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September 19, 2006 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-19

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 19, 2006
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In this image from NASA TV, European Space
Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter of Germany
floats in the laboratory of the station yesterday.
Chem-ical spills
" ."
in space station
Equipment failure causes first-
ever emergency declared aboard
international station
HOUSTON (AP) - An oxygen generator on the inter-
national space station overheated and spilled a toxic irri-
tant yesterday, forcing the three-man crew to don masks
and gloves in the first emergency ever declared aboard the
8-year-old orbiting outpost.
NASA said the crew members' lives were never in any
danger. They cleaned up the spill with towels. A charcoal
filter scrubbed the irritant out of the air. And within a cou-
ple of hours, life aboard the station 220 miles above Earth
was nearly back to normal.
But it was the biggest scare this smooth-running space
station has had.
Although it paled in comparison to two fires and a
collision on two previous Russian space stations and the
nearly fatal explosion on Apollo 13, the incident served as
a reminder of how life-and-death emergencies can come
out of nowhere. It is why an emergency space capsule is
always parked at the outpost in case of a sudden order to
abandon ship.
NASA never came close to ordering the crew to leave
the station, space station program manager Mike Suffredi-
ni said. But astronauts did reveal they were worried.
About three hours after the emergency, station com-
mander Pavel Vinogradov tried to explain what happened
to Moscow Mission Control, saying "different thoughts
came to my mind." Russian flight controllers interrupted,
telling him: "We were kind of nervous here, too."
NASA and the Russian space agency were investigating
what caused the problem.
"We don't exactly know the nature of the spill ... but the
crew is doing well," Suffredini. "It's not a life-threatening
The astronauts sounded an alarm after the equipment
began smoking and turned off the ventilation system to
avoid spreading any fumes from leaking drops of potas-
sium hydroxide, which is used to power batteries.
Monitors showed that the cabin air was safe. "It was
just an irritant issue," NASA spokesman James Hartsfield
said. "The crew did exactly the right things they were
trained to do."

White House to revise terror proposal
The White House said Monday it will send lawmakers a revised proposal
for dealing with terrorism suspects as indications grew that President Bush's
plan was meeting increased resistance among Republicans in both chambers
of Congress.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino said the administration
was sending the new language in hopes of reaching an agreement. A revolt
by GOP senators, who have written their own proposal giving terror detain-
ees more rights than the administration wants, has embarrassed the White
House at a time when Republicans want to use their security policies as a
main platform in November's congressional elections.
"Our commitment to finding a resolution is strong," Perino said.
A week after a Republican-led Senate committee defied Bush and approved
terror-detainee legislation that the president vowed to block, three more GOP
senators said they now opposed the administration's version, joining the four
Republicans who had already come out against it.
CAIRO, Egypt
Al-Qaida in Iraq to pope: Islam will prevail
Al-Qaida in Iraq warned Pope Benedict XVI yesterday that its war against
Christianity and the West will go on until Islam takes over the world, and Iran's
supreme leader called for more protests over the pontiff's remarks on Islam.
Protests broke out in South Asia and Indonesia, with angry Muslims saying
Benedict's statement of regreta day earlier did not go far enough. In southern Iraq,
demonstrators carrying black flags burned an effigy of the pope.
Islamic leaders around the world issued more condemnations of the pope's com-
ments, but some moderates in the Middle East appeared to be trying to put a damp-
er on the outrage, fearing it could spiral into attacks on Christians in the region.
On Sunday, Benedict said he was "deeply sorry" over any hurt caused by his
comments made in a speech last week, in which he quoted a medieval text charac-
terizing some of the Prophet Muhammad's teachings as "evil and inhuman" and
calling Islam a religion spread by the sword.
Pentagon defends holding AP photographer
The Pentagon defended yesterday its months-long detention of an Associated Press
photographer in Iraq, asserting that it has authority to imprison him indefinitely with-
out charges because it believes he had improper ties to insurgents.
But journalism organizations said that covering all sides in the Iraq war sometimes
requires contacts with insurgents. They called on the Pentagon to either bring charges
against photographer Bilal Hussein so he can defend himself, or release him.
Hussein, an Iraqi photographer employed by the AP, was captured in Ramadi on
April 12 of this year. AP executives, who worked on his case behind the scenes for
five months, on Sunday made a public call for the military to transfer him to Iraq's
criminal justice system or release him.
Bush arrives at UN with policy problems
President Bush faced disagreement yesterday over how to confront Iran's nuclear
ambitions and skepticism about his approach to Iraq and the Middle East as world
leaders gathered for the U.N. General Assembly meeting.
Still, Bush was upbeat, focusing on his push for democratic change and first lady
Laura Bush's call for governments to embrace literacy programs to improve lives.
"We don't believe freedom belongs only to the United States of America," Bush
said at the White House Conference on Global Literacy hosted by his wife. "We
believe that liberty is universal in its applications. We also believe strongly that as
the world becomes more free, we'll see peace."
CORRECTIONS - Conmpiledfrom Dily wire reports
A photograph of Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn and coach Charlie Weis
on the front page of SportsMonday yesterday was not attributed. The photo was taken
by Daily photographer Forest Casey.
Please report any error in the Daily to corrections@michigandaily.com.




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