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November 16, 2004 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-16

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Israel hints
at restarting
peace talks

,. e 'wis.

Indications of new


Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., left, the incoming president of the U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops, and outgoing President Bishop Wilton Gregory of Belleville,
Iii., attend the bishops' annual meeting in Washington yesterday.
Bshops elect prCesident
from troubled diocese

WASHINGTON (AP) - America's Roman
Catholic bishops chose a new president yesterday
who has released the names of priests accused of
molesting children and reached out to victims but
who also plans to seek bankruptcy protection for
his diocese because of abuse claims.
Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., was
elected conference president by his fellow bishops
on the first ballot, just days after announcing his
diocese will go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Skylstad, who has served as conference vice
president for the past three years, received 120
votes, or 52 percent of the total in a field of 10
candidates. Every vice president who has sought
the top job has won.
Chicago Cardinal Francis George was elected
vice president for the next three-year term, which
begins for both men at the end of this week's fall
meeting of U.S. bishops.
Advocates for victims have accused Skylstad of
using bankruptcy to help his diocese avoid respon-
sibility for mishandling abuse claims against
priests. He is named in several lawsuits that accuse
the Spokane Diocese of covering up molestation.
However, Skylstad insisted last week that the
amount of damages being sought in lawsuits
exceeded the diocese's net worth. By month's
end, he said, Spokane will become the third U.S.

diocese to file for bankruptcy; Tucson, Ariz., and
Portland, Ore., already have.
Skylstad thanked church leaders for electing him
in brief remarks yesterday afternoon. He pledged
to continue backing policies that protect children.
"I have no doubt that the days ahead will con-
tinue to be days of both blessings and challenges
for all of us. It would be easy to be intimidated by
the challenges," he said. Still, he said, "we together
can look forward to the future with hope and joy."
Skylstad succeeds Bishop Wilton Gregory
of Belleville, Ill., who led the conference for
three years during the height of the molestation
crisis. As vice president, Skylstad was at the
center of the bishops' efforts to restore cred-
ibility to their leadership.
He helped Gregory represent the conference to
the Vatican and he attended an emergency summit
Pope John Paul II called with U.S. church leaders
in April 2002, when the scandal was spreading to
every American diocese.
Now, as president, Skylstad will become the
bishops' chief spokesman, among other duties.
Asked if Catholics would trust Skylstad in that
role, considering the problems in his own dioceses,
George said Skylstad was deeply committed to the
abuse prevention plan the bishops adopted in June
2002 in Dallas.

after Arafat s death
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel offered its first indication it
was reassessing relations with the Palestinians after Yasser
Arafat's death yesterday, suggesting it might coordinate a
planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip if the Palestinian
Authority cracks down on militant groups.
Palestinian leaders reacted cautiously to remarks by For-
eign Minister Silvan Shalom and argued that Israel should
"unconditionally" reopen peace talks under the U.S.-backed
"road map" plan.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had previously refused to
negotiate the "unilateral disengagement plan" with Arafat,
insisting that he was responsible for four years of fighting.
Arafat's death in a French hospital last week has opened up
what many leaders believe is a crucial opportunity to revive
the Middle East peace process by clearing the way for a more
moderate leadership.
If leaders emerge who are willing to stem the violence, Israel
is prepared to coordinate the plan to move troops and 8,800
Jewish settlers out of the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settle-
ments, Israeli officials said yesterday. Such coordination is con-
sidered critical to avoid a chaotic transition.
"Israel has every interest that Gaza will be ruled in a
responsible manner when redeployment takes place," Sha-
lom told a conference of North American Jews in Cleveland.
"If the new leadership on the Palestinian side acts to combat
terror, then we will be able to consider coordinating aspects
of the 'day after' with them."
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev confirmed Sha-
lom's comments constituted a "new policy."
Israel's security establishment is currently examining
ways to work with Palestinian security forces to hand them
control of the Gaza Strip when Israel withdraws, senior
Israeli officials said yesterday on condition of anonymity.
The recommendations will be discussed with Sharon in
an upcoming meeting of senior officials on the matter, the
officials said.
Israeli and Palestinian officials alike have expressed fears
that an evacuation from Gaza that is not coordinated would
bring chaos to the Gaza Strip, where militant groups have
been vying for control in recent months.
Shots were fired in Gaza on Sunday as Mahmoud
Abbas, a leading candidate in Palestinian elections on
Jan. 9, attended a gathering of people mourning Arafat.
Two security guards were killed, and fears were raised
that the violence could spiral.
A cease-fire by Palestinian militants is a central Israeli
condition for the coordination of the Gaza pullout plan, a
senior Israeli official said on condition of anonymity.

