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Death threats against Mr. Cain, who had been experiencing a bounce in the polls, triggered the request, according to an official with knowledge of the situation who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the situation.

Mr. Cain’s campaign had no immediate comment.


Panel wants to supply new F-16s to Taiwan

A House committee endorsed legislation Thursday requiring the United States to supply new F-16 fighter planes to Taiwan and deepen ties with an island nation that lawmakers said faces a military threat from China.

President Obama in September approved upgrades to Taiwan’s existing fleet of American-built F-16s but did not permit sales of new planes that Taiwan has sought since 2006.

The United States is required under 1979 legislation to supply Taiwan with weapons for its self-defense. The administration has sought to meet that requirement without derailing its efforts to improve relations with China, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican, who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Mr. Obama’s decision was “regrettable and shortsighted.” She urged him to approve sales of F-16 C/D fighters and diesel submarines to help Taiwan “meet the growing menace of communist China.”

Even though the two measures won committee approval, it seems likely that they would stall in the Senate. Similar legislation was introduced in the Senate in September, but has yet to reach the floor for a vote.

From wire dispatches and staff reports