2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 2, 2006
in disarray at
NEWS IN BRIEFf.
Bush: Don't expect oil price breaks S
President Bush defended the huge profits of Exxon Mobil Corp Yester-
day, saying they are simply the result of the marketplace and that consumers
socked with soaring energy costs should not expect price breaks.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Bush also addressed oil's
future, offering a more ambitious hope than in his State of the Union speech
for cutting imports from the volatile Mideast.
However, he said his oft-stated goal of a Palestinian state in the region
cannot be realized if a Hamas-led government refuses to renounce its desire
to destroy Israel.
Bush, a former Texas oilman, said of oil costs: "I think that basically the
price is determined by the marketplace and that's the way it should be."
United finally flying out of bankruptcy
Court hears graphic
BAGHDAD (AP) - A female wit-
ness, testifying yesterday at Saddam
Hussein's trial, said she was stripped
naked in prison, hung by her feet and
kicked in the chest by the former Iraqi
leader's half brother.
The woman provided some of the
most gripping testimony so far in the
trial, which went ahead despite a boy-
cott by Saddam and four other defen-
dants, who demanded the removal of
the chief judge.
Weeping several times during her
testimony, the woman described being
stripped naked, hung by her hands,
beaten and given electric shocks.
Then, she told the court, Barzan
Ibrahim - Saddam's half brother
and the top co-defendant in the trial
- told guards to instead hang her
from her feet, then he kicked her three
times in the chest.
"I told him (Ibrahim), 'For God's
sake, I'm a woman. Master, I have
nothing to confess. Why are you doing
this to me?"' said the woman, who
spoke from behind a beige curtain to
protect her identity.
The woman was one of five wit-
nesses who took the stand during
yesterday's 4 1/2-hour session - all
of whom were hidden behind the
The woman's testimony directly
implicated Ibrahim, Saddam's one-
time head of the Mukhabarat intel-
ligence agency. She recounted her
torture at the Mukhabarat's Baghdad
headquarters, where she said she and
family members were taken after
being arrested in a crackdown fol-
lowing a 1982 assassination attempt
against Saddam in the Shiite village
She said she was later taken to the
notorious Abu Ghraib prison. One day,
she was driven back to the Mukhabarat
headquarters for interrogation with
her father, when guards threw a dead
baby into the car and ordered it taken
"to the Mukhabarat garage."
"What crime have we all commit-
ted to go through this agony?" she
Chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman,
who took over last week, pressed
ahead with the proceedings yester-
Following a closed session of court, the chair of Saddam Hussein remains empty. His co-
defendants stood trial without him, while the court heard testimony from a new witness.
day at a rapid pace, taking advantage
of the calm in a courtroom that has
been plagued by shouting matches,
scuffles and protests since the trial
began Oct. 19.
But the boycott by five of the case's
eight defendants and their defense
team was likely to further undermine
the trial, which has been cast as a key
plank in Iraq's transition from dicta-
torship to democratic rule.
President Bush said yesterday he
was not worried about the disarray
surrounding the Saddam trial.
"Hopefully the trial will resume and
be conducted in a fair" way, Bush told
The Associated Press in an interview.
"It certainly stands in a stark contrast
to how Saddam treated his people.
I'd like to see the trial move forward,
... That's what democracies do. They
give people a fair trial."
Abdel-Rahman, a Kurd, appointed
new defense attorneys, and the three
defendants who accepted them and
attended yesterday's proceedings
sat quietly, surrounded by the empty
chairs left by Saddam and the others.
United Airlines finally left bankruptcy yesterday, a leaner and more cost-effi-
cient carrier after a painful restructuring that began in 2002 and lasted an indus-
try record 1,150 days.
The nation's No. 2 airline announced it had filed its exit documents in U.S.
Bankruptcy Court yesterday afternoon, officially ending the longest and costliest
bankruptcy of any airline.
United marked the event in low-key fashion, sending top executives to airports
around the country to thank United employees and customers for their patience.
"We have achieved a great deal in our restructuring to reposition this com-
pany and build upon our assets, an unrivaled global network and our dedicated
employees," said Glenn Tilton, CEO of United and parent UAL Corp., in a state-
ment accompanying the announcement.
AMONA, West Bank
Israeli police clear Jewish settlement
Israeli riot police wielding clubs and water cannons cleared out part of this ille-
gal Jewish settlement outpost yesterday, as resisters fought back with sticks, stones,
bricks and paint. More than 200 were injured, one-quarter of them officers.
