8A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 20, 2001
Bush plans to send airline aid
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House
suggested an aid package for the nation's ailing
airlines yesterday that would be less than the
$17.5 billion industry officials have requested.
Delta Airlines Chairman Leo Mullin told
Congress yesterday the industry wanted $5 bil-
lion in immediate grants and $12.5 billion in
credit and loans.
But in meetings with congressional aides
yesterday evening, Bush administration offi-
cials were proposing options that included
dropping the loans from the package, with the
possibility they could be part of a later bill.
President Bush planned to send the measure
today to Congress, where leaders were hoping
the House would approve such a bill by week's
end. Many lawmakers of both parties have
expressed a desire for quick action to help the
airlines, which have suffered big losses and laid
off tens of thousands of workers after last
week's terrorist attacks.
"The financial damage is and continues to be
devastating'" Mullin told the House Transporta-
tion Committee. He cited the shutdown of ser-
vice last week and prospects of sharply reduced
o Congress today
business in coming months.
Details about the White House package were
not immediately known.
After a White House meeting between Bush
and congressional leaders, House Speaker Den-
nis Hastert (R-Ill.) told reporters that Trans-
portation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta would
give Congress recommendations by Oct. 1 for
legislation addressing other, more complex air-
These include future airline security and the
legal liability for the Sept. I1 attacks, in which
four airliners were hijacked and crashed into
the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and
woods in western Pennsylvania.
Several lawmakers said any package should
also include help for the estimated 100,000 air-
line workers expected to be laid off because of
reduced flight schedules.
The major airlines have already announced
plans to cut flights back by about 20 percent.
"Our challenge is to restore public confi-
dence in air travel and to revive airline finances
so this cornerstone industry ... can recover in
the shortest possible period," said Rep. James
Oberstar of Minnesota, ranking Democrat on
Bush, speaking to reporters, said the Sept. I 1
attacks had dealt a "shock" to the economy and
that "we'll respond to the emergency in terms
of working on a package for the airline industry
that has been severely affected."
Mullin said the industry could suffer any-
where from $18 billion to $33 billion in losses
related to the attacks, when hijackers seized
"I think it's safe to say that among the top 10
airlines that there are three who are on the
brink" of bankruptcy, he said. Mullin did not
specify those three, but Douglas Parker, chair-
man of America West Airlines, said his compa-
ny was one of several that could go under if the
federal government does not step in.
Mullin also asked Congress to pass separate
legislation specifying that, because the terrorist
attacks were an act of war, the airlines should
not be liable for fatalities and property damage
occurring on the ground. The government
should also bear much of the cost for enhanced
security in airports, he said.
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willing to meet
with the U.S.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - The leader of
Afghanistan's ruling Taliban movement said yesterday
his officials were willing to meet with the United States
but accused Washington of unfairly vilifying terrorist
suspect Osama bin Laden.
Mullah Mohammed Omar addressed his comments to
hundreds of Islamic clerics who met here yesterday at
the Taliban's request to decide the fate of bin Laden and
whether to call on Muslims here and abroad to wage
holy war against the United States if it attacks
Despite urgings by Omar that it complete its work, the
council of clerics broke up late yesterday without any
agreement. It was to resume its meeting the next day,
said Qadratullah Jamal, Taliban's culture and informa-
In a speech read to the gathering in the war-shattered
Presidential Palace, Omar denounced Washington's por-
trayal of bin Laden's alleged role in the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks in the United States and its refusal to produce
evidence. He called the U.S. actions an effort to harm
the Taliban, according to the Afghan Islamic Press, a
Pakistan-based Afghan news agency with close ties to
"Osama has denied his involvement. It is unfortunate
that America does not listen to us and levels all sorts of
charges and threatens military action," Omar said in the
A 12-story mural in Los Angeles titled "9-11" by artist Mike McNeilly, featuring images of a New
York firefighter and the Sept. 11 terrorist destruction of the World Trade Center.
Sole dissenter In war vote
receives police bodyguard
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - "We need to step back,"
said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) "We're grieving.
We need to step back and think about this so that it
doesn't spiral out of control. We have to make sure
we don't make any mistakes."
She was walking down a hallway in the Cannon
House Office Building. A plainclothes police offi-
cer hovered a few steps away, looking very serious.
The Capitol Police began guarding Lee on Satur-
day because of death threats she received after vot-
ing against a resolution authorizing President Bush
to use military force against anyone associated with
last week's terrorist attacks. The resolution passed
98-0 in the Senate and 420-1 in the House. Lee's
was the sole dissenting vote.
"In times like this," she said, "you have to have
some members saying, 'Let's show some
Led by her police bodyguard, she moved along
quickly, slipping into her office and closing the door
behind her. Inside, the phone lines had shut down
under an onslaught of calls from all over the coun-
try - many of them irate, some downright nasty.
"We've gotten thousands of calls and thousands
of e-mails," she said. "People are very emotional.
... They're frustrated and they're angry."
Lee normally has a bright smile, but these days
she looks sad, worried, harried. She is quick to
point out that she voted to condemn last week's
attacks and to allocate $40 billion to fight terror-
ism. "I'm just as American and just as patriotic as
anybody else," she insists.
She doesn't rule out military action, she says, but
she voted against the authorization to use force
because she opposes giving the president the sole
decision on when and where to make war.
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