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March 08, 2002 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-03-08

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

NATION/WORLD

Search for al-Qaida intensified

GARDEZ, Afghanistan (AP) - U.S. troops
scoured caves and cleared ridges of al-Qaida
diehards yesterday, but sandstorms and high
winds grounded helicopters and threatened to dis-
rupt the U.S.-led air and ground offensive.
After some of the heaviest bombing in the six-
day offensive, a number of supply flights were
delayed or canceled because of the worsening
weather. U.S. officials acknowledged pilots and
troops on the ground would have a harder time
routing the fighters in such bad conditions.
Maj. Bryan Hilfery, spokesman for the 10th
Mountain Division, said 100 militants were killed
Wednesday. Allied attacks also destroyed some of
their heavy weaponry - which includes mortars,
small cannons, rocket-propelled grenades and
shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.
"We're continuing to bolster our efforts, and
units are continuing to maneuver in fire today,
clearing ridgelines, caves and pockets of al-Qaida
resistance," Hilfery said at Bagram air base, north
of the Afghan capital Kabul.
U.S. officials and Afghan commanders said al-
Qaida sympathizers - including some from Pak-
istan - had crossed into the mountains to join
the fight. Afghans said enemy forces may now
number 1,000.
The commanders insisted the routes to the
mountain passes had since been sealed - even
though Taliban fighters managed to bring some
of their slain comrades to the foothills of Surmad

for burial Tuesday. Surmad is 18 miles south of
Gardez, the capital of Paktia Province. Gardez is
about 75 miles south of Kabul, the capital.
U.S. officials have said hundreds of fugitive
fighters have been killed since Operation Ana-
conda began and small numbers detained. Eight
American and three Afghan troops have died in
the offensive.
Five international peacekeepers were killed
Wednesday when a Soviet-era missile they were
trying to defuse exploded, the first fatalities in the
force. And yesterday in Kandahar, a fire at an
ammunition depot near the coalition base killed
three U.S.-allied Afghan fighters. Canadian offi-
cials said the Afghans may have tripped a booby
trap, sparking a fire.
New troops were headed to the region, includ-
ing about 200 soldiers from the 101st Airborne
Division, equipped with 16 Apache helicopters
and four CH-47 Chinook; and 107 members of a
Canadian infantry unit rotating in.
Yesterday dawned over eastern Paktia province
with thunderous blasts from U.S. B-52 bombers
shaking Gardez and the mountains southwest of
here. Dozens of U.S. Army Apache attack helicop-
ters, armed with 30 mm guns and Hellfire missiles,
pounded targets in the narrow, craggy gorges.
The air bombardment, felt 30 miles away,
appeared heavier than in recent days as the Unit-
ed States accelerated efforts to crack the al-Qaida
resistance.

NEWS IN BRIEF _4
UNITED NATIONS
Iraq, U.N. engage in long awaited talks
Iraq and the United Nations agreed Wednesday that their first high-level talks
in a year got off to a "positive and constructive" start, but there was no indication
Baghdad will allow U.N. weapons inspectors back in the country.
No major breakthrough had been expected, and Foreign Minister Naji Sabri
announced that the dialogue would continue sometime in mid-April.
"I am always optimistic," Sabri said as he left U.N. headquarters.
The long-awaited meeting, initiated by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, began
with an unusual one-on-one session between Foreign Minister Naji Sabri and
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan that lasted about 20 minutes, a signal of the
high stakes.
The United States has demanded the return of U.N. weapons inspectors,
accused Iraq of being part of an "axis of evil" supporting terrorism, and
hinted it might expand its war on terrorism to the oil-rich Mideast nation.
On Wednesday, U.S. officials charged that Iraq is illegally trying to build
up its military by converting about 1,000 trucks for military use in viola-
tion of U.N. sanctions.
Many Arab leaders have warned President Bush that attacking Iraq would dam-
age Mideast support for the U.S. anti-terrorism campaign.
WASHINGTON
Victims of Sept. 11 will get more money

U.S. soldiers load a helicopter with ammunition to be
delivered to troops searching for al-Qaida members in1
Afghanistan mountains.

o -a
20 menu items priced under $4 every day.
Unlimited, free fresh-baked breadsticks and soft drink
refills with every dine-in order.
Ask albout our delivery options.

16 dea
in lates

They did not get all they wanted, but after two months of politicking and plead-
AP PHOTO ing with a federal special master, the families of the Sept. 11 dead will get more
money from a federal Victims' Compensation Fund than originally proposed.
the Kenneth Feinberg, the fund's special master, announced yesterday the final
rules that will govern how much relatives will receive to compensate for economic
loss and pain and suffering caused by the multiple terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 that
killed 3,062 people and injured hundreds.
Overall, the new rules will increase by $200,000 the average award from $1.65
million to $1.85 million before deductions. And there will be far fewer deductions,
which had caused great concern.
Feinberg conceded that he made many changes in response to a firestorm of
criticism by relatives and their advocates. Over the last weeks, he met with family
groups, members of Congress, trial lawyers and others who had problems with the
draft version of the rules.
"I may not agree with every criticism," he said. "But I wanted today to assure
the families and others ... that the suggestions have not fallen on deaf ears."

