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CIA rebuffs Cheney over interrogation documents

WASHINGTON - The CIA on Thursday rejected a request by former Vice President Dick Cheney that the public documents he said showed the effectiveness of the use of harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects.

Cheney had the agency declassify two memos that he thinks back its claim that useful knowledge was obtained by such methods. The Bush administration approved the use of water boarding, sleep and food poverty and forced nudity, as it comes to information after 11 September attacks.

The CIA says the two memos Cheney invited to be made available to the public were required for pending litigation.

"For this reason - and for that reason only - CIA Mr. Cheney does not accept the request for a binding release review," Paul Gimigliano, CIA spokesman said.

A spokeswoman for Cheney, who has become the most public defenders are much more important aspects of George W. Bush 's presidency, in January, said he was preparing a complaint.

He has been in an increasingly contentious battle with the Obama administration on the interrogation program whose disclosure prompted international anger and the United States' reputation around the world.

In one of his first acts as president, Barack Obama appoint humane treatment of terror suspects.

Obama called water boarding, a form of simulated drowning, a form of torture and has not ruled out criminal prosecution of the Bush administration, is authorized.

Cheney criticized Obama's decision last month to legal opinions, while the Bush administration, the use of the techniques employed against some caught in Bush's war against terrorism after 11 September attacks.

Obama to DEBATE

The dispute over prisoner abuse has entangled the Speaker of the House (of Representatives), Nancy Pelosi, in a dispute about how much they knew, that the program could be created in advance and Obama in a debate about whether images of the abuse to be released.

Obama on Wednesday reversed its position and refused to make public dozens of photos, which says that the images could ignite a counter-movement against the U.S. troops.

"The concern was that the release of these photos would have a negative impact on the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan," Attorney General Eric Holder said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

"We have to argue that in court, and we are prepared to do this," he said. Obama's decision was "consistent with the interests of our troops," said Holder.

Human rights activists want a full investigation into the interrogation program and the official who is authorized.

House (of Representatives) Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, who for a commission to investigate behavior in Bush's war against terrorism, said more than a dozen members of the Committee was the appointment of a special advisory to the treatment of prisoners.

The American Civil Liberties Union, working for the release of the photos, is also responsible for the appointment of an independent prosecutor, to the interrogation methods.

Legislators also worried about the owners about the possibility that some of the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. naval base in Cuba, where many terror suspects are held, could be transferred to the United States.

Representative Lamar Smith, the senior Republican on the Committee, said closing Guantanamo Bay, where 241 terror suspects are "endanger American lives."

He warned that American prisons holding terrorism suspects "could be a target for terrorist attacks sleeper cells here and around the world."

Owners said no final decisions have been taken, what to do with Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

Analysts and diplomats have said Saberi arrest should not be interpreted as a sign that Obama rejects Iran's Overture, but they say, and their release was influenced by it.

Some saw the arrest as a warning to foreign media in Iran presidential elections in June, while others say that he had an offer from hardliners to obstruct any thaw in US-Iran relations or to use it as a "trump card".

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Freed reporter Saberi arrives in Austria from Iran

VIENNA - US-born journalist Roxana Saberi arrive in Austria on Friday from Iran, four days after the authorities freed them from Tehran prison and lifted its eight-year sentence for espionage.

"We can confirm that they arrived in Vienna," said a spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Vienna. Another U.S. official said Saberi was expected to stay in the Austrian capital for a few days. U.S. officials further comment.

Earlier, the Iranian lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, Reuters said the 32-year-old freelance journalist in Tehran, had an overnight flight for Europe and will continue in the United States.

U.S. National Public Radio said Saberi was traveling with her parents. It also has U.S. and Iranian citizenship and worked for the BBC and NPR.

It was in January to work in Iran after their press credentials had expired. She was later accused of espionage, found guilty and for eight years in prison. She was released from prison after her sentence on Monday cut on appeal to a suspension of two years.

"She was good, but sad that they do not return to Iran soon to do the reporting," Khorramshahi added.

Saberi other lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, said on Tuesday the change in the ruling was by a different interpretation of the relevant legislation not because of political considerations.

But her release on Monday removed a potential obstacle to the

President Barack Obama's attempts to thaw U.S. relations with the Islamic Republic after three decades of enmity.

Saberi Obama welcomed the release as a "humanitarian gesture".

The two countries are in dispute over Iran's nuclear program which the West fears is aimed at making nuclear bombs. Iran says it is for generating electricity.

