2A --The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 5, 2001
Sharon expected to defeat Barak
JERUSALEM (AP) - An angry and dejected
Israeli electorate faces a stark choice this week
between Prime Minister Ehud Barak and his push for a
final peace deal with the Palestinians, and the hawkish
front-runner Ariel Sharon, who won a boost yesterday
when he was endorsed by Israel's ultra-Orthodox bloc.
The deck seems heavily stacked in favor of
Sharon, a 72-year-old ex-general who promises to
quash the four-month Palestinian uprising and cede
no more land. He has led in all the polls for weeks by
about 20 points - a massive spread in a country that
for decades has been deeply divided more or less
down the middle.
Sharon received more good news when newspa-
pers representing Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox parties,
composed of Jews of European background, pub-
lished announcements from the religious leadership
calling on people to vote for him.
A victory for the burly ex-general in tomorrow's
election would be an astounding rehabilitation for a
man whose leadership hopes were widely considered
dashed when a government commission indirectly
blamed him for a 1982 massacre of hundreds of
Palestinian refugees in Beirut, Lebanon, and forced
him to resign as defense minister.
It would also appear to slam the brakes on the cur-
rent peace process. Sharon has made clear that he
opposes Barak's offers to the Palestinians and would
withdraw them in favor of less ambitious interim
deals emphasizing security for Israelis.
Sharon has been vague about his plans. However,
he is a lifelong hawk who has opposed the land-for-
peace idea and has been a leading patron of the Jew-
ish settler movement. A Sharon plan leaked to Israeli
media last month envisions giving the Palestinians
no more land - but also building no more settle-
Barak has predicted a peace accord is within reach
despite the recent setbacks - but he has also warned
that if the Palestinians don't soften their demands he
will forgo efforts to reach agreement and unilaterally
redraw the map, dismantling some settlements and
Many observers believe that whoever wins will
have difficulty maintaining a majority coalition in
the fractured parliament, and that general elections
for prime minister and parliament are almost
inevitable within a year.
. Sharon has said that if he wins he would make every
effort to bring Barak's Labor Party into a more stable
centrist coalition - but has not explained how the two
parties could possibly agree on a joint platform.
For their part, the Palestinians oppose any more
partial deals and insist that negotiations with any
Israeli government begin where the outgoing admin-
istration left off- even though rio agreements were
NEWS IN BRIEF
Bush launches campaign for tax cut
After two weeks of warm-ups in which he pushed education and religious-
based help plans, President Bush is ready to launch the sales job for the cente-
piece of his economic program - a sweeping $1.6 trillion, 10-year tax cut.
The White House has a full schedule of activities this week, starting today
when Bush was set to appear with a carefully selected group of American fami-
lies - much like he did during the campaign - to illustrate the benefits of
reducing individual tax rates.
He planned to meet tomorrow with small business owners and on Wednes-
day scheduled a White House reunion with his tax families from the camn-
paign trail. The outlines of his tax program are to be formally sent Thursday
One decision the administration is likely to make before sending the plan to
Congress is whether to speed up the tax relief by making it retroactive to the f6ist
of this year as a way of fighting off a recession.
"A tax cut now will stimulate our economy and create jobs," Bush said over
the weekend. He pointed to what he called "troubling" economic news of risin4
energy prices, job layoffs and falling consumer confidence that the president said
the government must combat.
Serb government may lose U.S. support
Serbia's pro-democracy government may lose financial and political support
from the United States unless it shows evidence of cooperation with the U.N. court
that indicted Slobodan Milosevic, the republic's prime minister said yesterday.
Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, speaking at the Belgrade airport after meetin
with Secretary of State Colin Powell in Washington, cited a March 31 deadline set
by Congress to produce solid evidence of cooperation with the war crimes tribunal.
He said he was warned that failure to cooperate will mean the United States,
the World Bank and the International Ionetary Fund, as well as other world bod-
ies, could vote against Serbian interests.
"If we don't agree by March 31 on what constitutes 'quality cooperation' with
the international war crimes court, it would entail a kind of confrontation that we
don't need and, I think, the U.S. doesn't need that either," Djindjic said.
The United States has earmarked $100 million for post-Milosevic Yugoslavia.
The unused portion of that money will not be disbursed if Yugoslavia refuses to
cooperate in the U.N. investigation into wartime atrocities during the 1989-99
crackdown on Kosovo Albanians, including Milosevic.
Amateurs, experts participatein
India earthquake relief efforts
BHUJ, India (AP) - As their over-
sized pickup sped along a one-lane
highway in western India yesterday, VP
Patel and a dozen friends and neighbors
stood in the back, tossing out plastic
bags of water and cooking oil. Barefoot
children raced behind them, retrieving
the bags from the roadside dust.
India faces the mounting challenge
of distributing aid that has piled up
since the Jan. 26 quake, which killed
thousands of people and left more than
half a million homeless in this parched
desert corner of India's Gujarat state.
But relief workers say that while
well-meaning amateurs like Patel may
be responding faster than disaster
experts, their methods run the risk of
putting too much aid in some hands
while the neediest go without.
"It's not enough just to hand someone
a tarp" to build a makeshift shelter, said
William S. Berger, head of a U.S. relief
team in India. "You have to make sure
20 other people haven't handed them a
tarp, that they need the tarp, and that
someone out in a village isn't doing
without while everyone living along the
side of the road gets help"
Aid has flowed into Gujarat state in
response to the quake, but the magni-
tude of the devastation is still being
measured. Death toll estimates range
eventually hit 35,000.
