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A- Ine Micnigan uaily - Iursday, January 5, 2006 NATION/WORLD
Go't to transfer Padilla to Fla NEWS IN BRIEF
Supreme Court will later would be considered "in due course." the appeal was moot. J. Michael Luttig warned the adminis- H
"That's fine. It's great," said Donna The criminal charges do not involve tration that it was risking its credibil-
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of presidential powers
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
Supreme Court agreed yesterday to let
the military transfer accused "enemy
combatant" Jose Padilla to Miami to
face criminal charges in what was at
least a temporary victory for the Bush
The justices overruled a lower
court, which had attempted to block
the transfer as part of a rebuke to the
The high court said it would decide
later whether to consider the inmate's
argument that President Bush over-
stepped his authority by ordering
Padilla's indefinite detention in 2002.
It granted the Bush administration's
request for a transfer in a one-page
order and said Padilla's broader appeal
Newman, one of Padilla's lawyers.
"Both things are good. I don't think
it's a bad day for us."
Padilla's jailing as an enemy com-
batant for the past 3 1/2 years has
been the subject of multiple court
rulings and criticism by civil rights
The former Chicago gang member
was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare
Airport and put in military custody,
where he was held without charges
and traditional legal rights.
The Supreme Court had been asked
to use Padilla's case to define the scope
of a president's power over American
citizens taken into custody on U.S.
soil. The justices had been expected
to agree to hear his appeal, but shortly
before word was to come, the govern-
ment brought criminal charges against
him in Florida and then argued that
allegations that had been made by the
administration since 2002 - that
Padilla was part of an al-Qaida backed
plot to blow up apartment buildings.
Instead, a grand jury charged Padilla
with being part of a North American
terrorism cell that raised funds and
recruited fighters to wage violent jihad
outside the United States.
A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.,
refused last month to allow the trans-
fer of Padilla from military custody
in South Carolina to civilian custody.
The court criticized the Bush admin-
istration's use of one set of facts
before the courts to justify Padilla's
military detention without charges
and another to persuade a grand jury
in Miami to indict him on the terror-
In the appeals court decision, Judge
ity with the courts by changing tactics
in what could be interpreted as an
effort to avoid judicial scrutiny.
Solicitor General Paul Clement,
the administration's Supreme Court
lawyer, had told the justices that the
appeals court denial of the transfer
was "an unwarranted attack on the
exercise of executive discretion."
The 4th Circuit had backed the
Bush administration last year, with
a broad ruling that said the president
could hold citizens indefinitely with-
out charges on U.S. soil as part of the
war on terrorism.
Luttig, who was named to the
bench by President Bush's father, said
last month that the administration's
actions left the impression that Padilla
had been held in military custody "by
mistake," and that such government
tactics could prove costly.
at funeral kils 32
Bush campaign donates tainted cash
Republican officials said yesterday that President Bush's re-election campaign
was donating to charity a $2,000 campaign contribution by the Saginaw Chippewa
Indian tribe of Michigan following a plea agreement by lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Abramoff, who represented the Saginaw Chippewa tribe, agreed to tell investigators
about alleged bribes to lawmakers and their aides in a wide-ranging probe.
Bush's re-election campaign was giving up $6,000 worth of contributions in all.
Abramoff, his wife and the Saginaw Chippewa tribe each donated $2,000 to the Bush
campaign, said Republican National Committee spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt.
At this point, there is nothing to indicate that contributions from those individual
donors represents anything other than enthusiastic support for the (Bush-Cheney)
BC-04 re-election campaign," Schmitt said. The money is being donated to the
American Heart Association.
RAFAH, Gaza Strip
Militants smash Egypt-Gaza border wall
Hundreds of angry Palestinians streamed into Egypt yesterday after militants
with stolen bulldozers broke through a border wall, and two Egyptian troops were
killed and 30 were wounded by gunfire in the rampage.
About 3,000 Egyptian Interior Ministry troops who initially had no orders to
fire swarmed the border but were forced to withdraw about a half-mile, said secu-
rity forces Lt. Sameh el-Antablyan, who announced the casualties.
Gen. Essam el-Sheikh said Egyptian forces later began firing back.
