Like mommy, like babyat the San Diego Zoo
SAN DIEGO -- Jessica, a 25-year-old Western lowland gorilla at the San Diego Zoo, carries her newborn son. Born March 5, the baby is Jessica's fifth. It has yet to be named. This baby also has a brand-new sibling born to another female in Jessica's family group a few days ago. That marked the first time in San Diego Zoo history that two gorilla babies were born within the same troop just days apart. These births are significant because gorillas are very rare and endangered. Their wild populations are increasingly threatened by the illegal bush meat trade. The zoo is home to 12 Western lowland gorillas.
Iran says it's readyto talk about Iraq
TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran offered Thursday to enter into talks with the United States aimed at stabilizing Iraq, the first time the Islamic republic has agreed to negotiate with the superpower it calls the "Great Satan." The offer appears to reflect the desire of at least some top Iranian officials to relieve Western pressure over Tehran's nuclear program in return for help on Iraq, which is sliding ominously toward civil war. The Bush administration said it would talk with Iran -- but only about Iraq, not nuclear issues. The White House said the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, is already authorized to talk with Iran about Iraq. "But this is a very narrow mandate dealing specifically with issues relating to Iraq," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, adding that it did not include U.S. concerns about Iran's nuclear program. "That's a separate issue."
Defense urges judgeto keep Moussaoui ruling
ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A judge was well within her rights to toss out half the prosecution's death-penalty case against confessed Al-Qaida terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui in response to government misconduct, defense lawyers argued Thursday. Moussaoui's lawyers said there was no reason for U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema to reconsider her ruling excluding what she called contaminated evidence about U.S. aviation security measures. On Wednesday, prosecutors asked her to reconsider. They have said it would be waste of time to proceed with the sentencing trial unless they are allowed to present some of the aviation evidence. There was no indication when, or if, Brinkema would respond. Brinkema issued sanctions after finding that a Transportation Security Administration lawyer, Carla J. Martin, violated trial rules by coaching witnesses on their testimony, exposing them to trial transcripts and warning them to be prepared for certain topics on cross-examination. She also lied to defense attorneys to prevent them from doing pretrial interviews with several aviation officials they wanted to call as witnesses, the judge found.
Papers show Dubai gotthreats from extremists
CAIRO, Egypt -- An Islamic extremist group warned Dubai and other sheikdoms of the United Arab Emirates that it would attack the crucial tourism industry if authorities persisted in arresting militants wanted by the West. The threat, contained in a letter dated 2002 and newly declassified by the U.S. military, shows the intimidation Arab countries face if they cooperate with the West. The letter came the same year the Emirates turned over to the United States a suspected mastermind of the deadly bombing of the USS Cole. The UAE has kept making arrests, including the detention and hand-over to Pakistan in 2004 of a Pakistani suspect who allegedly trained thousands of Al-Qaida fighters. However, the issue of whether the country does enough to fight terrorism was at the center of a dispute in the United States over a Dubai company's plans -- since abandoned -- to run U.S. ports. The group that issued the 2002 threat, calling itself "Qaida al-Jihad," or the Qaida (Base) of Holy War, also said in its letter that it had infiltrated the UAE's "security, censorship and monetary agencies, along with other agencies that should not be mentioned."
Associated Press

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