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Nation In Brief

Nominee pressured over torture views

WASHINGTON — A Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee said Sunday he might consider opposing Michael Mukasey’s nomination for attorney general if the former judge says waterboarding is not torture.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined two top Senate Democrats in urging Mukasey to disclose his views. Mukasey so far has refused to say explicitly what his position is on the lawfulness of the interrogation technique, which simulates drowning.

“I am urging him that he needs to come forward. If he does not believe that waterboarding is illegal, then that would really put doubts in my own mind because I don’t think you have to have a lot of knowledge about the law to understand this technique violates” the Geneva Convention and other statutes, Graham said.

‘Saw IV’ earns $32.1 million

LOS ANGELES — The killer of the “Saw” franchise may be dead, but his sadistic spirit lives on.

Lionsgate’s “Saw IV” led the weekend box office with $32.1 million, maintaining the horror franchise’s position as a Halloween perennial, according to studio estimates Sunday.

5 dead in fiery Chicago crash

CHICAGO — A man who was driving the wrong way on an expressway west of downtown early Sunday caused a fiery crash that left five people dead, including himself, state police said.

The accident closed all the lanes on Interstate 290 for nearly three hours, said Illinois State Trooper Ivan Bukaczyk.

“A man was driving a Volvo westbound in the eastbound lanes when he collided head-on with a BMW carrying four people,” Bukaczyk said. “The BMW then burst into flames — almost an explosion. It was also hit by a van that couldn’t stop in time.” The van driver reportedly escaped major injury, he said.

Bukaczyk said the four passengers in the BMW were trapped inside and were pronounced dead on the scene.

Photos stir debate about bigfoot

RIDGWAY, Pa. — It’s furry and walks on all fours.

Beyond that, about the only thing certain about the critter photographed by a hunter’s camera Sept. 16 is that some people have gotten the notion it could be a Sasquatch, or bigfoot. Others say it’s just a bear with a bad skin infection.

Rick Jacobs says he got the pictures from a camera with an automatic trigger that he fastened to a tree in the Allegheny National Forest, about 115 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, hoping to photograph deer.

He contacted the Bigfoot Research Organization, which pursues reports of a legendary two-legged creature that some people believe lives in parts of the United States and Canada.

“It appears to be a primate-like animal. In my opinion, it appears to be a juvenile Sasquatch,” said Paul Majeta of the bigfoot group.

Edwards urges new rules on drug ads

LACONIA, N.H. — Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said Sunday that prescription drug companies should wait two years to begin advertising their new products to consumers.

Outlining a plan to regulate what he views as misleading drug ads, Edwards noted that annual spending on such ads nearly has quadrupled to $4 billion in the decade since the government relaxed rules on advertising directly to consumers.

Top companies spend twice as much on marketing and administration as they do on research and development, he said at a town-hall meeting at Laconia High School.

The two-year delay would prevent television ads from driving consumers to drugs that haven’t been proven safe, said Edwards, who also would require drug companies to get Food and Drug Administration approval before launching major ad campaigns.

Compiled From Wire Reports

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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