2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 11, 2006
White House says Iran may soon
face U.N. Security Council action
and international sanctions
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran broke U.N. seals on its
nuclear enrichment facility yesterday, pledging only to
conduct research, but the international nuclear watch-
dog said Tehran also planned small-scale enrichment
of uranium - a process that can produce fuel for
The move drew an immediate outcry from Europe
and Japan as well as Washington as the reopening of
the Natanz facility was seen as defiance of demands
that Iran maintain a freeze on its nuclear program.
The Bush administration said Iran was nearing the
point where U.N. Security Council action and interna-
tional sanctions were inevitable.
"If the regime in Iran continues on the current
course and fails to abide by its international obliga-
tions there is no other choice but to refer the matter to
the Security Council," said White House press secre-
tary Scott McClellan.
Enriched uranium can be used as fuel in nuclear
reactors in electricity generation or for nuclear bombs,
depending on the level of processing.
In announcing it would reopen its Natanz enrich-
ment center last week and as the seals were broken yes-
terday, Tehran claimed enrichment was not planned.
"What we resume is merely in the field of research,
not more than that," the deputy head of the Atomic
Energy Organization of Iran, Mohammad Saeedi, said
at a press conference.
"Production of nuclear fuel" - which would involve
enrichment - "remains suspended," he said.
Saeedi said the nature of the equipment unsealed
was "a confidential issue between us and the IAEA."
But the Vienna, Austria-based International Atom-
ic Energy Agency said in a statement yesterday that
uranium hexafluoride - a gaseous form of uranium
- would "be fed into cascades" of centrifuges as part
of Iran's activities.
Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization in Iran, speaks with media during a
press conference in Tehran, Iran yesterday.
Uranium hexafluoride gas is spun in centrifuges to
separate out fissile isotopes in the process of enrich-
ment that can produce low-level nuclear fuel or weap-
Iran claims its contentious nuclear program is for
electricity generation, but Washington accuses Iran of
seeking nuclear weapons.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier
questioned whether European-led negotiations had
any future and said Iran had "crossed lines which it
knew would not remain without consequences." He
said he had asked ElBaradei to quickly evaluate the
dangers of Iran's move.
Britain warned the international community was
"running out of patience," and Foreign Secretary Jack
Straw said Tehran had breached IAEA resolutions.
"There was no good reason why Iran should have
taken this step if its intentions are truly peaceful,"
Japan said the decision was "a matter of deep
regret" and the Foreign Ministry called on Iran "to
immediately cease the resumption of the research and
Iran's decision to freeze some nuclear activities in
October 2003 was voluntary, so the IAEA said it had
no option but to remove the seals at Iran's request.
The move further erodes the suspension of nuclear
activities that has been the centerpiece of Iran's nego-
tiations with the West since the freeze was put in place
as a confidence-building measure.
In August, Iran removed seals at another nuclear
plant outside the city of Isfahan and resumed uranium
reprocessing - a step before enrichment in the nucle-
ar fuel process.
Samn shows new signs of recovery
Doctors reported progress by Ariel Sharon yesterday, saying the Israeli leader moved
his left hand and appeared to respond to his sons' voices in new signs of recovery from
a massive stroke.
But while doctors said Sharon was no longer in immediate danger, they cautioned
it would be days before they could determine the full extent of the damage he suffered
from a brain hemorrhage and whether he has lost his ability to think and reason.
"I think compared with recent days ... there are significant changes in the prime
minister's condition. But we still have a long way to go, and we have to be patient" said
Yoram Weiss, one of Sharon's anesthesiologists.
Sharon suffered a massive stroke Jan. 4 and underwent three surgeries to stop hem-
orrhaging on the right side of his brain. He has been kept in a medically induced coma
to give him time to recover.
Israelis were stunned at the illness of their 77-year-old leader and have intensely fol-
lowed updates on his condition. Some made pilgrimages to Hadassah Hospital, gather-
ing outside to pray, hanging up posters of support and offering letters of well wishes,
many written by children.
Bush warns Dems to watch what they say
President Bush warned Democratic critics of his Iraq policy yesterday
to watch what they say or risk giving "comfort to our adversaries" and
suffering at the ballot box in November. Democrats said Bush should take
his own advice.
There are still 10 months left before congressional elections in which the
president's Republican Party could lose its dominance of Capitol Hill; a recent
Associated Press-Ipsos poll found Americans prefer Democratic control over
a continued GOP majority by 49 percent to 36 percent. But Bush is wasting
no time engaging the battle. In his first speech of 2006 on the road, last week
in Chicago, he aggressively challenged Democrats on the economy.
Yesterday's equally sharp message represented an attempt by the presi-
dent to neutralize Democrats' ability to use Iraq - where violence is
surging in the wake of December parliamentary elections and messy
negotiations to form a new coalition government - as an election-year
cudgel against Republicans.
Turkey flies into action over flu outbreak
Thrkey raced to contain an outbreak of bird flu yesterday, destroying 300,000 fowl
and blaring warnings from mosque loudspeakers, after preliminary tests showed at
least 15 people have been infected with the deadly H5N1 strain.
As the country recorded the first human deaths outside eastern Asia, jit-
tery European governments stepped up border checks and hosed down Turkish
trucks with disinfectant.
Fifteen cases in one week is a record for the current bird flu outbreak. Never
before has such a high number of cases been seen in such a short time in Asia,
where 76 people have died since 2003.