The United States had said the charges were baseless and had demanded the immediate release Saberi. Tehran does not recognize dual citizenship, and told Washington not to disrupt.

Obama, Iran has a new beginning in relations if Iran says Washington really begin to change policy.

Analysts and diplomats have said Saberi arrest should not be interpreted as a sign that Obama rejects Iran's Overture, but they say, and their release was influenced by it.

Some saw the arrest as a warning to foreign media in Iran presidential elections in June, while others say that he had an offer from hardliners to obstruct any thaw in US-Iran relations or to use it as a "trump card".

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WHO chief warns against false security about H1N1 flu

The World Health Organization on Friday warned against a false sense of security and seemingly dwindling light outbreaks of avian flu H1N1, which says that the worst may not be longer than for the newly discovered virus.

WHO Director General Margaret Chan, the Organization of the United Nations, the pandemic alert to the second highest level, so it remained "considerable uncertainty" about the exposure, the specific threats in Southeast Asia.

"We meet at a time of crisis, the global impact," she told an intergovernmental meeting on pandemic event at the WHO headquarters in Geneva.

The meeting is to tackle the sensitive issue of virus sharing, the countries in which the biological samples to the international community for use by pharmaceutical companies and decision makers, the vaccine formulation JAB ingredients.

At the height of fears about bird flu, Indonesia had refused to H5N1 virus samples with no guarantees that any vaccines developed from them will be made available to poorer countries at an affordable price.

Leading decision-makers including the flu vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis, Novartis and Baxter International expect the WHO guidelines, whether to start mass production of vaccines against H1N1, which may require less seasonal flu shots.

On Friday, Chan said countries with H1N1 infections for their "exchange of samples for risk assessment and the seed vaccine." Another top WHO officials, Keiji Fukuda, there have been "fast and wide distribution of samples to date.

The participants in the meeting - a precursor to next week's annual World Health Assembly - try to reach an agreement on standards for transparency, trust and sovereignty in relation to virus sample sharing.

"I hope the result is something really balanced, and we can for a long time," said Fukuda.

According to the latest WHO count, more than 7,500 people in 34 countries were infected with the strain of a genetic mix of swine, bird and human viruses. The symptoms are easy for most patients, but 65 people have died from the flu, especially in Mexico.

Chan said the WHO's leadership was aware of parts of Southeast Asia saw that major outbreaks of the H5N1 bird flu virus - a virus that can kill if it's from birds to humans, but has simply not among the people until today.

A mixture of H5N1 and H1N1 viruses could have a major influence, she said, while stressing: "I am not saying that will happen."

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Malaysia confirms first case of A(H1N1) flu

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia on Friday its first case of A (H1N1) flu in a 21-year-old students who return from the United States on Wednesday morning.

All the 192 passengers on a Malaysia Airlines flight MH091 from Newark on Wednesday urged to contact the Ministry of Health, using 03-88810200 or 03-88810300

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the case from the 36th Malaysia Country to be affected by the virus.

Health officers at the Sungai Buloh Hospital on high tender after the first A (H1N1) flu case in a 21-year-old students who return from the United States on Wednesday morning.

"Malaysia is now on high alert," said Liow, now in London, enroute to Geneva for a meeting of the World Health Organization. He added that he would his return earlier than planned in the next Friday.

Liow said Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, who is now the acting health minister would hold a press conference with Deputy Health Director-General Datuk Dr Ramlee Rahmat at Putra Jaya by 3 clock

Meanwhile, a statement by the Ministry of Health, the Director-General, Dr Ismail Merican said the young man was on Thursday in the hospital for fever, sore throat and body aches.

Tests confirmed that he was infected with the A (H1N1) virus, the statement said. He receives anti-virus treatment and was in a stable condition, he said.

Ismail said the ministry had contact with members of his family, but they were not under quarantine.

Ismail said his department was the steps to protect public health, and there is no reason to panic.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that a man from Bukit Mertajam under observation in the isolation ward of the hospital, Penang was declared free of avian influenza A (H1N1).

"We have just confirmed a report that the blood test on the 26-year-old man was negative," state health, welfare, caring society and environment chairman Phee Boon Poh said when contacted by Bernama Friday.

A test on a sample of his blood was sent to Kuala Lumpur.

The man was held for observation Thursday after it was found that fever and symptoms similar to those of influenza A (H1N1) in his return from the United States.

Two weeks ago, a New Zealand tourist was on the isolation ward of the hospital due to influenza A (H1N1), but also a blood test showed negative.

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