2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 10, 2003
Gas prices expected to increase NEWS IN BRIEF
DIES O AR T I
WASHINGTON (AP) - Even if
war is averted in Iraq, motorists should
be ready to pay at least a dime a gallon
more for gasoline this spring, the Ener-
gy Department says.
Oil and gasoline imports from
Venezuela probably won't return to
normal before summer - if then.
Despite tight supplies of crude, the
Bush administration gave no sign
Thursday it was ready to use emer-
gency oil reserves to soften the supply
or price impacts, although U.S. offi-
cials were lobbying foreign producers
to increase oil output.
"There's no change in the decisions
that have been made," White House
press secretary Ari Fleischer said when
asked whether the government's Strate-
gic Petroleum Reserve might be
tapped. He said the purpose of the
reserve was to respond to emergencies
and implied no such situation exists at
The Energy Department in a report
forecast that gasoline prices nation-
wide would increase to an average of
$1.54 a gallon by mid-spring -
about 10 cents a gallon higher than this
week's average, because of rising
crude prices and the disruption to oil
exports in Venezuela.
The forecast also said steeper price
spikes are likely in some areas because
of the supply cuts from Venezuela,
where oil production has been virtually
shut down for a month.
The Energy Information Adminis-
tration report said Venezuelan pro-
duction almost certainly will
continue to be below normal levels
into late spring and into the summer
driving season, even if the country's
political crisis is resolved in the next
few months. It would likely take
four months to return to full produc-
tion after the turmoil subsides, the
"There's no change in the decisions that Former U.N. ambassador enters N. Korea
A A AN A A A . M N A I A At t. . ..,S ... ller _-__
naVe een maae (auU[ using emergency
- A riFleischer
White House press secretary
Last year, Venezuela shipped about
1.5 million barrels a day of crude and
refined gasoline into the United States,
about 13 percent of U.S. imports. Its
refineries, now largely shut down, also
are a major source of U.S. gasoline
The EIA projections do not take into
account the turmoil over Iraq and
assume that oil from that country will
continue to be available at about 2.4
million barrels a day. If war erupts in
Iraq all bets are off on predicting
prices, agreed EIA petroleum analyst
Last year, Iraq produced about 2
million barrels a day on average.
Economists and energy experts have
said serious worldwide crude short-
ages could develop if war erupts in
Iraq and the country's imports disap-
pear while Venezuela's oil fields
EIA director Guy Caruso said that
"a positive sign" is that gasoline inven-
tories at this time are on the high end
of the comfort range and "in reason-
ably good shape."
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a former U.N. ambassador, became a sur-
prise intermediary between the United States and North Korea, meeting last night
in his state with two envoys from the communist country.
"I want to be able to help my country," said Richardson, who was sworn in Jan.
1 as governor. He had visited North Korea on two diplomatic missions while he
was still a member of Congress during the 1990s.
The initiative for the meeting was taken by North Korea's deputy U.N. ambas-
sador, Han Song Ryol. It came as the United States was awaiting a response from
Pyongyang to meetings held Monday and Tuesday among U.S., South Korean and
Japanese officials on the North Korean nuclear situation.
The United States offered in a joint statement to hold talks with North Korea
on the dispute over its resumption of a nuclear weapons program.
Richardson greeted the North Koreans outside the governor's mansion in Santa
Fe. They shook hands and went inside for what the governor's spokesman
described as a three-hour working dinner.
North Korean diplomats require U.S. permission to leave New York City, and
Secretary of State Colin Powell granted it on Wednesday to facilitate the talks in
Santa Fe, N.M. A second diplomat, Mun Jong Chol, was joining Han.
Bank workers support Venezuelan strike
Thousands of Venezuelan bank workers stayed home yesterday to support a nation-
wide strike seeking new presidential elections, further weakening the currency as
analysts speculate the government of Hugo Chavez is running out of money.
Chavez supporters, meanwhile, attacked several opposition demonstrations at oil
facilities around the country.
"Chavistas" attacked a rally outside a refinery in Cardon, 270 miles east of Cara-
cas, wounding a 40-year-old worker and a 28-year-old demonstrator, said Luis
Arends, a civil defense worker.
In Caracas, gunmen fired several shots and threw tear gas at an opposition rally.
No one was hurt, and the rally resumed. There were no arrests.
Chavez supporters armed with machetes and sticks also prevented a demonstration
at an oil facility in central Carabobo state, Globovision television reported. A minor
clash occurred at a plant in Barinas state.
The nationwide strike begun Dec. 2 has shut thousands of businesses and brought
Venezuela's vital oil industry - a top U.S. supplier and once the world's fifth-
largest exporter - to a virtual halt. Gas has been imported.
Israel calls for
removal of Arafat
JERUSALEM (AP) - Prime Minis-
ter Ariel Sharon offered his strongest
endorsement of a U.S.-sponsored
framework for peace that ends with the
creation of a Palestinian state, promis-
ing to push for its approval if re-elect-
However, the hardline Israeli leader
rejected a key element of the plan: a
In a speech to a national security
conference Wednesday night, Sharon
also reiterated his insistence that Yasser
Arafat has to be removed as the Pales-
tinian leader and that violence against
Israeli targets has to end before
progress can be made.
