2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 13, 2004
Crime rates at lowest level since 1970s NEWS IN BRIEF
WASHINGTON (AP) - The crime victims per 1,000 people in 2002. crime rates have leveled off confounds The low crime rate also has made
nation's crime rate last year held steady In 1993, the violent crime rate was 50 earlier studies that attributed it to such the problem much less of an issue in _
at the lowest levels since the govern-
ment began surveying crime victims in
1973, the Justice Department reported
The study was the latest contribution
to a decade-long trend in which violent
crime as measured by victim surveys
has fallen by 55 percent and property
crime by 49 percent. That has included
a 14 percent drop in violent crime from
2000-2001 to 2002-2003.
"The rates are the lowest expe-
rienced in the last 30 years," Justice
Department statistician Shannan Cat-
alona said in the report. "Crime rates
The 2003 violent crime rate -
assault, sexual assault and armed rob-
bery - stood at 22.6 victims for every
1,000 people age 12 and older. That
amounts to about one violent crime vic-
tim for every 44 U.S. residents.
By comparison, there were 23 violent
per 1,000 people, or about one in every
Murder is not counted because the
Bureau of Justice Statistics study is
based on statements by crime victims.
In a separate report based on prelimi-
nary police data, the FBI found a 1.3
percent increase in murders between
2002 and 2003 - from 16,200 to about
The new survey put the rate for
property crimes of burglary, theft
and motor vehicle theft in 2003 at
163 for every 1,000 people, compared
with 159 the year before. The slight
increase was not considered statisti-
A decade ago, there were about 319
property crimes per 1,000 people, the
There are numerous possible expla-
nations for the sharp, sustained decrease
in crime. But experts say the fact that
things as a more mature, less violent
drug trade or police tactics that focus on
national political campaigns.
It is almost never mentioned in
campaign speeches by President
Bush or Democrat
professor at Ameri-
Department of Jus-
tice, Law and Soci-
ety, said the reason
that crime is down
so broadly is diffi-
cult to pinpoint.
Two recent possi-
bilities, he said, are
a prison population
at a record 2.1 mil-
lion and the terror-
ism fight's deterrent
"The rates are the
in the last 30 years.
... Crime rates
- Shannan Catalona
Justice Department statistician
John Kerry, and
fewer people than
in past years now
list crime as a top
concern in opin-
ization Survey is
based on annual
effect on more routine street crime.
"Some of the mobilization for terror-
ism issues may have put a damper on
crime," Lynch said. "It has a chilling
effect on a whole lot of stuff."
people at least 12 years old. The FBI
does a separate crime study based
on reports it receives from thou-
sands of law enforcement agencies
Hurricane rampages through Caribbean
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands
(AP) - Hurricane Ivan battered the
Cayman Islands with ferocious 150-mph
winds yesterday, threatening a direct hit
as it flooded homes and ripped up roofs
and trees three stories high.
Ivan has killed at least 60 people as
it has torn a path of destruction across
the Caribbean and was headed next for
western Cuba, where it was expected to
hit today, and could brush the Florida
Keys and parts of Florida's Gulf Coast.
The hurricane, which grew to the
most powerful Category 5 scale with 165
mph winds Saturday, lost some strength
before it began tearing into the wealthy
Cayman Islands chain, a popular scuba
diving destination and banking center.
"It's as bad as it can possibly get,"
Justin Uzzell, 35, said by telephone from
his fifth-floor refuge in Grand Cayman.
"It's a horizontal blizzard," he said.
"The air is just foam."
The islands are better prepared for the
punishment than Grenada and Jamaica,
which were slammed by Ivan in the past
week - though Jamaica was spared a
direct hit Saturday. The Caymans have
strict building codes and none of the
shantytowns and tin shacks common
elsewhere in the Caribbean.
Still, emergency officials said residents
from all parts of the island were report-
ing roofs blown off and flooded homes as
Ivan's shrieking winds and driving rain
approached Grand Cayman, the largest
of threislands that comp'rise thieBritish
territory of 45,000 people.
The government said Grand Cayman
was "experiencing the most severe por-
tion of Hurricane Ivan" yesterday morn-
ing with peak winds of 150 mph.
"We know there is damage and it is
severe," said Wes Emanuel of the Gov-
ernment Information Service.
or parts of the state's west coast that are
recovering from Hurricane Charley.
Though there were no immediate
reports of injuries in the Cayman Islands,
the death toll elsewhere rose as hospital
officials in Jamaica reported four more
deaths, for a total of 15 there. At least 34
were killed in Grenada, where the hur-
ricane left widespread destruction. Scat-
tered deaths occurred on other islands
and in Venezuela.
A tropical storm watch was posted
yesterday morning for the lower third of
the 120-mile Florida Keys, from below
Marathon through Key West and the Dry
A mandatory evacuation was ordered
for tourists and 79,000 residents in the
Keys. Streets, bars, hotels and shops in
Key West were mostly empty, even as
officials in the Florida Keys said they
were "cautiously optimistic" the hur-
ricane could spare the islands from its
In Cuba, the threatened area includes
densely populated Havana, where traffic
was light yesterday morning as most took
shelter. About 800,000 people across the
island of 11.2 million had been evacuated
AP PHOTO by yesterday morning, with most seeking
refuge with relatives, the official Prensa
ca. Latina news agency reported.
