2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 23, 2006
Insurgents destroy golden
dome of famed Shiite mosque
Attacks ignite violent
protests throughout all
SAMARRA, Iraq (AP) - Insur-
gents posing as police destroyed the
golden dome of one of Iraq's holiest
Shiite shrines yesterday, setting off
an unprecendented spasm of sectari-
an violence. Angry crowds thronged
the streets, militiamen attacked
Sunni mosques, and at least 19 peo-
ple were killed.
With the gleaming dome of the
1;200-year-old Askariya shrine reduced
to rubble, some Shiites lashed out at the
United States as partly to blame.
The violence - many of the 90
attacks on Sunni mosques were car-
ried out by Shiite militias - seemed
to push Iraq closer to all-out civil war
than at any point in the three years
since the U.S.-led overthrow of Sad-
Many leaders called for calm. "We
are facing a major conspiracy that is
tirgeting Iraq's unity," said President
Jalal Talabani, a Kurd. "We should all
stand hand in hand to prevent the dan-
ger of a civil war."
President Bush pledged American
help to restore the mosque after the
bombing north of Baghdad, which
dealt a severe blow to U.S. efforts to
keep Iraq from falling deeper into sec-
"The terrorists in Iraq have again
proven that they are enemies of all
faiths and of all humanity," Bush
said. "The world must stand united
against them, and steadfast behind
the people of Iraq."
British Prime Minister Tony Blair
also condemned the bombing and
pledged funds toward the shrine's
U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad
and the top American commander in
Iraq, Gen. George Casey, called the
attack a deliberate attempt to foment
sectarian strife and warned it was a
"critical moment for Iraq."
No one was reported injured in the
bombing of the shrine in Samarra.
But at least 19 people, including
three Sunni clerics, were killed in the
reprisal attacks that followed, mainly
in Baghdad and predominantly Shiite
provinces to the south, according to the
Iraqi Islamic Party, the country's larg-
est Sunni political group.
Many of the attacks appeared to
have been carried out by Shiite mili-
tias that the United States wants to
In predominantly Shiite Basra,police
said militiamen broke into a prison,
hauled out 12 inmates, including two
Egyptians, two Tunisians, a Libyan, a
Saudi and a Turk, and shot them dead
in reprisal for the shrine attack.
Major Sunni groups joined in con-
demning the attack, and a leading
Sunni politician, Tariq al-Hashimi,
urged clerics and politicians to calm
the situation "before it spins out of
The country's top Shiite cleric,
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, sent
instructions to his followers forbidding
attacks on Sunni mosques, and called
for seven days of mourning.
But he hinted, as did Vice President
Adil Abdul-Mahdi, that religious mili-
tias could be given a bigger security
role if the government cannot protect
holy shrines - an ominous sign of the
Shiite reaction ahead.
Both Sunnis and the United States
fear the rise of such militias, which
the disaffected minority views as
HEADLINES FRO AROUND THE WORLD ge
Pope appoints his first cardinals
Pope Benedict XVI named his first batch of cardinals yesterday, sending
a strong political message with nominations in Hong Kong and Venezu-
ela and promoting two Americans with experience in the church sex-abuse
Benedict named 15 new "princes" of the Roman Catholic Church during
his weekly general audience, 12 of whom are under age 80 and thus eligible
to vote in the conclave that will one day elect the pope's successor. He said
the prelates, who also include sentimental favorite Archbishop Stanislaw
Dziwisz, Pope John Paul II's longtime private secretary, would receive their
red hats at a Vatican ceremony March 24.
The cardinals come from 11 countries on five continents and include the
archbishops of Boston; Krakow, Poland; Seoul, South Korea; Bordeaux,
France; Bologna, Italy; Manila, Philippines; and Toledo, Spain.
Factory workers split record jackpot
Eight workers at a Nebraska meat processing plant claimed the record $365 mil-
lion Powerball jackpot yesterday, giving each about $15.5 million after taxes.
The seven men and one woman all work at a ConAgra ham processing plant near
the U-Stop convenience store where they bought the winning ticket last week for
They ended up with the biggest jackpot in U.S. lottery history.
"I didn't know what to think," said Robert Stewart, 30, vho said he was a main-
tenance supervisor before the win. "I still don't know what to think."
