World briefly for Aug. 16
Georgian leader signs cease-fire
TBILISI, Georgia — Georgia’s president grudgingly signed a truce with Russia Friday, even as he denounced the Russians as invading barbarians and accused the West of all but encouraging them to overrun his country. A stone-faced Condoleezza Rice, standing alongside, said Russian troops must withdraw immediately from their smaller neighbor.
President Bush talked tough, too, accusing the Russians of “bullying and intimidation,” but neither he nor Rice said what the U.S. might do if Russia ignored them.
Feds: Stevens got favors
WASHINGTON — FBI agents spent years investigating Sen. Ted Stevens. They read his e-mails, searched his home and taped his phone conversations with his friends.
This week, the Justice Department offered its first public glimpse at what it uncovered: a direct line of communication from a corrupt Alaska oil contractor to one of the nation’s most powerful senators. When VECO Corp. executives needed help securing business, winning grants or navigating the bureaucracy, they called Stevens.
US Intelligence says Iran’s Quds force, Lebanese Hezbollah training hit squads
WASHINGTON — Iraqi Shiite assassination teams are being trained in at least four locations in Iran by Tehran’s elite Quds force and Lebanese Hezbollah and are planning to return to Iraq in the next few months to kill specific Iraqi officials as well as U.S. and Iraqi troops, according to intelligence gleaned from captured militia fighters and other sources in Iraq.
A senior U.S. military intelligence officer in Baghdad described the information Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press. He spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence.
Russian general says US missile defense deal exposes Poland to possible attack
MOSCOW — Russia warned Poland on Friday that it is exposing itself to attack — even a nuclear one — by accepting a U.S. missile interceptor base on its soil, delivering Moscow’s strongest language yet against the plan.
American and Polish officials stuck firmly by their deal, signed Thursday, for Poland to host a system that Washington says is meant to block missile attacks by rogue nations like Iran.
Report: 1 Texas school district OKs teachers toting guns to prevent school shootings
HARROLD, Texas — A tiny Texas school district may be the first in the nation to allow teachers and staff to pack guns for protection when classes begin later this month, a newspaper reported.
Trustees at the Harrold Independent School District approved a district policy change last October so employees can carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings, provided the gun-toting teachers follow certain requirements.
In order for teachers and staff to carry a pistol, they must have a Texas license to carry a concealed handgun; must be authorized to carry by the district; must receive training in crisis management and hostile situations and have to use ammunition that is designed to minimize the risk of ricochet in school halls.
– The Associated Press