Britain May Set Up Secret Courts
To Hold and Try Terrorism Suspects
LONDON -- Britain is considering setting up secretive courts to facilitate the prosecutions of terrorism suspects and hold them without charge for longer than 14 days as current law allows, part of a crackdown following bombings in London last month, officials said Tuesday.
The Home Office said it was weighing changes to the pretrial process with the aim of "securing more prosecutions." Police authorities have asked the government to extend the period that suspects can be held without charges to three months.
The anti-terrorism courts, which would be run by judges with security clearances, would meet in closed sessions to study the merits of cases, rule on evidence the government considers sensitive, and decide how long each suspect could be held, the Guardian newspaper reported Tuesday, citing unidentified Home Office officials.
* NAGASAKI, Japan -- The second city attacked with a U.S. atomic bomb in the closing days of World War II marked the 60th anniversary of its devastation with a Catholic Mass, a moment of silence and an impassioned plea for a global ban on nuclear arms.
About 6,000 people, including hundreds of aging bomb survivors, crowded into Nagasaki's Peace Memorial Park, just a few hundred yards from the epicenter of the blast, for a solemn remembrance and a moment of silence.
The mayor of Nagasaki, Iccho Itoh, then had some angry words for the leaders of the world's nuclear powers, particularly the United States:
"Is your security enhanced by your government's policies of maintaining 10,000 nuclear weapons, of carrying out repeated sub-critical nuclear tests, and of pursuing the development of new 'mini' nuclear weapons?"
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, a staunch supporter of the U.S. military presence in Japan, then placed a wreath before the monument to the dead. He vowed to advocate a nuclear ban.
Three days after a U.S. plane dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, killing at least 140,000 people in the world's first atomic attack, a second plane took off to deliver the second bomb to the city of Kokura, which was hidden under a thick cover of smoke at the time. The plane circled three times, then changed course for Nagasaki. About 74,000 people were killed in the attack.
* KABUL, Afghanistan -- One U.S. service member and at least 16 suspected Taliban rebels were killed in fighting in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said. The American -- the fourth U.S. casualty in less than a week -- was killed when gunmen opened fire on Afghan and U.S. forces Monday in Zabol province. Two American GIs also were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle in eastern Ghazni province.
* KATMANDU, Nepal -- Communist insurgents have killed at least 40 soldiers in fierce clashes in the country's remote, mountainous northeast over the past two days, Nepal's army said in a statement.
* NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania -- Western nations will support the military junta that staged a bloodless coup in Mauritania if it shows it can live up to its promise of organizing democratic elections, diplomats said.
A 17-member military council seized power in the West African nation last week, ending two decades of authoritarian rule by Col. Maouya Sidi Ahmed Taya, the president.
* ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- Prime Minister Meles Zenawi won a second term, according to results from May's contentious election published Tuesday, but the opposition vowed a legal challenge. Allegations of fraud sparked protests and a clampdown in June in which at least 36 people were killed and thousands were arrested.
* MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- A commission of Nicaraguan lawmakers recommended that Congress lift President Enrique Bolanos's immunity so he can be prosecuted on charges of election fraud.
State regulators have accused Bolanos, who took power in 2002, of failing to disclose the origin of campaign funds. The president says that he has provided the information and that the charges are motivated by partisanship in Congress.
The president has been increasingly isolated since he led an anti-corruption drive against his presidential predecessor and former ally, Arnoldo Aleman, who is now serving a 20-year prison sentence on fraud and money-laundering charges.
Congress went into recess Tuesday, defying calls from Bolanos to debate ratification of the U.S.-promoted Central American Free Trade Agreement.
-- From News Services