The previous U.S. lottery jackpot record was $363 million for the Big Game, the
forerunner of Mega Millions. Powerball's previous record jackpot, $340 million,
was won by an Oregon family in October.
At least three of the winners yesterday are immigrants.
Quang Dao, 56, who like Dung Tran, 34, came to the United States from Vietnam
about 16 years ago, said he was looking for freedom when he headed for America.
"After I hit the lottery, it also changed my family's life in Vietnam," he said.
25 million Americans plagued by hunger
More than 25 million Americans turned to the nation's largest network of food
banks, soup kitchens and shelters for meals last year, up 9 percent from 2001.
Those seeking food included 9 million children and nearly 3 million senior citi-
zens, says a report from America's Second Harvest.
"The face of hunger doesn't have a particular color, and it doesn't come from
a particular neighborhood," said Ertharin Cousin, executive vice president of the
group. "They are your neighbors, they are working Americans, they are senior
citizens who have worked their entire lives, and they are children."
The organization said it interviewed 52,000 people at food banks, soup kitchens
and shelters across the country last year. The network represents about 39,000 hun-
ger-relief organizations, or about 80 percent of those in the United States. The vast
majority are run locally by churches and private nonprofit groups.
Iraqis gather at the ruins of a Shrine in Samarra north of Baghdad yesterday. An explosion
heavily damaged the golden dome of one of Iraq's most famous Shiite religious shrines.
little more than death squads. Ameri-
can commanders believe they under-
cut efforts to create a professional
Iraqi army and police force - a key
step toward the eventual drawdown
of U.S. forces.
Some Shiite political leaders already
were angry with the United States
because it has urged them to form a gov-
ernment in which nonsectarian figures
control the army and police. Khalilzad
warned this week - in a statement
clearly aimed at Shiite hardliners - that
America would not continue to support
institutions run by sectarian groups with
links to armed militias.
One top Shiite political leader
accused Khalilzad of sharing blame for
the attack on the shrine in Samarra.
"These statements ... gave green
lights to terrorist groups. And, there-
fore, he shares in part of the respon-
sibility," said Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim,
head of the Supreme Council for the
Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the for-
mer commander of its militia.
White House made secret deal for ports NW Rg
* Arab company agreed
to disclose internal records
to win U.S. sale
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush
administration secretly required a com-
pany in the United Arab Emirates to coop-
erate with future U.S. investigations before
approving its takeover of operations at six
American ports, according to documents
obtained by the Associated Press. It chose
tof to impose other, routine restrictions.
As part of the $6.8 billion purchase,
state-owned Dubai Ports World agreed to
reveal records on demand about "foreign
operational direction" of its business at
U.S. ports, according to the documents.
Those records broadly include details
about the design, maintenance or opera-
tion of ports and equipment.
The administration did not require
Dubai Ports to keep copies of business
records on U.S. soil, where they would be
subject to orders by American courts. It
also did not require the company to desig-
nate an American citizen to accommodate
U.S. government requests. Outside legal
experts said such obligations are routinely
attached to U.S. approvals of foreign sales
in other industries.
"They're not lax but they're not draco-
nian'" said James Lewis, a former U.S.
official who worked on such agreements. If
officials had predicted the firestorm of criti-
cism over the deal, Lewis said, "they might
have made them sound harder."
The conditions involving the sale of
London-based Peninsular and Oriental
Steam Navigation Co. were detailed in
U.S. documents marked "confidential."
Such records are regularly guarded as
trade secrets, and it is highly unusual for
them to be made public.
The concessions were described previ-
ously by the Homeland Security Depart-
ment as unprecedented among maritime
companies. Still, they reflect a close rela-
tionship between the United States and
the United Arab Emirates.
Rep. Peter King of New York, the
Republican chairman of the House Home-
land Security Committee and a leading
critic of the sale, said the conditions are
evidence the Bush administration was con-
cerned about security.
"There is a very serious question as to
why the records are not going to be main-
tained on American soil subject to Ameri-
can jurisdiction," King said.
The revelations about the negotiated con-
ditions came as the White House acknowl-
edged President Bush was unaware of the
pending sale until the deal had been already
approved by his administration.