"This country is prepared to face this
ph and a hurricane," President Fidel Castro said
oday. Saturday night.
a course The storm could dump up to a foot
he Flori- of rain in the Caymans, possibly caus-
ast. But ing flash floods and mud slides, accord-
already ing to the Hurricane Center. Its 150 mph
canes in winds were just one mile below the 155
ds yet. mph-level that would make it a Category
he east- 5 storm, the strongest category.
it ashore With Ivan approaching, hundreds of
h took a people left the Caymans on chartered
Insurgents kill 25 in central Baghdad
Insurgents hammered central Baghdad yesterday with one of their most intense
mortar and rocket barrages ever in the heart of the capital, heralding a day of vio-
lence that left at least 25 people dead as security appeared to spiral out of control.
Many of the dead were killed when a U.S. helicopter fired on a disabled U.S.
Bradley fighting vehicle as Iraqis swarmed around it, cheering, throwing stones
and waving the black and yellow sunburst banner of Iraq's most-feared terror orga-
The dead from the helicopter strike included Arab television reporter Mazen
al-Tumeizi - who screamed "I'm dying, I'm dying" as a cameraman recorded the
chaotic scene. An Iraqi cameraman working for the Reuters news agency and an
Iraqi freelance photographer for Getty Images were wounded.
Maimed and lifeless bodies of young men and boys lay in the street as the
stricken U.S. vehicle was engulfed in flames and thick black smoke. Across the
city, at least 104 people were wounded in explosions and barrages, the Health
Strong detonations again shook the center of Baghdad after sunset yesterday.
There were no reports of damage of casualties.
U.N. atomic agency confronts Iran
Iran's refusal to give up uranium enrichment - and banish suspicions it seeks
nuclear arms - set the stage yesterday for confrontation before a U.N. atomic
watchdog agency, with the United States lobbying to have Iran taken before the
Security Council for possible sanctions.
Washington appeared unlikely to get its way immediately at today's meeting in
Vienna, Austria, but its stand was bolstered for the longer term after European allies
agreed to set a November deadline for Iran to meet international demands to sus-
pend uranium enrichment and clear up other concerns about its nuclear program.
In a draft resolution prepared by France, Germany and Britain, the three Euro-
pean powers warned of possible "further steps" by November, the next meeting of
the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors.
Diplomats said "further steps" was shorthand for referring Iran's case to the
U.N. Security Council if the Tehran regime hindered the IAEA's nuclear probe
or if it refused to suspend uranium enrichment. A top U.S. official said the Bush
administration hoped for "a peaceful and diplomatic solution" in its effort to
ensure Iran does not obtain atomic weapons in violation of its commitments under
the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Jewish settlers protest Sharon's evacuation plan
Tens of thousands of Jewish settlers and their backers demonstrated in Jerusa-
lem yesterday against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to evacuate all settle-
ments from Gaza and four West Bank enclaves in a rally held against a backdrop of
assassination threats and warnings of civil war.
The withdrawal plan has upset the Israeli political scene since it was announced
last year, turning Sharon's backers into opponents and detractors into supporters.
Skeptical Palestinians believe the whole plan is a trick to annex large parts of the
West Bank to Israel.
Most of those filling Jerusalem to protest the proposed pullout were Orthodox
Jews - many of them teenagers. A huge banner behind the stage set the theme: "Dis-
engagement tears the people apart." Many waved blue and white Israeli flags.
Though organizers pledged to prevent incitement to violence, some signs said
the head of Sharon's disengagement committee would "not be forgiven."
SEOUL, South Korea
N. Korean explosion not nuclear, Powell says
A huge mushroom cloud that reportedly billowed up from North Korea wag
not caused by a nuclear explosion, South Korean and U.S. officials said yesterday,
but they said the cause was a mystery.
Secretary of State Colin Powell confirmed that unusual activity had recently
been detected at some of North Korea's atomic sites, but said there was no
concrete evidence the North's secretive communist regime was prepa r- ffx
its first nuclear test explosion.
The South Korean news agency Yonhap reported yesterday that a mammoth
explosion in North Korea produced a mushroom cloud more than 2 miles across
Thursday. It said the blast was stronger than an April explosion that killed 160 people
and injured an estimated 1,300 at a North Korean railway station when a train carrying
oil and chemicals apparently hit power lines.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
A Jamaican man looks Inside his damaged home Saturday after his
house collapsed as Hurricane Ivan passed through Kingston, Jamai
The airport runway was flooded and
trees were wrenched from their roots,
including a giant Cayman mahogany
next to the government headquarters in
downtown George Town. Radio Cay-
man went off the air, then resumed
At 11 p.m. last night, Ivan's eye was
about 175 miles southeast of the west-
ern tip of Cuba. Hurricane-force winds
extended 90 miles and tropical storm-
force winds out to 200 miles. Ivan was
moving west-northwest near 9 m
turn northwest was expected by t
Ivan veered west yesterday on
that would take it away from th
da Keys and the state's east coa
forecasters warned that Florida,
slammed by two powerful hurri
a month, was not out of the woo
Ivan's forecast track across t
ern Gulf of Mexico could takei
on the Florida Panhandle, whic
glancing blow from Hurricane]
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