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February 14, 2006 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-02-14

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 14, 2006

NATION/WORLD

Protests erupt in Haitian capital NEWS IN BRIEF ,

16 ",- . ;

At least one killed
yesterday in pro-Preval
protests
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP)
- Supporters of Haitian presiden-
tial candidate Rene Preval erected
smoldering roadblocks across the
capital and occupied a luxury hotel
yesterday. At least one protester
was killed, but U.N. peacekeepers
denied witness accounts that they
had shot him.
As Port-au-Prince descended into
chaos, Preval returned to the capi-
tal for the first time since the elec-
tion today. He was the clear winner
with about 90 percent of the votes
counted, but supporters claimed
electoral officials were tampering
with results to prevent him from
getting the majority he needs to
avoid a runoff.
Barricades made of old tires were
ablaze across the capital, sending
plumes of acrid black smoke into
the sky. Protesters let only journal-
ists and Red Cross vehicles pass.
"If they don't give us the final
results, we're going to burn
this country down!" a protester
screamed.
The election will replace an
interim government installed after
former President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide was ousted in a bloody
rebellion two years ago. A popular-
ly elected government with a clear
mandate from the voters is seen as
crucial to avoiding a political and
economic meltdown in the Western
Hemisphere's poorest nation. Gangs
have gone on kidnapping sprees and
factories have closed for lack of
security.
Preval arrived in the capital
aboard a U.N. helicopter from his
rural home in north Haiti.
"We have questions about the
electoral process," he told reporters
after meeting with the top U.N. offi-
cial in Haiti and ambassadors from
the United States, France, Canada
and Brazil. "We want to see how we
can save the process."
Preval also planned to meet with
the interim prime minister and
president.
Interim Prime Minister Gerard
Latortue appealed for calm in a
nationally broadcast address. "Peo-
ple, don't stay in the streets," he
said. "I'm asking you to go home....
The transitional government is not
stealing your vote."
In the middle-class Tabarre
neighborhood, Associated Press
journalists saw the body of a man
on a street, blood soaking Preval's

AP PHOTO
Supporters of Haitian presidential candidate Rene Preval help a street vendor to push his cart with produce
through a roadblock just outside the Cite-Soleil slum of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, yesterday.

image emblazoned on his T-shirt.
Dozens of witnesses said Jordanian
U.N. peacekeepers in a jeep opened
fire, killing two people and wound-
ing four. The body of the second
victim was not seen.
"We were peacefully protesting
when the U.N. started shooting.
There were a lot of shots. Everybody
ran," said Walrick Michel, 22.
U.N. spokesman David Wimhurst
first denied that peacekeepers fired
any rounds, then later said they had
fired in the air.
"We fired two warning shots into
the air and we didn't injure any-
one," he said.
In the Petionville neighborhood
i.l the hills east of Port-au-Prince,
thousands of screaming protest-
ers poured into the Montana Hotel,
where election officials had been
announcing results. Blue-helmet-
ed U.N. peacekeepers armed with
assault rifles looked on from the
grounds and the roof. No violence
was reported.
Protesters waving Preval campaign
posters and tree branches jumped up
and down in unison, chanting: "Now
is the time! Now is the time!" Doz-
ens somersaulted fully clothed into

the pool, turning the water into froth
as they splashed around - a rare
treat in a country where most people
lack running water.
Protesters stretched out on chaise
lounges and ran up and down the
hotel stairs past rooms costing $200
and more a night.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Des-
mond Tutu, who is visiting Haiti,
came out of his suite to appeal for
calm. One of his security agents
said the South African had refused
to be evacuated by a helicopter
plucking guests from the roof.
U.N. peacekeepers controlled
access to a separate part of the hotel
that was being used as an election
center, and U.N. Huey helicopters
clattered overhead.
After several hours, the crowd
began to file out of the hotel.
"We came looking for someone to
give us the real results," said a 30-
year-old Preval organizer who iden-
tified himself only as "Sanpeur."
"We made them leave because we
don't want disorder. We did not
come here looking for violence."
With about 90 percent of the vote
counted, Preval was leading with
48.7 percent, Haiti's electoral coun-

