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February 05, 2004 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-02-05

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 5, 2004


Group admits role in Iraq bombings NEWS IN BRIEF
TIKRIT, Iraq (AP) - A senior U.S. commander to hand over sovereignty to a provisional Iraqi gov-

said yesterday that recent attacks in Iraq are the work ernment on June 30. The United Nations soon will
t -f _-

or groups seeking to sabotag -orailergen
vi iuu~ ~~i1 LI) ~oo~ge - or gain ieverage in
- a future independent Iraqi government that is due
to take power by July.
Maj. Gen. Raymond Odierno, commander of the
Army's 4th Infantry Division, also predicted that
coalition forces would be able to crush the insur-
gency within a year, despite continued American
losses since the Dec. 13 capture of Saddam Hussein.
"There are ethnic issues. People are now position-
ing themselves to see what their role is in the next
government, and they are doing it by force," Odierno
said after a tour of this city, Saddam's hometown.
"They are trying to disrupt the way things are going
so they can get a little advantage."
Yesterday, an Iraqi insurgent group claimed respon-
sibility for twin bombings that killed 109 people at the
offices of two Kurdish political parties on Sunday. The
"Jaish Ansar al-Sunna" said it targeted the "dens of the
devils" because of the parties' ties to the United States.
The claim could not be independently confirmed.
The U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority plans

dispatch a team to Iraq to resolve differences
between the Americans and the Shiite Muslim clergy
over how to choose the new Iraqi leadership.
"We have six to 12 months left of this insur-
gency," Odierno said. "I think constant pressure will
bring it down."
So far, 528 U.S. service members have died since
the Iraq war began March 20, including 368 by hos-
tile fire. Forty-five soldiers died in January and
three more in the first three days of February. The
January toll was five more than in December,
despite hopes that Saddam's capture would weaken
the insurgency and slow the killings from roadside
bombs and other attacks.
In another fatality, a Spanish military adviser who
fell into a coma after being seriously wounded in a
shootout last month died yesterday, the Spanish
Defense Ministry said. The shootout occurred in the
town of Hamsa, about 25 miles south of Diwaniyah,
where the Spanish troops are based.
Civil Guard commander Gonzalo Perez Garcia's

"We have six to 12 months
left of this insurgency. I
think constant pressure will
bring it down.
- U.S. Maj. Gen. Raymond Odierno
commander of the Army's 4th Infantry Division

Mass. takes last step for same-sex marriages
The Massachusetts high court declared yesterday that gays are entitled to noth-
ing less than marriage and that Vermont-style civil unions will not suffice, setting
the stage for the nation's first legally sanctioned same-sex weddings by the spring.
The court issued the advisory opinion at the request of legislators who wanted
to know whether civil unions would be enough to satisfy the court after its
November ruling that said gay couples are entitled to all the rights of marriage.
That decision had been written in such a way that it left open the possibility that
civil unions might be allowed.
But yesterday's opinion by the Supreme Judicial Court left no doubt: Only mar-
riage would pass constitutional muster.
"The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever,
equal," four justices wrote. "For no rational reason the marriage laws of the com-
monwealth discriminate against a defined class; no amount of tinkering with lan-
guage will eradicate that stain. The (civil unions) bill would have the effect of
maintaining and fostering a stigma of exclusion that the Constitution prohibits."
Paul Martinek, editor of Lawyers Weekly USA, said that the blunt opinion eras-
es any confusion. "The fat lady has sung and she's singing the wedding march,"
Martinek said. "It's clear from reading the majority opinion that there's no basis
on which the (court) will OK anything other than marriage."

death brought to 11 the number of Spaniards that
have been killed in Iraq since August.
Odierno, the U.S. major general who is in charge of
security over a large swath of north-central Iraq, did not
elaborate on how insurgent attacks were aimed at gain-
ing advantage before the power transfer. He also did
not offer specific examples of such attacks.
However, a recent series of major attacks were clear-
ly aimed at Iraqi targets, raising fears that insurgents
were going after those who would play major political
and security roles in a future Iraqi government.

U.S. lacl l&A'ed SASHINGTON
U.S. blackm ailed nate offices reopen after toxn discovery

Pigeons fly away as a worker rushes to trap them in a cage in People's Square, in
Shanghai, China yesterday.
Aslan states, take

measures against
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - Asia's human Human cases o:
death toll from bird flu rose to 15 yesterday any other count
while China addressed its broadening zone of China said y
infected poultry with a new bird flu headquarters tions, but that o
and Singaporeans turned in pet chickens for poultry in 12 of
slaughter. A new Natior
Health experts say the wide range of the bird ters has opene
flu striking Asia's poultry boosts chances that the efforts to kill a
virus could mutate into a global menace for peo- on people wh
pl'e, but say the disease is "nowhere close" to unclear how th
being declared a pandemic. cal communica
' Most human cases have been traced directly to ernments and B
cntact with sick birds, and although human-to- "The wholec
human transmission has not been ruled out in the flu," Foreign
cse of one Vietnamese family, the experts say Qiyue said.
there is no sign of a new strain that can easily Health exper
infect many people. infected poultry
A WHO official acknowledged that the race ing out the culls
apainst the disease's spread was tough. Thailand's de
"The virus is faster than we are," said Peter day that officia
Cordingley, the agency's regional spokesman in the virus from t
M9ianila, Philippines. "Until the surveillance sys- The virus has s
tems are working properly, we're going to have try's provinces.
trouble keeping up with the virus." After the
New deaths were announced yesterday in Viet- announced Sun
rhm, where a 16-year-old girl became the coun- mission couldr
try's 10th bird flu fatality, and Thailand, where a Vietnamese fan
6-year-old boy died, bringing its toll to five. recent days to p

bi 1rd flu
f bird flu have not been reported in
yesterday it has no human infec-
fficials were investigating cases in
fits 31 regions.
ral Bird Flu Prevention Headquar-
d in Beijing to oversee regional
ll sick birds and keep close watch
o handled them, though it was
e center would overcome the typi-
tions obstacles between local gov-
of China is trying to prevent bird
Ministry spokeswoman Zhang
ts say the best policy is to dIestroy
while ensuring that people carry-
s are not exposed to the virus.
eputy prime minister said yester-
als there believe they'll eradicate
the country's farms by week's end.
truck more than half of the coun-
World Health Organization
nday that human-to-human trans-
not be ruled out in the case of the
nily, the organization has sought in
lay down concerns.

