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March 15, 2001 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-03-15

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 15, 2001


Fishing boat captain recalls crash



-- - - ~ w - ~~ pu .- . - S WS E

.. i .4

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) - The first
impact knocked the rear of the Ehime Maru
toward the sky. Captain Hisao Onishi felt a shud-
der and heard metal screeching. From inside the
bridge, he noticed his instruments were dead.
Then, through a window, he saw the water rising.
Testifying before a Navy court of inquiry yes-
terday, Onishi described the terrifying moments
after a submarine crashed into his ship last month.
Calm and composed, he spoke through an inter-
preter before a courtroom packed with families of
the Japanese victims and officers of the USS
The Ehime Maru, carrying 20 crew, 13 teens
and two teachers, was on a voyage to teach high
school students commercial fishing when the sub-
marine surfaced beneath it. Nine people, including
four students, were lost at sea.

The trawler was about nine miles south of Oahu
when the Greeneville burst from the ocean and
ripped through its stern. Onishi said he heard a
"terrible metal hitting sound" between the helm-
sroom and the stack, followed by more banging.
"We felt an impact as if the stern of the ship
was lifted up," he said.
When he saw the water rising, Onishi ordered
his navigator to gather the passengers and aban-
don ship. Onishi headed for the deck, water
already at his heels. People were yelling, trying to
confirm everyone had lifejackets, but "no one was
in a state where they could respond."
"They were clinging onto handrails and some
structural things of the ship," Onishi said.
Then the waves started crashing, tossing people
into the ocean. Onishi was thrown from the ship
before he could even drop the life rafts. Floating

in the Pacific, he looked back at his sinking ship
and saw men and boys still grasping onto the
Somehow the life rafts dislodged. People scram-
bled aboard, pulling others inside. All around
them lifejackets floated in the water, but no one
held on.
"I was hoping that I would find somebody
clinging to them," Onishi said. "We yelled and
searched for them, but I was not able to find any-
The submarine, which Onishi thought had gone,
drifted close to the rafts. Onishi could see several
people on the Greeneville's bridge.
"We were hoping that they would lower their
inflatable rubber boat, but the only thing they did
was to lower the Jacob's ladder," he said, adding,
"They were watching us."

Recent mishaps lower military morale

U.S. tries to keep out foot-and-mouth
Dogs trained to sniff luggage for contraband food or even soiled boots -
signs a traveler may have been on a farm - greeted travelers from London and
other European points as inspectors tightened U.S. defenses against foot-1-
mouth disease.
"It's fair enough, considering you have 10 times as many cattle as we do,"
British student Anthony Davidowitz said yesterday as he waited as inspectors
disinfected two pairs of his shoes after he arrived at Dulles International Airport.
Foot-and-mouth, harmless to humans, could be devastating to the huge U.S.
livestock industry. Unchecked, an epidemic could cause billions of dollars in
damage, federal officials say.
And people can easily transport the virus on shoes.
A U.S. ban on meat and livestock imports was expanded from Britainto the
European Union after a case was confirmed Tuesday in France, and the-Agri-
culture Department heightened its alerts at international airports and seaports.
"We are extremely concerned because we know how quickly it can spr "
said Craig Reed, administrator of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspec n
Service. "In two to four days it can be all over the place."
Israelis move toward easing restrictions
A Palestinian diabetic trying to reach a hospital died yesterday after her car was
stopped at an Israeli army roadblock under disputed circumstances as protest on-
tinued against the ongoing blockade of Palestinian towns and villages.
Hours after the death of 50-year-old Amira Nassir, Israeli Prime Ministe[ 'el
Sharon and Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer unveiled a plan at the st
meeting of the government's new security Cabinet that would ease some restric-
tions on Palestinians.
The announcement came just days before Sharon heads for Washington to
hold his first meeting as prime minister with President Bush and against a back-
drop of mounting international criticism toward Israel's security moves.
In a statement, the security Cabinet said that, for the first time in months; con-
struction materials would be allowed into the West Bank and Gaza Strip'and
Palestinians would be permitted to fish off the Gaza coast. The Palestinian
Authority would be allowed to start building a long-delayed power plant in Gaza,
and Palestinians would be given greater freedom to travel between their t'owns
and villages.__

