News Buffet: Bhutto Assassinated, Pay Day Lenders, Zoo Tiger Escapes

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy second day of Kwanzaa.

On the Beacon this morning, Dan Testa reports on a payday lender that’s marketing to the recently homeless, and a series of financial literacy classes for Flathead residents who have gotten into money troubles. Editor Kellyn Brown reminisces about Christmas’s past in the Brown household. Evidently jars of pickles and Underoos are popular Brown family gifts. Republican presidential candidate John McCain has picked Montana Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger to serve as chairman of the presidential candidate’s campaign here in the state. And columnist Dave Skinner sounds off on the Bucky Woldford’s Glacier Mall.

The Billings Gazette writes about how, three years after Yellowstone National Park was taken off an international list of threatened places, officials there continue to address the issues that put it on the list in 1995. Congress failed to pass the “Secure Rural Schools” program, leaving some local governments with uncertain financial futures. And, a fuel spill prompted the closure of U.S. 87 yesterday morning.

Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, a former prime minister of Pakistan, was assassinated at a political rally near the capital, Islamabad, Thursday. At least a dozen others were also killed in the explosion.

And, at the San Fransico Zoo, a tiger escaped from its pen yesterday evening, killing one visitor and injuring two others before police shot it dead.