2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 5, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP) - The United
States will bring trade cases against
China to determine whether quotas
should be re-imposed to protect textile
and clothing manufacturers against
a surge in Chinese imports, the Bush
administration said yesterday.
The decision represents a major vic-
tory for U.S. manufacturers, who had
been pressing the administration to
bring these cases on its own rather than
waiting for the industry to petition the
government for relief, a process that
could take a longer period of time.
"The decision is the first step in a pro-
cess to determine whether the U.S. mar-
ket for these products is being disrupted
and whether China is playing a role in
that disruption," Commerce Secretary
Carlos Gutierrez said in a statement
announcing the action.
The Committee for the Implementa-
tion of Textile Agreements, an inter-
agency panel that includes officials from
Commerce and other government agen-
cies, voted yesterday to launch inves-
tigations in three clothing categories:
cotton knit shirts and blouses; cotton
trousers; and underwear made of cotton
and man-made fibers.
Textile and apparel manufacturers
in the United States have been pressing
for help from the government, contend-
ing that a flood of imported products
had forced 14 plants in five states to
close since the beginning of the year
and resulted in the loss of thousands of
At the beginning of this year, a glob-
al quota system that had limited the
amount of textile shipments into the
United States expired after more than
Since then, shipments from China
of various clothing products have risen
sharply. While that has meant lower
prices for American consumers, the
U.S. clothing industry says it could be
wiped out without relief.
The government released preliminary
data late Friday showing that shipments
of knit shirts from China had increased
by 1,258 percent in the first three months
of this year, compared with last year,
while shipments of cotton trousers were
up by 1,521 percent.
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope
John Paul II's body was carried sol-
emnly on a crimson platform to St.
Peter's Basilica, past a sea of more
than 100,000 pilgrims who waited for
hours yesterday under a blistering sun
for a glimpse of the late pontiff before
his funeral and entombment.
Twelve white-gloved pallbearers
flanked by Swiss Guards in red-plumed
helmets gingerly marched the body
from the Vatican's Apostolic Palace,
where it had lain in state for prelates
and dignitaries, to the basilica for dis-
play to the public. Priests chanted the
Litany of the Saints.
Incense wafted through the church
where John Paul's body will be laid to
rest Friday in an ancient grotto holding
the remains of popes through the ages,
after a funeral to be attended under
heavy security by President Bush and
dozens of other world leaders. Up to
2 million pilgrims are expected in
Rome to pay their final respects.
As cardinals in their red robes and
caps filed past the body, bowing and
crossing themselves, a long line of
faithful, tourists and Romans who
had packed St. Peter's Square slowly
snaked into the basilica.
Pilgrims gasped, dabbed away tears
and snapped photographs as they
circled John Paul's body, clad in a
scarlet velvet robe, his head crowned
with a white bishop's miter and a staff
topped with a crucifix tucked under
his left arm.
"His face was suffering," said Sister
Emma, a 76-year-old Italian nun who
saw the pope's body. "I felt a sense of
sadness, even though I know he's in
Chicago Cardinal Francis George
said the cardinals prayed for about one
hour before the procession started to
.q+ Detar'c Me on irit wn "nrmite mov-
Kyrgyz president agrees to resign
Kyrgyzstan President Askar Akayev, who fled the country last month after demon-
strators stormed his offices, signed a resignation agreement yesterday, a key step toward
restoring stability in the Central Asian nation. Kyrgyz lawmakers said.
The ex-Soviet state has been in turmoil since an anti-Akayev demonstration on March
24 grew into a clash outside the presidential administration building. Riot police guard-
ing the building fled and protesters rushed inside. Akayev surfaced in Russia several
Akayev signed the agreement at the Kyrgyz Embassy in Moscow and made a record-
ing, apologizing to the people, that will be read to the parliament and be broadcast on
television in Kyrgyzstan, said lawmaker Tashkul Kereksizov, who helped arrange the
The resignation will be effective today, lawmakers said.
By stepping down, he would remove the last major obstruction to holding new presi-
dential elections, tentatively scheduled for June 26. If Akayev did not step down, the
legitimacy of such elections would be open to question.
RAMALLAH, West Bank
Abbas decides to take on militant groups
After weeks of hesitation, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has finally made moves
to challenge the powerful militant groups sowing chaos across the West Bank.
In the end some analysts said he was spurred into action by domestic concerns,
including an audacious rampage by gunmen through Ramallah and the very real fear
of impending electoral defeat, rather than by persistent U.S. and Israeli demands that he
crack down on armed groups.
"The Palestinian Authority has been crippled and it's become very evident to the
people," Palestinian political analyst Hani Masri says. "It reached a point where people
were wondering what value is there in having a leader."
On Saturday, Abbas forced out West Bank security chief Ismail Jaber - a corruption-
tainted patron of some of the militants - and said he would forcibly retire hundreds of
Prince Charles postpones his wedding
Prince Charles's wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles - beset by problems since it was
first announced - now has been postponed a day to avoid conflicting with the funeral
of Pope John Paul II.
The wedding, which had been scheduled for Friday in Windsor, west of London, will
be held Saturday, Buckingham Palace announced yesterday after the Vatican set the
pope's funeral for Friday.
Charles will represent Queen Elizabeth II at the funeral, the palace said.
Paddy Harverson, the official spokesman for the prince's Clarence House office, said
Charles felt that switching the date was "absolutely the right thing to do."
Prince Charles and Parker Bowles made the decision to move the wedding after he cut
short his Swiss skiing holiday yesterday. Charles returned to London where he and his
fiance attended an afternoon memorial service for the pope at Westminster Cathedral.
Prisoners clash with guards at Iraqi facilty
Prisoners at Iraq's largest detention facility protested the transfer of several detainees
deemed "unruly" by authorities, throwing rocks and setting tents on fire in a disturbance
that injured four guards and 12 detainees, the military said yesterday.
Friday's protest at Camp Bucca - which holds about 6,000 prisoners, nearly two-
thirds of all those in Iraq - caused only minor injuries before being brought under
control, authorities said. It was the third major incident at an Iraqi prison in three days.
Yesterday, a suicide bomber driving a tractor blew himself up close to the infamous
Abu Ghraib prison, wounding four civilians in the second insurgent attack around the
prison in two days.
Al-Qaida in Iraq said 10 of its fighters died in an assault on the same prison Saturday,
while the U.S. military put the insurgents' casualties at one dead and about 50 wounded.
Forty-four American soldiers and 13 prisoners were injured in the fighting - the latest
in a series of large-scale attacks by insurgents in'Iraq.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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