New audiotape featuring Saddam found

BAGHDAD, Iraq – A new audiotape purporting to carry the voice of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein was broadcast on Arab television yesterday, demanding that U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq and saying that their defeat is inevitable.

The speaker on the tape also called on Iraqis to join the resistance against the U.S.-led occupation and take to the streets in protests.

Addressing the Americans, the speaker said, “Your withdrawal from our country is inevitable. And tomorrow is not too far away.” He told the United States to negotiate its withdrawal with Iraqi leaders it holds captive. The voice said the tape was recorded in mid-September, though there was no way to verify that claim or the tape’s authenticity. The CIA is reviewing the tape, according to intelligence officials.

Speaking with long pauses between sentences and with the sound of papers rustling as if reading the message, the voice is reported to resemble that of Saddam.

At least eight audiotapes attributed to Saddam have been aired on Arab media since the Iraqi leader disappeared after being ousted in April.

The most recent before yesterday’s was aired on Sept. 1, and the CIA said it was likely authentic. The recording yesterday was aired by the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya satellite television.

Census shows rise in Hispanic population

WASHINGTON – The nation’s Hispanic population is keeping up its explosive growth of the 1990s, led by states in the South and West, the first detailed Census Bureau estimates since the 2000 national head count show.

Analysts cited higher birth rates for Hispanics and a continued influx of new immigrants looking for jobs – even during a period when the U.S. economy slowed – as key reasons for the increase.

Georgia topped the list of states with the fastest-growing Latino populations, adding nearly 17 percent between July 2000 and July 2002 to reach 516,000 residents, according to Census Bureau estimates being released today. North Carolina’s Hispanic population grew by 16 percent, while Nevada, Kentucky and South Carolina were next.

“Hispanic immigrants are coming here for jobs and quality of life,” said University of Georgia demographer Douglas Bachtel. “They are taking jobs that a lot of Americans don’t want, like construction, landscaping and in the service economy.”

California still has the largest number of Hispanics with 11.9 million, about one-third of its total population, followed by Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois.

House passes tax cut for $12 billion

WASHINGTON – The House yesterday passed more than $12 billion in tax cuts to encourage charitable giving, while some Democrats said the bill’s generosity will cost future generations billions in extra debt.

The bill, passed 408-13, is the legislative offspring of President Bush’s effort to give religious organizations federal money and encourage them to take a bigger role in providing social services.

Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said the tax breaks will encourage $45 billion to $50 billion in additional charitable donations over the next decade.

“It’s really about $50 billion – $50 billion that the American people decide they want to give to charities to help their fellow citizens,” he said. The biggest tax break gives new charity-contribution incentives to taxpayers who can’t deduct charitable donations from their taxes because they don’t itemize their deductions.

Cons. delay changes to citizenship oath

WASHINGTON – An attempt to revise the citizenship oath to make it more meaningful for new Americans has been stalled after conservatives complained it weakened a pledge to serve in the military and eliminated a promise to bear arms. Yesterday’s debut of the new oath was postponed as immigration officials scrambled for another rewrite. Earlier this month, immigration officials said they were revising the oath for the first time in 50 years to give it more meaning to new citizens – and reworking the language so it would make “more sense to the brain.” The revision, which was shorter, removed a line pledging to “renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty.”

Mothers blamed for rise in antibotics use

CHICAGO – The government has a new strategy for reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics: Persuade mothers to stop pestering pediatricians to write prescriptions for runny noses.

Health officials have already hammered on doctors to quit dispensing antibiotics in situations where they are practically guaranteed not to work, such as common colds.

A straight-to-mom campaign is next.

The effort, announced yesterday, is built around public service ads featuring pictures of cranky-looking kids and the headline: “Snort. Sniffle. Sneeze. No antibiotics please.”

– Compiled from Daily wire reports.











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