2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 24, 2005
in new president
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Before a vast
crowd of supporters celebrating with
a burst of orange balloons, doves and
chants, newly inaugurated President
Viktor Yushchenko promised yester-
day to steer a new course for Ukraine
- away from corruption and political
cronyism and into the European Union.
"Ukraine will stand against all evil,"
Yushchenko told the crowd on Kiev's
Independence Square, where weeks
earlier demonstrators cried out that he'd
been robbed of the presidency by fraud
in a campaign laced with intrigue that
even saw the pro-Western reformer poi-
soned by a huge dose of dioxin.
Yushchenko, his face still pock-
marked from the near-fatal poisoning in
September, called his inauguration ear-
lier in the day a victory of freedom over
tyranny and said the former Soviet state
is "now in the center of Europe."
Many in the crowd, estimated at
more than 100,000, had tears in their
eyes. They sang the national anthem
and repeatedly interrupted the new
president's speech with chants of "Yu-
shchen-ko" and "Hurrah."
"My heart is filled with the brightest
feelings, my soul is rejoicing," said Nadia
Levok, a 42-year-old doctor in the crowd.
The inauguration caps a two-month
political crisis in Ukraine, during
which hundreds of thousands protested
in Kiev's streets for weeks against a
fraud-tainted Nov. 21 election that offi-
cials said Yushchenko lost. That vote
was overturned by the Supreme Court,
and Yuschenko won a Dec. 26 repeat,
defeating the pro-Moscow prime minis-
ter, Viktor Yanukovych.
But the deep political divide the new
president will continue to face was vis-
ible during the swearing in at a solemn
ceremony in the Verkhovna Rada parlia-
ment. After Yushchenko took the oath
- placing his hand on a copy of the con-
stitution and on an antique Bible - some
deputies cheered and chanted his name,
but others stood stonily, not applauding.
Even in Independence Square, where
many chanted and rejoiced, some
expressed fear that Yushchenko may
face difficulties in fulfilling his electoral
"Yushchenko has yet to score his main
victory in the east of Ukraine," said
Andriy Koloto, a 29-year-old teacher
who came to Kiev from the mostly Rus-
sian-speaking east where Yanukovych
received the most support.
Supporters of Yanukovych, who was
backed by the Kremlin, grouped togeth-
er on the square to wave white-and-blue
flags, the candidate's campaign colors.
They chanted "Shame! Shame!" as
Nestor Shufrich, a prominent Yanu-
kovych ally, was attacked on the square,
the Ukrainian news agency reported,
adding that one person was arrested.
Yushchenko insisted that Ukraine's
place "is in the European Union. My
goal is Ukraine in a united Europe. Our
road into the future is the road on which
a united Europe is headed."
The 25-nation bloc has made clear
that membership for Ukraine is not yet
on the agenda, saying the country should
instead settle for closer ties.
INEWS IN BRIEF
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip
Palestinian militants calls for truce
A militant group linked to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' ruling Fatah
faction announced Saturday it is ready to stop violence if Israel halts military oper-
ations, and Israeli officials indicated that they are considering the idea.
The armed groups want Israel to stop arrest raids and targeted killings of wanted
Palestinians in exchange for a truce. In the past, Israel refused to promise the mili-
tants amnesty, despite requests by Egyptian mediators who have said they could
not seal a truce deal without such Israeli guarantees.
However, two advisers to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Saturday that a halt
in Palestinian attacks could prompt the Israeli military to hold back.
"If there will be quiet on the Palestinian side, then there will be quiet on our side,
because all of our military operations are only meant to stop terrorism," said Zal-
man Shoval, a Sharon adviser. Brig. Gen. Giora Eiland, head of Israel's National
Security Council, told Israel Radio that quiet would be met by quiet.
The latest statements indicate Abbas is making progress in his attempt to per-
suade armed groups to halt attacks on Israel, a first step toward ending more than
four years of bloodshed.
Iraqi vote first hurdle to democracy@0
President Bush had barely put away his tuxedo from the inaugural festivities
when deadly bombings in Baghdad presented a stark reminder of the grim back-
drop against which Iraq will hold a national election.
The vote this coming Sunday to pick a 275-member National Assembly is an
important test for Bush's mission to spread democracy through the Middle East.
Even if the elections take place with a minimum of violence, however, military
and diplomatic headaches are ahead for the Bush administration and for the fledg-
ling Iraqi government.
The national assembly has to take office, elect a prime minister and form a gov-
ernment and field a police force able to maintain security. Then it must write a
constitution that will facilitate more elections, either in late 2005 or in 2006.
