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Gonzales: Spy critics are threat to security
18 Nov 2006 source: cnn.com

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales contended Saturday that some critics of the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program were defining freedom in a way that presents a "grave threat" to U.S. security. Gonzales was the second administration official in two days to attack a federal judge's ruling last August that the program was unconstitutional. Vice Presid ...

Councils want help for equal pay
18 Nov 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

Local councils have called on the government to help them finance equal pay for women, which is costing £3bn. A Local Government Employers (LGE) report said councils must be allowed to borrow the funds in order to meet a March 2007 deadline. It said a series of legal challenges had forced up the cost of a previous 2004 agreement to bring women's pay in line with their male colleagues. LGE said some local councils were facing a "totally unmanageable burden". It added that the cost of em ...

Blair in Pakistan for security talks
18 Nov 2006 source: today.reuters.co.uk

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in Pakistan on Saturday for talks with President Pervez Musharraf on how to defeat a resurgent Taliban, pool counter-terrorist intelligence and tackle militancy in Pakistan's religious schools. Blair's spokesman said Britain and Pakistan would set up a joint working group between their interior ministries to promote closer links between thei ...

Sudan 'begins new Darfur attacks'
18 Nov 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

The Sudanese government together with the Janjaweed militia have launched new attacks in northern Darfur, the African Union (AU) has said. The AU said the ground and air offensive was a flagrant violation of security agreements. It said there had been a heavy toll on a civilian population. Rebels in the area said 70 people had died. Earlier, Sudan welcomed the UN's support for AU peacekeepers in Darfur but denied the UN will take command. The AU said in a statement that Birmaza, a much foug ...

Forces seek clues to Iraq abductions
18 Nov 2006 source: cnn.com

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi forces on Saturday were searching for five Western security contractors seized in southern Iraq as well as hostages taken in a mass kidnapping at a Baghdad research institute this week. An Iranian-run Arabic-language satellite news station, al-Alam, aired a video Saturday the station said was from a group claiming to have abducted four American ...

Dance star Flatley out of clinic
18 Nov 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

Lord of the Dance star Michael Flatley has poured cold water on rumours he is seriously ill by walking out of a London hospital. The 48-year-old was taken for treatment at a clinic two weeks ago with what is thought to have been a viral infection. He has cancelled all 20 European dates of his Celtic Tiger show. He left the hospital with his 32-year-old wife, Niamh O'Brien, saying he felt better and telling fans: "I am on the mend". Some friends had said they were worried over the dancer's he ...

'Missing' yachtsman safe and well
18 Nov 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

Yachtsman Tony Bullimore has made contact after 11 days of silence. Mr Bullimore, 67, from Bristol, had been sailing across the Indian Ocean when his catamaran's satellite phone went down on 7 November. The radio silence prompted coastguards to look for Mr Bullimore and his crew of three, who were heading to Australia ahead of a new round-the-world attempt. Mr Bullimore made contact with his wife on Saturday morning after coming close enough to land to get a mobile signal. Record attempt Sh ...

England scrape past South Africa
18 Nov 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

England: (6) 23 Tries: Cueto, Vickery Cons: Goode 2 Pens: Hodgson 2, Goode South Africa: (13) 21 Tries: De Villiers, Ndungane Con: James Pens: James 2 Drop: Steyn Phil Vickery's try with seven minutes left saved England from the ignominy of an eighth successive defeat against South Africa at Twickenham. Trailing 18-6 early in the second half, and 21-13 going into the final quarter, Andy Goode's penalty brought them close before replacement Vickery scored. Goode converted to put them in fr ...

Blair in Pakistan for talks
18 Nov 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has begun a brief visit to Pakistan, a day after its government freed a British man who spent 18 years on death row. Mr Blair is expected to meet Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Sunday. It is expected that security in Afghanistan and counter terrorism co-operation will be on the agenda. On his third visit to Pakistan, Mr Blair is also expected to meet Islamic chiefs over inter-faith harmony. Pakistan's co-operation in cra ...

APEC looks to talks on global trade, North Korea
18 Nov 2006 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Bill Tarrant HANOI (Reuters) - Asia-Pacific leaders said they were ready to make deeper cuts on farm subsidies to revive comatose global trade talks, as they began a summit on Saturday overshadowed by diplomacy over North Korea. In a statement issued on the first day of their two-day summit, leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum said "major players" in the group were ready to c ...

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