2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 27, 2005
Rice to be new NEWS IN BRIEF ..
secretar of stateGLENDALE, Calif.ta
Suicidal man causes train to derail
WASHINGTON (AP) - Con-
doleezza Rice won confirmation
as secretary of state yesterday
despite blistering criticism from
Senate Democrats who accused
her of misleading statements and
said she must share the blame for
mistakes and war deaths in Iraq.
The tally, though one-sided at
85-13, was still the largest "no"
vote against any secretary of state
nominee since 1825.
Separately, a Senate committee
narrowly voted to send Alberto
Gonzales' attorney general nomi-
nation to the full Senate. And Jim
Nicholson and Michael Leavitt won
confirmation as the new secretar-
ies of veterans affairs and health
and human services respectively
as President Bush's second-term
Cabinet began to fill out.
Rice, Bush's national security
adviser for four years and perhaps
his closest adviser on the war and
terrorism issues that dominated his
first term, becomes the first black
woman to be America's top diplo-
mat. She succeeds Colin Powell, a
former Army general who clashed
privately with some of the stron-
gest hawks in Bush's inner circle.
Although Rice's nomination was
never in doubt, Democrats mount-
ed a lengthy and biting protest that
showed she will not immediately
match Powell's collegial relation-
ship with Capitol Hill.
Democratic senators denounced
Rice's job performance and truth-
fulness. Most criticism focused on
Rice's role planning for war and
explaining the threat posed by
Saddam Hussein. Some accused
her of avoiding accountability for
the absence of weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq. Others said she
seemed unwilling to acknowledge
errors in planning or judgment.
"In the end, I could not excuse
Dr. Rice's repeated misstate-
ments," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
said of his vote against Rice.
Durbin said Powell had been
"a voice of moderation," and he
expressed "hope that the respon-
sibility of leadership will inspire
Condoleezza Rice to follow his
The 11 other Democrats who
voted against Rice included some
of the Senate's best-known names,
such as Mass. Sens. Edward M.
Kennedy and John Kerry, the
unsuccessful candidate for presi-
dent against Bush last year.
Independent Sen. James Jeffords
of Vermont also voted no.
Thirty-two Democrats voted to
confirm Rice, although several said
they did so with reservations. Rice
won support from all 53 Republi-
cans who voted. Two Republican
senators did not cast votes.
A suicidal man parked his SUV on railroad tracks and set off a crash of two.
commuter trains yesterday that hurled passengers down the aisles and turned rail"
cars into smoking, twisted heaps of steel, authorities said. At least 10 people were
killed and more than 180 injured.
The collision took place just before daybreak on the outskirts of Los Angeles,
creating a scene of carnage: Employees at a Costco store rushed to the scene and.
pulled riders from the tipped-over double-deck cars before the flames reached them.
Dazed passengers staggered from the wreckage, some limping. One elderly man on
the train was covered in blood and soot, his legs and arms apparently broken.
"I heard a noise. It got louder and louder," said passenger Diane Brady, 56. "And
next thing I knew the train tilted, everyone was screaming and I held onto a pole
for dear life. I held on for what seemed like a week and a half it seemed. It was a
Dozens of the injured were in critical condition, and more than 120 people were
sent to hospitals.
Israel, Palestine peace talks progress.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators achieved significant progress yesterday
toward ending violence and resuming peace talks, completing a plan for deploying
Palestinian forces in the southern Gaza Strip and aiming for a summit within two
weeks between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
New violence, however, underscored the fragility of the new momentum
A Palestinian preschooler in southern Gaza was killed by Israeli gunfire after
militants fired a rocket at Israel. Israeli troops shot a Palestinian militant to death
and wounded two others in a West Bank arrest raid.
About 100 Jewish settlers disrupted a meeting between Israeli and Pales-
tinian commanders in southern Gaza, throwing stones and slashing tires of
None of this appeared to spoil a new flurry of peace moves offering the prospect
of an end to four years of Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed, following the Nov. 11 death
of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
House votes to restrict congressional medals
Only about 300 people have received the Congressional Gold Medal since
George Washington got the first one - recent names include Ronald and Nancy
Reagan, Nelson Mandela and Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz - but some law-
makers say too many are being handed out.
The House voted yesterday to slow the gold rush by restricting the medal, its
highest award, to two a year.
