2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 11, 2005
Rice responds to
Secretary of State
urges North Korea to
give up weapons
LUXEMBOURG (AP) - Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday
that North Korea should return to disar-
mament talks and avoid a path toward
further international isolation. "The world
has given them a way out and we hope
they will take that way out," she said.
Rice's comments came after North
Korea stated explicitly that it has nuclear
weapons and said that it needs them as
protection against an increasingly hostile
"The North Koreans have been told
by the president of the United States
that the United States has no intention of
attacking or invading North Korea," Rice
said during a news conference here with
European Union leaders.
"There is a path for the North Kore-
ans that would put them in a more
reasonable relationship with the rest
of the world," she said, referring to an
international disarmament effort that
includes the United States.
Giving up nuclear weapons would
offer hope for a better life to that coun-
try's people, Rice said. North Korea is
desperately poor, and people are fleeing
the country to avoid starvation.
The North Korean statement may be a
bluff meant to put the United States back
on its heels before the regime finally does
return to the disarmament table. North
Korea told a visiting U.S. congressional
delegation last month that it would return
to those six-nation talks.
Asked to analyze the thinking in
Pyongyang, Rice was almost dismissive.
"I'm not sure anyone ever gets very far
by trying to second-guess the motivation
of the North Korean regime," she said.
"The fact is that we have for some
time taken account of the capacity of
the North Koreans to perhaps have a few
nuclear weapons," Rice said. "There's
no definitive - I can't go into the intel-
ligence here - but there's no definitive
answers of how many, but this has been
since the mid-90s that the United States
has assumed that the North Koreans
could make such steps.
Traveling with President Bush to North
Carolina Thursday, White House press
secretary Scott McClellan told report-
ers, "It's rhetoric we've heard before. We
remain committed to the six-party talks.
We remain committed to a peaceful dip-
lomatic resolution to the nuclear issue
with regards to North Korea."
Talking to reporters en route to Ire-
land for a refueling stop, Rice noted that
she previously had scheduled a meeting
in Washington next Monday with South
Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon
and also said that she and Defense Sec-
retary Donald H. Rumsfeld will see their
Japanese counterparts soon, and will dis-
cuss North Korea.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, addresses the media at the Klem
conference center in Luxembourg, yesterday.
Car bomb detonated in Baghdad
Senate votes to restrict some lawsuits
The Senate approved a measure yesterday to help shield businesses from
major class-action lawsuits like the ones that have been brought against
tobacco companies, giving President Bush the first legislative victory of
his second term.
Under the legislation, long sought by big business, large multistate class
action lawsuits could no longer be heard in small state courts. Such courts
have handed out multimillion-dollar verdicts.
Instead, the cases would be heard by federal judges, who have not proven
as open to those type of lawsuits.
The Senate passed the bill 72-26, and it now goes to the House.
Bush called the bill a strong step forward.
"Our country depends on a fair legal system that protects people who have
been harmed without encouraging junk lawsuits that undermine confidence
in our courts while hurting our economy," Bush said in a statement released
in Pennsylvania where he was promoting his Social Security proposals.
U.S., NATO discuss more trainers for wars
U.S. allies in Europe have so far mustered fewer than 100 trainers to go
to Iraq to assist in the modest NATO mission there, but a top American
general said yesterday he was hopeful they would offer several dozen more
in the coming weeks.
"We've asked for more than what has been provided so far," said Army Lt.
Gen. David Petraeus, who oversees the effort to train and equip Iraq's security
and military forces. Petraeus joined U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in
Nice for a meeting of NATO defense ministers.
Later Thursday, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, speaking to
reporters in Nice, said he hopes to see the total NATO commitment in Iraq rise
to about 360, a figure that includes security personnel to protect the trainers.
The NATO mission in Iraq, while small, aims to develop Iraq's military on a
strategic level, rather than train individual soldiers. This includes efforts to set
up military staff and officer colleges. Bush administration officials have also
advocated the NATO mission as a way of pushing the alliance to transform into
a more deployable, internationally involved force.
Pope leaves hospital after 10 days of treatment
Pope John Paul II left a Rome hospital in his white popemobile yesterday,
10 days after suffering breathing spasms that left him bedridden and rekindled
debate about his ability to continue leading the Roman Catholic Church.
Under heavy security, the 84-year-old pope was bundled into the vehicle
inside a covered entrance to Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic to shield him from the
winter chill. Police sealed off St. Peter's Square to tourists, and hundreds of
cheering Romans lined the route to the Vatican.
The pontiff waved to the crowds and blessed the faithful standing along the
2 1/2-mile route to the Vatican. His return was broadcast live on television.
The bulletproof popemobile is equipped with a hydraulic lift, which makes it
easier for the pontiff, who walks with difficulty, to get into than a limousine.
Papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said at midday Thursday that the
frail pope had recovered completely from the breathing crisis.
