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October 26, 2004 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-26

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 26, 2004

NATION/WORLD

Insurgents may hve taken bombs NEWS IN BRIEF

.{- f y

VIENNA, Austria (AP) - The U.N.
nuclear agency warned yesterday that
insurgents in Iraq may have obtained
nearly 400 tons of missing explosives
that can be used in the kind of car bomb
attacks that have targeted U.S.-led coali-
tion forces for months.
Diplomats questioned why the Unit-
ed States didn't do more to secure the
former Iraqi military installation that
had housed the explosives, which they
say posed a well-known threat of being
looted. Others criticized the United

States for not
allowing full inter-
,national inspec-
tions to resume
after the March
2003 invasion.
The White House
played down the
significance of the
missing weapons,
but Democratic
presidential hope-
ful John Kerry
accused President
Bush of "incredible
incompetence" and
his campaign said
the administration

"The most
concern h
these expl
could hav
the wrong
Internation
Ager

Al-Qaqaa is near Youssifiyah, an area
rife with ambush attacks. An Associated
Press Television News crew that drove
past the compound yesterday saw no vis-
ible security at the gates of the site, a jum-
ble of low-slung, yellow-colored storage
buildings that appeared deserted.
"The most immediate concern here is
that these explosives could have fallen into
the wrong hands," IAEA spokeswoman
Melissa Fleming. The agency first placed
a seal over Al-Qaqaa storage bunkers
holding the explosives in 1991 as part of
U.N. sanctions
immediate that ordered the
dismantlement
ere is that of Iraq's nuclear
program after
losives the Gulf War.
IAEA inspec-
e fallen in tors last saw the
hands." explosives in
January 2003
when they took
- Melissa Fleming an inventory and
ial Atomic Energy placed fresh seals
on the bunkers,
ncy spokeswoman Fleming said.
Inspectors vis-
ited the site again
in March 2003,
but didn't view the explosives because the
seals were not broken, she said.
Nuclear agency experts pulled out of
Iraq just before the U.S.-led invasion later
that month, and have not yet been able
to return for general inspections despite
ElBaradei's repeated urging that they be
allowed to finish their work. Although
IAEA inspectors have made two trips to
Iraq since the war at U.S. requests, Russia
and other Security Council have pressed
for their full-time return - so far unsuc-

"must answer for what may be the most
grave and catastrophic mistake in a tragic
series of blunders in Iraq."
International Atomic Energy Agen-
cy chief Mohamed ElBaradei reported
the disappearance to the U.N. Security
Council yesterday, two weeks after he
said Iraq told the nuclear agency that
377 tons of explosives had vanished
from the Al-Qaqaa facility south of
Baghdad as a result of "theft and loot-
ing ... due to lack of security."

Mohamed El Baradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy
Agency, speaks in Vienna in September.

cessfully.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman
said U.S.-led forces searched the Al-
Qaqaa facility after the invasion.
"Coalition forces were present in the
vicinity at various times during and after
major combat operations," he said. "The
forces searched 32 bunkers and 87 other
buildings at the facility, but found no

indicators of WMD (weapons of mass
destruction). While some explosive mate-
rial was discovered, none of it carried
IAEA seals."
IAEA analysts since have viewed sat-
ellite photographs of Al-Qaqaa, and only
two storage bunkers showed damage that
may have occurred in bombing during the
war, an agency official told the AP.

WASHINGTON
Rehnquist hospitalized with cancer
Chief Justice William Rehnquist, the leading conservative figure on the Supreme
Court for a generation, has thyroid cancer but will continue working while receiving
treatment.
Rehnquist, 80, underwent a tracheotomy at Bethesda Naval Hospital in suburban
Maryland on Saturday. While no details about his condition were released, a statement
issued by the court said he is expected to be back at work next week when justices
resume hearing cases.
Rehnquist's hospitalization little more than a week before the election gave new
prominence to a campaign issue that has been overshadowed by the war on terrorism.
The next president is likely to appoint at least one justice to a court that has been deeply
divided in recent years on issues as varied as abortion and the 2000 election itself.
Rehnquist, a conservative named to the court in 1972 by then-President Richard
Nixon and elevated to chief justice by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, sided with the
5-4 majority in the decision giving George Bush the presidency.
The thyroid gland, located in the neck, produces hormones that help regulate the
body's use of energy. There are several types of thyroid cancer, and it was not immedi-
ately known which type Rehnquist has.
WASHINGTON
FBI: Violent crimes decrease, murder up
Violent crime fell last year, with only a slight uptick in murders marring the
overall trend of fewer crimes across the country, the FBI said yesterday in its annu-
al crime report.
There were just less than 1.4 million crimes of murder, manslaughter, rape, rob-
bery and aggravated assault in 2003, 3 percent fewer than 2002 and a decline of
more than 25 percent from 1994.
The 2003 figure translates to a rate of 475 violent crimes for every 100,000
Americans, a 3.9 percent decrease from the previous year, the FBI report said.
Aggravated assaults, which make up two-thirds of all violent crimes, have dropped
for 10 straight years.
Murder was the only violent crime that increased in 2003, with the 16,503 slayings
reported by police to the FBI representing a 1.7 percent hike from the year before.
Nearly eight in 10 murder victims last year were male and 90 percent were adults.
Property crimes such as burglary, theft and theft of motor vehicles dropped
slightly, with the overall total of 10.4 million crimes in 2003 representing a decline
of less than 1 percent.
JERUSALEM
Sharon defends pullout plan to Parliament
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon opened a stormy debate in parliament yesterday
with a passionate appeal to lawmakers to support his Gaza withdrawal plan -
which has divided the country and weakened his government - as the only way
to secure Israel's future.
The withdrawal would mark the first time Israel has pulled down Jewish settle-
ments in the West Bank or Gaza, and Sharon is hoping a decisive victory in a
parliamentary vote scheduled for today will blunt calls for a national referendum
on the plan.
"This is a fateful moment for Israel. We are dealing with a difficult decision that
has few parallels," he said in a speech repeatedly interrupted by heckling from
hard-line opponents.
BEIJING
Powell discusses human rights in China visit
Secretary of State Colin Powell won agreement from top Chinese officials yes-
terday to resume joint discussions on human rights issues, but he failed to persuade
them to open a dialogue with old rival Taiwan.
China angrily removed human rights from the U.S.-China agenda last spring
when the United States introduced a resolution critical of Beijing before the U.N.
Human Rights Commission in Geneva.
Powell told reporters after high-level discussions here that the two countries "will
start talks about resuming our human rights dialogue."
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
MARKET. CPDATE
rMON. CLOSE Ca, -:ANGE

