2A - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 9, 2001
Northern alliance gains ground;
NEWS IN BRIEF
The Washington Post
JABAL-US-SARAJ, Afghanistan - The opposition
Northern Alliance said yesterday that it gained ground
in its battle to capture the key northern city of Mazar-
e-Sharif, and a senior alliance official said rebel leaders
decided to await the outcome of the battle before
launching an offensive on the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Alliance forces plan to launch a new round of
attacks in the next few days in an effort to capture
Mazar-e-Sharif, a victory that could open a supply
pipeline to the alliance's positions north of Kabul, offi-
"It is our goal that we first capture Mazar-e-Sharif,"
said Yonus Qanooni, who serves as the Northern
Alliance interior minister. "Then we should move
WASHINGTON (AP) - Some 13 others.
32,000 people have been prescribed Postmas
antibiotics in the anthrax crisis, asked Conk
5,000 who really needed them and set the toll
thus must take the pills a full 60 said the g
days, health officials said yesterday. safety equi
Medical authorities said in new "They si
guidelines that merely finding traces of homelar
of anthrax clinging to surfaces does Senate Ap
not warrant closing buildings or pre- tee.
scribing antibiotics. In the m
President Bush went to Atlanta how far a
yesterday to tour the Centers for Dis- CDC disc]
ease Control and Prevention, where cans have
scientists are working around the least seve
clock to deal with the anthrax that raced to te
has killed four people and sickened to the gerr
Qanooni said the alliance would stick with that plan
barring a complete collapse of the Taliban on the front
about 40 miles north of the capital. In that case, he
said, "then it's our obligation to move toward Kabul."
By late yesterday afternoon, Northern Alliance
forces held most of the key towns and villages south of
Mazar-e-Sharif, had seized the hydroelectric dam that
powers the city and had recaptured a military camp
that was once a headquarters of Northern Alliance
Gen. Rashid Dostum, according to interviews with
field commanders in Afghanistan and alliance officials
in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
"Mazar-e-Sharif will fall soon. The way is open
now," said Mohammed Hasham Saad, the top repre-
sentative of the Northern Alliance in Tashkent. "I think
it won't take a week."
Alliance officials previously had indicated they were
prepared to march on the capital before the fall of
Mazar-e-Sharif, a victory that appeared imminent
weeks ago but has since receded from the alliance's
reach. With intensive U.S. bombing in recent days,
however, and a U.S. re-supply operation by helicopter,
alliance forces south of the city have made gains in a
week-long offensive, officials said.
In an apparent indication that the U.S. bombing
has been taking a heavy toll, Harakat-e-Jihad-e-
Islami (Islamic Jihad Movement), a Pakistan-based
militant group allied with terrorist suspect Osama
bin Laden, said yesterday that recent U.S. air strikes
had killed 85 of its fighters, who had been sent to
the area south of Mazar-e-Sharif as reinforcements
for the Taliban.
WASH INGTON :..
Jobless claims reach 18-year high
The number of laid-off workers drawing jobless benefits reached an 18-year
high last week, reflecting the nation's economic hard times, though fewer Ameri-
cans filed new claims for state unemployment insurance.
The Labor Department reported yesterday that for the work week ending Nov.
3, new jobless claims fell by a seasonally adjusted 46,000 to 450,000. That fol-
lowed a drop of 11,000 the week before.
The number of laid-off workers continuing to receive unemployment benefits
rose to 3.72 million for the work week ending Oct. 27. That was the highest level
since April 23, 1983.
"It's a difficult climate for workers," said economist Clifford Waldman of
Waldman Associates. "It will take more hard work and looking to find a job in
Companies have cut production, trimmed hours and let workers go in
response to the lagging economy and the Sept. 11 attacks.
The nation's unemployment rate soared from 4.9 percent in September to 5.4
percent in October and companies eliminated 415,000 jobs, the biggest one-
month drop in 21 years. Economists predict the jobless rate will climb and pay-
rolls continue to be trimmed.
Postmaster wants $5 billion to fight anthrax
Postmaster General John Potter told a Senate panel yesterday that he needs $3
billion to help the U.S. Postal Service pay for new technology to fight anthrax, as
well as $2 billion to cover projected lost revenue since the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks. But lawmakers immediately signaled reluctance to approve a $5 billion
"Users of the mail should not be burdened with these extra costs through the
price of postage," Potter said. "This could quickly threaten the foundation of a
universal postal system serving all Americans."
Under pointed questioning, Potter estimated that his critical short-term need
would be about $1 billion for technology and security. That was the cost lawmak-
ers seemed most willing to try to accommodate.
"We probably are not going to cover" lost revenue, Sen. Ben Nighthorse
Campbell (R-Colo.), the ranking Republican on the appropriations committee
that covers the Postal Service, told Potter and his colleagues, noting that 1?resi-
dent Bush has threatened to veto requests for additional emergency spending
beyond the $40 billion Congress has already approved.
ter General John Potter
gress for $5 billion to off-
of the attacks by mail. He
oyernment should pay for
pment and other recovery.
&ould be considered costs
nd security," Potter told a
ost stunning picture yet of
nthrax has reached, the
dosed that 32,000 Ameri-
taken antibiotics for at
ral days while scientists
ell who was truly exposed
ms. Of them, 5,000 were
found at risk for anthrax infection
and told to take antibiotics for a full
Cipro, the main drug prescribed,
can cause some severe side effects.