The United States must think about when it can begin to bring home some of the
150,000 troops now in Iraq and, ultimately, withdraw from the country.
"Simply having a vote by itself is relatively meaningless. The question is wheth-
er the people who are elected can do the job," said Anthony Cordesman, a military
analyst and Iraq expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Report: Nixon formed panel to fight terrorism
Nearly three decades before the Sept. 11 attacks, a high-level government panel
developed plans to protect the nation against terrorist acts ranging from radiologi-
cal "dirty bombs" to airline missile attacks, according to declassified documents
obtained by The Associated Press.
"Unless governments take basic precautions, we will continue to stand at the
edge of an awful abyss," Robert Kupperman, chief scientist for the Arms Control
and Disarmament Agency, wrote in a 1977 report that summarized nearly five
years of work by the Cabinet Committee to Combat Terrorism.
The group was formed in September 1972 by President Nixon after Palestinian
commandos slaughtered 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games. The
committee involved people as diverse as Henry Kissinger to a young Rudolph Giu-
liani, the once-secret documents show.
Winter storm snarls eastern airports, highways
A howling blizzard slammed the Northeast yesterday with more than 2 feet of
snow and hurricane-strength wind gusts, halting air travel for thousands of people,
keeping others off slippery highways and burying parked cars under deep drifts.
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri both
declared states of emergency.
Up to 29 inches of snow fell north of Boston parts of New Hampshire got-2
feet, New York's Catskills collected at least 20 inches, and 18 inches fell on parts
of Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island and the eastern tip of New York's Long
Island. The weather system had earlier piled a foot of snow across parts of Wiscon-
sin, Michigan, Indiana and northern Ohio.
At least six deaths were linked to the weather, three in Ohio, two in Wisconsin
and one in Pennsylvania.
Viktor Yushchenko holds the presidential mace during his inauguration
ceremony in the Verkhovna Rada parliament In Kiev yesterday. Yushchenko's
victory in last month's repeat election ended over a month of political turmoil.
Auschwitz liberator to mark anniversary
MOSCOW (AP) - On Jan. 27, 1945,
Yakov Vinnichenko walked through the
gates of Auschwitz into a netherworld
of ghostly, emaciated women huddled
together in dark barracks to prop one
another up. "Some tried to kiss us, but
it was uncomfortable - you didn't want
to get infected," the one-time Soviet
Vinnichenko was among the first
outsiders to glimpse the horror of the
concentration camp in southern Poland
as the troops of the Soviet 322nd infan-
try division cut the surrounding barbed
wire and swept through.
This week, he and a handful of
comrades-in-arms return to Aus-
chwitz to join Vice President Dick
Cheney, Russian President Vladi-
mir Putin and other world leaders in
honoring the 60th anniversary of the
camp's liberation. It will be his second
trip to Auschwitz since the liberation;
he traveled there in 2000 to mark the
Up to 1.5 million prisoners, most of
them Jews, perished in gas chambers or
died of starvation and disease at Aus-
chwitz. In all, some 6 million Jews were
killed in the Holocaust.
By the time Vinnichenko's unit
arrived, most of the prisoners had been
evacuated by the Nazis on death march-
es as they fled toward Germany. About
7,000 were left - "those who couldn't
move," as Vinnichenko put it.
"They were skin and bones, could
hardly stand on their feet.... It's impos-
sible to describe," he said.
"They were holding each other up,
they couldn't walk. The Germans just
left them behind. They didn't have time
to burn them up, to shoot them."
He said his regiment was rushing
"Sixty years have passed, you forget
a lot - and for 30 years, no one
showed interest or cared to ask."
- Yakov Vinnichenko,
Former Soviet infantryman
to the next battle and spent only a few
hours in the camp, but he did duck into
"There was filth, and blood. It was a
women's barracks," he said, recalling
the sight of hard, three-level bunks cov-
ered with straw mattresses.
Of the inmates he said, "Some were
crying, some were laughing."
Vinnichenko, a trim-looking man in
a tweed jacket decorated with military
medals, acknowledged in an interview
with The Associated Press that his rec-
ollections are cloudy; one of the clearest
memories is leaving the camp and pick-
ing up two bottles of port wine found
abandoned in a basement.
"Sixty years have passed, you forget
a lot - and for 30 years, no one showed
interest or cared to ask," he said.
Under communist rule, the Soviet
narrative of World War II avoided men-
tion of the Holocaust - a theme that
could raise questions about the state's
demonizing of Jews at home and its hos-
tile relations with Israel.
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Associate Professor of
Gastroenterology, U of M
for the first IBD student
group meeting of 2005
Thursday, January 27th at
7pm in Mason Hall 3314
Our informal discussion will
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