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February 24, 2005 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-02-24

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 24, 2005

NATION/WORLD

Political wrangling continues mn Iraq NEWS IN BRIEF

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Ayad
Allawi, the secular interim prime minis-
ter, said yesterday he is putting together
a coalition to try to hold onto the job in
the next government and block the can-
didate of the dominant Shiite political
alliance. Kurdish parties also weighed
in with demands for top posts, setting
up a possible showdown over the role of
religion in a new Iraq.
Allawi's call for an inclusive coali-
tion that would attract minority
Sunni Arabs who form the core of
the insurgency came as support for
Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the leading Shi-
ite candidate, began slipping in his
United Iraq Alliance.
One day after al-Jaafari, 58, was
nominated for the post of prime min-
ister by the clergy-backed alliance, a
Shiite political group that supports his
one-time challenger, Ahmad Chalabi,
threatened to withdraw its support.
The Shiite Political Council demand-
ed that the alliance make amends after
forcing Chalabi to end his pursuit of the
prime minister's post by nominating one
of the council's members for the largely
ceremonial post of Iraqi president.
But the Kurdish coalition control-
ling 75 of the 275 seats in the National
Assembly has long taken for granted
that the alliance, which has 140 seats,
will give the presidency to one of their

leaders - Jalal Talabani.
"Regarding the nomination for the
presidential post, no names were pre-
sented officially and we are running
nonofficial discussions with all parties,
especially with the Kurdish officials
here in Baghdad," al-Jaafari spokes-
man Abdul Razaq Al-Kadhimi said.
The Kurds also issued a separate list
of demands that include reinforcing
autonomy in their northern provinces.
A two-thirds majority of the assem-
bly is required for approval of the pres-
idency - the first step in a complicated
process of filling the top positions. What
this boils down to is that for al-Jaafari
to become prime minister, he must win
the approval of his own Shiite alliance,
including Chalabi's supporters, and an
additional 44 legislators.
Much is at stake. The next prime
minister will oversee the drafting
of a new constitution, and some fear
al-Jaafari could lead Iraq toward an
Islamic theocracy, or even a strictly
sectarian Shiite one. Allawi, Chalabi
and the Kurds oppose efforts to codify
or legislate religion.
Allawi, whose ticket won 40 seats
in the assembly, said he considered
al-Jaafari an "honorable man." But
when asked if he feared that the alli-
ance could impose Islamic rule in Iraq,
Allawi said he opposed the creation of

any form of Islamic government.
"We are liberal powers and we
believe in a liberal Iraq and not an Iraq
governed by political Islamists. But as
a person he is an honorable man, fighter
and a good brother," Allawi said.
Al-Jaafari is one of the interim gov-
ernment's two vice presidents and heads
Dawa, a conservative Islamic religious
party. He fought Saddam Hussein and
took refuge in Iran for a decade in the
1980's, when Shiite clergy solidified
their rule in Iran.
In forming his new coalition to unseat
al-Jaafari, Allawi asked the Sunni Arab
minority, which mostly boycotted the
Jan. 30 elections, to play a role in the
new government. Such a move could
go a long way toward helping deflate
the insurgency, mostly thought to be
made up of Sunnis who once belonged
to Saddam's Baath party.
Allawi, 60, has staunchly opposed
the effort to rid the government and
administration of former Baathists.
"The missions ahead of us are very
great. Above all is achieving national
unity by deed and not just by word,
and through the integration of the Iraqi
sectors which didn't participate in the
elections," Allawi said.
Much of the violence in Iraq has
been blamed on fighters from other
countries, such as neighboring Syria.

A U.S.-funded Iraqi state television
yesterday aired what it said were the
confessions of an alleged Syrian intelli-
gence officer and a group of Iraqi insur-
gents he purportedly trained to behead
people and carry out attacks against
American and Iraqi troops. There was
no immediate reaction from Syria.
The U.S. government has repeated-
ly accused Syria of meddling in Iraqi
affairs by allowing insurgents to enter
the country to fight coalition troops.
Syria denies it.
President Bush added further pressure
on Syria by demanding yesterday that it
also stop meddling in Lebanon and with-
draw its troops from the country.
Meanwhile, clashes between U.S.
troops and insurgents in the so-called
Sunni triangle of death killed six Iraqis
and left dozens injured in Heet, accord-
ing to Dr. Mohammed al-Hadithi. Heet
is one of several Euphrates River cities
west of Baghdad where U.S. and Iraqi
forces launched a joint operation Sun-
day against insurgents.
In Haqlaniyah, 135 miles northwest
of the capital, U.S. forces and Iraqi
troops fought insurgents throughout
the day, the military said. Ameri-
can aircraft fired cannon rounds and
dropped bombs to help a Marine patrol
that came under small arms and heavy
machine-gun fire.

