2A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 19, 2005
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The first
bags containing sheets of vote counts
from Iraq's provinces arrived in Bagh-
dad for tabulation, but delays from other
areas mean a final result in the landmark
referendum may not be known until the
end of the week, election officials said
Complicating the count is the need to
audit results that have raised eyebrows
because they show an unexpectedly
high number of "yes" votes, triggering
questions of irregularities. Two crucial
provinces that could determine the out-
come are apparently among the regions
that need investigation.
The audit comes as Sunni Arab lead-
ers who oppose the charter claimed that
voting was fixed in the two key provinc-
es - Ninevah and Diyala - and else-
where to swing them to a "yes."
Both provinces are believed to
have slight Sunni Arab majorities that
likely voted "no" in large numbers
Saturday, along with significant Shiite
and Kurdish communities that largely
cast "yes" ballots. But initial results
from election officials in Ninevah and
Diyala indicated around 70 percent of
voters supported the charter and only
20 percent rejected.
The questions about the count further
raised tensions over a referendum that
has polarized Iraqis. Sunni Arabs large-
ly reject the draft constitution, saying it
will split Iraq and leave their communi-
ty powerless. Shiites and Kurds eagerly
support it, in part because it will enable
them to form powerful mini-states ini
the oil-rich south and north.
Insurgent attacks began to heat up1
again after being nearly silent on ref-
erendum day when polling stations
were heavily protected across the
Militants killed at least eight Iraqis
yesterday in shootings and a mor-
tar attack in Baghdad and elsewhere,
including an adviser to the indus-
try minister, one of the country's top
Sunni Arab officials, police said. The
handcuffed and mutilated bodies of six
Shiites were found dumped in a pond
north of Baghdad, and three other bod-
ies were discovered elsewhere in the
A U.S. soldier was shot and killed in
Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Bagh-
dad, early yesterday, the military said.
In fighting in western Iraq, two U.S.
Marines and four militants were killed
Monday near the town of Rutba, not far
from the Jordanian border, the military
said. At least 1,979 members of the U.S.
military have died since the beginning
of the war in 2003, according to an
Associated Press count.
A sandstorm that had closed Bagh-
dad's airport cleared yesterday, allow-
ing vote counts from three provinces
- Anbar, Karbala and Babil - to be
flown in for the final tally.
The head of the Electoral Com-
mission, Ezzeddin Mohammed, said
material from 14 others were likely
to be flown in today. The 250 work-
ers at Baghdad's central counting
center will then take two days to go
through them to produce a final count
- meaning Friday.
The audit of the unusual numbers
could further delay matters, Mohammed
said. The electoral commission must
send representatives along with United
Nations officials to the concerned prov-
inces to carry out the review.
Mohammed could not say whether
that would push announcement of the
final results into next week.
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Military relief arrives in Kashmir
Pakistani and U.S. military helicopters delivered aid at a brisk pace to the earth-
quake-stricken region of Kashmir yesterday amid warnings from the World Food
Program that a half-million survivors have yet to receive desperately needed help.
Choppers landed under sunny skies in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan's
portion of the divided Kashmir region, bringing tents and other supplies, while
relief workers set up field hospitals to treat thousands of stranded, injured people.
Authorities warned that exposure and infections could drive the death toll up from
54,000 as the harsh Himalayan winter loomed. Landslides caused by the magnitude-
7.6 earthquake Oct. 8 cut off many roads, and they could take weeks to clear.
Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, visiting the earthquake-stricken
region, said he would allow Kashmiris to cross the boundary with Indian-held ter-
ritory to help in quake reconstruction efforts.
Rumsfeld: China understating military
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday accused China of under-
stating the scope of its defense spending, and he said this is sowing suspicion
about how China intends to use its growing military might.
Rumsfeld arrived in the Chinese capital for his first visit since he became
President Bush's defense chief in 2001. He was scheduled to meet today with
President Hu Jintao, who also is chairman of the Central Military Commis-
sion, which runs the Chinese military.
In an interview aboard his plane en route from Washington, Rumsfeld ques-
tioned China's motives in underreporting its defense spending. He mentioned
no figures, but the Pentagon said last summer that China may be spending $90
billion on defense this year - three times the announced total.
Hurricane Wilma strengthens, heads to Florida
Hurricane Wilma whirled into the record books yesterday as the 12th such storm of
the season, on course to sideswipe Central America or Mexico and looming as a "sig-
nificant threat" to Florida by the weekend.
Forecasters warned that Wilma was "a major hurricane" that was likely to rake
Honduras and the Cayman Islands before turning toward the narrow Yucatan Channel
between Cuba and Mexico's Cancun region.
By 2 p.m., Wilma was centered about 180 miles south of Grand Cayman Island, and
was moving toward the west-northwest at nearly 8 mph, with maximum sustained winds
at 80 mph. Forecasters said Wilma was likely to become a Category 3 hurricane, with
winds reaching 120 mph by tomorrow.
Wilma was blamed for one death in Jamaica as a tropical depression on Sunday.
Saddam's lawyer plans to ask for 3-month delay
The lawyer for Saddam Hussein said yesterday he will ask a tribunal for a three-
month adjournment of the former Iraqi dictator's trial for a 1982 massacre.
Saddam and seven senior members of his 23-year regime go on trial today
to face charges they ordered the killings of nearly 150 people from the main-
ly Shiite town of Dujail following a failed attempt on Saddam's life.
Khalil Dulaimi told The Associated Press he would ask during today's opening
session for more time to prepare Saddam's defense and arrange for Arab and West-
ern lawyers to join him in the defense team.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
An article in the Oct. 4 edition of the Daily (Ogling ocular diseases) incor-
rectly stated that 506 sequences were observed to be associated with retinitis
pigmentosa. It should have said that 506 sequences were observed that are not
necessarily associated with retinitis pigmentosa. The article also incorrectly stat-
ed that the microarray is embedded with gene patterns. It should have said that
the microarray is embedded with specific gene sequences.
An article in the Oct. 13 edition of the Daily (MSA wants you) incor-
rectly stated that Jesse Levine won with 57 percent of the vote in the Michigan
Student Assembly presidential elections last winter. It should have said he won
with 75 percent of the vote.
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