2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 4, 2003
N ATION WORLD
Blasts rattle downtown Baghdad, shrine NEWS IN BRIEF
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - American troops hunted
for anti-aircraft missiles along Iraq's trucking routes,
digging through heaps of manure, mounds of hay or
piles of pomegranates yesterday. The U.S. Army
retrieved the wreckage of a downed transport heli-
copter and searched for clues about who knocked it
from the sky.
Attacks continued yesterday - a blast near a Shi-
ite Muslim shrine in the southern city of Karbala that
witnesses said killed at least one person, and a bar-
rage of three mortar rounds in Baghdad that caused
no reported casualties.
One clue in Sunday's helicopter shootdown pay
lie in Ramadi, west of the crash site, where an anti-
U.S. leaflet warned, just two days before the shoot-
down, that Iraq's insurgents would strike the
Americans with "modern and advanced methods."
The downing of the CH-47 Chinook, one of two
carrying dozens of soldiers on their way to Baghdad
airport and home leave, killed 16 Americans and
wounded 20 others. It was the heaviest U.S. death toll
in any single action since the invasion of Iraq last
One victim, Ernest Bucklew, 33, had been expected
to stop at his Fort Carson, Colo., home before travel-
ing to his mother's funeral. His wife, Barbara, wept as
she spoke of breaking the news to the couple's two
children, 8-year-old Joshua and 4-year-old Justin.
"My oldest one is just a little numb," she said at
the Army post near Colorado Springs, Colo., shroud-
ed in fog and a cold rain. "He understands his nana
and father passed away, but he hasn't talked about it.
The youngest one just doesn't understand. He doesn't
understand the concept of death right now."
Sixteen of the injured were flown by U.S. Air
Force C-17 transport yesterday to Ramstein Air Base
in Germany and treated at the U.S. military's Land-
stuhl Regional Medical Center. Nine were admitted
to the intensive care unit, including five in serious
condition, said hospital spokeswoman Marie Shaw.
"They are being evaluated and surgeries are
planned throughout the day," she said.
Villagers who saw the helicopter downing south of
Fallujah, 35 miles west of Baghdad, said it was
struck from behind by one or two missiles apparently
fired from a date palm grove in the area, deep in the
Sunni Muslim heartland that has produced the most
violent opposition to the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Hundreds of portable, shoulder-fired missiles are
unaccounted for in Iraq, potential threats to a U.S.
occupation army that relies heavily on the slow, low-
flying CH-47 Chinook craft for troop transport. The
U.S. command has offered Iraqis $500 apiece for
each portable missile turned in but has refused to say
how many have been surrendered.
In one search operation yesterday, U.S. military
police stretched out razor wire and set up check-
points along the main artery running north from
Baghdad, now dubbed "Highway 1," to look for
weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles.
"We have had indication that more of stuff like this
(missiles) are moving out there," said Lt. Col. Dave
Poirier, commander of the 720th Military Police Bat-
talion. "People know they are taking a big chance in
transporting weapons ... and for some of these large
weapons systems, you'd have to have a truck to trans-
Spc. Andrew Fifield of San Antonio, Texas,
jumped on top of a truck transporting pomegranates
and picked through the fruit carefully.
As he dug through dried manure atop a second
truck, he motioned to Iraqi policemen to join him.
"A lot of them were not police as we'd know police
back home to be," Poirier said. "Some of them were
never policemen before this."
. "; ,. .
"People know they are taking IYADH, Saudi Arabia
a big chance in transporting Police in Mecca round up militants
wpannnd & and d r A ff..
Vicaullns ... anlJ loru sJmeC JI
these large weapons, you'd
have to have a truck to
- Lt. Col. Dave Poirier
720th Military Police Battalion
The explosion in Karbala, 65 miles south of Bagh-
dad, apparently was caused by a bomb planted in a
parked car on a busy street less than 100 yards from
the gold-domed Imam Hussein shrine, said
Mohammed Abu Jaffar al-Assadi, a Shiite cleric.
Other witnesses said it might have been concealed in
a bag left outside a hotel.
In addition to at least one dead, it was believed 12
people were wounded, al-Assadi said. It was not
immediately possible to get confirmation of the
report from Iraqi police or the U.S.-led coalition.
Karbala has been rocked by deadly clashes
between supporters of rival Shiite factions.
