Gunmen burst into school;3-year old boy killed
SIEM REAP, Cambodia -- Masked gunmen burst into an international school near Cambodia's famed Angkor Wat temples Thursday, taking dozens of toddlers hostage and killing a 3-year-old Canadian boy they said cried too much. Police overpowered the attackers as they tried to escape after a six-hour standoff. Furious and sometimes weeping parents waiting outside the school took their revenge, bloodying three of the four hostage-takers and beating at least one unconscious before police pulled them away. The attackers, motivated by a desire for money, barged into the school at about 9:30 a.m. and herded a teacher and almost 30 nursery school-aged children into a classroom in one of the school's two buildings.
Aruba authorities lookat items seized from home
ORANJESTAD, Aruba -- A helicopter searched for the body of an Alabama teenager as investigators sifted through items seized from the island home of a justice official whose son was with the young woman the same night she disappeared, officials said Thursday. Also Thursday, a judge considered a petition from the justice official, Paul van der Sloot, to see his jailed 17-year-old son, Joran. The judge was also expected to rule on a request from lawyers defending the youth and his two Surinamese friends to see any evidence authorities have gathered. Van der Sloot, from Holland, is training to be a judge in Aruba, which is a Dutch protectorate in the Caribbean. More than two weeks after 18-year-old Natalee Holloway went missing, searches by authorities, volunteer islanders and tourists have led nowhere, and no one has been charged in the case. Authorities were refusing to say if they thought Holloway was dead.
Money for wars in '06
WASHINGTON -- The House was poised to give the Pentagon an additional $45 billion for wars next year, even as public support for combat in Iraq wanes and lawmakers press for an exit strategy. While President Bush has not asked yet for more war funds, lawmakers included money for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in a spending bill the House was expected to approve late Thursday. With no end in sight to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, additional war costs are certain and House lawmakers are reluctant to wait for the president's request. The Senate also is considering adding billions for the wars in its version of the spending bill. Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Congress has given the president $350 billion for combat and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan and fighting terrorism worldwide.
EU to extend deadlinefor ratifying constitution
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- European Union leaders extended a deadline Thursday for ratifying the EU constitution, hoping "a period of reflection" will salvage the treaty after its sound rejection in French and Dutch referendums. Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking on behalf of EU leaders, said they accepted that the treaty would not be ratified by all 25 nations by November 2006, as previously planned. But he said late Thursday that with more time, voters could be persuaded to fall in line. "There must be a period of reflection, explanation and debate," he said. "The process of ratification continues. There will not be a renegotiation because there was never a Plan B. But there is a Plan D for dialogue and debate."
Approval for drug sought
WASHINGTON -- Government advisers recommended approval Thursday for what could be the first drug targeted to a specific racial group. The Food and Drug Administration's cardiovascular drug advisory panel voted 9-0 in favor of allowing sales of the heart failure drug BiDil. A clinical trial of the drug in black Americans was halted early when it became apparent that those using the drug did better than those not using it. That trial, on just over 1,000 individuals, was launched after the FDA turned away the drug following a study involving all races that showed little improvement -- but also gave hints that blacks might have had some benefit.
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