2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 23, 2002
Five dead after Israeli offensive NEWS IN BRIEF.
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - Israeli tanks
tightened their stranglehold on Yasser Arafat's office
yesterday, flattening buildings in his devastated
compound and sparking curfew-defying marches
and clashes that left five Palestinians dead through-
out the West Bank.
Palestinian leaders declared a general strike for
today, appealed to the Arab world for help and called
on their people to resist the Israeli operation, which
began Thursday after a Palestinian suicide bomber
blew up a Tel Aviv bus, killing himself and six others.
In Washington, White House spokeswoman Jeanne
Mamo said yesterday that Israel's assault was "not
helpful in reducing terrorist violence or promoting
France led a European wave of criticism against
the Israeli assault, calling it "unacceptable." A Greek
Foreign Ministry statement said that Arafat asked
Greece to work with the United States and Europe to
end the siege. The U.N. Security Council was to con-
vene today about the siege.
Israelis themselves debated the usefulness of the
operation, the third inside Arafat's compound this
year, especially given the persistent reports that its
actual goal was to compel Arafat to leave the Pales-
tinian territories - a dramatic prospect that could
redefine the terms of the current conflict.
Palestinian officials had also warned that Israel's
pulverization of Arafat's compound endangered the
safety of the feeble 72-year-old Palestinian leader,
and after nightfall Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon
Peres said the demolition work had ended.
"There is no physical danger, neither to Arafat
nor to the other people," Peres said yesterday on
CNN's Late Edition.
"We don't want to expel him, we don't want to kill
him, we don't want to hurt him," he said. "There was
a vote in the government. The majority of the gov-
ernment decided against expulsion."
Earlier in the day, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas
and bullets to try to stop demonstrations in West
Bank towns as thousands of marchers disregarded
military orders confining them to their homes. Four
protesters were killed during the demonstrations,
Later, a 13-year-old boy was also killed under dis-
puted circumstances: Palestinians said he was shot
while violating the curfew, while Israeli military
sources said a firebomb he was trying to light ignited
his clothing instead.
For three days, huge Israeli bulldozers systemati-
cally knocked down buildings in the city-block-
sized compound in the West Bank town of
Ramallah, closing in on Arafat's office, where the
beleaguered leader was holed up in four rooms with
his aides. The Israelis surrounded the building with
Water and electricity in the office building were
cut for several hours. Palestinians interpreted this as
pressure on Arafat, who continued to resist Israeli
demands to hand over the people in his office. The
Israeli military said the lines were cut by accident as
huge bulldozers leveled structures in the area and
that the lines were later repaired.
A few hundred yards away, dozens of protesters
defied army orders to return to their homes. As sol-
diers used loudspeakers to declare that the curfew
was still in effect, the demonstrators chanted back,
"No more curfew!"
In a statement, the Palestinian parliament called on
Palestinians to "show their willingness to resist this
escalation," warning that Israel's operation might
lead to a regional explosion and blaming both Israel
and the United States. "The American administration
bears responsibility of blood of our people and of our
leadership," the statement said, a reference to U.S.
Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon addresses a
gathering of more than 2,000 Christians as he
officially opened the 23rd Feast of the Tabernacles.
support for Israel.
Israel insisted that Arafat was not a target, but
demanded the surrender of everyone inside his
office, about 200 people, saying that most would
probably be released. Initially, Israel had said only
some 20 people inside were wanted and singled out
West Bank intelligence chief Tawfiq Tirawi.
Dore Gold, an adviser to Sharon, said 38 Pales-
tinians had turned themselves in since Thursday,
and "most of them" were released. Sharon
spokesman Raanan Gissin said terrorists were hid-
ing inside, and "as long as they are not put on trial
before their Maker or before a judge, we will not
end the siege."
HEDIE ROM AON H Oi" ,
Eastern Congolese rebels kill 50 civilians
When a notorious rebel commander showed up leading a crackdown on pro-
government tribal fighters in eastern Congo, it ended in the cold-blooded murder
of more than 50 civilians.
Coming a month after Congo and neighboring Rwanda signed a peace deal, the
Aug. 30 bloodbath is a sign that for many people in and around this vast Central
African country, their four years of horror are far from over.
Signs of trouble appeared last month when the bodies of dozens of Rwandan-backed
rebels floated downstream past this Congo River port in the Maniema province.
They were victims of ambushes by Mayi Mayi tribal fighters in Maniema,
whose history is written in the blood of cannibalism, the hunt for slaves and ele-
phant ivory and tribal wars.
Then 14,000 people displaced by the fighting flooded into Kindu, whispering
how rebel troops had shot and killed at least 56 civilians on a large island in the
river on the morning of Aug. 30 after tying their hands behind their backs and
grilling them for information about the Mayi Mayi.
Some 200 men are missing after they were seized by rebel troops led by
Gabriel Amisi, deputy chief of staff for the army of the Rwandan-backed Con-
golese Rally for Democracy, human rights activists said.
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast
Bloodshed follows Ivory Coast uprisings
French troop reinforcements and helicopters touched down in Ivory Coast yes-
terday to protect Westerners in the former French colony, as a showdown loomed
between loyalists and forces behind the West African nation's bloodiest-ever mili-
Fears grew of wider conflict splitting West Africa's onetime economic power-
house, as thousands of angry civilians in the second-largest city, Bouake, marched
in support of coup forces who have seized that city, and one other in Ivory Coast's
predominantly Muslim north.
"We are armed to the teeth, and there is no going back," a rebel commander known
by the nom de guerre Samsara 110 declared in the rebel-held city of Korhogo.
