2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 3, 2004
Partial birth abortion bill approved NEWS IN BRIEF
in House, moves to Senate for vote JERUSALEM
Israei construction violates peace pa
Legislation for the first ban of
abortion procedure since Roe v.
Wade passes in House
WASHINGTON (AP) - The House voted decisive-
ly yesterday for the first ban of an abortion procedure
since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling that
women have a right to end their pregnancies. Strong-
-, ly supported by President Bush, the bill could be on
his desk for signature in days.
The 281-142 vote culminated an eight-year drive
by the Republican-led House to end the procedure
that abortion opponents call partial birth abortion.
The Senate could take up the bill as early as Friday
and send it to the president.
"Today's action is an important step that will help
us continue to build a culture of life in America,"
Bush said in a statement. "I look forward to the Sen-
ate passing this legislation so that I can sign this very
important bill into law."
Abortion rights groups, citing court rulings strik-
ing down similar state laws, say the legislation is
unconstitutional and they will challenge it as soon as
it becomes law.
Doctors who violate the ban would be subject to
up to two years in prison. The law would not affect
women having the operation.
The legislation bans a procedure, generally in
the second or third trimester, in which a fetus is
N. Korea admi
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea said
yesterday it was using plutonium extracted from some
8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods to make atomic bombs,
alarming South Korea and other Asian countries that
-feared the assertion would jeopardize efforts to
.resolve the nuclear dispute peacefully.
It was unclear whether the announcement was a
sign North Korea has turned its back on the possi-
bility of giving up its nuclear capabilities, or was an
attempt to gain leverage ahead of any talks on the
matter. The North has made similar provocative
statements since the nuclear crisis started a year
ago, but has engaged in two rounds of talks involv-
ing U.S. officials in Beijing since then.
"The (North) successfully finished the reprocess-
ing of some 8,000 spent fuel rods," an unidentified
spokesman from the communist nation's Foreign
Ministry said in the statement carried by its official
news agency, KCNA.
American intelligence analysts believe North Korea
already has at least one or two nuclear bombs. When
reprocessed with chemicals, 8,000 rods can yield
y enough plutonium to make five or six more, accord-
ing to experts.
North Korea may have reprocessed some rods
after U.N. inspectors left the country in January,
U.S. officials believe, but how much is unclear.
The number is believed to be well under all
American officials say reprocessing stopped a few
:weeks ago and has not restarted.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said yes-
terday the United States had not confirmed the North
Korean claim, adding, "They've made that statement
"There's no legitimate use for plutonium har-
partially delivered before a doctor punctures the
skull. The opposing sides differ on the medical
necessity or the numbers of such abortions, but
they agree the bill will have far-reaching ramifi-
"Abortion will stay legal," said House Majori-
ty Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), a strong supporter
of the restriction. But he added, "After a genera-
tion of bitter rhetoric, the American people have
turned away from the divisive politics of abor-
tion and embraced the inclusive politics of life."
"Don't ever forget, this is about Roe v. Wade," said
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y), referring to the 1973
Supreme Court decision making abortion legal. "It's
about restricting access to safe medical procedures
throughout a pregnancy."
While the vote was mainly along party lines, four
Republicans voted against the bill and 63 Democrats
The House has passed the bill on an almost
annual basis since Republicans won control in
1995, but President Clinton twice vetoed it, say-
ing it lacked an exception to protect the health of
The health factor was also key to the Supreme
Court's 5-4 decision in 2000 to overturn a similar
Nebraska state ban. The high court also ruled that the
Nebraska law was unconstitutional because its defi-
nition of partial birth - not a medical term - was
ts to making i
vested during these procedures," McClellan said.
"It would be a clear indication that they are
intent on enlarging their nuclear arsenal, despite
the call from the international community for
North Korea to change its behavior."
In its statement yesterday, North Korea accused the
United States of a "hostile policy" toward the country
and said it had "made a switchover in the use of plu-
tonium churned out by reprocessing spent fuel rods in
the direction (of) increasing its nuclear deterrent
North Korea has claimed before to have
reprocessed its pool of 8,000 spent rods, but yes-
terday marked the first it said the plutonium has
been used to make nuclear weapons.
South Korea expressed concern. "This latest
North Korean statement could hurt efforts to
resolve the nuclear problem peacefully, hurt
development of South-North Korean relations
and damage the atmosphere of dialogue," South
Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Shin Bong-
Japan and China did not comment, but other
Asian governments said they were concerned.
"Any steps that bring nearer the prospect of
nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula would
be a source of great concern to Indonesia," Indone-
sian Foreign Ministry spokesman Marty Natale-
Philippine Foreign Affairs Undersecretary
Franklin Ebdalin said it was unfortunate and
would make the nuclear standoff "more difficult
The existence of more than one weapon could
mean the isolated regime might part with one
bomb, either in a test or by selling it, although a
Writers of the bill said they had met the court's
objections by tightening the definition and adding
findings to show the practice is never needed for
health reasons. "Partial birth abortion is dangerous to
women and is never medically necessary to preserve
a woman's health," said Rep. Steve Chabot (R-
OHIO) a chief sponsor. Chabot said the procedure is
"akin to infanticide."
