New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 10, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
Bush asks Congress to renew Patriot Act
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — President Bush, facing efforts by some in his own party to scale back the post-Sept. 11 Patriot Act, says it has made America safer and should be made permanent.
“The Patriot Act closed dangerous gaps in Americas law enforcement and intelligence capabilities, gaps the terrorists exploited when they attacked us on September the lith,” Bush said.
Lawmakers responded to the 2001 attacks by overwhelmingly approving the law 45 days later. It allowed expanded surveillance of terror suspects, increased use of material witness warrants to hold suspects incommunicado and permitted secret proceedings in immigration cases.
Now, more than a dozen provisions are set to expire. Those provisions, among other things, provide authority for nationwide search warrants, enable the FBI and intelligence agencies to share information about terrorism cases and gave the FBI the power to
George W. Bush
obtain records in terrorism-related cases from entities such as libraries.
During Bush’ 2004 re-election campaign, he made preserving the law a common refrain, but he has rarely spoken of it since. His renewed focus came as Congress has begun working on the act’s renewal amid fresh criticisms—from members of both parties — that it undermines basic freedoms.
Bush pressured Congress to make the expiring provisions permanent. His administration also is seeking greater powers for the FBI to subpoena records in terrorism investigations without the approval of a judge or grand jury.
“My message to Congress is clear: Terrorist threats against us \yill not expire at the end of the year and neither should the protections of the Patriot Act,” Bush told more than IOO law enforcement officers.
The president credited the
law with helping to bring federal charges against more than 400 suspects — more than half of whom have been convicted — and to break up terror cells in New York, Oregon, Virginia and Florida.
He spoke at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy to highlight the case of a Columbus man, Iyman Paris, who was accused of plotting attacks on a New York bridge and a Midwest shopping mall but was tracked down with the help of the Patriot Act.
Bush said Fans met Osama bin Laden in 2000 at an al-Qai-da training camp in Afghanistan. Later, he received instructions from top terror leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge. Now, because of the Patriot Act, Bush said, Fans has provided information about al-Qaida and is serving a 20-year prison sentence.
Fireworks off limits in New Braunfels
By Ron Maloney
With Independence Day approaching and local Fireworks stands soon to be open for the holiday, public safety officials warn fireworks are illegal within the limits of the county’s incorporated cities — including New Braunfels. When used elsewhere, it should be with caution and adult supervision.
New Braunfels Fire Capt.
Stretch Rousseau on Thursday warned that the public should be aware of the laws pertaining to fireworks.
“According to code here in New Braunfels, they’re not only illegal to use, they’re illegal to possess in the city,” Rousseau said. “They’re dangerous.”
Violation of the city fireworks ordinance is a class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and forfei
ture of the illegal fireworks.
Rousseau said the city law is designed to protect people from fireworks, which can be dangerous if misused.
“Annually, there are numerous incidents with injuries from fireworks,” Rousseau said. “During this past Fourth of July, we had explosions involving professional demonstrations with injuries and fatalities. We just want to warn people of the dangers.”
CONTINUED FROM Page 1A
Dry weather leads county to ban some fireworks
brought the county’s drought index to an average of 416 — well below the threshold for initiating a burn ban.
But a couple weeks of hot, dry weather could change everything, he said.
“The 14-day outlook places the index in the 500 to 600 range, which is when we usually implement a burn ban," Manford said.
“If we have no more rain in this time .and we have 90- to 100-degree weather, we’ll be
in a dire situation by July Fourth.”
County Counsel Geoff Barr drafted an order that would allow County Judge Danny Scheel to lift the ban if weather conditions permit.
“The court is giving author-ity to the judge to act on behalf of the fire marshal if needed,” Barr said.
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Friday, June IO, 2005 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 5A
Activists on left and right marshaling forces for Supreme Court fight
“I think there's a sense that in the past, the left has really made excellent use of the month of August when senators are all back home.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — Activists on the right and left are priming for a battle supreme.
If President Bush nominates the first new Supreme Court justice in more than a decade, a fight is expected to break out within hours of an announcement.
Overnight, the Internet will buzz with e-mails, pro and con. Radio and television talk show hosts will jawbone about die testy Senate confirmation bathe that’s anticipated. Television ads will air for and against Bush’s pick. Grassroots groups will cheer or boo the nominee — with shouting perhaps the loudest in states with senators up for re-election next year.
A vacancy could occur later this month when the court’s term closes. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist is ailing from thyroid cancer. At 85, John Paul Stevens is the oldest justice, and two others are in their 70s.
“The American people ought to prepare themselves to participate in one of the most extensive debates and conversadons that’s been had
— Sean Rushton
Director, Committee for Justice
in more than a decade about the Supreme Court,” said Nan Aron, director of the liberal Alliance for Justice, one of two organizations steering a coalition of groups on die left.
In the conservative corner is the Committee for Justice. Director Sean Rushton says his group is the “air traffic controller” of the right-of-center campaign to seat a conservative judge in the mode of justices Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia. He said many groups on the right say that if Rehnquist is going to step down, they hope Congress could finish the confirmation process before the August recess.
“I diink there’s a sense diat in the past, the left has really made excellent use of the month of August when senators are cill back home," Rushton said, recalling President
Reagan’s 1987 nomination of Robert Bork, who after being portrayed as a brilliant jurist and a dangerous extremist was rejected by the Senate, 58-42.
The Committee for Justice, which has close ties to the White I louse, was formed three years ago at the request of Sen. T rent I xitt ofMississippi, then the majority leader, and the urging of Bush’s top political adviser, Karl Rove.
The group holds weekly conference calls with conservative groups, raises money and keeps in touch with powerful players in Washington with a role in the Supreme Court nomination process. Committee for Justice is steered by C. Boyden Gray, the White House counsel to former President George ITW. Bush who helped Thomas through a contentious confirmation.
La Vernia Museum asking for assistance
The La Vernia Historical Association is seeking volunteers, display cases and items for exhibit.
The La Vernia Heritage Museum is scheduled to open as soon as possible. Tile City of La Vernia has granted use of the old firehouse building on I lighway 87 and PM 775 to be used for the museum.
Individuals who are interested in assisting with the creation and development of
the new La Vernia I ieritage Museum are encouraged to volunteer.
“We want La Vernia to be proud of this museum,” said LVHA President, Elaine Stephens.
Particularly needed are photos, documents, household items, tools and furniture. Items may be placed on temporary loan with the museum or donated. Additionally, the museum needs display cases and monetary donations.
The association is a 501(C)(3) public charity, qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devices, transfers or gifts according to Internal Revenue Service regulations.
To offer contributions or assistance, contact the Hi Vernia Historical Association's Heritage Museum Foundation Committee at (830) 947-3194, (830) 779-7095 or (210) 392-3281 or visit www.laver-niahistory.com.
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