2A-The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 19, 2006
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Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice talks to
reporters about her upcoming trip to Asia this
week as she hopes to bolster support for United
Nations sanctions against North Korea.
Rice: U.S. ready
from Norffi Korea
Secretary of state pledges to
use military force, hoping to
stifle allies' thoughts of attaining
nuclear weapons of their own
TOKYO (AP) - The United States is willing to use
its full military might to defend Japan in light of North
Korea's nuclear test, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
said yesterday as she sought to assure Asian countries
there is no need to jump into a nuclear arms race.
At her side, Rice's Japanese counterpart drew a firm
line against his nation developing a nuclear bomb.
The top U.S. diplomat said she reaffirmed President
Bush's pledge, made hours after North Korea's Oct. 9
underground test blast, "that the United States has the
will and the capability to meet the full range - and I
underscore the full range - of its deterrent and secu-
rity commitments to Japan."
Rice spoke following discussions with Japanese
Foreign Minister Taro Aso, the first stop on her crisis
mission to respond to the threat posed by the North.
Signs continued yesterday that North Korea might
be readying for a second nuclear test that could be car-
ried out as soon as this week, while Rice is in Asia.
There were reports that North Korea had told China
it was ready to conduct up to three more nuclear tests.
But at the State Department in Washington, spokesman
Tom Casey said, "We certainly haven't received any
information from them, from the Chinese, that they've
been told by Pyongyang that another test is imminent"
U.S. government officials, who spoke on condition
of anonymity because of the sensitive situation, said
there wasn't evidence to suggest that another nuclear
test in North Korea was hours or even days away.
But given the underground nature of the testing,
officials said, it could happen with little or no warn-
ing. Analysts have been monitoring the movement
of trucks and VIP buses around test sites as well as
military communications, media activity and official
U.S. October death toll in Iraq hits 70
Eleven more U.S. troops were slain in combat, the military said yesterday, putting
October on track tobe the deadliest month for U.S. forces since the siege of Fallujah
nearly two years ago.
The military says the sharp increase in U.S. casualties - 70 so far this month
- is tied to Ramadan and a security crackdown that has left American forces
more vulnerable to attack in Baghdad and its suburbs. Muslim tenets hold that
fighting a foreign occupation force during Islam's holy month puts a believer
especially close to God.
As the death toll climbed for both U.S. forces and Iraqi civilians, who are being
killed at a rate of 43 a day, the country's Shiite-dominated government remained
under intense U.S. pressure to shut down Shiite militias.
Social Security checks to jump 3.3 percent
Social Security checks for nearly 49 million retirees are going up by 3.3
percent next year - an average increase of $33 per month though rising
health care costs will take a bite out of the gain.
The monthly benefit for the typical retiree will rise to $1,044 from an
average of $1,011 this year.
The cost of living adjustment announced yesterday by the Social Security
Administration will go to more than 53 million people. Nearly 49 million
receive Social Security benefits and the rest Supplemental Security Income
payments aimed at the poor.
The 3.3 percent increase compares with a 4.1 percent benefit rise in for
2006, which had been the biggest increase in 15 years.
Ethics committee questions page's sponsor
A Louisiana congressman and sponsor of a page who later received question-
able e-mails from ex-Rep. Mark Foley went before a House ethics panel yester-
day to explain how his office handled the teen's complaint last fall.
GOP Rep. Rodney Alexander appeared yesterday morning and said he would
address reporters after testifying. He says that after he and his staff learned of
the e-mails to the former page, his aides contacted the office of House Speaker
Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) for advice on what to do about communications the boy's
family thought were inappropriate.
Alexander's account - that the matter was passed on to more senior House
members and top staff - has not been challenged. And his testimony is a small
piece of a more confusing puzzle that puts Hastert and his aides at odds with the
accounts of other top GOP lawmakers and their aides.
Rumsfeld: Terror threat not exaggerated
Americans must take a lesson from history and not believe the terrorist
threat has been exaggerated or will go away, Defense Secretary Donald Rums-
feld said yesterday.
He described a new, more ruthless and lethal terrorist enemy, "with no territory to
defend, no treaties to honor, that measures progress in terms of decades, not days."
"With this sort of enemy, we cannot afford - and indeed could not survive -
another holiday from history'" Rumsfeld said.
Contending there are those who say terrorism is "somebody else's problem, or it
will go away," Rumsfeld countered that America has no choice but to go on the offen-
sive. And he urged patience with the Iraqi and Afghan governments as they struggle
to build their democracies.
- Compiledfrom Daily wire reports
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