2- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 21, 2004 NATION/WORLD
U.S. hostage beheaded in Iraq NEWS IN BRIEF 4
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A video his feet, and cutting his throat.
hosted vesterdav on ac webh site showed -I in XXacshnton 1 T S nf'fic-nl F
the beheading of a man identified
as American construction contrac-
tor Eugene Armstrong. The militant
group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
claimed responsiblity for the slaying
and said another hostage - either
an American or a Briton - would be
killed in 24 hours.
In other violence, gunmen in Bagh-
dad assassinated two clerics from a
powerful Sunni Muslim group opposed
to the U.S. presence in Iraq.
U.S. warplanes struck in the
insurgent stronghold of Fallujah,
killing two people, and a car bomb
in the north - the 32nd car bomb
in Iraq this month - killed three
people. Insurgents attacked a U.S.
patrol, killing an American soldier,
near Sharqat, 168 miles north of
The video of the beheading sur-
faced soon after the expiration of a
48-hour deadline set earlier by al-
Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad group for
the beheading of the three employees
of a construction company abducted
Thursday in Baghdad - Armstrong,
American Jack Hensley and Briton
A militant whose voice resembled
al-Zarqawi read a statement in the
video saying the next hostage would
be killed in 24 hours unless all Mus-
lim women prisoners are released
from U.S. military jails.
"You, sister, rejoice. God's soldiers
are coming to get you out of your chains
and restore your purity by returning
you to your mother and father," he said
before grabbing the hostage, seated at
speaking on condition of anonym-
ity, said Armstrong's body had been
recovered, but the official would pro-
vide no information about where or
when it had been recovered.
The taped beheading appears to be of
Armstrong, but the CIA is still review-
ing the tape to be sure, the official said.
The nine-minute tape, posted on a eeb
site used by Islamic militants, showed
a man seated on the floor, blindfolded
and wearing an orange jumpsuit with
his hands bound behind his back. Five
militants dressed in black stood behind
him, four of them armed with assault
rifles, with a black Tawhid and Jihad
banner on the wall.
The militant in the center read out a
statement, as the hostage rocked back
and forth and side to side where he sat.
After finishing, the militant pulled a
knife and cut his throat until the head
"The fate of the first infidel was cut-
ting off the head before your eyes and
ears. You have a 24-hour opportunity.
Abide by our demand in full and release
all the Muslim women, otherwise the
head of the other will follow this one,"
the speaker said.
Tawhid and Jihad-Arabic for"Mono-
theism and Holy War" - has claimed
responsibility for at least six hostages,
including Armstrong and another Ameri-
can, Nicholas Berg, who was abducted in
April. The group has also said it is behind
a number of bombings and gun attacks.
In a video Saturday setting the 48-
hour deadline, the militants demanded
the release of female Iraqi prisoners
detained by the U.S. military. The mili-
Ex-general leads in Indonesia election
A U.S.-trained former general who led the fight against al-Qaida-linked
extremists in Indonesia appeared headed for a landslide victory yesterday
in a presidential runoff heralded as a key step for democracy in the world's
most populous Muslim nation.
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who focused his campaign on fixing the econo-
my and cracking down on corruption, had nearly 59 percent of the votes in early
returns. Incumbent President Megawati Sukarnoputri had 41 percent.
The General Election Commission said about 20 million votes had been count-
ed by yesterday, from a turnout estimated at 147 million to 152 million voters.
The Washington-based National Democratic Institute, the international arm of
the Democratic Party, said its "Quick Count" survey gave Yudhoyono 61 percent
and Megawati 39 percent.
The group, which based its forecast on counts at selected voting stations, accu-
rately predicted the results of Indonesia's parliamentary elections in April and the
first round of the presidential election in July, in which Yudhoyono and Megawati
were the two leaders.
Fed to boost rates for third time tbis year 4
The Federal Reserve, wanting to keep inflation at bay, is expected to boost short-
term interest rates for a third time this year today, a move that would come in the final
stretch of the presidential campaign.
Private economists have mixed opinions on whether the economy is still work-
ing through or has already emerged from its late spring blues, but most believe the
economy is in good enough shape for the Fed to raise the rates again.
Inflation isn't currently threatening the economy, but the Fed wants to make sure
it doesn't become a problem, which is why economists anticipate Fed policy-makers
will increase the target for the federal funds rate from 1.50 percent to 1.75 percent.
That rate is the interest banks charge each other on overnight loans and is the Fed's
primary tool for influencing the economy.
Such an increase would mean that commercial banks' prime lending
rate, a benchmark for many short-term consumer and business loans, would
climb from 4.50 percent to 4.75 percent. The expected Fed rate increase
would come with Election Day just six weeks away.