Prince Charles to marry Camilla Bowles
Prince Charles said Thursday he will marry his divorced lover Camilla Parker.
Bowles in April, putting an official seal on a long romance that Princess Diana
blamed for the breakdown of her tempestuous marriage to the heir to the throne.
The announcement ruled out the possibility that she would become queen.
The Prince of Wales and Parker Bowles will marry Friday, April 8, at Windsor
Castle, said the Clarence House, Charles's residence and office.
During a visit to London's financial district Thursday, Charles accepted con-
gratulations on his pending nuptials.
"Thank you very much, you're so kind." he said. "L am-very excited.'
One of Charles's titles is Duke of Cornwall, so Parker Bowles will use the title
Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall after the marriage.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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Blast in square kills
at least two Iraqis; no
U.S. casualties reported
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A car
bomb detonated by remote control
exploded in a crowded central Bagh-
dad square yesterday moments after
an American military convoy passed,
killing at least two Iraqis and wound-
ing two others, the U.S. Army said.
There were no U.S. casualties.
South of the capital, the bodies of
20 Iraqi truck drivers who had been
shot were found dumped on a road,
their hands bound behind their backs,
police Capt. Ahmed Ismail said. Some
of the trucks were owned by the gov-
ernment, Ismail said.
With violence on the rise after the Jan.
30 election, Iraqi authorities announced
the country's borders would be sealed
for five days this month around the
time of a major Shiite religious holiday.
Last year during the holiday, about 180
people were killed in suicide attacks at
Most of the latest attacks have been
against Iraq's security forces in a bid
to undermine public confidence after
police and soldiers managed to pre-
vent catastrophic attacks during the
Gunmen fired on an Iraqi police
patrol yesterday in Baqouba, north of
Baghdad, setting off a gunbattle that
killed a civilian bystander and wound-
ed two police officers, a security offi-
cial said. Assailants also gunned
down a police lieutenant in Baqouba,
the official said.
Five bodies in Iraqi National Guard
uniforms were found yesterday in the
insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, west of
Baghdad. Hospital director Ala al Ani
said residents reported that the slain.
men were among 13 guardsmen who
went missing recently.
Two insurgents were killed yester-
day in clashes with U.S. forces north of
Ramadi, residents and hospital officials
said. U.S. forces sealed off access to the
town of Sufiya and took up positions in
houses and on rooftops.
In Salman Pak, southeast of Bagh-
dad, insurgents attacked Iraqi police-
men who came to look for weapons,
showering them with machine-gun fire,
rocket-propelled grenades and mortar
rounds, police said.
"Gunfire was engulfing us," said
Abeer Ihsan, a policeman who was
among 13 wounded in the six-hour
Evidence of another attack on Iraqi
security troops surfaced yesterday in
an insurgent video showing gunmen
shooting to death four blindfolded
men who identified themselves as
The video, which was obtained byi
Associated Press Television News,
showed the four young men sitting
cross-legged on the floor of a room.
A date stamp on the video indicated it
was recorded Feb. 3.
It was unclear where the police-
men had been captured. The men in
the video were seen in what appeared1
to be a remote desert area, kneeling
down with their hands tied behind
their backs and wearing blindfolds.
Several gunmen with assault rifles
standing just steps away from the
captives fire repeatedly at the men
one by one, shooting them in the back1
of their heads.
A body was found riddled with bul-
lets in Mosul, police said, and in the
northern oil center of Kirkuk, a roadside
bomb exploded several minutes after a
U.S. military patrol passed, killing one
Iraqi, police said. In Baghdad, gunmen
shot to death a hospital receptionist.
WASHINGTON (AP) - It's not
too late to get a flu shot if you can find
one, the director of the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention said
While some states still have short-
ages, others have an ample supply and
should exercise "common sense" in
distributing the vaccine, with priority
given to high-risk individuals, includ-
ing elderly, children, those with chronic
health conditions and health care work-
ers, said Dr. Julie Gerberding.
"Don't waste it," she urged local
and state health officials during her
appearance before the House Govern-
ment Reform Committee.
People are talking about a nation-
wide surplus, she said, but "funda-
mentally, we don't have enough."
Gerberding and Jesse Goodman,
director of the FDA's Center for Bio-
logics, Evaluation and Research, tried
to reassure lawmakers their agencies
are working to prevent a repeat of
this year's flu vaccination shortage. It
occurred after British health officials
shut down Chiron Corp.'s plant in Liv-
erpool, England, that was to have pro-
vided about half of the U.S. shots.
U.S. health officials put restrictions
on who was eligible for shots, but it
was estimated that about 98 million
high-risk people did not get them.
Over the past few months, more
than half of the states dropped all
their restrictions. Public officials have
been urging the federal government to
do the same, but Gerberding said that
would be premature because some
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RONNIeHarris Puremoveme nt
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