2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 5, 2001
2 die from Israeli missile attack
NEWS IN BRIEF1"
HEDINE FRO ARUDTH O
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - Israel used
bombs and missiles yesterday to pressure Yasser
Arafat to move against Palestinian militants, striking
just yards from the Palestinian leader's West Bank
offices and in the Gaza Strip. Two Palestinians were
killed and about 150 were injured in the attacks.
The campaign stirred opposition from moderate
Labor Party members of Israel's ruling coalition,
who boycotted a Cabinet vote on tougher action
against the Palestinians.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government said it
was sending a stern warning-to the Palestinian leader
that there would be even harsher reprisals if he did
not crack down on militants who have been attacking
"The purpose was to send a clear military message
... 'Friends, we've had enough, take the responsibili-
ty that you have and stop the terrorism," said the
Israeli army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ron Kitrey.
The air attacks came in response. to weekend
bombings and shooting attacks on Israelis by Islamic
militants that killed 26 people and wounded nearly
200. Kitrey said yesterday's raids targeted Palestinian
Authority installations because the Islamic militants'
headquarters "are secret and cannot be hit in this
type of attack."
Arafat, speaking to CNN after the airstrike on his
Ramallah compound, accused Sharon of trying to
undermine his efforts to combat terrorism. The
Palestinian Authority has rounded up some 130
members of the militant Islamic Jihad and Hamas
groups since the weekend, and Palestinian officials
said the sweep would continue despite the Israeli
"They (the Israelis) don't want me to succeed and
for this he (Sharon) is escalating his military activi-
ties against our people, against our towns, against
our cities, against our establishments," Arafat said.
"He doesn't want a peace process to start."
Israel has dismissed the arrest sweeps as win-
dow dressing, saying Arafat was only targeting
secondary activists, not the real planners of terror
The deadliest Israeli strike came in Gaza City,
where F-16 warplanes dropped three bombs that flat-
tened a building of the Preventive Security Service
in a residential neighborhood. The blasts sent debris
and shrapnel flying in a wide radius, and hundreds of
panicked school children ran for cover, engulfed by a
cloud of smoke.
Doctors said a 15-year-old boy and a member of
the Preventive Security Service were killed in the
attack, and 150 bystanders were injured, including
dozens of youngsters.
"Sharon has declared war on us. God help us,"
screamed 13-year-old Ayman Abdul Jawad as he ran
in the street with friends, blood on his head.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said 38 people
were still hospitalized several hours after the attacks,
and five were in serious condition.
KOENIGSWINTER, Germany ;7
Afghans close to power-sharing deal I
Riding the momentum of a deal outlining Afghanistan's post-Taliban political
course for the next 2 1/2 years, a U.N. spokesman said yesterday Afghan nego-
tiators were near agreement on a power-sharing plan for the future of the coun-
U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has been meeting separately with the four fac-
tions to cull the list of 150 candidates put forward for 29 Cabinet posts for a new
Delegates and observers at the talks said the factions had agreed the interim
premier would be Hamid Karzai, a leading anti-Taliban commander who is
fighting near Kandahar.
"The parties have made progress toward whittling down the list and agreeing
on the head of the interim administration," U.N. spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said.
"We await a meeting of the four groups to ratify the final short list." That
includes confirming Karzai.
"This is a very difficult hurdle," Fawzi said.
A consensus on the Cabinet could trigger a speedy transfer of power from the
northern alliance in Kabul - with Dec. 22 envisioned as a target date - and
secure billions in promised aid to reconstruct the country.
Bush addresses jobless
Postal Service ends year with heavy losses
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Just one highway
exit away from Walt Disney World, President
Bush assured unemployed Americans yesterday
that he feels their hurt but doesn't support gov-
ernment help for the struggling tourism indus-
He pushed Congress to "stop fussing" and
pass a broad package to stimulate the economy.
"There's nothing that hurts me more than to
know as we head into the holiday season that
some of our citizens and some of their families
hurt because they've been laid off" in the wake
of September's terrorist attacks, Bush said,
microphone in hand as he answered questions at
a town hall forum.
He recalled the last time he was in Florida, on
the morning of Sept. 11, and what went through
his mind when the first plane hit New York's
World Trade Center: "I used to fly myself, and I
said, 'Well, there's one terrible pilot."'
As he strolled a convention center stage with
microphone in hand, fielding questions from 19
people in the audience, Bush posed one to him-
self - setting up a chance to defend his inten-
tion to try noncitizen terrorist suspects in secret
"In the court of law, there would be all kinds
of questions that might compromise our ability
to gather incredibly important intelligence to
prevent the next attack from happening to
America," Bush said.
"It seems like to me that the president of the
United States ought to have the option to protect
the national security interests of the country and
therefore protect America from further attack."
In an hourlong performance that was, by
turns, both passionate and playful, the president
cracked jokes about his mother's cooking, said
he dreams of peace for Israel and ruled out gov-
ernment aid to hotels and restaurants suffering
from the drop in tourist travel after the Sept. 11
suicide hijackings of four commercial airplanes.
