Afghanistan Female Police Director Killed
4. Radar to Israel
From Fox News (Bailout):
Less than an hour before the House takes up the new $700 billion financial bailout bill, President Bush moved to assure Americans that the plan is good for the country.
"I'm confident that this rescue plan along with other measures taken by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve will begin to restore strength and stability to America's financial system and overall economy," Bush said in a four-minute speech Monday morning at the White House. "And I'm confident in that in long run, America will overcome these challenges and remain the most dynamic and productive economy in the world."
Bush urged Congress to pass the bailout bill the leading lawmakers fashioned in marathon weekend bargaining, saying it is needed to "keep the crisis in our financial industry from spreading" across the economy.
Bush argued that jittery U.S. taxpayers will benefit from a number of safeguards that lawmakers wrote into the pending legislation during weekend negotiations on Capitol Hill, including checks and balances on the operation of the program.
The president spoke shortly after two leading players in the Hill bargaining went on television news shows to urge passage, even as both acknowledged the necessity of this action represents a sad day for the nation.
From CNN (Bailout):
President Bush expressed support Monday for the bill that would put up as much as $700 billion to rescue the nation's troubled financial system.
Speaking at the White House, Bush called the proposed measure "an extraordinary agreement to deal with an extraordinary problem."
The bill is scheduled for a House vote later Monday, with Senate action seen on Wednesday, after bipartisan, round-the-clock negotiations throughout the weekend.
Bush said the bill would "help keep the crisis in our financial system from spreading throughout the economy."
He urged House members to support it, saying, "A vote for this bill is a vote to prevent economic damage to you and your community."
Addressing the $700 billion cost, Bush said that "much, if not all, of the taxpayer funds we invest will be paid back."
From Fox News (Venezuela):
President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that Russia will help Venezuela develop nuclear energy — a move likely to raise U.S. concerns over increasingly close cooperation between Caracas and Moscow.
Chavez said he accepted an offer from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for assistance in building a nuclear reactor.
"Russia is ready to support Venezuela in the development of nuclear energy with peaceful purposes and we already have a commission working on it," Chavez said. "We are interested in developing nuclear energy."
Putin offered Chavez assistance in developing nuclear energy during a meeting in the Russian city of Novo-Ogaryovo last week. The prime minister did not specify what kind of cooperation he could offer Venezuela, but Russia is aggressively promoting itself as a builder of nuclear power plants in developing nations.
Russia has ramped up its cooperation with Venezuela since last month's war with Georgia, which badly damaged Moscow's already strained ties with the West, particularly the United States.
From CNN (Afghanistan):
Two gunmen on a motorbike shot and killed a high-ranking woman police official in Afghanistan's largest southern city Sunday, while a suicide bomber killed three police and three civilians in the same region.
Malalai Kakar was traveling from her home in Kandahar city to the office Sunday when she was shot, said Zalmai Ayubi, spokesman for the Kandahar provincial governor. Her son, 18, was wounded in the attack, he said.
Kakar, 41, was the head of the department of crimes against women in Kandahar city, Ayubi said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility.
Militants frequently attack projects, schools and businesses run by women. The hard-line Taliban regime, which was ousted in the 2001 U.S.-led invasion, did not allow women outside the home without a male escort.
President Hamid Karzai condemned the assassination, as did the European Union, which said it was "appalled by the brutal targeting" of Kakar.
From NY Times (Israel):
The United States Army has deployed an advanced American radar system on Israeli soil, an official here said Sunday, allowing early detection of incoming ballistic missiles and enhancing Israel’s defensive capability against any potential attack by Iran.
The system will be operated initially by an American crew.
No official announcement has been made by either the Americans or the Israelis about the arrival of the system. The Israeli Army said in a statement that while it “enjoys longstanding strategic cooperation” with all branches of the American military, it is not its practice to discuss details of the bilateral activities.
But an official confirmed a report on Friday in Defense News, a weekly American newspaper published by The Army Times, saying that the radar system had been flown to Israel in parts over the past week and was being installed in the Negev Desert. The official, who did not want to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the news media, added that it would serve not only Israel, but the United States, too.
Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said: “We are committed to working with the Israelis to enhance their defenses but don’t talk about specific equipment of weapons systems we may provide.”
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