Late yesterday, shooting was heard in Bouake, but it died down after about 30
minutes. Residents were on edge, waiting for a government assault that President
Laurent Gbagbo's government has pledged since Saturday would be imminent.
Worried residents of Bouake included about 100 American children, ranging in
age from infants to 12-year-old school children, who attend a boarding school in
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BERLIN (AP) - Chancellor Ger-
hard Schroeder's Social Democrats
won Germany's closest postwar elec-
tion yesterday, after a campaign that
focused on fears of a war with Iraq and
unleashed anti-American rhetoric.
A jubilant Schroeder appeared arm-
in-arm with Foreign Minister Joschka
Fischer of the Greens party, the partner
in his governing coalition, before
cheering supporters at Social Democ-
ratic Party headquarters.
"We have hard times in front of us
and we're going to make it together,"
Schroeder shouted above the din.
With 99.7 percent of the vote count-
ed, official results showed the Social
Democrats'and Greens comibined won
47.1 percent of the vote to continue
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their coalition for another four years.
The conservative challengers led by
Bavarian governor Edmund Stoiber
had 45.9 percent in a likely alliance
with the Free Democrats, who had 7.4
The Social Democrats and environ-
mentalist Greens won 305 seats in the
new parliament of 601 seats, compared
to 294 for the conservative challengers
led by Bavarian governor Edmund
Stoiber, according to projections by
ARD public television. Smaller parties
won the remaining seats.
Stoiber stopped short of conceding
in a speech to rowdy supporters in
Munich, but predicted that Schroeder's
majority would be too slim to form a
"Should the result not allow us to
form a gbvernment, then I predict
before you that this Schroeder govern-
ment will rule for only a very short
time," he said.
Stoiber said Schroeder will have to
repair relations with Washington, dam-
aged by a new German assertiveness
that emerged over American determi-
nation to oust Saddam Hussein.
Schroeder, whose outspoken defi-
ance against war with Iraq was credited
with giving him a late-push in the tight
campaign, said he won't back down.
He has insisted he would not commit
troops for a war even if the United
Nations backs military action.
While Schroeder's anti-war stand
resonated with German voters, the
rhetoric reached a damaging peak in
the final days of his campaign when
Justice Minister Herta Daeuberl-
Gmelin was reported to have compared
President Bush to Hitler for threatening
war to distract from domestic prob-
lems. She denied saying it.
The Social Democrats already have
made clear she would not have a post if
they are re-elected, however Schroeder
sought to appease Washington with a
conciliatory letter to Bush. Washington
reacted cooly - indicating to analysts
that a Schroeder team will have to
work hard to repair the traditionally
"It seems to me that for the relation-
ship and the Iraq issue itself there's no
doubt that Schroeder was trying to tap
radical pacifist and anti-American sen-
timent in the population and prelimi-
narily it doesn't seem to have hurt him.
And it may have even helped him,"
said Jeffrey Gedmin, director of the
Aspen Institute think tank in Berlin.
Speaking on CNN yesterday, Sen.
Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate For-
eign Relations Committee, said the
"core relationship between the Repub-
lic of Germany and the United States is
solid. What you had is Schroeder doing
what a lot of politicians do, trying to
get out his base."
Biden (D-Del.) said the relationship
between the two countries can be
Stoiber, who used the ruckus over
Iraq as ammunition, again accused
the chancellor of whipping up emo-
tions against the United States for
Stoiber, like the chancellor, opposes
unilateral U.S. action, but he insists
Race riots murder
trial to select jury
Residents have worked for 33 years
to build bridges between blacks and
whites, ever since the city was para-
lyzed for 10 days by race riots that left a
young black woman and white rookie
police officer dead.
The truth of what happened then has
remained elusive, but today it could
begin to take shape as jury selection
begins in the murder trial of three men
accused in the fatal shooting of Lillie
One of the men is the city's former
mayor, Charlie Robertson.'
"I think it's important for all Yorkers
to know the truth, to know what hap-
pened in 1969," said John Brenner,
York's current mayor, who was 1-year-
old when the riots erupted. "I think we
all want the same thing: who did it,
who's responsible for both murders. And
we want them to be held accountable."
Prosecutors say Robertson, a young
police officer at the time, gave ammu-
nition to white gangs that ambushed a
car Allen, 27, was riding in with rela-
tives. The other two men are accused of
taking part in the ambush.
California stem cell
Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation
yesterday to allow embryonic stem cell
research in the state, a direct contradic-
tion of federal limits on the research.
Davis has said the legislation is
essential to keep California at the fore-
front of medical research. He was
joined at the ceremony by actor
Christopher Reeve, who has become a
medical research activist since he was
paralyzed in a horse riding'accident
seven years ago.
The bill was opposed by the Roman
Catholic church and anti-abortion
groups, who say the research is tanta-
mount to murder because it starts
with the destruction of a human
Stem cells, which are found in
human embryos, umbilical cords and
placentas, can divide and become any
kind of cell in the body.
Future of waterways,
oceans in jeopardy
Six months before the first man land-
ed on the moon, a presidential commis-
sion urged Congress to use more "fully
and wisely" a different'sort of vastness,
one teeming with life but just as myste-
rious and far closer to home - the
More than three decades later, a sec-
ond presidential commission, led by a
retired admiral who headed the Energy
Department in the first Bush adminis-..
tration, says the urgency is even greater
than when the Eagle landed.
"The oceans are in trouble; the
coasts are in trouble; our marine
resources are in trouble. These are not
challenges we can sweep aside," said
James Watkins, sounding more like a
lifelong environmentalist than a for-
mer chief of naval operations and
national security expert.
Since the last commission's report in
early 1969, pressures have increased on
coastal areas that are home to half the
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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