2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 15, 2001
U.S. prepares new plan of action
WASHINGTON (AP) - The commander of the
U.S. war in Afghanistan, seeking to capitalize on
sudden success, is preparing a new military plan for
tracking down the leaders of the al-Qaida terrorist
network and their Taliban supporters.
American ground troops, now present in small
numbers, still figure to play a role. But the scale and
nature of their involvement will depend on whether
the Taliban and al-Qatda collapse completely, flee
the country or regroup to fight a guerrilla war from
caves and tunnels in the mountains.
The U.S. bombing campaign probably will be dra-
matically scaled back, perhaps coinciding with the
start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan this
weekend, senior defense officials said yesterday.
The only remaining targets in the north are a few
scattered pockets of Taliban resistance. Pilots return-
ing to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt
with their bombs still attached told reporters they
refrained from attacking in the south because it has
become harder to tell friend from foe.
Bombing might be limited to cave complexes and
remaining Taliban enclaves in the north.
Eliminating the Taliban as a support structure for
al-Qaida was a key step, but it leaves unresolved the
question of how to track down Osama bin Laden and
other leaders of his al-Qaida network. It also requires
consideration of an international peacekeeping force
to stabilize the country.
It seems likely that the Bush administration will
push for having troops from Islamic countries per-
form the main peacekeeping work, supported by
U.S. and European logistics and communications.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made clear
yesterday that the fight will go on.
"We're making progress, but it's far from fin-
ished," he said in New York, where he toured the
World Trade Center ruins. "And as the president
said, we're going to stick at it until it's done."
The original attack plan written by Gen. Tommy
Franks, commander of U.S. Central Command,
achieved its objective - the collapse of the Taliban
- so suddenly that the entire approach to
Afghanistan needs to be rethought, according to
defense officials who discussed the matter on condi-
tion of anonymity.
Rear Adm. John Stufflebeem, deputy director of
operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he could
not rule out that Taliban fighters retreating to the
south may be trying to find refuge in caves held by
their home tribes and regroup for more combat.
NEWS IN BRIEF
Senate Republicans block terror bill
Senate Republicans yesterday blocked a Democratic bill to shore up the econ-
omy and increase spending on domestic security, creating an impasse expected
to force both parties and the White House into high-level negotiations to craft a
In party-line votes - both 51-47 - the Senate invoked procedural objections
to the Democratic bill, which would provide a total of $73 billion for health
insurance subsidies and other benefits for the unemployed, tax cuts for individu-
als and businesses, and new spending for homeland security.
The votes were a victory for Republicans who want to force Democrats to
write a bill more in line with President Bush's priorities, which put more empha-
sis on tax cuts and less on new spending. But Republicans acknowledged that
they too lacked the votes to pass their preferred bill in the narrowly divided Sen-
"None of this is going to pass," Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.)
said. "We're stalled. :.. Let's go right to the endgame. Let's put the right people
in the room and say 'get this job done."'
Vice President Dick Cheney, in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
yesterday, stepped up pressure on Congress to break the impasse.
Berkeley endorses alternative admissions
University of California regents yesterday endorsed a major shift in the univer-
sity's admissions policy to allow non-academic achievements to be considered
for all freshman applicants.
The 13-2 vote - by a key regent committee in which the majority included one-
time opponents of the plan - strongly suggests that the proposal, which would
allow consideration of such factors as students' athletic or artistic ability or their
struggle against poverty will be approved today by the full Board of Regents.
Critics say the proposal is a backdoor method of reviving race-based prefer-
ences in admissions, which were banned by California voters in 1996, and could
result both in litigation against the university and a lowering of academic stan-
dards. Supporters deny the charges, arguing that grades and test scores alone can-
not capture all the qualities that make a good student and ultimately lead to
success in college.
"I have always felt that there has to be a better way (to admit students) than
just looking at the numbers," said regent Sherry Lansing, the head of Paramount
Pictures and a strong supporter of the change.
Crash inquiry deepens
NEW YORK (AP) - Investigators
raised the possibility yesterday that tur-
bulence caused by a jumbo jet con-
tributed to the crash of American Flight
587, saying the two planes took off less
than the standard two minutes apart.
