hMan says he shot hunters because one fired at him
hMan says he shot huntersbecause one fired at him
HAYWARD, Wis. -- A Hmong man accused of killing six hunters and wounding two others said Thursday he feared for his life as he was confronted for trespassing. Chai Soua Vang, above, who came to the United States from Laos more than 20 years ago, said he began shooting after he thought one of the hunters shot at him and the others were going for more guns. As he stood in the witness stand, Vang pretended he had a rifle in his arms and detailed the order in which he shot them. He said he reloaded the gun twice. Two survivors of the shootings testified earlier that no shots were fired at Vang before he started shooting. The 36-year-old truck driver from St. Paul, Minn., is charged with six counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. He faces mandatory life in prison if convicted.
Iran's nuclear technology
UNITED NATIONS -- Iran is willing to provide nuclear technology to other Muslim states, Iran's hard-line president said Thursday. Hours later, European nations renewed an offer of economic incentives if the Mideast nation would halt its uranium enrichment. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made the comment after talking with Turkey's prime minister during a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, Iran's state-run Islamic Republic News Agency said. Ahmadinejad repeated promises that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons, the report said. Then he added: "Iran is ready to transfer nuclear know-how to the Islamic countries due to their need."
Justice Department vowsto keep pledge in schools
WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Thursday that the Justice Department will fight to overturn a federal court ruling that the Pledge of Allegiance can't be recited in public schools because it contains a reference to God. Gonzales said the pledge is one of several expressions of national identity and patriotism that mention of God but don't violate the Constitution's ban on state-sponsored religion. The high court "has affirmed time and again that such official acknowledgments of our nation's religious heritage, foundation and character are constitutional," Gonzales said in a statement a day after the ruling by U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton in San Francisco. Karlton's decision could put the issue on track for another round of Supreme Court arguments.
GOP leader seeks delayon Social Security reform
WASHINGTON -- The head of the House Republican campaign committee is urging fellow GOP leaders to drop plans for Social Security legislation this year, citing potential repercussions in the 2006 elections, officials said Thursday. In the latest blow to the White House on the issue, Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y., conveyed his views Wednesday in a meeting with Speaker Dennis Hastert as well as a larger gathering of Republican lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee, officials added. As chairman of the House Congressional Campaign Committee, Reynolds is point man for the GOP effort to retain its majority in the 2006 midterm elections. Democrats must gain 15 seats next year to win control of the House. The officials who described the conversations spoke only on condition of anonymity, saying the sessions were private.
Leaders want U.N. to takelead in fighting terrorism
UNITED NATIONS -- Russia and China called Thursday for the United Nations to take the lead in the global fight against terrorism, speaking on the second day of a U.N. summit where a new Arab-Israeli meeting and European nuclear talks with Iran took the spotlight. The demands for a bigger U.N. role underlined how central terrorism has become around the world since the Sept. 11 attacks. They also highlighted that, while Washington and others want serious reform before the U.N. tackles new challenges, some nations want to give it more responsibility now. "There is a need to adjust this organization to the new historical reality," Russian President Vladimir Putin said. "Who else will take the role of coordinating and organizing this work but the United Nations?"