U.S. Alleges 3 Charities
Have Ties to Terrorists
The Bush administration yesterday added three Islamic charities to the government's roster of entities suspected of providing financial support to terrorist organizations.
The assets of one of the charities -- the Benevolence International Foundation, based in Chicago -- were frozen by the Treasury Department last year, and the foundation's leader is embroiled in a legal dispute with the government. In addition, the British government yesterday ordered that financial institutions in that country freeze the foundation's assets.
The foundation's leader, Enaam Arnaout, is accused by the U.S. government of siphoning off some of the charity's money to help Osama bin Laden and other terrorists. Arnaout has pleaded not guilty to the charges. That case is before a federal judge in Illinois.
The other two charities the Treasury Department added to the roster are the Benevolence International Fund in Canada and the Bosanska Idealna Futura in Bosnia. Any assets belonging to the charities found in the United States would be frozen.
U.S. Steps Up Effort
To Halt Drugged Drivers
Federal officials embarked on their most comprehensive effort to reduce the thousands of deaths blamed on drivers under the influence of illegal drugs.
The campaign will include public service announcements warning motorists of the dangers and a program to train police officers to identify drugged drivers.
More than 17,000 people are killed each year in alcohol-related accidents. Around 4,500 drivers who were killed in crashes in 2000 -- almost 1 in 5 -- had used drugs other than alcohol, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey Runge said police departments will step up enforcement this holiday season, including more checkpoints to catch drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs.
In addition, the government will fund programs to teach police officers to identify drugged drivers through such tactics as checking the size of a motorist's pupils, pulse and blood pressure and gauging reactions. About 5,500 officers have been trained in 35 states so far.
While motorists who have a specified amount of alcohol in their blood are automatically considered to be driving while impaired, only 11 states have similar regulations for drugs -- Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Utah, and, in certain cases, Nevada, North Carolina and South Dakota, according to NHTSA.
-- Compiled from reports by the Associated Press