2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 15, 2003
U.S. to exchange aid for weapons
WASHINGTON (AP) - Presi-
dent Bush said yesterday he may
revive a proposal for substantial
economic benefits for North Korea
if that country agrees to dismantle
its nuclear weapons facilities.
The administration had been pre-
pared to make such an offer last
year but withdrew it after learning
that the North Koreans had initiated
a uranium-based nuclear weapons
"We expect them not to develop
nuclear weapons," Bush said. "And
if they so choose to do so - their
choice - then I will reconsider
whether or not we'll start the bold
initiative" that he said he discussed
with Secretary of State Colin Pow-
ell last year.
Bush said the initiative included
food, leaving the impression that he
was departing from long-standing
policy of not linking assistance in
that area to political developments.
Later, White House officials said
Bush was referring to an agriculture
reform program for North Korea,
which faces yet another year of
severe food shortages.
State Department spokesman
Richard Boucher reaffirmed that
food deliveries will continue irre-
spective of political factors. Last
year, the U.S. food contribution was
155,000 metric tons.
The Bush administration general-
ly has been showing a more concil-
iatory side lately on North Korea.
The administration remains com-
mitted to the dismantling -of the
North's nuclear programs but has
shown a greater willingness than
before about talking to Pyongyang.
Bush's comments yesterday sug-
gested good behavior will yield
On Monday, Assistant Secretary
of State James Kelly suggested in
South Korea that North Korea could
get energy aid if it dismantled its
nuclear weapons programs.
The administration has consis-
tently opposed opening negotiations
with North Korea but Bush's
remarks offered the clear possibility
of a deal: U.S. assistance in
exchange for denuclearization.
The more benign posture should
be well received in South Korea,
where both the outgoing president
and the president-elect believe that
a policy of belligerence toward the
North doesn't work.
Speaking to reporters during a
photo session with Polish President
Aleksander Kwasniewski, Bush said
he is convinced the conflict will be
The basis of his optimism was not
clear. Pyongyang has given no indi-
cation of a willingness to back away
from its nuclear programs. Indeed,
since the uranium program was dis-
closed last October, it has threatened
to revive a separate weapons pro-
gram that is plutonium-based.
According to administration esti-
mates, North Kcrea could have up
to six nuclear weapons in a few
North Korea withdrew from the land-
mark Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
last week. It also has threatened to
resume long-range missile tests.
"People say, 'Are you willing to
talk to North Korea?"' Bush said.
"Of course we are. But what this
nation won't do is be blackmailed."
Meanwhile, the administration
responded with mixed signals to a
Chinese offer to host talks between
the United States and North Korea.
The White House welcomed the
proposal but the State Department
"The question of having talks in
Beijing or New York or elsewhere real-
ly doesn't arise at this point," Boucher
said at the State Department.
Sniper suspect requested $10 million
Prosecutors said yesterday that 17-year-old sniper suspect John Malvo contact-
ed police four times trying to extort more than $10 million in exchange for stop-
ping the deadly attacks.
As a hearing opened to determine whether Malvo will be tried as an adult and
possibly face the death penalty, Fairfax County prosecutor Robert Horan said the
teen left two notes and made two phone calls seeking the money.
"All of this was an attempt to intimidate the government to pay in excess of $10
million for these defendants and this defendant in particular to stop the ,shooting,"
Malvo and John Muhammad, 42, have been accused of shooting 18 people,
killing 13 and wounding five in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia
and Washington, D.C.
Muhammad, who could also face the death penalty if convicted in the gas sta-
tion slaying of Dean Meyers, is scheduled to go on trial in October in neighboring
Prince William County.
Normally a preliminary hearing is a brief affair, but Horan said the complexity
of the case requires him to present an unusual number of witnesses.
Supreme Court hears HMO debate
The Supreme Court wrangled yesterday over whether states can push HMOs to
enroll more doctors, giving patients broader choices in their own health care.
