The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Monday, December 11, 2006 - 3A
NEWS BRIEFS PORTRAIT O
Protesters call for
Hundreds of thousands of Hez-
bollah members and their allies
flooded central Beirut yester-
day demanding changes in the
government's makeup as soldiers r
strung more barbed wire around
the offices of the Western-backedk
Buoyed by the big turnout after
a week of street protests, the pro-
Syria opposition gave Prime Min-
ister Fuad Saniora an ultimatum of
a "few days" to accept its demand
to form a national unity govern-
ment with a big role for Hezbollah,
or face an escalating campaign to.
Saniora, who has been holed up LSA freshman Maria Svidler reviews her
in his fortified office downtown, Alice Lloyd Residence Hall yesterday
rejected the demand and urged his
foes to resume negotiations.
But despite the heated rhetoric H am S IC
of the political confrontation, yes-
terday's mass gathering remained
peaceful and left the door open to
the possibility of a settlement. D e nieh e
HOUSTON For little town of
Space shuttle safe Jesus's birth, small
after heat shield cheer in tough times
inspection BETHLEHEM, West Bank
Brutal Chilean dictator
dies unpunished at 91
General said to be
responsible for more
than 3,197 deaths
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Gen.
Augusto Pinochet, who overthrew
Chile's democratically elected
Marxist president in a bloody coup
and ruled this Andean nation for 17
years, died yesterday, dashing hopes
of victims of his regime's abuses
that he would be brought to justice.
He was 91.
Pinochet suffered a heart attack a
week ago and underwent an angio-
plasty, and the brief announcement
by the Santiago Military hospital
said his condition worsened sud-
denly yesterday. Dr. Juan Ignacio
Vergara, spokesman for the medi-
cal team that had been treating him,
said his family was with him when
Police ringed the hospital, but a
small group of Pinochet supporters
remained at the entrance, shouting
insults at people inpassingcars. The
supporters, including some weeping
women, repeatedly called out"Long
Live Pinochet!" and sang Chile's
Chile's government says at least
3,197 people were killed for politi-
cal reasons during his rule, but after
leavingthe presidencyin 1990 Pino-
chet escaped hundreds of criminal
complaints because of his declining
physical and mental health.
Pinochet took power on Sept. 11,
1973, demanding an unconditional
surrender from President Salvador
Allende as warplanes bombed the
presidential palace in downtown
Santiago. Instead, Allende commit-
ted suicide with a submachine gun
he had received as a gift from Fidel
As the mustachioed Pinochet
crushed dissent during his 1973-90
rule, he left little doubt about who
was in charge. "Not a leaf moves in
this country if I'm not moving it," he
But when it came to his regime's
abuses, Pinochet refused for years
to take responsibility, saying any
murders of political prisoners
were the work of subordinates.
Then on his 91st birthday - just
last month - he took "full political
responsibility for everything that
happened" during his long rule.
The statement read by his wife,
however, made no reference to the
In the days following Pinochet's
seizure of power, soldiers carried
out mass arrests of leftists.
Many detainees, including two
Americans, were herded into the
National Stadium, which became a
torture and detention center. The
Americans were among those exe-
cuted by the Chilean military, their
deaths chronicled in the 1982 film
Other leftists were rounded up
by a death squad known as the
"Caravan of Death." Victims were
buried in unmarked mass graves in
the northern Atacama desert, in the
coastal city of La Serena and in the
southern city of Cauquenes.
Pinochetpledgedto stayin power
"only as long as circumstances
demand it," but soon after seiz-
ing the presidency, he said he had
"goals, not deadlines."
r prints at a printmaking workshop in
Palestinian Tourism Minister Jou-
deh Morkos has modest expectations.
Last year, only about 2,500 for-
eignvisitors came on Christmas, but
he's counting on the usual busloads
of Christians from Arab towns in
Israel to boost turnout. Before the
Space shuttle Discovery looks
to be in good health so far, NASA
managers said yesterday, although
it will be at least two days before
engineers can rule out any possible
damage from the program's first
night launch in four years.
"So far so good," said lead flight
director Tony Ceccacci as Dis-
covery's astronauts wrapped up a
meticulous inspection of the shut-
tle's heat shield, looking for anyj
possible damage from liftoff.
As expected, small pieces of
foam debris and ice fell off Dis-
covery's external fuel tank during
Saturday night's launch, but they
didn't appear to strike the shuttle,
said deputy shuttle program man-
ager John Shannon, chairman of
the mission management team.
(AP) - Islamic militants may be in outbreak of the Palestinian upris-
charge, but that doesn't mean there ing in 2000, Bethlehem drew more
won't be Christmas this year. than 90,000 pilgrims a month.
The cash-strapped Hamas gov- With just two weeks until Christ-
ernment is promising $50,000 to mas, Bethlehem is only sparsely
dress up Jesus's traditional birth- decorated.
place for the holiday, more than A few neon stars are nailed to
twice the amount spent in previous storefronts on the mrain streets.
years. The only decoration on the Luther-
Yet even the extra cash - if an Christmas Church in a busy
Hamas pays up - may not be market area is spray-painted graf-
enough to bring Christmas cheer fiti below the pointed steeple that
to Bethlehem, hit hard by the last reads "Islamic Jihad" - a Muslim
six years of Israeli-Palestinian militant group.
fighting. The town is now walled In Manger Square, next to the
in by Israel's West Bank separation church built over Jesus' traditional
barrier, poverty is deepening and birthplace, only two of six souvenir
Christians are leaving Bethlehem shops and a small cafe were open on
in droves. a recent afternoon.
Rumsfeld says goodbye
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MANCHESTER, N.H. .i .i
With eve on 08, in surprise IraqVisi
Obama visits N.H.
Sen. Barack Obama sparked
an early frenzy yesterday during
his initial visit to the nation's first
presidential primary state, but said
he still hasn't decided whether to
run and questioned whether all
the hype was just part of his "15
minutes of fame."
The Illinois senator said he is
still "running things through the
traps" as he considers whether
to join a field of Democrats that's
expected to include front-runner
Sen. Hillary Clinton and several
other more experienced political
RAMALLAH, West Bank
Palestinian President Mah-
moud Abbas threatened on Satur-
day to call early elections to end
an impasse with Hamas but set no
date for the vote, signaling he has
not given up on forming a unity
government with the Islamic mili-
Hamas greeted the proposal
with anger, saying Abbas lacked
the authority to replace the gov-
ernment it leads.
Abbas' watered-down threat,
which was reported by PLO offi-
cials, reflected the dilemma facing
the Palestinian leader after fruit-
less efforts to form a joint admin-
istration with Hamas that would
be more moderate toward Israel
and end a Western aid boycott.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
secretary says fight
must go on
BAGHDAD (AP) - Outgo-
ing Defense Secretary Donald H.
Rumsfeld paid a surprise visit to
Iraq over the weekend and said
American forces should not quit the
war until the enemy is defeated.
Just days after a U.S. bipartisan
commission called the situation
here "grave and deteriorating" and
called for a major shift in U.S. gov-
ernment policy, Rumsfeld showed
no sign on Saturday of backing down
from his long-standing position that
insurgent groups such as al-Qaida
in Iraq mustbe crushed.
Rumsfeld, whose tenure at the
Pentagon came under criticism in
the Iraq Study Group report, was
continuing to meet with U.S. troops
in Iraq yesterday, the military said.
At least 2,930 members of the
U.S. military have died since
the beginning of the Iraq war in
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