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October 31, 2003 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-10-31

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 31, 2003


U.S. supplies looted; Baghdad tense
Explosions in capital bombings Monday, were targeted

add to unease; Police
targeted in. bombings
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Saboteurs
brought a trainload of U.S. Army sup-
plies to a fiery halt west of Baghdad
yesterday, as a Ramadan campaign of
terror bombs and escalating attacks
spurred a new Iraq pullout by interna-
tional aid groups.
An explosion rocked a row of shops
in Baghdad's Old City late yesterday,
killing two people, according to police,
and deepening the unease in the Iraqi
Many Baghdad parents apparent-
ly were keeping their children home
from school out of fear of further
bombings like the four that killed
three dozen people and wounded
more than 200 across the capital on
Monday, start of the Muslim holy
month of Ramadan.
"We heard rumors about big
bombs that will go off," said Duha
Khalid, 18, most of whose friends
stayed home yesterday from her
girls' high school, situated near a
police station.
The police, prime targets in the

again yesterday, when officers
intercepted a motorist who tried to
toss a hand grenade into a police
station on the edge of Baghdad's
heavily guarded "green zone," the
headquarters enclave for the U.S.
As October's heat finally gave
way to cooling winds off the desert,
rumors of looming trouble spread
through this city of 5 million,
focusing on the start of the week -
Saturday in Muslim Iraq.
One leaflet on the streets, purporting
to be from Saddam Hussein's Baath
Party, called for a general strike Satur-
day through Monday "to prove to our
enemy that we are united people."
The plainly typed flyer will further
feed the debate over the identity of
the shadowy underground of bombers
striking Iraqi cities and ambush teams
harassing U.S. forces: Are they die-
hard Baathists, other anti-U.S. nation-
alists, foreign Islamic fighters, or
some combination?
The identity of those swarming over
the sabotaged train yesterday was clear:
they were Iraqis from the Fallujah area,
35 miles west of Baghdad, who fell
upon the crippled train to loot it of

F {
China, N. Korea agree to nuclear talks
China and North Korea agreed "in principle" yesterday to convene a second
round of six-nation talks on Pyongyang's nuclear program, further evidence of an
increased diplomatic role for Beijing in the yearlong dispute.
The reports were welcomed by the United States, which said the "multiparty
process" offered the best hope of getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear
While couched in tentative language, the North's latest statement could be
more binding because it was made publicly alongside China, its last major ally
and one it would be reluctant to alienate.
No timeframe was given for future talks, and it was not immediately clear what
the next step would be. The United States wants North Korea to shut down its
nuclear program immediately.
Word of the accord came after a meeting between Kim Jong II, the North's
reclusive leader, and Wu Bangguo, the most senior Chinese to visit North Korea
since 2001.
In its national evening newscast, China Central Television showed Wu, head of
China's legislature and its No. 2 communist, shaking hands with a smiling Kim.
Wu is on a three-day "goodwill" visit as China tries to ensure another round of
the six-nation summit held in Beijing in August.
Wolfowitz: Two-state solution a good idea
The Pentagon's No. 2 official voiced support yesterday for an unofficial drive
for a two-state solution to conflict in the Middle East, showing the administra-
tion's frustration with hard-line leaders on both sides.
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz praised the petition drive by a
prominent Palestinian moderate and the former head of Israel's secret serv-
ice. Wolfowitz said he met last week with Israeli Adm. Ami Ayalon and
Palestinian professor Sari Nusseibeh, who say they have collected 100,000
Israeli and 60,000 Palestinian signatures on their petition in just three
Their petition calls for Israel to withdraw to the borders it had before the 1967
war in which it captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The document calls for
demilitarized Palestinian state in those territories.
In a lecture at Georgetown University, Wolfowitz said the petition's principles
"look very much like" the Bush administration's "road map" to a peaceful, two-
state solution by 2005.

Firefighters arrive at the scene of a fire at a building after an
explosion shook Baghdad's old quarter yesterday, killing at least
two people and triggering a large fire.

computers, tents, bottled water and
other Army supplies.
The goods had been bound for
the town of Haditha, 100 miles up
the Euphrates River from Fallujah,
when a makeshift bomb exploded
along the tracks four miles west of
Fallujah. As the uninjured engineer
fled, four shipping containers on
flatcars went up in flames, and

Fire and fog delay
California wildfires

-Fog and drizzle yesterday came
to the rescue of firefighters labor-
ing to save resort towns in South-
ern California from the raging
wildfires that have killed at least
20 people.
"It is helping, but it is a long
way from putting any fires out,"
said Ray Snodgrass, chief deputy
director of the California Forestry
Department. "It's the respite we
were hoping for."
The forecast, however, also
called for gusting winds that could
drive the flames into more homes.
Firefighters dug in to protect
hundreds .of homes still threatened
in San Bernardino and San Diego
But only a few hundred acres of
thick forest were burned overnight
by one of the most devastating and
erratic of the fires - a 50,000-acre
blaze east of Lake Arrowhead in
the San Bernardino Mountains.
"That's minimal for this fire,
considering 20,000 burned the first
day," said Battalion Chief Dan
Odom of the San Bernardino
County Fire Department.
The wildfires have blazed for
more than a week across Southern
California, destroying more than
2,600 homes and blackening
around 730,000 acres. Yesterday,
seven major fires were still burning
in four counties.
On Wednesday, wind-driven
flames burned about 350 homes in
Cedar Glen in the San Bernardinos.
John Lucas, 38, said he was able
to save three houses on his proper-
ty, including the one where his
wife and her brothers were born,
by building a $30,000 fire system