Groups could no longer be honored - that would have excluded the Navajo
code talkers of World War II, winners in 2000 - and posthumous medals
could be presented only during a 20-year period beginning five years after a
Hip-hop label head part of criminal enterprise
The hip-hop label behind music superstars Ashanti and Ja Rule was part of a
murderous criminal enterprise that protected its interstate crack and heroin opera-
tion with calculated street assassinations, federal authorities charged yesterday.
Label head Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo and his brother Christopher surrendered to the'
FBI on money-laundering charges yesterday as federal prosecutors unsealed an
indictment seeking to confiscate Irv Gotti's real estate and business holdings.
Gotti's childhood friend, Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, one of New York's most.
notorious drug kingpins, was charged with murder, racketeering and other crimes'
that prosecutors said were intended to eliminate and intimidate potential witnesses.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) takes part in a news conference on Capi-
tol Hill yesterday, after the Senate voted 85-13 to confirm Condoleezza
Rice as Secretary of State. Levin was one of 13 Senators voting against
Bush pleads for Americans 'patience
Pres. responds to
toll in Iraq
WASHINGTON (AP) - President
Bush pleaded for Americans' patience
yesterday on what he conceded was "a
very discouraging day" of death and
violence for U.S. troops in Iraq. He
urged Iraqis to defy terrorist threats and
vote in Sunday's elections.
Bush held a White House news
conference hours after more than 30
American troops perished in a helicop-
ter crash in western Iraq and insurgents
killed five others in the deadliest day yet
for U.S. forces. The deaths pushed the
American toll above 1,400.
Unwavering in the course he has set,
Bush pledged: "We'll have the troop lev-
els necessary to complete the mission.
And that mission is to enable Iraq to
defend herself from terrorists - home-
grown or terrorists that come in from
outside of the country." He made clear
that Iraq is nowhere near ready to han-
dle its own security, and he talked about
U.S. involvement over the next year.
Four days before Iraq's elections and
a week before his own State of the Union
address, the president grappled with
pointed questions about the war's heavy
price and growing doubts that a stable,
democratic Iraq will ever emerge. In
money alone, Iraq is costing taxpayers
more than $1 billion a week.
Democrats registered their unhappi-
ness with Bush's handling of Iraq in the
Senate's 85-13 vote to confirm Condo-
leezza Rice as secretary of state. It was the
strongest negative vote against a secretary
of state at least since World War II.
Bush said Americans are not alone in
their qualms. Iraqis are "losing a lot of
people" in bombings and assassinations,
he said, and "some are feeling intimidat-
ed" about threats against voters. More-
over, Bush said: "The Iraqi people are
wondering whether or not this nation
has the will necessary to stand with
them as a democracy evolves.
"The enemy would like nothing more
than the United States to precipitously
pull out and withdraw before the Iraqis
are prepared to defend themselves."
It was the 18th full-blown news con-
ference of Bush's presidency and the
first of his second term, covering issues
ranging from Social Security to ques-
tions raised by his inaugural address.
Bush made these points:
He recognizes tha some people
are worried about the political risks and
financial costs of overhauling Social
Security by creating private invest-
ment accounts - a step that could cost
$1 trillion to $2 trillion in transition
costs. "What you're hearing a little bit
is whether or not it is worth the political
price. I think it is," he said. He pledged
to lead a battle in Congress and travel
across the country to convince Ameri-
cans the system is in trouble.
His inaugural address promising to
spread freedom and end tyranny around
the world was not intended as a state-
ment of new policy but rather a reflec-
tion of the strategy he pursued in his
first term. Even some of his supporters
have been nervous that it signaled plans
for global U.S. intervention. Bush said
he has raised human rights concerns
with China and will be direct with Rus-
sia's Vladimir Putin when they meet
next month in Slovakia. "I will remind
him that if he intends to continue to look
West, we in the West believe in Western
values," Bush said.
The Education Department was
wrong to pay conservative commenta-
tor Armstrong Williams $240,000 to
plug its policies. "I expect my Cabi-
net secretaries to make sure that that
practice doesn't go forward," the pres-
The bloodshed in Iraq and Sunday's
elections framed much of the questions
of Bush's news conference.
He said he lacked details about the
helicopter crash in Iraq's western des-
ert. "The story today is going to be very
discouraging to the American people,"
Bush said. "I understand that. ... But it
is the long-term objective that is vital,
and that is to spread freedom."
Sunday's elections in Iraq repre-
sent a major test for Bush, who has
staked his reputation on spreading
democracy across the Middle East.
"I anticipate a grand moment in Iraqi
history," he said.
Dr. Ellen Zimmermann
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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JONES .10498.59 _.+373
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