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January 11, 2002 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-11

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 11, 2002


Enron sought Bush's assistance

House revealed yesterday that Enron
Corp., an energy firm closely tied to
President Bush, sought the administra-
tion's help shortly before collapsing
with the life savings of many workers.
In a separate disclosure, the company's
auditors said they had destroyed many
Enron documents.
In the rapid swirl of events, each
one raising questions about potential
conflicts of interest, Attorney General
John Ashcroft disqualified himself

from the criminal inquiry into Enron's
conduct. The company donated thou-
sands of dollars to Ashcroft's Senate
campaign in 2000.
Bush, who counts Enron as one of
his biggest political contributors,
pledged to aggressively pursue the
investigation into whether the Texas-
based firm defrauded investors,
including 401(k) plan holders, by
concealing vital information about its
"Ken Lay is a supporter," the

president said of Enron chairman
Kenneth L. Lay. "But what any-
body's going to find is that this
administration will fully investigate
issues, such as the Enron bankrupt-
cy, to make sure we can learn from
the past and make sure that workers
are protected."
Bush said he saw Lay twice last
year, but they did not discuss Enron's
financial problems. Lay did seek help
last fall from Commerce Secretary
Don Evans, Bush's chief political

fund-raiser and confidant, and contact-
ed Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill
about the firm's financial woes,
O'Neill and Evans said: And Enron
revealed that Lay also called Fed chair-
man Alan Greenspan about the com-
pany's problems.
Lay, however, denied that he sought
assistance from the government.
Enron said that Lay's calls to O'Neill,
Evans and Greenspan were merely to
give them a "heads up" about Enron's

Bush sternly warns Iran
on harboring fugitives

Hockey death trial in hands of jury
The jury in the manslaughter case against a hockey dad began deliberating yester-
day whether he was a "gentle giant" who fought back in self-defense, or just a bully.
Thomas Junta could get up to 20 years in prison if convicted of beating anoth-
er father to death in a case that has drawn national attention to parental violence
at youth sporting events.
Junta claimed he was defending himself when he beat Michael Costin into
unconsciousness on July 5, 2000, in an argument over rough play at their sons'
hockey practice. Several young skaters, including the men's sons, witnessed the
fight between the 270-pound Junta and Costin, who was an inch shorter and 114
pounds smaller.
"Send Tom Junta back to his hockey family," defense attorney Thomas Orlan-
di Jr. urged the jury during closing arguments. He described his client as "gentle
giant" worried over what the other man might do.
Prosecutors mocked that description, saying Junta used his size to overpower
Costin and pummeled him in an attack that ruptured an artery in Costin's neck.
Prosecutor Sheila Calkins dropped to her knees before the jury and flailed her
arms as she described how the burly truck driver struck the other man as he lay
on the ground beneath him. She said Junta left Costin to die.
Bush signs $3122 billion defense spending bill
President Bush signed a defense spending bill yesterday that he said is a down-
payment on his pledge to give the nation's military "every tool, every weapon
and every advantage you need" to fight terrorism.
Bush went to the Pentagon, which still bears scars from the hijacked jet that hit it,
and signed legislation that sets aside $317.2 billion for Defense Department operations
in the budget year that began Oct. 1. The bill also earmarks an additional $20 billion
for the military campaign in Afghanistan and recovery from the September attacks.
"Since September 11, the skill, the daring and the courage of our men and
women in uniform is now clear to all," Bush said. "It's clear to your fellow Amer-
icans, and it's clear to those who try to hide in caves."
Bush was referring to the those behind the attacks, now being sought by
American soldiers in the hills of Afghanistan. Bush rallied the military, saying its
current campaign is noble, just and a salvation for Afghan people newly liberated
from the oppressive rule of the Taliban.
"You're delivering justice - not revenge, but justice - to agents of terror.
And you're making this nation proud," Bush said.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush
warned Iranian officials yesterday not to harbor al-
Qaida fighters fleeing Afghanistan and not to try to
destabilize the country's new government. If the
warning is ignored, Bush said, the U.S.-led coali-
tion "will deal with them ... in diplomatic ways,
Until now, the United States has quietly
praised longtime foe Iran for its help in the war
on international terror. Iranians and Americans
have worked together to fight the Taliban and to
create Afghanistan's new government.
Now, however, Iran is moving to safeguard its
traditional influence in western Afghanistan,
apparently unnerved by growing U.S. military
influence on almost all sides, analysts said.
Iran denied reports yesterday that some al-
Qaida fighters were in Iran. An official called
Bush's warning "baseless" and said Iran wants

neighboring Afghanistan to be stable and inde-
"Iran has never been on good terms with the
Taliban and their supporters," said Iranian Vice
President Mohammad Ali Abtahi. "It has been
our policy not to allow terrorist groups such as
al-Qaida in Iran."
Indeed, many analysts believe Iran, which
hated the Taliban and is ;uspicious of al-Qaida,
merely is doing what Russia and Pakistan are
doing: working with local warlords to guarantee
their interests in Afghanistan don't get swept
"Iran regards Afghanistan like we regard Mex-
ico;' said Judith Kipper, a Middle East expert at
the Center for Strategic and International Studies
in Washington. "It is a vital, critical interest for
them, and they have every right to be consulted
and involved."


Prior to signing a $318 billion bill on defense spending,
President Bush waits yesterday to speak at the Pentagon.

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Palestinian Authority
linked to seized anns
Secretary of State Colin Powell yes-
terday linked the Palestinian Authority
to a ship laden with arms that was
seized in the Red Sea by Israeli com-
mandos, but said there was no proof
Yasser Arafat was involved.
If the ship had reached Palestinian
territory and the weapons had been
unloaded, Powell said, they "would
have been put to the worst kind of use
against Israel and others in the
Powell was pleased Israel intercept-
ed the ship last Thursday.
"Now we have to find all those
responsible and accountable for this
incident," he said at a news confer-
A senior Israeli security official on'
Wednesday said the weapons would
have been used most against rein-
forced buses that generally have not=
been penetrated in terrorist attacks.
Nuclear dump site
approved in Nevada
The Energy Department gave the
go-ahead for a nuclear waste dump in
the Nevada desert yesterday, contend-
ing the site is scientifically sound and
that "compelling national interests"
override the state's strong objections.
President Bush must decide whether
to approve the site and apply for a fed-
eral license.
Nevada would need the support of

Congress to have any hope of thwart-
ing the proposed dump 90 miles
northwest of Las Vegas. Under a
1982 law, Nevada can veto the pro-
ject, but that could be overridden by
Congress singled out Yucca Moun-
tain 15 years ago as the only site to be
studied for the nation's nuclear waste
repository. Outraged Nevada politi-
cians said the legislation passed only
because lawmakers didn't want the
waste in their states.
Fighter jet crashes in
NJ.; pilot unhanned
An F-16 with the New Jersey Air
National Guard crashed near a busy
highway yesterday, and the pilot eject-
ed safely, officials said.
The pilot, based at the 177th Fighter
Wing at Pomona, parachuted into
woods about one-quarter mile east of
the Garden State Parkway.-He-suffered
minor cuts and bruises. His identity
was not released. Since Sept. 11,
fighter jets from the 177th have been
among those flying combat air patrols
over New York and Washington.
The jet had been practicing bomb
drops at the Warren Grove range and
was returning to base when a malfunc-
tion occurred, according to Col.
Michael Cosby, the unit's commander.
Debris from the jet was scattered
across the parkway, though no cars
were damaged, said John Hagerty, a
state police spokesman. The highway
is a major north-south route.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.




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Orchestre de Paris Twyla ThaIrp Dance

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