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Wiretapping Led to German Arrests, Says Intelligence Head

The government’s ability to eavesdrop on suspected terrorists overseas allowed the United States to obtain information that led to the arrests last week of three Islamic militants accused of planning bomb attacks in Germany, said Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence.

But a government official said that McConnell may have misspoken. McConnell said the information had been obtained under a newly updated and highly contentious surveillance law. But the official, who has been briefed on the eavesdropping laws and the information given to the Germans, said in fact that those intercepts were recovered under the previous law. The official asked for anonymity because the information is classified.

The previous law required officials to seek warrants to monitor at least some phone calls and e-mail messages between two foreign locations when they were collected from fiber-optic cable in the United States; the new law waived that requirement.

Poll Shows Giuliani’s GOP Strengths and Weaknesses

Republican voters say Rudolph W. Giuliani has strong leadership qualities and they associate him closely with his handling of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but those impressions have not translated into a substantial advantage over his party’s other presidential candidates when it comes to who can best fight terrorism, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Nearly half of Republican primary voters in the poll did not know his position on abortion — he supports abortion rights — suggesting that he could be vulnerable among conservatives because of his positions on social issues. And many voters said that Giuliani’s experience as mayor of New York City, which he consistently trumpets, limited his ability to understand their needs and concerns and was not as good a background for the presidency as having been a governor or a senator.

While the poll found that Giuliani faces some big challenges in winning his party’s nomination, with 31 percent of self-identified Republican primary voters saying he does not share the values of most members of his party, it also suggested that he might be able to win over wary or unconvinced Republicans if he could make the case that he would be the candidate with the best chance of winning the general election.

Ex-Premier of Pakistan Arrested Upon His Return

President Pervez Musharraf faced the prospect of fresh clashes with a newly independent Supreme Court after deporting Pakistan’s former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, as he tried to return from exile on Monday.

Pakistan’s military government moved harshly against Sharif, deporting him within four hours of his arrival and arresting almost the entire leadership of his party as they tried to travel to the airport to greet him.

The government action appeared to fly in the face of a recent Supreme Court ruling ordering that Sharif, 57, be allowed to return to Pakistan unhindered, and it immediately ignited street protests among Sharif’s supporters.

Sharif, 57, a bitter rival of Musharraf, who ousted him in a coup in 1999, has spent much of his last seven years in exile in Saudi Arabia under an agreement to leave Pakistan for 10 years in return for having his jail sentences for corruption and hijacking commuted.