Palestinians, says
Araat adviser
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - A senior adviser to
Yasser Arafat yesterday accused the United States of "black-
mailing" the Palestinians by withholding aid - unusually
harsh criticism reflecting exasperation with perceived U.S.
disengagement from the Mideast conflict.
Israeli and Palestinian officials, meanwhile, failed again
yesterday reach agreement on a date for a meeting between
their two leaders. Such a summit is seen as vital for reviving
the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said repeatedly in
recent weeks he would go ahead with unilateral measures,
including dismantling some settlements and imposing a
boundary on the Palestinians, if there is no progress in com-
ing months.
Earlier this week, he proposed dismantling virtually all
the Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, a political bomb-
shell that is threatening his center-right coalition.
Sharon is facing mounting opposition, including from
within his Likud Party. Challenging his critics, Sharon said
yesterday he would support a referendum on the issue. Polls
indicate a large majority of Israelis support a Gaza pullout.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher offered a
mixed response to Sharon's Gaza initiative. Boucher said
that while removing settlements is good, the United States is
concerned about "any steps that could attempt to unilaterally
end the process or unilaterally impose a settlement."
In the West Bank city of Ramallah, Jibril Rajoub, a senior
security adviser to Arafat, charged that the United States is
cutting aid and scaling back involvement in Mideast diplo-
macy because the Palestinians have failed to find those
responsible for an attack on a U.S. convoy in Gaza in Octo-
ber. Three U.S. security guards were killed in the roadside
"I think this is blackmail," said Rajoub, who enjoyed
close relations with U.S. agencies when he served as securi-
ty chief in the West Bank.
U.S. officials have complained about lack of progress in the
investigation of the attack. In December, U.S. envoy William
Burns said the United States "cannot carry out our full range
of assistance projects" without progress in the probe.
Boucher on yesterday dismissed Rajoub's comments as
"ridiculous." He said Palestinians should improve their secu-
rity, but added that the United States remains engaged in
peacemaking. He said Israeli Vice Premier Ehud Olmert will
confer today with Secretary of State Colin Powell in Wash-
ington. Olmert is Sharon's top deputy.
Palestinian officials have complained privately about what
they see as Washington's disengagement from the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict during a U.S. election year. However, a
harsh public comment like Rajoub's is rare.
The road map, meanwhile, suffered another setback yes-
terday, when aides for Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minis-
ter Ahmed Qureia failed to agree on a summit agenda.

A Senate rattled by a ricin attack began returning to normalcy yesterday, and the
lack of any reported illnesses prompted leaders to plan to reopen shuttered office
As lawmakers awaited the results of tests measuring the potency of the powdery
poison, officials said none of the several dozen workers who were potentially
exposed seemed ill. Senators voted - for the first time this week - on a judge-
ship nomination, and at least three Senate committees held hearings, though they
borrowed rooms in House office buildings to do so.
"Everybody's doing great," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn) told
reporters. "We're outside the window where you'd expect to see symptoms
at all, and it seems well contained."
Bowing to growing complaints, Senate leaders were even letting senators
and aides briefly re-enter their offices to remove needed documents and
equipment. That included the very fourth-floor corridor in the Dirksen Senate
office building where the deadly toxin was discovered Monday in the mail-
room of Frist.

Terrorists may have
acquired nuke plans
The nuclear black market that let
Iran, Libya and North Korea acquire
weapons technology from Pakistan
under the noses of international
monitors raises suspicions that terror
groups also acquired bomb compo-
nents or plans, experts told The
Associated Press.
Al-Qaida apparently has shown
interest in acquiring nuclear technol-
ogy. Two Pakistani nuclear scientists
were detained in late 2001 after
meeting Osama bin Laden in
Afghanistan on suspicion of giving
away secrets, but they were later
released without being charged. The
military, which controlled the
weapons program, also is known to
have elements who sympathize with
the Taliban and bin Laden.
Cardinal: Health of
Pope has improved
A top Vatican cardinal said in a
magazine interview released yesterday
that Pope John Paul II's health has
recently improved and that talk of term
limits is not relevant to the current

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said he
would not rule out term limits in the
future. With people living longer
"one also would consider new
norms," he said.
Asked by Famiglia Cristiana (Christ-
ian Family), a leading Italian religious
affairs magazine, how the pope was
feeling, Ratzinger replied, "Well. Since
Christmas his physical condition has
been improving."
The pope looked alert during his
general audience yesterday.
Ex-broker: Stewart
sold stock after tip
In the most damaging testimony yet
against Martha Stewart, a former Merrill
Lynch assistant said yesterday that the
homemaking mogul ordered all her
ImClone Systems stock sold after she
learned the cominy founder vls dirip=
ing his own shares.
Douglas Faneuil, the government's star
witness, said he passed the tip from bro-
ker Peter Bacanovic to Stewart when she
called on Dec. 27, 2001, on her way to a
vacation in Mexico.
Faneuil said he then placed a sell order
for Stewart on her orders, netting about
$228,000 for Stewart.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.

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