About half the states have laws requiring managed care or insurance companies to
accept health care providers - physicians, pharmacists or specialists like nurse prac-
titioners. The providers agree to the insurer's reimbursement rates and contract terms.
The HMO industry says forcing health plan expansions raises insurance costs
for everyone and adds to the already escalating price of health care.
The justices, some of whom have battled their own health problems, seemed ener-
gized in yesterday's debate over doctor options. They talked about pregnant women
forced to see a different in-network physician because of a health plan change and
the limited choices of people who want to see a chiropractor rather than a doctor.
"It is really important to patients to choose a doctor because of the personal
relationship," said Justice David Souter, who at 63 is the second-youngest member
of the Court. The oldest, Justice John Paul Stevens, is 82.
Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who returned to the bench this week after
missing a month of arguments because of leg surgery, seemed skeptical of some
of the arguments made by the HMO lawyer.
Bush prepares for 2004 election
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush says he
pays no mind to the Democrats jockeying for his job,
but his aides are closely watching potential opponents
and stepping up their efforts to keep the White House.
Occasionally, that means taking direct aim at a
would-be adversary, even though the 2004 election
is 22 months away. Tomorrow, Bush will renew his
call for limits on medical-malpractice awards -
what one White House official calls a "whack John
Sen. Edwards (D-N.C.) made millions trying per-
sonal injury lawsuits against big companies, and is
seeking the Democratic nomination. To some White
House staff members, he tops the list of potentially
strong challengers. The president announced the mal-
practice initiative in Edwards' home state in July.
Bush had been itching for a rematch with Al Gore,
judging him to be beatable, one top adviser said. Then
the former vice president said hewouldn't run.
Now, regardless of who emerges, the White House
feels the president's re-election will largely hinge on
factors unrelated to who the challenger is.
Like their boss, White House staff members publicly
wave off questions about the 2004 race, insisting they
are focused on setting good policy.
"I've got my mind on the peace and security of the
American people, and politics will sort itself out,"
Bush said this month when asked about the Democrats
angling for his job.
But privately, Bush's aides rattle off their per-
sonal rankings of who the tougher Democrats
would be. They offer complex projections and
strategies for any urgberof s.cenarios and are
overseeing an aggressive re-election effort that
began on Bush's first day in office.
The most obvious footprints are on the trail Bush
has left in his travels - a heavy itinerary that closely
tracks the states top political adviser Karl Rove identi-
fied early on as "special concerns" for re-election.
Bush will visit vote-rich Pennsylvania for the 18th time
when he talks about medical malpractice tomorrow,
and has been to electoral war zone Florida 12 times.
He is to visit Iowa, which he lost by fewer than
5,000 votes, for the ninth time following his State of
the Union speech late this month, according to several
The president doesn't expect to be challenged by a
fellow Republican. But it's important to shower the
early-voting state with attention just in case, a senior
adviser said - and besides, Iowa is a general election
Bush shrugged off a question Jan. 2 about whether
he was eager for a rematch against Gore, saying he
wasn't paying much attention. But he believed Gore
would have been the easiest Democrat to beat among
the major challengers, a top adviser said. He spoke on
condition of anonymity, as did other members of
Gore's decision not to run has an upside for
the president, the official said. Bush believes
Gore would have lost in the primaries and who-
ever beat him would have been seen as a giant
killer, with momentum.
The same adviser said Rep. Dick Gephardt
(D-Mo.) would be the toughest foe because of
his support in organized labor, his experience as
a natio a.4ndidate and his abil'ty to r.aise
President Bush, who expects to win the
Republican nomination,speaks y terday In
the White House about welfare reform.
Man shoots family,
A man shot his 11-year-old daughter,
wife and mother-in-law to death in their
home and then took his own life, police
As Pedro Barbosa prepared to turn
the gun on himself, his 12-year-old son,
Justin, asked why he was doing it,
authorities said. According to the son,
the father replied: "I had to do it. I can't
go to jail."
