2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 7, 2005
Death toll continues to rise
NEWS IN BRIEF 1,,
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - World
leaders wrapped up a one-day summit
on Asia's earthquake and tsunamis,
hoping to find the best way to help vic-
tims - and to prevent such a catastro-
phe from happening again. Indonesia
reported almost 20,000 new deaths this
morning, pushing the overall toll to
Even as more deaths from the ini-
tial effects of the natural disaster were
announced, health officials warned that
secondary deaths from hunger or dis-
ease would push the toll higher without
a steady supply of aid to the region.
Donors concluded an emergency sum-
mit yesterday as relief workers scram-
bled to move aid to areas of Sumatra,
the Indonesian island hit hardest by the
earthquake and giant waves that crashed
ashore Dec. 26. Volunteers hurled sacks
of rice and instant noodles into trucks as
U.S. helicopters loaded with other sup-
plies buzzed overhead en route to iso-
A new potential danger emerged, this
time to the American and Australian
military teams assisting the tsunami
survivors. A radical Islamic group once
headed by an al-Qaida-linked terror
chief set up a relief camp in Sumatra.
The militants, known for attacking
Christians on Indonesia's far-flung
islands, insisted they would not interfere
with foreign troops - so long as they
kept to humanitarian operations.
Indonesia on Friday said its death toll
from the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and
the tsunamis it spawned was 113,306,
up from its previous estimate of 94,200.
More than 10,000 are still missing in the
Aceh province of Sumatra island, the
Ministry of Social Affairs said.
The announcement raised the overall
death toll in 11 countries to 159,445.
In the Indonesian capital, Jakarta,
world leaders discussed how to trans-
form one of the largest aid packages
ever assembled - nearly $4 billion in
pledges - into food for the hungry and
shelter for the homeless. U.N. Secre-
tary-General Kofi Annan urged nations
to come forward immediately with the
billions they've promised and to break
with past practices of promising much
and delivering little.
"The disaster was so brutal, so quick,
and so far-reaching, that we are still
struggling to comprehend it," Annan
said. "We will never know the exact
magnitude of how many men, women
GRANITEVILLE, South Carolina
Train accident spreads deadly gas
A freight train carrying chlorine gas struck a parked train early yes-
terday, killing eight people and injuring at least 200 others, nearly all of
them sickened by a toxic cloud that persisted over this small textile town
Authorities ordered all 5,400 people within a mile of the crash to evacu-
ate in the afternoon because chlorine was continuing to leak, and the gas
was settling near the ground as temperatures dropped. They were unsure
when the gas leak might be sealed.
State Sen. Tommy Moore said yesterday night that officials at Avondale
Mill, the textile plant where the crash happened, told him eight people were
found dead following the accident, including five inside the mill.
Eight people were in critical condition yesterday night after the 2:30 a.m.
wreck of Norfolk Southern trains, in which 16 cars derailed.
Bomb kills seven soldiers, two Marines
A roadside bomb killed seven U.S. soldiers in northwest Baghdad and two
Marines were killed in western Iraq yesterday, the deadliest day for American
forces since a suicide attack on a U.S. base last month.
The bombing came as Iraq extended a state of emergency by 30 days to battle mili-
tants whose attacks have surged ahead of this month's elections. The prime minister
warned the number of assaults would only rise as voting day draws closer.
Just three weeks before the Jan. 30 elections, the commander of U.S. ground
forces in Iraq acknowledged that security is poor in four of 18 Iraqi provinces. But
Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz told a briefing in the capital that delaying the vote would
only increase the danger.
"I can't guarantee that every person in Iraq that wants to vote, goes to a polling
booth and can do that safely," Metz said. "We're going to do everything possible to
create that condition for them, but we are fighting an enemy who cares less who he
kills, when he kills and how he kills. A delay in the elections just gives the thugs
and terrorists more time to continue their intimidation, their cruelty, their brutal
murders of innocent people."
Conviction in baby deaths overturned
Andrea Yates's murder conviction for drowning her children in the bathtub was
overturned by an appeals court yesterday because a psychiatrist for the prosecution
gave erroneous testimony that suggested the Texas mother got the idea from an
episode of "Law & Order." As a result, Yates may have a retrial.
Yates, 40, is more than two years into a life sentence after a trial that stirred
national debate over mothers who kill and the legal definition of insanity.
The appeals court ruling turned on the testimony of Dr. Park Dietz, a forensic
psychiatrist who consulted for "Law & Order" and helped prosecutors land a con-
viction in 2002. Dietz testified at the trial that shortly before Yates' crime occurred,
"Law & Order" ran an episode about a woman who drowned her children and was
NABLUS, West Bank
Abbas softens campaign rhetoric on Sharon
Palestinian presidential candidate Mahmoud Abbas yesterday described Israeli
leader Ariel Sharon as a partner for peace talks and said he hopes negotiations will
resume soon after weekend elections.
Campaigning in the West Bank's largest city, Abbas reached out to Israel after
a series of hard-line speeches and appearances with Palestinian gunmen in recent
days. Israeli officials welcomed the conciliatory statements.
