-2 The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 17, 2006
U.S., Iraq launch
massive air attack
NEWS IN BRIEF
HEADLNS* RMAOUDTE OL
____ .d____..m...m__. . ::
In search of insurgents,
U.S. gives go-ahead to
largest air assault since
beginning of war
BAGHDAD (AP) - In a well-pub-
"licized show of force, U.S. and Iraqi
forces swept into the countryside north
of the capital in 50 helicopters yester-
,day looking for insurgents in what the
American military called its "largest
air assault" in nearly three years.
There was no bombing or firing
from the air in the offensive northeast
of Samarra, a town 60 miles north of
Baghdad, the U.S. military said. All
50 aircraft were helicopters - Black
Hawks, Apaches and Chinooks -
used to ferry in and provide cover for
the 1,450 Iraqi and U.S. troops.
The military said the assault -
Operation Swarmer - aimed to clear
"a suspected insurgent operating area"
and would continue over several days.
Residents in the area of the assault
reported a heavy U.S. and Iraqi troop
presence and said large explosions
could be heard in the distance. Ameri-
can forces routinely blow up structures
they suspect as insurgent safe-houses
or weapons depots. It was not known
if they met any resistance, but the mil-
itary reported detaining 41 people.
The attack was launched as Iraq's
new parliament met briefly for the
first time. Lawmakers took the oath
but did no business and adjourned
after just 40 minutes, unable to agree
on a speaker, let alone a prime minis-
ter. The legislature set no date for it to
Still, the session marked a small
step toward forming a unity govern-
ment that the Bush administration
hopes will calm the insurgency and
enable it to begin withdrawing U.S.
Operation Swarmer also came as the
Bush administration was attempting to
show critics at home and abroad that it is
Iraqi Army soldiers of 4th Iraqi Army Division exit a CH-47 Chinook heli-
copter in support of Operation Swarmer in Samarra, Iraq.
dealing effectively with Iraq's insurgen-
cy and increasingly sectarian violence.
White House spokesman Scott
McClellan denied it was tied to the
new campaign to change war opin-
ion. "This was a decision made by
our commanders," he said, adding
that President Bush was briefed but
did not specifically authorize the
The U.S. military forces have been
trying to build up the Iraqi army so
that it can play a leading role in fight-
ing the insurgents.
The operation appeared concen-
trated near four villages - Jillam,
Mamlaha, Banat Hassan and Bukad-
dou - about 20 miles north of
Samarra. The settlements are near
the highway leading from Samarra to
the city of Adwar, scene of repeated
insurgent roadblocks and ambushes.
Katrina evacuees suffer mental health problems
* States changing focus
from providing housing
to offering counseling
and additional support
CHICAGO (AP) - When William
Villavaso closes his eyes, the nightmare
is waiting for him - the one about the
-15 hours he spent in water slick with
diesel fuel in New Orleans, a life jacket
and a chunk of wood keeping him afloat
until he was rescued.
Six months after losing his home and
his possessions to Hurricane Katrina,
the 49-year-old New Orleans native is
now living in Chicago, where he has
been diagnosed with post-traumatic
stress disorder and wakes up from bad
dreams in a cold sweat.
On a scale from 1 to 10 - 10 being
well - Villavaso says that emotionally,
"right now I'm probably a 2."
"I hope to have normalcy again in my
life," says Villavaso, who is trying to
battle his depression at group counsel-
ing. "I'm just hoping for that stability."
As many as 500,000 Katrina evacu-
ees around the country may need mental
health counseling, according to the U.S.
Substance and Mental Health Services
Administration. And while Villavaso is
getting help, the government says many
others are not, and may not even know
they need it.
Several states that took in evacuees
are recognizing the problem, changing
their focus from providing housing and
jobs to offering counseling and emo-
In Illinois, about 20 counselors are
tracking down approximately 7,000
evacuees, and officials are referring
them to professionals.
