- The Washington Times - Friday, December 10, 2004

CANADA

Court backs arrest of al Qaeda suspect

OTTAWA — Canada has the right to detain a man suspected of belonging to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda group even though no charges have been filed, a top Canadian court ruled yesterday.

The decision from the Federal Court of Appeal removes a hurdle to the deportation of the suspect, Adil Charkaoui, a Moroccan whom the government suspects of engaging in terrorist activities, or planning to do so.

It also reinforces the government’s position that it needs to hold people like Charkaoui without trial to protect Canada’s safety, particularly after the September 11 attacks.

PORTUGAL

Snap elections set for Feb. 20

LISBON — Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio dissolved parliament yesterday and called snap elections for Feb. 20, a vote that could be a rout for the ruling center-right Social Democrats.

Less than five months after Pedro Santana Lopes became prime minister, his party is well behind the opposition Socialists in opinion polls. His brief tenure was marked by a Cabinet minister’s bitter resignation, slumping polls and accusations of government interference with the media.

PAKISTAN

11 killed as bomb hits army truck

QUETTA — Terrorists set off a powerful time bomb next to an army truck parked in a teeming outdoor market in southwestern Pakistan yesterday, killing at least 11 persons — mostly civilians — and injuring more than two dozen others, police said.

The bomb, which was hidden on a bicycle, blew out windows, shredded the truck’s canvas cover and left bloodstained debris over the market in Quetta, the main city in Baluchistan province.

A little-known group, the Baluchistan National Army, claimed responsibility but said it never wanted to kill civilians.

VATICAN CITY

Pope tells U.S. church to recognize faults

VATICAN CITY — The American Catholic Church must recognize its failings in the priestly sexual abuse scandal and rise up again with determination to heal the deep wounds, Pope John Paul II told U.S. bishops yesterday.

The 84-year-old pope, addressing a group of bishops from Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, said the leaders of the U.S. Catholic Church had to first renew themselves spiritually in order to truly renew their church.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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