Sat, Mar 14, 2009 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ UNITED STATES

Obama mulls border force

President Barack Obama is considering deploying troops along the US-Mexico border to stop any spillover of the carnage from the drug wars in its southern neighbor, US newspapers said on Thursday. “We’re going to examine whether and if National Guard deployments would make sense, and under what circumstances they would make sense,” Obama told 14 regional US newspapers in an interview. For the moment however, the US leader said the spiraling border violence does not warrant “militarizing” the region. “We’ve got a very big border with Mexico,” Obama said. “I’m not interested in militarizing the border.” Obama told the Dallas Morning News and 13 other dailies he is keeping a close eye on running gun battles, assassinations, beheadings and other violence that have become an everyday occurrence in northern Mexico.

■ CANADA

Terrorist sent to prison

A judge sentenced a Canadian man to 10-and-a-half years in prison on Thursday for plotting with a group of British Muslims to bomb buildings and natural gas lines in the UK. Momim Khawaja is the first person to be sentenced under Canadian anti-terrorism laws passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He was convicted last fall of financing and facilitating terrorism. The Canadian-born Muslim of Pakistani descent was accused of collaborating with Pakistani-Britons in a thwarted 2004 plan to attack a London nightclub, a shopping center and electrical and gas facilities. Five co-conspirators were convicted in London in 2007 and sent to prison for life. Khawaja pleaded not guilty to all charges. The judge ruled Khawaja was aware of the group’s terrorist purpose, but the prosecution failed to prove he knew that the remote-control device he built to set off explosions — called the Hi-Fi Digimonster — was meant to be used in a plot to explode fertilizer bombs in London.

■ UNITED STATES

Sears Tower to be renamed

The tallest building in the US is getting a new name. Chicago’s Sears Tower will be renamed Willis Tower after London-based Willis Group Holdings. The insurance broker announced the name change and other details of its agreement with the building’s owners on Thursday. “It just doesn’t work,” said Robin O’Sullivan, a tourist from Cork, Ireland, as he walked into the Sears Tower’s Skydeck entrance on Thursday. “It’s known worldwide. Everyone in Ireland knows it’s the Sears Tower.” It’s all part of a deal with the London-based Willis Group Holdings. Along with moving 500 employees into 13,000m² on multiple floors of the 110-story building this summer, the Willis Group gets the naming rights as part of its lease agreement with the real estate investment group that owns Sears Tower.

■ CANADA

Nail clippers used in escape

Six high-risk prisoners escaped from prison last summer after spending four months chipping a path to freedom with nail clippers and other makeshift tools, a government report released on Thursday said. The prisoners, four of whom faced murder charges, used their tools to remove a heating grill and steel plate and win access to a brick exterior wall at the Regina Correctional Center in Saskatchewan. While some inmates played cards at a carefully positioned table to block the guards’ view, others chipped away at the wall, finally breaking through with a steel shower rod. They then used braided blankets and bedsheets to scale a wall of the compound and escape.

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