"We know that there's several stag-
es of emotional crisis that people go
through," says Carol Adams, Illinois's
human services secretary. "Right now,
people are in the stage when they real-
ize things won't work out quite how they
Congress ups debt ceiling to $9 trillion
Congress pushed the ceiling on the national debt to nearly $9 trillion yes-
terday, and the House and Senate promptly voted for major spending initia-
tives for the war in Iraq, hurricane relief and education.
The Senate, on a 52-48 vote, sent President Bush a measure allowing the gov-
ernment to borrow an additional $781 billion and preventing a first-ever default
on Treasury notes. The move allows lawmakers and the president to pay for the
war in Iraq. without raising taxes or cutting popular domestic programs.
Hours later, the House approved by a 348-71 vote $92 billion in new money for the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and for relief along the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast.
In the Senate, a late-night vote loomed on a $2.8 trillion budget blueprint
for the upcoming year, but only after approving amendments breaking Bush's
$873 billion cap on appropriated spending by more than $12 billion.
Vice President Dick Cheney was expected to be on hand for a possible tie-
breaking vote. Sen. Mary Landrieu, (D-La.), could prove a crucial vote.
Iran agrees to talks with U.S. over Iraq
Iran offered yesterday to enter into talks with the United States aimed at sta-
bilizing Iraq, the first time the Islamic republic has agreed to negotiate with the
superpower it calls the "Great Satan."
The offer appears to reflect the desire of at least some top Iranian officials to
relieve Western pressure over Tehran's nuclear program in return for help on Iraq,
which is sliding ominously toward civil war.
The Bush administration said it would talk with Iran - but only about Iraq, not
The White House said the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, is already
authorized to talk with Iran about Iraq.
"But this is a very narrow mandate dealing specifically with issues relating to
Iraq," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, adding that it did not include
U.S. concerns about Iran's nuclear program. "That's a separate issue."
Few mourners attend Milosevic's funeral
The flag-draped coffin of Slobodan Milosevic went on public display yesterday,
but it drew relatively few mourners paying tribute to the former president who died
while on trial for genocide and war crimes.
Hundreds of die-hard Milosevic supporters - not the tens of thousands that
organizers had predicted - lined up to view his casket in a museum dedicated to
the late communist dictator Josip Broz Tito in Belgrade's plush Dedinje district.
When the doors first opened, the crowd scrambled to get in, pushing back secu-
rity guards amid cries of "Slobo! Slobo!" A window shattered in the melee, and
police were called in to keep order.
Bomb scare before NCAA game cleared
The arena for the first-round NCAA men's tournament game between Alabama
and Marquette was temporarily evacuated yesterday after bomb-sniffing dogs detect-
ed "something strange" on a food vendor's cart about two hours before tipoff.
After the FBI, police and security officials checked, the all-clear was given at
Cox Arena nearly two hours later. The game began at 12:50 p.m. - 70 minutes
after the original start time.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
A story on yesterday's front page (Designs unveiled for new quad) incorrectly
stated that "On Friday, the University Board of Regents is expected to approve the
schematic design of North Quad" It should have said the regents were expected to
be asked to vote on them Friday. The same story incorrectly stated the time of a
informational meeting about the plans on March 23. The meeting, which will be in
the Lorch Hall Auditorium and will focus on students, staff and faculty, will take
place from 4 to 6 p.m.
Please report any error in the Daily to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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DEPRESSION ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES'
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The University's Role in Responding to Crisis, Disaster, and Lss
2f 0 D~pWiot~e C
Marc-h 21-22, 2006-+
Rackham Graduate School, Ann Arbor, MI MkNZUNCeter
} ' for Public H.alth
The Department of Communication Studies
presents a Howard R. Marsh lecture on
Democracy and the Media
Monday, March 20, 2006, 7:30 pm
Rackham Auditorium, The University of Michigan
Mr. Rich will do a book signing, sponsored by Nicola's Books.
Contact the Department of Communication Studies
(734-764-0423) for more information,
f f&& O K $ "U N TS
To view the complete conference agenda and registration form,
visit: www.depressioncenter.orp or contact Trish Meyer at email@example.com
DoNN M. FRESARD
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