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February 08, 2002 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-08

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 8, 2002


Bush unwilling to
sever ties to Arafat

rS LEl" . .'1T'es


:- s

WASHINGTON (AP) - Israeli Prime Minis-
ter Ariel Sharon expected a boost yesterday from
President Bush in his struggle with terror attacks,
but he also was due for a polite letdown on trying
to isolate Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat from
the United States.
Sharon, who has imposed virtual house arrest
on Arafat in the West Bank, wanted Bush to cut
more than a decade of U.S. contact that followed
the Palestinian leader's public repudiation of ter-
But that is a door the Bush administration does
not want to shut - yet - even as it applies
heavy pressure on Arafat to curb Palestinian
attacks on Israel, to make more arrests and to
take responsibility for trying to smuggle in 50
tons of Iranian rockets, mortar and explosives.

Still, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer
said before yesterday evening's meeting that "the
president believes Chairman Arafat knows what
he needs to do to crack down on the terrorist
activities in the Middle East, and that the United
States was looking to Chairman Arafat to do
more to demonstrate his opposition to terrorism
and the concrete steps he'll take."
Fleischer's description of Bush's take on Arafat
is one the White House and State Department
have advanced for months. But it has not stopped
the bloodshed.
Bush also planned to tell Sharon that he had
"deep concern about the plight of the Palestinian
people, and he'll discuss what steps might be
taken to ease the situation for the people," Fleis-
cher said.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, left, talks to reporters,
after a meeting with President Bush in the Oval Office.

Man attempts to break into cockpit
A passenger tried to force his way into the cockpit of a United Airlines
plane carrying 157 people yesterday on a flight from Miami but was subdued
after the co-pilot hit him over the head with a small ax.
Pablo Moreira, a banker from Uruguay, was restrained by the flight crew
and later arrested by police after the flight landed as scheduled in Buenos
Aires at 10:30 a.m. local time, said Judy Orihuela, an FBI spokeswoman in
"No information at this time indicates it's a terrorist incident. But, of
course, the FBI is investigating," said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for Presi-
dent Bush's Homeland Security Council.
United Airlines Flight 855 took off from Miami at midnight with 142 pas-
sengers and 15 crew members aboard. The flight originated in San Francisco
but Moreira boarded in Miami.
The 28-year-old Uruguayan began kicking the cockpit door of the Boeing
777 about five hours into the flight, as the jetliner flew over Brazil, Orihuela
said. He kicked in a small breakaway panel across the bottom half of the door
and then stuck his head inside the cockpit, said United spokeswoman Chris
Bush: Geneva does not apply to al-Qaida
President Bush has determined that the Geneva Convention applies to Taliban sol-
diers in Afghanistan, but not al-Qaida terrorists, the White House said yesterday, as
aides insisted the decision would have no impact on the treatment of Afghan
"It will not change their material life on a day to day basis. They will continue to
be treated well, because that's what the United States does," White House spokesman
Ari Fleischer said. The decision resolves a technical legal argument regarding the
detention of 150 fighters held at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, but does
not change the key point: The U.S. does not consider the detainees prisoners of war, a
designation that would give them a wide range of rights.
"Al-Qaida is an international terrorist group and cannot be considered a state party
to the Geneva Convention,"Fleischer said.
Bush, under criticism from human rights groups, felt the move would underscore
his commitment to the Geneva Convention and preserve protections afforded U.S.
troops if they are captured in Afghanistan or elsewhere during the war on terrorism,
officials said.