Authorities were trying to deter-
mine what led the 38-year-old secu-
rity guard to kill his daughter,
Karina, his wife, 43-year-old Lau-
rinda Gomes, and her mother, 66-
year-old Maria Gomes, late Monday
in the fami ly' home inBrockton-.
Justin was unharmed.
"It is hard to. put into words what
would make a right-thinking individ-;
ual murder his family and 11-year-
old daughter," said Plymouth County
District Attorney Timothy Cruz.
Picketing GE worker
killed by police car
A picketing worker was struck and
killed by a police car yesterday as thou-
sands of General Electric Co. employees
across the country began a two-day strike
to protest higher health insurance costs.
Union leaders said about 20,000
members of the International Union of
Workers of America and the Electrical
Workers union took part in the walkout
at 48 locations in 23 states. The affected
plants manufacture everything from
consumer appliances to jet engines.
A few hours into the strike, Kjeston
"Michelle" Rodgers, 40, was hit outside
a GE plant in Louisville as the eight-
year employee walked with a picket
sign before daybreak. The car was from
the police department in nearby Hollow
Creek, officials said.
"The lady was out here doing some-
thing she believed in," said Dave Rid-
dle, who was picketing at the same
Low suply prompts
appeal or onations
The nation's blood banks issued an
urgent appeal for blood donations yes-
otrayaying much of 1e W tqryjls
less than a two-day supply on hand.
Some hospitals are postponing elec-
tive surgeries because blood supplies are
so low, with less than a single day's sup-
ply in certain areas. Banks try to keep a
five- to seven-day supply on hand.
In an unusual appeal, the nation's two
main blood suppliers - the American
Red Cross and America's Blood Cen-
ters - joined yesterday to urge prompt
donations. The Red Cross said that dur-
ing the past two weeks, its blood sup-
plies have dropped by nearly half, while
more than 60 percent of America's
Blood Centers' banks report supplies of
two days or less.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
Make the Most of Your
The Delta Chi Fraternity is offering you
an opportunity to help build an exciting, supportive,
and successful organization. If you enjoy having fun
and rising to challenges, then Delta Chi is for you!
For more information on becoming a Founding
Father of U of M's newest fraternity, please attend
one of the following informational sessions:
Wednesday Jan.l5th ( 6:30 p.m.
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE,
La. (AP) - Two U.S. pilots who mis-
takenly dropped a bomb that killed
four Canadians in Afghanistan had
been issued amphetamines before the
mission to stay awake, a defense
lawyer argued yesterday at the opening
of a military hearing to determine
whether they should be court-mar-
The Air Force-issued "go pills" may
have impaired the pilots' judgment,
said David Beck, lawyer for Maj.
William Umbach. He also said the
pilots were given antidepressants upon
returning from their mission.
Umbach and Maj. Harry Schmidt
are charged with, involuntary
manslaughter for dropping the guided
bomb near Kandahar, Afghanistan, on
April 17. The Air Force has said they
failed to make sure there were no allied
troops in the area.
Beck and Charles Gittins, Schmidt's
lawyer, have said the fighter pilots
were not told Canadian troops were
conducting live-fire exercises and
believed their F-16s were under attack.
Beck said yesterday that the Air
Force issues amphetamines to help
pilots stay awake during long mis-
sions. He promised to raise the issue
later in the hearing.
"The Air Force has a problem. They
have administered 'go pills' to soldiers
that the manufacturers have stated
affect performance and judgment,"
The proceeding is akin to a grand
jury hearing in the civilian justice sys-
tem. Lt. Gen. Bruce Carlson, com-
mander of the 8th Air Force based at
Barksdale, will decide whether the
pilots will be court-martialed for the
The two Illinois National Guard
pilots also face charges of aggravated
assault and dereliction of duty and
could get up to 64 years in military
prison if convicted.
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