2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 6, 2006
Sharon most likely won't return NEWS IN BRIEF
I ~ EU i ULII L I VRI~ay aamlri
* Associates say leader is
unlikely to reassume duties
even if he survives
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Pal-
estinian leaders anxiously followed
reports of Ariel Sharon's deteriorat-
ing health yesterday, fearing the prime
minister's departure from the political
scene could worsen turmoil in the West
Bank and Gaza - or even derail Pales-
The Israeli leader is still widely
reviled in the Arab world, but reactions
among ordinary Palestinians were
largely subdued. A few schoolchil-
dren handed out candy in a Gaza refu-
gee camp and hoisted posters saying,
"Death to Sharon."
The 77-year-old Israeli leader was in
serious condition at a Jerusalem hos-
pital after seven hours of emergency
surgery to stop widespread bleeding in
his brain. Sharon's associates said they
did not expect the prime minister to
recover enough to resume his post.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas
telephoned Israeli officials to express
concern over Sharon's condition.
"We look with great worry on what
Sharon scolded Abbas for not doing
enough to halt terror attacks.
Before he took ill, Sharon - who
suffered a minor strokeon Dec. 18
before his massive stroke Wednesday
night - had been expected to lead
his Kadima Party and its peacemak-
ing agenda to a solid victory in March
28 Israeli elections. That vote was
called after Sharon defected from the
hard-line Likud Party he formed 30
years ago, despairing of persuading
it to make more concessions to the
The vacuum created by Sharon's
absence is liable to translate into
more indecision and tougher positions
toward the Palestinians, Palestinian
"We are really concerned," said Pal-
estinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. "We
hope that competition (to succeed him)
will not be at our expense, meaning
more settlements, more walls, more
incursions, more assassinations, more
occupation, more dictates."
Mohammed Dahlan, a senior Pales-
tinian official, said Sharon's departure
from the political stage would "turn the
political situation on its head, both in
Israeli society and the entire region"
A newspaper seller carries fresh copies with the headline in Hebrew,
"Struggles for his life," referring to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon out-
side the emergency room of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem yesterday.
might happen if (Sharon) is impaired,"
Abbas said upon returning to Ramal-
lah late yesterday.
The two leaders last met in June to
coordinate the unilateral withdrawal
from Gaza. During the tense meeting,
Democrats could delay Alito vote
N/i ne survivor undergoes treatment
The lone survivor of a coal mine explosion that killed 12 other miners
was moved yesterday to a Pittsburgh hospital to undergo oxygen treatment,
hospital officials said.
Randal McCloy was in a coma and appeared to have suffered brain damage,
according to a doctor. He arrived at Allegheny General Hospital after being taken
by ambulance from West Virginia University's Ruby Memorial Hospital, said Tom
Chakurda, a spokesman at Allegheny.
Weather conditions did not allow him to be flown to Pittsburgh, Chakurda said.
"Mr. McCloy's organ systems have responded fairly well to the treatment he has
received over the last 36 hours at WVUH," said Larry Roberts, director of WVU's
trauma center. "His left lung is no longer collapsed. But we have not seen the neu-
rological improvement we would like to see."
McCloy, 26, of Simpson, was rescued early Wednesday after being trapped
in the Sago Mine near Tallmansville for more than 42 hours. Twelve other
McCloy was struggling with the effects of oxygen deprivation to his vital organs,
including his brain, and remained in a coma, John Prescott said Thursday at the
Gingrich: Abramoff affair hurts GOP
As politicians led by President Bush scrambled to ditch campaign contribu-
tions from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, former House Speaker Newt Gin-
grich cautioned Republicans they risk losing control of congressional majorities
if they try to put all the blame on lobbyists.
"You can't have a corrupt lobbyist unless you have a corrupt member (of Congress)
or a corrupt staff. This was a team effort," Gingrich told a Rotary Club lunch in Wash-
ington on Wednesday. He called for systematic changes to reduce the enormous finan-
cial advantages that incumbents have in congressional elections.
As head of a conservative movement based on ethics concerns and promises
to curb federal growth, Gingrich led the GOP in 1994 to its first House majority
in 42 years. But he decided to resign in 1998 when Republicans lost seats a year
after Gingrich himself was fined $300,000 for violating House rules barring the
use of tax-exempt foundations for political purposes.
RICH MOND ,Va
DNA may exonerate executed man
Gov. Mark Warner ordered DNA evidence retested yesterday to determine
whether a man convicted of rape and murder was innocent when he was exe-
cuted in 1992.
If the testing shows Roger Keith Coleman did not rape and kill his sister-in-law
in 1981, it would be the first time in the United States a person has been exonerated
by scientific testing after his execution, according to death penalty opponents.
Warner said he ordered the tests because of technological advances that could
provide a level of forensic certainty not available in the 1980s.
"This is an extraordinarily unique circumstance, where technology has advanced
significantly and can be applied in the case of someone who consistently maintained
his innocence until execution," said Warner, a Democrat who leaves office Jan. 14.
"I believe we must always follow the available facts to a more complete picture
of guilt or innocence," Warner said.
CAR ACAS, Venezuela
Coffee crisis reaching boiling point
Coffee is vanishing from Venezuelan stores as producers protest price con-
trols they say are strangling profits - no laughing matter in a country where
drinking the bitter brew is not simply a habit but a culture.
