2A -The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 9, 2004
Israel to shift path of secui bamer NEWS IN BRIEF
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel will planned route, which dips deep into the [ _(
change the route of its West Bank West Bank in some places. A D, Ia
separation barrier to cause less hard-
ship for the Palestinians and gain
U.S. support against legal challenges,
an adviser to Israel's prime minister
The barrier faces two court fights.
Today Israel's Supreme Court will hear
petitions from two civil rights groups,
including a request to declare the bar-
rier's route illegal.
Later this month, the world court
in The Hague, Netherlands, will
review the legality of the barrier.
The U.N. General Assembly, with
the backing of the Palestinians, has
asked the court for a nonbinding
Israel says the barrier is meant to
block Palestinian suicide bombers,
but the Palestinians condemn it as a
Israel has argued that the world
court has no authority over the barrier
dispute, saying it should be resolved
through negotiations. Nonetheless, it is
taking the case before the International
Court of Justice seriously.
Many countries, including the United
States, agree with Israel that the interna-
tional court is not the proper venue for
the case, but they object to the barrier's
Zalman Shoval, an adviser to Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon, said Israel is
concerned the dispute could eventually
reach the U.N. Security Council, where
decisions are legally binding.
The United States, which can veto
council resolutions, could help pro-
tect Israel. "We want as much as pos-
sible to draw a line with the
Americans," he said.
He said the changes would be pre-
sented to U.S. Mideast envoys expect-
ed to arrive in Israel this week.
Paul Patin, spokesman for the U.S.
Embassy in Tel Aviv, declined to com-
ment on the possible changes in the
He said the United States has no
problem with the concept of a security
barrier, but Washington objects to its
planned route because of the disrup-
tion it has caused to Palestinians.
The barrier, which is about one-
quarter built, reaches deep into the
West Bank in some areas, restricting
Palestinian movement and preventing
residents from reaching jobs, farmland
and social services.
Shoval said the changes in the route
would be around Qalqiliya, a West
Bank town next to Israel. The town is
U.N. leaders and Iraqi officials meet
U.N. experts met with Iraqi leaders for the first time yesterday to discuss the
chances of holding early elections as Prince Charles made a surprise visit and
Japan expanded its first military deployment to a combat zone since World War II.
In fresh violence, gunmen - including a major in the new Iraqi police force,
- attacked a group of American soldiers, sparking a gunbattle in which the offi-
cer was killed and two other attackers wounded, the U.S. military said Sunday.
Insurgents also attacked separate U.S. Army convoys with explosives, killing one
soldier and wounding three others, witnesses said.
The U.N. team, led by veteran diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, sat down with the U.S.-
appointed Iraqi Governing Council to start determining whether legislative elections
can be held by June 30, when the Americans plan to transfer sovereignty to Iraqis.
The current U.S. plan is to choose legislators in regional caucuses - a move
opposed by the country's most powerful Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Hus-
seini al-Sistani. If early elections are deemed unfeasible, the U.N. team will offer
alternatives to the American plan.
Bush defends Iraq war during TV interview
President Bush denied he marched America into war under false pretenses and
said the U.S.-led invasion was necessary because Saddam Hussein could have
developed a nuclear weapon.
"I don't think America can stand by and hope for the best," the president said.
Bush suggested Saddam may have destroyed or spirited out of the country the
banned weapons the Bush administration cited as a main rationale for the war.
"I expected to find the weapons," Bush said in an Oval Office interview broad-
cast yesterday on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"Sitting behind this desk, making a very difficult decision of war and peace, I
based my decision on the best intelligence possible," the president said. The inter-
view was taped Saturday.
Bush also was asked about the fugitive Osama bin Laden, the suspected master-
mind of the Sept. 11 attacks whom the president had pledged to get "dead or alive."
"I have no idea whether we will capture or bring him to justice," Bush said.
The interview came as the president's approval rating has dipped to 47 percent,
according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll taken in early February.
An Israeli soldier stands guard as Palestinians ride through a gate in
the separation barrier on the way to a West Bank town Saturday.
largely encircled by the barrier.
Israel wants to "make things as easy
as possible for Palestinians who need
to get to their fields (and) to have
fewer checkpoints," Shoval said.
He said changes would be made
around other Palestinian population cen-
ters, as well. He said this could include
taking down or moving concrete barriers
that have already been built.
