US: Bush accepts proposal to ban torture

President George W. Bush on Friday endorsed Sen. John McCain's proposal to ban cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of terrorist suspects, reversing months of opposition. Bowing to pressure from the Republican-run Congress and abroad, the White House signed off on the proposal after a fight that pitted the president against members of his own Republican party and threatened to tarnish further a US image already soiled by the abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. Bush said the ban and accompanying interrogation standards will "make it clear to the world that this government does not torture and that we adhere to the international convention of torture, whether it be here at home or abroad." After months of fierce negotiations, McCain, who underwent torture during 5 and one-half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, declared "a done deal" that he said shows that the United States "upholds values and standards of behavior and treatment of all people, no matter how evil or bad they are."