sub fatally collides with a Japanese
fishing vessel. A Navy svarplane acci-
dentally bombs soldiers during war.
exercises. Half the missiles aimed at
radar targets near Baghdad miss their
mark. Missile-defense tests keep going
Recent high-profile accidents and
failures are not connected, analysts say,
but they do underscore problems the
military is having with readiness and
"There is going to be an inevitable

risk when you push the envelope,
whether it's doing night drills in train-
ing or testing new weapons systems
based on principles never deployed
before," said Daniel Goure, a defense
analyst at the private Lexington Insti-
During last year's presidential
campaign, George W. Bush warned
about "a military in decline,"citing
inadequate training, broken equip-
ment, too few spare parts and too
many overseas deployments.
As president, Bush has ordered

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
to undertake a top-to-bottom review of
all Pentagon programs and weapons
"We're in pretty good shape over the
course of the next decade, I hope - so
long as our mission is defined and we
don't try to be all things to all people
in the world, kind of endless deploy-
ments," Bush said on Tuesday.
The Defense Department has had to
explain in recent days how a state-of-
the-art nuclear submarine could have
rammed a Japanese trawler off Hawaii

on Feb. 9, killing nine people, includ-
ing four teen-agers; and why six mili-
tary personnel - five Americans and
a New Zealander - were killed on
Monday when a Navy jet bombed the
wrong location during war games in
"There is a problem somewhere in
our training, and I think we need to
find out what the problem is and get it
solved before we lose more people,"
said Mike Freligh, the father of one of
those killed in Kuwait, 25-year-old
Army Sgt. Freligh.

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China: U.S shouldn't
have missile system
In advance of its first direct con-
tact with President Bush, the Chi-
nese government yesterday
reiterated in sharp language its
warning to the United States not to
pursue plans for a national missile
defense shield.
Sha Zukang, China's top arms-
control negotiator, said such plans
would touch off an arms race and
upset the delicate global strategic
balance that took years to finally
"The development of NMD is tan-
tamount to drinking poison to
quench thirst," Sha said, referring to
the proposed defense system by its
"It will undercut the very founda-
tion of the international nonprolifera-
tion regime and even stimulate further
proliferation of missiles."
TETOVO, Macedonia
Insurgency may lead
to new Balkan war
Ethnic Albanian guerrillas
brought their insurgency from
Macedonia's countryside to the sec-
ond-largest city, exchanging gun-
fire with police yesterday in an
escalation of violence near Kosovo
that threatens to flare into a new
Balkan war.
Southern Serbia, the other poten-

tial flashpoint, was edgy but calm
as Yugoslav troops moved i"to an
area held by ethnic Albanian insur-
gents. A truce appeared to be hold-
ing, but the successful deployment
was overshadowed by the figlting
in Macedonia.
Police spokesman Stevo;Pen-
darovski said the clashes began
when about 15 rebels opened e
with rifles in Kale, a subub of
Tetovo a mile north of downitown,
and the nearby village of Selceg.
Evidence confirms
greenhouse effect
A comparison of satellite data from
1970 and 1997 has yielded what. scien-
tists say is the first direct evidenclat
so-called greenhouse gases are build-
ing up in Earth's atmosphere--and
allowing less heat to escape into space.
The study contains no evidence on
whether Earth's surface temperature is
actually increasing. Whether this
greenhouse effect will lead to global
warming or global cooling is unclear,
the scientists said. That is because the
greenhouse effect could start a cy n
which more clouds are formed, sop-
ping the sun's energy from reaching
Earth's surface in the first place,.said
John Harries, who led the study.
Scientists have long theorized that
carbon dioxide and other waste-gases
are increasing the trapping of heat-close
to Earth in what is called a greenhouse
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.


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