2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 20, 2004
Iraq violence grows, claims 300 _ives NEWS IN BRIEF
Ira volecegrosais 30 ive NWSI RIM-EF"MM
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The Iraqi
prime minister insisted yesterday that
the raging insurgency - which has
claimed 300 lives in the last week alone
and resulted in a wave of kidnappings
- will not delay January elections,
promising the vote will strike a "major
blow" against the violent opposition.
Meanwhile, a grisly videotape posted
on a Web site showed the beheading
of three hostages believed to be Iraqi
Kurds accused by militants of cooperat-
ing with U.S. forces.
A separate group also claimed to have
captured 18 Iraqi soldiers and threat-
ened to kill them unless a detained aide
of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr
was freed, according to the Arab news
In another sign of continuing insta-
bility 17 months into the U.S.-led occu-
pation of Iraq, a suicide car bomb killed
three people in Samarra - a northern
city that U.S. and Iraqi commanders
have portrayed as a success story in their
attempts to put down the insurgency.
Over the past week, about 300 people
have been killed in escalating violence,
including bombings, street fighting and
U.S. airstrikes. Last week, U.N. Secre-
tary-General Kofi Annan warned there
could not be "credible elections if the
security conditions continue as they
But Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad
Allawi, who is heading to the United
Nations for this week's General Assem-
bly session in New York, said his interim
government was determined "to stick to
A young boy checks out a toy gun at a toy shop in Baghdad, Iraq, yesterday.
With violence on the rise in Iraq, toy guns are on a hot selling list of toy shops.
the timetable of the elections," which
are due by Jan. 31.
"January next, I think, is going to be a
major blow to terrorists and insurgents,"
said Allawi, who spoke with reporters
after a meeting with British leader Tony
Blair in London. "We are adamant that
democracy is going to prevail, is going
to win in Iraq."
Allawi, a Shiite Muslim, has been
insistent about holding elections on time
because of pressure from Iraq's Shiite
community and its most powerful cler-
ic, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who
fought for early elections. Reneging on
the vote would risk angering the gener-
ally cooperative Shiite religious estab-
Shiites, who are in the majority in
Iraq, are eager to translate their num-
bers into political power.
But several cities in the Sunni Muslim
heartland north and west of Baghdad
are out of U.S. and Iraqi government
control, with insurgents holding sway,
particularly in the city of Fallujah. That
raises questions on whether balloting
can be held there - and the legitimacy
of elections held without adequate Sunni
Republican and Democratic senators
urged the Bush administration yester-
day to face the reality of the situation
in Iraq and change its policies. A major
problem, said leaders of the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee on CBS'
"Face the Nation," was incompetence
by the administration in reconstructing
the country's shattered infrastructure.
WASHINGTON (AP) - While
record trade deficits and lost manufac-
turing jobs are campaign issues, U.S.
exporters are fuming because Congress
has yet to change corporate tax laws that
threaten their sales in Europe, America's
biggest foreign market.
The tax dilemma has produced a varied
alliance that includes racehorse breeders;
citrus, fruit and vegetable farmers; and
manufacturing companies, from small
jewelry makers to Detroit's auto giants.
More than 400 companies wrote Con-
gress this past week urging lawmakers
to pass legislation that is needed to end
penalty tariffs. They are being imposed
on more than 1,600 U.S. exports with
total annual sales to Europe of nearly
The European Union is increas-
ing the tariffs by 1 percentage point
for each month that Congress fails to
repeal a tax break for exporters. The
World Trade Organization has ruled
that the tax break amounts to an ille-
The penalty tariff, which started at 5
percent in March, has risen to 11 per-
cent. At first it was low enough that U.S.
companies could absorb the higher tax
rather than raise their prices in Europe.
But it has reached the point where it
is beginning to bite, and the penalty is
set to continue climbing until it hits 17
percent next March.
The American Farm Bureau Fed-
eration estimates that U.S. farmers will
lose $150 million in sales over the first
year the tariffs are in place. That would
cut sales to Europe on the targeted farm
products by nearly one-fifth.
"When you are looking at this size
of losses, the pain is going to be intense
unless Congress acts," said Pat Wolff, a
tax specialist with the federation.
The farm products range from cheese
produced in Wisconsin and Vermont to
Florida oranges and California limes
Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of
the Senate Finance Committee, is lead-
ing the fight to pass the corporate tax
bill. Grassley (R-Iowa) said U.S. jewelry
manufacturers - 95 percent of which
are small businesses - face stiff tariffs
on many products. Other manufactured
goods in the line of fire include steel,
toys and clothing.
