2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 27, 2002
Bush assembles security dept.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The deputies to lead t
long-sought Department of Home- of Homeland Se
land Security will begin taking "united, effective
shape March I when the Secret Ser- terrorism on U.S.
vice, Customs Service and several Within hour
huge agencies will be folded into department into
the massive new department. asked the Sena
It will be fully operational by hand-picked lea
Sept. 30, 2003 - more than two submitted his tra
years after the attacks that prompt- Congress. That
ed the overhaul. Critics warn there clock ticking aft
will be problems along the way. may begin mo
"The threat of mass murder on department.
our own soil will be met with a uni- The plan calls
fied, effective response," President of the departm
Bush said Monday as he signed a March 1, when t
bill creating the new 170,000-per- Coast Guard, C
son agency. Immigration an
Bush chose longtime political ally Service and a f
Tom Ridge and two high-powered fold their empl
signs bill to
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush signed legisla-
tion yesterday that will "get our economy back on its feet"
should another terror attack saddle the insurance industry
with catastrophic costs.
"With this new law, builders and investors can begin con-
struction in real estate projects that have been stalled for too
long, and get our hard hats back to work," Bush said in an
East Room bill-signing ceremony, his second in two days.
"We're defending America by making America more
Under the bill, the government wouldn't step in on any
claims less than $5 million. Insurance companies would pay
a deductible in 2003 equal to 7 percent of the premiums they
received the previous year. The deductible would rise to 10
percent in 2004 and 15 percent in 2005. The federal govern-
ment would then cover 90 percent of everything above the
deductible with insurance companies paying the other 10
Bush said he was tacking on a regulation to "make sure
no taxpayer dollars will be spent on legal settlements with-
out the approval of the secretary of the Treasury." The secre-
tary will have to approve any settlements involving
government reimbursements, White House officials said.
The criteria by which such settlements will be judged was
not clear yesterday.
The president created the Homeland Security Department
The terrorism insurance bill had been a top priority for
the president since shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks. From
the White House and from the campaign trail, Bush argued
that the inability of companies to get affordable insurance
for large construction projects was costing the economy
thousands of jobs. ' -
The GOP's success in this month's midterm elections gave
Bush leverage to insist that Congress complete the bill in the
lame-duck session before adjourning for the year. The bill
passed by a wide margin, with the main opposition coming
"Should terrorists strike America again, we have a system
in place to address financial losses and get our economy
back on its feet as quickly as possible," he said.
Federal payments would be capped at $90 billion the first
year, $87.5 billion the second year and $85 billion in the
final year of the program.
The law does not cover the Sept. 11 attacks, which gener-
ated an estimated $40 billion in claims.
The president bowed to Democratic demands for
unlimited punitive damages in civil lawsuits related to
terror attacks, which many Republicans consider a
boon to trial lawyers usually allied with Democrats. But
GOP leaders vowed to take up the issue again next year,
when they again will have majorities in the House and
he new Department
curity and mount a
s of signing the
law Monday, Bush
te to approve his
dership team and
nsition -blueprint to
started a 90-day
ter which agencies
ving to the new
for a large portion
ent to take shape
the Secret Service,
ew other agencies
oyees and budgets
"The threat of mass murder on our own
soil will be met with a unified, effective
- President George Bush
into the new Cabinet entity.
Other changes will continue in
phases even as the new agency
searches for permanent housing,
according to an outline of the shift
distributed by the White House.
According to the months-in-the-mak-
ing plan, the final pieces will be in
place by Sept. 30, 2003, more than
two years after the attacks that
prompted the overhaul and ahead of
the year-plus transition process pre-
dicted earlier Monday by White
House press secretary Ari Fleischer.
But even as Bush lauded the,
biggest government shake-up in
more than a half-century as "his-
toric action to defend the United
States," he offered a sobering
assessment of the terrorist threat.
JERUSALEM (AP) - Palestinian
officials acknowledged yesterday that
it was increasingly unlikely general
elections would be held as scheduled
Jan. 20, as Israel's Likud Party pre-
pared for a leadership primary this
week ahead of a national election also
set for January.
