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House: Don't kill horses to eat them

Published September 8, 2006

WASHINGTON - Riding a broad wave of bipartisan support, the House on Thursday approved a bill to ban the slaughter of horses in the U.S. for human consumption.

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, which still awaits approval by the Senate, passed on a 263-146 vote, setting the stage for the possible elimination of an industry that Rep. Edward Whitfield, R-Ky., called "a grossly inhumane business."

The three horse slaughterhouses in the United States - one in DeKalb, Ill., and two in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area - are foreign-owned and export most of their meat to Europe and Japan. About 90,000 horses were slaughtered in the U.S. last year.

Senate leaders push detainee bill despite dissent

WASHINGTON - Senate leaders are throwing their weight behind a White House plan to prosecute terrorism detainees despite dissent among some Republicans and the military's top lawyers.

Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said he wants to pass the proposal by the end of the month and would decide Friday how quickly to proceed on the bill, indicating a vote could come as soon as next week. The momentum placed behind President Bush's plan by Frist sent GOP moderates scrambling to develop an alternative.

Also sounding alarms on Bush's legislation Thursday were the Pentagon's top uniformed lawyers. Testifying before a House panel, the service's judge advocate generals said the plan could violate treaty obligations and make U.S. troops vulnerable.

The president's legislation would authorize the defense secretary to convene military tribunals to prosecute terrorism suspects and omit rights common in military and civil courts.

Armitage: CIA leak a 'terrible error on my part'

WASHINGTON - Expressing regret for his actions, Richard L. Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state, confirmed Thursday that he was the source who first told a columnist about the intelligence officer at the center of the CIA leak case.

"It was a terrible error on my part," Armitage said. He added: "There wasn't a day when I didn't feel like I had let down the president, the secretary of state, my colleagues, my family and the Wilsons."

Armitage also confirmed that he was the anonymous official who talked to Bob Woodward, the Washington Post reporter, about the intelligence officer, Valerie Plame, in June 2003.

House Republicans take aim at border security

WASHINGTON - House Republicans vowed on Thursday to pass a series of border security measures by the end of September.

But they made it clear they would not heed President Bush's call to create a guest-worker plan or grant legal status to the nation's illegal immigrants before the November midterm elections.

Rep. J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois, the House speaker, and others said House leaders would conduct a hearing Tuesday and then present legislation, perhaps as early as Wednesday.

Senate committee delays vote on Bolton for U.N.

WASHINGTON - A Senate committee unexpectedly postponed a vote Thursday on confirming John Bolton as U.N. ambassador when a lawmaker in a re-election fight said he had questions. The Foreign Relations Committee had been expected to vote on party lines to approve Bolton, whom Bush appointed last year. The vote is expected as early as next week.

[Last modified September 8, 2006, 02:06:33]

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