2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 29, 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -Insurgents Melissa Fleming, a spokeswoman
slaughtered 11 Iraqi soldiers, beheading for the International Atomic Energy
one, then shooting the others execution- Agency, told The Associated Press that
style, and declared on an Islamic mili- U.S. officials were cautioned directly
tant website yesterday that Iraqi fighters about what was stored at Al-Qaqaa, the
will avenge "the blood" of women and main high explosives facility in Iraq.
children killed in U.S. strikes on the Some 377 tons of high explosives
guerrilla stronghold of Fallujah. are now missing from the facility, and
The killing of the 11 Iraqi National questions have arisen about what the
Guardsmen yesterday was claimed by United States knew about Al-Qaqaa
the Ansar al-Sunnah Army, and what it did to secure
which posted a videotape WAR S N .RAO the site.
of their brutal deaths on its Iraqi officials say the
website yesterday, along with materials were taken
a warning for all Iraqi police and soldiers amid looting sometime after the fall
to desert or face death. The militants of Baghdad to U.S. forces on April
said earlier the soldiers were abducted 9, 2003, though the Pentagon is sug-
this week on the road between Baghdad gesting the ordnance could have been
and Hillah, 60 miles to the south. moved before the United States invad-
After forcing each of the soldiers to ed on March 20, 2003.
state his name and unit, the militants Fleming did not say which officials
forced one of them to the ground and were notified or exactly when, but
sawed off his head. The others were she said the IAEA alerted the United
forced to kneel with their hands bound States after the Tuwaitha nuclear com-
as a gunman fired shots into the back plex was looted.
of their heads. "After we heard reports of looting
A voice on the videotape warned at the Tuwaitha site in April 2003, the
all Iraqi soldiers and police to "repent agency's chief Iraq inspectors alerted
to God, abandon your weapons, go American officials that we were con-
home and beware of supporting the cerned about the security of the high
apostate Crusaders or their followers, explosives stored at Al-Qaqaa," she
the Iraqi government, or else you will told the AP.
only find death." "It is also important to note that this
Also yesterday, the U.N. nuclear was the main high explosives storage
agency in Vienna said it warned the facility in Iraq, and it was well-known
United States about the vulnerability through IAEA reports to the Security
of explosives stored at Iraq's Al-Qaqaa Council," Fleming said.
military installation after another IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei
facility was looted in April 2003. informed the United Nations in Feb-
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R AMA LLA H, West Bank
Arafat seeks Paris medical treatment
An ailing Yasser Arafat - too weak to stand, unable to hold down food and
spending most of yesterday sleeping - agreed to leave his battered West Bank
compound for the first time in more than two years and fly to Paris for urgent
The 75-year-old Palestinian leader's planned departure today, a decade after he
arrived in the West Bank with the promise of statehood, could mark the end of an
era. Arafat, who hoarded power and declined to groom a successor, leaves behind
a people in disarray.
Blood tests revealed he had a low platelet count, though it was unclear what
caused the ailment, his doctors said, ruling out leukemia. In deference to his dete-
riorating condition, Israel lifted its travel ban on Arafat, allowing him to leave his
battered headquarters compound in Ramallah for the first time since 2002 and to
return if he recovers.
Arafat will be moved to the Jordanian capital of Amman early today, then con-
tinue on to Paris for medical treatment, said Munnib al-Masri, an Arafat aide.
Jordan sent two helicopters to pick up Arafat.
A man cries for his slain son next to a charred civilian vehicle which was
blown up when insurgents set off a car bomb targeting a U.S. convoy in
Baghdad, Iraq, yesterday.
Bar bombed in Thailand's Muslim region
Fresh violence erupted yesterday with the bombing of a bar in Thailand's mostly
Muslim south, while villagers held a mass burial for some of the 78 protesters who
suffocated while in army custody this week.
The bomb exploded yesterday evening at a bar in the town of Sungai Kolok in
Narathiwat province, on the border with Malaysia, killing at least two people and
wounding 21 others, police said. No one claimed responsibility for the bombing
and police named no suspects.
