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April 16, 2004 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-16

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I

2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 16, 2004

NATION/WORLD

Iranian diplomat killed in Baghdad NEWS IN BRIEF

_. .

NAJAF, Iraq (AP) - Gunmen
assassinated an Iranian diplomat in
Baghdad yesterday just as Iran, with
tacit U.S. approval, attempted to
mediate with a radical Shiite cleric
defying American forces in this
southern Iraqi city.
The slaying of diplomat Khalil
Naimi, shot in the head by unknown
gunmen while he drove near his
embassy, cast a shadow over yester-
day's unusual negotiating mission to
Najaf by the envoy from neighbor-
ing Iran, which fought an eight-year
war with Iraq in the 1980s and does
not have diplomatic relations with
Washington.
Iranian Embassy officials were
investigating whether there was a link
between the assassination and the

envoy's visit. Naimi was not a member
of the Iranian negotiating team.
State Department spokesman
Richard Boucher said "it's probably
premature to draw any conclusions
about whether it reflects anything
about the role that Iran has played one
way or the other in Iraq."
The Iranian effort to mediate with
anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr
was arranged by Britain and appeared
to have the approval of the United
States, reflecting an eagerness to find a
solution that would avert a U.S. assault
on Najaf - the holiest Shiite city -
aimed at capturing al-Sadr.
But it was not clear whether al-Sadr
would agree to meet with Iranian
envoy Hossein Sadeghi.
Al-Sadr was accepting mediation

only by an Iraqi political party picked
by Iraq's top clerics, said al-Sadr aide
Sheik Qays al-Khaz'ali.
Shiite Governing Council member
Ibrahim al-Jaafari said he saw "flexi-
bility from al-Sadr's side" and called
on the Americans to show "similar
flexibility."
Meanwhile, kidnappers freed three
Japanese hostages whom they had
threatened to kill unless Japan with-
drew its troops from Iraq.
At least 19 foreigners remained
unaccounted for following a wave of
abductions that accompanied the worst
violence Iraq has seen since U.S.
forces invaded Iraq. An Italian hostage
was killed by gunmen who threatened
to kill three other Italian captives.
Iraq's top U.S. administrator, L. Paul

Bremer, was involved in "multiple
channels" to try to negotiate an end to
the standoff in the south and in the
central city of Fallujah, said Gen.
Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff.
Myers warned there is a limit to how
long the Marines can put off a resump-
tion of offensive operations in Fallujah.
"At some point somebody has to make
a decision on what we're going to do,
and we certainly can't rule out the use
of force there again," he told a news
conference.
After relative peace during the day,
gunfire and explosions resumed after
sundown yesterday - as they have
nightly as Sunni insurgents and
Marines exchange fire over relatively
fixed positions.

WASHINGTON
CIA cautioned about terrorism in '95

Palestinians angered
at U.S. endorsement

The CIA warned as early as 1995 that Islamic extremists were likely to attack
U.S. aviation, Washington landmarks or Wall Street and by 1997 had identified
Osama bin Laden as an emerging threat on U.S. soil, a senior intelligence offi-
cial said yesterday.
The official took the rare step of disclosing information in the closely held
National Intelligence Estimate for those two years to counter criticisms in a staff
report released Wednesday by the independent commission examining pre-Sept.
11 intelligence failures.
That staff report accused the CIA of failing to recognize al-Qaida as a formal
terrorist organization until 1999 and mostly regarding bin Laden as a financier
instead of a terrorist leader during much of the 1990s.
But the U.S. intelligence official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity,
said the 1997 National Intelligence Estimate produced by the CIA mentioned bin
Laden by name as an emerging terrorist threat on its first page. The National
Intelligence Estimate is distributed to the president and senior executive branch
and congressional intelligence officials.
WASHINGTON
Nearly 500 counties fail air quality standards
Counties in 31 states are flunking air-quality standards, drawing a federal warning
to clean up industrial plants, put new restrictions on cars and take other action to
make their air less polluted.
Nearly 500 counties, mostly in California and the eastern third of the country,
were cited yesterday as having too much smog-causing pollution in violation of
the federal clean air law.
The Environmental Protection Agency told state and local officials to develop new
pollution controls to reduce ground-level ozone, a precursor of smog. Some 159 mil-
lion people, about half the U.S. population, live in areas singled out by the govern-
ment for contributing to unhealthy air. Acting under court order, the EPA identified
all or parts of 474 counties that either have air that is too dirty or have pollution that
causes neighboring counties to fail the air quality test. Despite having some of the
toughest air pollution requirements, California still has the worst air, the EPA said.
The Los Angeles basin was designated as having severe air pollution, the only one
in the category. The area has until 2021 to comply with the federal standard.