But a quick study of 490 Floridians
taking it and other antibiotics found
20 percent reported only minor side
effects. The Food and Drug Admin-
istration plans the unprecedented
step of contacting all 32,000 antibi-
otic recipients to better count side
effects - and ensure that no one has
a relapse after ending their medica-
In addition, 300 post offices and
other buildings have been tested for
Weitzel Elementary School first-grader Mathew Diver takes a closer look at Veterans of Foreign Wars quartermaster
Clory Duran as he salutes during a Veterans Da program at the school in Flagstaff, Ariz.
anthrax, the CDC said. Most heavily
contaminated are the Hart Senate
Office Building, where an anthrax-
tainted letter to Majority Leader
Thomas Daschle was opened, and
Washington's Brentwood central post
office, which processed that letter.
Officials say the majority of other,
buildings have had no or very little
"We will never remove every
spore" in a building cleanup, Dr.
James Baker Jr., a University of
Michigan bioterror expert, told Con-
gress. As for Hart, "you will not
sterilize that building no matter what
WASHINGTON (AP) - President
Bush will announce an expanded role
for National Guard troops at airports,
possibly stationing them at boarding
gates, administration officials said yes-
An announcement is expected today
at a White House ceremony honoring
private-sector employers of guardsmen
and reservists, said the officials, speak-
ing on condition of anonymity.
The plan calls for a "dramatic
increase" in troops at airports, one
Bush's announcement, ahead of the
busy holiday travel season, was intend-
ed to increase confidence in air travel
while Congress works to finish an air-
line security bill, one source said. It
will take months to put any changes
into effect even once a compromise
Governors have used guard mem-
bers at security checkpoints, where
passengers and carry-on baggage are
screened, as well as for general patrol
duty at airports.
One idea under review by the presi-
dent would have guardsmen monitor
passengers who have gone through
security and are in the boarding
Recent security lapses have shown
that current measures are not fool-
proof: Last week at Chicago's O'Hare
Airport, a gate search by airline
employees of passenger who had gone
through security found seven knives, a
stun gun and tear gas.
The president asked governors in
September to station guardsmen for as
long as six months at the nation's 420
commercial airports, with the federal
government to cover the cost.
It was not immediately clear
whether Bush would again ask the
governors to call up troops or act on
The idea of using guardsmen to
screen travelers drew a skeptical
response from David Stempler, presi-
dent of the Air Travelers Association,
an advocacy group.
"I don't know what part they have to
play in the security process other than
to have a show of force," he said.
Also yesterday, major airlines
announced they have finished
installing bars, latches and other
equipment to strengthen cockpit doors
- steps to prevent hijackers from get-
ting into cockpits, as they did Sept. 11.
"This is so crucial as we go into the
holiday season," said Carol Hallett,
president of Air Transport Associa-
tion, which represents the major air-
lines that carry 97 percent of
passengers. "Americans across the
board can have full confidence."
An annual AAA survey for Thanks-
giving travel forecast 4.6 million peo-
ple traveling by air, a 27 percent
decline from last year's 6.3 million.
That translates to 13 percent of the
bomber dies in raid
A Palestinian suicide bomber
blew himself up when Israeli com-
mandos stormed his hide-out yester-
day, while a Palestinian official said
Europe is working on an initiative
to stop 13 months of Mideast vio-
Before daybreak, the Israeli border
police special anti-terror unit
stormed the building where the
bomber was hiding in the West Bank
town of Baka al-Sharkiyeh, just
across the invisible boundary with
The Palestinian detonated the explo-
sives, killing himself and wounding
two commandos, said Lt. Col. Amos
Yaakov of the border police.
Police said they believed the bomber
intended to blow himself up in an
Israeli city. The militant group
Hamas said the bomber was acting
on its behalf.
Supreme Court to
hear drug test case
The Supreme Court agreed yesterday
to decide whether schools may give
drug tests to nearly any student
involved in after-school activities, from
the chess club to cheerleading, without
evidence the student or the school has a
Critics -say such broad testing is
unconstitutional and a step toward uni-
versal screening. Supporters say it is
necessary in the face of drug use by
"I felt they were accusing us and
convicting us before they had given us
a chance," said Lindsey Earls, who par-
ticipated on an academic quiz team
when testing began in Tecumseh, Okla.
Only children involved in competitive
extracurricular activities were tested on
the theory that by voluntarily represent-
ing the school, they had opened them-
selves to greater scrutiny than other
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev.
Surgeon buys strip
club for extra cash i
A renowned cardiovascular surgeon
has bought an all-nude club and cabaret,
saying the cash from his new venture
will help pay for medical research.
Simon Stertzer of Stanford Univer-
sity is the new owner of the Palomino
Club and an adjacent cabaret along a
seedy strip of Las Vegas Boulevard.
"Whatever will provide cash"flow
will do," Stertzer told the North Las
Vegas City Council before it approved
his business license application Sept.
Stertzer performed the first coro-
nary angioplasty in the country at New
York's Lenox Hill Hospital in 1978,
hospital spokeswoman Ann Silverman
He has previously used revenue
from business investments to pay for
research. He also owns some land in
Las Vegas where a car repair business
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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