2A - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 25, 2002
Hostage-taking continues in Russia NEWS IN BRIEF
IN F AgN T ORL
MOSCOW (AP) - The body of a
young woman shot by Chechen rebels
was dragged from a Moscow theater yes-
terday while two other captives raced to
freedom under fire as insurgents holding
hundreds threatened to kill themselves
and their hostages if the Russian army
does not pull out of Chechnya.
Forty rebels, including women who
claimed to be widows of ethnic insur-
gents, stormed the theater just before
the second act of a popular musical at
9:05 p.m. Wednesday. The woman, shot
in the chest, was the only known fatali-
ty of the hostage-taking as it moved
into its second day.
Relatives and friends stood in freezing
weather outside the theater in a rundown
southeast Moscow neighborhood 3 miles
from the Kremlin, their dread matching
the grimness of the scene and the desper-
ation of the estimated 600 captives
inside. Special forces troops moved in
formation around the building and
armored vehicles stood ready. Snipers
were on rooftops.
Three Americans were among the 75
foreign hostages in the theater.
In televised remarks, President
Vladimir Putin described the hostage-
taking as one of the largest terror attacks
in history and claimed it had been
planned "in one of the foreign terrorist
centers" which "made a plan and found
the perpetrators." He did not provide evi-
dence the raid was organized abroad.
In a broadcast monitored in Cairo,
Egypt, the Qatar-based satellite TV
channel AI-Jazeera transmitted state-
ments by some of the hostage-takers
who said thousands of their comrades
stood ready to die for the Chechen
cause. "I swear by God we are more
keen on dying than you are keen on
living," a black-clad male said in the
videotaped broadcast. "Each one of
us is willing to sacrifice himself for
the sake of God and the independ-
ence of Chechnya."
"Even if we are killed, thousands of
brothers and sisters will come after us,
ready to sacrifice themselves," said a
female among the group, only her eyes
peering from a head-to-toe black robe.
An employee said the tape had been
delivered to Qatar from Al-Jazeera's
Moscow bureau yesterday morning. It
apparently was made Wednesday before
the theater takeover. The language spo-
ken by those on the tape could not be
determined since the audio was broadcast
with a voiced-over Arabic translation.
The tape underlined what appeared to
have been intense planning that went
into the audacious operation, which
brought the Chechen war 865 miles
north to the Russian capital. One of the
masked men on the tape sat before the
camera with a laptop computer in front
of him and a Quran, the Muslim holy
book, on the floor at his right side.
"We came to the Russian capital to
stop the war or gain martyrdom, and
our demands are stopping the war and
the withdrawal of Russian troops," one
speaker said. Another man on the Al-
Jazeera tape said the attack was
planned "based on orders from the mil-
itary ruler of the Republic of Chech-
nya," possibly referring to Aslan
Maskhadov, who was president of the
province in the interval between the
1996 end of the first war with Russia
and the resumption of fighting in 1999.
UNITED NATIONS ,
U.S. drafts resolution to spur U.N. action
Russia yesterday warned that putting the new US. resolution on Iraq to a quick
vote would be "counterproductive" and France said it was "very important" to hear
whether UN. weapons inspectors believe they can operate under its provisions.
In a move to spur U.N. action, the United States introduced a seven-page draft
resolution to the full 15-member Security Council on Wednesday after six weeks
of difficult negotiations by the five veto-wielding permanent members.
The permanent members - the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain
- remain divided over language in the U.S. draft which Moscow, Paris and Beijing
believe could trigger military action against Iraq, and over tough new rules for
Whether the United States is prepared to make further changes to meet the con-
cerns of Russia, China and France and avoid a possible veto remains to be seen.
Russia appeared to be the main obstacle, rejecting the draft and not ruling out a
veto. France, the most vocal opponent of earlier U.S. drafts, was ready to negoti-
ate and wouldn't block the resolution's passage, French diplomats said.
With the White House declaring Wednesday that talks were in their "final
moments," Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov reiterated Thursday
that the latest draft contains provisions which are "impossible to implement."
The MicianCommiteefoaSfesael dsintehOctobe r24 edition of The
" After Israel's rebirth, Jews became known as "Israelis." Arabs then
laid claim to the identity of "Palestinians"- as a people who had been
living in Palestine for over a thousand years.
* According to the fabrication, Israel faces, not terrorists, but
"Palestinian freedom fighters" who have the "legitimate right" to
liberate their land "occupied" by the Jews.
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MdfaC SAN LUCAS, sexico
lV~idI~e ast eace APEC summit addresses open border, safety
talks raise new
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have
caused The Michigan Committee for a Safe Israel.
The Michigan Daily
United in a common mission, leaders of nations and corporations tackled
an urgent global dilemma yesterday: how to open borders to trade while
closing them to terrorists. But violence kept Russia's president away as his
Pacific Rim counterparts streamed iri for a weekend summit.
The parallel gatherings of ministers from four continents and executives
from 400 companies - as well as the violence that has hit nations of the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum - left no doubt that the realms
of finance and diplomacy have merged. In the post-Sept. 11 world, terror-
ism sends markets plunging, and the global economic slump forces politi-
cians to rethink priorities.
"Terrorism, in all its forms, is a threat to economic stability in APEC, as well
as a threat to regional peace and security, and a direct challenge to APEC's
vision of free, open and prosperous economies," APEC foreign and economy
ministers said in a joint declaration. Just down the road, sipping drinks in
plush hotel lobbies, business leaders discussed the same challenges - and
came to many of the same conclusions.
JERUSALEM (AP) - A U.S. envoy's
first round of talks on a new Middle East
peace plan produced a host of complaints
yesterday, with Palestinians balking at the
idea of skipping presidential elections -
a means of sidelining Yasser Arafat -
and Israel saying its security concerns
were not being addressed.