with two 5,500-gallon water tanks.
The system consists of a network
of hoses that keep the buildings
and the grounds wet.
"It wasn't luck. My family and I
expended a lot of preparation just
for this scenario," said the former
U.S. Forest Service firefighter.
Yesterday morning, the fire had
advanced to within 12 miles of the
mountain resort town of Big Bear
as crews spread fire-resistant gel
on houses and cleared debris
around them. They were helped by
a heavy fog that rolled in
overnight. The forecast called for
highs in the mid-50s, down from
over 100 degrees over the weekend.
"So that's the good news, but
there is a red-flag warning for high
winds up to 40 mph," said Bonni
Corcoran, a fire information offi-
In San Diego County, where the
state's largest fire killed a fire-
fighter on Wednesday, many of his
comrades wore black bands on
their badges. Steve Rucker, 38,
died while battling a blaze that has
burned more than 270,000 acres
and some 1,500 homes. He was the
first firefighter to die in this out-
break of fires.
"We have a somber mood and we
need to be somber, but it's time to
move ahead," incident commander
John Hawkins told the firefighters.
"Get your chin up and move out."
About 100 fire engines encircled
the historic mining town of Julian
in the mountains of eastern San
Diego County. Saving the town of
3,500, a popular weekend getaway
renowned for its vineyards and
apple orchards, was the county's
top priority.

more than 200 area residents
descended on the other cars to make
off with whatever they could carry.
No U.S. forces came to the scene,
but at one point the looters scat-
tered when two American helicop-
ters whirred in for a look. At
another point, Iraqis backed trucks
up to the bombed train to offload
curses and demon cats. Statues descend-
ing from pedestals for midnight minuets.
There are scarier things than lawmaking
going on inside the U.S. Capitol.
There was plenty of noise yesterday,
as authorities closed down the House
after guards saw what they thought was
a firearm on a security camera at a Capi-
tol office building across the street. It
turned out to be a toy, part of a costume
of an employee.
Halloween or not, the 200-year-old
Capitol is said to be one of the most
haunted buildings in Washington, says
Jim Berard, Democratic communica-
tions director for the House Transporta-
tion Committee. Berard compiled some
of the more famous ghost stories in his
recently published "The Capitol Inside
& Out' a history of the nation's legisla-
tive center.
The building got off to a bad start
in 1808 when construction superin-
tendent John Lenthall disagreed with
the architect over the vaulting in the
room now known as the Old Supreme
Court Chamber.
When Lenthall tried to remove
braces from the vaults, the ceiling col-
lapsed and crushed him. In his last
breath, legend goes, the architect put a
curse on the building.
Tragedy struck again in 1848 when
John Quincy Adams, had a stroke on the
House floor while giving a speech, and
died two days. Capitol workers have
since reported hearing Adams' footsteps,
or the specter of the old man trying to
finish his speech.

Firefighters stand in Lake
Arrowhead, where wild fires
consumed over 300 homes.
Light rain, fog and drizzle were
reported in Julian, but winds of 25
to 30 mph were expected through-
out the day. As the winds picked
up, floating embers sparked spot
fires near town and forced some
crews to retreat.
A blaze of more than 100,000 acres
on the line between Ventura and Los'
Angeles counties was winding down,
with cooler weather and high humidity
helping firefighters knock down the
flames that had come within a few feet
of homes.
"I think we're going to nail this one
today," said Los Angeles County fire
Battalion Chief Scott Poster.
In all, nearly 12,000 firefighters
and support personnel were fight-
ing what Gov. Gray Davis said may
be the worst and costliest disaster
California has ever faced.
The state is spending an estimat-
ed $9 million a day fighting the
wildfires, a near doubling of the
estimate just two days ago.

New pill may block
transplant rejections
Scientists mimicked a powerful
immune-system disease in creating a pill
that may block the rejection of trans-
planted organs without as many of the
side effects that patients now face,
researchers reported yesterday.
The experimental drug helped mon-
keys that had been given kidney trans-
plants - a crucial hurdle, the researchers
said. Although more research is needed,
human safety studies are beginning.
If it works, the drug, created by Pfizer
Inc., could mark a more sophisticated
way to prevent transplant rejection.
Unlike today's anti-rejection drugs, it was
specially engineered to inhibit a mole-
cule called JAK3 that is key to marshal-
ing the immune cells that attack and
destroy newly implanted organs.
Ironically, the new compound was
inspired by the deadly "bubble boy dis-
ease' in which children are born without
a functioning immune system.
Congress struggles
with spending ills
A month into the new budget year,
Congress voted to keep federal agencies
operating for another week while it strug-
gles with unfinished spending bills.
The 406-13 House vote yesterday and

a voice vote in the Senate will keep many
federal programs running at fiscal year
2003 spending levels through Nov. 7. The
current spending extension was to have
expired today.
Congress is required to pass 13 spend-
ing bills every year to fund federal pro-
grams. It rarely completes its work by
Oct. 1, when the fiscal year begins, forc-
ing passage of measures to prevent a
government shutdown.
80 federal lawsuits
The recording industry filed 80
more federal lawsuits around the
country yesterday against computer
users it said were illegally sharing
music files across the Internet.
Those 80 people were among 204
who had been threatened with law-
suits earlier this month by the Wash-
ington-based Recording Industry
Association of America'unless they
contacted the trade association to
discuss a financial settlement.
The RIAA said the remaining 124
people had approached music indus-
try lawyers about settling the claims.
The group previously filed law-
suits against 261 others. It said yes-
terday it has reached settlements
with 156 people, who defense
lawyers have said agreed to pay
penalties ranging from $2,500 to
$7,500 each.


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