Archive for Saturday, March 6, 2004


March 6, 2004



Grand jury seeks records from Bush on CIA name leak

The White House has received and is complying with subpoenas from a federal grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA officer's identity, President Bush's spokesman said Friday.

After receiving the subpoenas in late January, the White House counsel's office sent a letter to staff members "urging everyone to comply fully with the request," Scott McClellan said.

"We're still in the process of complying fully," McClellan told reporters during a briefing in Crawford, Texas, where Bush is spending the weekend.

Asked whether any White House staff member had claimed Fifth Amendment rights and refused to testify during sessions with the grand jury, McClellan replied: "I have no knowledge of any invoking their right against self-incrimination."


Spirit rover also finds signs of past water in Mars rock

NASA's Spirit rover has found evidence of past water activity in a volcanic rock on the other side of Mars from where its twin, Opportunity, discovered signs that ground there had once been drenched.

The amount of water at Spirit's site in Gusev Crater would have been much less than what is indicated at Opportunity's site in Meridiani Planum, Ray Arvidson, deputy principal investigator of the rover mission, said Friday.

Spirit used its rock abrasion tool to grind below the rock surface and reveal cracks filled with apparent minerals, an indicator of water action familiar to geologists studying Earth rocks.


Libya admits storing 44,000 pounds of mustard gas

Libya acknowledged stockpiling 44,000 pounds of mustard gas and disclosed the location of a production plant in a declaration submitted Friday to the world's chemical weapons watchdog.

Libyan Col. Mohamed Abu Al Huda handed over 14 file cartons disclosing Libya's chemical weapons programs to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said general director Rogelio Pfirter.

The Hague-based OPCW oversees compliance with the 1993 international treaty banning chemical weapons, which Libya joined last month.

Libya also declared thousands of tons of precursors that could be used to make sarin nerve gas, and two storage facilities, Pfirter said.


Official says talk of surging bin Laden hunt exaggerated

Afghanistan's foreign minister sought Friday to play down reports of a heightened campaign to capture Osama bin Laden and said there had been no intelligence breakthroughs about the al-Qaida leader's location.

The United States has pledged a retooled and intensified offensive in the next few months to track top Taliban and al-Qaida figures along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The U.S. military in Afghanistan has said it was confident that bin Laden would be found this year.

Foreign Minister Abdullah took a more cautious tone.

"The missions now -- I wouldn't say it is as very special as is mentioned in some corners," he said.

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