Fri, Jul 29, 2005 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ United States

Corrupt official kills self

A former city commissioner recently indicted on corruption charges fatally shot himself in the lobby of the Miami Herald building, authorities said. Arthur Teele shot himself in the head shortly after 6pm Wednesday, police said. He had just asked a security guard if he could see columnist Jim DeFede, an acquaintance of many years, the Herald reported. Teele and an electrical contractor were indicted July 14 on charges of lying to get more than US$20 million in contracts at Miami International Airport that were supposed to go to minority-owned businesses.

■ United Kingdom

Hacker contests extradition

A Briton accused of "the biggest military computer hack of all time" appeared in a London court on Wednesday to contest extradition to the US on charges that he interfered with US military and other government computers before and after the 9/11 attacks. Gary McKinnon, 39, of Wood Green, north London, faces extradition for allegedly accessing 97 US government computers between February 2001 and March 2002, causing US$700,000 worth of damage. One of the allegations relates to his deleting operating system files and logs from computers at the US naval weapons station Earle at a critical time after the attacks on Sept. 11 2001.

■ Germany
Court says no to wiretapping

The nation's highest court on Wednesday struck down a state law in Lower Saxony permitting wiretapping that supporters said would have let the police maintain closer surveillance of potential terrorists and dangerous criminals. The German Constitutional Court ruled against a law that permitted wiretapping even when there was no concrete evidence that a crime was being planned, calling it an unconstitutional infringement of civil liberties.

■ United Kingdom

Blair, wife at odds over law

British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday denied he faced a domestic rift after his lawyer wife Cherie warned that an excessive response to the terrorist threat could undermine "our most deeply held values." Booth said during a lecture in Kuala Lumpur that senior judges should defend individual rights against the decisions of the majority to help educate people about "the real meaning of democracy." Her husband told a monthly press conference in London on Wednesday that claims made by judges in the Belmarsh case, that the government was a bigger threat to liberty than terrorism, would not be uttered now. Booth praised the law lords' decision last November to declare that the indefinite detention of 11 foreign suspects at Belmarsh prison was in breach of the Human Rights Act.

■ Iraq

New abuse probe launched

A company of the California Army National Guard has been placed on restricted duty amid allegations that some members mistreated detainees in Iraq, military officials said. Investigations are under way into the allegations of mistreatment by soldiers with the 1st Battalion of the 184th Infantry Regiment, a California National Guard official said on Wednesday. Other members of the battalion's Alpha Company are under investigation in connection with allegations of extorting money from Iraqi shopkeepers. The battalion's commander has been suspended.

■ United States

Congress blocks tests

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