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3/13/2006 World News: Iraqi Court to Hear More Defense Testimonies in Saddam Trial


Saddam/Iraq: The trial of Saddam Hussein continues today (Monday) in Iraq with more testimony from the ousted leader's co-defendants.
Saddam and seven former members of his Baath Party are accused of crimes against humanity for the deaths of 148 Shi'ites in 1982 in Dujail, a village north of Baghdad.
In the day's first appearance before the court, Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court, acknowledged sentencing the 148 Shi'ites to death, but insisted they were given a proper trial and had confessed to trying to assassinate Saddam.
Saddam and his co-defendants say the crackdown in Dujail was a legal response to the attempt to kill the former Iraqi leader. But prosecutors have sought to show Saddam's government sought to punish the town's civilian population.

Bush/Iraq: President Bush is due to give a speech today (Monday) on the war on terrorism - the first in a series marking the three-year anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Mr. Bush is scheduled to deliver remarks today to the Foundation for Defense Democracies at George Washington University in Washington.
The president's speeches come as his administration opens a campaign to assure Americans it has a strategy for success in Iraq. Recent public opinion polls show nearly four of five Americans, including 70 percent of Mr. Bush's Republican Party, believe Iraq will disintegrate into civil war.

Rice/Asia: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is on her way to Indonesia seeking cooperation in the war on terror and help in persuading Palestinians to make peace with Israel.
She is scheduled to arrive in the world's most populous Muslim nation Tuesday for meetings with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other top government officials. Discussions are expected to include efforts to tackle outbreaks of bird flu in the region and Indonesian access to U.S.-detained terrorism suspects. Secretary Rice heads to Australia Wednesday where she will discuss security issues with her Australian and Japanese counterparts. The talks are expected to focus on Iran, Iraq and Northeast Asian security, including the contentious U.S. troop realignment plan in Japan.

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