01

Palestinian led Sinai blasts, Egypt says

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - A Pales-
tinian refugee plotted the coordinated
bombings targeting Israeli tourists at
resorts in the Sinai and accidentally
killed himself while carrying out the
deadliest blast, Egyptian authorities
said yesterday.
Discounting the theory of al-Qaida
involvement, an Interior Ministry state-
ment said Ayad Said Saleh was motivat-
ed by the deteriorating situation in the
Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip, which his
relatives fled in 1967, and carried out the
attack with the help of local residents.
But security officials speaking on
condition of anonymity told The Asso-
ciated Press they believed the Oct. 7
attacks on the Taba Hilton and two
beach camps packed with Israelis may
have been carried out with help from
Islamic groups based outside Egypt,
though not necessarily Osama bin Lad-

aestinian refugee allegedly plotted resort attacks

en's al-Qaida group.
One car bomb devastated the Hilton
hotel in Taba, just yards from the Israeli
border, while two others rocked tourist
camps at Ras Shitan, a coastal village
35 miles further south, killing a total of
34 people, including Israelis, Egyptians,
Italians and Russians.
Egypt's Interior Ministry said the
attacks were masterminded by Saleh,
a minibus driver born in the northern
Sinai town of al-Arish, who was in
his early 20s. Saleh was killed in the
Taba Hilton bombing along with a fel-
low plotter, Egyptian Suleiman Ahmed
Saleh Flayfil, 39.
The statement said both men, iden-
tified through DNA testing, had been
trying to leave the attack scene but their

timed explosives went off prematurely.
Two other suspects were said to be at
large: Mohamed Ahmed Saleh Flayfil,
Suleiman Flayfil's brother, and Ham-
mad Gaman Gomah Tarabeen. They
were accused of carrying out the camp-
ground attacks.
Police also arrested five Egyptians
accused of playing lower-level roles,
including obtaining explosives and cars
used in the attacks. The statement did
not say when they were arrested or pro-
vide details of their capture.
The five are residents of the Sinai
Peninsula, a territory Israel captured
from Egypt in the 1967 Middle East war
and returned in 1982 under terms of the
first Israeli-Arab peace treaty.
The Interior Ministry said the three

L

cars used in the bombings were stolen
and the explosives were salvaged from
war armaments in the Sinai. The car
bombs, according to the statement, were
built using spare parts from washing
machines and other equipment.
A senior Egyptian official close to
the investigation told the AP that TNT
obtained from a Sinai quarry and RDX
explosives from war armaments were
used in the attacks. RDX is a key ingre-
dient in plastic explosives such as C-4
and Semtex.
Other officials and prosecutors said
about 1,100 pounds of TNT were used
in the Taba attack, while leftover muni-
tions from the Sinai war were planted
in two cars used in the Ras Shitan
bombings.
cingular,
AT&T
step closer
to merger
WASHINGTON (AP) - Justice
Department antitrust regulators cleared
the way yesterday for Cingular Wireless
LLC's $41 billion acquisition of AT&T
Wireless Services Inc., a crucial step
toward creating the nation's largest wire-
less telephone company.
The merger still must be approved by
the Federal Communications Commis-
sion. That approval could come as early
as today.
Under an agreement with the Jus-
tice Department filed in federal court in
Washington, Cingular must divest itself of
assets in 11 states.
"Without these divestitures, wireless
customers in these markets would have
had fewer choices for their wireless tele-
phone service and faced the risk of higher
prices, lower quality service and fewer
choices for the newest high-speech mobile
wireless data services," said R. Hewitt
Pate, assistant attorney general for the Jus-
tice Department's antitrust division.
Cingular is an Atlanta-based joint
venture of BellSouth Corp. and SBC
Communications Inc. of San Antonio.
Its acquisition of Redmond, Wash.-
based AT&T Wireless would create a
cellular phone colossus with 46 mil-
lion customers, topping the 37.5 mil-
lion customers of Verizon Wireless and
paring the number of national wireless
phone players to five.
Together the two companies have about
70,000 employees, although layoffs are
expected if the merger goes through.
The settlement requires the
merged company to divest assets
in parts of Connecticut, Georgia,
Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mas-
sachusetts, Missouri, Michigan,
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