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Bush pushes House to pass intelligence bill

Associated Press
Published February 24, 2008


WASHINGTON

House Democratic leaders came under criticism Saturday from President Bush, who said they are blocking intelligence legislation so lawyers can sue telephone companies for helping the government eavesdrop on suspected terrorists. Terrorists are plotting attacks "at this very moment," Bush said in his weekly radio address. He again urged the House to act on Senate-passed legislation needed to renew the intelligence law that expired last weekend. The Senate bill provides retroactive protection for telecommunications companies that wiretapped phone and computer lines at the government's request, but without the permission of a secret court. The House version does not provide such immunity against lawsuits. The Justice Department and Office of National Intelligence said Saturday that telecommunication companies are complying with existing surveillance warrants, reversing a declaration Friday that some companies had refused to initiate wiretaps against people covered by orders issued under the expired law.

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill.

12-year-old rescues siblings from fire

As flames consumed her home Saturday and prevented her parents from helping, a 12-year-old girl saved two siblings, ages 9 and 8, by kicking out a second-story window and easing them down, firefighters said. Derrionna Adams then leaped 15 feet to safety, East St. Louis fire Chief William Fennoy said. The house was destroyed. A space heater may have started the fire.