BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Suicide
car bombers struck in Baghdad for the
third time in a week yesterday, this
time outside the Turkish Embassy in
yet another blow against those who
would help the U.S. occupation. Wit-
nesses said the driver and a bystander
were killed, and hospitals said at least
13 were wounded.
In the southern city of Karbala,
meanwhile, gunmen of rival Shiite
Muslim factions clashed and witnesses
said several people were killed or
injured. It appeared to be part of a
power struggle between forces of the
firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and
followers of religious leaders who take
a more moderate stand toward the U.S.
Just who is behind the car bombings
in the capital - including two killing
18 other people in Baghdad in recent
days - remained a mystery, although
Iraqis converging on the scene yester-
day began chanting pro-Saddam Hus-
"This is the act of those who want to
turn Iraq into a terror paradise," said
Turkish Ambassador Osman Paksut,
whose government has offered peace-
keeping troops to reinforce the U.S.
military presence here, a move strongly
opposed by Iraqis.
Much of the blast was absorbed by
concrete barriers outside the embassy,
U.S. officials said. The bomber might
have caught U.S. troops if he had
struck last weekend, when they were
deployed outside the mission in north-
west Baghdad, apparently because of a
"About three days ago, we received
indications that there might be
increased danger on the Turkish
Embassy," said Col. Peter Mansoor of
the U.S. 1st Armored Division. "We
revved up security measures based on
He said the FBI and Iraqi police
were investigating. Similar investiga-
tions of seven other vehicle bombings,
killing more than 140 people across
Iraq beginning in August, have made
no known breakthroughs.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - France,
Russia and Germany urged the United
States yesterday to add a timetable for
the transfer of power to Iraqis to its new
U.N. resolution, but Washington called
for a quick vote and a U.S. official cau-
tioned against major changes. -
In an apparent effort to reach a com-
promise on the draft Washington circu-
lated Monday, the three countries
dropped their demand for a handover
of sovereignty to an Iraqi provisional
government within months.
Instead, their proposed amend-
ments to the U.S. draft would give
Secretary-General Kofi Annan and
the Security Council a role in estab-
lishing the timetable, along with the
U.S.-led Coalition Provisional
Authority and the Iraqi Governing
The three countries submitted the
amendments at the first council
meeting to discuss the revised reso-
lution following a meeting among
French President Jacques Chirac,
Russian President Vladimir Putin
and German Chancellor Gerhard
Schroeder, diplomats said.
During yesterday's closed-door
discussion, diplomats said it was
clear that if the Bush administration
accepted the amendments, the Unit-
ed States would get the support of
14 of the 15 Security Council mem-
bers, with only Syria's vote in
If the United States makes no
changes, the resolution is likely to
get just the minimum nine "yes"
votes needed for adoption, the
diplomats said, speaking on condi-
tion of anonymity.
6 ( 9 - - --te .
NEWS IN BRIEF
High court agrees to hear 'Pledge' case
The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to decide whether it's unconstitutional for
children in public schools to pledge their allegiance to "one nation under God."
The Pledge of Allegiance case pushes the court into an emotional argument
over religion, patriotism and schools.
Activists on both sides of the church-state divide immediately predicted one of
the most significant, and wrenching, rulings in the court's modern history.
Generations of schoolchildren have begun each day by standing, hand on heart,
to recite the oath that begins, "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States
Sometime next year, the high court will hear the case of a California atheist
who objects to the pledge his 9-year-old daughter's teacher leads daily. The U.S.
9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed with Michael Newdow last
year, and the ruling set off a national uproar.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress criticized the decision and quickly
passed a law affirming references to God in the pledge and the national motto,
"In God We Trust." President Bush, who signed the measure, called the appeals
court decision ridiculous.
The ruling is on hold pending the court challenge. Newdow, a doctor and lawyer
representing himself in the case, was pleased the court agreed to hear the appeal.
GOBI DESERT, China
China becomes 3rd country to enter orbit
China launched its first manned space mission today, becoming the third coun-
try in history to send a person into orbit - four decades after the former Soviet
Union and the United States.
With a column of smoke, the Shenzhou 5 craft cut across a bright, azure north-
west China sky at exactly 9 a.m. Wednesday (9 p.m. Tuesday EDT) and went into
orbit 10 minutes later. The official Xinhua News Agency immediately confirmed
the launch and said the astronaut was air force Lt. Col. Yang Liwei, 38.
"China's first manned spacecraft, the Shenzhou 5, blasted off," Xinhua said.
China Central Television's Channel One, the government's flagship station, cut
into its programming to announce the launch. The station later showed Shenzhou
streaking into the sky and disappearing, its tracer billowing behind it.
Minutes after the launch, a CCTV announcer said that Shenzhou 5 and Yang
had "entered orbit at 9:10." Xinhua said Yang was "reading a flight manual in the
capsule of the Shenzhou-5 spacecraft and looked composed and at ease."
"I feel good," Yang radioed back from space after a half-hour in flight, accord-
ing to Xinhua.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.
John Allen Muhammad entered
innocent pleas yesterday as the
death-penalty trial of the sniper sus-
pect got under way a year after a
series of deadly shootings terrified
the Washington area.
Muhammad, 42, pleaded innocent to
capital murder and firearms charges. He
initially remained silent when asked a
routine question by Circuit Judge LeRoy
Millette Jr., but later answered after whis-
pering with an attorney.
Muhammad told Millette he under-
stood the charges and that he was ready
for the trial.
"I'm prepared for it, yes "he said.
The case, which is expected to last
up to six weeks, was moved some 200
miles out of metropolitan Washington
to this southeastern Virginia city after
defense lawyers argued that every
northern Virginia resident could be
considered a victim because the shoot-
ings made them afraid.
Life expectancy linked
to cholesterol particles
One reason some people live into
their 90s and beyond may be a genetic
variation that makes the cholesterol
particles in their blood really big.
"Supersize it" is not usually associat-
ed with good health, but evidence
increasingly is showing that bigger is
indeed better when it comes to the
lipoprotein particles that carry choles-
terol through the bloodstream.
Smaller particles, it is believed, can
more easily embed themselves in the
blood vessel walls, contributing to the
fatty buildups that lead to heart attacks
and strokes. A study in today's Journal of
the American Medical Association sug-
gests that the tendency to have large cho-
lesterol particles can be inborn.
Calif. labor disputes
Train and bus mechanics for the
nation's third-largest mass-transit
system walked off the job yesterday,
stranding hundreds of thousands of
Southern California commuters
already burdened by a supermarket
strike and sporadic sickouts by sher-
The labor disputes snarled traffic,
inconvenienced grocery shoppers
and threatened to disrupt the opera-
tion of county jails and courts.
"I'm just stranded," said com-
muter David Strattling, 59, who
made it to Union Station on one of
the buses not affected by the strike
before realizing he could not go any
"I won't be able to go to work today."
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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