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February 17, 2004 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-02-17

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2 -The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, February 17, 2004 N EW S
Pakistan, India resume peace talks


Three-day negotilations
are first formal peace talks in
two and a hafyears
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -
Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pak-
istan began historic meetings yesterday
aimed at preparing for a sustained
peace dialogue on Kashmir and other
disputes that have divided the neigh-
bors for decades.
Pakistan is eager to show quick
progress during the three days of talks,
which also are likely to cover confi-
dence-building measures in the nuclear
field to avoid an accident.
India and Pakistan last held formal
peace talks in July 2001 in Agra, India.

Pakistan's President Pervez Mushar-
raf and Indian Prime Minister Atal
Bihari Vajpayee agreed to launch the
new dialogue when they met on the
sidelines of a South Asian summit in
Jalil Abbas Jilani, a director-general
in Pakistan's Foreign Ministry, and
Arun Kumar Singh, a joint secretary in
India's External Affairs Ministry, shook
hands and smiled before the start of the
meeting. The sides met for nearly two
hours before breaking for lunch.
Singh is leading a four-member Indi-
an team at the talks, the first real test of
the two sides' willingness to show flexi-
bility on long-entrenched positions,
such as the disputed Kashmir region.
Pakistani Foreign Ministry

spokesman Masood Khan said the
meeting took place in a "cordial
atmosphere and constructive manner."
"Both sides expressed satisfaction
over the progress made on the first
day," he said.
The two sides suggested dates for
future talks addressing eight issues,
including Kashmir, confidence-build-
ing measures in the nuclear field, ter-
rorism and drugs, economic
cooperation and a river dispute, diplo-
mats said. The timetable was expected
to be decided in the next two days.
A "line of control" divides Kashmir
between India and Pakistan, but both
claim the Himalayan territory in its
entirety. More than 65,000 people have
been killed in an insurgency that has

raged in India-controlled portions of
the territory since 1989.
Suspected separatist rebels shot and
killed a local politician yesterday as he
stood on a roadside in Srinagar, the
summer capital of India's Jammu-
Kashmir state, police said.
Two police officers nearby raced to
the scene and opened fire on the
assailants. One officer was killed and
the other wounded as the attackers
retaliated, and the attackers escaped.
In Muzaffarabad, capital of Pak-
istan-controlled Kashmir, more than
500 people from a political group
seeking Kashmir's independence
blocked a main street for nearly two
hours yesterday to protest the Pakistan-
India talks.
Kerry: Two
Bush tax
cuts should
be renewed
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - President
Bush, brushing aside concerns about
the unprecedented budget deficit,
renewed his demand that Congress
extend his tax cuts, and charged yester-
day that Democrats would hike taxes.
Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts,
the front-running Democratic presiden-
tial candidate, said he agreed with
Bush on keeping in place two tax cuts
mentioned by Bush. Kerry said Bush's
overall economic policies had failed to
create jobs.
"President Bush's failed economic
policies have resulted in the loss of 3
million jobs and the biggest surpluses
in history turned into the biggest
deficits," Kerry said.
The duel between Bush and Kerry
foreshadowed a major issue in this
year's presidential campaign, with
Bush trying to cast Democrats as tax-
hikers and the Democrats saying
Bush's tax cuts favored the rich.
The exchange exposed a fundamen-
tal policy difference: Bush wants all his
tax cuts made permanent, while Kerry
would halt tax reductions for Ameri-
cans who earn more than $200,000.
The tax bills that Bush signed in 2001
and 2003 contain expiration dates next
year on some provisions. The child tax
credit would drop from $1,000 per child
to $700, and some married couples,,
would have to pay more than they
would as two single individuals.
Kerry favors making permanent the
child tax credit, and permanently end-
ing the "marriage penalty," campaign
spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said.
Bush spoke at a window factory, the
latest such plant he has chosen to
showcase what he says are the favor-1
able impacts of his tax policies on
small business. His makeshift stage
was near the production floor, and he
was flanked by small business owners
and an employee.
The White House bills these events
as "conversations on the economy," but
there is never disagreement, only posi-
tive reinforcement of Bush's message.

Bremer may block Islamic law in Iraq
Iraq's U.S. administrator suggested yesterday he would block any move by Iraqi
leaders to make Islamic law the backbone of an interim constitution, which
women's groups fear could threaten their rights. Roadside bombs killed two more
American soldiers.
The U.S. military also said yesterday that gunmen killed an American Baptist
minister from Rhode Island and wounded three other pastors in a weekend
ambush south of the capital.
A grenade exploded yesterday in an elementary school playground in Baghdad,
killing one child and wounding four others. The children apparently triggered the
explosive while they were playing, Iraqi police said.
During a visit to a women's center in Karbala, administrator L. Paul Bremer said
the current draft of the interim constitution, due to take effect at the end of this
month, would make Islam the state religion and "a source of inspiration for the law"
Mohsen Abdel-Hamid, the current president of the Iraqi Governing Council
and a Sunni Muslim hard-liner, has proposed making Islamic law the "principal
basis" of legislation.
Brief claims gay marriage licenses illegal
As hundreds of gay and lesbian couples lined up at City Hall for the historic
chance to wed with the city's blessing, opponents filed legal papers yesterday
arguing that only judges can declare California's prohibition on same-sex mar-
riages to be unconstitutional.
In a brief submitted for a court hearing yesterday, lawyers for one of two groups
seeking to block the unprecedented wedding march said Mayor Gavin Newsom
was in blatant violation of state law when he directed the county clerk to issue
marriage licenses to gay couples.
Newsom has argued that the equal protection clause of the California Constitu-
tion makes denying marriage licenses to gay couples illegal. But lawyers for a
group formed to defend Proposition 22 - a 2000 ballot initiative that says the
state will recognize only marriages between a man and woman as valid - con-
tend the mayor lacks the authority to make that decision. "What the mayor and his
cronies have attempted to do is short-circuit the legal process by being both judge
and jury themselves," said Alliance Defense Fund attorney Benjamin Bull.


