2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 2, 2004
Haitian rebels occupy police center NEWSIN BRIEF
AInstide says US. oJcales preparations for the new president, for-
mer Supreme Court Chief Justice BRUSSELS, elghlm
forced him to leave Haiti Boniface Alexandre, to assume officeFTj i n * tn USIT
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -
Rebels occupied the national police
headquarters but kept away from the
U.S.-guarded presidential palace after
their convoy entered the capital yester-
day to the cheers of thousands cele-
brating the ouster of President
Dozens of insurgents, packing an
eclectic array of weapons dating to
World War II, swaggered around a posh
hotel where rebel leader Guy Philippe
met with members of the political
coalition that opposed Aristide.
He was joined by rebel commander
Louis-Jodel Chamblain, who is a for-
mer army death squad leader and a
With U.S. military forces on the
ground and more on the way, Aristide
claimed they forced him to leave Haiti,
according to a telephone interview
with the exiled president after he was
flown aboard a contracted U.S.-govern-
ment plane to the impoverished Cen-
tral African Republic.
"Agents were telling me that if I don't
leave they would start shooting and
killing in a matter of time," Aristide said.
U.S. officials called the allegation -
repeated earlier by other U.S. critics who
said they were called by Aristide -
"absurd." President Bush's spokesman,
Scott McClellan, said, "It's nonsense,
and conspiracy theories like that do
nothing to help the Haitian people real-
ize the future that they aspire to.:
Philippe said he planned to make
as called for in the constitution.
"We're just going to make sure the
palace is clean for the president to
come ... that there is no threat there,"
he said as his convoy of 70 rebels
approached the capital.
But a half dozen U. S. Marines
guarded the National Palace at the
Champs de Mars plaza, and the rebels
did not approach.
Philippe has said that he has no
political aspirations but wants to rein-
stitute the Haitian army that ousted
Aristide in 1991 and that Aristide dis-
banded in 1995.
In the capital, there were reports of
reprisal killings of militant Aristide
supporters accused of terrorizing peo-
ple. An AP reporter saw four bodies at
Carrefour, on the outskirts of the capi-
tal, three of them with hands tied
behind their backs and shot in the head
The fourth body was that of a man
allegedly shot by police, said witness
"He ran out of the (police) pickup
truck and then it became a manhunt.
He went into a house. They found him.
And then they took him out and exe-
cuted him," he said.
Secretary of State Colin Powell said
U.S. forces "will have a lead role" ini-
tially in restoring order in Haiti follow-
ing the three-week rebellion that swept
Aristide from power.
The U.N. Security Council late Sun-
day approved the deployment of a
multinational force to Haiti.
The European Union yesterday started imposing millions of dollars in sanctions
on American goods but said it would stop the measure immediately if the U.S. Con-
gress repeals its export tax break legislation.
The U.S. legislation was ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization two years
ago and it authorized the EU to impose sanctions last year.
"The U.S. has not brought its legislation in line with WTO rules. We are therefore
left with no choice but to impose countermeasures," EU Trade Commissioner Pascal
Lamy said in a statement.
Although the WTO has authorized $4 billion in sanctions - the biggest amount
ever - the EU is taking a graduated approach, hoping to pressure. Congress to
change the Foreign Sales Corporation legislation while limiting the impact on Euro-
pean companies and consumers.
If the sanctions run on, they would cost U.S. industry some $300 million this year
and about double that next year, the EU said. Lamy was already trying to look
beyond the sanctions. "The name of the game is not retaliation but compliance:
countermeasures will be lifted the day the FSC is repealed," he said.
Catholic charity must provide birth control
In a precedent-setting decision, the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that
a Roman Catholic charity must offer birth-control coverage to its employees even
though the church considers contraception a sin.
The 6 to 1 decision marked the first such ruling by a state's highest court.
Experts said the ruling could affect thousands of workers at Catholic hospitals
and other church-backed institutions in California and prompt other states to
fashion similar laws.
California is one of 20 states to require that all company-provided health plans
must include contraception coverage if the plans have prescription drug benefits.
The high court said that Catholic Charities is no different from other businesses in
California, where "religious employers" such as churches are exempt from the
requirement. Catholic Charities argued that it, too, should be exempt.
But the court ruled that the charity is not a religious employer because it offers
such secular services as counseling, low-income housing and immigration services to
people of all faiths, without directly preaching Catholic values.
A woman holds her hands up as police do a random check for weapons on the
streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Iraqi constitution to be signed this week
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi leaders must still
decide on the form of a new government to take power
June 30 despite approval of an interim constitution at
the end of a protracted and sometimes stormy debate,
officials said yesterday.
Members of the Iraqi Governing Council agreed to
the interim constitution before dawn yesterday - two
days after the deadline. It establishes a bill of rights
and cements compromises on the structure of a future
presidency and the role of Islam.
The document calls for elections by Jan. 31, 2005 to
create a legislature, with a goal of having women in at
least a quarter of the seats. It does not say what kind of
government will run the country from June 30, when
the U.S.-led coalition hands over power, until Jan. 31.
