2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 8, 2005'
Mideast cease-fire planned
NEWS IN BRIEF
SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt (A P)
- Israeli and Palestinian leaders
said they will declare a formal end to
more than four years of fighting dur-
ing a summit today in this Egyptian
resort - a breakthrough in Mideast
peacemaking that comes after both
sides also accepted invitations to
meet separately with President Bush
at the White House.
The cease-fire deal, finalized dur-
ing last-minute preparations yester-
day on the eve of the summit, was
the clearest indication yet of momen-
tum following Yasser Arafat's death,
the election of a new Palestinian
leader and a signal from the White
House that it plans a renewed push
"The most important thing at the
summit will be a mutual declaration
of cessation of violence against each
other," said Saeb Erekat, a Palestin-
Erekat said the agreement also
includes the establishment of joint
committees - one to determine
criteria for the release of Palestin-
ian prisoners held in Israeli jails,
and the other to oversee the gradual
withdrawal of Israeli forces from
Palestinian cities on the West Bank.
An Israeli government official,
speaking on condition of anonymity,
confirmed the cease-fire agreement
and said it would also include an end
to Palestinian incitement to violence,
such as official Palestinian TV and
radio broadcasts that glorify suicide
bombers and other attackers.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud
Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon will attend the summit
today in this Egyptian beach resort,
along with Jordan's King Abdullah
II and the host, Egyptian President
It will be the first meeting of the
Israeli and Palestinian leaders since
Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen,
succeeded Arafat after his death on
In Washington, Bush said the
background for peace talks improved
with Abbas's election in January.
His invitations to both sides to
separate talks this spring seemed a
clear signal he plans a stepped-up
peacemaking effort in his second
"What you're watching is a pro-
cess unfolding where people are
becoming more trustworthy," the
Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice, ending two days of pre-summit
talks in Israel and the West Bank,
called it "a time of hope, a time we
can hope for a better day for the Pal-
estinian and Israeli people both."
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak arrives at the venue of the African Union
Summit in Abuja, Nigeria, on Jan. 30. Mubarak said he will try and mediate
the Mideast leaders in today's peace summit.
WASH I NGTON
Bush plans cuts in $2.5 trilon budget
President Bush proposed a $2.57 trillion budget yesterday that erases scores of
programs and slices Medicaid, disabled housing and many more but still worsens
federal deficits by $42 billion over the next five years.
In one of the most austere presidential budgets in years - one that faces
precarious prospects in Congress - Bush would give nine of the 15 Cabinet-
level departments less money in 2006 than they are getting this year. Overall,
he would cut nonsecurity domestic spending - excluding automatically paid
benefits like Medicare - by nearly 1 percent next year. Bush said it was the
first such reduction proposed by the White House since President Reagan's
Forty-eight education programs would be eliminated, including one for ridding
drugs from schools. In all, more than 150 government-wide programs would be
eliminated or slashed deeply, including Amtrak subsidies, oil and gas research, and
grants to communities hiring police officers.
Bush would slow the growth of benefit programs by $137 billion over the next
decade, nearly quadruple the savings he proposed a year ago with little success.
Chief among the targets would be Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance pro-
gram for the poor and disabled, but farmers' payments, student loans and veterans
medical services were also on the chopping block.
Kurdish vote leads Allawi in Iraq election
A Kurdish ticket pulled into second place ahead of U.S.-backed Prime Minister
Ayad Allawi's candidates in Iraq's national election after votes were released yes-
terday from the Kurdish self-governing area of the north.
First election returns from the Sunni heartland confirmed yesterday that many
Sunnis stayed away from ballot box, leaving the field to Shiite and Kurdish candi-
dates. A Shiite-dominated ticket backed by the Shiite clergy leads among the 111
candidate lists, with a final tally of last week's election for a 275-member National
Assembly expected by week's end.
Allawi, who favors strong ties with the United States, had hoped to emerge as a
compromise choice for prime minister, but the Shiite cleric-backed ticket say they
want one of their own for the top job.
