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Fighting terror

9/11 panel says it needs money to continue

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 27, 2003

WASHINGTON -- Members of an independent commission appointed to investigate the Sept. 11 terror attacks warned Wednesday the panel will go broke by August without $11-million in new money, which wasn't included in the Bush administration's supplemental war budget as members had expected.

The commission's chairman, former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, said Wednesday he submitted a request to the White House last week for the additional money, which would come on top of $3-million allocated by Congress last fall to launch the investigation.

Also . . .

BOTULISM TREATMENT FUNDING RESTORED: California Gov. Gray Davis reversed course Wednesday, saying he will restore funding to a program that produces the only safe botulism treatment for infants and is considered key in combating bioterrorism.

The program is developing a botulism antidote scientists say is the only safe treatment for infants, who represent 75 percent of botulism cases annually.

Davis, struggling to surmount a nearly $35-billion budget deficit, had proposed cutting the $1.5-million program.

TALIBAN FIGHTERS ATTACK CHECKPOINT: Taliban fighters attacked a government checkpoint in northwestern Afghanistan, starting fighting that left at least 13 combatants dead, a military commander said Wednesday.

About 400 gunmen attacked the checkpoint Tuesday in Tora Shaikh in the northwestern province of Badghis near the border with Turkmenistan, said Mohammad Karim Khadem, a brigade commander in the area. Seven attackers and six government soldiers were killed.

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