2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 6, 2003
N. Korea restarts nuclear projects NEWS IN BRIEF
HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea said
yesterday it has reactivated its nuclear facilities, a
surprise announcement that raised questions whether
it was trying to take advantage of Washington's pre-
occupation with Iraq to ratchet up pressure in its own
standoff with the United States.
In Washington, the State Department said that if the
announcement was true, "this would be a very serious
development." It demanded the North "reverse this
action ... North Korea must visibly, verifiably and irre-
versibly dismantle its nuclear weapons program."
A North Korean spokesman announced the reacti-
vation, deepening the crisis over Pyongyang's nuclear
ambitions, just before Secretary of State Colin Pow-
ell spoke at the U.N. Security Council, presenting the
U.S. case against Iraq.
The North said the reactivated facilities would "for
the present stage" be used only to produce electricity
- but the United States says the facilities can pro-
duce nuclear weapons within months.
Even as it presses toward war with Iraq over
alleged hidden weapons of mass destruction, the
United States has insisted it wants a peaceful solution
in its standoff with North Korea.
President Bush "keeps all of his options open" but
still believes the standoff can be resolved diplomati-
cally, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice
said in an appearance on ABC's "Nightline."
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer discount-
ed that Pyongyang was timing the issue with Iraq
"North Korea has a history of doing things like they
did in the '90s, outside of the context of Iraq" he said.
The North's announcement came hours after South
Korea opened a road across the heavily fortified border
for the first time in more than half a century, trying to
ease tensions with the isolated communist regime.
Pyongyang wants direct talks with Washington.
Analysts say North Korea, which often accuses the
United States of plotting to invade it, fears Washing-
ton will turn up pressure on it if a war against Iraq is
The North may hope that heightening the stand-
off at a time when Washington is trying to concen-
trate on Iraq could prompt the United States to
The Pentagon is considering bolstering U.S. forces
in the region to deter the North from any provoca-
tions during an Iraq war. Washington says it has no
plans to invade North Korea.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called North
Korea "a terrorist regime" and said restarting the
nuclear program would give the North a troubling
option - making nuclear weapons for itself or sell-
ing them to any other country.
The United States is pressing for the U.N. nuclear
watchdog agency to refer the issue to the Security
Council - which would likely impose punitive sanc-
tions on the North. Pyongyang vehemently opposes
such a move.
At the International Atomic Energy Agency,
spokeswoman Melissa Fleming had no immediate
comment on the report from the North.
Woman dies in Israeli military strike
The Israeli military demolished the home of a Palestinian militant in the
Gaza Strip yesterday, killing an elderly woman inside, while in the West
Bank, troops shot dead a Palestinian policeman, officials and witnesses
Also, the army said 15 wanted Palestinians were arrested in raids
throughout the West Bank early yesterday, and seven more Palestinians
were taken in for questioning.
In central Gaza, Israeli forces entered the Maghazi refugee camp and
tore down the house that belonged to Baha Abu Said, a militant who died
during a November 2000 attack in which he killed two Israeli soldiers.
Abu Said's stepmother, Kamla Abu Said, was in the home when it was
demnlished, and died of chest injuries, according to relatives and doctors at
the Al Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah. It was not clear why she was still in the
house at the time of the demolition.
Israeli troops call for people to leave a house before tearing it down,
though there have been instances where deaf people were unaware of the
impending demolition, and were trapped inside. Abu Said's relatives said
her hearing was poor, but that she was not deaf.
SPACE CENTER, Houston
NASA doubts that debris doomed Columbia
After days of analysis, NASA backed away yesterday from the theory that a
piece of foam that struck Columbia during liftoff was the root cause of the space
shuttle's disintegration over Texas.
Shuttle program manager Ron Dittemore said investigators now are focusing
more closely on the desperate effort of Columbia's automatic control system to
hold the speed of the spacecraft stable despite an increasing level of wind resist-
ance, or drag, on the left wing.
Dittemore said that after a careful study of the damage possible from the fall of
a chunk of foam insulation that was believed to be 20 inches and 2 1/2 pounds,
investigators are "looking somewhere else."
"Right now, it just does not make sense to us that a piece of debris would be the
root cause for the loss of Columbia and its crew," he said. "There's got to be
Dittemore said investigators are now asking if there was "another event that
escaped our attention" that might have caused Columbia to break up just minutes
before the end of its 16-day mission, killing all seven astronauts.
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CHIEF, A EIC@.
