2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Dems pick minority leader NEWS IN BRIEF,
WASHINGTON (AP) - Newly
elected Senate Democratic leader
Harry Reid prodded President Bush
and Republicans yesterday to join him
in working across party lines over
the next two years and said, "I would
always rather dance than fight."
"But I know how to fight," the 64-
year-old Nevadan added in his first
appearance as leader of a Democratic
minority that was reduced to 44 seats
in the Nov. 2 elections, the fewest in
Chosen without opposition to
replace Sen. Tom Daschle as party
leader, Reid also warned Republicans
not to "mess with the rules" as they try
to overcome opposition to Bush's most
controversial nominees for the federal
While Democrats ushered in a new
leadership era, House Republicans
stood pat with their own team after
elections that enlarged their majority.
Rep. Dennis Hastert of Illinois
won support from the GOP rank and
file for a fourth consecutive term as
speaker and pledged a "reform Con-
gress" when lawmakers convene in
"We will reform the legal system to
stop lawsuit abuse.... We will reform
Social Security without cutting ben-
efits and raising taxes on senior citi-
zens, and we will work to reform the
tax code to make it more simple and
more fair," said Hastert, who has a
close relationship with Bush.
Daschle was defeated in a bid for
re-election in South Dakota two weeks
ago, and Reid's ascension capped a
remarkable rise for a native of tiny
Searchlight, Nev., born into poor cir-
"If I can make it in America, any-
one can," he told reporters, adding he
hopes to use his tenure to make sure
that others have "the same opportuni-
ties that Harry Reid had."
Later, in an interview in his office
in the Capitol, Reid said he intends to
defer to Daschle while Congress com-
pletes its current postelection session.
U.S., Iraqi forces aim to secure Mosul
U.S. and Iraqi troops recaptured police stations and secured bridges in the
northern city of Mosul yesterday in an offensive aimed at pushing out fighters
supporting the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.
Troops met "very little resistance" in securing several of the dozen or so
police stations that had been captured by insurgents, the U.S. military command
said. Nineveh province's deputy governor said militants blew up the Zuhour
police station ahead of the U.S. advance, but the U.S military denied any stations
Loud explosions and gunfire could be heard as U.S. warplanes and helicopters
circled over Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city with more than 1 million residents. 4
Mortar shells hit two areas near the main government building in the city
center, killing three civilians and wounding 25, hospital officials said. One U.S.
soldier was wounded when a car bomb exploded near a U.S. convoy in western
Mosul, the military said.
Wholesale prices rise by record amounts
Wholesale prices - catapulted by more expensive energy and food - soared
last month by the largest amount in more than 14 years. With inflation at the pro-
ducer level accelerating sharply after months of good behavior, chances are rising
the Federal Reserve will boost interest rates for a fifth time this year on Dec. 14.
The Producer Price Index, which measures the costs of goods before they
reach store shelves, jumped by 1.7 percent in October, compared with a tiny
0.1 percent in September, the Labor Department reported yesterday. The
increase was the largest since January 1990. Wholesale gasoline and home
heating oil prices were up by 17 percent for the month.
"A period of pretty tranquil inflation has passed - with a vengeance," said
economist Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics.
Wanting to make sure inflation doesn't become a threat, Chairman Alan Greenspan
and his Federal Reserve colleagues embarked on a campaign in June to raise short-term
interest rates from what had been extraordinarily low levels to more normal ones.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip
Abbas calls for cease-fire during, campaigns
The interim Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has asked Palestinian militants to
halt violence during the campaign for the Jan. 9 presidential elections, a participant in
truce talks said yesterday.
Abbas is trying to work out a deal with rival Palestinian groups on a
cease-fire and possible power-sharing. He held a joint meeting with repre-
sentatives of 13 factions Monday and was holding separate talks with them
yesterday, including with Hamas, the main opposition group and the main
militant group carrying out anti-Israel attacks.
Ziad Abu Amr, a lawmaker participating in the talks, said Hamas and
Islamic Jihad have asked Abbas to establish a "unified leadership," an
umbrella group that would give the militants a role in decisions, at least until
British gov't proposes public smoking ban
Britain's government yesterday proposed banning smoking in most public
places, setting off debate over what one smoker decried as the brainchild of a
busybody "nanny state." The ban, which would be phased in over four years,
would affect offices, restaurants and any pub or bar that serves food.
The 20 percent of bars and pubs that serve no food would be free to restrict
smoking if they choose, Health Secretary John Reid told the House of Commons.
"This is a sensible solution, I believe, which balances the protection of the major-
ity with the personal freedom of the minority in England," Reid said; outliningethe
legislation he envisions. The proposal must be approved by Parliament.
