2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 10, 2002
Taliban set free
U.S. State Department
says leaders should have
been turned over instead
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -
Seven high-ranking Taliban officials -
including the ex-justice minister - sur-
rendered to Afghan commanders but
were set free by local officials, the
Afghan government said yesterday, even
though U.S. officials want Taliban lead-
ers turned over.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Omar
Samad told reporters the government
was determining whether the Taliban
officials were "war criminals." They
included Nooruddin Turabi, the Tal-
iban's one-eyed, one-legged justice min-
ister, who drew up the. militia's
repressive version of Islamic law -
including restrictions on women - and
created the religious police to enforce it.
A State Department spokesman said
senior Taliban officials should be in U.S.
hands. "We would expect that to be the
case with these individuals," Richard
Boucher said in Washington.
Negotiations on the surrender of ex-
Taliban figures have recently frustrated
the U.S.-led coalition as it pursues the
remnants of the Taliban and Osama bin
Laden's al-Qaida terror network. Taliban
supreme leader Mullah Mohammad
Omar reportedly escaped during surren-
der negotiations after being surrounded
in the mountainous north of Kandahar.
The Taliban leaders were let go, said
Jalal Khan, a close associate of Kanda-
har's governor Gul Agha, after they rec-
ognized the government of Prime
Minister Hamid Karzai and promised to
stay out of politics.
"Those men who have surrendered
are our brothers, and we have allowed
them to live in a peaceful manner. They
will not be handed over to America,"
The government was trying to deter-
mine who the seven men freed in Kan-
dahar were and whether the decision to
let them go was "appropriate," Samad
said. He said so far there had been no
U.S. request for their handover.
But Pentagon officials have said the
new Afghan leaders are fully aware of
the U.S. desire to have custody of cer-
tain Taliban and al-Qaida leaders.
The Pentagon was still working to
confirm the seven had been freed. But if
they were, "we would expect that they
(Afghan officials) would take whatever
steps are necessary to make sure that
these folks are not left on their own,"
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Dave
Meanwhile, in an attempt to bolster
the new government's authority in the
capital, Karzai ordered armed men to
leave Kabul's streets and return to their
barracks within three days or be put in
jail, Interior Minister Younus Qanooni
The order allows only uniformed
police on Kabul's streets, where fighters
from various Afghan factions bristling
with rocket launchers and automatic
weapons have moved freely since the
Nov. 13 departure of the Taliban. Inter-
national peacekeepers in the city are
4 Israeli soldiers killed in ambush
Defendant testifies in 'rink rage' trial
Shedding tears and getting choked up at times, the burly truck driver who beat
another father to death at their sons' hockey practice testified yesterday that the
other guy took a swing at him first and that he fought back in self-defense.
"I just wanted him to stop hitting me," said 44-year-old Thomas Junta.
Junta said he landed only three, off-balance blows against Michael Costin as
the smaller man struggled beneath him on the ground.
Junta wept when he recalled that several children saw the fatal fight. Among
them was his son, Quinlan, then 10, who testified in his father's defense Tuesday.
Junta is on trial on manslaughter charges in the fight that broke out at a Read-
ing ice rink in July 2000 after the two fathers argued over rough play on the ice.
Prosecutors say the 6-foot-1, 270-pound defendant overpowered Costin, who
was an inch shorter and weighed 110 pounds less, and pummeled him. Costin
never regained consciousness and died a day later.
During an aggressive cross-examination by prosecutor Sheila Calkins, Junta
said he walked away from the fatal fight without checking to see if the victim
"I thought when he laid back down that he was just resting," Junta testified, his
voice choking and chin trembling. "I didn't know the man was hurt."
Justice Dept. begins criminal probe of Enron
The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into Enron Corp.,
whose employees lost billions when the company barred them from selling plum-
meting Enron shares from their retirement accounts.
The department has formed a national task force, headed by the criminal division
and made up of federal prosecutors in Houston, San Francisco, New York and several
other cities, said a Justice Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The Labor Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are con-
ducting civil investigations.
