Guardsmen charged for aiding al-Qaida

A National Guardsman accused of attempting to pass military
intelligence to the al-Qaida terrorist network has been formally
charged, an Army spokesman said yesterday.

Spc. Ryan G. Anderson was charged Feb. 12, but the Army did not
immediately release that information, Lt. Col. Stephen Barger said.
A military defense lawyer has been appointed for Anderson, but
Barger refused to identify the lawyer.

Anderson was charged with two counts of attempting to supply
intelligence to the enemy, the Army said. He could face the death
penalty if convicted.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, defense officials have said
Anderson signed on to extremist Internet chat rooms and tried to
get in touch with al-Qaida operatives.

It is unclear how the U.S. government got wind of his alleged
offer to supply military information to the terrorists. It does not
appear he transmitted any information to al-Qaida, authorities

Barger said the soldier’s alleged attempts to pass
information occurred between Jan. 22 and Feb. 11.


White House retracts early job predictions

The White House backed away yesterday from its own prediction
that the economy will add 2.6 million new jobs before the end of
this year, saying the forecast was the work of number-crunchers and
that President Bush was not a statistician.

Bush himself stopped short of echoing the prediction.

“I think the economy’s growing, and I think
it’s going to get stronger,” said Bush, the
nation’s first president with an MBA. He said he was pleased
that 366,000 new jobs have been added since August. “But
I’m mindful there are still people looking for work, and
we’ve got to continue building on the progress we’ve
made so far.”

The administration’s refusal to back its own jobs estimate
brought criticism from John Kerry, the front-runner for the
Democratic presidential nomination.

“Now George Bush is saying he’s going to create 2.6
million jobs this year alone — and his advisors are saying,
‘What, you didn’t actually believe that, did
you?’ Apparently George Bush is the only person left in the
country who actually believes the far-fetched promises he’s
peddling,” Kerry said in a statement.



Police unable to stop Haitian rebel attack

Frightened police barricaded themselves inside their station
house yesterday, and said they could not repel a rebel attack on
Haiti’s second-largest city if it comes.

The country’s embattled leaders warned of an impending
coup and appealed for outside help. None was forthcoming.

On the streets of this northern port city, the last government
stronghold in the region, militant defenders of President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide vowed to fight on.

“We have machetes and guns and we will resist,” said
carpenter Pierre Frandley. “The police might have been
scared, but the people got together and organized. … We
blocked the streets.”

There were fears the rebels already have infiltrated the


Dissident demands cleric accountability

The leader of Iran’s ruling clerics must be made more
accountable to reform demands and should shed some powers to break
a “vicious circle” of control, the most prominent
dissident lawmaker and brother of the country’s president
said yesterday.

But Mohammad Reza Khatami — who was deputy parliament
speaker and among more than 2,400 candidates blackballed from
Friday’s elections — warned against public
demonstrations to demand change, saying Iranians have no appetite
for another revolution.

In an interview with The Associated Press, he offered glimpses
of a high-stakes gambit: trying to pressure Iran’s supreme
leader and the Islamic power base that controls everything from
foreign policy to the media.


Mother arrested 14 years after abduction

Police arrested the mother of a 17-year-old boy after her son
saw his picture on a missing children’s website and
discovered that she was accused of abducting him from his father 14
years ago.

Acting on a Canadian-issued warrant, U.S. marshals arrested
Giselle-Marie Goudreault, 45, at her home in the San Fernando
Valley. She was being held without bail until Canadian authorities
can extradite her on child abduction charges, authorities said.

Goudreault “was shocked and very emotional” during
the Feb. 11 arrest, said Jimell Griffin, a deputy U.S. marshal in
Los Angeles. The boy’s father had custody of his son, and
Griffin said Goudreault did not return him after a court-ordered

— Compiled from Daily wire reports

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