2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 26, 2002
Bush pushes Mideast cease-fire NEWS IN BRIEF
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush urged
Arab nations yesterday to approve a Saudi peace
offer to Israel and asked Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
to let Yasser Arafat join an Arab League summit
where the U.S.-backed initiative may be considered.
"The president believes it is time for Arab nations
in the region to seize the moment, to create a better
environment for peace to take root," White House
spokesman Ari Fleischer said of the meeting that
opens tomorrow in Beirut, Lebanon.
Bush welcomes the proposal by Crown Prince
Abdullah, and "he thinks it would be very helpful in
the search for peace in the Middle East," Fleischer said.
The Saudi offer to Israel of "full normalization" of
relations with Arab governments depends on Israel
giving up the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan
Heights and accepting a Palestinian state with its
capital in Jerusalem.
Leaning on Israel to drop its confinement of Arafat
to his West Bank headquarters in Ramallah, Fleischer
said, "The president believes that Prime Minister
Sharon and the Israel government should give serious
consideration to allowing Yasser Arafat to attend."
Secretary of State Colin Powell pressed the point in
telephone conversations with Sharon Saturday and Sun-
day, saying also that Arafat should be permitted to go
back to the West Bank after the Arab League meeting.
Some Israelis believe that if Arafat were to be
allowed to go, he should not be allowed to return to
the Palestinian areas. Yesterday, Arafat said that
would1 be unacceptable.
"Is there any law to prevent me ... to come back to
my homeland? This is my right," Arafat said in an
interview on ABC's "World News Tonight."
Arafat also said he is trying to stop the violence.
"I am making a 100 percent effort ... but no one
can get 100 percent results except God," he said.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who has called
Israel's hold on the West Bank and Gaza illegal, also
urged Sharon to let Arafat attend the Arab summit.
Annan's spokesman, Fred Eckhard, said at the
United Nations that Annan would meet Arafat if the
Palestinian leader were to be allowed to go to Beirut.
In Jerusalem, however, Raanan Gissin, an adviser
to Sharon, said Israel would not lift its travel ban
until the Palestinian leader took decisive steps
against militants. Israel will make its decision by
today, the day before the summit, Gissin said.
Sharon proposed his own peace plan yesterday, in
three stages that would begin with an Israeli-Palestin-
ian cease-fire, move on to a "long-range interim peri-
od" with a partial peace arrangement and then to
negotiations for permanent peace.
Powell also had a lengthy telephone conversa-
tion yesterday with Arafat, in which Powell again
urged Arafat to give "clear and unambiguous
orders to Palestinian security forces to prevent
further terror attacks," State Department
spokesman Richard Boucher said.
Powell called on Arafat to dismantle Hezbollah, a
militant group backed by Iran and Syria that has
fought a low-level cross-border war with Israel from
FBI agrees to play Sept. 11 recording
Hoping to recognize the voices of their loved ones who died Sept. 11 on United
Flight 93, family members have persuaded the government to let them hear the
cockpit tape of the hijacked plane's last moments when passengers struggled to
seize control of the aircraft.
The FBI has agreed to play the half-hour recording in a private session tentatively
scheduled for April 18, ending months of reluctance to accommodate the families'
requests. Cockpit tapes are closely held and usually are played only for investiga-
tors, although it is common for authorities to later release an edited transcript.
Flight 93 crashed in a Pennsylvania field after passengers apparently tried to
take back control of the Boeing 757 to thwart a second attack on Washington.
"There are sounds of a struggle," said an FBI official. "It's fairly graphic."
A widow whose late husband is believed to have been a leader of the revolt began
the campaign for a listening session for the families. Deena Burnett's husband, Cali-
fornia businessman Tom Burnett, was among 40 passengers and crew who were
killed on the Newark-to-San Francisco flight. Four hijackers also died.
"Anyone who has heard one of these tragic recordings doesn't want to hear
another one - they are unimaginably tragic," said aviation consultant Peter
Goelz, former director of the National Transportation Safety Board.
Al-Qaida, Taliban planned for car bombings
Six cars were rigged with booby-traps to be detonated near peacekeeper security
patrols, according to Flight Lt. Tony Marshall, a spokesman for the security force.
The vehicles were placed under surveillance, but no arrests have been made, he
said. However, the international security force chose to make the plot public after a
French captain revealed details of it to French journalists, officials said.
