2 -The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 21, 2001
Bush: U.S. will not impose peace
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - President Bush assured Israeli
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon yesterday that the United
States would not impose a peace agreement on the
Middle East, giving the visiting leader latitude to pur-
sue his skeptical approach toward negotiations with the
But even as the two newly elected leaders were
holding their first meetings, the Bush administration
criticized an Israeli decision two days ago to expand a
major Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem.
In his discussions with Sharon, Bush sought to dis-
tance himself from the failed efforts of former presi-
dent Clinton to broker a far-reaching peace agreement.
"I told him that our nation will not try to force peace,
that we will facilitate peace and that we will work with
those responsible for peace;" Bush said at a news con-
ference with the prime minister.
Sharon, who is meeting top administration officials
and members of Congress during a two-day visit to
Washington, said his government remains committed
to peace but must first see an end to the six months of
street clashes and armed attacks by Palestinians. "Once
we reach security and it will be calm in the Middle
East, I believe that we'll start with our negotiations to
reach a peace agreement,"he said.
During a pair of White House meetings, described by
both sides as positive, the leaders agreed that serious
negotiations could not start until violence decreases and
that Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat should do more
to bring it under control. They also shared their mutual
concerns about the threats posed by terrorism and the
development of advanced weapons by Iraq and Iran.
But the Bush administration also faulted Israel for
taking actions that could provoke the Palestinians by
allowing the expansion of the East Jerusalem settle-
ment to proceed. On Monday, as Sharon was begin-
ning his Washington visit, the Jerusalem city planning
board approved the construction of 2,800 new homes
in the Har Homa development located on East
Jerusalem land captured by Israel in the 1967 war.
That expansion, which still requires further govern-
ment endorsement, would more than double the num-
ber of homes that have been approved for the site since
work began in 1997.
"We don't think that continued construction activity
like this contributes to peace or stability," State Depart-
ment spokesman Richard Boucher said. "We have
urged both sides to refrain from unilateral actions."
He cited Secretary of State Colin Powell's comments
Monday to the American Israel Public Affairs Com-
mittee, the leading pro-Israel lobby, calling on Israelis
and Palestinians to avoid provocative acts.
The issue of Jewish settlements, which successive
American administrations have considered an obstacle
to peace, did not arise in Bush's discussions with
Sharon, according to officials on both sides. But a
senior U.S. administration official said Bush made
clear to Sharon that he did not want to see any steps
that could aggravate an already volatile situation.
During Powell's visit to Jerusalem last month, he
told Sharon specifically that the Bush administration
opposed the expansion of Jewish settlements, includ-
ing such construction in East Jerusalem.
As part of the agreement underpinning Israel's two-
week-old national unity government, Sharon has
promised not begin any new settlements but said he
will allow the "natural growth," of existing ones.
American officials have said they are concerned that
Israel will interpret natural growth "much too liberal-
ly" and have repeatedly reminded the government both
in public and private that it should avoid construction
that is "unilateral and provocative," according to a
State Department official.
NEWS IN BRIEF
HFADLINES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii
U.S. skipper accepts blame in sub crash
The skipper of the USS Greeneville reluctantly took the stand in a Navy court g
yesterday and accepted sole responsibility for the collision with a Japanes
trawler that left nine dead.
Cmdr. Scott Waddle testified as the court of inquiry neared the end of its
probe of the Feb. 9 submarine accident.
"I accept full responsibility and accountability for the actions of the crew of
the USS Greeneville," Waddle said. "As commanding officer, I am solely respon-
sible for this truly tragic accident, and for the rest of my life I will live with the
horrible consequences of my decisions and actions that resulted in the loss of the
"I am truly sorry for the loss of life and the incalculable grief those losses
caused the honorable families of those lost at sea," he said.
On Monday, Lt. J.G. Michael Coen issued his own apology.
"To the families of those who perished and to the crew of the Ehime Maru ..
humbly apologize," Coen said, his voice brimming with emotion. "Although
cannot comprehend the unimaginable grief you must feel, I want you to know
that you are in my thoughts and prayers at all times and you will be for the rest of
RiO DE JANEIRO, Brazil
Oil rig sinks, spilling of diesel fuel likely
One of the world's biggest oil rigs sank in the South Atlantic on yesterday, and
the state oil company Petrobras warned that more than 300,000 gallons of dies
fuel on board was likely to spill.