Enron attorney Robert Bennett said the company was pleased with the prospect
of a Justice Department investigation that would "bring light to the facts."
"As I understand it, this means there will be a centralized investigation at the Jus-
tice Department," Bennett said. "It's important that we not let the Washington scan-
dal machine take over."
While ordinary employees were prohibited from selling company stock from their
Enron-heavy 401(k) accounts, Enron executives cashed out more than $1 billion in
stock when it was near its peak.
JERUSALEM (AP) - Tossing grenades and firing
rifles, two men in Palestinian police uniforms burst
onto an Israeli army post near the Gaza Strip early yes-
terday, killing four soldiers before being shot dead.
It was the first deadly Palestinian assault on Israelis
in nearly a month and threatened to subvert efforts for
a formal Mideast truce.
Struggling to keep the pe.ace hopes on track, the
Bush administration decried the attack and demanded
that Yasser Arafat make arrests and dismantle the
Hamas terrorism group. The attack was "particularly
disturbing because it came at a time when the situation
on the ground had been relatively quiet," White House
spokesman Ari Fleischer said.
Israel said it held Palestinian leader Arafat's govern-
ment responsible for the assault, though the Islamic
militant Hamas group claimed responsibility and
declared it had abandoned a cease-fire.
The Palestinian Authority issued a statement con-
demning the attack and said the two gunmen were not
members of its security forces.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon blamed Arafat
for the attack, calling it "a result of the strategy of ter-
ror initiated by Yasser Arafat."
Israel responded by destroying two Palestinian secu-
rity posts and closing down three Palestinian naval
police stations in the southern Gaza Strip, not far from
the scene of the attack, the army said. Palestinian
police had abandoned the posts earlier, fearing Israeli
Israeli army chief Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz said the
attack proved "beyond any doubt the Palestinian
Authority is not fighting the infrastructure of terror-
ism." Israel also says Arafat was behind the 50-ton
arms shipment Israel seized in the Red Sea on a cargo
ship last week and the two events have dealt a severe
blow to U.S. truce efforts.
"They are inventing a new issue every time. The last
was the ship," said Arafat, dismissing the Israeli
Secretary of State Colin Powell refused to accept
Arafat's disavowal of any knowledge of a shipment of
rockets and other weapons. Powell told Arafat in a tele-
phone call "that the indications of Palestinian involve-
ment were deeply troubling to us and that that's what
we felt required a full explanation," Boucher said.
A wounded Israeli soldier is brought into Soroka
hospital in the southern Israeli town of Beersheva
yesterday after two Palestinians armed with grenades
and assault rifles stormed an Israeli army post.
Bush holds first post-Sept. B Sfundraiser
WASHINGTON (AP) - President
Bush's public return to politics yesterday
was a family affair - a fund-raiser for
his "big little brother" - and, as the
White House described it, an election-
year duty to democracy.
"These are serious times that face our
nation and these serious times require
serious leaders;' said the president, star
attraction at a reception to raise at least
$500,000 for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's re-
Turning to his younger brother, Bush
added: "And you're here to support a
really good, serious man. ... I want to
thank you all for making his campaign
Bush, who avoided overt politicking
late last year in deference to the war on
terrorism, made a gentle first foray into
what is already shaping up to be a bitter-
ly fought midterm election.
In his 10-minute remarks to donors,
Bush had not one critical word for
Democrats but instead reiterated praise
for two, Sen. Edward Kennedy of Mass-
achusetts and Rep. George Miller of
California, who worked with the White
House on education reform.
With sister Doro and brother Marvin
filling out the evening's "all-Bush" mar-
quee, the president called the reception
an "ole family reunion."
Dinner afterward was expected to net
the Florida Republican Party hundreds
of thousands of dollars.
Bush can be counted on to be increas-
ingly active for like-minded Republican
candidates. "That way, his ideas as pres-
ident and commander in chief can be
carried into law," White House press
secretary Ari Fleischer told reporters.
Michigan Book & Supply
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The narrow Democratic majority in
the Senate is at stake in November, as is
the slender GOP edge in the House.
