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Countdown to 'Countdown'

Simultaneous 'Countdown' of the top news stories exclusively  at

'Deep Throat' confirmed — On this date in 1972, the world-turning political scandal called Watergate was still 17 days in the future. On this date in 2005, the man who did as much as any other to make the scandal public and permanent, has .  He is the former deputy associate director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, W. Mark Felt.  Reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, whose Watergate coverage kept what had seemed like a tiny, contained political scandal alive inside the pages of The Washington Post, always insisted that they would keep their source's identity anonymous until he did, or relieved them of their burden of secrecy.  Then came today's shocking story in the magazine ‘Vanity Fair’ magazine. Felt, the former number two man at the FBI, kept his identity as Woodward's famous subterranean parking garage "friend" a secret even from his own family until 2002, the magazine reported.  But that changed.  His grandson Nick Jones confirmed what Felt had said, and how the family had convinced him to go public.

Clear the list — If you are just coming back from an eight-hour walk or something, three decades of mystery, shrouded in secrecy, wrapped in an enigma, are over tonight.  ‘Deep Throat’ of Watergate fame is former deputy associate FBI director Mark Felt, a 91-year-old attorney in failing physical and mental health in Santa Rita, California.  Woodward and Bernstein confirmed the claim after an article revealing Felt's identity in the new edition of "Vanity Fair" Magazine.  But it also means it isn't any of the other Nixon aides, or the investigators, who have been : It isn't Alexander Butterfield.  It isn't Steve Bull.  It isn't Dwight Chapin.  It isn't Chuck Colson.  It isn't Fred Fielding.  It isn't Len Garment.  It isn't David Gergen.  It isn't L. Patrick Gray.  It isn't Larry Higby.  It isn't Henry Kissinger.  It isn't Gordon Liddy.  It isn't Jeb Stuart Magruder.  It isn't Ray Price.  It isn't Earl Silbert.

Bush on defense — It is just about seven months after President Bush's re-election.  With certain , President Bush made the short trip to the Rose Garden today — to and give what seemed to be a pep himself.  And it may have worked as our .

Jackson trial — All along court observers have said it's too close to call.  But on a day when there was no defendant, no jury, and no lead defense attorney — we get what is perhaps our   Lead prosecutor, District Attorney Tom Sneddon, was overheard telling a colleague quote, "We just got screwed."  Today, arguments were heard on the very procedural legal minutia known as jury instructions.  Prosecution and defense lawyers grappled over important details down to whether Michael Jackson's name should appear in all caps for the jury.  What excitement came of the day, resulted from a jury instruction about considering the criminal past of witnesses.  Jury instructions will be finalized tomorrow, closing arguments expected to begin, on Thursday.