PANAMA CITY, Panama

Bush calls treatment of terrorists lawful

President Bush defended U.S. interrogation practices yesterday and called the treatment of terrorism suspects lawful. “We do not torture,” Bush declared in response to reports of secret CIA prisons overseas.

Bush supported an effort spearheaded by Vice President Dick Cheney to block or modify a proposed Senate-passed ban on torture.

“We’re working with Congress to make sure that as we go forward, we make it possible, more possible, to do our job,” Bush said. “There’s an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt America again. And so, you bet we will aggressively pursue them. But we will do so under the law.”

Cheney is seeking to persuade Congress to exempt the Central Intelligence Agency from the proposed torture ban if one is passed by both chambers.

 

PARIS

Police reservists to quell unrest in France

France will impose curfews under a state-of-emergency law and call up police reservists to stop rioting that has spread out of Paris’s suburbs and into nearly 300 cities and towns across the country, the prime minister said yesterday, calling a return to order “our No. 1 responsibility.”

The tough new measures came as France’s worst civil unrest in decades entered a 12th night, with rioters in the southern city of Toulouse setting fire to a bus after sundown and pelting police with gasoline bombs and rocks.

Outside the capital in Sevran, a junior high school was set ablaze, while in another Paris suburb, Vitry-sur-Seine, youths threw gasoline bombs at a hospital, police said. No one was injured. Earlier, a 61-year-old retired auto worker died of wounds from an attack last week, the first death in the violence.

Asked on TF1 television whether the army should be brought in, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said, “We are not at that point.”

 

BAGHDAD

Suicide bomber kills U.S. soldiers at checkpoint

A suicide bomber blew up his vehicle at a checkpoint south of Baghdad and killed four American soldiers yesterday, the military said. The U.S. command also announced five soldiers from an elite unit were charged with kicking and punching Iraqi detainees.

The suicide attack came as U.S. and Iraqi troops battled al-Qaida-led militants for a third day in Husaybah, a town on the Syrian border that the military describes as a major entry point for foreign fighters. One Marine has died there, the U.S. command said yesterday.

 

TAMPA, Florida

Prof called ‘crime boss’ for Islamic Jihad

A fired college professor acted as a “crime boss” for Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a murderous gang that operated like the Mafia, a federal prosecutor told a jury yesterday.

Although Sami Al-Arian and three co-defendants are not charged with killing anyone, they conspired to bring about attacks and are just as guilty under the law as the suicide bombers who carried them out, prosecutor Cherie Krigsman said in closing arguments.

 

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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