2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 1, 2003
Reporter fired for Iraqi TV interview
The Associated Press
NBC fired journalist Peter Arnett yesterday,
angered that he had given an unauthorized interview
with state-run Iraqi TV saying the American-led war
effort initially failed because of Iraq's resistance.
Arnett apologized for his "misjudgment," but
added: "I said over the weekend what we all know
about this war."
Meanwhile, the Pentagon was investigating
whether Fox News Channel reporter Geraldo Rivera
endangered troops by revealing the plans of a mili-
tary unit in Iraq in advance. Rivera denied reports
that he had been expelled from the country.
Arnett, who won a Pulitzer Prize reporting in Viet-
nam for The Associated Press, gained much of his
prominence from covering the 1991 Gulf War for
CNN. One of the few American television reporters
left in Baghdad, his reports were frequently aired on
NBC and its cable sisters, MSNBC and CNBC.
NBC was angered because Arnett gave the inter-
view Sunday without permission and presented opin-
ion as fact. The network initially backed him, but
reversed field after watching a tape of his remarks.
The network said it got "thousands" of e-mails and
phone calls protesting Arnett's remarks _ a thousand
e-mails to MSNBC President Erik Sorenson alone.
"When I heard he had given an interview to Iraqi
TV I immediately thought it was about as bad a judg-
ment that a reporter in the field could make," Soren-
son said. "I held out hope initially that maybe he had
given the interview at gunpoint or there was some
In the interview, shown by Iraq's satellite televi-
sion, Arnett said the United States was reappraising
the battlefield and delaying the war, maybe for a
week, "and rewriting the war plan. The first war plan
has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are
trying to write another war plan."
Arnett said it was clear that, within the United
States, opposition to the war was growing, along
with a challenge to President Bush about the war's
A British tabloid said today it has hired Arnett as a
reporter. "Fired by America for telling the truth," the
Daily Mirror said in a Page 1 headline.
"I am still in shock and awe at being fired," Arnett
wrote for the newspaper, which is vehemently
opposed to the war.
Mike Fissel of East Berlin, Penn., whose son is a
Marine serving in the Middle East, called Arnett's
comments in the Iraqi TV interview "a disgrace."
Fissel e-mailed his protests to NBC.
"My son's over there risking his life with all of his
buddies and this guy's basically saying we've failed,
we screwed up," Fissel said. "That is wrong to me. It
seemed un-American and unpatriotic."
NEWS IN BRIEF.f
Tribesmen open fire on Pakistani market
Gunmen in paramilitary uniforms shot and killed 14 people and wound-
ed 24 others yesterday in an attack police said was linked to a tribal feud in
A police officer and a government official were among those injured in
the attack in the main bazaar of Kishmore, 250 miles west of the central
city of Multan, police said.
Twelve people died at the scene and two died later in a hospital, Kish-
more Mayor Abdur Rauf Khosa said.
The attack was carried out by about 35 suspected Bugti tribesmen riding
in four pickup trucks, said Agha Mohammed Tahir, the district police chief.
They wore outfits similar to uniforms worn by militias that help police
In Islamabad, Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayyat said the government
ordered the Bugti tribesmen to surrender the gunmen.
"We have given some time to the Bugti tribe for handing over those gun-
men to the police who committed this crime," Hayyat said.
The attackers opened fire with assault rifles and machine guns at the
family home of Ghulam Hussain Aisani, who belongs to the rival Aisani
Site of mystery illness outbreak quarantined
An alarming jump of new cases of a mystery flu-like disease in a Hong Kong
apartment complex prompted authorities to seal off one building yesterday, as health
officials here continued an uphill battle to control the disease.
More than 600 people in this city are believed to have the dangerous respiratory
infection, and almost half of those live in the Amoy Gardens apartment complex.
Officials reported 92 new cases in the complex yesterday.
Worldwide about 60 people have died - at least 15 of those in Hong Kong.
Government officials are pondering setting up quarantine centers if the disease
cannot be contained.
Apparently spread to some extent by airline passengers, severe acute respiratory
syndrome, or SARS, has prompted officials in Asian countries to enforce little-used
quarantine laws, close schools and impose new health screenings on travelers.
The disease also continued spreading in other affected hot spots, such as Sin-
gapore and Toronto.
Doctors and nurses in Singapore donned special respirator suits designed for han-
dling germ warfare attacks so they could get close to patients infected with SARS..
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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -
Afghan rebels stepped up their
guerrilla campaign against foreign
troops in this war-shattered country,
hitting U.S. bases across the east
with mortar and rocket fire, offi-
cials said yesterday.
U.S. forces called in air support
that smashed a cluster of suspected
rebel vehicles and killed at least two
attackers Sunday in the eastern bor-
der town of Shkin, U.S. Army
spokesman Col. Roger King told
reporters at Bagram Air Base.
