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October 28, 2002 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-28

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 28, 2002


Wellstone family chooses Mondale NEWs IN BRIEF


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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Sen. Paul
Wellstone's oldest son has urged former
Vice President Walter Mondale to step
in as his late father's replacement on
the Nov. 5 ballot, Democratic leaders
said yesterday.
The state party's top official said the
family's wishes will be a major factor in
Mondale's decision.
Mike Erlandson, chairman of the
state's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party,
said David Wellstone asked Mondale to
run in his father's place. He and other
surviving family members weren't
immediately available to comment, the

late senator's campaign staff said.
A group of up to 875 Minnesota
Democrats will meet Wednesday to offi-
cially choose the substitute candidate for
Wellstone, who died Friday in a plane
crash. Erlandson refused to say whether
Mondale would be the nominee,
although he has said the family's choice
would weigh heavily in the decision. He
said he believes Mondale will run if
If Democrats succeed in drafting
Mondale, it will give them a power-
house candidate for a six-day campaign
against Republican Norm Coleman, the

former St. Paul mayor who entered the
race at the urging of President Bush. The
race had been tight between Coleman
and Wellstone and was a top target of
Republicans trying to regain control of
the Senate.
State Republican officials have said
they would attempt to cast a Mondale-
Coleman race as a choice between a
reluctant placeholder and someone who
is eager to do the work.
"Walter Mondale is a good man,"
Coleman said yesterday, declining to
comment further on his potential oppo-
nent. "There will be a campaign, but

now is not the time."
Mondale, 74, hasn't returned calls to
reporters or answered the door at his
Minneapolis home.
Those close to Mondale said he isn't
expected to comment publicly on a
potential candidacy until after tomor-
row's memorial service for Wellstone,
his wife, daughter and three campaign
workers who died in the plane crash.
Relatives of the six passengers and two
pilots visited the northern Minnesota
crash site yesterday. The cause of the
crash, which happened in freezing rain,
remained under investigation.

Officials want death for sniper suspects

AREL, West Bank
Bomb kills three Israeli soldiers, attacker
A Palestinian attacker killed three Israeli soldiers and himself yesterday
when his bomb detonated in a struggle with soldiers at a gas station just
outside the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ariel.
The assailant came from the nearby city of Nablus - a city kept by
Israel's military under strict curfew for months in a bid to stop Palestinian
attackers from slipping out and reaching Israeli targets.
In Nablus, Israeli troops shot dead two armed Palestinians several hours
after the bomb attack, though the two sides disagreed on the circum-
stances. The army said soldiers were attempting to make arrests when they
came under fire and shot back, killing the pair. Palestinian witnesses said
soldiers killed the two men, both known militants, and then fled in an
unmarked van.
The violence came as the Israelis and Palestinians tried to resolve their
own political dramas.
The Palestinian legislature, which effectively forced Palestinian leader
Yasser Arafat to dissolve his Cabinet on Sept. 11, is to meet Monday in the
West Bank city of Ramallah and decide whether to approve the new pro-
posed Cabinet.
Bush discusses disarmament, Iraq at forum
A weekend of urgent diplomacy produced some modest gains for President
Bush, although he left this sports-fishing resort yesterday with a string of disap-
pointments in his bid to disarm North Korea and Iraq.
The two-day Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum yielded the United
States a show of unity against North Korea's nuclear weapons program, a fresh
round of promises to combat terrorism and a valuable opportunity to lobby 21
Asian leaders on Iraq.
But Bush's toughest challenges went unmet. Many Asian leaders still reject
Bush's zero-tolerance approach to Iraq, and administration officials grimly
acknowledged that a strong U.N. resolution to force Saddam Hussein to disarm
may elude them this week.
South Korea and Japan still oppose Bush's isolation policy for North Korea.
U.S. officials still have reason to question the commitment of Muslim-dominated
Pacific Rim nations to the war against terrorism. And APEC, created by the first
Bush administration to liberalize trade, became a forum for Asian leaders to accuse
the second Bush White House of protectionist practices.

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) - A growing number of
officials said yesterday that the state of Maryland
should defer prosecution of the two sniper suspects
to another jurisdiction where the death penalty could
be more easily applied.
"Wherever the case is strongest, with the stiffest
penalties, that's where they need to go," said Douglas
Duncan, the top elected official in Maryland's Mont-
gomery County, where the rampage began Oct. 2 and
where six people were slain.
John Allen Muhammad, 41, and teenager John
Lee Malvo were to be charged today in Virginia,
where three of the killings took place. The suspects
already face multiple murder charges in Maryland,

and murder charges in Alabama unrelated to the
sniper shootings. They also could be charged with
federal extortion and murder counts that could
bring the death penalty.
Duncan told The Associated Press yesterday
that prosecutors should present a "unified front"
in bringing the case to the toughest venue. "I
hope that's what they do," he said. His comments
were among the first from Maryland officials
suggesting the state defer prosecution to another
Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas
Gansler told the AP on Sunday that he still believes
his state should prosecute the case first, but "we're

open to discussions with all the jurisdictions."
Gansler acknowledged that the toughest sen-
tence Malvo could get in Maryland would be life
without the possibility of parole, but argued that
his state has the strongest case because it suffered
the heaviest losses.
The Justice Department suggested yesterday it
is unlikely Maryland will be the first jurisdiction
to try the sniper suspects, who remain in federal
custody on federal firearms and material witness
warrants issued before their capture.
Maryland "comes in dead last" in terms of the
strength of its law on the death penalty, said the
official, speaking on condition of anonymity.


