2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 1, 2004
Iraq council drafts interim constitution NEWS IN BRIEF
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi officials reached
agreement early yesterday on the draft of an interim
constitution and will probably sign the document
after a Shiite Muslim religious holiday ends, a
but leaves it up to a future elected national assembly to
decide the details of self-rule for the Kurdish minority.
It allows the current Kurdish autonomy government to
continue "under a united Iraq," Qanbar said.
spokesman for a member
spokesman for council
member Ahmad Chalabi,
said the meeting ended at
4:20 a.m. with "full
agreement ... on each
article." Qanbar expected
the document to be
signed Wednesday -
one day after the end of
the Shiite feast Ashoura.
Top U.S. administra-
tor L. Paul Bremer, who
was closely involved in
the final days of negoti-
ation, must then
approve the document.
of the Iraqi Governing
The document also sets
"The atmosphere was very
language and creative ways
were brought to the table to
come out with consensus on
- Entifadh Qanbar
Spokesman for council member Ahmad Chalabi
aside for women 25 per-
cent of the seats in the
"The atmosphere was
very constructive," he
said of the long day of
language and creative
ways were brought to the
table to come out with
consensus on each issue."
The issue of the role of
Islam in the constitution
was a contentious one
throughout three nights
of talks. Conservatives
wanted Islamic law to be
offend the other side and give the impression that it's
an Islamic state."
Members Governing Council had been holding
marathon meetings for days trying to overcome serious
divisions over the interim constitution, a key step in
U.S. plans to hand over power to the Iraqis on June 30.
Meanwhile, Polish soldiers sprayed a bus with
gunfire after it crashed into a checkpoint outside the
holy city of Karbala, where Shiite Muslims are hold-
ing their most important festival of the year.
Eight Iranian pilgrims, an Iraqi civil defense troop-
er and a Pole were injured, police and emergency
officials said. But Polish officials denied there were
any pilgrims in the bus and said they appeared to
have thwarted a terrorist attack.
Coalition forces have stepped up security around
southern cities during the Ashoura festival, as 1.5
million Shiite pilgrims - including about 100,000
Iranians - converge on the shrine cities of Karbala
and Najaf. The festival marks the death of Imam
Hussein, a Shiite saint and grandson of the prophet
The bus, apparently having brake troubles, hit
a minivan and swerved into a concrete barrier at
the checkpoint manned by Polish and Iraqi secu-
rity forces, witnesses said. Polish troops appar-
ently thought the speeding vehicle was making a
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Search ends for missing in tanker explosion
The Coast Guard last night suspended the search for 18 crew members missing
from an ethanol-laden tanker that exploded in the Atlantic Ocean, and were
unsure whether search efforts would resume this morning.
The Coast Guard will decide whether to continue the search after a crew flies
over the area this morning, Chief Warrant Officer Gene Maestas said.
"Realistically, the longer the search goes on, the less likely it is that we
will find anyone who is still alive," Rear Adm. Sally Brice-O'Hara, com-
mander of the Coast Guard's 5th District, said at a news briefing earlier
The Bow Mariner, a tanker carrying 3.5 million gallons of ethanol, exploded
and sank Saturday night about 50 miles off Virginia's Eastern Shore. Three men
died and six were rescued.
Three of the survivors were released yesterday from Sentara Norfolk General
Hospital. The others were in good condition and could be released this morning,
hospital spokeswoman Ann Keffer said.
Two Coast Guard workers were treated for minor injuries.
Qanbar said the draft charter will recognize Islam as
"a source of legislation" - rather than "the" source as
some officials had sought - and that no law will be
passed that violates the tenets of the Muslim religion.
The draft charter accepts the principle of federalism
the principle source of legislation - phrasing that
Bremer had hinted he would veto.