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fighting
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel
pressed its campaign of intense strikes
throughout the West Bank and Gaza
Strip yesterday, conducting sweeps in
refugee camps and killing 12 Palestini-
ans. A Palestinian suicide bomber
attacked a West Bank settlement, while
a gunman killed four people and
wounded 20 in an Israeli settlement.
The attack on the Atzmona settle-
ment came shortly after President Bush
announced he. planned to send his
Mideast envoy back to the region.
A Palestinian gunman infiltrated the
Gaza settlement late yesterday and
killed four people, before soldiers shot
him dead. The attacker wounded 20
people, five seriously, the Israeli mili-
tary said.
Israel Radio reported the military
wing of the militant Hamas organiza-
tion claimed responsibility. The station
said the infiltrator entered the Atzmona
settlement from the south, near the
Palestinian city of Khan Younis, and
threw grenades as well as shooting.
Bush said he was sending Anthony
Zinni to the troubled region next week
in hopes of halting widening violence
and called for both sides to end the
fighting.
The president said the Israelis had to
show "a vision for peace. There's got to
be more than security." Bush said, how-
ever, he fully supported Israel's right to
defend itself from Palestinian attacks.
He called on Palestinian leader Yass-
er Arafat to make a "maximum effort
to end terrorism against Israel."
Israeli troops stormed through two
West Bank refugee camps before dawn
and rocketed a police station after
nightfall in one of Gaza's most crowd-
ed camps, sending Palestinian civilians
running for cover. In the biblical West
Bank town of Bethlehem, Israeli
airstrikes on Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat's local headquarters hit so hard
they blew open bolted doors in nearby
homes.
Israeli leaders said the campaign was
aimed at forcing the Palestinians to
stop terror attacks, but there was no
sign of that yesterday.
News of Zinni's departure came just
hours after White House press secre-
tary Ari Fleischer said the envoy would
not be returning unless there was an
"opening where a return by General
Zinni would do some good."
Raanan Gissin, Israeli Prime Minis-
ter Ariel Sharon's spokesman, said he
would have no immediate comment on
Zinni's return. He said Israel was
studying the development.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat
welcomed the U.S. decision. "I do
think its a useful move, and I do think
that in the deteriorating situation it is
necessary to have some serious inter-
vention."
In the deadly conflict, a Palestinian
suicide bomber walked into a Jewish
settlement's hotel complex and blew
himself up in the lobby, injuring four
people and sending canned goods and
cereal boxes flying in the adjoining
su nermat.

WASHINGTON
Compronse reached
on fuel efficiency bill

Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John
McCain (R-Ariz.) announced a compro-
mise proposal yesterday to increase
automobile fuel economy to 36 miles
per gallon by 2015 and are considering
an exemption for pickup trucks to satis-
fy senators from agricultural states.
Current standards, known as CAFE for
Corporate Average Fuel Economy, are
27.5 mpg for cars and 20.7 mpg for light
trucks. Automakers don't have to meet the
requirement for every vehicle, but their
entire fleet must average the standard.
The CAFE provision is among the
most contentious issues in a sweeping
energy bill being debated this week in
the Senate. It is strongly opposed by the,
auto industry, the United Auto Workers
Union and most Republicans.
Opponents claim the proposal would
require automakers to build smaller cars
that get better gas mileage but are less
safe and that American consumers don't
want.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.
Hubble ma now
see light o big bang
Spacewalking astronauts equipped
the Hubble Space Telescope with a new
set of digital eyes yesterday, a $75 mil-
lion camera expected to extend the
observatory's reach to within a -billion
years or so of the big bang.
The Advanced Camera for Surveys
has five times the sensitivity and twice

the resolution, or clarity, of Hubble's
current visible-light camera, greatly
increasing the discovery potential of the
$2 billion observatory.
"With ACS, Hubble will detect more
faint stars and galaxies during its first
18 months than have been detected"
since Hubble was launched into space
in- 1990, said principal investigator Hol-
land Ford of Johns Hopkins University.
The new camera is equipped with an
internal mirror that exactly counteracts
the blurring produced by Hubble's
slightly mishaped primary mirror.
WH ITEFISH, Mont
Group suspected of
assassination plot
Police say David Burgert's alleged
"Project 7" assassination plot is probably
fantasy. But they are taking it seriously.
Investigators believe Burgert's group
was plotting to trigger an anti-govern-
ment revolution. Detectives say they
discovered it last month when a Project
7 member tipped them off after Burgert
beat him up.
According to Flathead County Sher-
iff Jim Dupont, the conspirators
planned to kill judges, prosecutors and
police officers in such numbers that the
National Guard would be sent in. Then
the troops would be killed, forcing the
federal government into the fray and
sparking a national uprising.
Project 7 amassed a huge arsenal -
machine guns, 30,000 rounds of ammu-
nition, explosives, night-vision equip-
ment, body armor and booby traps.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.

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EDITORIAL A J
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