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February 01, 2005 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-02-01

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 1, 2005

NATION/WORLD

Iraq vote tallied amid violence NEWS IN BRIEF
HE3OADVI.N AU NTHWR

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraq's
interim leader called on his coun-
trymen to set aside their differences
yesterday, while polling stations fin-
ished the first-phase count of millions
of ballots from the weekend election
that many Iraqis hope will usher in
democracy and hasten the departure
of 150,000 American troops.
From the counts by individual sta-
tions, local centers will prepare tally
sheets and send them to Baghdad, where
vote totals will be compiled, election
commission official Adel al-Lami said.
Final results could take up to 10 days.
With turnout in the election still
unknown, concern was focused on par-
ticipation by Iraq's Sunni Arab minority,
amid fears that the group that drives the
insurgency could grow ever more alien-
ated. Electoral commission officials
said turnout in hard-line Sunni areas
was better than some expected, though
they cited no numbers. A U.S. diplo-
mat warned that Sunni participation
appeared "considerably lower" than that
of other groups.
Guerrillas claimed to have shot down
a British military C-130 Hercules trans-
port plane that crashed north of Baghdad
just after polls closed Sunday. Al-Jazeera
aired an insurgent video showing a mis-
sile being fired and flaming wreckage
purported to be that of the plane. No mis-
sile impact was shown, and the footage's
authenticity could not be confirmed.
All 10 military personnel on the flight
were missing and presumed dead -
which would be Britain's heaviest single
loss of life of the war - British Defense
Secretary Geoff Hoon said.
The video came from the "Green
Brigade," a previously unknown arm
of the National Islamic Resistance in
Iraq. Another group, Ansar al-Islam,
issued a competing claim of responsi-
bility. The British government would
not comment on the insurgents' claims,
saying the cause of the crash was still
being investigated.
In his first news conference since the
elections, Iraqi interim Prime Minis-
ter Ayad Allawi called on Iraqis to join
together to build a society shattered by
decades of war, tyranny, economic sanc-
tions and military occupation.
"The terrorists now know that they
cannot win," he said. "We are entering
a new era of our history and all Iraqis
- whether they voted or not - should
stand side by side to build their future."
He promised to work to ensure that "the
voice of all Iraqis is present in the com-
ing government."
Three U.S. Marines were killed in
fighting south of Baghdad on Monday,
after two Marines were killed on elec-
tion day. At least 44 people were killed
in violence Sunday, when there were
nine suicide attacks, most near polling

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NEW YORK
Bush to raise military death payment
President Bush will propose a dramatic increase to $250,000 in government
payments to families of U.S. troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and in
future combat zones.
The plan to increase the tax-free "death gratuity," now $12,420, to $100,000 and
provide an extra $150,000 in life insurance payouts will be part the 2006 budget
proposal submitted to Congress next week, the Pentagon's personnel chief said in
an Associated Press interview. Veterans groups and many in Congress have been
pushing for such increases.
"We think the nation ought to make a larger one-time payment, quite apart from
insurance, should you be killed in a combat area of operations," David Chu, the
undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said in the interview in his
Pentagon office.
"We can never in any program give someone back their loved one," he added.
"There is nothing we can do about the hurt, to make it go away. But we can make
your circumstances reasonable, in terms of finances."
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip
Palestinian girl's death sparks violence
The killing of a 10-year-old Palestinian girl in a Gaza schoolyard yesterday
prompted Islamic militants to fire mortar shells at Jewish settlements and endan-
gered an unofficial cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians.
The renewed violence overshadowed a meeting between top Israeli and Pales-
tinian security officials who worked yesterday to arrange a handover of several
West Bank towns to Palestinian control. Israeli officials said the security meeting
ended with no accord on a handover.
Although the circumstances of Norhan Deeb's death were unclear, the violence
strained the recent atmosphere of goodwill between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon and new Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas.
The girl was killed in the courtyard of a U.N. school in the Rafah refugee camp
near the Egyptian border, a frequent flashpoint of violence between Israeli troops
and Palestinian gunmen.
Palestinian witnesses said the gunfire came from a nearby Israeli military position.
WASHINGTON
New causes of cancer added to gov't list
The government is adding viruses for the first time to its list of known
or suspected causes of cancer, including hepatitis B and C and a third virus
that causes sexually transmitted diseases. Lead, X-rays and compounds in
grilled meats also are joining the list.
It has been known that the hepatitis viruses can cause liver cancer and
that some forms of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus can
cause cervical cancer.
But they were added to the list yesterday only after officials decided to go
beyond the report's historical focus on the occupational and environmen-
tal causes of cancer, said Dr. Christopher Portier, associate director of the
National Toxicology Program, which prepared the latest update.
"We felt (the report) needed to be expanded to include other things in our general
environment that can cause cancer," Portier said.
NEW YORK
SBC to buy former parent company AT&T
The purchase of AT&T Corp. by SBC Communications Inc. saves "Ma Bell"
from a nosedive into irrelevance in the industry it created more than a century ago.
It also gives SBC the name and the network to fulfill its goal of being viewed as a
truly national player rather than just a local telephone company.
The $16 billion marriage of long-bitter rivals, which may take until mid-2006 to
clear intense regulatory scrutiny, would add long distance and business services to
the list of markets where SBC holds a dominant role. It is already the first or second
largest U.S. provider of local calling, wireless and Internet services.
The deal announced yesterday also sparks immediate speculation as to-whether
two other largely regional powers, Verizon Communications Inc. and BellSouth
Corp., will need to keep pace by purchasing MCI Corp. for its national network
infrastructure and roster of corporate clients. -