Both developments could influence
international peace efforts. In Israel,
political parties that oppose conces-
sions to the Palestinians are leading in
the polls, while Palestinian elections
are a vital part of reforms that Israel
and the U.S. government believe are a
condition for progress toward peace.
Palestinian officials are hesitant to
announce a postponement of the Janu-
ary election for president and parlia-
ment, but the Election Commission has
not managed to meet even once to
begin organizational work that is
expected to take four to five months.
Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb
Erekat said he was "not hopeful" the
elections would be held as scheduled
and blamed Israel, whose troops have
controlled most West Bank cities since
mid-June in response to Palestinian
suicide bombings against civilians.
"The Israeli government has done
nothing but obstruct our efforts,"
Erekat said. "We haven't been able to
register voters or train people for this
In the West Bank town of Tulkarem,
11I Palestinians were wounded yesterday
in clashes with Israeli forces enforcing a
curfew. Israel arrested 25 suspected
Palestinian militants, officials said.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops
destroyed the houses of the families of
two suspected militants in a late-night
raid. For several months, Israel
destroys homes as a deterrent - draw-
ing condemnation from Palestinians
and human rights groups.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon and his challenger, Foreign
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, sought
last-minute support at rallies and
HEA LIES ., AROUND T EWO:
Fox asks for discussions on immigration
Mexican President Vicente Fox, insisting that Mexicans in the United States
pose no terror threat, called for high-level discussions to give legal status to at
least some of the more than 4 million undocumented Mexicans living north of the
President Bush, in a videotaped message to a cabinet-level meeting of the two
countries, agreed that work on migration should continue but did not suggest that
an agreement was high on his agenda.
Fox told the meeting it was important to establish a migration framework that
"clearly distinguishes between those who arrive in that country to work and those
who could represent a threat."
While the Bush administration has refrained from asserting that Mexicans rep-
resent a terrorist threat, the security measures it has adopted generally have not
made distinctions between nationalities.
Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is heading the U.S. delegation here, made
this point to reporters during Monday's flight from Washington.
"We have to deal with the whole issue of people coming to our country from
elsewhere, and that is taking a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of energy," he said.
He acknowledged Fox's impatience with the slow progress and promised "to
work as hard and as fast as we can."
Chretien spokeswoman resigns over comment
Prime Minister Jean Chretien's communications director resigned yesterday over a
controversy caused by her private comment last week that President Bush is a moron.
Francoise Ducros, who initially offered to quit but was kept on by Chretien, is leav-
ing the prime minister's office after all, according to a statement issued by Chretien's
chief of staff.
In a letter of resignation to Chretien, Ducros wrote: "It is very apparent to me that
the controversy will make it impossible for me to do my job."
"I would therefore like to leave my position as director of communications imme-
diately," the letter said. "I am grateful for the support you have given me during this
Chretien accepted the resignation this time, responding in a letter: "In your almost
four years as director of communications, you have served the government as a
whole, and me personally, with extraordinary skill and dedication."
The comment made in a discussion with a radio reporter last week at the NATO
summit in Prague, Czech Republic, has dominated Canadian media, and opposition
politicians have called for herresignation.
A French police officer carries documents yesterday
related to the arrest of seven suspected terrorists.
7 suspected of
PARIS (AP) - French police yesterday detained seven
suspected Islamic militants with possible ties to the so-
called "shoe bomber" - the third anti-terrorism sweep in
France in four days.
Police have arrested 18 people since Saturday, including
an Islamic militant who escaped from a Dutch jail. The inte-
rior minister described the arrest of another suspect as "very
important" for the fight against terrorism.
The push by anti-terrorism investigators comes amid
mounting fears of terror attacks in western Europe.
In the latest word of caution, Defense Minister
Michele Alliot-Marie said in an interview published
yesterday that France "is among the countries most
.Anti-terrorism judges Jean-Louis Bruguiere and Jean-
Francois Ricard put out orders for the pre-dawn arrests
yesterday of six Algerians and Pakistanis, picked up in the
Paris suburbs of Montreuil and Garges-les-Gonesse, police
said. Among those detained was an imam at a mosque
north of Paris.