GAZA CITY, Gaza City
Relatives and mourners yesterday pray for the soul of Sheik Hazem al-Zeldi, a
Sunni cleric killed by gunmen Sunday, before burial at Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq.
tary says. it is holding two women as
security detainees in Iraq, including
Dr. Rihab Rashid Taha, a scientist who
became known as "Dr. Germ" for help-
ing Iraq make weapons out of anthrax.
The militant on the video called
President Bush "a dog" and addressed
him, saying, "Now, you have people
who love death just like you love life.
Killing for the sake of God is their best
wish, getting to your soldiers and allies
are their happiest moments, and cut-
ting the heads of the criminal infidels
is implementing the orders of our lord."
Armstrong grew up in Hillsdale,
Mich., but left the area around 1990.
His brother, Frank, still lives there.
Armstrong's work in construction took
him around the world; he lived in Thai-
land with his wife before going to Iraq.
Planes' water qualit fails EPA test
Israeli airstrike kills two Hamas militants
Two Hamas militants were killed when an explosion ripped through their vehi-
cle in Gaza City yesterday in an Israeli airstrike, the second in as many days.
Hamas threatened to retaliate with suicide bombings inside Israel.
Israel is planning to withdraw its soldiers and dismantle all 21 Jewish
settlements in Gaza next year, and analysts predict escalating violence as
the pullout approaches.
Palestinian militants are trying to show that they are ejecting the Israelis by
force, while Israel is just as determined to hit the militants and demonstrate that it
would not tolerate attacks after the withdrawal.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Nearly
one of every eight passenger airlin-
ers flying in the United States carries
drinking water that fails Environ-
mental Protection Agency standards
because it contains coliform bacteria,
the agency said yesterday.
EPA enforcement chief Tom Skinner
said passengers whose immune systems
are compromised may want to avoid
drinking water from airplane galleys or
lavatories, although he noted that test
results were preliminary.
"This is something that needs further
,4alysis, but also in.mediate action,"
Skinner said, adding that the EPA will
begin further testing in a few weeks.
Air Transport Association spokes-
man Doug Wills said the airlines are
confident their drinking water is safe,
saying, "No one has gotten sick from
airline drinking water." His group rep-
resents major airlines.
In the United States, 90 percent of
municipal drinking water systems meet
EPA standards. The agency's testing
showed airline water was only slightly
worse: 87.4 percent of the planes tested
had water that met EPA standards.
The EPA randomly tested the water
sampling to determine if the bacteria
comes from the original water supply,
the tanker trucks that load water onto
planes or the airplanes themselves.
Air Travelers Association President
in August and
and jumbo jets
"This is something that
needs further analysis, but
also immediate action."
- Tom Skinner
Agency enforcement chief
pler said air-
line water can
stagnate in an
and that it can
pick up bacte-
really need to
make sure that
ducted by the Air Transport Association
and the Food and Drug Administration,
neither of which found any cause for
concern, according to the ATA.
Nancy Young, an ATA lawyer, sug-
gested the EPA's samples may have
been contaminated because they were
taken mostly from the aircrafts' lavato-
ries. Also, one-third of the contaminat-
ed samples came from foreign carriers,
Young said in a statement. Such plans
may have brought water from countries
with lower standards than those in the
Until more. testing is done, the. EPA
is working with airlines to develop new
guidelines on testing frequency and sam-
pling size, what to do when test results
are positive and how often to disinfect
and flush their tanks, Skinner said.
"We are working toward an accept-
able agreement with airlines, and if we
can't achieve that in very short order
we'll take enforcement action," Skin-
Illinois Capitol shooting kills security guard
An unarmed security guard was shot to death inside the state Capitol yesterday
by a gunman who then fled in a car, authorities said.
The officer was killed with one gunshot to the chest, said Col. Larry Schmidt,
chief deputy director of the Secretary of State Police. Authorities did not immedi-
ately provide a motive. After firing the shot, the gunman left the building, put the
weapon in the trunk of his car and drove away, Schmidt said. He said the guard
died in a hospital operating room.
Police said they were investigating an earlier shooting at a military surplus store
about 2 miles away involving a man who matched the description of the shooter.
Compiled from Daily wire reports
checked, 20 tested positive for total,
coliform bacteria, which could signal"
the presence of other harmful bacteria.
Two planes tested positive for E. coli
bacteria, which in a severe form can
cause gastrointestinal illness.
Skinner said the agency will do more
the water on
the airplane is drinkable," Stempler
said. "We recommend to our mem-
bers that they use bottled water for
The EPA conceded more testing
is needed to figure out why its results
differ markedly from similar tests con-
Mon. Close Chang
Dlow Jon~es 10,204.89 -79-57 2K
NASDAQ 1,908.07 -2.0
SP500 1,122,20 3
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