2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Court to hear command ents case NEWS IN BRIEF
At issue: Can Ten Commandments can be displayed on Gov't nronert-
1 - - -- 1 1~ ;
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
Supreme Court said yesterday it will con-
sider whether the Ten Commandments
may be displayed on government proper-
ty, ending a 25-year silence on a church-
ebrated the news. "The Lord answers
prayers," said former Judge-Executive
Jimmie Greene of McCreary CountyKy.,
which was ordered to remove a display
in the hallway of the county courthouse.
state issue that has
legal fights around
are common in
town squares and
on other govern-
A wall carving
of Moses holding
the tablets is in
"Could you think of a
better reason to go to
jail than standing up
in defense of the Ten
Former Judge-Executive of
McCreary County, Ky.
Greene refused to
do the task him-
"I am a law-
but there is a high-
er power," Greene
said. "I just could
not remove that
Could you think
of a better rea-
son to go to jail
than standing up
in defense of the
the courtroom where justices will hear
arguments in the case.
Courts around the country have splin-
tered over whether the exhibits violate
the constitutional principle of separa-
tion of church and state.
The disputes have led to emotional
battles, such as one in Alabama by Chief
Justice Roy Moore, who lost his job
after defying a federal order to remove
a 5,300-pound monument from the state
courthouse. The Supreme Court refused
last week to help him get his job back.
But the justices agreed to address
the constitutionality of displays in Ken-
tucky and Texas. The case probably will
be argued in February with a decision
Supporters of the monuments cel-
The Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans
United for Separation of Church and
State said the court should block all
government displays of religious docu-
"It's clear that the Ten Commandments
is a religious document. Its display is
appropriate in houses of worship but not
at the seat of government," Lynn said.
The court last dealt with the issue
in 1980, when justices banned post-
ing the Ten Commandments in public
schools. That case also was from Ken-
Mathew Staver of the conservative
law group Liberty Counsel, attorney for
Kentucky counties in the current case,
said the Supreme Court has expected for
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott speaks near a granite slab bearing the
Ten Commandments on the Capitol grounds yesterday in Austin, Texas.
a long time that a blockbuster religious
liberty case would come along. "It's
finally here," Staver said.
Officials in two Kentucky counties
- McCreary and Pulaski - hung
framed copies of the Ten Command-
ments in their courthouses and added
other documents, such as the Magna
Carta and the Declaration of Indepen-
dence, after the American Civil Liber-
ties Union challenged the display. The
ACLU won and county officials are
appealing the decision.
David Friedman, general counsel for
the Kentucky ACLU, said people of dif-
ferent faiths follow different versions of
"Especially in a courthouse, people
should not be made to feel like outsiders
in their own community because they
may not share the prevailing religious
view," he said.
U.S. troops pound Sunni insurgents
U.S. considers softer position on Iran
VIENNA, Austria (AP) - Reconsidering its hard line on Iran, the United
States is weighing the idea of rewarding the Islamic republic if it gives up tech-
nology that can be used for nuclear arms, diplomats and U.S. officials said yes-
The diplomats, who spoke to The Associated Press from Vienna and another
European capital, said senior European negotiators directly answerable to their
foreign ministers planned to go to Washington this week for discussions with
top U.S. State Department officials on a common Iran strategy.
"Discussions are ongoing between the Americans and the Europeans on how
to address the nuclear question in Iran," a diplomat said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi offered European governments
assurances yesterday in Tehran that his country would never produce nuclear
bombs if Tehran's right to enrich uranium was recognized.
"The time has come for Europe to take a step forward and suggest that our
legitimate right for complete use of nuclear energy is recognized (in return for)
assurances that our program will not be diverted toward weapons," Kharrazi
POIANA BRASOV, Romania
NATO planning to speed up mobiization
Struggling to muster more troops for Afghanistan and take on an expanded
training mission in Iraq, NATO defense ministers will aim this week to advance
reforms that would let the alliance mobilize faster for far-flung operations.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is expected to take a lead in urging
more speed, particularly to get extra European troops into Afghanistan. He will
huddle today and tomorrow with the other ministers for NATO's first meeting in
one of the seven eastern European nations that joined the alliance in April.
"NATO, in our view needs to move faster, with a greater degree of commit-
ment and political will to help the Afghan government," Nicholas Burns, the U.S.
ambassador to NATO said ahead of the meeting at alliance headquarters in Brus-
Before flying by helicopter to the NATO meeting site, Rumsfeld met with Roma-
nian government leaders in Bucharest. At a news conference there, he deflected a
reporter's question on whether NATO would get military trainers to Iraq in time
to make a difference in providing security for the elections.
