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Digest

Update monitoring law, Bush says

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published July 29, 2007


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WASHINGTON

President Bush wants Congress to modernize a law that governs how intelligence agencies monitor the communications of terror suspects.

"This law is badly out of date," Bush said Saturday in urging passage of legislation in his weekly radio address.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, provides a legal foundation that allows information about terrorists' communications to be collected without violating civil liberties.

Bush noted that terrorists now use disposable cell phones and the Internet to communicate, recruit operatives and plan attacks; such tools were not available when FISA passed nearly 30 years ago.

Democrats want to ensure that any changes do not give the executive branch unfettered surveillance powers.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used the Democrats' weekly radio address to tout her party's passage of legislation last week to implement major recommendations of the Sept. 11 Commission. The White House said the president would sign it

SAN FRANCISCO

Sergeant disputes chaplain on Tillman

The soldier at Pat Tillman's side moments before the former NFL star's death in Afghanistan strongly disputed portions of testimony given by a chaplain to investigators.

The chaplain debriefed the entire unit days after Tillman's death in April 2004 and included comments by Army Sgt. Bryan O'Neal. The chaplain told investigators that O'Neal said Tillman was harsh in his last moments, snapping, "Would you shut your (expletive) mouth? God's not going to help you; you need to do something for yourself, you sniveling ..."

O'Neal disputed that and other portions of the chaplain's testimony, outlined in 2,300 pages of transcripts released to the AP last week by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

"He never would have called me 'sniveling,' " O'Neal said. "I don't remember ever speaking to this chaplain, and I find this characterization of Pat really upsetting."

The chaplain's name is blacked out in the documents.

PHOENIX

Witnesses: Copters didn't hint of collision

People who saw two news helicopters collide and plummet to the ground while covering a police chase Friday say the choppers did not appear to be in distress, investigators said Saturday.

No one described any odd sounds before the crash, which killed all four people aboard, said Steve Chealander, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating.

The suspect in the chase, Christopher Jermaine Jones, 23, is being held on several charges.

DAYTON, OHIO

Pilot of stunt plane killed at air show

A biplane performing stunts for an air show crashed into a runway Saturday in front of thousands of spectators, killing the pilot, officials said.

Jim LeRoy, 46, was in one of two planes making loop-to-loops with smoke trailing as part of the annual air show at Dayton International Airport.

MINNEAPOLIS

Northwest cancels flights, blames pilots

Northwest Airlines canceled more flights as expected Saturday, with the company continuing to attribute the problem to pilot absenteeism.

Northwest did not release its cancellation figures, but the Web site FlightStats.com reported as of 9 p.m. EDT that the airline had called off 166 flights. It said 1,056 scheduled flights departed.

The pilots union has said Northwest doesn't have enough pilots to fly its full schedule.

Elsewhere

HELENA, MONT.: Wind helped a fire outside Glacier National Park jump firefighters' control lines Saturday, forcing evacuation orders at a lodge and closing a long stretch of highway, officials said.

MIDDLEBOROUGH, MASS.: Voters overwhelmingly endorsed a deal with an American Indian tribe Saturday that could bring casino gambling to the state and millions of dollars to the struggling, rural community.

GRANITE CITY, ILL.: A babysitter accused of allowing a man to have sex with a 12-year-old girl in her care for money was charged with pimping, police said. Amber Salts, 20, was charged Friday.

[Last modified July 29, 2007, 01:16:52]


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