2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Gaza withdrawal plan approved NEWS IN BRIEF
.AL Z i.
JERUSALEM (AP) - Prime Min-
ister Ariel Sharon won a historic vic-
tory yesterday whentparliament voted
to approve his plan to withdraw from
the Gaza Strip and parts of the West
Bank - the first time lawmakers have
authorized the removal of Jewish set-
tlements from lands the Palestinians
claim for a state.
The 67 to 45 vote, with seven absten-
tions, gave strong backing to Sharon's
plan to evacuate 21 settlements in the
Gaza Strip, where 8,200 Jewish settlers
live amid 1.3 million Palestinians, and
four in the West Bank.
"I think that the prime minister of
Israel had a great victory tonight," Vice
Premier Ehud Olmert told CNN.
Sharon won with the help of dovish
opposition parties. Many members of his
center-right coalition, as well as religious
opposition parties, voted against him.
Sharon had hoped a strong victory
such as the one he securedyesterday
would allow him to fend off settlers'
calls for a national referendum on the
plan - something the prime minister
has denounced as a delaying tactic by
However, immediately after the vote
four key Likud ministers who had voted
in favor demanded Sharon call a refer-
endum or said they would resign from
Sharon's victory came a day after he
surprised both detractors and supporters
by giving a speech accusing settlers of
suffering from a "messianic complex"
and telling Palestinians that Israel has
no desire to rule over them.
Thousands of Jewish settlers demon-
strated outside the Knesset, or parliament,
in a boisterous show of force yesterday,
denouncing Sharon as a traitor.
"I came here to tell the people of Isra-
el that this is our land and my home,"
said David Pinipnta, 31, of the Gaza
settlement of Neve Dekalim. "No power
on earth can move me from it."
Sharon entered the parliament build-
ing surrounded by an unprecedented 16
bodyguards - reflecting security offi-
cials' fears of an attack by right-wing
extremists who believe the prime min-
ister is forsaking God's will by giving
up parts of the biblical Land of Israel.
Posters outside the Knesset declared
that "Sharon has disengaged from real-
ity" and "the evacuation of settlements
is a victory for terror."
The parliament vote took place
on the anniversary of two events that
embodied the Jewish state's history of
bloodshed and yearning: the assassina-
tion of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
nine years ago on the Jewish calendar
and the Israel-Jordan peace treaty,
signed on Oct. 26, 1994.
Notably absent from Israel's debate
on withdrawing from Palestinian ter-
A Palestinian man prays over bodies of 12 men, killed in an Israeli army
operation, during their funeral yesterday in Khan Younis, in the southern
Gaza Strip. Israeli troops withdrew from the refugee camp yesterday.
ritories are the Palestinians themselves,
whom Israel accuses of being unreliable
Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb
Erekat said Israel should not be making
unilateral decisions about the Palestin-
ians' future. "Now the seriousness of
the Israeli government will depend on
resuming negotiations with the Pales-
tinian Authority," he said.
Justice s cancer highlights
election s impact on court
Police arrest Muslims after riot; 78 die @
At least 78 Muslim detainees suffocated or were crushed to death after police
rounded up 1,300 people and packed them into trucks following a riot in south-
ern Thailand. Islamic leaders accused troops yesterday of overreacting and
warned the deaths could worsen sectarian violence.
The arrests followed a melee outside a police station, where protesters had demand-
ed the release of six Muslim men accused of giving weapons to Islamic separatists.
Six people were shot to death during the riot Monday, apparently by security forces.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, speaking to reporters as rumors of the suf-
focations circulated but before the 78 deaths were officially announced, tried to blame
the casualties on dawn-to-dusk fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
"There are some who died because they were fasting, and they were crammed
in tight," Thaksin said. "It's a matter of their bodies becoming weak. Nobody
did anything to them."
But the death toll shocked moderate Muslim leaders who accused security forces of
overreacting - a charge they have repeatedly made as the government has failed to
halt the violence that has claimed more than 400 lives this year in the southern region.
Allawi blames U.S. for soldiers' deaths
Iraq's interim prime minister blamed the U.S.-led coalition yesterday for
"great negligence" in the ambush that killed about 50 soldiers heading home
after graduation from a U.S.-run training course, and warned of an escalation
of terrorist attacks.
Underscoring the warning, insurgents made a new threat of nationwide attacks
against U.S. and Iraqi forces "with weapons and military tactics they have not experi-
enced before" if American forces try to storm the militant stronghold of Fallujah.
Prime Minister Ayad Allawi told the Iraqi National Council, a government over-
sight body, that coalition forces' negligent handling of security was responsible for
Saturday's deadly ambush along a remote highway near the Iranian border.
"It was a heinous crime where a group of National Guardsmen were targeted,"
Allawi said. "There was great negligence on the part of some coalition forces."
He said the Defense Ministry began an investigation into whether insurgents
had infiltrated military ranks to obtain information about troop movements.