Here in the capital, U.S. occupation authorities
said three mortar rounds were lobbed from a firing
position somewhere in southwestern Baghdad late
yesterday. Two landed in unspecified locations in
central Baghdad, and the third struck a camp of the
2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. They said no
injuries were immediately reported.
As a result of Sunday's shootdown, the U.S.
command may have to re-evaluate the routes and
flying tactics of its transport helicopters and planes
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress
voted its final approval yesterday for
$87.5 billion for U.S. military opera-
tions and aid in Iraq and Afghanistan, a
day after Americans in Iraq endured
their worst casualties since March.
In an anticlimactic moment for
which only a handful of senators
appeared, the Senate approved the bill
by voice and handed a legislative victo-
ry to President Bush, who had request-
AP PHOTo ed a similar package two months ago.
nstitution The voice vote - in which Sen.
Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) was the only
one to shout "Nay" - let lawmakers
sidestep the roll call that usually
accompanies major legislation.
That underscored the complicated
political calculus presented by the
measure, which was dominated by
c h popular funds for U.S. forces but also
sparked questions about Bush's post-
war Iraq policies and record budget
for the time deficits at home.
ing to be a "As the president said time and time
ter and the again, we will not walk away from
Afghanistan Iraq," said Senate Appropriations Com-
nkly, I don't mittee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alas-
ntable." ka), a leading author of the bill. "We
an Islamic will not leave the Iraqi people in chaos,
ire to bring and we will not create a vacuum for
racticed by terrorist groups to fill."
In the latest blow to Iraq's U.S. occu-
religion of piers, 19 Americans were killed there
rform their on Sunday. That included 16 soldiers
ovisions of who died when a missile brought down
translation a U.S. Army transport helicopter west
of Baghdad, a crash in which 20 other
ound copies Americans were wounded.
rg Moham- "Our country is being tested,"
ecial envoy White House press secretary Scott
McClellan said in a statement released
le and will in Crawford, Texas, where the presi-
cracy," said dent spent a long weekend. "Those
who seek to kill coalition forces and
e ceremoni- innocent Iraqis want America and its
ovisions for coalition partners to run so the terror-
n issue that ists can reclaim control."
Zaher Shah. He said the money, coupled with
ve emerged assistance from international donors,
major con- will help make Iraq more secure and
for the past help the transition to self-government
e powers of for Iraqis. The money also will help
to drop it Afghanistan become a peaceful, demo-
cratic and stable nation, he said.
Police clashed with suspected al-Qaida sympathizers in the streets of the sacred
city of Mecca yesterday, killing two militants and uncovering a cache of weapons,
including Kalashnikov rifles, grenades and bomb-making materials.
The raid was the latest in a string of anti-militant sweeps across Saudi Arabia,
where the legitimacy of the regime rests in part on safeguarding Mecca - the site
of Islam's holiest shrine, and where devout Muslims must make at least one pil-
grimage. An attack in Mecca could be seen as a strike on the Saudi regime.
The kingdom launched its crackdown on suspected terrorists after the May 12
suicide attacks against Western residential compounds in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
About 600 people believed linked to al-Qaida have been arrested in the sweep.
In yesterday's action, the weapons found and the method the militants used
indicate they are sympathizers of Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, an Interior
Ministry official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"They have the same ideology as that of the other groups that have been arrest-
ed," the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. "There isn't
another terrorist network in the whole world that uses such methods."
The official said there was no indication the militants involved in yesterday's
shootout had contact with those arrested in previous sweeps.
Findings on August blackout list many causes
A U.S.-Canadian task force essentially has completed its interim report and will
cite a number of causes, not merely a single event, for the massive power blackout
last August, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said yesterday.
The findings of the task force could come as early as next week.
In an interview, Abraham would not give specifics because some details of
the report still must be cleared up with the Canadians. He made clear, however,
that no single smoking gun will be cited as the cause of the Aug. 14 blackout
that darkened all or parts of eight states from Michigan to New York and into
"I think you're going to see there are a number of factors that emerged during
this investigation as being ... causes or partial causes," Abraham said in the inter-
view with The Associated Press.
"We are not going to be focused on a single event. ... We will be looking at
more than one," he said.
On other matters Abrahah said it is essential for Congress to finish an energy
bill this year, and he's "not going to give an inch of ground on that."
story allowed in case
The Supreme Court said yesterday it
will use the case of a Texas woman
whose HMO gave her only one day in
the hospital to recover from a hysterec-
tomy to clarify when patients can sue
health insurers for denying treatment
that a doctor recommends.