European governments, scrambling to avoid the specter of a mutation that could
trigger a pandemic capable of killing millions, sprayed trucks from Turkey with disin-
fectant. In Italy, a consumer group urged the government to impose a ban on travel to
Turkey, and in Greece, veterinary inspectors stepped up border checks.
Underscoring the vulnerability neighboring countries feel, Bulgaria began issuing its
citizens special instructions on how to deal with an outbreak.
Robbers flee bank with hostage, shoot at police
Two armed robbers fled a bank near Walt Disney World with one hostage
yesterday after sheriff's deputies tried to end an hours-long standoff by blasting
through a rear door.
Deputies were using cell phones to negotiate with the suspects, who were trapped in
a car with the female hostage after they tried to escape in a bank employee's vehicle.
They drove less than a mile from the bank but turned around after being surround-
ed by barricaded streets. The robbers then shot at deputies but nobody was injured,
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Ahto answers key questions on 2nd day
Nominee says he will
face the abortion issue
with an open mind
WASHINGTON (AP) - Supreme
Court nominee Samuel Alito said yes-
terday he would deal with the issue of
abortion with an open mind as a justice,
though he defended his 1991 judicial
vote saying women seeking abortions
must notify their husbands.
In the second day of Senate hearings,
Alito also said no president or court is
above the law - even in time of war -
as he addressed questions on presidential
powers. The issue has been at the fore-
front since the revelation that President
Bush had secretly ordered the National
Security Agency to conduct wiretaps of
Americans in the terror war.
The federal judge also faced tough
questions about his decisions during
15 years on an appeals court, his writ-
ings on wiretaps and his membership in
a college organization opposed to the
admission of women and minorities.
Alito's answers and his demeanor
at the hearings could be critical to his
prospects of winning Senate confirma-
tion as the 110th Supreme Court justice.
The White House expressed confidence
that he would prevail in the Republican-
Asked why he wanted the lifetime
job, Alito said, "This is a way for me
to make a contribution to the country
Bush's choice for the high court
said his Reagan-era writings oppos-
ing abortion reflected an attorney
representing a client's interests and, if
confirmed and faced with an abortion
case, "I would approach the question
with an open mind."
The conservative jurist gave no indi-
cation how he would vote if faced with
the question of whether to overturn the
Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade
decision establishing a woman's right to
While citing the importance of
precedent, Alito also said several
times it was not an "inexorable com-
mand" for justices.
The judge defended his dissent in
the 1991 case of Casey v. Planned Par-
enthood, in which the 3rd U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals struck down a Penn-
sylvania law that included a provision
requiring women seeking abortions to
notify their spouses.
The Supreme Court also rejected
the spousal notification, but Chief
Justice William Rehnquist quoted
from Alito's opinion in his own dis-
sent. The high court, on a 5-4 vote,
upheld a woman's right to the pro-
cedure but was divided on other ele-
ments of the case.
Alito told the Senate Judiciary Com-
mittee: "I did it because that's what I
thought the law required."
In a 1985 memo as an official of the
Reagan administration,Alito described
a legal strategy for chipping away
at abortion rights. Questioned about
the document, he told the committee,
"That was a statement that I made at
a prior period of time when I was per-
forming a different role and, as I said
yesterday, when someone becomes a
judge you really have to put aside the
things that you did as a lawyer at prior
points in your legal career."
Bush's pick to replace retiring Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor told the Judi-
ciary Committee that courts in general
should follow their earlier decisions
and avoid being moved by public opin-
ion on controversial issues.
"I think that the legitimacy of the
court would be undermined in any
case if the court made a decision
based on its perception of public opin-
ion," Alito said.
Big Easy begins making plans to rebuild
New Orleans and other
parts of the Gulf Coast will
split $29 billion in federal
aid for reconstruction
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - This city
is dreaming big as it puts together a
blueprint for its rebirth in the wake of
Hurricane Katrina, considering such
audacious ideas as recreating a long-gone
jazz district, building a network of bike
paths and commuter rail.lines, and estab-
lishing a top-flight school system.
In the coming days, beginning today,
a commission appointed by Mayor Ray
Nagin will unveil a grab bag of ideas that
could become part of the master plan
for rebuilding this devastated city, a task
unparalleled in American history.
Committees and subcommittees of
the Bring New Orleans Back Commis-
sion were invited to think big, with little
regard for the price tag. That will be dealt
with later, when New Orleans and other
parts of the Gulf Coast divvy up the $29
billion in federal aid designated for hur-
ricane recovery and reconstruction.
"This isn't about us asking for $1 bil-
lion to build three more Superdomes and
five more airports" said Michael Arata,
chairman of a subcommittee that looked
at rebuilding the city's film and music
industries. "These are projects by real
New Orleanians that will have real ben-
efit and affect the lives of the people of
He added: "This process allowed
people to kind of speak their dreams,
give words to their greatest concepts
and greatest hopes for this city."
At the heart of the proposals is
one critical, and controversial, rec-
ommendation: All parts of the city
- even the devastated Lower Ninth
Ward and other neighborhoods that
were submerged to their rooftops -
should be given a chance to rebuild.
The Urban Land Institute caused a
stir late last year when it issued a report
urging the city to put its resources into
rebuilding areas that were not flooded.
The institute warned that if New Orleans
tried to rebuild everything, the city
would be condemned to a slow, patch-
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