In Kabul, Afghan security forces
were searching houses and combing
hills to the east of the city for rebels
who fired a 122 mm rocket Sunday
night into the headquarters of the
22-nation multinational force pro-
tecting the capital.
The rocket attack - launched
either from the back of a truck or
from a shoulder-fired weapon -
was thetmost sophisticated strike
yet on the 5,000-man International
Security Assistance Force, said
peacekeeping spokesman Lt. Col.
Thomas Lobbeing of Germany. No
one was hurt.
Sunday's was the first rocket
attack to hit any ISAF facility, after
a year that saw a dozen attacks on
peacekeepers miss their targets. The
explosion sprayed shrapnel across
trees and buildings and damaged
two ISAF vehicles inside the com-
"We do believe that this was tar-
geted at ISAF directly," Lobbering
said. "This is a significant differ-
ence from the type of attacks that
we experienced so far. It's far more
King said the recent violence and
rebel attacks were part of a surge in
rebel activity after the United States
and Britain invaded Iraq earlier this
Despite Sunday's rocket attack on
ISAF's headquarters, Lobbering
said he did not expect security to
deteriorate in the Afghan capital
because of the war in Iraq.
"However, we are aware that there
is a constant threat of attacks like the
one that happened last night," he said.
In a worrying sign, posters suppos-
edly written by elusive Taliban leader
Mullah Mohammed Omar recently
have appeared in eastern Afghanistan,
renewing his call for a holy war
against U.S. troops and Afghans work-
ing with them. The posters link the
new holy war directly to the U.S. inva-
sion of Iraq.
Continued from Page 1
tured and 16 missing. The British death
toll rose to 26 with the death of a sol-
dier yesterday in southern Iraq.
Iraqi officials have given no estimate
of military casualties but have said at
least 425 civilians have been killed and
Some defecting Iraqis described har-
rowing conditions, and not only from
American air bombardments.
One, who agreed to talk on condi-
tion his name not be used, said agents
of the ruling Baath party attempted to
shoot deserters. "But we decided it was
either die from an American bomb or
be killed by our own people," he said
in the Kurdish town of Kalak in north-
American and British warplanes
continued to bomb at will. Thunderous
explosions rocked the Baghdad skyline
after dark, and smoke billowed from
the Old Palace presidential compound.
Iraqi state-run television was briefly
bombed off the air, and nearly all tele-
phone service was knocked out in the
Officials in Biyare, in northern
Milosevic's wife hides
from murder charges
Police sought an international arrest
warrant yesterday for Slobodan Milose-
vic's wife, alleging her involvement in
the killing of a political rival, but she
denounced the warrant from Russia as a
Mirjana Markovic, believed to be
hiding in Russia, wrote a letter deny-
ing she had any part in the 2000 slay-
ing of Ivan Stambolic, whose body
was found in a lime-covered grave in
northern Serbia last week. On Sunday,
her daughter said Markovic would not
heed an earlier request that she return
Officials began the process of getting
the warrant yesterday, and it appeared
Markovic would not obey.
"These are untrue, heinous accusa-
tions," Markovic said in the letter,
which was read out yesterday by mem-
bers of her neo-communist Yugoslav
Left Party. "I have no connection to any
to stay in operation
American Airlines took a huge step
toward preventing bankruptcy yesterday
by reaching tentative cost-cutting agree-
ments with its mechanics and flight
attendants. A source familiar with the
situation said the world's largest airline
has also reached a deal with its pilots.
The airline has said it needs $1.8 bil-
lion in concessions from its 99,000
employees to avoid a Chapter 11 filing.
Any agreements would require employ-
"We've reached an agreement on an
economic framework," said George
Price, a spokesman for the flight atten-
dants' union. He would not discuss
details, but said ratification could begin
as early as today.
American said only that it had
reached agreement with its 16,200
mechanics. Neither side would confirm
any deal involving the pilots, but it was
confirmed by the source, speaking on
condition of anonymity.
Old vaccine may be
used to treat cancer
The smallpox vaccine may be reborn
- as a cancer treatment.
Scientists are rigging up the vaccine to
carry an extra load, genes that signal the
immune system to start fighting
Why use such a risky vaccine to do
that job? The same super-reactive charac-
teristics that make smallpox inoculation
prone to some bad, occasionally deadly,
side effects are, as the altered shots' cre-
ator puts it, "an immunologist's dream:"
They may rev up an immune system that
too often misses cancer.
Although still in very early stages of
research, the smallpox-turned-cancer
shots look promising. They're the latest
in a long quest to create immune-har-
nessing vaccines to attack cancer.
"We're not there yet, but we're getting
there," cautions Jeffrey Schlom of the
National Cancer Institute, a specialist on
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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