The number of confirmed dead was
expected to surge today, when demoli-
tion crews clear away the ruins of larger
apartment blocks and uncover the bod-
ies of more victims. The injured num-
bered 66,758, Gujarat state officials
Authorities have cleared bodies from
all but three of 400 villages in the region
most affected by the quake, and nearly
all of the remaining bodies were still
buried in three larger towns: Bhuj, Anjar
and nearly all of the remaining bodies
were still buried in three larger towns:
Bhuj, Anjar and Bhachau. The recov-
ery of bodies was expected to end in
two or three days.
The next challenge will be disease.
There are more than 600,000 home-
less who lack food, clothing or sanita-
tion, and respiratory infections are
Relief workers are rushing to keep
pace. On Saturday, U.S. Air Force C-
17 cargo planes brought tents, blan-
kets, water tankers and forklifts. A
British Airways plane landed in Bom-
bay with 36 tons of aid donated by
Hindu temples in Britain.
A large amount of international aid
is being distributed, along with more
food, clothing and tents handed out by
Indian soldier S.K. Blswas makes a loop to be hooked to a bulldozer as the
building called 15th of August Is brought down In Ahmedabad yesterday.
Indian organizations and individuals.
But efforts have been criticized for
lacking coordination and enough man-
power, equipment and transportation.
Aid officials said yesterday the major
push was only just beginning.
Patel, a school teacher, collected
money and supplies in his hometown
of Modersa, in an eastern area of
Gujarat spared by the quake. He
arrived with his truckload of aid and
friends yesterday and began his own
distribution, attaching a red-on-yellow
sign to the back of the blue truck
declaring in Gujarati: "Earthquake
relief, collected from villages."
"I am helping the poor and the
homeless," Patel said.
Student stabbed to
death in dorm room
A student was found dead in his resi-
dence hall room at Gallaudet University,
a school for the hearing-impaired, was
stabbed to death, District of Columbia
police said yesterday.
Benjamin Varner of San Antonio,
Texas, had multiple stab wounds to the
head and body, said police spokesman
Sgt. Joe Gentile.
He was found Saturday morning
in a fourth-floor room of Cogswell
Hall. That is the same dormitory
where freshman Eric F. Plunkett of'
Burnsville, Minn., was found beaten
to death in a first-floor room Sept.
Police Chief Charles Ramsey said
there is no evidence of a link between
the two deaths, but investigators are
looking into the possibility that there
could be a connection.
Security was tight at the campus yes-
Delta Air Lines, the nation's third-
largest carrier, and Continental Air-
lines reportedly have begun merger
talks in which Continental would
acquire the much larger Delta.
The discussions are "very informal"
and "in the very early stage," an indus-
try source told The Washington Post
on condition of anonymity.
Neither Atlanta-based Delta nor
Houston-based Continental, the fifth-
largest carrier, would comment yester-
"Delta has a longstanding policy of
not commenting on rumors regarding
mergers or consolidation," spokesman
Reid Davis said. A Continental
spokeswoman referred to a statement
the airline gave the Post on Saturday.
"Continental has had and anticipafe
it will continue to have discussions with
third parties regarding strategic alterna-
tives,"spokesman Dave Messing said.
U.S. volunteer freed
An American worker for the aid
group Doctors Without Borders war
released unharmed after nearly a mop
of captivity in rebel Chechnya and said
yesterday he would consider going btc
to work in the war-ravaged region.
"I feel OK," 38-year-old Kenneth
Gluck said in brief remarks broadcast
on television from Khankala, where
the Russian military operation in
Chechnya is headquartered. "The kid-
nappers treated me quite well. Thee
did not beat me or anything."
Gluck was freed Saturday night in
an operation conducted by the Federal
Security Service, which directs the
Russian campaign against rebelsln
Chechnya, said service spokesman
Alexander Zdanovich in Khankala.
Agents of the service had been fol-
lowing Gluck's kidnappers for days but
had been unable to act "without putting
his life in danger," Zdanovich said.
- Compiled from Daily wire report4
1432 Washtenaw Ave.
(look for sign outside)
8:45 Wednesday evening
I.The center or origin of rapid, intense
activity or change...
2.A college Ministry program involving
discussion, connection with other
students and drinking coffee.
does that prayer work?
WRTE FOR THE Tna1t
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NEW YORK (AP) - His hair
. and beard are wild and woolly, his
eyes dark and hollow, his frame
Though 40, he claims he's a college
freshman living in the ,l970s and can't
: . .v:# i. A remember his wife and children. He
managed a tire shop in Texas subur-
bia but has trotted the globe, with
stops in Somalia, Pakistan and
Meet Wadih El-Hage - U.S. citi-
zen and one of four men going on
trial today in the bombings of two
U.S. embassies in Africa.
Prosecutors say El-Hage was a per-
sonal secretary to wealthy Saudi exile
Osama bin Laden, the alleged engi-
neer of the attacks that killed 224
people, including 12 Americans, in
ba Kenya and Tanzania.
If convicted, he could face life yin
Besides El-Hage, the other
defendants include Mohamed
Sadeek Odeh, 35, of Jordan who
allegedly told investigators that
shortly before the bombing he had
met with an explosives expert who
led a Kenyan terrorism cell.
He also faces a potential life sen-
tence if convicted.
Two others - Mohamed Rashed
Daoud Al-'Owhali, 24, of Saudi Ara-
bia and Khalfan Khamis Mohamed,
27, of Tanzania - could be sen-
tenced to death.
All the defendants have been por-
trayed as militants willing to go to
2,-fiM any extreme to carry out bin Laden's
holy war, or jihad, against the "ene-
Sbill mies of God."
f11 ,j But El-Hage stands apart.
For one, he is the only U.S. citizen
among the defendants. Former co-
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EDITORS: David Enders, Lisa Koivu, Caitlin Nish, Jeremy W. Peters
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ARTS Ben Goldstein, Managing Editor
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