"Israel can no longer be expected to
make political concessions until there is
proven calm and Palestinian govern-
mental reforms," Sharon said.
Fears of new violence rose yesterday
after Sharon said several members of
Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network
have infiltrated the Gaza Strip and
Lebanon and are' working with the
Hezbollah guerrilla group.
"We know they are in the region," he
told journalists in Tel Aviv. "There's no
doubt that Israel is a target for an
Police went on high alert for several
hours in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv
area - setting up makeshift roadblocks
to check cars - because of "terrorist
warnings," Israel police spokesman Gil
A young Palestinian was arrested on
"suspicion of attempting to carry out
terrorist activity," Klieman said. He
declined to comment further, citing a
Jerusalem district court gag order, but
said the high alert was relaxed by mid-
At his news conference, Sharon also
welcomed recent statements by senior
Palestinian officials that taking up arms
against Israel had been a mistake and
must stop immediately.
"We see today cracks in Palestinian
society," he said. "There are people who
understand that Arafat brought upon
them a terrible catastrophe. Will it devel-.
op in a certain direction? I hope so."
due to war
WASHINGTON (AP) - Airline
executives told Congress yesterday that
their companies still face major finan-
cial problems that probably will wors-
en if America goes to war with Iraq.
Air travel has yet to return to pre-Sept.
11 levels. The number of people flying
in November was down almost 18 per-
cent from November 2000, according to
the Transportation Department.
Since the attacks, the major airlines
have laid off more than 80,000
employees, cut wages for others and
reduced the number of flights, but they
still expect to lose $9 billion last year.
Two have filed for bankruptcy in the
last six months - United Air Lines
and US Airways.
"We've got most of the airlines
broke and the rest of them begging,"
said Sen. Ernest Hollings of South
Carolina, the ranking Democrat on the
Senate Commerce Committee that held
a hearing on the financial condition of
War inIraq could make a bad situa-
tion even worse, American Airlines
chief executive Don Carty told the
committee. When the Gulf War
occurred more than a decade ago,
Carty said air travel plummeted.
What Congress can do to help the
airlines "depends largely on whether or
not we have a war with Iraq," he said.
Congress has twice helped the air-
lines since Sept. 11. In November
2001, President Bush signed into law a
$15 billion aid package that included
$5 billion in cash assistance and a $10
billion loan guarantee program.
Last year, Congress enacted a law to
extend government-issued war-risk
insurance and to limit liability against
companies for the terrorist attacks, sav-
ing airlines an estimated $1 billion.
Carty said airlines need more, but he
said they have yet to reach consensus
on what Congress can do tochelp.
Northwest Airlines' chief executive
Ric~hard Anderon calotstifiedA that
old Nazi bunkers
The government began tearing down
six more bunkers from Hitler's infamous
West Wall yesterday against the wishes
of some German historians and war vet-
erans who want the remaining concrete
and steel fortifications saved as historic
The leader of the Third Reich built
20,000 bunkers, trenches and tank
dugouts along a 940-mile line, also
known as the Siegfried Line, stretching
along the German border from near
Basel, Switzerland to Kleve in northern
Pneumatic drills pounded away yester-
day on the first of six structures to be
demolished this winter after the local
government in the village of Rheinau, on
the French border and 105 miles south-
west of Frankfurt, complained the
bunkers were a safety hazard. The federal
government worried they were potential
gathering place for neo-Nazis.
Prosecutor aids teen,
killed by father
Kern County's No. 2 prosecutor
Stephen Tauzer put his reputation on
the line to keep a methamphetamine-
addicted Lance Hillis out of jail. And
Tauzer's support didn't end there. He
offered the young man his home,
money, even a car.
Those favors put Tauzer on a colli-
sion course with Hillis' father, Chris
Hillis, a former cop who felt his son
was beyond the reach of rehabilitation
and needed jail time to sober up.
Chris Hillis allegedly warned he
would kill Tauzer if anything happened
to his 22-year-old son.
Tauzer was found dead Sept. 15 on
the floor of his garage, a knife sticking
out of his head.
Hillis, 48, is now behind bars on
EPA unveils new
water clean-up plan
The Environmental Protection
Agency is clearing the-way for states
to create trading programs that will
allow industrial facilities and waste-
water treatment plants to buy and sell
each other's pollution.
The trading programs will rely on
economic incentives to meet federal
water quality standards, EPA officials
say, possibly saving the public hun-
dreds of millions of dollars in water
"It applies to anyone who's looking
for a least-cost way to meet water
quality standards," G. Tracy Mehan
III, who heads EPA's Office of Water,
said yesterday. "Because of the effi-
ciency and the cost savings, it reduces
the barriers and hopefully speeds up
cleanup of our impaired waters."
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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