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News Briefs

Supreme Court Turns Down Appeal On Naming Sept. 11 Detainees

The New York Times -- WASHINGTON

The Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal challenging the secrecy surrounding the arrest and detention of hundreds of people, nearly all Muslim men, in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Without comment, the court let stand a ruling by a federal appeals court here that had accepted the Bush administration’s rationale for refusing to disclose either the identities of those it arrested, most of whom have since been deported for immigration violations unrelated to terrorism, or the circumstances of the arrests.

A complete list of the names “would give terrorist organizations a composite picture of the government investigation,” a panel of the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 2-1 ruling last June. Of the nearly 1,000 people arrested, the government eventually released the names of 129 against whom it brought criminal charges.

Dean on the Defensive in Iowa

The New York Times -- PELLA, Iowa

In the closing days before the Iowa caucuses here, Howard Dean has slipped into turbulent territory, facing challenges in both Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states where he is looking to nail down the nomination with early victories.

Here in Iowa, Dean’s supporters expressed distress at what many described as his faltering performance in a televised debate Sunday. The Des Moines Register, the state’s largest newspaper, described Dean in a front-page article as “again on the defensive.”

It was the latest in a series of difficulties Dean has encountered at the very moment his competitors -- in particular, Sens. John Edwards and John Kerry -- have made an aggressive late-campaign push for support among undecided voters.

In New Hampshire, which holds its primary a week after the caucuses, Gen. Wesley K. Clark has taken advantage of having the state almost to himself, as Dean tends to the tough battles in Iowa, drawing crowds that are beginning to rival the ones that typically show up to see Dean. Although Democratic strategists say they see little chance that Dean will lose New Hampshire, Clark’s rise is threatening Dean’s once dominant position in the state and could dash his hopes of essentially ending the contest with an overwhelming win there.

Tension Mounts Over China’s Technology Industries

The New York Times -- As China moves to expand its own technology industries, the government has taken unusual steps that are leading to new trade tensions with the United States, according to Silicon Valley executives, trade experts and U.S. government officials. These measures include efforts to develop Chinese software standards for wireless computers, the introduction of exclusive technology formats for future generations of cell phones and DVD players, even tax policies that favor computer chips made in China and sold in the Chinese market.

Concerns over China’s strategies intensified last month when it announced that foreign computer and chip makers that want to sell certain kinds of wireless devices in China would have to use Chinese encryption software and co-produce their goods with a designated list of Chinese companies.

Foreign computer makers, led by American companies, have protested the decision by Beijing. In addition to their concern about the separate standard, foreign companies are worried about the possible loss of intellectual property if they are forced to work with Chinese companies that have the potential to become competitors.