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October 17, 2002 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-17

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 17, 2002


Sniper descriptions still not conclusive

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) - People who saw the
Washington-area sniper aim, open fire and flee in
a white van were not able to give investigators
enough details to create a composite sketch, police
said yesterday.
It was the latest setback in the hunt for the gunman
who has killed nine people in two weeks.
"Unfortunately, distance and darkness, and per-
haps adrenaline have made them unable to give a
clear composite that we can disseminate," Mont-
gomery County Police Capt. Nancy Demme said. "I
know that's not what the public wants to hear."

Investigators said Monday night's shooting of 47-
year-old FBI analyst Linda Franklin outside a Falls
Church, Va., Home Depot store was the first time
witnesses saw an actual shooting rather than just
shadowy figures fleeing. More than one bystander
reported seeing the shooter, but their descriptions
were not consistent, investigators said.
The gunman was variously described as dark-
skinned, olive-skinned, Middle Eastern and Hispanic.
"The only common denominator thus far is
male," Demme said. "We don't have a refined
description to go by."

Demme said one witness told police the shoot-
er used an AK-74 rifle.
Police said the weapon can fire the .223-caliber
round that has been the sniper's bullet of choice.
"The witness firmly believes this is the
weapon," Demme said. "But we have to keep in
mind that weapons are interchangeable, like
vehicles. That may be what he thinks he saw."
So far police have released composite images
of a white box truck and white vans - either a
Chevrolet Astro or Ford Econoline - that have
been seen at more than one shooting.


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Hussein declared winner in Iraq vote
Iraq declared Saddam Hussein the winner yesterday - by anIImillion-to-0 mar-
gin - in a war-shadowed referendum on his two-decade military rule, sending cele-
bratory gunfire crackling from the streets and rooftops of Baghdad.
The 100 percent turnout, 100 percent 'yes' vote shows all Iraqis are poised
to defend Saddam against American forces, the country's No. 2 man said.
"If they come, we will fight them in every village, and every house," said
Izzat Ibrahim, vice chairman of Iraq's Revolutionary Command Council,
announcing results on what Iraq billed as a people's referendum on keeping
Saddam in power another seven years.
"Every home will be a front, and every farmer, every shepherd, every
Iraqi, will play his role," Ibrahim said. "All Iraqis are armed now, and by
God's will we will triumph."
The White House had dismissed the one-man race in advance. "Obviously,
it's not a very serious day, not a very serious vote and nobody places any
credibility on it," press secretary Ari Fleischer said in Washington.
Baghdad crackled with automatic weapon fire at the results, announced live
on state TV. Men climbed to rooftops or leaned out balconies, firing into the air.
At least one drove the streets shooting, one hand on the trigger and another on
the wheel.
BAGRAM, Afghanistan
Afghan warlords receive weapons from U.S.
U.S. troops are giving confiscated weapons and ammunition to warlords in
Afghanistan, a practice that critics say strengthens private militias and under-
mines attempts to establish a national army.
The national army was envisioned as a key to the stability of the fledg-
ling government of President Hamid Karzai, which is under threat from
powerful local warlords and wields little influence outside the capital,
Kabul. But many of those same warlords are crucial to helping America
fight the war on terror.
"If you have forces that are in contact with the enemy, or subject to being
in contact with the enemy, they need to have adequate weapons," Col. Roger
King, the spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said this week.
He added that many of the warlords are nominally aligned with the central
government anyway, though not formally part of the fledgling army.
Every week, U.S. troops combing eastern Afghanistan find huge weapons
caches. On Friday, the military uncovered an arsenal in a warehouse in Khost
and filled 35 trucks with everything from 120mm rockets to anti-tank guns.

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Giuliani hired to help
cut crime in Mexico
He conquered crime in New York
City, and was hailed as a hero during
the Sept. 11 attacks.
But cynics in this metropolis of
18 million people believe former
New York City Mayor Rudolph Giu-
liani has met his match in Mexico
City's kidnappers -and corrupt
Mexican business leaders, fed up
with losses from crime and theft, are
paying the charismatic Giuliani $4.3
million to give the city's police tips
on how to crack down on violence in
the nation's capital.
Representatives from the former
mayor's consulting firm are sched-
uled to arrive today to begin work,
and Giuliani himself will come
sometime next month.
Although it will be Giuliani's first
international security project, it will
not be the first time his ideas have
been used in Latin America.
Forest Service takes
defense precautions
Warned seven months ago that its fire-
fighting planes were inviting targets for
terrorists, the cash-strapped Forest Ser-
vice has only reviewed security at fewer
than a third of its air tanker bases and
fortified just one with extensive
upgrades, officials said.
With its staff stretched to the limit by a
horrific wildfire season, the Forest Ser-
vice hired a presidential management

intern - a May law school graduate with
no aviation or security experience - to
coordinate the anti-terrorism response.
The management program is for indi-
viduals with graduate degrees.
"Some deadlines were not met in the
heat of the fire season," said Tom Har-
bour, deputy director of the agency's fire
and aviation management division.
"If somebody's really determined, I
couldn't guarantee that one of these air-
craft wouldn't be hijacked. But I think
we're at the point where we have taken
all due precaution and more"
Voting system to be
upgraded nationwide
The Senate voted yesterday to estab-
lish nationwide election standards and
provide states billions of dollars to
upgrade their voting systems as Con-
gress' solution for the monumental
problems that plagued the 2000 presi-
dential balloting in Florida.
The measure, which would spend
just over $3.8 billion over three
years, passed on a 92-2 vote.
It now goes to the White House, where
President Bush issued a brief statement
calling the legislation "important election
reforms" and promising to sign it.
Sen. Mitch McConnell of Ken-
tucky, the measure's Republican
sponsor, called the bill a "historic
consensus" that "will help make all
electior s more accurate, more acces-
sible and more honest."
New York's two Democratic senators
were the only lawmakers voting against
the bill.
- Compiledfrom Daily wire reports.




........ ... ..... /




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