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Dec. 14, 2003 at 8:00 PM
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Magazine says Saddam not cooperative

BAGHDAD, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Saddam Hussein was not very cooperative immediately after his capture, Time Magazine reported Sunday.

After his capture, Saddam was taken to a holding cell at the Baghdad

Airport, refusing to answer any questions directly and in fact, appearing less than fully coherent.

A transcript showed when asked "How are you?" he answered, "I am sad because my people are in bondage." Offered a glass of water, Saddam replied, "If I

drink water I will have to go to the bathroom and how can I use the bathroom

when my people are in bondage?"

Saddam denied knowing anything about the fate of Capt. Scott Speicher, a U.S. pilot missing since the first Gulf War.

Saddam said of any weapons of mass destruction, "The U.S. dreamed them up itself to have a reason to go to war with us."

Saddam said he did not let U.N. inspectors in "to go into the

presidential areas and intrude on our privacy."


Syria hopes U.S. now to exit Iraq

DAMASCUS, Syria, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Ending its silence on the capture of Saddam Hussein, the Syrian government Sunday said the development should lead to a U.S. exit from Iraq.

Syria Information Minister Ahmad al-Hasan said Syria wants Iraq to maintain its unity and that, "We hope that the Iraqi people will have the ability to achieve its sovereignty and the removal of the occupation from its land."

A new Iraqi government should represent "all the shades and factions of the Iraqi people," opening the way to "security and stability" that is "free from any occupation authority that obstructs its free will," he said, according to the Syrian News Agency SANA.

Earlier SANA carried the news of Saddam's arrest but did not comment.

Political analyst and journalist Fayez al-Sayegh said the American capture of the former Iraqi leader "tests the U.S. credibility in Iraq, especially regarding its promises regarding handing over power to the Iraqis."


Lauryn Hill slams church at the Vatican

VATICAN CITY, Italy, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Grammy-award winner Lauryn Hill stunned Catholic officials by lashing out against the Church during a holiday concert at the Vatican.

During her performance Saturday night, Hill called the church corrupt and alluded to the sexual abuse of children by priests, the BBC reported Sunday.

Just yards away from five of the most senior cardinals, Hill warned the audience to seek blessings "from God not men" and said she did "not believe in representatives of God on earth," the BBC said.

She then sang a protest song that was not on the program.

Bishop Rino Fisichella later called Hill "an uneducated act showing a lack of respect for the place she was a guest and for those who invited her."

Pope John Paul II had a private audience with the concert's performers and organizers but did not attend the show.

The concert was recorded for broadcast on Christmas Eve and organizers said Hill's outburst and performance would be cut, Catholic News reported.


Former Deleware Sen. Bill Roth dead at 82

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Former Delaware Republican senator and tireless tax-cut crusader Bill Roth has died at the age of 82.

Roth died late Saturday while visiting his daughter in Washington, friends told the Wilmington, Del., News Journal.

Ross represented the state in Congress for more than 30 years, becoming the longest-running statewide-elected official in Delaware history, the newspaper said.

He lost his bid for a sixth six-year term in the 2000 election to Democrat Tom Carper. During the campaign, the then 79-year-old claimed his age was an asset.

"My background and experience enables me to make a significant contribution," he said.

Nationally, Roth was best known as co-author of the 1981 Kemp-Roth tax cut and creator of the Roth IRA tax-free savings account.

Roth made it his personal goal to reduce government waste and uncovered the Pentagon's infamous $9,600 wrench and $640 toilet seat purchases.


Philippine Foreign Minister dead

MANILA, Philippines, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The body of Phillipine Foreign Minister Blas Ople was returned to Manila Sunday, one day after he suffered a heart attack aboard a plane enroute to Bangkok.

His plane made an emergency landing in Taiwan late Saturday after Ople, 76, experienced trouble breathing and passed out, the BBC reported. Doctors were unable to save him.

His flag-draped casket was met by his family and officials in the Phillipine capital late Sunday.

President Gloria Arroyo issued a statement calling Ople "a great Filipino."

"He was an architect of foreign policy in the finest tradition of enlightened and pragmatic diplomacy, a champion of peace, human rights, collective security and the rule of law," she said.

A heavy smoker with an undisclosed lung ailment, Ople had suffered a mild stroke in 1994, the BBC said.

Ople was the chief backer of the 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement that allowed U.S. troops to return to the Phillipines for training exercises.

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