Sen. Clinton won't use public funds

ALBANY, N.Y. - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D., N.Y.) will not accept public campaign financing for either the Democratic primaries or, if she wins the 2008 presidential nomination, the general election campaign.

Her decision had been widely expected given her and her husband's proven ability to raise vast sums of money quickly.

While both President Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry rejected public funding for their primary campaigns in 2004, they did accept $74.5 million each for the general election campaign. Clinton campaign spokesman Phil Singer said Clinton would support moderizing the public financing system.- AP

Leak case emerges

at Padilla trial

MIAMI - Prosecutors asked the judge in the Jose Padilla terrorism-support case yesterday to punish a defense lawyer who leaked transcripts of Padilla's intercepted phone conversations, saying the leak violated a court order and could jeopardize selection of an impartial jury.

Prosecutors contended the disclosure "was calculated and deliberate." U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke has scheduled a hearing for tomorrow.

The transcripts were part of a Jan. 4 New York Times article that raised questions about the strength of the case against the suspected al-Qaeda operative. On the transcripts, Padilla is not heard discussing any violent acts or terrorist plots.

Padilla, 36, a U.S. citizen, was originally accused of plotting a radioactive "dirty bomb" attack after his 2002 arrest, and was held for 31/2 years at a Navy brig as an enemy combatant.- AP

Abortion foe says

doctor attacks key

BUFFALO, N.Y. - James Kopp, an antiabortion extremist convicted of fatally shooting Barnett Slepian in 1998, testified yesterday that attacking the doctor was "the one essential thing" to preventing abortions.

Kopp, who is defending himself in a federal trial on charges of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, spoke from the witness stand of his motive for the slaying.

"I don't like killing," he said. ". . .The plan was to keep everyone alive at the end of the day."

Kopp is serving 25 years to life on a state murder conviction. He has acknowledged shooting Slepian but said his goal was to incapacitate - not kill - the doctor to prevent him from performing abortions. Kopp, a suspect in the nonfatal shootings of four doctors in Rochester and Canada, faces up to life without parole if convicted in the federal trial. - AP

Elsewhere:

Police searching for an Elkhart, Ind., woman and her four children, thought to have been abducted by the woman's former boyfriend, said yesterday that they believed all five were still alive but that one child needed treatment for severe asthma.

Fearing a dam break that could cause catastrophic flooding in Kentucky and Tennessee, the Army Corps of Engineers began lowering the water level yesterday on Lake Cumberland, 100 miles southeast of Louisville.