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New Mexico Senator to Retire


Welcome back to the BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News.

We are, of course, always available online at npr.org/bryantpark. I'm Luke Burbank.


And I'm Alison Stewart. Coming up: 50 years ago two big and very different events happened on the same day. I'm talking about, of course, the launch of Sputnik and the premier of "Leave It to Beaver," October 4th, 1957. And that got us thinking about some of the other big events of that year, 1957. Why was it so special? We'll talk about it.

But, first, let's hear about today's top stories from Rachel Martin.

RACHEL MARTIN: Hey, good morning, everyone.

More than seventeen hundred trapped gold miners have been rescued in South Africa, and efforts continue today to try to save all the 3,000 mine employees stuck underground. The miners were trapped yesterday when a falling pipe damaged an elevator shaft. Miners have had to be evacuated with a smaller lift in another shaft. While reports say workers were exhausted and hungry, there has been no casualties reported thus far.

And things are getting a little lonelier for Senate Republicans today. New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici is expected to announce that he won't run for reelection because of health problems. According to a draft statement obtained by the Associated Press, the veteran Republican lawmaker is suffering from a progressive brain disease that could affect his decision-making capabilities.

The 75-year-old senator says he's confident, though, he'll be able to serve out the rest of his current term. Domenici is the fifth Republican senator to forego reelection, which will make it even tougher for the GOP next year to try to win back the majority it lost to Democrats in 2006.

And a movie version of the best-selling novel "Kite Runner" is expected out this fall. And if you've read the book - and a lot of people have - you know it's a dramatic tale of loss and redemption.

(Soundbite of movie, "Kite Runner")

Unidentified Man: Two friends, as close as brothers.

MARTIN: But the film has created a real-life drama that has affected the lives of two of the actors in the film. Three schoolboys from Kabul were cast in primary roles. And in the film, they appear in a rape scene, which could inflame cultural tensions in Afghanistan and make life difficult, even dangerous for the boys in their home country. In response, studio executives have delayed the release of the film while they try to get the boys out of Afghanistan. Amahdan Mahmidzada(ph) is the father of one of the child actors in the film. In an interview with NPR's Soriaya Zarhadi Nelson, he said he would never have allowed his son to take part in the film if he knew about the scene.

Mr. AMAHDAN MAHMIDZADA (Father of Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada): (Through translator) They said the movie is about kite flying, and nothing else. They didn't give us a script or a story or a book, nothing that says what the movie's about.

MARTIN: American security advisers have flown to the United Arab Emirates to find safe haven for the boys. No word on how long the movie's release is expected to be delayed.

I'm Rachel Martin. The news is always online at npr.org. Alison and Luke, back to you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Rachel Martin is a host of Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.