In anguished scenes reminiscent of last summer's Gaza withdrawal, the
security forces dragged hundreds of protesters from rooftops barricaded in
barbed wire and flattened empty homes with bulldozers and heavy machin-
ery. The military said 32 people were arrested at the scene along with "doz-
ens of other rioters" in the area.
Ex-exec: Enron fudged earnings reports
Bent on matching or beating Wall Street expectations, Enron Corp. fudged its
earnings figures with the knowledge of executives Jeffrey Skilling and Kenneth
Lay, the company's former chief contact for investors testified yesterday.
Leading off the government's case in Skilling and Lay's fraud trial, Mark Koenig
told jurors the two men were closely involved in company operations and sought to
boost Enron's stock price, which required impressing stock analysts.
Iran likely to be reported to Security Council
Iran and European
Nations remain ineffective
VIENNA, Austria (AP) - After
months of fruitless negotiations, Euro-
pean nations set the stage yesterday for
reporting Iran to the powerful U.N.
Security Council by the end of the
week because of concerns the Islam-
ic country's nuclear program is not
"exclusively for peaceful purposes."
Iran remained defiant, warning such
action will provoke it into doing exactly
what the world wants it to renounce -
starting full-scale uranium enrichment,
a possible pathway to nuclear weapons.
Positions appeared to be hardening
on the eve of an International Atomic
Energy Agency meeting after Euro-
pean nations formally submitted a
U.S.-backed motion for the IAEA's
35-nation board to refer Iran to the
Security Council. The two-day board
meeting was to start today.
"Nuclear energy is our right, and we
will resist until this right is fully real-
ized," President Mahmoud Ahmadine-
jad told a crowd of thousands in the
southern Iran city of Bushehr, site of a
Russian-built power plant. "Our nation
can't give in to the coercion of some
bully countries who imagine they are
the whole world."
Speaking a day after President Bush
declared in his State of the Union address
that "the nations of the world must not
permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear
weapons," Ahmadinejad derided the Unit-
ed States as a "hollow superpower" and
vowed to pursue the nuclear program.
The IAEA board was expected to
approve the motion easily because
Russia and China - which both have
veto power on the Security Council
- now support reporting Iran follow-
ing months of opposition.
"Iran will find itself before the
Security Council," State Department
spokesman Sean McCormack said in
Washington. "Iran is working to devel-
op a nuclear weapon."
The developments were a boost to
the United States, the main proponent
of referral. Washington has waited
years for international suspicions of
Iran's nuclear ambitions to translate
into support among board nations.
Iran's decision Jan. 10 to restart
small-scale uranium enrichment -
and Ahmadinejad's calls for Israel to
be wiped off the map - apparently rat-
tled Beijing and Moscow. Iran became
more insistent on its right to pursue
a nuclear program and less coopera-
tive in talks with European negotia-
tors after the election of the hard-line
Ahmadinejad last June.
The call for referral was contained
in a confidential resolution obtained by
The Associated Press. It "requests the
director general to report to the Security
Council" on steps Iran needs to take to
dispel international suspicion it could be
seeking to make nuclear arms.
If the board approves referral as
expected, it will launch a protracted
process that could end in Security
Council sanctions for Tehran.
Still, any such moves are weeks or
months away. Moscow and Beijing
support referral only on condition that
the council take no action until at least
March, when the board next meets to
review the status of an IAEA probe
into Iran's nuclear program and recom-
mends further action.
Ali Larijani, Tehran's top nuclear
negotiator, warned that Iran would
start large-scale uranium enrichment at
its Natanz plant and stop intrusive U.N.
inspections of its facilities if reported
to the Security Council.
"Natanz is ready for work. We only
need to notify the IAEA that we are
resuming (large-scale) enrichment.
When we do that is our call. If they
(report Iran to the Security Council),
we will do it quickly." Larijani said.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
A story in Tuesday's Daily (Hollywood alum gives back to 'U') incorrectly stated
that Peter Benedek, a University alum who is now an influential Hollywood agent,
was the first person from his high school to attend college. The article also misspelled
his name as "Benedict" in one place.
A story in Tuesday's Daily (Students, community voice off on ordinance) incor-
rectly stated that if City Council approved the proposed housing ordinance at a meet-
ing in February. it would appear on a citywide ballot in March. The story should have
said that if the measure is approved by City Council the ordinance will take effect 10
days after being passed.
Please report any error in the Daily to corrections@ imichigandaily.com.
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