"We do not know whether this con-
tributed in any way to the actual acci-
dent, but we are looking at this very
closely," said Marion Blakey, chair-
woman of the National Transportation
"Wake turbulence" has blamed for
deadly airline crashes in the past.
Investigators want to know whether it
caused Flight 587 to break apart three
minutes after takeoff from Kennedy
Airport on Monday, killing all 260
people aboard and as many as five on
the ground. The plane's tail assembly
sheared away and its twin engines fell
off as the jet went down.
The standard minimum amount of
time between flights taking off is two
minutes. However, Blakey said it
appeared there were less than two min-
utes between the takeoff of Flight 587
and a Japan Air Lines jet that left
ahead of it from the same runway.
"We believe that in fact it was 1
minute and 45 seconds in terms of the
actual distance," Blakey said.
Blakey, at a news conference, also
said that a flight data recorder recov-
ered from the flight was repaired by
the manufacturer, allowing investiga-
Firefighters work yesterday to recover
evidence from Monday's crash in Queens.
tors to extract data on the last minutes
of the doomed flight. The black box
recorder had been scorched and
banged up in the crash.
CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - Presi-
dent Bush welcomed Russian Presi-
dent Vladimir Putin to his Texas
ranch yesterday for a blend of down-
home barbecue and high-powered
summitry designed to bind two for-
mer Cold War rival nations closer in
an age of terrorism.
"I want to show him some of my
favorite spots on the ranch," Bush said
as he and his wife greeted Putin and
his wife on their arrival.
Both men said Tuesday they had
turned a new page in the U.S.-Russ-
ian relationship in three hours of
talks at the White House. Despite
pledges of deep reductions in
nuclear stockpiles, White House
officials cautioned against expecta-
tions of an accord on American
plans for an anti-missile defenses
when the talks resumed.
Food for Thought
A recent study showed
that people living in
northern Iraq, out of the
control of Sadam
Hussein, eat meat up
to five times a week.
Gary Lillie & Assoc., Realtors
Red Cross will use all
gifts for victims
The American Red Cross
announced yesterday that it is speeding
up delivery of relief funds for families
of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks, but officials said it would still
be months before the organization has
plans to deliver all of the more than
$543 million in donations it has col-
The Red Cross also said it no longer
plans to pay for long-range projects out
of the donations received for the Liberty
Fund, which was established following
the attacks in New York and Washington.
The Red Cross announced the
changes at a press conference at its
headquarters in Washington.
"Americans have spoken loudly
and clearly that they want our relief
efforts directed at the people affected
by the Sept. 11 tragedies," said
Harold Decker,,the Red Cross chief
Patient with artificial
heart suffers stroke
The world's first self-contained artifi-
cial heart patient suffered a stroke and is
back on a ventilator, but doctors were
confident yesterday he would recover
from the setback.
Robert Tools, 59, had the stroke Sunday
at Jewish Hospital, said Laman Gray,*ene
of the surgeons who implanted the plastic-
and-titanium AbioCor heart on July 2.
Robert Dowling, Tools' other surgeon,
characterized the patient's condition as
"His condition is slightly better than
someone with a heart because we don't
have to worry about the heart," Gray said.
Last week, Tools was feeling well
enough for an outing with the Louisville
mayor to promote dining out. Doctors
said Tools' excursions had nothing to do
with the stroke.
Buoyed by his progress, doctors had
said it was possible he could be home
Meteor storm to be
biggest until 2099,
Brew some coffee. Unpack the lawn
chairs. Astronomers predict this year's
Leonids meteor display, expected to
appear before dawn Sunday, will be.a
dazzler worth missing a little sleep.
"It's now or never," said Robert
Naeye of the Astronomy Society of the
Pacific. "Astronomers don't think we'll
see another storm like this one until the
year 2099. We will probably never see a
better meteor shower in our lifetimes."
Every year scientists fly to places like
the Gobi Desert or Canary Islands to
watch the heavens rain fire for a few min-
utes in November. This year, Earth's align-
ment suggests that North America will be
squarely beneath some of the most vigor-
ous shooting stars. Pacific Islands and the
Far East maysee natural fireworks, too.
The most optimistic celestial forecasts
call for a steady storm of 4,000 meteors
per hour, or about 70 per minute around 5
a.m. EST Sunday.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
These Leaders Have
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It's a major reason
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