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April 07, 2005 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-04-07

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 7, 2005


Kurd elected
president of Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Two months
after elections, Iraq's new government
finally began to take shape yesterday as
lawmakers elected as president a Kurdish
leader who promised to represent all ethnic
and religious groups in a session broadcast
across the country - and shown to Sad-
dam Hussein in his jail cell.
A prominent Shiite Arab was expect-
ed to be named today as prime minister,
the most powerful post in what will be
Iraq's first democratically elected gov-
ernment in 50 years. That would open
the way to picking a Cabinet.
Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani was
chosen for the largely ceremonial job
of president, while Adel Abdul-Mahdi,
a Shiite, and current interim President
Ghazi al-Yawer, a Sunni Arab, were
elected vice presidents.
Talabani's selection and the expected
choice of Ibrahim al-Jaafari as prime
minister further consolidate the power
shift in Iraq, where both the Shiite Arab
majority and the Kurdish minority were
oppressed, often brutally, under Sad-
dam's Sunni-dominated regime.
Talabani, 71, reached out to all sec-
tors of the country, appealing for them
to join with fellow Iraqis who are work-
ing "to found a new Iraq, free of sec-
tarian and ethnic persecution, free of
hegemony and oppression."

He also urged Iraqi insurgents, who are
believed to be mostly Sunni Arabs, to sit '
down and talk with the new government.s
President Bush called yesterday's
session a "momentous step forward inr
Iraq's transition to democracy." \
"The Iraqi people have shown their
commitment to democracy and we,
in turn, are committed to Iraq," theF
president said in a statement. "We look
forward to working with this new gov-3
ernment, and we congratulate all Iraqis
on this historic day."
Saddam and 11 of his top aides were 3
given the choice of watching a tape of
the National Assembly session in their
prison and all chose to do so, said
Bakhtiar Amin, human rights minister
in the outgoing interim government.
Amin said Saddam watched by
himself, while the others viewed it as
a group at their undisclosed detention
center, which is believed to be near
Baghdad's airport.
"I imagine he was upset," Amin said.
"He must have realized that the era of
his government was over, and that there
was no way he was returning to office."
Iraq's new presidential council, made
up of the president and his two deputies, AP PHOTO
is to be sworn in today. The three are Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani was elected president of Iraq's new government.
then expected to immediately name the Adel Abdul-Mahdi, a Shiite, and current interim President Ghazi al-Yawer, a
prime minister. Sunni Arab, were elected vice presidents.

KABUL. Afghanistan
Military helicopter crashes in desert
A U.S. military helicopter returning from a mission smashed into the southern
Afghan desert yesterday, killing at least 16 people in the deadliest military crash since
the fall of the Taliban in late 2001. An Afghan official said most of the dead appeared
to be Americans.
The CH-47 Chinook was returning to the U.S. base at Bagram from a mission in the
militant-plagued south when it went down near Ghazni city, 80 miles southwest of the
capital, Kabul.
"Indications are it was bad weather and that there were no survivors," said a U.S.
spokeswoman, Lt. Cindy Moore. An Afghan official said there were no signs the craft
was shot down.
A U.S. military statement said 16 deaths had been confirmed and two other people
listed on the flight manifest were "unaccounted for" when the recovery operation was
suspended at nightfall. U.S. officials said the four crew members killed were Aneri-
cans, but declined to give the nationalities of the passengers. The names of the victims
were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Moore said the transport helicopter was returning from a "routine mission" when
controllers lost radio contact.


Monaco mourns Prince Rainier's death

MONACO (AP) - The famed
Monte Carlo casino was closed, its
spinning roulette wheels at rest as
Monaco mourned the death Yesterday
of Europe's longest-reigning monarch,
Prince Rainier III, who worked to over-
come this tiny principality's reputation
as "a sunny place for shady people."
The throne now goes to Prince
Albert I1, Rainier's only son with
actress Grace Kelly.
In power for 56 of his 81 years,
Rainier was the only ruler many of
Monaco's 32,000 residents had ever
known. A veritable father-figure, he
dragged Monaco into the modern age
while preserving much of its Mediter-
ranean charm and royal trappings.
Before age slowed him, Raini-
er poured his energies into public
works, earning the name "the builder
prince." He put Monaco _ which is
smaller than New York's Central Park
_ on the world map with his April 18,
1956, marriage to Kelly, who gave up

Hollywood fame to become Princess dral where he and Princess Grace wed.
Grace. He is expected to be buried alongside