A seventh suspect who used to run a Paris prayer hall
was picked up on Reunion island, a French territory in the
500 reported dead in
The World Health Organization
confirmed an outbreak of flu in
rebel-controlled northern Congo,
and the country's health minister
said yesterday more than 500 people
Deaths have been recorded in a
number of towns - including
Bosobolo, Gbadolite and Gemena -
in the north of Equateur province, near
the border with Central African
Republic, Health Minister Mashako
He said as many as 566 people have
died since the outbreak began in Octo-
ber, adding that the figures were "cer-
WHO officials in the capital, Kin-
shasa, confirmed the outbreak but said
they could not say how many people
had been infected or killed.
The illness was apparently spread by
people fleeing an Oct. 25 coup attempt in
Central African Republic, Mamba said.
One day next week, three nurses will
sit down at telephones in Beijing and
do something that would have been
unheard of in China just a decade ago:
They'll try to stop anyone who calls
from committing suicide.
As 1.3 billion people cope with the
most sweeping changes their nation has
ever experienced, China's first suicide
research and prevention center is open-
ing in the capital with a lengthy list of
priorities - everything from interven-
ing in emergencies to changing outdat-
ed attitudes about mental health.
It's a tall order for a populace accus-
tomed to centuries of gritting their teeth
through hard times and coping with
"chiku" - a traditional metaphor for
enduring hardship that means, literally,
Launch disturbs orbit
of Russian satellite
The world's largest communications
satellite was lost yesterday after it went
into the wrong orbit following its launch
on a Russian rocket, the Russian space
It was the biggest setback yet to Rus-
sia's satellite-launching program, which
Moscow has seen as a potential cash
cow for its depressed space industry.
The Astra- 1K satellite was launched
atop a Proton rocket from the Baikonur
cosmodrome in the former Soviet
republic of Kazakhstan. The rocket car-
ried it to a preliminary orbit, but the
Russian-made DM-3 boosting unit
failed to give a secondary impulse to
send it to its higher orbit, said Konstan-
tin Kreidenko of the Russian Aerospace
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
offical urges killing
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1 1 ; _ 1 1 1, I Ku I.1i17 .K1 IIT 1 . T~
of local jouralst
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) - The into hiding after being int
deputy governor of a largely Islamic by police last week in co
state in northern Nigeria has called on with the article, which s
Muslims to kill the Nigerian woman Islam's founding
who wrote a newspaper article about Muhammed would have ap
the Miss World beauty pageant that Miss World and might hav
sparked deadly religious riots. to marry one of the contes
"Just like the blasphemous Indian religion is unknown.
writer Salman Rushdie, the blood of The newspaper has issue
Isioma Daniel can be shed," Zamfara apologies for the article, s
Deputy Governor Mahamoud Shinkafi offending portions were pub
told a gathering of Muslim groups in mistake after earlier being de
the state capital, Gusau, on Monday. supervising editor.
Rushdie, an Indian-born Briton, ThisDay officials were no
went into hiding after Iran's late revo- ately available for comment
lutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah But one of the paper's co
Khomeini, issued a 1989 fatwa - or Amanze Obi, suggested Da
religious edict - against him for have been a victim.of exciter
allegedly insulting Islam in his best- "I imagine that she may hx
selling novel, "The Satanic Verses." In that line without knowing
1998, the Iranian government declared wrote in yesterday's edition.
it would not support the fatwa, but said was innocuous."
it could not rescind the edict since, Dangaladima said other
under Islamic law, that could be done employees had been spared
only by the person who issued it. fatwa, which "applies on
Khomeini died in 1989. offending pen."
While state officials in Nigeria can- Zamfara was the first of 1
not issue fatwas, the deputy governor, adopt Islamic law, or Sha
"like all Muslims," considers the death Nigerian military rule gav
sentence against Daniel as "a reality elected government in 1999.
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