- The Washington Times - Friday, December 7, 2001

U.S. puts 39 groups on new 'terrorist' list

The State Department said yesterday it had put 39 groups, charities and companies on a newly created "terrorist-exclusion list," giving authorities the power to deport members or deny them visas.

Most of the groups already were on other U.S. lists of "terrorist organizations" and subject to financial controls, but were not specifically subject to U.S. visa restrictions.

The list, which is required under the USA Patriot Act signed by President Bush on Oct. 26, includes groups and companies from Afghanistan, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, the Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Uganda and Yemen.

Homeland security means sharing costs

State and local governments will have to share the burden for the nation's homeland-defense system, Tom Ridge said yesterday, though the federal government will make a significant down payment on the bill.

"We can't do it all. Responsibilities and costs have to be shared," Mr. Ridge, director of homeland security, told a group of news executives before meeting with state lawmakers. "But the federal government is prepared to step up and make a substantial down payment."

Mr. Ridge would not release details about how much the Bush administration thinks needs to be spent on improvements for public health, law enforcement and communications.

Bush extends holiday for federal workers

President Bush is giving federal workers a four-day weekend for Christmas.

Mr. Bush ordered the government to close on Christmas Eve so workers can have that day off, said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer.

Mr. Bush did give federal agency heads the authority to require some workers to report for duty for national security, defense or other reasons. He signed the order Wednesday night.

Specialist to head National Cancer Institute

Dr. Andrew Von Eschenbach, a urologist at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, has been named the new director of the National Cancer Institute, the White House confirmed yesterday.

Dr. Von Eschenbach is a specialist in urology and in prostate cancer. He is also the president-elect of the American Cancer Society.

He was replacing Dr. Richard D. Klausner, who announced in October that he was stepping down.

Anthrax-letter suspect held without bond

CINCINNATI A man accused of mailing hundreds of anthrax-hoax letters to abortion clinics across the country was charged with a firearms violation yesterday and ordered held without bond.

Clayton Lee Waagner, 45, who escaped from an Illinois jail earlier this year, was captured Wednesday at a suburban Cincinnati Kinko's copy shop where he was using a rented computer. Authorities said he had $10,000 cash in his pocket and a loaded .40-caliber handgun tucked into his waistband.

U.S. apologizes to media

The Pentagon yesterday apologized to the media for the military's refusal to allow coverage in Afghanistan of troops killed and injured by an errant U.S. bomb and promised to ease restrictions on reporters.

"We fully believe that you should be allowed to cover the bad things as well as the good things," Defense Department spokeswoman Victoria Clarke told reporters.

"We take it very, very seriously. We are looking into actual constructive steps we can take to improve the situation going forward," she added. "So our apologies for the screw-ups."

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