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February 21, 2002 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-21

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2A - The Michigan Daily -- Thursday, February 21, 2002


Israel sees bloodiest week of conflict NEWS IN BRIEFi


JERUSALEM (AP) - After losing 13 soldiers in
the past week, Israel is changing its military tactics
and will focus on small-scale actions to deal with
what it views as a guerrilla war, a top Israeli official
said yesterday - a day during which air strikes and
raids killed 18 Palestinians.
The violence raged into this morning as Israeli
tanks rolled into Gaza City for the first time in the
conflict. Troops also killed four Palestinians in the
Rafah refugee camp near the Egyptian border, wit-
nesses said.
The tanks went into the Sejaieh neighborhood
of Gaza City and blew up a local radio station,
witnesses said. The Israeli military had no
immediate comment.
The past week has been one of the bloodiest since
Israeli-Palestinian fighting began in September 2000.
Seventeen Israelis and 51 Palestinians were killed.
Yesterday, Israeli troops fired missiles, tank shells
and machine guns at Palestinian Authority positions
in reprisals for a Palestinian ambush that killed six
Israeli soldiers. In a later clash, Israeli soldiers killed
two Palestinian militants who were about to fire
rockets at Israel, according to media reports and

Palestinian officials.
Warplanes pounded Palestinian targets into the
night - even as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's
spokesman, Raanan Gissin, said Israel would focus
on "small-scale counter-guerrilla, counter-terrorist
Meanwhile, Palestinians asked for an urgent U.N.
Security Council meeting, moving to hold Israel
accountable for what they said was a "crisis situa-
tion." Diplomats said consultations could be held this
morning in New York.
The ambush Tuesday night at an Israeli military
checkpoint near the village of Ein Arik, west of
Ramallah, sparked a debate on the wisdom of main-
taining the scores of military roadblocks throughout
the West Bank and Gaza.
The Palestinians might be changing their tactics,
as well. Several Palestinians close to the militant
groups said the checkpoint assault reflected a new
focus: targeting Israel's occupation in the West Bank
and Gaza as opposed to attacks within Israel itself.
The Palestinians said on condition of anonymity
that the aim is to focus attention on the lands Pales-
tinians claim for a state and rally world support.

Both sides buried their dead yesterday. Thousands
of angry Palestinians marched behind coffins
throughout the Palestinian areas, pledging revenge,
while weeping Israelis buried their soldiers amid
calls for new, harsher measures to stop the violence.
After a meeting of top ministers yesterday, Sharon
announced a "different course of action." He gave no
details, but his spokesman Gissin said Israel would
reduce the number of large operations and in favor of
smaller-scale actions "with the purpose of really try-
ing to tip the terrorists off-balance."
Gissin said that would include a continuation of
the targeted killings of militants suspected of
involvement in terrorism against Israelis, but that
Israel would not target Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat - even though it blames him for failing to
stop the violence.
Arafat has been trapped in his West Bank head-
quarters in the town of Ramallah, surrounded by
Israeli tanks, for more than two months. Gissin sug-
gested Israel might also stop the stream of foreign
diplomats going to meet him there.
Sharon said that Israeli pressure on Arafat is meant
to speed his replacement by other leaders.

Railway inferno kills 370 passengers
Fire whipped by strong winds raced through a train packed with Egyptians
headed home for a Muslim holiday yesterday, creating an inferno that forced des-
perate passengers to leap from the speeding cars. At least 370 people died in
Egypt's worst rail disaster.
Scores of people were trapped inside, some by window grills, as the burning
train barreled along the tracks. The engineer drove on for 2 1/2 miles before
learning of the fire, and even after he brought the train to a halt, the fire went on
for hours, destroying seven of the train's 11 cars.
When it was over, rescue workers pulled out charred bodies, some from under
seats where they were curled up.
The cause of the fire was not known. Suspicion fell on gas containers that pas-
sengers often bring with them to cook food or make tea on the long journey.
Ahmed Adil, the Health Ministry undersecretary, put the death toll at 370.
Police said 65 people were being treated for injuries. That made it the deadliest
accident in 150 years of Egyptian railroad history and one of the worst train fires
anywhere in the world. In 1989, about 600 people were killed when a gas pipeline
explosion blew apart two trains stopped in Russia's Ural Mountains.
Enron CEO says jail sentences are likely@"
Former Enron chairman Kenneth Lay offered a seat on the company's board in
1999 to Robert Rubin, who was then treasury secretary, and lobbied Rubin and his
successor on issues affecting Enron, documents obtained yesterday show.
The notes and letters show that Lay pressed Enron's interests to Clinton administra-
tion officials. Last month, the Bush administration disclosed a series of telephone
calls from Lay, one of President Bush's biggest campaign contributors, to members of
the Bush Cabinet as the company was sliding toward bankruptcy last fall.
The new documents were provided by the Treasury Department under a Free-
dom of Information Act request by The Associated Press.
Stephen Cooper, Enron's current chief executive officer, meanwhile, said yester-
day that someone could end up in jail on charges stemming from the government's*
investigation of the collapsed energy-trading company and the web of partnerships,
used to hide more than $1 billion in debt, that eventually brought it down.
"Given the enormity of the damage that's been created, I think it's going to be
difficult to not hold one or more people accountable" Cooper said.