The envoy, Assistant Secretary of
State William Burns, met separately
with officials from both sides, but not
with Arafat-. The Bush administration is
boycotting the Palestinian leader, fol-
lowing Israel's lead in blaming him for
continuing violence and deepening
Palestinian suspicions of a U.S. bias.
Later, Israeli and Palestinians had
a high-level meeting of their own,
both sides said. Teams headed by
Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon
Peres and Palestinian Cabinet Minis-
ter Saeb Erekat discussed security
and other issues, according to a
statement from Peres' office.
The peace proposal, a copy of which
was obtained by The Associated Press,
calls for creation of a Palestinian state
with temporary borders next year.
The Burns mission is the most ambi-
tious diplomatic push in the region in
months, and its lukewarm reception
underscores the minimal expectations
on both sides at a time when two years
of fighting appear to have ground to an
Israeli troops have taken over key
areas of the West Bank and have relent-
lessly struck at Palestinian militant
groups - killing dozens of accused
terrorists and arresting thousands - yet
suicide bombings persist, and Israel's
military strikes have taken an increas-
ing toll in civilian lives.
In the latest violence, Israeli soldiers
killed a 15-year-old Palestinian in the
West Bank town of Jenin yesterday.
Witnesses and the military said soldiers
opened fire after the youth climbed
onto a tank. The military said he was
shot because soldiers thought he might
be carrying a firebomb, but he was not.
In Gaza, the Israeli military said sol-
diers shot and killed a Palestinian who
was throwing grenades at them. The
exchange took place near Rafah on the
Egyptian border, scene of almost daily
clashes. Palestinians said he was appar-
ently infiltrating from Egypt.
Burns is carrying a so-called U.S.
"road map" for settling the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict in three phases.
Palestinian officials who met with
Burns in the desert oasis of Jericho, far
from Arafat's headquarters in Ramal-
lah, complained the proposal called for
parliamentary but not presidential elec-
tions. It calls for a prime minister to
take over some of Arafat's duties.
Fiscal ear ends with
major udget dive
The government ran a $159 billion
deficit in the fiscal year just ended, the
Bush administration said yesterday,
punctuating one of the federal budget's
worst nosedives ever just 12 days before
elections for control of Congress.
The figure was not a surprise and,
largely reflected an ongoing dip in fed-
eral revenue collections. But it was
nonetheless breathtaking for its contrast
with the $127 billion surplus - the
second largest ever - shown by the
government's books just a year before.
Though Democrats hope the budget's
deterioration will help them in next
month's elections, many analysts and
officials from both parties believe the
return of deficits after four straight
years of surpluses will have a minimal
political impact. That is because the
public seems more focused on the flag-
ging economy and the threat of terror-
ism and blames them - not politicians
- for the revived red ink.
Category 5 is the strongest category of
hurricane and is considered capable of
causing catastrophic damage.
"This is a potentially devastating hur-
ricane if it comes in at this intensity or
even if it weakens a little bit," said Ed
Rappaport, deputy director of the
National Hurricane Center in Miami.
"Based on the records, which go
back 40 or 50 years, this would be
one of the two or three strongest"
hurricanes to hit Mexico's Pacific
coast if it does not weaken substan-
tially, Rappaport said.
will remain at home
Five visiting Japanese who were
abducted decades ago to North
Korea will stay indefinitely in their
native land, Japan announced yester-
day in a move that delighted long-
separated family members but could
further rankle relations with its com-
The decision comes amid an intensi-
fying tug-of-war between Tokyo and
Pyongyang over the returnees, who
arrived in Japan on Oct. 15 expecting to
stay no longer than two weeks.
The visit hit an unexpected snag,
however, when family members in
Japan began pressuring the govern-
ment to keep the abductees in their
native land for good.
The families also demanded that
Tokyo press North Korea to let the
abductees' children join them perma-
nently in Japan.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico
of oss1 e Mexico prepares for
S b d hurricanelanding
ge Hurricane Kenna grew into one of the
strongest hurricanes to menace Mexico'
rl P n i f i r r n t i n dl r e dn r rd
rac iic coas in Uecaes ana veerea
toward land last night, as forecasters
called for urgent action to protect an area
that includes major tourist resorts.
The Category 5 hurricane with winds
of 160 mph was veering away from a
Baja California summit of world leaders.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI
issued a warning to state and local law
enforcement nationwide yesterday about
a possible attack soon against transporta-
tion systems, particularly railroads.
Officials said the warning, based
on information obtained from al-
Qaida prisoners, suggested that ter-
rorists may try to take out bridges,
key sections of tracks or train
engines in an effort to cause derail-
ments and widespread damage.
"Information from debriefings of al-
Qaida detainees as of mid-October indi-
cates that the group has considered
directly targeting U.S. passenger trains,
possibly using operatives who have a
Western appearance," the FBI said in a
Intelligence officials continue to
believe that al-Qaida plans to attack
targets that would be readily recog-
nized as representing U.S. economic
interests, the FBI said.
Captured al-Qaida photographs of
U.S. railroad engines, cars and crossings
have increased concern about the threat,
the FBI said.
Amtrak President David Gunn said
federal transportation officials noti-
fied him about the warning. "The
threat, like a lot of others, is not spe-
cific," Gunn said. "It's not targeted at
anything per se."
Gunn said the passenger railroad is
taking steps to enhance security and pas-
senger safety, but declined to describe
them except to say they will not be evi-
dent to riders.
Amtrak has increased patrols and
freight railroads have tightened security,
the FBI said.
Around the Sept. 11 anniversary,
Amtrak announced it intended to
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