One man in the audience pointed out that the
Bush administration gave airlines billions of
dollars of help after Sept. 11.
Could the hospitality industry get similar
grants or loans? "To answer your question
directly, no," Bush said.
Battered by the terrorist attacks and a declining economy, the Postal Service
saw its first drop in volume in a decade and finished the fiscal year with a $1.68
Managers are scrambling to cut expenses, seeking help from Congress and
discussing the possibility of speeding up a rate increase.
"The economic recession, the Sept. 11 attacks and the anthrax attacks tossed our
financial situation up in the air," Postmaster General John Potter said yesterday.
Figures for the year that ended Sept. 30 show the agency with income of $65.8
billion and expenses of $67.5 billion. It was the second consecutive year the
agency finished in the red, after making profits for five years.
Mail volume for the year totaled 207 billion items, down about 400 million
from the year before. In the first two months of this fiscal year, volume remains
The faltering economy and increased competition were the primary causes of
the losses, along with the September terror attacks, said postal Chief Financial
Officer Richard Strasser.
DEFAULT PETE YORK
The Fallout Musiforthemorningafter
President Bush holds a town hall meeting for about 4,000
displaced workers and business owners at the Orange
County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida yesterday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republi-
can insistence on speeding up future
income tax cuts and Democratic
desire to guarantee health insurance
for the unemployed were the main
stumbling blocks yesterday in nego-
tiations on econ'omic stimulus legis-
Both sides nonetheless expressed
optimism that the talks between
three Republicans and three Democ-
rats that were scheduled to begin
last night with an organizational
session will produce a compromise
that President Bush would sign into
"There is no reason we can't get it
done," said Ways and Means Com-
mittee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-
Calif.), the chief House negotiator.
The Bush administration was not
represented in this initial round,
which Senate Majority Leader Tom
Daschle (D-S.D.) said could make
reaching a final deal more difficult.
"We're only going to negotiate this
once," Daschle said. "They have to
be in the room for that to happen."
Ways and -Means Committee
spokeswoman Barbara Clay said the
House-Senate agreement on who
would be in the room did not include
administration officials, but she
added: "We will certainly include the
administration when it's appropri-
On many issues, the two sides are
not far apart. For instance, there is
general agreement that unemploy-
ment benefits should be extended for
13 weeks and that lower-income
workers should get a tax break, prob-
ably a new round of rebate checks.
Republicans and Democrats both
support some form of temporary
bonus depreciation and enhanced
expensing for business, which allow
faster tax write-offs for investments
such as equipment purchases.
Some Republicans are cooling to
the idea of repealing the corporate
alternative minimum tax, especially
the House-passed provisions giving
big companies billions of dollars in
rebates for taxes paid as far back as
That leaves individual tax cuts and
health insurance. On tax cuts, the
$100 billion House-passed stimulus
bill would cut the 27 percent rate to
25 percent in 2002, four years ahead
Ground broken for
new federal building
Workers broke ground for a new
federal building yesterday, with the
mayor saying he hoped the project
would send a message of hope to New
Yorkers recovering from the Sept. 11
"We're farther down the road than
them," Mayor Kirk Humphreys said.
"We have rebuilt and they need to
know, they will too."
The 3 1/2-story structure will be
built just north of where the nine-story
Alfred P. Murrah Building stood
before April 19, 1995. The building
was destroyed by a fertilizer bomb
concealed in a truck parked nearby by
Timothy McVeigh. The blast killed
168 people and injured hundreds of
Former workers at the building and
others who lost loved ones in the
explosion attended the groundbreaking
House passes bill to
Telemarketers would be prohibited
from blocking their identification on a
consumer's caller ID box under a bill
passed by the House yesterday. .
The bill, which passed by a voice
vote, comes after people who use
caller ID devices to screen or trace
calls complained that many telemar-
keters' numbers did not appear on the
devices. Without the name of a com-
pany or the number, the person target-
ed by a telemarketer cannot follow up
with a complaint.
Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) said the
House measure takes "consumer com-
"No longer will telemarketers be able
to hide behind anonymous telephone
calls," said Tauzin, the chairman of the
Energy and Commerce Committee.
The House passed a similar bill last
year. The Senate has yet to take up the
Oj. Simpson's house
searched by FBI
Federal agents searched O.J. Simp-
son's home for more than six hours
yesterday as part of an investigation
into an Ecstasy drug ring also suspect-
ed of laundering money and stealing
satellite TV equipment.
Nine people were arrested in Miami
and two in Chicago as part of Opera-
tion X, FBI spokeswoman Judy Ori-
huela said. Simpson was not among
those arrested, and the FBI refused to
discuss why he was involved.
Simpson's attorney, Yale Galanter,
said no drugs or large amounts of
money were found at the home and that
his client had done nothing wrong. He
said two boxes removed from the home
contained legal satellite television
equipment. He said Simpson's only
connection to the case is that his name
was mentioned in a phone conversation
involving some members of the ring
that was taped by federal authorities.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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