Continued from Page 1A
there will carry us to the big states of
March 2 and narrow the field to two
candidates. Anything less will put us
out of this race," Dean said in an e-
mail sent to supporters on Thursday.
In Washington, Kerry captured the
majority of the state's 76 pledged dele-
gates by obtaining 49 percent of the
vote, followed by Dean with 30,
Kucinich with 8 and Edwards with 7.
In Sunday's lone caucus, Kerry fol-
lowed the example he set on Saturday
by decisively winning in Maine. With
more than 50 percent of precincts
reporting when The Michigan Daily
went to press, Kerry had 45 percent of
the votes, ahead of Dean with 26,
Kucinich with 15 and Edwards with 9.
Kerry has now won 10 of the 12 pri-
maries or caucuses that have been
held. Saturday's victories (excluding
Maine) increased his first-place dele-
gate total to 409 - ahead of Dean
with 174 and Edwards with 116. A
candidate needs a total of 2,161 dele-
gates to secure the nomination before
Boston's July 25 national convention.
Tennessee and Virginia will vote
tomorrow, and Nevada will have its
election on Saturday.
Michigan Lt. Gov. John Cherry
told The Associated Press that Satur-
day marked the second-highest voter
turnout in a Michigan Democratic
caucus. "148,000 people came out to
cast their presidential preference, and
the loser was George Bush," Cherry
said. The highest turnout in Michi-
gan occurred in 1988 with more than
200,000 voters participating.
About 123,000 voters applied for
online ballots in the caucuses, making
this the first caucus in Michigan histo-
ry to offer Internet voting. Registered
Michigan voters had been casting their
since early January. it ven
Teall said that he
was impressed by pols pre
the voter turnout in .
Washtenaw County, clear Wil
especially since Michigan
showed Kerry with the turno
a commanding fantastic '
lead. "Even though *
the polls predicted a
clear winner in the
Michigan elections, Chairman, X
the turnout was fan-
tastic. That shows
to me voter motiva-
tion," he said.
The Forsythe Middle School
polling site in Ann Arbor even ran
out of ballots as it was set to close at
4 p.m., causing the site leader to run
to his office and copy more ballots as
close to 250 people waited outside,
"Nobody left out of frustration.
They waited and wanted the chance to
vote," Teall added.
In Ann Arbor, Gov. Jennifer
Granholm was received enthusiastical-
ly at the Michigan Union as she offi-
cially opened the caucus site along
with Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje,
U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn),
state Sen. Liz Brater and state Rep.
Chris Kolb (both D-Ann Arbor).
Donning a John Kerry button,
Granholm spoke about the importance
of the college vote. "I am just thrilled
ner in the
- Graham Teall
that so many peo-
ple are participat-
said. "College stu-
dents have a repu-
tation of not
engaging in the
and I'm glad to see
so much activity
Hieftje said the
dential election has
tions for Ann
Arbor. "(We) need
to get back to an era where the govern-
ment is giving back to the local com-
munity instead of taking it out. Money
to support the police was cut back - it
was called homeland security, (but) the
basic needs (of the community) are
being ignored," he said.
"I'm voting for John Kerry because
he will best represent my interests -
he is a very strong environmentalist. I
really believe he represents the values
of people in Ann Arbor, and I hope
they will make the same choice,"
Dingell also talked about the
importance of the November elec-
tion. "It is a regular policy of mine to
attend caucuses. The practice is to
get around as widely as I can," Din-
gell said. "I want to be as helpful to
the Democrats as possible because
I'm tired of having the country run
by the Republicans."
Most of the voters at the Union
were students, with Kerry and Dean
supporters being the most prominent.
Dean's volunteers said support on the
campus for their candidate was
strong, and that the media was to
blame for Kerry's recent momentum
within the state.
- Daily Staff Reporter Victoria
Edwards contributed to this report.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Who was the
When one American pilot was
forced to abort a bombing mission
over North Vietnam due to the
weather, he spotted a column of
tanks heading for South Vietnam,
so he diverted from the approved
corridor and attacked the tank
column. Upon his return, he was
fined $500 for leaving the corridor
approved by Secretary Robert
Gary Lillie & Assoc., Realtors
Continued from Page 1A
"It is very important that the demo-
cratic process includes a major indus-
trial state," Dingell said.