Kurds, estimated at 15 to 20 percent of the population, gave most of their
votes to a joint ticket made up of the two major Kurdish parties, which was
in second with about 24 percent of the votes reported as of yesterday. One
of the Kurdish leaders, Jalal Talabani, has announced his candidacy for the
New Togo president sworn in amid protests
The man the military picked to succeed his late father as Togo's president
was sworn in yesterday, even as Western diplomats boycotted the ceremony
and hundreds of protesting students tried to disrupt it.
Faure Gnassingbe came to power in a tiny, impoverished country with little experi-
ence of rule of law, having spent nearly 40 years under the ruthless rule of his father.
President Gnassingbe Eyadema, who died of a heart attack Saturday, was among the
last of Africa's "Big Men" who held power through patronage, the loyalty of their ethnic
and regional groups and military force.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg staked out a compromise in the gay-marriage
debate: He would publicly support gay marriage, but challenge a court
decision allowing it.
That stance has pleased almost no one. Fellow Republicans are calling
him a Democrat in disguise, and gays are calling him a coward.
The furor illustrates Bloomberg's peculiar political dilemma as a mod-
erate Republican running for re-election in November in this overwhelm-
ingly liberal, Democratic city with an active gay community.
Prsonersa i teyeredsaue
The Associated Press c !r__ _ _ ___ . 1 _ 1_ _*_t1t t tr 1 "
Nearly a dozen detainees at the Guantanamo Bay
prison camp contend they were wrongly imprisoned
after repeated abuse by U.S. troops in Afghanistan
and Pakistan, including beatings with chains, electric
shock and sodomy, their lawyer said yesterday.
"These are classic stories of men who ended up in
Guantanamo by mistake," charged attorney Tom Wil-
ner, who represents 11 Kuwaiti prisoners held in the
detention center at the U.S. Navy base in eastern Cuba.
Most of his clients say they falsely confessed to
belonging to Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime or
the al-Qaida terror network as a way to stop the abuse,
Wilner said. He said one is too angry over his treat-
ment to discuss details of his case, but all argue their
detentions are unjustified.
Human rights groups and defense lawyers have
long charged that some information used as the basis
for incarcerations at Guantanamo Bay resulted from
abuse or torture. Many of the 545 prisoners there have
been held for more than three years, most without
charge. About 150 have been let go, but officials have
not given explanations for their release.
The government has denied using torture, but mul-
tiple investigations into abuse at detention camps in
Afghanistan and Guantanamo are under way. It is not
Alit Guantanamo, the physical abuse - at least for Kuwaitis -
has stopped, but there has been a switch to mental torture."
- Tom Wilner
Attorney who is representing 11 Kuwaiti prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp
clear whether some of the men's statements could be
dismissed if investigators confirm there was abuse
Maj. Michael Shavers, a Pentagon spokesman, said
all "credible" abuse allegations are investigated, but he
suggested the Kuwaitis' claims were consistent with al-
Qaida tactics to falsely allege abuse or mistreatment.
"That these detainees are now making allegations of
abuse seems to fit the standard operating procedure in
al-Qaida training manuals," Shavers said in response
to questions from The Associated Press about the
Although most of the 11 Kuwaitis say physical
abuse stopped once they arrived at Guantanamo, all
complain of mistreatment, such as being locked in
cells with scant reading materials and little informa-
tion on the outside world, Wilner said in a conference
call from Washington to discuss recently declassified
notes on his meetings with the detainees.
"At Guantanamo, the physical abuse - at least for
Kuwaitis - has stopped, but there has been a switch
to mental torture," he said.
Wilner and other lawyers representing the Kuwaitis
were allowed to interview the prisoners for the first time
in December and January, after the Supreme Court
ruled in June that foreigners detained as enemy com-
batants at Guantanamo could challenge their imprison-
ment. Wilner last visited his clients Jan. 10 to 13.
Lawyers are required to surrender attorney-client notes
before leaving the U.S. base. The notes are sealed and
sent to a secure facility in Arlington, Va., where attorneys
must request for them to be reviewed and unclassified.
The lawyers must also get government permission to
speak about their conversations with the detainees.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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