"There was an agreement among all council mem-
bers that Iraq will not be an Islamic state," Qanbar
said. "The language was put in a way not to offend
the Islamic identity of most of the people but nor to
Israeli court stalls West Bank barier
Harvard reveals stem cell research plans
Harvard University plans to launch a multimillion-dollar center to grow and
study human embryonic stem cells, the school said yesterday.
The center, to be announced April 23 at a scientific conference, could be the
largest privately funded American stem cell research project to date, the Boston
Sunday Globe reported. President Bush, citing ethical considerations, has limited
federal funding for embryonic stem cell research to existing lines of cells.
Harvard issued a statement yesterday confirming its plans, saying the school is
"proceeding in the direction of establishing a stem cell institute." Final details are
not complete, it said.
"Harvard believes stem cell research is essential in advancing potential treat-
ments for serious human ills. Harvard will continue to work within the laws and
regulations in advancing these treatments," the statement read.
Harvard has not decided how much money needs to be raised for the center,
said Provost Steven E. Hyman. Scientists involved, however, told the Globe that
the fund-raising goal is about $100 million.
JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israeli Supreme
Court yesterday ordered a one-week halt to con-
struction at a section of the West Bank security
barrier where soldiers shot dead two Palestinians
during a violent protest last week.
Under intense international pressure, includ-
ing last week's highly publicized hearing about
the legality of the barrier at the International
Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands,
Israeli officials had already pledged to change
the planned route of the barrier to ease hard-
ships on Palestinians.
The Israeli court yesterday issued an order to
temporarily stop work on a section of the barrier
being built near Jerusalem while the military con-
siders alternate routes.
Also yesterday, two Palestinian militants were
killed in West Bank clashes with Israeli forces. Sol-
diers entered the Balata refugee camp next to the
city of Nablus and traded fire with militants, killing
Mohammed Zuheir Oweis, 23, Palestinians said.
Oweis was a member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs'
Brigades, a violent group linked to Yasser Arafat's
A few hours later, during Oweis' funeral, anoth-
er clash erupted and a second Palestinian, Iyad
Abu Shalal, was killed. Security officials said he
was involved in a December ambush that wounded
seven Jewish worshippers returning from an unau-
thorized visit to a holy site in Nablus.
At another funeral procession, this one in Gaza
City, militants threatened to hit back at Israel as
they buried three Palestinians killed in an Israeli
missile strike Saturday night near the sprawling
Jebaliya refugee camp.
Two of the three were prominent in the
Islamic Jihad, and their coffins were covered
with flags from the violent group. The third, a
supporter of the group, was a cousin of one of
"We promise Sharon that our retaliation is
coming soon," said a masked militant, referring
to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Meanwhile, police said yesterday they had
arrested three Palestinian boys who said they
were on their way to carry out an attack in the
Israeli city of Afula.
The boys - ages 12, 13 and 15 - were
among the youngest arrested in three years of
conflict. Relatives said they left behind letters
that indicated they did not expect to return alive
from their mission.
The father of one of the boys said he was furious
with militant groups for recruiting the children.
At the Israeli Supreme Court yesterday morn-
ing, Palestinian and Israeli opponents of Israel's
West Bank barrier won a temporary victory.
In its order stopping work on a section north-
east of Jerusalem - scene of the first fatalities in
anti-barrier protests - the court ordered the mili-
tary to grant hearings to the residents, Israel
On Thursday, protesters tried to stop bulldoz-
ers from flattening land for the barrier on the
West Bank side of the boundary with Israel,
opposite a Jewish suburb. Israeli soldiers
opened fire, killing two Palestinians and
wounding more than a dozen.,
Edwards rips into
Kerry during debate
Democratic presidential underdog
John Edwards dismissed John Kerry's
ideas as -"the same old Washington
talk" in a feisty debate yesterday, two
days before the 10-state slate of con-
tests known as Super Tuesday.
Edwards shed his congenial style and
delivered his toughest critique yet of
the Democratic front-runner. He said
Kerry voted for bad trade agreements
and that his proposals would "drive us
deeper and deeper into deficit."