Council member Adnan Pachachi said the form of
the new administration will be included in an annex to
the interim constitution once agreement is reached.
The charter also leaves open the question of Kur-
dish autonomy after negotiators were unable to agree
on that issue.
The new constitution will be signed by top American
administrator L. Paul Bremer and made public tomor-
row after the Shiite Muslim religious holiday of
Ashoura, a coalition official said on condition of
anonymity. The charter will remain in effect until a per-
manent constitution is drafted and ratified next year.
With approval of the interim constitution, the last
remaining step is to decide how to constitute a new
government to take power from the U.S.-led occupa-
tion authority on June 30.
Council members and U.S. officials have been
divided for weeks over a formula for putting together
the government - and it appears likely the United
Nations will have to intervene to help find a solution.
The American blueprint called for choosing a legis-
lature through regional caucuses, but the plan fell
apart after Shiite clerics called that method illegitimate
and demanded a national election. A U.N. mission
then judged that elections before June 30 are infeasi-
ble, leaving all sides looking for a new alternative.
The agreement on the constitution came on the third
night of marathon talks - two days after the deadline
agreed to by the council and U.S. officials. When the
deal was finally struck at 4:30 a.m. yesterday, dele-
gates gave a standing ovation.
"It was a very emotional moment," said Salem Cha-
labi, a representative from the Iraqi National Con-
gress, told The Associated Press. "We established a
bill of rights like no other in the region. It was quite a
remarkable thing" - even more so for being ham-
mered out in the former Military Industry Ministry, a
bulwark of Saddam Hussein's ousted regime.
"Compromises were made. Not everybody got what
they wanted," he said. But "everybody was happy'
The charter has a 13-article bill of rights, including
protections for free speech, religious expression,
assembly and due process and spells out the shape of
an executive branch.
Under the terms of the document, Iraq will have a
president with two deputies who would choose a prime
minister and cabinet. Chalabi said decisions by the
presidents and deputies would have to be unanimous.
Council members refused to say, however, how the
president and his deputies would be chosen - and it
was not clear whether there had been agreement on
"We established a bill of rights
like no other in the region. It
was quite a remarkable thing."
- Salem Chalabi
Representative, Iraqi National Congress
that issue. Shiites have demanded that the president be
a Shiite, with Kurd and Sunni vice presidents, but
other council members have resisted Shiite attempts to
dominate the executive.
One of the toughest issues was how to enshrine
Islam in the charter. U.S. officials and liberals on the
council succeeded in ensuring Islam is "a source" of
legislation out of many - as opposed to "the" princi-
ple source as conservatives had sought.
Fundamentalists backed down after a clause was
included underlining that no legislation will be passed
that contravenes the tenets of Islam, several council
Shiite council member Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim of the
Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq
said Iraq's historic and future identity was Islamic - a
fact that "must be respected."
The members, however, were unable to agree on the
terms and size of the Kurdish self-rule region in the
north, Kurdish leaders had demanded the right to keep
their militia as a distinct armed force and to control oil
and other resources in their region. They also sought to
add districts to the autonomous area.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip
Arafat adviser killed
by gunmen in Gaza
Gunmen shot and killed a well-
known adviser to Palestinian leader
Yasser Arafat in Gaza City early today,
security officials said.
Khalid al-Zaben was the best-known
Palestinian to be killed in what appears
to be growing power struggles in Gaza
City. There is concern that with the
weakening of Arafat's Palestinian
Authority and a planned Israeli pullout
from most of the Gaza Strip, a chaotic
situation might result, with Islamic mil-
itant groups angling for power there.
Al-Zaben, 59, was hit by 12 bullets
as he left his office in the Sabra
neighborhood, hospital and security
In other recent internal strife, rival
groups opened fire on each other after
an armed man slapped the police chief.
A policeman was killed in the exchange
technocrat as PM
President Vladimir Putin nominated
a low-profile technocrat to the post of
prime minister yesterday, signalling he
wanted a politically unambitious head
of government to push through sensi-
tive economic reforms.
The choice of Mikhail Fradkov -
who also could become a scapegoat if
the reforms fail - was announced six
days after Putin's unexpected dismissal
of Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov
and his cabinet in advance of this
month's presidential election.
"If Putin wanted to surprise people,
he definitely succeeded," said analyst
Masha Lipman of the Carnegie
Endowment. Lipman said the move
likely reflected Putin's desire to
improve relations with Western Europe..
Others saw Fradkov, 53, as a man
who would do Putin's bidding.
Most distant galaxy in
French and Swiss astronomers say
they have detected the farthest galaxy
ever observed, a glimmer that dates
back to when the universe was still in
The galaxy, dubbed Abell 1835
IR1916, is 13.23 billion light-years
from Earth - beating by a chunk
another galaxy that until now was
believed to be the farthest known
object, said France's state-funded
National Center for Scientific
Research, a major European research
Because light from the new find took
13.23 billion years to reach us across the
vastness of space, astronomers are see-
ing the galaxy as it was back then.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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