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February 04, 2002 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-04

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2A -The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 4, 2002


Rival Afghan tribes
agree to cease-fire

GARDEZ, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghan and
United Nations mediators, joined by American
officials, extracted a conditional cease-fire agree-
ment yesterday from two rival tribal warlords in
an eastern Afghan town that was rocked by two
days of fighting last week.
With factional fighting threatening government
efforts to assert control throughout the country,
the delegation hopes to avert more tribal clashes
in Gardez, a town of about 40,000 people that is,
the capital of Paktia, a strategic border province.
U.S. forces want to ensure that al-Qaida fugitives
cannot flee through Paktia's border passes into
neighboring Pakistan.
On Wednesday and Thursday, soldiers for
warlord Bacha Khan exchanged artillery fire
with forces loyal to Gardez's tribal council, or
shura, which bitterly opposes Khan's appoint-
ment as provincial governor. At least 61 people
were killed.

Just before meeting the mediators, Khan said
he was ready to fight on to assert his rights as
governor - an appointment that was initially
self-declared, but later sanctioned by the govern-
ment of interim leader Hamid Karzai.
"I am officially the governor of Gardez. I am
ready for more fighting," Khan said, gesturing
toward 200 of his soldiers standing near a mud-
walled outpost outside of Gardez, where the dele-
gation traveled to meet him. "You can see my
Shura leaders say Khan is corrupt and brutal
and have appealed for another governor.
During a break in the talks, Khan said he had
agreed to a request by mediators to hold off until
Friday on any new assault on Gardez, 60 miles
south of the Afghan capital, Kabul. But Khan said
he would resume the attack if he was not satisfied
with the pace of prisoner exchanges and return of
the bodies of slain fighters.

Congress finds Enron scandal 'criminal'
Members of Congress pointed to possible criminality in the Enron Corp. scandal
yesterday, saying the company manufactured income out of its off-the-books deals
that led it to financial disaster.
On the eve of congressional testimony by former company chairman Kenneth
Lay, a new review of Enron disclosed that in at least two cases, key documents
could not be found that would show which top executives signed their names to the
controversial deals that brought about the company's downfall.
"We're finding what may clearly end up being securities fraud," said House Ener-
gy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin. "Fraudulent, phony attempts"
to move debt out of the company "in violation of current accounting practices."
Tauzin (R-La.) said that "we found instances where some employees were invited
in on the deals ... for a small investment of $6,000 ... six weeks later ... that
$6,000 investment became $1 million."
Sen. Byron Dorgan said that in one failed deal, an Enron partnership named
Braveheart borrowed $110 million from a Canadian bank and the company booked
the money as income.
"They were doing almost no business, but they manufacture income from a bank
loan," said Dorgan, who appeared with Tauzin on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Budget cuts result in loss for health care
President Bush's new budget will propose $591 billion in tax cuts over the next
decade, even as he battles to turn federal deficits back into surpluses, documents
obtained Saturday by The Associated Press show
Though a new round of tax reductions is not a major White House priority this
year, the numbers show those cuts would claim a large share of dwindling federal
The documents show that Bush's $2.13 trillion budget for next year, to be released
today, will draw upon savings from Medicaid and a health-insurance program for
low-income children. It also will propose raising money by leasing mineral drilling
rights in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which Congress blocked last
While shedding little light on specifics, the documents confirm the crunch
many programs face next year in Bush's plan to contain a deficit he projects
at $80 billion.
The figures show that spending for all programs except automatically paid bene-
fits would grow from $688 billion this year to $746 billion next year, or 9 percent.


Haji Saifullah, an ethnic Pashtun fighter loyal to tribal leader
and chief of the Gradez council, holds his AK-47 rifle as the
contrail of a U.S. warplane can be seen in the background.

False reports produce no

" a
r w iw

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) -
With leads into Islamic extremist
groups running dry, Pakistani
investigators said yesterday they
were expanding their search for the
kidnappers of Wall Street Journal
reporter Daniel Pearl into Karachi's
murky criminal underworld.
The investigation has been com-
plicated because of several e-mails
purportedly from the kidnappers
which police now believe were

missing journalist
hoaxes. Late yesterday, police tions Friday claimed that Pearl had
searched an eastern Karachi neigh- been killed and his body dumped in
borhood from which e-mails a Karachi cemetery. Police combed
believed genuine may have been cemeteries Saturday, but found no
sent. trace of Pearl and regard the claim
Investigators still consider Islam- as a hoax.
ic extremists, especially Harkat ul- The discovery in Karachi of a
Mujahedeen, as the most likely light-skinned man in his late 30s
suspects in the Jan. 23 abduction of led to initial media reports yester-
Pearl, the newspaper's South Asian day that the body was Pearl's, but
bureau chief. police said the corpse was that of
An e-mail sent to news organiza- an Iranian.


L_ _ _

Arafat denounces
Palestinian terrorist
Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon each
took unusual steps yesterday: the Pales-
tinian leader pledged to stamp out Pales-
tinian "terrorist groups," while the
Israeli leader announced he would con-
tinue cease-fire talks he began last week
with senior Palestinians.
Arafat, in an article in The New York
Times, employed some of the strongest
language he has ever used to denounce
Palestinian militants who carry out
bombings and shootings against Israeli
"These groups do not represent the
Palestinian people or their legitimate
aspirations for freedom," Arafat wrote.
"They are terrorist organizations, and I
am determined to put an end to their
Sharon said he would hold more
cease-fire talks when he returns from
a meeting this week with President
Voters hopin for
Gore in '04 eions
A handmade sign propped on an
easel in the middle of the emptying
ballroom after Al Gore spoke sim-
ply read "Gore 2004." .
The question was on the lips of
nearly everyone who shook hands,
hugged and posed for pictures with
the man who narrowly lost the 2000
presidential election.
"Are you going to run again?" they

asked, and "I hope you're in the race,
Al," they said.
The response varied little: "Well,
we'll see. I haven't decided yet."
But Gore, who is still wearing his
post-election beard, was certainly lay-
ing the groundwork with his "return to
the national debate" speech Saturday
The 2001 presidential candidate
and former vice president held a
$25-a-person fund-raiser for the
Tennessee Democratic Party.
Pediatric Academy
supports gay parents
The American Academy of Pediatrics
has endorsed homosexual adoption, say-
ing gay couples can provide the loving,
stable and emotionally healthy family
life'that-children need.
The new policy focuses specifically
on gaining legally protected parental
rights for gay "co-parents" whose part-
ners have children, but it also could
apply to gay couples who want to adopt
a child together, said Dr. Joseph Hagan
Jr., chairman of the committee that
wrote the policy.
Citing estimates suggesting that as
many as 9 million U.S. children have at
least one gay parent, the academy urged
its 55,000 members to take an active
role in supporting measures that allow
homosexual adoption.
"There's no existing data to support
the widely held belief that there are neg-
ative outcomes" for children raised by
gay parents, Hagan said.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.

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