Troops and inspectors have begun raiding inventories held by private com-
panies in an effort to ease the scarcity, authorities said Wednesday.
The dispute over the bitter beans can be traced back to early 2003, when
coffee fell under price controls for staple foods imposed by President Hugo
Chavez's government as a way to counter inflation and protect the poor. But
prices set in early December outraged coffee producers, prompting protests
in downtown Caracas and paralyzing deliveries.
In battle over replacement for seat
on Supreme Court, Dems may try
filibuster to push vote back
WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats plan to
delay the Judiciary Committee's vote on Samuel
Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court for at least
a week, slowing what could have been a quick con-
firmation process for President Bush's pick to replace
retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter had
hoped to hold a committee vote on Alito's nom-
ination on Jan. 17, a little over a week from the
Monday start of the federal appellate judge's con-
But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
told Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) yesterday
that Democrats will invoke their right to hold the
Alito committee vote over for one week, Senate lead-
ership aides told The Associated Press.
The aides spoke on conditions of anonymity
because the move had not been announced yet.
Frist had been pushing for a Jan. 20 confirmation
vote for Alito in the full Senate. The date of the Sen-
ate's confirmation vote would also have to be delayed
if the Democrats follow through on their plan to
The Supreme Court is in recess until Feb. 21.
Reid spokesman Jim Manley, when contacted,
refused to comment. Calls to Sen. Patrick Leahy of
Vermont, the Judiciary Committee's top Democrat,
were not immediately returned.
During the confirmation process for now-Chief
Justice John Roberts, Republican and Democratic
senators agreed not to delay the committee vote on
his nomination by using the customary one-week
delay. No such agreemen't was reached on Alito.
The move is the latest in a tactical battle between
Republicans and Democrats over Alito's nomina-
tion. The longtime conservative lawyer and judge
will face the Judiciary Committee on Monday for his
confirmation hearings to become the 110th Supreme
Democrats haven't completely given up the notion
of blocking Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court,
though they're certainly not talking about it before
his confirmation hearings.
"I don't think anybody today sees a reason for a fil-
ibuster, but they may after the hearing if the answers
are troubling to them or they feel they haven't gotten
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
President Bush watches Judge Samuel Alito, right, speak after he announced Alito as his new nomi-
nee for the Supreme Court, in the Cross Hall of the White House last October.
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the answers to important questions," said Carl Tobi-
as, a University of Richmond law professor.
Democrats contend Alito is too conservative and
could undermine some rights if confirmed. Some of
their liberal supporters have urged Democrats to do
whatever they can to block the nomination, includ-
ing a filibuster.
It takes 41 votes to sustain a filibuster. With the
Senate split with 55 Republicans, 44 Democrats and
one Democratic-voting independent, Democrats
could launch an Alito filibuster with no GOP votes.
Democrats have said repeatedly they don't plan to
filibuster Alito's nomination, although they also have
refused to promise to refrain from the stalling tactic
on the federal appeals court judge.
"I don't think it's wise for members to try and out-
line a strategy other than to make sure these hearings
are comprehensive and they're done with dignity and
respect for the nominee," said Edward Kennedy (D-
JASON Z. PESICK
Editor in Chief
Sun-Thurs. 5 p.m. - 2 am.
Mon-Fri. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
s Iraq again
Day fourth deadliest
since Saddam's fall in 2003;
insurgents kill 130 in attack
BAGHDAD - Suicide bombers
infiltrated a line of police recruits and
a crowd of Shiite pilgrims yesterday as
insurgents killed 125 civilians and five
U.S. soldiers, escalating attacks while
political factions worked to forge a
The stark surge in post-election vio-
lence produced familiar but heartrend-
ing images on a day that was the fourth
deadliest since the fall of Saddam Hus-
sein in 2003.
A woman and an infant girl in a
bright red jumpsuit lay in a pool of
blood, their faces covered by a sheet as
men ferried the wounded in pushcarts
in Karbala, 50 miles south of Bagh-
dad. Ball bearings lay scattered on the
bare earth next to Shiite Islam's holiest
shrine in Iraq.
After the devastating attack in Rama-
di, a Sunni insurgent stronghold 70 miles
west of the capital, police recruits got
back in line to continue the screening
process, said Marine Capt. Jeffrey S.
Pool. They were apparently desperate for
a relatively well-paying job in the impov-
cy that its patience was wearing thin.
But in a chord struck by several poli-
ticians yesterday, the party also con-
demned policies it said were imposed
by the U.S.-led coalition that were
hampering Iraqi security forces' coun-
terterrorism work. The Americans have
increased their oversight of Shiite-dom-
inated security forces following wide-
spread charges of abuse, especially of
Sunni Arab detainees.
"Not allowing these two ministries
to do their job means exposing helpless
Iraqis to ruthless terrorists," SCIRI said.
"They should know that the patience of
our people will not last for a long time
with these sectarian dirty crimes:"
The warning to Sunnis carried the pos-
sibility of using militias like the Badr Bri-
gade, the former military wing of SCIRI,
to exact vengeance against Sunni sup-
porters of insurgents.
Hadi al-A'meri, the secretary general of
the Badr Brigade, also blamed the attacks
on the U.S.-led coalition. "Why are they
putting obstacles in the way of the work
of the Interior Ministry?" he asked.
The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said it
was appalled by the attacks. "This terror
aims simply to kill innocent Iraqis and
provoke further conflict between them,"
the embassy said.
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