But Nancy Northup, president of the Center
for Reproductive Rights, said the bill is written
so that any mid- or late-term abortion could be
subject to criminal charges. "What the law does
is prevent doctors from using the safest medical
procedures to terminate a pregnancy as early as
12 weeks," she said.
Her group is one of several that says it will
file a lawsuit as soon as the bill is signed into
law. The National Abortion Federation, repre-
sented by the American Civil Liberties Union,
will also file suit and seek to block enforcement.
Kate Michelman, president of NARAL Pro-
Choice America, said a key issue is whether
Bush, if he wins a second term, will nominate
judges to the Supreme Court who are hostile to
Roe v. Wade. "This case could either be used to
overturn Roe or to eviscerate the protections
guaranteed by Roe," she said.
But Tony Perkins of The Family Research Council
said the bill reflected a shift in American attitudes
Israel announced yesterday it would build 565 new homes in Jewish settlements in
the West Bank, violating a U.S.-backed peace plan and angering Palestinians already
seething over plans to build a security barrier deep into the West Bank.
The "road map" peace plan requires a freeze in construction in some 150 Jewish
settlements throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which Israel seized in the
1967 Middle East war.
However, an Israeli official said Israel did not have any responsibility to meet its
obligations until Palestinians crack down on militant groups.
"The road map is stalled as long as there is no action taken by the Palestini-
ans to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure," said Zalman Shoval, an adviser to
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
When asked whether the U.S. government backed that interpretation, he said,
"This is our understanding, the understanding that we have had all along, and
we haven't changed it."
The Israeli government says it needs the new buildings to account for what it
calls the "natural growth" of the settlements,.even though the vast majority of
the new units were planned for a single settlement that is being dramatically
U.S. expert finds limited evidence of WMDs
Chief U.S. weapons searcher David Kay reported yesterday he had found
no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, a finding that brought fresh con-
gressional complaints about the Bush administration's pre-war assertions of
an imminent threat from Saddam Hussein.
Kay, in a report to Congress, described evidence of a possible
small-scale biological weapons effort, and said searchers had substantial
evidence of an Iraqi push to boost the range of its ballistic missiles beyond
But his team had found only limited evidence of any chemical weapons
effort, he said, and there was almost no sign that a significant nuclear
weapons project was under way.
"We have not found at this point actual weapons," Kay said. "It does not
mean we've concluded there are no actual weapons."
"In addition to intent, we have found a large body of continuing activities
and equipment that were not declared to the U.N. inspectors when they
returned in November of last year," he said.
A South Korean Army soldier talks on his radio
near the North Korean border village of
Panmunjom, north of Seoul, South Korea.
senior official and the main communist newspa-
per, Rodong Sinmun, said North Korea has
pledged not to export its nuclear capability.
North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su
Hon said the North is expanding its "nuclear
deterrence" but wouldn't say how many weapons
it has, China's official Xinhua News Agency
ANGORE ADDA, Pakistan
Offensive leads to Al-
Qaida arrests, deaths
Pakistani soldiers swooped down on
an al-Qaida mountain hideout in the
country's forbidding tribal region yes-
terday, killing 12 suspected terrorists
and capturing 18 others in the military's
largest-ever offensive against Osama
bin Laden's network.
It was not clear whether any senior
al-Qaeda figures were among the dead
or captured, who all appeared to be for-
eigners, army officials said.
The area in Pakistan's fiercely
autonomous Waziristan region has
long been considered a likely hiding
place for bin Laden, a Saudi exile,
and his top deputy, Ayman al-
-Zawahri, an Egyptian.
A battle was ongoing late yesterday,
and authorities believed several dozen
al-Qaeda fugitives were still in the area,
said Maj. Gen. Ameer Faisal, the com-
mander of the operation.
"The operation will continue until
they are captured or killed," he said.
Charges of groping
clout governor's race
Confronted with fresh allegations that
he groped women, Arnold Schwarzeneg-
ger apologized yesterday for having
"behaved badly sometimes" and pleaded
with voters just days before California's
recall election for the chance to show that
he has changed. The admission came just
as the action hero appeared to be picking
up steam as the front-runner to replace
Gov. Gray Davis in Tuesday's historic
election. Some political analysts predict-
ed serious harm to Schwarzenegger,
whose standing among women voters
was poor even before the latest furor.
Taking the stage to chants of "Arnold,
Arnold," Schwarzenegger immediately
addressed the issue at a campaign event
in San Diego.
Vibrating shoes help
elderly with balance
A buzz in the soles may keep elderly
people on their toes and reduce the risk
of debilitating falls, preliminary research
The experiment, outlined this week in
The Lancet medical journal, found that
elderly people showed signs of better bal-
ance when they stood on a pair of bat-
tery-operated randomly vibrating insoles.
Although users aren't conscious of the
subtle buzz, the idea is that the vibrations
amnplifyt balance-related signals between
the feet and the brain that become dulled
with age or illness. Experts said the
research shows promise but scientists
need to see if the technique improves bal-
ance when people walk, turn or reach.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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On-Campus Recruiting at
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