"We were aware of these vehicles ... where these vehicles were being
kept and what the intentions were of these groups," Marshall said. "If there
had been any move to actually use these vehicles in any way, in the matter
that I've just described, peacekeepers would have acted," he added.
Although Kabul has been relatively quiet for months, Western and Afghan authori-
ties have been concerned over the possibility that al-Qaida and Taliban holdouts
would try to infiltrate the city and stage attacks against the 4,500-member peacekeep-
ing force. Concern over peacekeeper safety is running high in countries such as
Britain and Germany that provide the bulk of the 18-nation force. The International
Security Assistance Force operates only in Kabul and is separate from the U.S.-led
force fighting al-Qaida and the Taliban elsewhere in Afghanistan.
Arab League chief Amr Moussa, right, and Lebanese
Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hammoud, left, prepare for
a summit of heads-of state tomorrow.
its sanctuary in Lebanon.
The State Department has listed Hezbollah as a
f~~ a "t,) 1 e
PITTSBURGH (AP) -Three men,
including a Duquesne University foot-
ball player, were arrested and charged
with kidnapping two friends and beat-
ing them while interrogating them
about a stolen safe.
One of the alleged victims, 19-year-
old Andrew Jones, was still missing
yesterday. Police said they had received
tips that he was in hiding, but feared he
might be dead.
Craig Elias, 22, a former defensive
tackle at Duquesne; Jared Lischner, 20,
a sophomore defensive end; and Jared
Henkel, 20, were charged with kidnap-
ping, aggravated assault and robbery.
Police said Jones and Anthony
Brownlee, 20, were lured Friday to an
empty apartment in the city's Mount
Washington section after being told
that Henkel had been robbed.
The two were held hostage, beaten
and questioned for several hours about
a safe full of money that had been
taken, police said.
Brownlee told police Elias struck
him in the face and neck and also
hit him in the knee with a claw
hammer. Brownlee escaped Friday
after promising $5,000 to the men.
He then contacted Jones' family,
who called police.
Police are concerned Jones might
have been harmed because a vehicle he
borrowed and drove to the apartment
was found burned in a Pittsburgh sub-
urb over the weekend.
The suspects were jailed. It could
not be immediately determined if any
of them had an attorney.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina
continues to decline
Argentina's economic crisis took a
new, potentially calamitous torn yes-
terday as the value of the national
currency plummeted despite desper-
ate measures by the government over
the weekend to prevent its slide.
The rapid devaluation comes as Pres-
ident Eduardo Duhalde faces new ques-
tions at home and abroad about his
government's ability to lead the country
out of its economic and social crisis.
Valued at one to the dollar last
December and at 2.4 just a week ago,
the peso closed yesterday at an average
rate of 3.8 to the dollar. Lines hundreds
of yards long formed outside Buenos
Aires banks and exchange houses.
After a sharp drop in the value of*
the peso on Friday, the government'
announced a series of emergency
measures over the weekend to
defend the currency, including a
fixed rate on the value of dollars
sold by the nation's central bank.
States file suit against
Class-action lawsuits seeking billions
of dollars from tobacco companies have
been filed in 11 states, contending ciga-
rette makers use terms like "light" to
mislead smokers into believing those
brands are safer.
The same argument helped survivors
of a 53-year-old Oregon woman who
died from lung cancer win a jury award
of $150 million from Philip Morris
Cos. Inc. last week.
The class-action lawsuits name the-
nation's three largest tobacco compa-
nies - Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco Co. and Brown & Williamson
Corp. - and allege violations of con-
sumer protection laws.
"It's a scam because they get people to
believe that they reduce health risks when
that is a false statement," said Stephen
Sheller, a Philadelphia attorney who
began preparing the cases four years ago.
Secret government 0
operates in hills
At undisclosed locations far enough
from the capital to survive a nuclear
blast, a hidden federal government is at
work, scores of officials swallowed up
by the hills.
They toil in rocky warrens, micro-
Washingtons stuffed into tunnels, with
communication links, emergency food 0
rations and stale air.
The government won't say where
they are. The problem is, lots of other
people are sure they know.
The government kept a tight lid on
the locations of its bombproof emer-
gency centers outside the capital
until the Cold War ended and every-
one relaxed. Now facing terrorist
threats, Washington is trying to take
these secrets back.
But these installations have neigh-
bors over the barbed-wire fence.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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