2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Two members quit Bush cabinet NEWS IN BRIEF
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney
General John Ashcroft, a favorite of
conservatives, and Commerce Sec-
retary Don Evans, one of President
Bush's closest friends, resigned yester-
day, the first members of the Cabinet to
leave as Bush heads from re-election
into his second term.
Both Ashcroft and Evans have
served in Bush's Cabinet from the start
of the administration.
Ashcroft, in a five-page, handwritten
letter to Bush, said, "The objective of
securing the safety of Americans from
crime and terror has been achieved."
"Yet I believe that the Department
of Justice would be well served by new
leadership and fresh inspiration," said
Ashcroft, whose health problems ear-
lier this year resulted in removal of his
"I believe that my energies and
talents should be directed toward
other challenging horizons," he said.
Ashcroft's letter was dated Nov. 2,
Evans, a longtime friend from
Texas, wrote Bush, "While the prom-
ise of your second term shines bright, I
have concluded with deep regret that it
is time for me to return home."
in Midland, Texas, where they would
attend church together and meet every
day for a three-mile jog.
"Don Evans is one of my most
trusted friends and advisers," Bush
said. "Don has worked to advance eco-
nomic security and prosperity for all
Americans. He has worked steadfastly
to make sure America continues to be
the best place in the world to do busi-
Ashcroft, 62, has been well liked by
many conservatives. At the same time,
he has been a lightning rod for criti-
cism of his handling of the U.S. end of
the war against terrorism, especially
the detention of suspected terrorists.
Evans, 58, was instrumental in
Bush's 2000 campaign and came with
him to Washington. Evans has told
aides he was ready for a change. He
was mentioned as a possible White
House chief of staff in Bush's second
term, but the president decided to keep
Andy Card in that job.
One name being mentioned for
Evans' job at Commerce is Mercer
Reynolds, national finance chairman
for the Bush campaign, who raised
more than $260 million to get him re-
Attorney General John Ashcroft - who resigned yesterday - addresses
participants in a Christian Coalition conference in 1998, when he was a
Bush issued statements of praise for
both men - and for the policies they
"John Ashcroft has worked tire-
lessly to help make our country safer,"
the president said. "John has served
our nation with honor, distinction, and
Bush's farewell to Evans was more
effusive and more personal, fitting
to their more than three decades of
friendship dating to the oil business
U.S. troops move deeper into Fallujah
NEAR FALLUJAH, Iraq (AP) - U.S. troops pow-
ered their way into the center of the insurgent strong-
hold of Fallujah yesterday, overwhelming small bands
of guerrillas with massive force, searching homes along
the city's deserted, narrow passageways and using loud-
speakers to try to goad militants onto the streets.
As of last night, the fighting had killed 10 U.S. troops
and two members of the Iraqi security force, the U.S.
military announced. The toll already equaled the 10
American military deaths when Marines besieged the
city for three weeks in April.
As the offensive moved into a second full day, up
to eight attack aircraft - including jets and helicopter
gunships - blasted guerrilla strongholds and raked the
streets with rocket, cannon and machine-gun fire ahead
of U.S. and Iraqi infantry who were advancing only one
or two blocks behind the curtain of fire.
Small groups of guerrillas, armed with rifles, rocket-
propelled grenades, mortars and machine guns, engaged
U.S. troops, then fell back. U.S. troops inspected houses
along Fallujah's streets and ran across adjoining alley-
ways, mindful of snipers.
A psychological operations unit broadcast announce-
ments in Arabic meant to draw out gunmen. An Iraqi
translator from the group said through a loudspeaker:
"Brave terrorists, I am waiting here for the brave terror-
ists. Come and kill us. Plant small bombs on roadsides.
Attention, attention, terrorists of Fallujah."
Faced with overwhelming force, resistance in Fallu-
jah did not appear as fierce as expected, though the top
U.S. commander in Iraq said he still expected "several
more days of tough urban fighting" as insurgents fell
back toward the southern end of the city, perhaps for a
Some U.S. military officers estimated they controlled
about a third of the city. Commanders said they had not
fully secured the northern half of Fallujah but were well
on their way as American and Iraqi troops searched for
Arafat in coma, takes turn for worse
A deeply comatose Yasser Arafat clung to life Tuesday after suffering anoth-
er downturn, his major organs still functioning but his survival dependent "on
the will of God," the Palestinian foreign minister said.
Palestinian leaders made preparations for Arafat's eventual death. They said
they would bury Arafat at his sandbagged headquarters in the West Bank and
turn the site into a shrine.
But the 75-year-old leader, whose condition has steadily worsened since he
was flown to a military hospital outside Paris on Oct. 29, would not be removed
from life support, Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath said.
"His brain, his heart and his lungs are still functioning and he is alive," Shaath
said after he and other Palestinian officials met with Arafat's doctors, his wife
and French President Jacques Chirac.
"He will live or die depending on his body's ability to resist and on the will
of God," Shaath said.
Shaath's remarks at a news conference underlined that the Palestinian leader-
ship was now in control of information about Arafat after days of confusing and
often conflicting reports about his undisclosed illness.
Airlines agree to tests on drinking water
The government and a dozen airlines struck a deal yesterday requiring sanitation
improvements and increased testing of drinking water aboard aircraft after officials
found evidence of harmful bacteria in the water of one in every eight planes tested.
At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would per-
form random water quality tests on 169 domestic and international passenger air-
craft at 14 airports throughout the United States and publish the results by the end of
the year. If coliform bacteria are discovered, the airliners will have to be disinfected
within 24 hours, unless the agency grants an extension because the plane involved
is outside the United States. In the meantime, passengers would find signs posted in
the lavatories and galleys of affected aircraft.
Two months ago, EPA tested drinking water aboard 158 randomly selected
domestic and international passenger aircraft and found that 12.6 percent had drink-
ing water that did not meet federal safety standards. Twenty of the tested planes
- small commuter aircraft to jumbo jets - returned positive results for coliform
bacteria, usually harmless itself but an indicator of the possible presence of other
FCC eases rules for Internet phone firms
Federal regulators gave a boost yesterday to the fledgling Internet phone
industry, removing a regulatory hurdle that threatened to drive up the cost of
making calls through cyberspace.
The Federal Communications Commission voted 5 to 0 for a petition by Von-
age Holdings Corp. of Edison, N.J., which had asked the agency to declare the
company's product an interstate service, giving the FCC regulatory control.
The move exempts Vonage and similar providers of Voice over Internet Pro-
tocol, or VoIP, from some key state-by-state regulation that the companies say
would add cost.
Gov't citing false links between abortion, cancer
In several states, women considering abortion are given government-issued bro-
chures warning that the procedure could increase their chance of developing breast
cancer, despite scientific findings to the contrary.
More than a year ago, a panel of scientists convened by the National Cancer
Institute reviewed available data and concluded there is no link. A scientific review
in the Lancet, a British medical journal, came to the same conclusion, questioning
the methodology in studies that suggested a link. The cancer information is distrib-
uted to women during mandatory waiting periods before abortions.
In some cases, the information is on the states' websites.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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