Sen. Harry Rei (D-Nev.) speaks to reporters in the Capitol after winning election by his Democratic peers as the
new Senate minority leader for the next session of Congress yesterday.
At the same time, he already has
begun to exercise his new power inside
the party and the Senate.
He said he hopes Iowa Gov. Tom
Vilsack will seek chairmanship of the
Democratic Party, for example, and that
Democrats will work harder to appeal to
rural voters in states like his own.
Reid said Bush's pick for second-
term secretary of state, National
Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice,
"should be confirmed fairly easily,"
barring the unexpected.
On another of Bush's high-pro-
file Cabinet appointments, Reid said
Senate Democrats will seek certain
memos that Attorney General-des-
ignate Alberto Gonzales wrote as
White House legal counsel. Gonza-
les drew criticism from human rights
groups after the terror attacks in 2001
when he wrote a memo in which Bush
claimed the right to waive anti-torture
law and international treaties that pro-
vide protections to prisoners of war.
Reid has spent the past six years as
Daschle's second-in-command and told
reporters he is not an "untested vessel."
He takes over as Democrats strug-
gle to adjust to the Nov. 2 elections
in which Republicans held the White
House and tightened their grip in both
houses of Congress.
Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska,
who delivered one of the nominating
speeches on Reid's behalf in the private
caucus, told reporters he had said the
Nevada lawmaker "will lead this cau-
cus into a new era and oppose where
necessary, compromise where possible
and avoid the obstructionist label."
Reid's speaking style 'often includes
criticism wrapped in the language of
compromise, and his remarks about Bush
and Senate Republicans fit the mold.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The U.S. military said
yesterday it is investigating the videotaped fatal shoot-
ing of a wounded man by a U.S. Marine in a mosque
in Fallujah. Iraqis condemned the act as "cowardice"
and "something forbidden in Islam."
Investigators will determine whether the Marine
acted in self-defense against what a spokesman
described as an "enemy combatant."
The dramatic footage was taken Saturday by pool
correspondent Kevin Sites of NBC television, whose
report said the man who was killed didn't appear to
be armed or threatening in any way, with no weapons
visible in the mosque.
The slain man was among a group of men wounded
in fighting a day earlier at the mosque and left there.
Three others in the group were also shot again Satur-
day by Marines, Sites said.
The Marine involved in the fatal shooting was with-
drawn from the battlefield pending the results of the
investigation, the U.S. military said.
"We - follow the law of armed conflict and hold
ourselves to a high standard of accountability," said
Lt. Gen. John Sattler, commanding general of the 1st
Marine Expeditionary Force. "The facts of this case
will be thoroughly pursued to make an informed deci-
sion and to protect the rights of all persons involved."
The Marine statement said the investigators would
look at "an allegation of the unlawful use of force in
r investigation for shooting
Video shows soldier fatally shooting wounded
'man in mosque; Iraqis call act cowardice'
the death of an enemy combatant."
"The purpose of this investigation is to determine
whether the Marine acted in self-defense, violated
niilitary law or failed to comply with the Law of
Armed Conflict," it said.
Florian Westphal, a spokesman for the International
Committee for the Red Cross, said he couldn't say for
sure whether the men in the mosque were prisoners
"The fact that was reported was that he was wound-
ed. But whether he was already a prisoner-or not was
not clear to me," Westphal said.
"We cannot, on the basis of TV images - no matter
how disturbing and disconcerting they are - arrive at
a judgment about an incident. We were not on the spot
so we cannot be aware of all the circumstances of this
incident," he said.
"It's clearly recognized that people in combat situa-
tions are under enormous strain," Westphal said
He added, the Geneva Conventions are clear: Pro-
tection of wounded combatants once they are out of
action is a basic rule.
Iraqi Interior Minister Falah Hassan al-Nagib said
that while "killing a wounded person is rejected by
us," the militants in Fallujah were responsible for their
own brutal acts against Iraqis and foreigners, and were
"killers and criminals."
Footage of the shooting was aired on Al-Jazeera
television. Iraqis interviewed yesterday in Baghdad
harshly condemned the killing.
"It is something forbidden in Islam, an American
killed an unarmed Iraqi prisoner inside a mosque,"
said Abdul-Sattar Naji.
Another Iraqi in Baghdad, Tareq Ali, called it "a
criminal act" that "indicates the cowardice of the
soldier who did that. The injured should be treated
according to the law of wars."
Omar Ragib of the Sunni clerical Association
of Muslim Scholars, said American troops "pay no
heed" to the injured, the unarmed and the sanctity of
"We saw the troops entered the mosque after they
shelled it," he said. "And we saw the effect of bom-
bardment on the mosque walls."
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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