Saddam made billions from oil-for-food
Saddam Hussein's regime made more than $21.3 billion in illegal revenue by sub-
verting the U.N. oil-for-food program, according to congressional investigators.
"This is like an onion - we just keep uncovering more layers and more layers,"
said Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), whose Senate Committee on Government
Affairs received the new information at hearing yesterday.
New figures on Iraq's alleged surcharges, kickbacks and oil-smuggling are
based on troves of new documents obtained by the committee's investigative
panel, Coleman told reporters before the hearing. The documents illustrate how
Iraqi officials, foreign companies and sometimes politicians allegedly contrived
to allow the Iraqi government vast illicit gains.
The findings also reflect a growing understanding by investigators of the intricate
schemes Saddam used to buy support abroad for a move to lift U.N. sanctions.
Coleman said the probe is just beginning and that officials aim to discover "how
this massive fraud was able to thrive for so long."
LAR EDO, Texas
New border security process enters test phase
Bridges to Mexico in this traffic-choked city began testing a new immigration
security program yesterday that requires some U.S. visitors to be fingerprinted and
photographed as they cross the border.
The screening by the Homeland Security Department was being tested yester-
day at Gateways from Mexico in Laredo and Douglas, Ariz., and the Canadian
border city of Port Huron, Mich.
The technology - which also calls for running checks on the visitors -
has been in place at U.S. airports and seaports since Jan. 5, but officials want
to pinpoint any glitches before the program extends to the nation's 50 busiest
land crossings by year's end.
"We always test first," said Anna Hinken, program outreach manager.
Digital fingerscans and photos are matched with databases to determine if visi-
tors might be wanted for immigration problems and crimes or are on lists barring
them from entering the country because of suspected terrorist ties. Extra security
requirements were passed by Congress in response to the Sept. 11 attacks.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands
Dutch official: More arrest power necessary
Spurred by the first terrorist killing on its soil, the Dutch justice minister said
yesterday authorities need broader arrest powers to combat a growing threat from
Islamic radicals in the Netherlands.
In an Associated Press interview, Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner also suggested
the spread of Islamic radicalism is wider than the government previously acknowledged.
He said the new laws would empower anti-terrorism investigators to detain sus-
pects without evidence that they may have committed a crime.
"In those cases where we can't even clearly prove the existence of recruitment
or radicalization, but only have a suspicion, we will still use possible administra-
tive powers and other powers to disrupt it as much as possible," said Donner, the
country's leading terrorism official.
U.N. imposes arms embargo on Ivory Coast
The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously yesterday to impose an immedi-
ate arms embargo against Ivory Coast and gave the country's warring sides one
month to revive a shattered peace process or face more sanctions.
The resolution is the council's attempt to rein in chaos that began Nov. 4 in Ivory
Coast when government forces launched a new offensive against rebels in the north.
Three days later, President Laurent Gbagbo's air force bombed a French military
post, killing nine French peacekeepers and an American aid worker. That touched off
violent demonstrations that led to the evacuation of more than 5,000 foreigners.
The resolution, drafted by France, imposes an immediate 13-month arms
embargo against Ivory Coast.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
DOw JONES 10,550.24 + 11.23
NASDAQ 2,094.09 - 0.36
S& P 500 1,183.81 + 18.47
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Falujah holdouts 'fighting to the death'

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - U.S. sol-
diers battled insurgents northeast of
Baghdad yesterday in clashes that killed
more than 50 people. Some guerrillas
were said to be "fighting to the death"
inside Fallujah, where American forces
struggled to clear pockets of resistance.
At least five suicide car bombers
targeted American troops elsewhere in
volatile Sunni Muslim areas north and
west of the capital, wounding at least
nine Americans. Three of those bomb-
ings occurred nearly simultaneously

in locations between Fallujah and the
insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, the
U.S. command said.
The zone between Fallujah and Rama-
di was one of at least three areas yesterday
in which insurgents pulled off almost-
simultaneous attacks against U.S. or
Iraqi forces, suggesting a level of military
sophistication and planning not seen in the
early months of the insurgency last year.
In a speech found yesterday on
the Internet, a speaker said to be Abu
Musab al-Zarqawi, the country's most

feared terrorist leader, called on his
followers to "shower" the Americans

26 insurgents and five other Iraqi police,
Iraqi officials said.
At the same time, insurgents attacked

"with rockets and
U.S. forces were
spread too thin as
they seek to "finish
off Islam in Fallu-
The worst report-
ed fighting yester-
day took place about
35 miles northeast
of Baghdad after
assaults, at almost
the same time, on
police stations in
Baqouba and its
twin city, Buhriz.

mortars" because


At least five suicide
car bombers targeted
American troops
in volatile Sunni
Muslim areas north
and west of Baghdad,
wounding at least
nine Americans.

a . police station
in Baqouba and
seized another
building. U.S. air-
craft dropped two
500-pound bombs
before the end of
the fighting, in
which four Ameri-
can soldiers were
wounded, the U.S.
command said.
During the fight-
ing, U.S. troops
came under fire from

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Gunmen abducted police Col. Qas-
sim Mohammed, took him to the
Buhriz police station and threatened
to kill him if police didn't surrender
the station. When police refused,
the gunmen tied the colonel's hands
behind his back and shot him dead.
U.S. and Iraqi troops rushed to the
scene, setting off a gunbattle that killed

a mosque, the U.S. military said. Iraqi
security stormed the mosque and found
rocket-propelled grenades, mortar rounds
and other weapons and ammunition, the
statement said.
In one of the car bombings along the
Fallujah-Ramadi corridor, the attacker
rammed into a Marine armored vehicle,
wounding the four troops inside.


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