Also yesterday, Israel's army chief announced that he'll expel officers and sol-
diers who refuse to participate in a planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and
parts of the West Bank. The warning came after 34 reserve officers signed a letter
1r img soldiers not to participate in the pllont
Sailors aboard USS Abraham Lincoln in the Indian Ocean yesterday stand by to load jugs of purified water onto
awaiting SH-60 Seahawk helicopters. The water jugs will be flown by Navy helicopters to regions isolated by the
tsunami in Sumatra, Indonesia.
and children perished on 26 Decem-
Today, Annan traveled to Indone-
sia's tsunami-ravaged Aceh province
to witness the devastation firsthand
and the U.N. relief effort that is chan-
neling relief. He was scheduled to take
a helicopter ride over the devastated
west coast of Sumatra island and then
drive through the provincial capital,
Australia leads the world with a total
aid pledge of $810 million, followed by
Germany, Japan and the United States.
Secretary of State Colin Powell said
America would take a wait-and-see atti-
tude before pledging more cash. "These
are not insignificant numbers," Powell
Japan hinted it might offer more help
for those hit in the disaster that ravaged
11 countries -including Sri Lanka,
India and Thailand. Foreign Minister lives.
Nobutaka Machimura said the $500 "We now estimate that as many as
million Japan already pledged "was on 150,000 people are at extreme risk if a
the small side." major disease outbreak in the affected
The World Health Organization said areas occurs," said WHO Director-Gen-
that if basic needs - particularly access eral Dr. Lee Jong-wook.
to safe drinking water - were not For the moment, though, the threat
restored by week's end, infectious dis- of an outbreak of waterborne disease
eases could kill tens of thousands. is being held in check by medical aid
U.N. humanitarian chief Jan Egeland flooding into the region, U.N. officials
said hundreds of thousands of survivors said. While there are cases of diarrhea,
who fled the coast in Sumatra could be respiratory and skin diseases and men-
living in around 200 makeshift camps tal trauma, there have been no major
in the forests and the hills. Until they outbreaks of disease in Sumatra's dev-
are interviewed about missing friends astated Aceh region, the U.N. health
and relatives, he said, the true death toll agency said.
would not be known. But officials are concerned that unless
"I think we have to be aware that this aid is sustained, the system could
very, very many of the victims have collapse. Getting water purification tab-
been swept away and many, many will lets to survivors and building rudimen-
not reappear," Egeland said. tary toilets remain the focus of efforts to
Epidemics could claim many more fend off disease.
C our t throws out
Comiled from Daily wire reports
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Ukrainian Supreme Court Judge Andrey Gnatenko listens to Central
Elections Committee representatives in Kiev yesterday.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Ukraine's
Supreme Court on yesterday rejected
losing presidential candidate Viktor
Yanukovych's appeal of last month's
repeat election, bringing the former
Soviet republic a step closer to resolving
its political crisis.
Yanukovych has not exhausted all
of his options, however. His campaign
has said that his main appeal would be
filed with the court only after the Cen-
tral Election Commission announces
the final results of the Dec. 26 vote. Pre-
liminary results of the balloting showed
opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko
winning by a decisive margin.
The threejudge panel unanimously
threw out what Yanukovych's team
had called an "intermediate" appeal,
which alleged mass fraud and had asked
the court to invalidate voting in all of
Ukraine's 225 electoral districts. The
panel said the appeal had no basis.
The appeal was a bid to overturn
the commission's unanimous refusal
last week to consider a similar com-
plaint. That complaint had focused on
claims that at least 4.8 million people
were deprived of their right to vote by
election reforms introduced after the
Yanukovych complained about the
alleged appearance of orange items in
polling places, and problems with some
Yanukovych has said openly he had
little hope of success, but he vowed to
press on with his fight against the latest
His next appeal will aim to prove
that massive fraud made it impossible to
determine the winner of the vote.
International observers said they saw
no evidence in the latest election of the
mass vote-rigging that marred the ear-
Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians
flooded the streets of the capital to pro-
test what they called their stolen votes in
November. The mass protests became
known as the Orange Revolution and
culminated in the Supreme Court agree-
ing with Yushchenko's legal challenges,
stripping Yanukovych of his victory and
ordering the Dec. 26 revote.
Many observers say it is doubtful that
Yanukovych's appeals will achieve the
same success as he has been unable to
summon the kind of popular support that
Yushchenko used to press his demands..
The Supreme Court also repeatedly has
rejected these smaller claims launched
by his campaign.
Yushchenko's supporters have sug-
gested that Yanukovych's refusal to
concede is merely an attempt to drag
out the fight and delay Yushchenko's
inauguration, which they had hoped to
hold next week.
"Yanukovych's team has decided
to drown the results of the election in
claims, but is doing that without talent
... and only seizing time from judges
and members of the election commis-
sion," said Svitlana Kustova, who repre-
sented Yushchenko in the proceedings.
Zoya Sharikova, press secretary of
the Central Election Commission, said
it was ready to announce results, but
was being bombarded daily by new
appeals from Yanukovych's campaign.
The commission planned to meet this
weekend despite the Orthodox Christ-
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