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cil said on its Web site. His near-
est opponent was Leslie Manigat,
another former president, who had
11.8 percent.
But of the 2.2 million ballots cast,
about 125,000 ballots have been
declared invalid because of irregu-
larities, raising suspicion among
Preval supporters that polling offi-
cials were rigging the election.
Another 4 percent of the ballots were
blank but were still added into the total,
making it harder for Preval to obtain the
50 percent plus one vote needed.
Jacques Bernard, director-general
of the nine-member electoral coun-
cil, denied accusations that the coun-
cil voided many votes for Preval.
Council member Patrick Fequiere
said Bernard was releasing results
without notifying other council
members, who did not know where
Bernard was obtaining his informa-
tion. And another council member,
Pierre Richard Duchemin, said he
was being denied access to the tab-
ulation process.
"According to me, there's a cer-
tain level of manipulation," Duch-
emin said, adding that "there is an
effort to stop people from asking
questions."
Iran
demads
Denmark
apologize
Iran rejects
accusations it inflamed
violence over prophet
caricatures
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - The Iranian
government on Sunday rejected an accu-
sation by Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice that it has fanned violent protests over
caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muham_-
mad and demanded an apology, saying
that could reduce growing tension.
Rice, meanwhile, said Iran and
Syria shouldbe urgingntheir citizens
to remain calm - not encouraging
violence like last week's attacks on
Western diplomatic missions in Teh-
ran, Damascus and Beirut, Lebanon.
Nearly a dozen people also were killed
in protests in Afghanistan.
"If people continue to incite it, it
could spin out of control," she said Sun-
day on ABC's "This Week" as furor
mounted over the cartoons of Islam's
most revered figure that first appeared in
a Danish newspaper four months ago.
The drawings - including one
that depicts the prophet wearing a
turban shaped like a bomb - have
been reprinted in several publica-
tions in Europe, the United States
and elsewhere in what publishers say
is a show of solidarity for freedom
of expression.
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Saddam returns to courtroom
Prosecutors produced documents and put former aides to Saddam Hussein on
the stand yesterday as they made their strongest attempt yet to link him directly to
torture and executions.
The ousted president, who looked disheveled and appeared in his slippers, shout-
ed "Down with Bush!"
Saddam's half brother, Barzan Ibrahim - dressed only in an undershirt and
long underwear - struggled with guards as he was pulled into the courtroom.
Ibrahim, the former chief of intelligence, then sat on the floor with his back to the
judge in protest for much of the session.
The defendants have rejected court-appointed attorneys named to replace their
own lawyers who walked out of the trial last month, and are demanding the remov-
al of chief judge Rouf Abdel-Rahman. In Jordan, Saddam's chief defense lawyer
said there were no plans to end the boycott and denounced the court for forcing the
former leader to attend.
ASHIGTN
White House defends response to Katrina
The Bush administration yesterday pushed back hard against Katrina-
response criticism leveled by ex-disaster agency chief Michael Brown and
congressional investigators.
"I reject outright the suggestion that President Bush was anything less
than fully involved," said White House homeland security adviser Frances
Fragos Townsend.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff "unequivocally and strong-
ly" rejected suggestions that his agency was preoccupied with terror threats
at the expense of preparing for natural disasters. Both spoke at a conference
of state emergency management directors in suburban Alexandria, Va.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas
Wounded hunter in stable condition
A 78-year-old hunting companion of Vice President Dick Cheney was recovering in
stable condition yesterday after Cheney accidentally shot him during a weekend quail
hunting trip, a hospital official said.
Harry Whittington "rested well last night," said Peter Banko, hospital administrator
at Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial. The hospital listed Whittington's condition as
"very stable"he said.
Whittington, an Austin attorney, was flown to the hospital after Cheney accidentally
shot him with birdshot Saturday at the Armstrong Ranch.
TEHRAN, Iran
Iran postpones nuclear negotiations
Iran notched up the brinksmanship over its disputed nuclear program yesterday,
abruptly postponing talks with Moscow on a plan to enrich Tehran's uranium on
Russian territory to allay fears it is building an atomic weapon.
Diplomats in Europe said Iran had started small-scale enrichment of uranium, a
process that can produce fuel for an atomic bomb.
"Uranium gas has been fed into three machines," said a senior diplomat in Vienna,
Austria, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to
comment on the matter. Another diplomat confirmed that limited enrichment had
begun at Iran's Natanz site.
- Compiled from Daily wirereports
CORRECTIONS
An article in the Jan. 26 edition of The Daily (Making the grade)
incorrectly stated that Donald Graham chairman of the Washington Post
Company, donated money used to build the Stephen M. Ross Academic
Center. The actual donor was University alum Donald Graham who found-
ed the Graham Engineering Company.
Please report any error in the Daily to corrections@michigandaily.com.
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 4810-1327
www.richigandlaily. corn

DoNN M. FRESARD
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