Counting ends in election with Karzai winner
More than two weeks after Afghanistan's first presidential election, vote counting
wrapped up yesterday and interim leader Hamid Karzai emerged with a resounding
victory. With his inauguration to a five-year term a month away, the U.S.-backed
Karzai already is under pressure to ditch his coalition with powerful warlords and
tackle a booming narcotics industry that has become a major economic force in
one of the world's poorest nations.
Officials declared the vote count complete yesterday afternoon, giving some
1,500 weary staff at eight counting centers a well-earned rest in the middle of the
Islamic fasting month of Ramadan. Investigators were still examining about 100
suspect ballot boxes, but the election's chief technical officer said the count was
effectively "over and done."
"It's just these last dribs and drabs to be approved," David Avery said.
Cuba to phase out reliance on U.S. currency
Communist Cuba said "adios" to the Yankee dollar that shored up its strug-
gling economy for a decade, launching a two-week process yesterday to elimi-
nate the U.S. currency from its stores and businesses in response to stepped-up
President Fidel Castro said widespread use of the currency of his country's
No. 1 enemy, once seen as a necessary evil to stay afloat after losing Soviet aid
and trade, would be halted to guarantee Cuba's economic independence.
Cuba is "protecting itself from external economic aggression," Castro said in
a statement he asked his top aide to read on state television Monday nightTh
78-year-old Castro was also there, looking animated despite falling last week.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
TUE. CLOSE CIANGE
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Chief Justice William
Rehnquist's hospitalization for cancer brings with
it the prospect of the first Supreme Court vacancy
in a decade and is prompting speculation about who
might take his place.
Rehnquist has been the court's conservative
anchor for a generation. Even before his thyroid can-
cer diagnosis, most believed the 80-year-old would
step down in the next presidential term.
The illness could speed that up, possibly even before
the end of the Supreme Court's current term next sum-
mer. If Rehnquist retires, whoever wins the presiden-
tial election would pick the next leader of the court.
"Since it's the chief justice who's ill, it suggests
that conservatives have more to lose than liberals,"
said Douglas Kmiec, a Pepperdine University law
professor and legal adviser for the Reagan and first
The Supreme Court had no more information yes-
terday on Rehnquist's cancer, which was announced
Monday in a brief statement. The type of cancer,
how advanced it is and Rehnquist's prognosis have
not been disclosed, though -the statement said the
chief justice is expected on the bench when the court
The court said Rehnquist underwent a tracheot-
omy over the weekend at a hospital outside Wash-
ington as part of his cancer treatment. Yosef Krespi,
chairman of otolaryngology at St. Luke's-Roosevelt
Hospital in New York, said only aggressive or com-
plicated thyroid cancers require a tracheotomy.
The court is weighted with more conservatives
than liberals - but barely. Many of the closest cases,
like the 2000 Bush v. Gore decision that gave Bush
the presidency, are decided on 5-4 votes.
If Bush wins, and Republicans keep their narrow
control of the Senate, a Rehnquist retirement would
give Bush the opportunity to promote a sitting jus-
tice to chief justice, and put a new face on the court.
Three of the court's conservative members would
be good prospects: Sandra Day O'Connor, Clarence
Thomas and Anthony Kennedy. While Thomas
would be Bush's preferred candidate, the confirma-
tion likely would be at least as brutal as in 1991 when
Thomas was nominated by Bush's father and barely
survived accusations of sekual harassient.
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William
Rehnquist has been hospitalized with thyroid
SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. (AP)-Teen-
age sniper Lee Boyd Malvo accepted a
deal yesterday in which he avoided the
death penalty and was sentenced to life
in prison without parole for one of 10
slayings that terrorized the Washington
area in October 2002.
Malvo, 19, is already serving a life
sentence for another one of the killings,
and dropped his appeals of that convic-
tion in connection with yesterday's plea
bargain. Malvo could still face a death
penalty prosecution for other slayings.
Malvo was sentenced yesterday for
the Oct. 11, 2002, killing of business-
man Kenneth Bridges. Under the plea
deal, he also received an additional life
sentence for the shooting of Caroline
Seawell on Oct. 4, 2002. She recovered
from her wounds.
Malvo's guilty plea took the form of
an Alford plea, in which Malvo did not
admit factual guilt but acknowledged
the government has sufficient evidence
to convict him. He cannot appeal the
sentence. Malvo declined to make a
statement before he was sentenced.
Attorney William Neely said he con-
sulted with the victims' families and
they supported the plea bargain. "He's
spending the rest of his life in a maxi-
mum security prison where he'll be
locked down 23 hours a day, seven
days a week for the rest of his life,"
Malvo was convicted last year and
sentenced to life in prison for the Oct.
14, 2002, murder of FBI analyst Linda
Franklin, one of the sniper killings over
a three-week span in Maryland, Virginia
and Washington, D.C. His accomplice,
John Allen Muhammad, is on Virginia's
death row for one of the slayings.
Neely said after yesterday's hearing
that Malvo appeared to be heavily influ-
enced by Muhammad. When Malvo
was tried last varr his cawvers nut on
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On Election Dag,
Send Bush back to Crawford -
and put $40 in gour pocket.
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Janna Hutz, Managing Editor
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