A pair of carbombs that did not explode was the Story of the Day. All three networks led with their London correspondent describing the two Mercedes automobiles--one found emitting gasoline fumes near Piccadilly Circus after midnight; a second spotted in the afternoon because it smelled of gasoline after being ticketed and towed to a lot near Hyde Park. Then all three followed up with backgrounders from this country on the possible link with convicted terrorist plotter Dhiren Barot.    
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video thumbnailNBCEngland terrorism: London double carbomb plotCars loaded with butane fuel found and defusedNed ColtLondon
video thumbnailABCEngland terrorism: London double carbomb plotBomb formula developed by convicted terroristBrian RossNew York
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England terrorism: London double carbomb plotPlotters tracked by London's omnipresent CCTVNick WattLondon
video thumbnailCBSMilitary detains terrorist suspects in Cuban campSupreme Court reverses ruling, will hear appealWyatt AndrewsSupreme Court
video thumbnailNBCIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesUS patrols' nighttime house searches in BaqubahJim MacedaIraq
video thumbnailCBSPublic school racial desegregation effortsSuburban flight resegregates classrooms in NCByron PittsNorth Carolina
video thumbnailNBCIllegal immigration grows, sparks backlashLong Island is punitive, New Haven welcomingRon AllenLong Island
video thumbnailCBSChess playing hotbed developed in Brownsville TexPair of fourth grade boys forms champion rivalrySteve HartmanTexas
video thumbnailCBSCellular telephone computer combination inventedApple's iPhone marketing used secrecy, hypeDaniel SiebergNew York
video thumbnailABCTV movie critic Joel Siegel dies, aged 63ObituaryCharles GibsonNew York
UNEXPLOSIVE A pair of carbombs that did not explode was the Story of the Day. All three networks led with their London correspondent describing the two Mercedes automobiles--one found emitting gasoline fumes near Piccadilly Circus after midnight; a second spotted in the afternoon because it smelled of gasoline after being ticketed and towed to a lot near Hyde Park. Then all three followed up with backgrounders from this country on the possible link with convicted terrorist plotter Dhiren Barot.

"Terror returns to the streets of London," declared ABC's Jim Sciutto--by which, of course, he meant the contrary. Terror had not returned. Reporters disagreed about why the plot failed. Was it foiled or was it bungled? NBC's Ned Colt said that his unidentified sources told him that by "extraordinary good luck" the bombers messed up: "Someone had called the cell phone twice but it failed to trigger the explosives." CBS' Richard Roth told a version that "vigilance" prevented the bomb as a "passing ambulance crew saw smoke or vapor" and called police. ABC's Sciutto described the bomb squad moving in: "First a robot, then an officer who--at enormous risk to his own life, said British officials--carefully defused the device."

Barot is in prison in Britain for a failed plan to make limousine bombs, including one that he hoped would demolish the Citicorp skyscraper in New York City. He wrote a "bombmaking how-to manual, a sort of Terrorism for Dummies, detailing the effectiveness of a gasoline bomb," reported CBS' Bob Orr. Sure enough the ingredients found in the unexploded cars--gasoline, propane, nails, cell phone--were the same as those Barot had listed. NBC's Lisa Myers said it had "strong similarities" to Barot's foiled 2004 plot in London. On ABC, Brian Ross' unidentified official British sources told him that surveillance videotape from CCTV cameras identified the driver of the Mercedes as "one of Barot's associates who was initially arrested three years ago but released for lack of evidence." In the past six years, ABC's Nick Watt (subscription required) explained, the number of CCTV cameras in Britain has increased fivefold to 5m: "Londoners are among the most watched people on Earth, caught on camera around 300 times a day."

ABC's Ross concluded his report by reminding us of the footage he showed last week of a "graduation ceremony for suicide bombers" held in Pakistan. Back then Ross identified the Taliban as the organizers of the ceremony. Now, without explanation, he has changed that to al-Qaeda. Ross also did not explain what the Pakistani ceremony had to do with these two London cars. As CBS' in-house counterterrorism expert John Brennan pointed out to anchor Katie Couric: "This is not a suicide attack. It was going to be remotely detonated."

COEQUAL BRANCH As the Supreme Court ends its session, both ABC and CBS picked up on the Justices' decision to scrutinize the detention without trial of terrorist suspects at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. CBS' Wyatt Andrews called it "a stunning about-face." He noted that the White House had asked for "latitude" in its treatment of the detainees and Congress had passed a law stripping the Supreme Court of jurisdiction over them. "Both other branches of government have told the Court to lay off" yet the "Supreme Court said: 'No!'" ABC's Jan Crawford Greenburg (no link) suggested that a legal finding last week that the military commissions are "a sham" may have convinced the Court to reverse its April refusal to take the case.

