Nation/world digest 11/16/04

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

U.S. Catholic bishops choose new president

WASHINGTON -- America's Roman Catholic bishops chose a new president Monday who has released the names of priests accused of molesting children and reached out to victims but who also plans to seek bankruptcy protection for his diocese because of abuse claims. Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., will succeed Bishop Wilton Gregory of Belleville, Ill., who led the conference for three years during the height of the molestation crisis.

Man sets himself on fire outside White House

WASHINGTON -- A man who set himself afire Monday just outside a White House gate reportedly worked for the FBI as an informant and was distraught over his inability to return to Yemen to visit his ill wife. Mohamed Alanssi, 52, arrived at the gate just before 2 p.m. Monday with a letter addressed to President Bush. After talking briefly with Secret Service officers, he set his clothing ablaze with a lighter. Officers extinguished the flames, but he suffered burns on his hands, neck and face.

France ends evacuation flights from Ivory Coast

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast --France concluded one of the largest evacuations in post-independence Africa on Monday and the U.N. Security Council imposed an immediate arms embargo against Ivory Coast, stepping up pressure to end the violence that spurred the exodus. Worried families piled into the last two jumbo jets, bringing to more than 5,000 the number of Westerners fleeing an upsurge in violence sparked by clashes between France and its former West African colony.

Dutch minister calls for broader arrest powers

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Spurred by the first terrorist killing on its soil, the Dutch justice minister said Monday authorities need broader arrest powers to combat a growing threat from Islamic radicals in the Netherlands. The new laws would empower anti-terrorism investigators to detain suspects without evidence that they may have committed a crime. The proposals follow the Nov. 2 slaying of filmmaker Theo van Gogh, whose latest movie denounced the treatment of women in Muslim countries.

Report says U.S. Marine shot wounded prisoner

NEW YORK -- A U.S. Marine shot and killed a wounded and apparently unarmed Iraqi prisoner in a mosque in the former insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, according to pool television pictures broadcast Monday. The shooting Saturday was videotaped by pool correspondent Kevin Sites of NBC television. A spokesman at Marine Corps headquarters in the Pentagon, Maj. Doug Powell, said the incident was being investigated. He had no further details, other than to confirm the incident happened on Saturday.

Births to youngest teens at lowest level since '46

ATLANTA -- The birth rate among American girls ages 10 to 14 has fallen to its lowest level since 1946, the government reported Monday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of births among girls in this age group dropped 38 percent from 1994 to 2002 alone, even though the number of girls 10 to 14 climbed 16 percent during the same period.

-- From wire reports

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