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January 23, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-01-23

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The Michigan Daily -- michigandaily.com

Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 5A

Alleged attack
on U.S. embassy
foiled by Israel

Intelligence
agency said suicide
bombing plans
linked to al-Qaida
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel
on Wednesday said it had foiled
an "advanced" al-Qaida plan
to carry out a suicide bombing
on the U.S. Embassy in Tel
Aviv and bomb other targets, in
what analysts said was the first
time the global terror network's
leadership has been directly
involved in plotting an attack
inside Israel.
The Shin Bet intelligence
agency said it had arrested three
Palestinians who allegedly
plotted bombings, shootings,
kidnappings and other attacks.
It said the Palestinian men, two
from Jerusalem and one from the
West Bank, were recruited by an
operativebased in the Gaza Strip
who worked for al-Qaida leader
Ayman al-Zawahri.
The State Department said
the U.S. was not yet able to
corroborate the Israeli claims.
While a number of groups
inspired by al-Qaida have
carried out attacks against Israel
before, this appeared to mark the
first time an attack was directly
planned by al-Qaida leaders.
The Shin Bet said the Pales-
tinians planned on attacking a
Jerusalem conference center
with firearms and then kill res-
cue workers with a truck bomb.
Al-Qaida also planned to send
foreign militants to attack the
U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv on the
same day using explosives sup-
plied by the Palestinians, it said.
It said five men whose identity
and nationality were not
disclosed were to fly into Israel
with fake Russian passports to

attack the American embassy.
It was not clear where the men
are located.
The Palestinian operatives
had planned on several other
attacks, it said. One included
shooting out the tires of abus and
then gunning down passengers
and ambulance workers.
The agency said it the plot was
in "advanced planning stages"
but gave no further information
on how close the men got to car-
rying it out. It said the Palestin-
ians from Jerusalem had used
their Israeli resident cards to
scope out and gather intelligence
on targets. They were arrested in
the past few weeks, it said.
A number of al-Qaida-
inspired groups have carried out
rocket attacks from Gaza and
Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, as well
as shootings in the West Bank.
Israeli intelligence calls these
groups part of a "global jihad"
movement.
Aviv Oreg, a former head of
the Israeli military intelligence
unit that tracks al-Qaida, said
the plot marked the first time it
has been directly linked to an
attempted attack in Israel.
"This is the first time
that Ayman al-Zawahri was
directly involved," he said.
"For them, it would have been
a great achievement."
The Shin Bet said the three
suspects made contact with al-
Qaida over the Internet. It said
they planned on traveling to
Syria - where various jihadist
groups are battling the forces
of President Bashar Assad -
for training.
Oreg said that many for-
eign fighters fighting the Assad
regime are from Chechnya and
predominantly Muslim parts of
Russia and speculated that the
militants with the phony docu-
ments would be from there.

ANJA NIEDRINGHAUS/AP
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry points his finger at a press conference during the Syrian peace talks in Montreux, Switzerland, Wednesday.
Kerry: Assad's reign must end

Western delegation
insists on transfer
of power, Syrian
delegation refuses
MONTREUX, Switzerland
(AP) - Furiously divided from
the start, representatives of Syr-
ian President Bashar Assad and
the rebellion against him threat-
ened Wednesday to collapse a
peace conference intended to
lead them out of civil war.
Assad's future in the coun-
try devastated by three years of
bloodshed was at the heart of
the sparring, which took place
against a pristine Alpine back-
drop as Syrian forces and rebel
fighters clashed across a wide
area from Aleppo and Idlib in the

north to Daraa in the south.
U.S. and U.N. officials said
merely getting the two sides in
the same room was something
of a victory, but U.N. chief
Ban Ki-moon's claim that the
discussions were "harmonious
and constructive" was at odds
with the testy exchange when
he tried to get the podium
from Syrian Foreign Minister
Walid Moallem.
"You live in New York. I live
in Syria," Moallem angrily told
Ban. "I have the right to give
the Syrian version here in this
forum. After three years of
suffering, this is my right."
With little common ground,
the two sides were to meet
separately Thursday with
a U.N. negotiator, Lakhdar
Brahimi, who said he still did
not know if they were ready to

sit at the same table when talks
begin in earnest Friday. But,
Brahimi said, both sides had
shown some willingness to
bend on local cease-fires and
delivery of humanitarian aid,
and Russian Foreign Minister
Sergey Lavrov said they were
also working on possible terms
for a prisoner exchange.
The Western-backed opposi-
tion said Assad's departure was
their starting point, echoing the
position laid out by U.S. Secre-
tary of State John Kerry.
"The resolution cannot
be about one man's - or one
family's - insistence on clinging
to power," Kerry said.
The response from the
government delegation was firm
and blunt.
"There will be no transfer of
power, and President Bashar

