2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 3, 2005
Mid. East leaders agree to meet NEWS IN BRIEF
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JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israe-
li and Palestinian leaders yesterday
accepted Egypt's offer to host a sum-
mit between them, raising hopes for a
breakthrough in Mideast peace efforts
after four years of fighting.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
offered to bring Israeli Prime Minis-
ter Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas to the Red Sea resort
of Sharm el-Sheik on Tuesday, capping
weeks of a dramatic easing in tensions
between the two sides.
King Abdullah II of Jordan, another
important figure in regional peacemak-
ing, also will attend, Palestinian Prime
Minister Ahmed Qureia said.
Qureia said Palestinians hope the
summit will produce a mutual cease-
fre, a halt to Israel's targeted killings of
militants and the release of Palestinian
The presence of Egypt and Jordan,
both of which have long-standing peace
agreements with Israel, would signal
firm Arab support for any agreements
Sharon and Abbas might reach.
Egypt and Jordan "will be insurance
of success for a summit," Palestinian
negotiator Saeb Erekat said.
The White House welcomed the
summit as "an encouraging step."
Spokesman Scott McClellan called this
"an important time to help support the
Palestinian leaders to move forward on
putting institutions in place for a demo-
cratic state to emerge.
"At the top of that list for those Pales-
tinian leaders is to address some of the
security issues and the violence and the
terror," he said. "They've taken some
important steps that are positive."
Erekat said he, Palestinian negotia-
tor Mohammed Dahlan and Palestinian
Cabinet Secretary Hassan Abu Libdeh
will meet today with Sharon's chief
of staff, Dov Weisglass, and Israeli
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz to pre-
Palestinians hope the summit will
produce a mutual cease-fire, a halt to
Israel's targeted killings of militants and
the release of Palestinian prisoners
pare for the summit.
In recent days, there has been bicker-
ing over what to raise at a summit, and
disagreements remain over the scope of
a Palestinian prisoner release, the fate of
Palestinian fugitives and a West Bank
The expected arrival of Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice in the region over
the weekend also is intensifying pressure
on both sides to settle some differences
over what should be announced after
the meeting. There has been no word on
whether Rice might attend the summit.
Israeli radio stations described Sharon's
invitation to Egypt as "historic." Mubarak
has refused to meet the hard-line leader
since he became prime minister in 2001.
Israel's Security Cabinet will meet
today to discuss the summit agenda.
Egypt extended the summit invitation
during a meeting yesterday between Sha-
ron and Egyptian intelligence chief Omar
Suleiman. A day before, Suleiman met
the leaders of the militant groups Hamas
and Islamic Jihad, Khaled Mashaal and
Ramadan Shalah, respectively, in Cairo.
The intelligence chief's unexpect-
ed trip to Jerusalem signaled that he
made progress in winning a promise
from the Palestinian militant groups
to halt attacks on Israel.
Murugupillai Jeyarajah, a man who claims to be the parent of the tsunami survivor infant dubbed
"Baby 81," cries as his wife Jenita Jeyarajah holds the baby at a hospital in Kalmunal, Sri Lanka.
DNA test to
KALMUNAI, Sri Lanka (AP) - "Give us our baby!" a
distraught Sri Lankan mother cried yesterday after a judge
kept her from the 4-month-old boy she says was torn from
her arms in Asia's tsunami.
In the disaster zone's most heart-wrenching custody case,
a court ordered Jenita Jeyarajah and her husband to undergo
a DNA test to prove they are the parents of the child known
as "Baby 81," triggering a melee at a hospital that led to the
would-be parents' arrests.
The couple had hoped to take custody of the child at
yesterday's hearing, and became inconsolable when told he
would be put back into hospital care until at least April 20
- the next available date on the court calendar when the
judge will hear the DNA results.
Jenita Jeyarajah beat her chest and shouted she couldn't
be away from her child that long. Then, accompanied by
dozens of relatives and friends, she and her husband, Muru-
gupillai, marched a half-mile to the hospital where the baby
has been kept since the Dec. 26 disaster and forced their
way into the pediatric ward.
"Here is my baby - look, look!" the 25-year-old woman
"Please give us our baby!" she pleaded before dropping
to her knees at the feet of the head nurse and begged to take
the child home.