Some three dozen governors' seats are
up for grabs, and these, too, are impor-
tant to Bush. Republican governors in
key states can go a long way toward
helping his 2004 re-election campaign.
Bush has not announced his inten-
tions toward a second term, but his
political team is preparing to run. On
Monday, Bush travels to two states -
Illinois and Missouri - that will be
important to any 2004 aspirations.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Uni-'
versity of Wisconsin's patent agency
and a California company have settled
a federal lawsuit over human embry-
onic stem cell technology, the groups
The Wisconsin Alumni Research
Foundation filed the lawsuit in August
against Geron Corp. of Menlo Park,
Calif., to prevent Geron from interfer-
ing with the foundation's ability to
contract with other firms to further
develop stem cell technology.
"All of these things taken together
will move the science forward faster
and bring us closer to the treatments
and cures that are the promise of stem
cells," foundation spokesman Andrew
In the settlement, the groups agreed
on a new license which gives Geron
exclusive rights to develop products.
from three of the six cell types devel-
oped by University of Wisconsin
researchers. Geron also has nonexclu-
sive rights to the other three cell types.
David Greenwood, Geron's senior
vice president and head of corporate
development, said working with the
foundation to develop a new agree-
ment on the stem cell types made
sense since they first agreed to a
license in 1999.
"We've learned a lot in working with
the cells in the three years and we have
sorted through very carefully what we
want our business strategies to be in the
field," Greenwood said. "We absolutely
want to encourage other people to invest."
Cohn said the foundation could reach
licensing agreements within months
with other companies that want to do
research using its stem cell types.
Geron and the foundation also have
agreed to grant research rights for
existing cell patents and patent filings
Deputy fired for lying
to parents of victim
A sheriff's deputy was fired yester-
day for giving conflicting statements
about the shooting of a teen-ager during
the 1999 Columbine High School mas-
sacre, officials said. Relatives of the
slain student, Daniel Rohrbough, said
the deputy told them he saw a boy fall
to the ground after apparently being
shot. They said Lt. Jim Taylor told them
he realized it was Rohrbough after see-
ing newspaper photos of him.
But in a Dec. 31 statement, Taylor
said he didn't see the shooting and told
the family only what he had seen on
television and read in newspapers.
Arapahoe County Sheriff Pat Sulli-
van said radio tapes and interviews
prove Taylor was not in a position to
see gunfire or Rohrbough during the
April 20, 1999, shooting.
Rohrbough's family claim the 15-
year-old was accidentally shot by an
officer as he fled the school.
Food stamps may go
to more immigrats
The Bush administration wants to
reverse part of the 1996 welfare over-
haul and restore food stamps for
363,000 legal immigrants, an idea that
probably will be well received by His-
panic voters this election year.
Immigrants who have lived in the
country for at least five years would be
eligible for the benefits under the pro-
posal that will be part of President
Bush's 2003 budget. Under current
rules, adult immigrants must have
worked in the country for at least 10
years, no matter how long they had lived
in the United States, or be a refugee or
member of the military to qualify for
A senior administration official, who
described the proposal yesterday on
condition of anonymity, said the White
House wants the rule change included
in an overhaul of farm and nutrition pol-
icy now pending in Congress.
AGOURA HILLS, Calif.
Girl voted school's
ugliest' files lawsuit
A 17-year-old student who was
named on the Internet as the "ugliest
girl" at her school has sued her former
school district, claiming officials did
nothing to stop "the escalating pattern
of sexual harassment' by other students.
Sophomore Alison Goller quit
Agoura High School after "the taunt-
ing became unbearable,",acording to
Alison was teased at first about her
appearance, then accused of promiscu-
ity, the suit alleged.
Alter a bout of mononucleosis, Alison
returned to school last February to more
taunting from classmates and a teacher,
prompting her to leave the school.
"People really do mean things in
high school," Alison said in an inter-
view. "I'm really surprised nobody has
brought a gun to school at Agoura,"
which is about 30 miles west of down-
town Los Angeles.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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