Fri Nov 11th, 2005 at 10:54:18 AM EST
From the front page
Blair defeated over terror laws
Prime Minister Tony Blair has lost the key House of Commons vote on plans to allow police to hold terror suspects without charge for up to 90 days.
MPs rejected the proposals by 322 votes to 291. They are now voting on whether to accept a compromise detention limit.
The defeat came despite Mr Blair saying MPs had a "duty" to give police the powers they needed to tackle terrorism.
The vote - the government's first Commons defeat - will be seen as a blow to the prime minister's authority.
But it does not mean he will have to stand down as prime minister - something he has said he will do before the next election.
'No police state'
The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and some Labour backbenchers said the 90-day plans went too far.
Civil liberties groups compared the proposal to internment - a charge rejected by ministers.
In his final plea for MPs to back the plans, Mr Blair urged MPs to take the advice of the police who had foiled two terrorist plots since the 7 July attacks in London.
In heated exchanges at prime minister's questions, Mr Blair said: "We are not living in a police state but we are living in a country that faces a real and serious threat of terrorism."
Ministers tried to reassure waverers by promising that the new laws would expire unless MPs renewed them in a year's time.
Conservative leader Michael Howard warned that the detention plans could alienate ethnic minority communities.