The Republican head of the Senate
Armed Services Committee, John War-
ner of Virginia, announced plans for a
hearing in Washington today. Warner
has expressed support for the agreement,
describing the UAE as an important ally
Bush on Tuesday brushed aside objec-
tions by leaders in the Senate and House.
He pledged to veto any bill Congress
might approve to block the agreement,
but some lawmakers said they still were
determined to capsize it.
Dubai Port's top American executive,
chief operating officer Edward Bilkey,
said the company will do whatever the
Bush administration asks to enhance
shipping security and ensure the sale goes
through. Bilkey said yesterday he will
work in Washington to persuade skepti-
cal lawmakers they should endorse the
deal; Senate oversight hearings already
Anti war activist Cindy Sheehan and REM frontman Michael Stipe will head-
line a New York concert to urge the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
The concert, dubbed "Bring 'Em Home Now!" will be held at the Hammerstein
Ballroom on March 20, the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Rufus Wain-
wright and Bright Eyes will also perform, it was announced yesterday.
Sheehan, who camped outside President Bush's ranch in Texas last year to pro-
test the Iraq war, will speak during the concert. Her 24-year-old son, Casey, was
killed in Iraq in 2004.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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New York City man hospitalized for anthrax
* Officials say case is
accidental, not related to
NEW YORK (AP) - A New York City
drum maker has been hospitalized with a
case of inhaled anthrax that officials say
he may have contracted from the raw ani-
amal hides that he imports from Africa.
Authorities said yesterday the
infection appeared to be accidental
- not terrorism - and did not pose
a serious public health threat.
Vado Diomande, 44, had traveled
recently to the west coast of Africa
and fell ill in Pennsylvania last week
shortly after he returned to this coun-
try with some hides, authorities said.
It was not exactly clear how Dio-
mande came into contact with the
deadly substance, or whether it hap-
pened in Africa or in this country.
But aides to Mayor Michael Bloom-
berg said it was related to his job
making drums from animal skins.
At least four other people may have
been exposed to anthrax spores, including
a family member of the infected man who
worked with the hides, and three were
being treated with antibiotics, city Health
Commissioner Thomas Frieden said.
"Every indication suggests that
this is naturally occurring anthrax,"
Authorities were also screening for
contaminants at the man's rented work
area in Brooklyn, in his vehicle and in his
Manhattan apartment, Bloomberg said.
Anthrax spores are found in soil
in many parts of the world, and live-
stock can become infected by eating
contaminated soil or feed. People
can then pick up the infection if they
come into contact with contaminated
hides or other animal parts.
Lisa Rotz, a medical epidemiologist
with the federal Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, said health
officials believe Diomande may have
inhaled the spores in a process that
includes soaking the hides, stretching
them and scraping them to remove hair.
She said investigators are seeking
samples of the hides to test for spores.
Aides to the mayor said Dioman-
de was recovering in a hospital in
Sayre, Pa., after collapsing during a
performance with a dance company.
Pennsylvania health officials and the
Centers for Disease Control and Pre-
vention confirmed the case as inhala-
tion anthrax yesterday, the mayor said.
Anthrax infections must be treated
early with antibiotics for the best chance
of recovery. The inhalation form of the
disease has a fatality rate. of about 75
percent, even with antibiotics.
Frieden said Diomande was breath-
ing on his own and appeared to be
"doing better than people with respi-
ratory anthrax usually do."
Diomande has been a dancer and
drummer since he was a child, accord-
ing to a website for his dance troupe.
When he was a teenager he danced
with the National Ballet of the Ivory
Coast and toured all over the world.
He founded his own dance company
in 1989, the website said.
Authorities said they were not con-
cerned that the transport of the hides
or the finished drums to the U.S. posed
any health risk, because they believe
Diomande was infected while treating
and working with the materials.
At the Pennsylvania university
where he collapsed, students were
informed about the anthrax case but
were assured they were not in danger.
About 100 people attended the per-
formance, according to Terri Day, a
Weeks after the 2001 terrorist
attacks, the nation was on high alert as
anthrax-laced letters surfaced in sev-
eral places, including New York City.
NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw, two
U.S. senators and the offices of the New
York Post were among the targets.
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