Continued from Page IA
war and rebuilding Iraq and would be
operating with the support of the inter-
A senior White House official,
speaking on condition of anonymity,
said the next 24 to 36 hours will be
critical as Powell gauges reaction. The
key is France, one administration offi-
cial said. If President Jacques Chirac
insists on vetoing such a resolution,
Bush won't seek one.
For many at the United Nations, a
visit to Baghdad this weekend by the
chief weapons inspectors, followed by
their next reports to the council on Feb.
14, will be critical for any decision on
Powell told CBS' "60 Minutes II" in
an interview that he would be watching
the trip closely to see "whether they.
bring back anything of use for Secunity
Council deliberations" next week.
Powell said he is expecting to hear
from the inspectors then "whether or
not there -has been any change in atti-
tude" on the part of the Iraqis.C
Britain, America's closest ally,
prefers a second resolution but would
join forces with the United States
against Saddam without one. British
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said
Powell made a "most powerful" case
Wednesday. Saddam is "gambling that
we will lose our nerve rather than
enforce our will," Straw said.
Trncl ibaliof etek
HAMBURG, Germany (AP) - Fed-
eral prosecutors demanded the maxi-
mum sentence of 15 years yesterday for
the first Sept. 11 terror suspect to be
tried, calling the defendant "a cog that
kept the machinery goin.",
During more than three months of
testim ony, prosecutors portrayed
Moroccan student Mounir el Motassad-
eq, 28, as an integral part of a terror
cell that included lead Sept. 11 hijacker
They said the defendant - who
admitted knowing the alleged members
of the Hamburg al-Qaida cell but
denied knowing about their activities
- paid rent and school fees for cell
members, thereby helping them main-
tain the pose of normal student life in
"He is what we might call a founding
member," chief prosecutor Walter
Hemberger told the Hamburg state
court as he wrapped up 4 1/2 hours of
"The defendant decided to sacrifice
himself to an ideology that despises
humanity," Hemberger said. "He was
closely integrated into Atta's group."
Prosecutors dismissed el Motassad-
eq's insistence that he knew nothing of
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Kerry has best shot
in 2004, union says
Democratic Sen. John Kerry has the
best chance of defeating President
Bush in the 2004 presidential race,
providing he can "break the bubble" of
public support Bush enjoys on foreign
policy, says the AFL-CIO's political
chairman, Gerald McEntee.
But the labor federation probably
will withhold its endorsement until
after the primary season, McEntee,
president of the American Federa-
tion of State, County and Municipal
Employees, said yesterday in an
interview with Associated Press
reporters and editors.
McEntee's support carries weight -
his 1.3 million-member union in the
1992 presidential race came out very
early in favor of Bill Clinton, providing
the Arkansas governor with political
infrastructure at a time when most other
unions were backing Sen. Tom Harkin
of Iowa. AFSCME is one of the largest
unions in the AFL-CIO.
return of recession
Worried about a possible war, Wall
Street has been in a funk this year and
the news on Main Street hasn't been
any better. Business executives are
freezing new spending and hiring, fear-
ful of big commitments in the face of
so much uncertainty.
Some analysts think the national anx-
iety, heightened by the loss of the space
shuttle Columbia, could be enough to
derail the feeble recovery and throw the
country back into recession.
"The probability of a double-dip
recession has certainly risen' said Sung
Won Sohn, chief economist at Wells
Fargo in Minneapolis. "The economy is
still mired in a pretty soft patch and we
have not made it to firmer ground."
"Soft patch" was the phrase Federal
Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan
began using last fall to describe a sig-
nificant slowdown in economic
growth. The economy, which had
been growing at a solid 4 percent rate
in the summer, screeched to a near
halt during the final three months of
the year, managing to eke out a tiny
0.7 percent growth rate.
THE HAGUE, Nethedands
World Court tells U.S.
to stay executions
The United States must temporarily
stay the execution of three Mexican citi-
zens on death row in Texas and Okla-
homa, the World Court ruled yesterday.
In a unanimous decision, the 15-judge
panel said that the delay was needed
while the UN. court investigates in full
whether the men - and 48 other Mexi-
cans on death row in U.S. prisons -
were given their right to legal help from
the Mexican government.
The World Court, officially known as
the International Court of Justice, is the
U.N.'s court for resolving disputes
It has no power to enforce its deci-
sions, and the United States has disre-
garded them in the past.
It is the third World Court case in five
years against the United States dealing
with the death penalty.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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