Albert, 47, has been groomed from her.
birth to succeed Rainier. Multilingual, A

U.S. educated, and
sledding Olym-
pian, he was at his
father's bedside
when Rainier died
at a hospital over-
looking Monaco's
yacht-filled main
Rainier had
been treated there
for the past month
for heart, kidney
and breathing
problems. Albert
took over the royal
powers last week
because of Raini-
er's ill health.
Rainier's funeralv

a five-time bob-

of ti

t the traditional
he palace guards

"Each of us feels like
an orphan because
the principality has
been marked by his
imprint over the 56
years of his reign."
- Patrick Leclercq
Head of Monaco's government

midday changing
ceremony Yester-
day, drums were
covered with
black cloth. The
body of Rainier,
whose fam-
ily dynasty took
power in 1297,
was moved to
his hilltop pal-
ace where it will
in lie in state,
the palace said.
The Monte
Carlo casino
closed in a
sign of respect.
Monaco's soc-
cer team post-

will be held April

15 at the 19th-century Monaco Cathe-

poned a weekend match.
Flags, already lowered for Pope

John Paul II, remained at half-staff.
Monaco's TV networks interrupted
programming with documentaries
on Rainier's life and reactions to his
"Each of us feels like an orphan
because the principality has been
marked by his imprint over the 56
years" of his reign, said Patrick Lecler-
cq, head of Monaco's government.
Rainier's doctors called Albert
about 30 minutes beforehand to tell
him the end was near, the palace
said. The palace did not say if Rain-
ier's daughters, Princesses Caroline
and Stephanie, were with him when
he died.
Christopher Le Vine, whose mother
is Princess Grace's last surviving sib-
ling, said Albert and Caroline called
to inform him of Rainier's death.
"They're doing remarkably well
under the circumstances," he said.
He said he and other Philadelphia-
area relatives will go to Monaco for
Rainier's funeral. He said the prince
had a "unique sense of humor" but he
expects Albert to make his own imprint
on the French-speaking principality.
"It's not something that he hasn't
anticipated over these many years. He
will make his own space there," Le
Vine said.
Albert is unmarried and has no
children _ a source of consternation to
Rainier, who worried about continuing
the Grimaldi family line.
Monaco changed its succession law
in 2002 to allow power to pass from
a reigning prince who has no descen-
dants to his siblings. Albert's sisters
have children.
From the palace's crenelated.
sandy-colored walls, perched high
on a cliff that dominates Monaco,
Rainier could survey the domain he
turned from a Riviera backwater into
a playground for the rich. Its wind-
ing streets are turned into a racetrack
every spring for the Monte Carlo
Grand Prix.
During Rainier's reign, Monaco
expanded its territory by 20 percent
with land reclaimed from the sea _
allowing the government to boast
that Monaco was the only country to
grow so much by peaceful means.
He oversaw construction of a new
port, an artificial beach, a cultural
center and an underground railway
station. A breakwater project to
allow large yachts and cruise liners
to dock in the main harbor cost $420
y 3TEF CR.
C y
|Hanoi Jane

U.S. to help in reconstruction of Gaza
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the Bush administration will be helpful
in the reconstruction of Gaza after Israel withdraws, but she is not ready to commit the
United States to specifics in a project Israel estimates will cost it $1 billion.
Rice, in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, also urged Israel not to
engage in "wanton destruction" of the homes the 8,000 Jewish settlers will leave behind
after this summer's exodus.
"There needs to be some coordination on what's being done," she said, "and I think
there will be."
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, due to meet with President Bush at his Texas
ranch on Monday, sent his chief of staff, Dov Weisglass, to help plan the agenda vith
Rice and Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser.
The talks, held Tuesday, will be followed by meetings Deputy Prime Minister Shi-
mon Peres is due to hold later this week with Vice President Dick Cheney and other
administration officials.
White supremacist Hale sentenced to prison
Avowed white supremacist Matthew Hale was sentenced to 40 years in
prison yesterday for trying to have a federal judge killed - the same judge
whose husband and mother were murdered five weeks ago by a deranged man
with no connection to Hale.
Hale, the 33-year-old leader of a group that preaches racial holy war, was
sentenced after a rambling, two-hour speech in which he claimed he was
the victim and even recited part of "The Star Spangled Banner." He showed
no emotion and sat staring at the defense table as the sentence was handed
Prosecutors argued for the maximum sentence, saying Hale's crime
amounted to an act of terrorism.
Power plants may be vulnerable to attacks
Fuel storage pools at nuclear power plants in 31 states may be vulnerable to terror-
ist attacks that could unleash raging fires and deadly radiation, scientists advised-the
government on Wednesday.
The group of nuclear experts said neither the government nor the nuclear industry
"adequately understands the vulnerabilities and consequences of such an event." They
recommended undertaking a plant-by-plant examination of fuel storage security, as
soon as possible.
In the meantime, plant operators promptly should reconfigure used fuel rods in the
storage pools to lower decay-heat intensity and install spray devices to reduce the risk
of a fire should a storage facility be attacked, the scientists said.
Congress sought the study by a National Academy of Science panel because of the
heightened concerns that terrorists might seek to target nuclear power plants.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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