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News Briefs

Britain Holds On To Muslims Seized After Raids

The New York Times -- LONDON

Scotland Yard said Thursday it had extended to Saturday the detention of eight men who were arrested this week in connection with the seizure of 1,000 pounds of a bomb-making compound near central London.

At the same time, a spokesman for the antiterrorism branch said the arrests in Canada and Saudi Arabia of a father and son from Pakistan may be connected to the investigation into the suspected bomb-making activities in London.

The police suspect that those activities might have been in support of plans to stage a terrorist strike against a prominent target in London. But a police spokesman said that no physical evidence of manufacturing explosives, such as detonators, timing devices or other paraphernalia, was discovered in the raids.

Late Thursday, Scotland Yard announced it had arrested a ninth man. A statement said the man was 27 years old, but otherwise did not identify him. It said he was being held “on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.”

Senate Shelves Major Welfare Bill As GOP Fails To End Debate

The New York Times -- WASHINGTON

The Senate set aside a sweeping bill to reauthorize the nation’s main welfare program on Thursday after Republicans failed to muster the 60-vote majority needed to limit debate on the legislation.

The Senate Democratic leader, Tom Daschle of South Dakota, acknowledged that the bill had “overwhelming bipartisan” support. But he and other Democrats said they opposed ending debate because they had been denied an opportunity for a separate vote on a proposed amendment to increase the minimum wage.

Republicans complained that the Democrats had blocked a vote on the underlying welfare bill, even after the Senate agreed earlier this week to add $6 billion to provide child care to low-income families.

The vote to limit debate on the welfare bill was 51-47. Those who wanted to end debate, all Republicans, fell nine votes short of the number needed to prevail. No senator crossed party lines.

Investigation Of White House Leak Said To Have Broadened

The New York Times -- WASHINGTON

Prosecutors investigating whether someone in the Bush administration improperly disclosed the identity of a CIA officer have expanded their inquiry to examine whether White House officials lied to investigators or mishandled classified information related to the case, lawyers involved in the case and government officials said.

In looking at violations beyond the original focus of the inquiry, which centered on a rarely used statute that makes it a felony to disclose the identity of an undercover intelligence officer intentionally, prosecutors have widened the range of conduct under scrutiny and, for the first time, raised the possibility of bringing charges peripheral to the leak itself.

The expansion of the inquiry’s scope comes at a time when prosecutors, after a hiatus of about a month, appear to be preparing to seek additional testimony before a federal grand jury, according to lawyers with clients in the case. It is not clear whether the renewed grand jury activity represents a concluding session or a prelude to an indictment.