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March 18, 2003 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-03-18

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(Corner of State and liberty)

N. Korea:
U.S. not
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North
Korea warned yesterday that its sover-
eignty is at stake in the standoff over its
nuclear development, while the U.S.
ambassador in South Korea said the
North has an "irrational fear" of the
United States.
North Korea's official Rodong Sin-
mun newspaper said Washington's rejec-
tion of direct talks was "little short of
refusing to solve the nuclear issue."
Washington wants to resolve the issue
through talks involving othercountries,
but North Korea insists the dispute is
only with the United States and wants a
nonaggression treaty with Washington.
"The nuclear issue on the Korean
Peninsula is a very crucial problem relat-
ed to who beats whom," the North Kore-
an newspaper said. "It will decide
whether the DPRK's sovereignty will be
trampled down by the U.S. or protected"
DPRK is short for the North's official
name, the Democratic People's Republic
of Korea.
North Korea accuses the United
States of inciting the tension over its sus-
pected nuclear weapons programs as a
pretext for an invasion.
In Seoul, U.S. Ambassador Thomas
Hubbard said North Korea's actions
posed a threat to worldwide stability
because of the threat of nuclear prolifer-
ation. He repeated the Bush administra-
tion's stance that Washington wants to
solve the nuclear dispute peacefully, but
all options are open.
"They seem to be sustained only by
an irrational fear of the United States,
and an equally irrational adulation of
their own leadership, both of which they
have been taught for decades in com-
plete isolation from the rest of the
world," Hubbard said.
A South Korean presidential adviser
said North Korea has shown no signs of
reactivating a nuclear reprocessing facil-
ity that could enable the production of
bombs within months.
There are concerns that North Korea's
next step in the standoff will be to reacti-
vate the reprocessing plant in a bid to
pressure Washington into negotiations.
U.S. officials say the facility could pro-
duce enough weapons-grade plutonium
from spent fuel rods to make several
more nuclear bombs.
"North Korea is not showing any
movement to reactivate its nuclear
reprocessing lab and test-fire a ballis-
tic missile," said Ra Jong-il, senior
security adviser to President Roh
LNo cause
found yet
for myster
The Associated Press
A handful of suspected cases of a
deadly flu-like illness surfaced in new
spots around the globe yesterday, but
medical experts said there "should not
be panic" because the spread is not as
aggressive as most forms of influenza.
There also were no new fatalities

since the nine first reported when the
World Health Organization issued its
unusual global alert over the weekend.
WHO officials said they were investi-
gating suspicious cases in England,
France, Israel, Slovenia and Australia,
all of which previously had none.
Most of the 167 cases that have
appeared in the past three weeks are
health workers in Hong Kong, Viet-
nam and Singapore. China said 300
people had what appeared to be the
same illness in an outbreak that began
last November in Guangdong
In the United States, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention was
skeptical that the four cases it was
u." looking into would be verified as
''severe acute respiratory syndrome,
or SARS, the name given the unidenti-
fied illness. The CDC already has
ruled out 10 other suspicious cases.
Disease investigators said it could
' take weeks to determine the cause of
the mysterious outbreak.
WHO officials also said that for the
first time, China was allowing teams
of experts into the country to take a
closer look at its own earlier outbreak,
which killed five people before it was
brought under control. WHO investi-
gators should be there by week's end,
the U.N. agency said.
Experts believe that the most likely
explanation for the respiratory illness
is an exotic virus or - the mos't


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Lawmakers reject Arafat proposal
The Palestinian parliament yesterday rebuffed Yasser Arafat's attempt to dilute the
authority of a future prime minister, keeping reforms sought by Washington alive for
now In the Gaza Strip, 10 Palestinians, including a 4-year-old girl, were killed in two
Israeli raids.
The confrontation between the increasingly assertive lawmakers and Arafat, 73, is
being closely watched by international Mideast mediators. President Bush said last
week that a prime minister with real powers must be installed before a U.S.-backed
three-year "road map" toward Palestinian statehood can be unveiled.
Parliament rejected Arafat's demand that he retain a say in appointing
Cabinet ministers and he summoned rebellious legislators afterward in
hopes of changing their minds before a final vote today. Arafat's Fatah party
has a majority in the 88-member parliament.
Attempts to restart Middle East diplomacy could be derailed if Washington deter-
mines that the new prime minister does not have sufficient authority and is depend-
ent on Arafat. Last week, parliament approved a bill defining the powers of the prime
minister. It gave the premier the authority to form a Cabinet and supervise the work
of the ministers, while Arafat was given continued control over peace talks with
Israel and command of the security forces.
FBI keeps an eye on Iraqis living in U.S.
The FBI is closely watching dozens of Iraqis and others living in the United
States in a wide-ranging security plan meant to deter any reprisals for a U.S.
invasion. Officials are considering raising the nation's terror risk alert level
from yellow to orange.
Some of those under FBI watch have been identified through ongoing inter-
views of up to 50,000 Iraqis. Others are suspected of having links to al-Qaida
and other terror groups, possibly including the Hamas and Hezbollah organiza-
tions blamed for suicide bombings in Israel.
The interviews with Iraqis are "designed to obtain any information that
could be of use to the United States during a possible conflict," Jeffrey
Lampinski, special agent in charge of the FBI's Philadelphia field office, said
The surveillance is part of a broader plan by the federal government, along
with state and local law enforcement officials, to raise the nation's level of
counterterrorism vigilance as the prospects for war increased. Many thousands
of law enforcers are involved.

Blood banks begin
new germ-testing
Ask about blood safety and most
people think AIDS or other viruses that
today are incredibly rare in transfu-
sions. Bacterial contamination of blood
poses a much bigger risk - sickening
and killing dozens of people a year -
yet germ-tainted transfusions get little
Now blood banks are starting to
adopt new anti-germ technology as
transfusion specialists urge the govern-
ment to tackle the problem.
"Although the public is worried about
HIV or West Nile virus, we may have to
occasionally stand up and say in public
or to a newspaper reporter, 'That's not
what we should be worrying about,"'
blood-safety specialist Dr. James AuBu-
chon of Dartmouth Medical School told
a recent meeting of the government's top
blood advisers. "Share with the public
what the real risks are."
Topping that list: germs. They sneak
into donated blood mostly from skin.
Hormone pills found
to have placebo effect
Long-term use of hormone replace-
ment therapy, already shown to be
bad for older women's physical
health, is found to be no panacea for
their memory or mental outlook
In a challenge to popular belief, a
large new study finds that estrogen
and progestin pills fail to make older

women feel better by improving their
memory, sleep and sex lives.
The new results suggest this is
nothing more than a placebo effect.
The researchers conclude the pills are
still an effective treatment for short-
term relief from hot flashes and night
sweats, but nothing else.
"The average woman will not expe-
rience an improvement in her quality
of life by taking this pill," said Jen-
nifer Hays of Baylor College of Med-
icine, a psychologist who directed the
Tribes exempt from
campaign finance laws
In their rivalry with other gaming
interests, Indian tribes now have an
advantage in political giving -
they're exempt from the overall
donor limits in the nation's new cam-
paign law that took effect this elec-
tion cycle.
The tribes, which last election
spread around $7 million in federal
donations, do not have to abide by
the overall individual donor limit of
$95,000 in contributions to candi-
dates, political action committees
and parties. And unlike companies,
the tribes can give donations directly
from their treasuries.
While unlimited-size donations
known as soft money are now outlawed
for everyone, including the tribes, the
campaign finance rules' special treat-
ment of Indian nations has some com-
petitors crying foul.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.


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