In a swipe back at the freshman sena-
tor from North Carolina, Kerry, a 19-
year-Senate veteran, said the country
needs a president with experience and
"proven ability to be able to stand up
and take on tough fights."
Polls show Edwards trailing in all the
states that vote tomorrow, and he faces
increasing pressure to bow out if he can't
turn it around. He rejected the idea that
he was angling to become vice president.
Chavez sup porters
protest rec efforts
Chanting "Chavez! Chavez!" more
than 100,000 Venezuelans marched yes-
terday to support President Hugo Chavez
as opponents demanding his recall staged
demonstrations in several cities.
Venezuela's National Elections Coun-
cil said it would decide yesterday on the
validity of more than 3.4 million signa-
tures opponents say they submitted to
demand the recall vote.
Last week, the council announced it
would ask hundreds of thousands of citi-
zens to confirm that they had signed peti-
tions that have technical problems. The
decision infuriated opposition leaders,
who have urged followers to wage a cam-
paign of civil disobedience.
In Caracas, security forces fired tear
gas during a funeral procession for a man
killed in an opposition march Friday.
Buyers unaffected by
recent food scares
Mad Cow Disease. Fish tainted with
mercury and PCBs. Contaminated
green onions from Mexico. Bird flu in
ducks and chickens. Is anything safe to
eat these days?
Across the nation, many consumers
have made adjustments to their grocery
lists, opting for organically grown
meats and vegetables following recent
food-borne illness scares.
Most, however, expressed confidence
in the safety of the country's food supply.
"Mad Cow doesn't bother me," Ohio
State University chemistry Prof. Barbara
Pappas said while buying ground round,
steaks and chops in Columbus. "The
probability is so remote. A person smok-
ing next to me is more dangerous."
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
An Israeli security guard yesterday walks past part of the
concrete barrier separating East Jerusalem from the West
Bank village of Abu Dis yesterday.
Continued from Page 1A
weeks ago as rebels began driving
police from towns and cities in the
Yesterday, France decided to send a
detachment of between 120 and 140
soldiers to Haiti, said Catherine Colon-
na, spokeswoman for President Jacques
Chirac. She said the troops would arrive
today and they would work "in coordi-
nation with the United States."
A French military spokesman in
Guadeloupe said the contingent would
consist of 200 soldiers from the French
Caribbean territory of Martinique.
Though not aligned with rebels, the
political opposition had also pushed for
Aristide to leave for the good of Haiti's
8 million people, angered by poverty,
corruption and crime. The uprising
killed at least 100 people.
Anarchy reigned for most of the day
in Port-au-Prince. More than 3,000
inmates held in the National Peniten-
tiary were released. Looters emptied a
police station and hit pharmacies,
supermarkets and other businesses,
mostly on the capital's outskirts.
"Chop off their heads and burn
their homes," rioters screamed, echo-.
ing the war cry of Jean-Jacques
Dessalines, the general who ousted
French troops and torched plantations
to end slavery in Haiti.
Some anti-Aristide militants organ-
ized armed posses that prowled the
streets in pickup trucks, searching for
Aristide supporters. In the back of one
a man lay unconscious - or dead -
with a head wound.
But police moved in during the after-
noon, scared away the crowd in the front
of the palace, and the violence ebbed.
James Voltaire, 28, said Haiti's con-
stitution had been violated. "Whoever
the president is, it's going to be a losing
situation. As long as we don't see our
real president (Aristide) we will stay
mobilized," he warned.
It was unclear where Aristide would
go. U.S. National Security Adviser Con-
doleezza Rice said he was going to a
"third" country, meaning he would not
take refuge in the United States as he
did the last time he was ousted, in 1991.
Aristide's jet refueled on the island
of Antigua and was en route to South
Africa, government and airport offi-
cials in that Caribbean country said.
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