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Bush credits government's financial moves

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush said Saturday that measures the federal government has taken to help the nation's economy are beginning to take effect.

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The president added that without the government's "extraordinary measures" the country could have gone into severe economic depression.

"Those of you who have followed my career know that I'm a free-market person," he said. "Until you're told that if you don't take decisive measures, then it's conceivable that our country could go into a depression greater than the Great Depression."

Bush's comments come as the G20 summit, where world leaders from 20 of the world's largest economies are gathering for talks.

Bush said the world's governments need to take steps "without destroying incentives for innovation or destroying the marketplace." Those steps include improved regulations and adapting financial systems to account for the "realities of the 21st century."

The summit is expected to call for increased regulations on the global banking systems and credit markets. European leaders are said to call for greater oversight of hedge funds and for increasing the minimum amounts of money banks must keep in reserve.

Previously this week, Bush said defended Western-style capitalism and warned against excessive regulation.

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"We must recognize that government intervention is not a cure-all," Bush said Thursday. "History has shown that the greater threat to economic prosperity is not too little government involvement in the market -- but too much."


14 Iraqis killed in attacks

BAGHDAD, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A string of bomb attacks in Iraq Saturday left 14 people dead and 69 more wounded, authorities said.

Most of the fatalities occurred when a suicide car bombing detonated in the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar, killing 11 people and wounding 36 more, the Interior Ministry said. However, the U.S. military, which said the attack targeted civilians, put the death toll for the attack at 10 with 20 wounded, CNN reported.

In Baghdad, at least three people were killed and 23 others were wounded when a car bomb detonated Saturday evening in Baghdad's Karrada district, an Interior Ministry official said.

Earlier Saturday, a roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in northern Baghdad. The attack wounded at least seven people.

CNN also reported a bomb attached to an empty oil tanker detonated Saturday morning in eastern Baghdad. Three civilians were wounded in that attack, officials said.


Fritzl wanted dungeon to be tourist spot

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AMSTETTEN, Austria, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Austrian Josef Fritzl, who imprisoned his daughter and fathered seven children with her, wanted to open his home to tourists for money, a family member says.

The Daily Telegraph reported Fritzl, 73, wanted to turn his Amstetten, Austria, home into a tourist attraction to raise money for his family.

His sister-in-law evealed Fritzl's alleged plan in an interview with the Austrian tabloid Oesterreich Saturday.

"He actually wanted to make a tourist attraction out of his house with the dungeon where he kept Elisabeth, and charge 10 euros for entrance," she said. "It is completely mad. The family was supposed to get the proceeds, but, naturally, all of them rejected his 'business' proposal."

Fritzl, 73, has confessed to imprisoning and sexually abusing his daughter Elisabeth, 42, in a bunker beneath his home. She gave birth to seven of her father's children.


Texas Episcopal diocese 4th to leave

BEDFORD, Texas, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth in Texas voted overwhelmingly Saturday to leave the church, becoming the fourth in the United States to make the move.

Delegates to the annual diocesan convention then voted to join with the Province of the Southern Cone, The Dallas Morning News reported. The province, based in Argentina, is one of several in the Anglican Communion that has threatened a schism since the U.S. church ordained an openly gay bishop.

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Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker also disagrees with the U.S. church on the ordination of women, although that issue is not as divisive.

"The Episcopal Church we once knew no longer exists," Iker said. "It's been hijacked."

About 80 percent of the clergy and lay delegates at the convention supported the split. Iker predicted that five or six of the 55 churches in the Fort Worth diocese to remain in the Episcopal Church, along with 4,000 of its 19,000 members.

A legal battle is likely over the ownership of church property in the diocese and others who have voted to depart.

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