The facts of Ruby Calad's case go to
the heart of many patients' frustration
with managed care health plans, which
save money by limiting coverage and
"That is the quintessential HMO hor-
ror story," said George Parker Young,
Calad's lawyer. "They gave her one day
after major female surgery," even though
her doctor objected. "It kind of sums up
(patients') worst fears about HMOs."
The court also agreed to hear a com-
panion case from Texas involving a post-
polio patient required to use a cheaper
pain pill than his doctor had recommend-
ed. Juan Davila claims he suffered bleed-
ing ulcers and nearly had a heart attack.
Graham declares this
Senate term his last
A month after dropping out of the
White House race, Sen. Bob Graham
announced yesterday he will retire
when his term is up next year, dealing a
blow to the Democrats' bid to take back
Democrats had high hopes that Gra-
ham, one of Florida's most popular
politicians, would win a fourth term in
2004. But in the end, Graham said he had
to make the decision that was best for
him and his family, including his wife,
four daughters and 10 grandchildren.
"This has been a very difficult deci-
sion for me and my family and I know
for some of you it is a disappointment,"
New therapies show
promise for psoriasis
It's a new era for patients covered in the
itchy, scaly skin disease psoriasis. After
years with few good treatments, doctors
finally have a handful of therapies that
promise to help control the incurable con-
dition with fewer bad side effects.
What changed? Scientists learned
that psoriasis isn't just a skin-deep dis-
order but a dysfunction of the immune
system, so the new therapies target the
"Five to six years ago, I was telling my
patients it was the wasteland," says Craig
Leonardi of St. Louis University Medical
School, who participated in studies of the
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
Mohammed Zahir Shah, center, former king of Afghanistan, receives the country's new draft cor
during an unveiling ceremony in Kabul yesterday.
Draf of Mghan constitutic
aims for equality, free spee
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Two years after the fall of
the Taliban, the Afghan government unveiled a historic draft
constitution yesterday, aiming to cast aside a quarter-century
of conflict with a unified Islamic state under a powerful
The draft makes Afghanistan an Islamic republic but
stops short of imposing the harsh brand of Islamic law
favored by the Taliban, and for the first time enshrines a per-
manent role for women in governing the country.
Still, turning the document's guarantees of equality, liber-
ty, dignity and free speech into reality in a country lacking
all of them will be a singular challenge for President Hamid
Karzai and future Afghan leaders.
The draft, containing 160 articles in 12 chapters, is to be
presented next month for approval at a constitutional loya
jirga, or grand council, of some 500 delegates from across
the country. Nationwide elections would then be scheduled
The document was the result of a year's work - and
months of delay - reflecting deep divisions and fierce
back-room struggles inside the 35-member Constitutional
The most dramatic change from earlier drafts was the
elimination of the post of prime minister and concentration
of power in the president - who will be commander in
chief of the military, have the power to appoint one-third of
the parliament's upper house, and to name judges, military
officers, police and national security officials.
Extending that centralized power to Afghan's provinces
and patchwork of regional allegiances and ethnic groups -
where warlords rule like feudal princes in areas that seem
frozen in time - will be the constitution's true test.
"The degree of centralizing that you see here is
being simply wishful thinking, unless there's go
change of the balance of power between the cen
provinces;' said Vikram Parekh, senior analyst onE
for the International Crisis Group think tank. "Fran
see in the near term how that's going to be impleme
The draft's first article declares "Afghanistan is
Republic," an indication of the government's des
the country together under the banner of Islam, p
almost all Afghans.
"The religion of Afghanistan is the sacred
Islam. Followers of other religions are free to pe
religious ceremonies within the limits of the pr
law," the draft states, according to an English
provided by the government.
At a ceremony at the Presidential Palace, red-b
of the draft constitution were handed to former Kii
mad Zaher Shah, Karzai, and Lakhdar Brahimi, sp
of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
"I hope this will be acceptable for the peop
direct people toward peace, security and demo
the 88-year-old Zaher Shah.
The constitution accords for the former king th
al title of "Father of the Nation." But it has no pr
the monarchy to continue after his death - a
could be contentious in southern regions loyal to2
Many feared a strong prime minister could ha
as a political and military rival to the president, a
cern in a country that has known little but wari
generation. Much debate focused on limiting th
that position before the commission decided
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