Also, officials in Narathiwat's provincial capital defused a 22-pound time bomb
minutes before it was set to explode at a food stall where residents gather to give
offerings to Buddhist monks.
Narathiwat is one of three southern Thai provinces hit by violence attributed to
Islamic separatists. The violence has killed more than 400 people since January.
The three provinces have Muslim majorities, while Thailand overall is about 90
percent Buddhist. Southern Muslims have long complained of discrimination by
the central government.
ruary 2003, and again in April of that
year, that he was concerned about
HMX explosives, which were stored at
Elsewhere, two more American sol-
diers were killed - one in a car bombing
in Baghdad and the other in an ambush
near Balad, 40 miles north of the capi-
tal. At least 1,109 U.S. service members
have died since President Bush launched
the Iraq war in March 2003.
U.S. Marines also captured 16 sus-
pected insurgents in a sweep south of
Baghdad, bombed a suspected insur-
gent safe house in Fallujah and clashed
with guerrillas in Ramadi.
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The Associated Press
Even as big airlines are beginning to
successfully rein in labor costs - $1 bil-
lion in annual concessions from Delta's
pilots being the latest example - soar-
ing fuel expenses are essentially negat-
ing their effects, leaving many of the
carriers in perilous financial shape.
"It's like they're all treading water,
but they've got 100 pound weights
around their necks," said airline consul-
tant Robert Mann of Port Washington,
N.Y. "You can only do it for so long."
As a result of cutbacks in recent
years, labor expenses for the airline
industry as a whole are about the same
today as they were a decade ago at
about 34 percent of total costs, accord-
ing to the Air Transport Association.
But that masks the differences
between high-cost carriers such as Delta
Air Lines Inc. and UAL Corp.'s United
Airlines, and competitors such as South-
west Airlines Co. and JetBlue Airways
Corp. that pay workers lower wages.
And while all carriers have been hit
by higher fuel costs that Mann says will
account for about 17 percent of indus-
trywide operating costs in 2004 - up
from 12 percent in 2002 - executives
of high-cost airlines face the most pres-
sure to find other ways to cut costs.
For Delta, that meant winning an
agreement late Tuesday from nego-
tiators for its pilot union for a new
contract that calls for a 32.5 percent
wage cut effective Dec. 1 and no raises
for the rest of the five-year pact. The
airline's roughly 7,000 pilots, some of
whom earn as much as $300,000 per
year, must still vote on the contract.
Analysts said the Delta pact, following
earlier labor cost cuts at bankrupt carri-
ers UAL and US Airways Group Inc.,
increases the pressure on Continental Air-
lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp. to
squeeze concessions from workers.
After slashing its annual costs by $5
billion - more than half of which came
from labor - UAL is now seeking an
additional $1 billion in savings, much
of which is likely to come through lay-
offs at its United Airlines unit.
DreamWorks Animation Inc., the film studio behind "Shrek" and "Shark
Tales," went public yesterday on Wall Street, and its new stock immediately shot
up 36 percent.
The stock had been priced at $28 a share but opened at $38 on the New York
The company is being spun off by its privately held parent, DreamWorks SKG,
formed 10 years ago by Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen.
At its offering price, DreamWorks will raise $812 million from the 29 million
shares made available. After the initial public offering, Katzenberg and Geffen
will have 93 percent voting control of the company, leaving individual investors
with almost no voice.
Election workers kidnapped in Afghanistan
Armed men in military uniforms stopped a U.N. vehicle in Kabul yesterday, beat-
ing the driver and abducting three foreigners in Afghanistan to help oversee land-
mark presidential elections. The daylight kidnapping followed warnings that Taliban
militants could target foreigners in an echo of the brutal insurgency roiling Iraq. It
came less than a week after a suicide attack killed an American translator in Kabul.
Two of the kidnap victims were women: one with joint British-Irish nationality,
and another from Kosovo. The third was a male diplomat from the Philippines. All
work for Afghanistan's U.N.-sponsored election body.
A man claiming to speak for a Taliban splinter group, Jamiat Jaish-al Musli-
meen, said it was responsible. The veracity of the claim could not be verified.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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