01

An Iraqi election officer checks ballot boxes at a counting center in Amman, Jordan yesterday. The ballot-
counting process for Iraqi expatriates began Monday with the presence of international and political observers.

sites in Baghdad.
The country was already focusing on
goals almost as challenging as the elec-
tion itself: forming a new governing
coalition once the vote is known, then
writing a constitution and winning trust.
The main Shiite clerical-backed faction
in the race was already claiming a strong
showing in the election. Officials of the
United Iraqi Alliance said they expected
to win at least 45 percent of seats in the
275-member National Assembly. Local
officials of the parties within the alliance
said the list swept some southern cities,
winning 90 percent of the votes in Najaf
and 80 percent in Basra.
The claims could not be confirmed,
and the Alliance had been expected to
run strong in the Shiite heartland. Going

into the vote, the list headed by Allawi
was also considered a main contender.
A powerful showing for the Alliance,
which was endorsed by the Shiite Grand
Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, could make
Sunnis even more reluctant to accept
the results of the election - particularly
if Sunni participation turns out to have
been low.
Although turnout figures were
unavailable, a U.S. diplomat briefing
reporters on condition of anonymity said
"good anecdotal information" indicated
that "Sunni participation was consid-
erably lower than participation by the
other groups, especially in areas which
have seen a great deal of violence."
In the heavily Sunni town of Tikrit,
Saddam Hussein's hometown, 48-year-

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old history teacher Qais Youssif said no
member of his family had voted.
"The so-called elections were held in
the way that America and the occupa-
tion forces wanted," Youssif said. "They
want to marginalize the role of the Sun-
nis. They and the media talk about the
Sunnis as a minority. I do not think they
are a minority."
The Iraqi Islamic Party, a leading
Sunni faction, feels the vote was not
inclusive "because an important segment
of the Sunni Muslim community didn't
take part," said party official Naser Ayef
al-Ani. Large, heavily Sunni sections
of the country were unable to cast bal-
lots, and in some places lack of security
forced polling places to open late or not
at all, officials said.
Report:
Darfur
crisis not
genocid.e
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - A
U.N. commission concluded that the
Sudanese government and militias
carried out mass killings and prob-
ably war crimes in the Darfur region,
but stopped short of calling the vio-
lence genocide, according to a report
released yesterday.
The panel recommended that the
International Criminal Court inves-
tigate evidence of widespread abuses
including torture, rape, killings of civil-
ians and pillaging.
The United Nations has called Dar-
fur the world's worst humanitarian cri-
sis, saying the conflict there has claimed
70,000 lives since March - mostly
from disease and hunger - and now
affects two million people, up from 1.8
million in September.
While the commission was clearly
reluctant to pronounce a verdict on
the violence, it said many of the
worst attacks "may amount to crimes
against humanity."
"Some of these violations are very
likely to amount to war crimes, and
given the systematic and widespread
pattern of many of the violations, they
would also amount to crimes against
humanity," the report said.
It also said rebel groups were guilty
of acts that amounted to war crimes.
"The conclusion that no genocidal
policy has been pursued and imple-
mented in Darfur by the government
authorities, directly or through the mili-
tias under their control, should not be
taken in any way as detracting'from the
gravity of the crimes perpetrated in the
region," the report said.

- Compiled from Daily wire reports

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