The scene was one of utter chaos. An Egyptian armored vehicle was burning and
hundreds of Palestinians could be seen crouched in farm fields just inside Egypt.
The militants' rampage through the southern Gaza town of Rafah underscored
the growing lawlessness in Palestinian towns, especially in Gaza, and represented
the most brazen challenge to the authority of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Earlier, the Egyptian troops fired tear gas and shot into the air. A witness said
three Palestinians were injured - one seriously, when a troop carrier crushed him
against a wall.
Bar Association gives Alito highest rating
Judge Samuel Alito gained the American Bar Association's highest rating for a
Supreme Court nominee yesterday, giving him a boost before next week's Senate
Interest groups now will try to help or hinder Alito's chances by spending hundreds
of thousands of dollars on television, radio and Internet ads nationwide and in the states
of key senators, before and during the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings.
This is the second time the ABA, the nation's largest lawyers' organization, has
rated Alito, who was nominated by President Bush on Oct. 31 as the replacement
for retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
The "well qualified" rating - the highest - is the same one that Alito earned
in 1990 when President Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, nominated him to the 3rd
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
*53 killed in surge of attacks;
bombers said to be trying to
force coalition to compromise
BAGHDAD (AP) - A suicide bomber
struck a funeral for a Shiite politician's
nephew yesterday, killing at least 32 mourn-
ers, wounding dozens and splattering tomb-
stones with blood - part of a surge of
violence as Iraqi leaders try to form a coali-
Altogether, 53 people died in yesterday's
attacks, which included two car bombings in
Baghdad and a militant ambush on a convoy of
60 oil tanker trucks heading from Iraq's biggest
refinery to the capital.
The funeral bombing in Muqdadiyah, 60
miles north of Baghdad, bore hallmarks of
Islamic extremist groups such as al-Qaida
in Iraq. Politicians said the attack was an
attempt to hinder a broad-based government,
or force the dominant Shiite alliance into
further compromises. Shiites were said to
be close to a deal on a coalition with Sunni
Arabs and Kurds nearly three weeks after
The bomber struck as more than 100 mourn-
ers chanted a ritual Islamic prayer, "There is no
god but God." They were at the cemetery to bury
a 14-year-old boy a day after he was killed in a
failed assassination attempt on his uncle, Ahmed
al-Bakka, the director of the local hospital.
"We were walking in the funeral pro-
cession when a strange person joined the
crowd," said Amer Khazim, 37. "Suddenly,
there was a strong sound and we were turned
upside down . ... I saw many legs and hands
flying all over the place."
Another mourner, Jabar Thamir, said the
crowds had just entered the cemetery alongside
"Afterward, many people were very scared,
while others were busy checking the injured
before the arrival of the ambulances," he said.
Al-Bakka, who was not at the funeral, is the
head of the local branch of the Dawa party.
Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari leads the
party, which is a main partner in the country's
largest Shiite political coalition, the United
A senior Dawa official said such attacks were
meant to exert pressure on the United Iraqi Alli-
ance to accept a less than optimal compromise in
the formation of the government.
"We expect attacks to increase before the for-
mation of the government," Ali al-Adib said.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan noted that
the "horrendous crime" was the latest in a series
of increasingly violent attacks after the Dec. 15
elections, and called on Iraqis not to undermine
the democratic process.
'a TALLMANSVILLE, Wana
Coal exec apologies for wrong death toll
A top coal company official expressed regret yesterday that the families of
the 12 dead miners were mistakenly led to believe for three hours that their
loved ones were alive.
"In the process of being cautious, we allowed the jubilation to go on longer
than it should have," said a choked-up Ben Hatfield, chief executive of mine owner
lx : International Coal Group.
Hatfield said the initial mistake resulted from a miscommunication among
the rescue crews. Another ICG executive, vice president Gene Kitts, sug-
AP PHOTO gested that the misunderstanding resulted because the rescuers who reached
A relative grieves over the body of a bombing victim during a the victims in the mine were wearing full-face oxygen masks and used radios
funeral service outside the Muqdadlya hospital mourgue yesterday. to report their findings to their base.
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