Stephen Farrar, director of interna-
tional business for Guardian Industries
Corp., said his company is looking at
shipping its tinted auto glass to Euro-
pean customers from a plant in Thailand
rather than its plants in Pennsylvania and
Michigan if the tariffs do not end soon.
Both the Senate and House have passed
legislation to repeal the disputed export
tax language and replace it with a variety
of other tax breaks for corporations.
The two houses differ markedly on
how to structure the new tax breaks.
Each chamber also has added a vari-
ety of its own tax sweeteners to the pot.
Tha inhil : a rmdtihil+ nn;d1;- A r 11 i. -
Iran refuses U.N. nuclear demands
Iran yesterday denounced as "illegal" demands from the U.N. atomic watchdog
agency that it freeze all work on uranium enrichment - a technology that can be
used for nuclear weapons - and threatened to limit cooperation with the agency if
it moves toward sanctions.
But Hasan Rowhani, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, stopped short of outright
rejection of the International Atomic Energy Agency's demands and held out the
possibility of negotiations on the issue.
"We are committed to the suspension of actual enrichment, but we have
no decision to expand the suspension," Rowhani said at a news confer-
ence a day after the IAEA governing board issued its demand to freeze all
enrichment-related work and said it would judge Tehran's compliance in
"This demand is illegal," he said. "The IAEA board of governors has no right to
make such a suspension obligatory for any country."
"Actual enrichment" refers to the injection of uranium gas into centrifuges.
Rowhani indicated Iran's other activities, such as production, assembly and testing
of centrifuges, were likely to continue.
Reformist, nationalist lead Belgrade race
A pro-Western reformist and a hard-line nationalist loyal to Slobodan Milos-
evic led the race for Belgrade mayor yesterday, preliminary results showed.
The returns also indicated a close battle between the two rival groups elsewhere
in Serbia in key local elections.
Democrat Nenad Bogdanovic received 33 percent of the vote in Belgrade,
while ultranationalist Aleksandar Vucic garnered 29 percent, according to the
Center for Independent Elections and Democracy. The two will face each other in
a runoff vote in two weeks, the independent monitors' group said.
The Belgrade mayoral race has been a focus of Serbia's municipal ballot, after
recent legal changes made the capital city's leader the third most important politi-
cal position in the republic after Serbia's president and the prime minister.
Zoran Drakulic, a candidate of the ruling Democratic Party of Serbia, was third, drop-
ping out of contention with 14 percent of the vote, according to the unofficial count.
Sharon takes hard line against border rockets
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned yesterday that Israel will retaliate against
Palestinian rockets even if they are fired from civilian areas, and an arms manu-
facturer said Israel had installed a radar system in a border town to give warning
of rocket attacks.
Sharon's remarks and the reported radar defense were apparently aimed at hard-
line critics who say Sharon's planned withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 would expose
Israel to intense rocket attacks. Numerous Israeli military forays into northern
Gaza have failed to still the rocket fire.
In the four years of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, Palestinian militants have fired
dozens of inaccurate, low-explosive rockets at Israeli border towns and Jewish
settlements in Gaza.
The missiles caused deaths for the first time in June, when two Israelis, including
a 4-year-old boy, were killed. Many missiles have failed, falling into fields, while
others have damaged homes and cars.
Storm would have left poor to fend for selves i
Those who had the money to flee Hurricane Ivan ran into hours-long traffic
jams. Those too poor to leave the city had to find their own shelter - a policy that
was eventually reversed, but only a few hours before the deadly storm struck land.
New Orleans dodged the knockout punch many feared from the hurricane, but the
storm exposed what some say are significant fla iiFh6'Big Easy's civil d Js1I.h'
Much of New Orleans is below sea level, kept dry by a system of pumps and levees.
As Ivan charged through the Gulf of Mexico, more than a million people were urged
to flee. Forecasters warned that a direct hit on the city could send torrents of Mis-
sissippi River backwash over the city's levees, creating a, 20-foot-deep cesspool of
human and industrial waste.
Residents with cars took to the highways. Others wondered what to do.
"They say evacuate, but they don't say how I'm supposed to do that," Latonya
Hill, 57, said at the time. "If I can't walk it or get there on the bus, I don't go. I don't
got a car. My daughter don't either."
Advocates for the poor were indignant.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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