Flu shots delivered straight to nursing homes
The government moved yesterday to direct scarce remaining flu shots straight to
pediatricians, nursing homes and other places that care for the patients who need
But only a fraction of the 22.4 million doses that maker Aventis Pasteur has yet
to ship can be diverted to areas with the biggest shortages. And officials acknowl-
edged yesterday that even if planned rationing goes well, there will be high-risk
patients who struggle to get shots but can't find them.
"We're sorry for the people who need flu vaccine and may not be able to get it
this year," said Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. "But we will take every step that we can take to get an equitable distri-
bution of vaccine as quickly as we can."
Homeland security dept favors new cyber chief
Reversing its decision under pressure from lawmakers and the technol-
ogy industry, the Department of Homeland Security said yesterday it supports
appointing a new senior cybersecurity chief higher in its organization with
broader authority and more control over spending.
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said he supports the new position dur-
ing a meeting with the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, private experts
from the banking, transportation, energy and manufacturing industries.
Ridge told advisers he intends to elevate the cybersecurity job to that of a
new assistant secretary two steps below him in the chain of command, said Paul
Kurtz, a former White House cybersecurity adviser who attended the meeting.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
M ARKE T UPDATE
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - U.S. troops went on the
offensive from the gates of Baghdad to the Syrian
border yesterday, pounding Sunni insurgent positions
from the air and supporting Iraqi soldiers in raids on
mosques suspected of harboring extremists.
American and Iraqi forces launched the opera-
tions ahead of Ramadan, which will start at week's
end, in an apparent attempt at preventing a repeat of
the insurgent violence that took place at the start of
last year's Muslim holy month.
Clashes broke out in a string of militant strong-
holds from Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad,
northward along the Euphrates Valley to the Syrian
border town of Qaim - all major conflict areas.
Some of the sharpest exchanges took place in Hit,
90 miles northwest of Baghdad, where residents
and hospital officials said U.S. aircraft attacked
two sites, killing two people and wounding five.
The U.S. command had no comment.
U.S. helicopters fired on a mosque in Hit on Mon-
day and set it ablaze after the military said insurgents
opened fire on Marines from the sanctuary. Scattered
clashes were reported overnight, killing at least two
Iraqis and wounding 15, hospital official said.
Insurgents attacked an Iraqi National Guard outpost
east of Qaim yesterday, the U.S. military said. The
local hospital reported 15 to 20 people were killed.
Seventy miles west of Baghdad, Iraqi troops backed
by U.S. soldiers and Marines raided seven mosques in
the Sunni insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, arresting
a locally prominent member of a clerical association
and three other people. They also seized bomb-mak-
ing materials and "insurgent propaganda" in the
mosques, U.S. officials said.
In Baghdad, the Association of Muslim Scholars,
a Sunni clerical group suspected of links to the insur-
gency, condemned the mosque raids as an example
of alleged American hostility toward Islam.
"I think there is a religious ideology that drives
the American troops," said the association's official
spokesman, Mohammed Bashar al-Faydhi. "Presi-
dent Bush has said at the beginning of the war that
this is a 'crusade,' " he said, referring to the Chris-
tian attacks on Muslims in the Middle Ages.
Angry Ramadi residents accused the Americans
of breaking down doors and violating the sanctity
"This cowboy behavior cannot be accepted," said
cleric Abdullah Abu Omar. "The Americans seem to
have lost their senses and have gone out of control."
However, the raids followed a surge in insurgent
attacks in Ramadi, and the U.S. command accused the
Clashes broke out in a string
of militant strongholds
from Fallujah to the Syrian
border town of Qaim.
militants of violating the sanctity of the mosques by
using them for military purposes. Marine spokesman
Maj. Francis Piccoli said U.S. troops provided backup
for the Iraqi soldiers but did not enter the mosques.
In Fallujah, the focal point for Sunni resistance,
residents reported explosions and clashes on the east-
ern edge of the city yesterday afternoon. At least five
people were killed and four wounded in the blasts,
according to Fallujah General Hospital. The victims
were reportedly traveling in a truck and two cars on
a highway outside the city when they came under
fire. The U.S. command issued no statement.
The renewed activity around Fallujah followed
a pair of pre-dawn airstrikes, which the U.S. com-
mand said targeted hideouts and meeting places
of the feared Tawhid and Jihad, the terrorist group
responsible for numerous kidnappings and behead-
ings of foreign hostages.
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