A police officer leads a man and his crying child to safety after a crowd accused the man of being an Aristide supporter during an
opposition march in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Sunday. Rebels continued to riot against Aristide yesterday near the capital city.
Rebels attack police station
in Haitian city near capital

GONAIVES, Haiti (AP) - Haiti's
rebellion spread to the central city of
Hinche yesterday as rebels aided by
former soldiers attacked a police sta-
tion and killed at least three officers,
including the police chief.
The rebels descended on the police
station in Hinche, about 70 miles
northwest of Port-au-Prince, according
to a Haitian security official who
spoke on condition of anonymity. They
killed district police chief Maxime
Jonas, pushed police out of the city
and threatened government supporters,
the official said.
At least 56 people have died since
the rebellion aimed at ousting Presi-
dent Jean-Bertrand Aristide exploded
Feb. 5 in the city of Gonaives.
Rebels armed with machetes and
rifles escorted an aid convoy led by the
Geneva-based International Committee
of the Red Cross into Gonaives yester-
day. The convoy was carrying 1.6 tons
of supplies, including blood and surgi-

cal equipment.
A surgeon and a physician were also
sent to treat some 40 people wounded
in the fighting.
"We are here to bring urgently need-
ed medical assistance to Gonaives,"
Pedro Isely, leader of the Red Cross
mission in Haiti, said yesterday after
arriving in the city.
In addition to the medical relief, the
international non-governmental organ-
ization, CARE, began distributing food
to people in Gonaives. About 50,000
people will receive a gallon of veg-
etable oil, while others will get sacks
of cereals, said Sandy Laumark, direc-
tor of CARE in Haiti. The distribution
will last about 10 days.
The rebels launched the rebellion
from Gonaives, 70 miles northwest of
Port-au-Prince, unleashing a deadly
wave of violence that has spread to
more than a dozen towns. Both sides
have suffered casualties.
On Sunday night, Aristide loyalists

"They have joined us.
We are creating a
national resistance....
We're going to take a
major part of Haiti'
- Winter Etienne
Rebel leader
reportedly killed two rebels in the port
town of St. Marc.
. Although the rebels are thought to
number less than Haiti's 5,000-mem-
ber police force, exiled paramilitary
leaders and police have joined their
forces, vowing to oust Aristide.
"They have joined us. We have cre-
ated a national resistance," Winter Eti-
enne, one of the rebel leaders in
Gonaives, said yesterday. "We're going
to take a major part of Haiti."

Official offers radical
West Bank proposal
A hawkish minister is trying to rally
support in the Israeli Cabinet for a
more extreme alternative to Prime Min-
ister Ariel Sharon's plans to withdraw
from the Gaza Strip and parts of the
West Bank.
The plan floated by Transport Minis-
ter Avigdor Lieberman would confine
the Palestinians to four isolated districts
in the West Bank.
Lieberman, from the far-right
National Union, on Sunday sent letters
to 10 ministers from Sharon's Likud
Party and another hardline coalition
party calling on them to unite around
his plan and provide suggestions.
"The issue is not to torpedo the
prime minister's initiative, but to pres-
ent an alternative," Lieberman told
Israel Radio.
Coming from a small, hawkish party,
Lieberman's plan has little chance of
SYDNEY, Australia
Street riots erupt m
Aboriginal ghetto
Mainly Aboriginal rioters set fire to
a train station and pelted police with
gas bombs yesterday during a nine-
hour street battle that began after a
teenager died, allegedly while being
chased by officers.

The overnight rioting in the Redfern
neighborhood, an Aboriginal ghetto of
Australia's most populous city, left 40
officers injured and highlighted contin-
uing tensions between authorities and
the nation's original inhabitants.
The street battle followed the death
of a 17-year-old Aborigine, Thomas
Hickey, who was impaled on a fence
when he 'fell from his bicycle. His
mother claimed officers were chasing
the teen, an allegation that police deny.
"It's got to stop, the way they treat
our kids," Gail Hickey said.
Dean.campaign loses
national chairman
Howard Dean yesterday pushed his
beleaguered Democratic presidential
bid across Wisconsin amid the depar-
ture of his national chairman, a fresh
sign of internal upheaval on the eve of a
critical primary with 72 national con-
vention delegates at stake.
Dean said little substantively about
the circumstances surrounding Steve
Grossman's exit.
But the former Vermont governor's
national campaign manager, Roy
Neel, said he thought Grossman
would soon join the campaign of
front-runner John Kerry.
"He's made clear in his on-the-record
comments to the press he has another
agenda at work now," Neel said.
- Compiledfrom Daily wire reports


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Free Screening!
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