Levin said Kerry's first victory in an
industrial state gives the senator momen-
tum as he moves on to decisive battles in
the South, where Tennessee and Virginia
hold their primaries tomorrow. Sen. John
Edwards of North Carolina and retired
Gen. Wesley Clark skipped over Michi-
gan to compete in these states. Kerry's
rivals were forced to pick their battles
when Kerry's victory in five of seven
contests last Tuesday demonstrated his
Kerry's Michigan backers spoke of
him as the probable victor in the presi-
dential race. "The people have spoken
... John Kerry will be the next presi-
dent," Granholm said.
Her speech was followed by
remarks from Levin and Stabenow,
who appeared confident Kerry would
able to beat President Bush. Bush's
approval rating recently fell below 50
percent for the first time since he
took office in 2000.
"We tonight say that we will reclaim
our democracy and the man who will
lead us to do this is John Kerry," an exul-
tant Stabenow said. "The Republicans
are worried about John Kerry. ... They
know he can reclaim the White House."
Referring to the presidential elec-
tions in November, Levin said, "It takes
a fighter to win in November. John
Kerry is a fighter."
Kerry's Michigan supporters
responded Saturday to questions
about voting irregularities in Detroit.
The Michigan Democratic Party
failed to notify some voters of last-
minute changes in their polling sites,
leaving some Detroiters resentful of a
party that they felt largely ignored
their issues in this election.
"You do the best you can to run a
good, clean election," Dingell said.
"Every Democratic candidate was hurt
by that unfortunate event.-
A group of black Detroit-area leaders
announced yesterday that they would
challenge the results of Saturday's cau-
cuses. In response to voters' complaints,
the MDP held polls open two hours past
the original 4 p.m. deadline in predomi-
nantly Democratic Detroit.
Voting in Saturday's caucuses was not
automated. There were no private booths
in which voters could complete their bal-
lots. Caucus-goers simply checked their
preferences and turned their ballots into
polling site officials. The MDP tallied all
votes manually in Lansing after the polls
closed. Despite assurances that voters
would have to declare themselves
Democrats in order to cast their votes, no
such declarations were solicited at
polling sites Saturday.
After the two races in the South,
the campaigns will shift to Nevada
and the District of Columbia, which
hold their caucuses next Saturday.
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean
said he will end his candidacy if he
does not win in the Wisconsin pri-
mary next week.
U.S. races to tap bank
accounts of Saddam
The United States believes it has
found at least $300 million Saddam
Hussein hid in banks, yet doesn't
have enough evidence to get coun-
tries such as Syria and Switzerland
to hand over the money, U.S. and
European officials told The Associ-
The funds at stake could go to the
Iraq insurgency or the country's recon-
struction - depending on who gets it
first. What troubles investigators more
is that much of Saddam's cash may
already be gone.
The weak U.S. intelligence and
the slow-moving investigation -
now in its 11th month - have given
suspects more than enough time to
empty accounts and possibly trans-
fer some funds to Iraq's insurgency,
which has cost hundreds of Ameri-
can lives, officials involved in the,
Russia blast leads to
Russian officials renewed calls Sat-
urday for tighter security checks in
Moscow after a subway bombing killed
39 people, moves that could worsen
ethnic tensions as blame for the attack
fell on Chechen rebels.
Officials strongly suspected the
Friday morning rush-hour blast was a
suicide bombing, and President
Vladimir Putin pointed to insurgents
fighting Russian troops for Chechen
independence for most of the last
The bomb ripped through a packed
subway car after it left the Avtozavod-
skaya station and headed for the city
center, shattering windows throughout
the train and leaving the carriage a hulk
of twisted metal.
ST. MARC, Haiti
Rebels cause uproar,
try to expel president
Hundreds of Haitians looted TV sets,
mattresses and sacks of flour yesterday
in this coastal town, one of several
communities seized by armed rebels in
a bloody uprising against President
Using felled trees, flaming tires and
car chassis, residents blocked the streets
into St. Marc, a day after rebels drove
out police in gunbattles that killed two
people. Many residents have formed
neighborhood groups to back insurgents
in their push to expel the president.
"After Aristide leaves, the country will
return to normal," said Axel Philippe, 34,
among dozens massed on the highway
leading to St. Marc, a city of 100,000,
some 45 miles northwest of the capital,
-Compiled from Daily wire reports
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