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Australian Prime Minister Warns of Terror Threat

Australian Prime Minister John Howard says his government has received information about a specific terror threat against the country.

Mr. Howard told a news conference Wednesday, the government received information this week that caused "serious concern." He would not provide details.

The prime minister said he would try to push new anti-terror legislation through parliament Wednesday, to help law enforcement agencies fight the threat.

Counter-terrorism laws under consideration in Australia would allow suspects to be electronically watched or held in custody for up to 14 days without charge. They would also create tighter checks on citizenship applicants and authorize jail terms for inciting violence.

Rights organizations have criticized the measures, saying they threaten civil liberties and violate international law.