Militia retaliations, attacks escalate

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel struck a Palestin-
ian government complex in the West Bank with
missiles twice in retaliation for an Islamic mili-
tant's assault on a Jewish settlement that killed
three Israelis. Palestinian militiamen said they
would increasingly target settlements.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, meanwhile,
addressed a prickly subject he has long evaded -
who will succeed him in the key posts of Palestin-
ian Authority president and PLO chief. But
Arafat, 72, who has no plans to step down, sowed
rather than dispelled confusion, suggesting two
different confidants to head the authority and the
The Islamic militant group Hamas claimed
responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Hamra,
an isolated Jewish settlement of 40 families in
the West Bank's Jordan Valley. The assault

marked the first time in 16 months of fighting
that Israeli civilians were killed in their home,
further raising the level of the nation's anxiety.
In the 30-minute assault, Hamas gunman
Mohammed Ziad Khalili, 26, from Nablus, cut
through the settlement fence, killed an Israeli
soldier, then entered a house and took Miri
Ohana, 50, and her 11-year-old daughter
The gunman killed the girl and wounded
Ohana before soldiers killed him with several
shots to the head, said an army commander in the
area, Brig. Gen. Udi Shani. Ohana died en route
to a hospital.
In response, Israel launched two air strikes against
the main government and prison complex in Nablus.
Early yesterday, F-16 warplanes struck the site, injuring
11 Palestinians; 20 hours later, helicopters fired two

more missiles. Neither strike caused major damage.
After the first air strike, Palestinian wardens
released 25 Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners to get
them out of harm's way, while 103 suspected inform-
ers for Israel remained in custody.
In Jenin, dozens of gunmen stormed a
makeshift prison in an apartment building and
freed seven detainees, meeting no resistance
from police.
Among those freed in Nablus were Mahmoud
Tawalbeh and Ali Safouri, two Islamic Jihad leaders
appearing on a list of 33 top militants the United
States wants to see behind bars. Tawalbeh is suspect-
ed of having sent more than a dozen assailants into
Israel in recent months.
A leader of the Al Aqsa Brigades, a militia
linked to Arafat's Fatah movement, said yester-
day that the group was escalating its attacks.

Council calls for
railroad competition
Countering Amtrak's pleas for more
money, a congressional advisory panel
said yesterday that private companies
should be given the chance to make
passenger trains more efficient and suc-
The Amtrak Reform Council, called
for competition in passenger rail, cur-
rently the exclusive domain of Amtrak.
Two companies expressed some inter-
"The system we have today, the old
Amtrak, has not worked and is not
working," said Gilbert Carmichael,
chairman of the reform council.
The council finished nearly four
years of work by sending a 111-page
report to Congress and briefing offi-
cials from the Bush administration.
Amtrak, in a statement, said the
report sidestepped questions about what
kind of rail system Americans want.
how much it will cost.
KARACHI, Pakistan
E-mails traced to
journalist kidnappers
Police have recovered e-mails
linked to the kidnapping of Wall
Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl
from the computer hard drive of a
suspect in the case, officials said
The discovery of the e-mails is a
major breakthrough in the case, pro-
viding a link to the chief suspect,

Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh, a young
Islamic militant and suspected mem-
ber of a radical group linked to al-
The officials, speaking on condi-
tion of anonymity, said investigators
traced e-mails sent by the kidnap-
pers to U.S. and Pakistani media a
few days after the journalist disap-
peared to a service provider in an
apartment complex in Karachi. The
e-mails included photos of Pearl in


White House open
for public e-mails
Uncle Sam is getting a lesson injunk
e-mail, compliments of the Microsoft
antitrust case. For the first time, the gov-
ernment opened its required public com-
ment period in a case to allow citizens to
use e-mail rather than letters to sound off.
The result: 30,000 messages that
ranged from 2,800 form letters to
pranksters' pornography to the blunt and
brief: "I hate Microsoft."
Only about 10 percent had anything
substantive to say, officials said.
They added that the volume of mail
received was unpre~edented.
E-mail lets regular people get into the
act, said Dana Hayter, a former Justice
Department antitrust lawyer.
"You're more likely to get a higher
volume of comments from people who
are not as likely to have legal or econom-
ic training, but who likely have a strongly
held view of Microsoft or on the condhct I
of the investigation," Hayter said.
Compiled from Daily wire reports.

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