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116 hostages killed
by. mysterious gas
in Moscow theater

MOSCOW (AP) - Doctors said
yesterday they still hadn't been told
exactly what was in a mysterious
knockout gas that killed 116 hostages
after Russian special forces stormed a'
Moscow theater to free them from
Chechen terrorists.
The chief Moscow city doctor says
more than 150 hostages remained in
critical condition after the operation,
which at first had been seen as a tri-
umphant rescue mission.
The physician in charge of the city's
poison unit said troops did not tell
medical authorities they had gassed the
auditorium until the 750 hostages were
brought out, most of them unconscious.
"But we didn't know the character of
the gas," said Yevgeny Luzhnikov, head
of the city health service Department
of Severe Poisoning. The substance
was described as akin to compounds
used in surgical anesthesia.
Andrei Seltsovsky, the chief city
physician, explained that the gas affect-
ed hearts and lungs. He said he had no
information when asked about reports
that the compound could cause vomiting
that would choke unconscious victims.
"In standard situations, the com-
pound ... does not act as aggressive-
ly as it turned out to do," Seltsovsky
said. "But it was used on people who
were in a specific (extreme) situa-
tion for more than 50 hours. ... All

of this naturally made the situation
more difficult."
The approximately 800 hostages
were taken Wednesday night when an
estimated 50 Chechen rebels stormed
the theater during a popular musical.
They demanded that Russia end its war
in Chechnya.
The few dozen hostages who were
well enough to be released yesterday
could provide few clues as to the
nature of the gas.
"We knew something serious was
going to happen" when the gas started
seeping into the hot auditorium that
reeked of excrement, said Mark
Podlesny as he walked out of Veterans
Hospital No. 1 near the theater.
"I lost consciousness. Yes, there was
a strange smell," said Roma Shmakov,
a 12-year-old actor in "Nord-Ost," the
musical in progress when the gunmen
burst in at 9:10 p.m. Wednesday.
The gas mystery tainted the rescue
mission, overlaying it with an aura of
confusion and callousness. The
impression was bolstered by scenes
outside hospitals where the hostages
were taken for treatment. Friends and
family crowded the gates in futile
efforts to learn if relatives or loved
ones were inside. Authorities gave out
little information on hostages' identi-
ties, what hospital they were in or how
they had fared through the ordeal.

A. , Sicily
Volcano erupts in
Italy, no one hurt
Mount Etna, Europe's biggest and
most active volcano, came to life
again yesterday, spewing lava but
causing no injuries. A series of
small earthquakes damaged build-
ings on the slopes of the mountain,
officials said.
The stream of lava destroyed some ski
lift pylons as it headed toward Piano
Provenzana, an area which sits at 7,500
feet and is used by tourists as a starting
point for mountain walks.
The area was evacuated and sealed
by police, said civil defense officials
in Catania.
Later yesterday, forests near Piano
Provenzana caught fire. Helicopters
doused the flames.1
Sicily's main eastern airport,
Catania's Fontanarossa, was closed
down, with many flights rerouted to
Palermo, the island's capital city.
The airport was scheduled to reopen
this morning.
Rampage leaves two
dead, eight injured
A teenager apparently upset by com-
plaints about his driving shot four
neighbors, including a 2-year-old girl,
then went on a 20-mile shooting spree,
apparently targeting people at random,
police said. Two of the victims died.
Daniel Fears, 18, was arrested after
losing control of his pickup truck and
crashing near a police roadblock,

authorities said. As police cars sur-
rounded him, he threw out a 20-gauge
shotgun and surrendered, said Okla-
homa State Bureau of Investigation
spokeswoman Kym Koch.
Authorities hadn't determined a
motive for the Saturday rampage, but
police said they believed Fears became
angry when a neighbor scolded him for
driving recklessly in the middle-class
"A man got onto him for driving
erratically because he said he almost hit
some kids," Koch said.
Painkillers found to
be in short supply
Inner city pharmacists who fear that
abusers will get illegal access to pain-
killing medications are refusing to
stock the drugs, creating a hardship for
residents who really need them.
The same drugs that reduce suffering
of cancer patients are coveted by illicit
users for their massive highs, making
drug stores targets for break-ins and
Some pharmacists have concluded
stocking drugs isn't worth the risk. A
Detroit News survey of 200 of the 700
retail pharmacies in Oakland, Macomb
and Wayne counties concluded that filling
prescriptions for painkillers is much easi-
er in suburbs than poorer communities.
Suburban stores, for instance, are
four times as likely to stock OxyContin
than pharmacies in poor communities,
The News reported in a story yesterday.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.

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