The 40-story-tall rig, crippled and listing after an explosion last week,
"shifted suddenly" in heavy seas 75 miles off the coast early Tuesday
morning, the company said. Workers who had been trying to save it gave
up and fled.
At about 10:30 a.m., the rig tipped over and went down in about 10 minutes.
Film footage showed the platform descending until only the green heliport was
visible above the waves. Then it went under, as oil workers, many sobbing,
looked on from a nearby ship.
"It's at the bottom of the sea," said Carlos Aurelio Miranda, a Petrobras
Petrobras Chief Executive Henri Philippe said there was a "fine film'
oil" on the spot where the rig went down but that the company was read
to contain it.
British troops called
in to aid farmers
and Dr. Peter Payne
Wednesday, March 21
AH Aud. C
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
The Washington Post
LONDON - The British govern-
ment called out the army yesterday to
help beleaguered farmers deal with the
rapidly spreading foot-and-mouth
blight and scheduled the slaughter of
thousands more animals to eradicate
the livestock virus. But the govern-
ment rejected increasing calls for the
use of vaccination to stop the highly
With 394 confirmed cases of the
disease in Britain and more than
250,000 sheep, pigs, goats, and cows
already killed, the five-week-old out-
break turned into a political issue for
the first time yesterday as Britain's
opposition Conservative Party com-
plained that Prime Minister Tony Blair
and his Labor Party government had
let the disease run "out of control."
Conservative leader William
Hague suggested yesterday that the
national election expected to be
held May 3 should be delayed,
A look at the
underside of U of M
because politicians can't campaign
in quarantined rural areas. Labor
leaders spurned the idea.
Blair holds a big lead in opinion
polls, and pundits agree he's eager
to have the election this spring
while he is still sitting pretty. The
prime minister here has the right to
choose the day when he stands for
The government did its best to
maintain an aura of business as
usual. Census takers continued
their rounds, but without entering
farms officially quarantined
because of the disease.
Tourism Minister Janet Anderson set
off for the United States to tell Ameri-
can travelers they don't have to cancel
that planned summer vacation in "Eng-
land's green and pleasant land.
But as smoke from funeral pyres
darkened the skies over rural Eng-
land, there was a sense of a situa-
tion getting worse rather than better.
R EAD THEI
State power managers ordered rolling
blackouts across California for a second
straight day yesterday, cutting off hun-
dreds of thousands of homes and busi-
nesses as demand for electricity again
The same factors that collided to
strap California's pVower supply on
Monday hit again, officials with the
Independent System Operator said.
Those include reduced electricity
imports from the Pacific Northwest,
numerous power plants offline for
repairs and less power provided by
cash-strapped alternative-energy plants.
Demand was higher than expected
because of warm spring weather. Tem-
peratures were higher than normal
across California on Monday, includ-
ing the 80s and low 90s in Southern
California. They were expected to be
somewhat lower yesterday but still in
the 70s and 80s.
Albanian rebels face
choice: leave or fight
After its troops blasted guerrillas in
the foothills overlooking this city with
tank shells yesterday, the Macedonian
government gave ethnic Albanian rebels
until midnight tonight to give up or face
Ignoring the guerrillas' offer for talks
over their demand that equal rights be
assured for the nation's ethnic Albanian
minority, the government said the rebels
must "surrender to responsible authori-
ties or leave the territory of Macedonia "
"After this deadline expires, Mace-
donian security forces will extend their
actions against terrorist positions with
all available means until their total
destruction," warned a joint statement
by the police and armed forces.
As Macedonia teetered on the brink
of full-scale war, Washington and the
European Union threw support behind
the government, which refused to nego-
tiate with what it considers terrorists.
Russians search for
Chechen War MIAs
Dennis Tito will fly aboard the Int*
national Space Station next month5
Russian officials insisted yesterday, even
though the United States and 14 other
countries are arguing that the Los Ange:
les multimillionaire should wait.
Tito, a former rocket scientist turned
money manager, has agreed to pay the
Russians about $20 million to become,
the world's first space tourist and has
been training alongside cosmonauO
outside Moscow for the past eight
months. The Russian space agency
said it has the right to select its own
crew members for the station - and it
has chosen Tito.
"He must be launched and he will
be launched," said Yuri P. Semyonov,
chief designer with Russia's Energiya
Corp. space enterprise, referring to
Tito's planned flight April 30 aboard a
Soyuz rocket that will deliver supplies
to the space station.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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