The couple and two supporters were arrested and brief-
ly held by police, then released and ordered to appear at a
hearing on Thursday.
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope John
Paul II had a restful night and his con-
dition stabilized after he was rushed
to a hospital with breathing trouble,
but he will spend several more days at
9:30 the clinic to recover from the flu, the
oaMMesM 'Vatican said yesterday.
Around the world, Roman Catholics
F EU KL paused to pray for the health of the 84-
* TY Tests showed John Paul's heart and
respiration were normal, and he got
several hours' rest after being taken
1B U 0 0by ambulance to the hospital Tues-
*r day night, papal spokesman Joaquin
r T Navarro-Valls said. The pontiff was
running a slight fever from the flu
and would spend "a few more days"
IERR iEiE at Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic for
1lE E E treatment of respiratory problems,
1! i 1, he said.
@ 8:00 "There is no cause for alarm,"
.The pope has Parkinson's disease,
and Cardinal Javier Lozano Barra-
gan, the Vatican's top health official,
told Associated Press Television
News that the slumping pontiff's
inability to hold his back up straight
has left his lungs and diaphragm in a
Navarro-Valls insisted the pope
had never lost consciousness, and he
did not need a tracheotomy to insert
mR a tube into his windpipe to help
- I him breathe. He said John Paul par-
ticipated from his hospital bed in a
*fli Mass celebrated by his secretary in
PIEE, 'the room.
Sunnis in Iraq denounce elections
Iraq's leading Sunni Muslim clerics said yesterday the country's landmark
elections lacked legitimacy because large numbers of Sunnis did not partici-
pate in the balloting, which the religious leaders had asked them to boycott.
Emboldened by the elections, which U.S. and Iraqi authorities cited as a victory for
democracy, the police chief in Mosul demanded the insurgents hand over weapons
within two weeks or he would "wipe out" anyone giving them shelter.
The level of insurgent violence has appeared to drop sharply after the election.
It is unclear whether the drop is due to disillusionment within insurgent ranks, the
effects of the stringent pre-election security measures that are being slowly relaxed, or
whether the militants have paused to reassess their strategy in light of the ballot.
"The coming days and weeks will show whether this retreat will continue or
whether it is tactical because of the strike against them," interim Prime Minister Ayad
Allawi told Al-Iraqiya television.
Nepalese King appoints cabinet members
King Gyanendra announced a 10-member Cabinet dominated by his own suppoirt-
ers on yesterday, one day after he dismissed Nepal's government, declared emergency
rule and virtually cut his nation off from the world.
Dozens of politicians have been arrested and many more have gone under-
ground to avoid detention, an opposition figure said, as extra riot police and
soldiers patrolled the streets of the capital, Katmandu, where civil liberties
were severely curtailed.
Gyanendra will head the newly appointed Cabinet, state radio said in a
report that gave few details other than the new body's members.
"The king has expressed confidence that everyone will support and cooper-
ate with the new Cabinet," the palace said in a statement.
Shortly after the king swore in his new cabinet, Home Minister Dan Bahadur Shahi
said the government would soon be approaching the Maoist rebels to renew talks.
Fed increases interest rates to 2.5 percent
The Federal Reserve yesterday raised interest rates for the sixth time since
last June as policy-makers continued their efforts to make sure a strengthen-
ing economy does not trigger unwanted inflation.
The Fed announced that it was raising its target for the federal funds rate,
the interest that banks charge each other, by a quarter-point to 2.5 percent.
Before the Fed began tightening credit last June, the funds rate had been at
a 46-year low of 1 percent.
The February increase is not expected to be the last. Analysts think the
Fed will push the funds rate up in quarter-point increments through most of
CBS finds temporary replacement for Rather
Dan Rather will be temporarily replaced with veteran "Face the Nation" host
Bob Schieffer when Rather steps down next month as "CBS Evening News" anchor,
the network said yesterday.
Schieffer will serve "for a short transition period" until the broadcast gets a new
format, CBS News President Andrew Heyward said.
CBS chief Leslie Moonves said last month that he was probably going to install
a multi-anchor format for the "CBS Evening News," which has been a distant third
in the ratings behind NBC and ABC.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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