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April 21, 2004 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-21

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2 - The Mich

Explosions NEWS IN BRIEF

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bus full of
BASRA, Iraq (AP) - Near-simulta-
neous explosions ripped through three
police stations in a southern Iraqi city
today, killing at least 40 people, includ-
ing schoolchildren, and wounding
some 200, officials said.
At one station in the Saudia district
of Basra, four vehicles were seen
destroyed, including two school buses.
At least one of the school buses
appeared to have been full of passen-
gers, an Associated Press reporter at
the scene said.
A police colonel said about 10 ele-
mentary school students whose bus
was passing by the Saudia station at the
time of the blast were among the dead.
The facade of the Saudia station was
also heavily damaged and there was a
hole six feet deep and nine feet wide
in front of the Saudia station.
British military spokesman
Squadron Leader Jonathan Arnold said
the blasts were believed to have been
caused by car bombs. The Iraqi colonel
said, however, that the blast may have
been caused by a rocket attack.
Also today, about 35 Iraqi insurgents
attacked U.S. Marines in Fallujah with
rocket-propelled grenades and small
arms, setting off a heavy gunbattle, the
military said. No casualties were
immediately reported.
Yesterday, guerrillas fired a barrage
of mortar rounds at Baghdad's largest
prison, killing 22 prisoners in an attack
a U.S. general said may have been an
attempt to spark an uprising against
their American guards.
A U.S. soldier was killed by a road-
side bomb in the northern city of
Mosul, the 100th American combat
death in April, the deadliest month
since the U.S.-led invasion began in
March 2003.
Ninety-two prisoners were wounded
in the mortar attack on the U.S.-run
Abu Ghraib prison, 25 of them serious-
ly, said Col. Jill Morgenthaler, a U.S.
military spokeswoman.
"This isn't the first time that we have
seen this kind of attack. We don't know
if they are trying to inspire an uprising
or a prison break," Brig. Gen. Mark
Kimmitt told The Associated Press.
All of the casualties were security
detainees, meining they ere'sii-
pected of involvement in the anti-
U.S. insurgency or of b3ng art of
Saddam Husseii's ousf ed rgime.
The prison houses some 5,000 secu-
rity prisoners.
U.S. Marines patrolling Baghdad
discovered the area the mortars were
fired from, but the insurgents had fled,
Morgenthaler said.
The attack was the bloodiest against
the sprawling prison complex in west-
ern Baghdad. In August, six security
prisoners were killed in a mortar attack
on the lockup, which was once Sad-
dam's most notorious prison.
In addition to the 100th American
killed, four U.S. soldiers were-wounded
in the roadside bombing in Mosul, Lt.
Col. Joseph Piek said. Three Iraqi civil-
ians also were wounded, he said.

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GOP supports overtime rule revision
Republicans yesterday embraced election-year revisions to the nation's over-
time pay rules, saying changes to an earlier Bush administration plan will take
away extra pay from far fewer white-collar workers.
Democrats expressed skepticism. The administration, said Sen. Tom Harkin of
Iowa, "simply is not trustworthy on the issue."
Labor Secretary Elaine Chao said the final version, released yesterday, would
allow more white-collar workers to remain eligible for overtime than in a draft
proposal issued 13 months ago. Blue-collar workers are unaffected.
"Workers will clearly know their rights and employers will clearly know their
responsibilities," she said. The revisions, which do not need congressional
approval, will take effect in 120 days.
Workers who gain overtime protections include lower-wage retail and restau-
rant managers. Middle-income workers such as office workers, cooks, inspectors,
paralegals, licensed practical nurses and technicians "will have their rights better
protected," the department said. Police officers, firefighters and emergency med-
ical technicians are named as holding jobs that will not lose overtime protections.
High court hears case on Sept 11 detainees
The government can't throw out prisoners' constitutional rights to make their
case in court just because the country faces new threats in the war on terrorism, a
lawyer for foreign-born detainees argued yesterday in the Supreme Court's first
case arising from the Sept. 11 attacks.
"It's been plain for 215 years," lawyer John Gibbons argued. The government,
he said, cannot create a "lawless enclave" where no court, American or otherwise,
can check up on things.
"The United States is at war," responded Theodore Olson, the Bush administra-
tion's top Supreme Court lawyer.
Foreigners held at the Navy's prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, want the
Supreme Court to give them a legal right "that is not authorized by Congress, does
not arise from the Constitution, has never been exercised by this court,' Olson said.
The justices seemed deeply divided over the fate of more than 600 men from 44
countries who have been held for more than two years at the Guantanamo camp,
and about the underlying questions concerning presidential powers in wartime.

Iraqi leaders set to
prosecute Saddam
Iraqi leaders have set up a tribunal of
judges and prosecutors to try ousted
dictator Saddam Hussein and other
members of his Baathist regime, a
spokesman announced yesterday.
Salem Chalabi, a U.S.-educated lawyer
and nephew of the head of the Iraqi
National Congress, was named as gener-
al director of the tribunal, and he has
named a panel of seven judges and four
prosecutors, INC spokesman Entefadh
Qanbar said. The tribunal, with a 2004-
2005 budget of $75 million, will also
prosecute any members of Saddam's
regime who are charged, Qanbar said.
A date has yet to be set for the trial
of Saddam, who was captured by U.S.
troops in December and has since been
held by U.S. troops at an undisclosed
location in or near Baghdad.
The court and prosecutors will deter-
mine charges against Saddam and his
former officials, Qanbar said.
India elections start
amid rebel violence
Undeterred by kidnappings, deadly
rebel attacks and 113-degree heat,
Indians cast ballots yesterday in the
first day of three-week parliamentary
elections that are expected to return

the prime minister's governing coali-
tion to power.
Rebels from the disputed province of
Kashmir to India's isolated northeast have
promised to sabotage the vote, a gigantic
undertaking in the world's largest democ-
racy. Violence across the country killed
15 people and wounded 18.
Attacks are relatively routine during
Indian elections. Voters appeared ready to
reward Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vaj-
payee for the booming economy and
efforts that have made prospects for peace
with rival Pakistan their best in years.
Israelis kill five in
response to attacks

U rih's,

Palestinians fired a barrage of home-
made rockets and mortar shells at Gaza
Strip settlements and towns inside Israel,
sparking Israeli reprisals yesterday that
killed five Palestinians and wounded 33
others, Palestinian hospital officials said.
Over two days, 15 Qassam rockets lift
Israeli targets, wounding one Israeli and
damaging at least five structures the
army'said. Ivwas one of the"most intense
rocket barrages in more than three years
of Israeli-Palestinian fighting.
Yesterday, two rockets hit the settle-
ment of Nissanit, one landed in the Erez
industrial zone in northern Gaza, and
three in the nearby Israeli communities of
Sderot and Kibbutz Niram, the army said.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports


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