2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 11, 2004
Gonzales NEWS IN BRIEF
WASHINGTON (AP) - With a
hug and words of high praise, Presi-
dent Bush named Alberto Gonzales as
attorney general yesterday, elevating the
administration's most prominent His-
panic to a highly visible post in the war
"His sharp intellect and sound judg-
ment have helped shape our policies in
the war on terror," Bush said of the man
who has served as the White House's
top lawyer over the past four years.
In an announcement in the Roos-
evelt Room of the White House, Bush
touched on Gonzales's personal story
- a boy who grew up poor in a fam-
ily of eight children in a two-bedroom
house in Texas - and now is in line for
a Cabinet post.
"'Just give me a chance to prove
myself,' that is a common prayer for
those in my community," said Gonza-
les, who would be the first Hispanic to
hold the nation's top law enforcement
job. "Mr. President, thank you for that
If confirmed by the Senate, the 49-
year-old Texan would replace John
Ashcroft, who announced plans on
Tuesday to step down after four stormy
years in the post.
Even before the formal announce-
ment, one Senate liberal welcomed the
appointment of "someone less polariz-
ing" to the position. "We will have to
review his record very carefully, but I
can tell you already he's a better can-
didate than John Ashcroft," said Sen.
Charles Schumer, (D-N.Y.), a member
of the Judiciary Committee.
Commerce Secretary Donald Evans
also announced his resignation on
Tuesday, and Republican officials have
said they expect other departures from
Bush's Cabinet and senior staff as he
prepares for a second term in office.
Gonzales's career has been linked
with Bush for at least a decade, serv-
ing as general counsel when Bush was
governor of Texas, and then as secretary
of state and as a justice on the Texas
"My confidence in Al was high to begin
with. It has only grown with time," the
president said, hugging his longtime Texas
confidant as he concluded his remarks.
Gonzales has been at the center of
developing Bush's positions on balancing
civil liberties with waging the war on ter-
rorism - opening the White House coun-
sel to the same line of criticism that has
UDEN, Netherlands (AP) - The bra-
zen daylight murder of a filmmaker who
criticized Islamic fundamentalism has
shattered Holland's fabled tranquility.
A wave of attacks on mosques and
churches - and a firebombing at a
Muslim elementary school - is raising
troubling questions about Dutch soci-
ety's relations with a large and increas-
ingly restive Muslim minority.
Marion Cappendijk can't understand
the outburst of violence. "We are so
tolerant here," she said yesterday as
she looked at the smoldering rubble of
the school, the 14th Muslim building
attacked by arsonists, bombers or graf-
fiti sprayers in five days.
The Nov. 2 killing of Dutch film-
maker Theo van Gogh, allegedly by
an Islamic extremist, unleashed pow-
erful resentments that have shaken
"Extremism is reaching the roots of
our democracy," Prime Minister Jan
Peter Balkenende warned Parliament
A tradition of ethnic and religious
harmony, a well-known tolerance for
marijuana use and avant-garde poli-
cies on euthanasia and alternative
medicine have made the Netherlands
synonymous for many people with
But van Gogh's murder and the ensu-
ing attacks are only the latest and most
dramatic signs of ethnic turmoil here
- an uneasiness that mirrors tensions
throughout Europe between host and
In neighboring Belgium, a recent
opinion poll ranked an anti-immigrant
party as the most popular in Dutch-
U.S. claims extensive control of city
U.S. forces cornered insurgents yesterday in a small pockets of Fallujah after a
stunningly swift advance that seized control of 70 percent of the militant strong-
hold. An Iraqi general said troops found "hostage slaughterhouses" where foreign
captives had been killed.
The abandoned houses in northern Fallujah had hostages' documents, CDs
showing captives being killed and black clothing worn by militants in videos, Maj.
Gen. Abdul Qader Mohammed Jassem Mohan said.
But it appeared troops did not find any of the at least nine foreigners still in
kidnappers' hands - including two Americans. "We have found hostage slaugh-
terhouses in Fallujah that were used by these people," Mohan said. But he said he
did not know which hostages' documents were uncovered.
The speed of the U.S. drive in Fallujah may indicate that most Sunni fighters
and their leaders abandoned the city before the offensive and moved elsewhere to
carry on the fight, U.S. officers said. The most notorious kidnapper, Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi, is believed to have fled the city.
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast
France, U.S. evacuate trapped foreigners
France, the United States and other nations launched one of the largest evacuations
of Africa's post-independence era yesterday, requisitioning commercial jets to fly out
thousands of foreigners following attacks on civilians and peacekeeping troops.
French soldiers in boats plucked some of their trapped citizens from the banks
of Abidjan's lagoons.
Long convoys sent out by the U.S. Embassy and other nations rounded up foreigners
from their homes for evacuation as Ivory Coast's state TV alternately appealed for calm
and for a mass uprising against the French, the country's former colonial rulers.
By late afternoon, much of Ivory Coast's largest city was quiet - the first break
from violence since Saturday.
French President Jacques Chirac sternly demanded that President Laurent
Gbagbo rein in thousands of hard-line supporters, whose looting and arson attacks
often have failed to discriminate among foreigners.
Ivory Coast's "government is pushing to kill white people - not just the French, all
white people," said Marie Noel Mion, rescued in a wooden boat at daybreak and wait-
ing with hundreds of others at Abidjan's airport, some camped in tents on the floor.
Fed bumps interest rates up quarter point
The Federal Reserve nudged interest rates up another quarter point yesterday, the
fourth moderate rate increase in the past five months, as Fed officials pointed to encour-
aging signs that the economy is finally rebounding from its summer slowdown.
The generally more upbeat tone to the Fed's official announcement was seen
by many private economists as a signal that rates will keep moving higher in
"The Fed is saying that we have tightened, and we are going to keep on tighten-
ing," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's in New York.
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and his colleagues took note of a
strengthening economy by speaking more positively than they had at their last meet-
ing in September about overall economic growth and the health of the labor market.
Bush pushing private Social Security accounts
Fresh off re-election, President Bush is dusting off an ambitious plan to overhaul
Social Security, a controversial proposal that had been shelved because of politics
and the administration's focus on tax cuts and terrorism.
Bush envisions a framework that would partially privatize Social Security with
personal investment accounts similar to 401(k) plans.
A starting point is a plan proposed by a presidential commission in 2001 that
would divert 2 percent of workers' payroll taxes into private accounts. The remain-
ing 4.2 percent - and the Social Security taxes employers pay - would go into the
system, helping fund benefits for current retirees. That leaves a shortfall of at least
$2 trillion to continue funding benefits for those current retirees.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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