Brown sets out options for anti-terror laws
LONDON — Prime Minister Gordon Brown set out plans for tough new anti-terrorism laws yesterday, saying police need greater powers to hold and question terrorism suspects in increasingly complex and global plots.
Addressing lawmakers before Parliament went into recess for two months, Mr. Brown said one option under consideration was extending the time that police can question terrorism suspects. Currently, suspects are charged or released within 28 days.
Although Mr. Brown held off on specific proposals, he told lawmakers that state-of-emergency laws could extend police custody to 58 days.
Defense minister fired after air crash
BRASILIA — President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva fired his defense minister yesterday, heeding calls for the removal of top aviation officials after nearly 200 people were killed in Brazil’s worst air crash last week.
Waldir Pires was forced out after two deadly air crashes in less than a year and months of chaos in Brazil’s air traffic system, which is run by the military.
The president’s office said Nelson Jobim, a retired Supreme Court justice with close ties to Mr. Lula da Silva, will take over the Defense Ministry.
Explosion, fire hit gas pipeline
LAVRIKI — A huge explosion and fire hit a major gas pipeline in northwest Russia today, but there were no reports of casualties and officials said gas exports were not affected.
“It is an explosion on a trunk gas pipeline under high pressure,” said Valentin Sedorin, a spokesman for the Leningrad region around Russia’s second city of St. Petersburg.
Witnesses spoke of a massive explosion that shook buildings three miles from the epicenter and caused traffic jams as people jumped in cars and fled the area.