Officials halt effort
to IDr 9/11 remains

MAINZ, Germany
Bush demands Tehran disarmament
President Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder agreed yesterday to turn
down the volume on arguments about Iraq and Iran, demanding in unison that Tehran
abandon its nuclear ambitions and exploring whether allies should use rewards or pun-
ishment to achieve that goal.
Nearing the end of a five-day reconciliation visit to Europe, Bush also prepared for a
showdown today with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Bratislava, the snow-covered capital
of Slovakia.
Bush said he was concerned about Putin's restrictions on press freedom and other
steps amounting to a retreat from democracy.
Still, Bush emphasized he did not want to harm "a close relationship with
Vladimir."
Bush raced through a nine-hour stop in Germany after harmonious discussions with
European allies in Brussels, Belgium. Iran was a prominent subject in his talks all
along the way.
Stephen Hadley, the president's national security adviser, said at issue was "should
there be a mix of carrots and sticks and who should the carrots come from and what
should they be."
WASHINGTON
Bird flu vaccine preparations underway
Amid dire warnings of an Asian pandemic, the government is preparing to test
an experimental bird flu vaccine and is increasing disease surveillance in hopes of
reducing the toll from any eventual American outbreak.
Antiviral drugs are being stockpiled, and 2 million doses of vaccine are being
stored in bulk form for possible emergency use and to test whether they maintain
their potency.
United Nations officials warned yesterday that the Asian bird flu outbreak poses
the "gravest possible danger" of becoming a global pandemic.
Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, told the National Press Club this week that "it is a worrisome situa-
tion," though she also said the United States "is not immediately on the brink of
an avian flu epidemic."
The flu has affected poultry in eight Asian countries, with 45 human
deaths among people who caught the illness, a strain of flu known as
H5N1.
RAMALLAH, West Bank
Pale stinian Cabinet replacement delayed
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas intervened yesterday to end a political
crisis over the formation of a new Cabinet after it became apparent the turmoil
could bring down his prime minister.
Legislators from Abbas's Fatah Party had said they would not support Prime
Minister Ahmed Qureia's new Cabinet despite promises he would replace cor-
ruption-tainted politicians with professional ,appointees. The proposed Cabinet
would make it easier for Abbas to carry out reforms than one stacked with politi-
cians.
Qureia will have to step down if he fails to get his Cabinet approved: A vote
originally set for yesterday was delayed until at least today.
ISLAMABAD, Iran
Earthquake death toll in Iran rises to at least 500
Rescue teams using dogs and heavy machinery pulled more bodies froir
the ruins of flattened villages in central Iran yesterday, and officials raised the
death toll from a powerful earthquake to at least 500. The count was expectec
to rise even higher.
A 14-year-old girl was. pulled out of the rubble alive and immediately askec
if her family survived.
Teams were hampered by bad weather and the mountainous terrain, work-
ing in a cold, heavy rain after a night during which temperatures dropper'
below freezing.

4
4

I
I

k RNEW YORK - The medical exam-
iner's office has largely ended its effort
to identify the remains of those killed at
the World Trade
Center on Sept. cc
11, 2001, leav- If three year
ing more than a now someb
thousandvictims
unidentified. up with som
"They told us
they've exhaust- ... that really
ed all current
technologies for like it's goin
identifications,"
Diane Horning, then wegre
ti t ~~who lost her 26-pietog
year-old son poised to go
Matthew, said
yesterday.
Horning Direct
said the medi-
Acal examiner's Med
AP PHOTO office called her
A South Korean protester tears a Japanese flag during a rally against Tuesday morning.
Japanese Ambassador Toshlyuki Takano, who claimed that South The forensic effort failed to identify any
Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo fell under Japanese territory.
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remains of more than 1,100 victims, or
almost half of the 2,749 who died there.

Since the attacks 3
s from
)dy comes
iething
looks
g to work,
oing to be
after it."
- Robert Shaler
or of forensic biology
ical Examiner Office
The city has about

1/2 years ago, the
medical exam-
iner's office
identified nearly
1,600 victims,
although prog-
ress had slowed
considerably in
recent months..
Since Septem-
ber, only eight
victims have
been identified.
A few incon-
clusive tests are
still pending
that could yield
a couple of
more identifica-
tions, they told
families.
10,000 unidenti-

fled bone and tissue fragments that can-
not be matched to the list of the dead.
The medical examiner's office will
contact all victims' families who had
asked to be notified when the forensic
effort ended.
Robert Shaler, director of forensic
biology for the medical examiner,
has said that the DNA effort could be
reopenedif new scientific processes
were developed.
"If three years from now somebody
comes up with something ... that real-
ly looks like it's going to work, then
we're going to be poised to go after it,"
he told The Associated Press in 2003.
Some identifications were made
quickly in thekweeks after the Sept.
11, 2001, attack. To identify smaller
remains, the medical examiner had
to rely on DNA matching, drawing
results from shreds of bone and tissue.
Tests were often not possible because
the DNA was too damaged by heat,
humidity, and the passage of time.
"I'm still driven by the families,"
Shaler said in 2003. "When I see these
people, they look at me with eyes that
say, 'Did you find her yet?' But when
you're only turning out a couple a
week or four, five a month, it's hard."
In most cases, victims whose
remains were not identified have been
legally declared dead by the court
anyway, based on documentation that
they were at the trade center or on the
hijacked airplanes.

- Compiled from Daily wire reports

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