BAKING BAQUBAH CBS' Lara Logan yesterday showed us the Second Infantry Division's house-to-house searches of Baqubah in Iraq's Diyala Province. Now NBC's Jim Maceda joins the Third Stryker Brigade in its effort to pacify just eight city blocks. "Baqubah had become the capital of al-Qaeda's future Islamist state," claimed Maceda, although the video he showed as illustration was from a different Islamist group, Ansar al-Sunnah. Maceda showed us a sniper firing at shadows and the arrest of a village elder. Much of Maceda's footage was murky, shot with night vision, because daytime summer temperatures in Baqubah are so hot--up to 140F--that the Stryker Brigade prefers to strike after dark "surprising extremists in their sleep."

SEPARATION ANXIETY The two big inside-the-Beltway decisions yesterday--not to change immigration laws (text link) and not to permit race-based integration (text link) of public classrooms--apply to ordinary people in the real world. CBS sent Byron Pitts to Charlotte NC to study the racial mix of its schools. NBC had Ron Allen compare communities on either side of Long Island Sound for its Whose America? report on immigrants living here illegally.

The high point for racial integration of public schools has already passed, Pitts pointed out. Since 1980, "it has dropped across the country" with the sharpest declines in NC, Nev, Del and Wisc. Charlotte NC ended its program of busing to integrate its schools six years ago and now the West Charlotte school district is 88% black and 1% white--compared with 40% black and 60% white 30 years ago. The resegregation has occurred through a city-suburban split: "Wealthier families moved their children to well-performing schools and poorer families, mostly black and Latino, stayed where they were, crammed into low-performing schools, where test scores have plummeted." Yet it was not the old-fashioned type of white flight: "White folks go in one direction--fast out of town--with middle-class black folks right behind them."

NBC's Allen followed up on his profile in March of the contrasting policies of Suffolk County LI and New Haven Ct. The former was pushing for anti-loitering laws to crackdown on immigrant day laborers; the latter declared sanctuary for those without papers. Since then New Haven has become the first city in the nation to institute a Resident Identification Card to integrate the undocumented into the community. And when Suffolk County's loitering crackdown was axed as illegal racial profiling, police turned to stiffer traffic enforcement instead, jailing motorists without ID. "New Haven fights to keep federal immigration officers out. Suffolk County has been pushing hard to get them here" so that those it jails can be deported immediately.

FERNANDO SQUARED There was nothing not to like about CBS' closing feature for its Assignment America series. Steve Hartman showed us the legacy of JJ Guajardo, the legendary chess teacher of Brownsville Tex, who launched his program in 1989 and "soon it seemed like every kid in town was into chess." So meet the dueling Fernandos, fourth grade finalists at the state championships: Fernando Mendez and Fernando Spada. "The kids have been archrivals since kindergarten." Hartman asked the second-place Fernando about his victor: "Do you ever wish he just got amnesia and forgot how to play chess?" "No--because there would be no point of me playing chess. Nobody would give me any real competition."

TAKING A BITE They are calling it "iFriday," declared CBS' Daniel Sieberg, as he joined in the hoopla for Apple's launch of its AT&T cell phone. Sieberg had already filed a preview of the hard-to-get iPhone on Wednesday as David Pogue of The New York Times offered his show-and-tell: "You zoom in or zoom out by pinching or unpinching your fingers. It is spectacular…and unless you are some--you know--emotion-free Vulcan, this phone brings pleasure. And that should count." Now Sieberg follows up on the marketing of the videoplayer-camera-photodisplay-browser-voicemailer-emailer-MP3player-telephone: "Neither AT&T nor Apple makes any apology for the secrecy. In face it was the plan all along." NBC anchor Brian Williams teased George Lewis, standing in line at the Apple store in Los Angeles, as "our own cog in the hype machine." Responded Lewis: "It is pricey, $500 to $600. Will people pay that kind of cold cash to be cool?"

ROLL CREDITS "Joel was my friend," Charles Gibson reminded us when he announced the death of his longtime colleague on ABC's Good Morning America. The movie critic "knew how to write with wit and poignancy." Gibson told us that Siegel died at 63, after a nine-year affliction with cancer, "forever young--the boy who never had to stop going to the Saturday afternoon movies."

MENTIONED IN PASSING The network newscasts do not assign correspondents to all of the news of the day. If Tyndall Report readers come across videostreamed reports online of stories that were mentioned only in passing, post the link in comments for us to check out.

Today's examples: the replacement of military HumVees with heavily armored Cougar vehicles in Iraq is proceeding slower than expected…the Veggie Booty brand of puffed corn snack food has been recalled for fear of salmonella…the first Voting Rights Act violation to harm white voters has been identified in Mississippi.