WASHINGTON

ACLU to sue government over ‘no fly’ list

American Civil Liberties Union officials declined to comment in
advance of their planned announcement yesterday that they would
file a class-action lawsuit challenging the list of travelers that
the government has barred from flying because they’re
considered a threat. The civil rights group is representing seven
plaintiffs.

Airlines are instructed to stop anyone on the “no
fly” list that is compiled by the Transportation Security
Administration. The ACLU contends, though, that some people are
wrongfully put on the list.

David Nelson is a law-abiding 34-year-old lawyer from
Belleville, Ill. But he says the government treats him as if
he’s a threat to commercial aviation who shouldn’t be
allowed on a plane.

Nelson says he believes his name appears on the
government’s “no-fly list,” which names people
deemed too dangerous to board commercial flights. For Nelson,
it’s a case of mistaken identity: He’s not the David
Nelson the government believes is a threat.

Still, he says he’s been delayed at airports dozens of
times as government officials questioned him.

VILNIUS, Lithuania

Lithuanian president ousted over scandal

Lawmakers narrowly ousted Lithuania’s scandal-ridden
president yesterday for abuse of office, ending the Baltic
state’s worst political crisis since it gained independence
from Moscow.

The ouster of President Rolandas Paksas in a secret ballot came
less than three weeks before the country joins the European Union
on May 1.

The 47-year-old former stunt pilot lost three separate votes in
the 141-member parliament by closer-than-expected margins. Before
they voted, Paksas asked lawmakers: “Do a few mistakes of
mine justify the process of impeachment?”

Parliament wasn’t swayed, passing all three accusations
against Paksas: that he illegally arranged citizenship for one of
his chief financial backers, businessman Yuri Borisov; that he
divulged state secrets; and that he used his office for financial
gain.

The accusations stemmed from Borisov’s role in
Paksas’ campaign, including, government reports found, that
the Russian was linked to organized crime. Borisov, who denied any
wrongdoing, donated $400,000 to the campaign last year. Afterward,
Paksas helped Borisov get Lithuanian citizenship, although it was
later revoked.

TEHRAN, Iran

Iran to show it won’t produce nuclear arms

Iran promised to prove by mid-May that it doesn’t want to
build nuclear weapons, the chief U.N. nuclear inspector said
yesterday.

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy
Agency, said Iranian leaders assured him they know they must
cooperate with the Vienna-based nuclear watchdog.

The international community has become increasingly suspicious
that Tehran is hiding evidence about its nuclear program. “We
agreed that we need to accelerate the process of
cooperation,” ElBaradei said.

Gholamreza Aghazadeh, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of
Iran, said at a news conference with ElBaradei that the country
would voluntarily suspend its centrifuge work starting Friday. The
statement conflicts with Iran’s announcement March 29 it had
stopped building centrifuges for uranium enrichment.

MANILA, Philippines

Hostages trained to use cell phone bombs

Indonesian Islamic militants taught dozens of Abu Sayyaf
recruits how to make cell phone-triggered bombs and other terror
skills while dodging helicopters and troops in a jungle camp last
year, one of several former hostages told The Associated Press.

About 40 men completed the bomb-making course and 60 were taught
sniping and combat techniques from late 2002 to the middle of 2003
by two unidentified Indonesians, whom officials believe were
members of the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah network, the
ex-hostage said.

The eyewitness accounts by Rolando Ulah and several other
Filipinos once held by Abu Sayyaf provide a glimpse into
clandestine terror training by suspected militants with ties to
al-Qaida and to rebels in the southern Philippines.

Saliva, sweat may be used for drug testing

The hair, saliva and sweat of federal workers could be tested
for drug use under a government policy proposed yesterday that
could set screening standards for millions of private
employers.

The proposal will expand the methods to detect drug use among
1.6 million federal workers beyond urine samples.

It is being implemented with an eye toward the private sector,
however, because it would signal the government’s approval
for such testing, which many companies are awaiting before adopting
their own screening programs.

— Compiled from Daily wire reports

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