Washington, D.C.

9-11 panel requests evidence of Iraq link from Cheney

Nearing the end of its work, the Sept. 11 commission is inviting Vice President Dick Cheney to provide any evidence he has that would show links between al-Qaida and Iraq under Saddam Hussein, a panel member said Saturday.

He said the panel also wanted to follow up its questioning of President Bush’s national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and CIA Director George Tenet.

The Cheney request culminates a week in which the commission said it found no evidence of collaboration between Saddam’s Iraq and al-Qaida, while the White House stuck by its position that the two had significant links.

Cheney had told the CNBC network that there probably were things about Iraq’s links to terrorists that the commission members did not learn during their 14-month investigation.

Washington, D.C.

Bush touts economic gains; Democrat says more needed

Fresh off a Western campaign swing, President Bush told Americans on Saturday that the economy was growing stronger and more jobs were being created despite Democrats’ claim that he presided over a downturn for the country.

“Time and again, our economy has defied the gloomy predictions of pessimists,” Bush said in his weekly radio address.

But Rep. Nick Lampson of Texas, in the Democrats’ weekly radio address, said Bush’s term had seen more and more jobs heading overseas with little done by the president to stop it.

“No matter how hard some of our friends and neighbors work; no matter how much training or retraining they’ve gotten; the opportunities before them are shrinking,” he said.


Seven die in Taliban gunfight; mine injures two U.S. troops

Taliban insurgents attacked a government office in southern Afghanistan, sparking a gunfight with Afghan troops that killed seven people, police said Saturday.

Just to the north, the U.S. military said two American soldiers were wounded and their Afghan interpreter killed when their vehicle hit a mine.

The gunfight occurred late Friday when 60 Taliban attacked a government office in Mizan, 230 miles southwest of the capital, Kabul.

Five attackers and two Afghan soldiers died in the two-hour clash, which ended when a U.S. helicopter appeared and drove the Taliban away.