0
0

JERUSALEM (AP) - The strong
U.S. endorsement of Israel's "disen-
gagement" plan left angry Palestinian
leaders scrambling to galvanize inter-
national opposition yesterday.
Yasser Arafat vowed to "defend our
land and sacred places," and to stand by
a demand that Palestinians be allowed to
return to their homes in Israel.
Also yesterday, Israel's attorney gen-
eral ordered an unprecedented freeze
on funding for settlement construction,
saying the government broke a promise
not to divert money to unauthorized
settlement outposts in the West Bank.
In Gaza, 20 Palestinians were hurt,
four of them critically, when an Israeli
helicopter gunship fired a missile during
a raid of a refugee camp, doctors said.
Sharon's disengagement plan won
strong backing Wednesday from Presi-
dent Bush. Israel would withdraw from
all of the Gaza Strip and four small

West Bank settlements, and impose a
boundary on the Palestinians.
While voicing support for an inde-
pendent Palestinian state, Bush also
gave unprecedented U.S. backing for
Israel to hold on to some settlements in
the West Bank. He also ruled out allow-
ing Palestinian refugees to return to
Israel after a Palestinian state is created.
Those concessions enraged the
Palestinians, who want an independent
state in all of the West Bank, Gaza and
east Jerusalem, area Israel captured in
the 1967 Mideast war.
Arafat did not directly refer to
Bush's speech yesterday, but said that
"our destiny is to defend our land and
sacred places and our rights in freedom
and independence and the return of the
refugees ... to their homeland."
Palestinian leaders held a series
of meetings to try to gather interna-
tional support.

AP PH-OTOI
A Palestinian supporter of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement bums a Israeli flag yesterday
afternoon during a demonstration in the Bureij Refugee Camp in central Gaza Strip.

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The U of M Men's Glee Club ad
in April 15th edition of The Michigan
Daily contained an error. The ad
should have read:
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LONDON
Europe rejects truce
offer from bin Laden
Key European nations, including Iraq
war opponents Germany and France,
vigorously rejected a truce offer purport-
edly from Osama bin Laden yesterday,
saying there could be no negotiating
with his al-Qaida terrorist network.
Many saw the audiotaped offer as an
attempt to drive a wedge between the
United States and its European allies,
and one analyst said it might contain a
message to militants to hold back on
attacks against Europe.
The tape, which the CIA said is likely
to an authentic recording of bin Laden,
was broadcast on Arab TV stations offer-
ing "a truce ... to any country which
does not carry out an onslaught against
Muslims or interfere in their affairs."
In Italy, a nation shocked by the killing
of an Italian civilian captured by mili-
tants in Iraq, Foreign Minister Franco
Frattini said it was "unthinkable that we
may open a negotiation with bin Laden."
SEOULI
VP challenges Asia
to pressure N. Korea
Vice President Dick Cheney chal-
lenged Asian powers yesterday to do
more to contain North Korea's nuclear
program, saying that letting it grow
unchecked could spark a new arms race

in the region and create a weapons
bazaar for terrorists.
"We must see this undertaking
through to its conclusion" Cheney told a
university audience in Shanghai, China.
"Time is not necessarily on our side."
He expressed clear frustration with
the current diplomatic stalemate
before flying to South Korea, his last
stop of a weeklong Asia trip. The
speech was carried by China's state
television without deletions or
blackouts, which U.S. officials took
as an encouraging sign of change.
WASHINGTON
FBI warrants have
risen since 2001
The number of secret surveillance
warrants sought by the FBI has increased
85 percent in the past three years, a pace
that has outstripped the Justice Depart-
ment's ability to quickly process them.
Even after warrants are approved, the
FBI often does not have'enough agents
or other personnel with the expertise to
conduct the surveillance.
The"FBIstill is tying tbVtatiklV a
cadre of translators who can under-
stand conversations that are intercept-
ed in such languages as Arabic,
Pashto and Farsi.
These findings are among those of
investigators for the commission investi-
gating the Sept. 11 attacks.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports

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