Milosevic receives
praise for defense

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -
Slobodan Milosevic has won praise
from critics in his debut performance
as a trial lawyer, conducting a tough
but focused cross-examination of the
first witness at his war crimes trial.
Both Milosevic and his opponent, a
Kosovo Albanian politician, drew
blood Tuesday in a fierce four-hour
courtroom confrontation that ranged
from politics to personal attacks.
It was the former Yugoslav presi-
dent's first sparring match with a pros-
ecution witness since his war crimes
trial opened at the U.N. tribunal on
Feb. 12. In the coming year, he will
have the opportunity to cross-examine
up to 350 prosecution witnesses and to
call his own.
Milosevic graduated from a Bel-
grade law school in 1964, but went
into politics without ever practicing
law. He is defending himself against 66
counts of war crimes, including geno-
cide charges, and faces a maximum
life sentence if convicted on any count.
What he lacked in experience he
made up in vigor as he opened an
unrelenting attack on the first prosecu-
tion witness, Mahmut Bakalli, a for-
mer head of the Communist Party in

He displayed an extensive knowl-
edge of prewar Albanian politics,
including details that showed insight
into the Kosovar government's inner-
"He was very well-prepared and did
an excellent job. But, it will be difficult
for him to claim later that he didn't
know" about crimes in the Balkans,
said Heikelien Verrijn Stuart a legal
analyst. "He showed that he was or is
in a position to gather lots of informa-
tion, and in the long run, that may
work against him."
To win a conviction, prosecutors
need only to prove that Milosevic
knew crimes were being committed
and failed to prevent them or punish
those responsible.
Citing 20-year-old . newspaper
reports, Milosevic worked through a
pile of handwritten questions, jotting
notes as he went along. His question-
ing was sometimes terse and focused
on fact, at others personal and aggres-
"Why do you keep making gri-
maces, as if you don't understand the
translation, when you studied in Bel-
grade like me and understand very
well what I am saying?" Milosevic
asked irritably.
Bush wil

Learn more at www.sph.umich.edu/hmp
The University of Michigan Master's Program in Health
Management and Policy has been ranked #1 nationally
by U.S. News & World Report since 1993. To learn more

Supreme Court may
approve vouchers
Several Supreme Court justices
seemed sympathetic yesterday to the
idea that government can help pay
tuition for children at religious schools
and stay within constitutional bounds.
Again and again during a spirited
argument, four justices suggested that a
school tuition voucher program can pass
muster if it gives parents lots of choices,
both religious and nonreligious.
"Unless there's an endorsement of
religion, I don't see why it matters if
(government) money goes to a religious
school" said Justice Antonin Scalia.
The court's answer, expected by sum-
mer, could remap the educational land-
scape. Numerous states and school
districts are awaiting word firom the
high court about whether there is a way
to set up a voucher program that does
not violate the constitutional principle
of separation of church and state. '

and to apply, see our website
or phone 734.763.9900 today.

x _ x

embassy and surrounding neighbor-
hoods. One of the four suspects, the
reports said, is believed to have ties to
Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist
There were conflicting accounts,@0
however, about whether the plastic
bag's contents could have harmed
The powder-filled bag, said to weigh
nearly nine pounds, was seized from a
suburban Rome apartment Tuesday in
an early-morning police raid.
Court debates death.
penalty for disabled
When the Supreme Court last
considered executions of the mental-
ly retarded, only two states banned
the-practice. Now, 18 states prohibit
it, and that math will weigh on the
court as it reconsiders the issue and
the fate of a condemned man with
an IQof 59. """1''
The court debated yesterday how
much public standards have changed
since 1989, when the court upheld
those executions on a 54 vote.
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
wrote then that there was "insuffi-
cient evidence of a national consen-
sus" against the executions to
determine that they were unconstitu-
tionally cruel and unusual punish-
That question has been settled, the
lawyer for convicted Virginia killers
Daryl Renard Atkins told the court.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.

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Men with cyanide
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Italian authorities said yesterday
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in a possession of a plastic bag containinga
cyanide compound, along with maps
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OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea
(AP) - On the final leg of his Asian
trip, President Bush said yesterday that
China, Japan and South Korea are
lending "steady and strong support" to
the U.S.-led war on terrorism.
China has provided the United States
intelligence and other help that has
gone a long way toward muting differ-
ences. Still, there are divisions.
Bush, beginning a two-day visit to
Beijing, urged Chinese President Jiang
Zemin to respect religious freedoms
and consider the Vatican's plea to free
Catholic bishops, sticking points in
otherwise improving U.S.-Chinese
relations. He said he hoped that Jiang,
"as a president of a great nation, would
understand the important role of reli-
gion in an individual's life."
In addition to human rights, Bush
and Jiang are at odds over U.S. missile
defense plans, the fate of Taiwan,
nuclear proliferation, trade and Bush's
claim that North Korea, Iran and Iraq
form "an axis of evil."
Yet their meetings are unlikely to be
contentious, at least partly because of
the new U.S.-China alliance against
Before leaving South Korea, Bush
told several hundred fatigue-clad U.S.
troops at Osan Air Base that despite
their regional differences, the three
Asian leaders he has met on his six-day
tour are united in backing his coalition
against the al-Qaida network and other
terrorist groups.
"All three governments are lending
their support in our war against ter-
ror," Bush said. Each stop of his jour-
ney, Bush said, gave him a chance "to
look the leaders in the eye, to thank
them on behalf of a grateful nation,
for their steady and strong support as

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Rome highlighting the U.S. Embassy
and the city's water supply system.
Italian news media said police were
investigating a possible plot to poison
the water in an aqueduct feeding the


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