Assad is staying," Syrian
Information Minister Omran
al-Zoubi told reporters.
The two sides seemed
impossibly far apart in opening
statements in the Swiss city
of Montreux, famed for its
stunning mountain views
and mellow jazz festival. The
waterfront road was barricaded
by roadblocks and hundreds
of security forces, with boats
patrolling the shores of Lake
Geneva day and night.
The small-town venue
was chosen in haste when a
watchmakers' convention left
Geneva hotels booked. That
made for some potentially
awkward encounters - some
of the opposition were staying
in the same hotel as the Syrian
government delegates, as were
the Americans.

Obama discusses epidemic of
sexual assault on campuses

i-t- 7
SERGEI CHUZAVKOV/AP
An elderly woman walks away from police officers as they block a street during unrest in central Kiev, Ukraine,Tuesday.
After civilian deaths, Ukraine
opposition issues ultimatum

Protesters call for
early elections due
to rights violations
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -
Ukrainian opposition leaders
issued a stark ultimatum to
President Viktor Yanukovych
on Wednesday to call early
elections within 24 hours or
face more popular rage, after
at least two protesters were
killed in confrontations with
police in a grim escalation
of a two-monthlong political
crisis.
The protesters' deaths,
the first since the largely
peaceful protests started in
November, fueled fears that
the daily demonstrations
aimed at bringing down the
government over its decision
to shun the European Union
for closer ties to Moscow and
over human rights violations
could turn more violent.
With a central Kiev street
ablaze and covered with
thick black smoke from burn-
ing tires and several thou-
sand protesters continuing to

clash with riot police, oppo-
sition leaders urged tens of
thousands of demonstrators
in a nearby square to refrain
from violence and remain in
the main protest camp for the
next 24 hours.
They demanded that
Yanukovych dismiss the
government, call early
elections and scrap harsh anti-
protest legislation. It was last
week's passage of the laws
cracking down on protests that
set off the violent clashes.
"You, Mr. President, have
the opportunity to resolve
this issue. Early elections
will change the situation
without bloodshed and we
will do everything to achieve
that," opposition leader Vitali
Klitschko told some 40,000
people who braved freezing
temperatures on Kiev's
Independence Square late
Wednesday.
If Yanukovych does not
concede, "tomorrow we will
go forward together. And if
it's a bullet in the forehead,
then it's a bullet in the fore-
head, but in an honest, fair
and brave way," declared

another opposition leader,
Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
Yanukovych has showed little
willingness to compromise,
however. A three-hour meeting
with opposition leaders
accomplished "nothing,"
said Oleh Tyahbnybok, who
attended the session.
Meanwhile, the government
handed security forces extra
powers, including closing off
streets and firingwatercannon
against protesters despite
the freezing temperatures.
Police have already used
water cannon but insisted it
was only to put out fires. The
government also deployed an
armored personnel carrier at
the site of the clashes.
During Wednesday's
confrontations, riot police
violently beat and shot at
protesters, volunteer medics
and journalists. The Interior
Ministry announced that 70
protesters had been arrested.
Prime Minister Mykola
Azarov said the police did
not have live ammunition
and that opposition leaders
should be held responsible for
the deaths.

White House report
says drinking, drug
use fuel increased
college attacks
WASHINGTON (AP) -
President Barack Obama shone
a light Wednesday on a college
sexual assault epidemic that is
often shrouded in secrecy, with
victims fearing stigma, police
poorly trained to investigate
and universities reluctant to
disclose the violence.
A White House report
highlights a stunning
prevalence of rape on college
campuses, with 1 in 5 female
students assaulted while only 1
in 8 student victims report it.
"No one ismore atriskofbeing
raped or sexually assaulted
than women at our nation's
colleges and universities," said
the report by the White House
Council on Women and Girls.
Nearly 22 million American
women and 1.6 million men have
been raped in their lifetimes,
according to the report. It
chronicled the devastating
effects, including depression,
substance abuse and a wide
range of physical ailments such
as chronic pain and diabetes.
The report said campus
sexual assaults are fueled by
drinking and drug use that can
incapacitate victims, often at
student parties at the hands of
someone they know.
Perpetrators often are serial
offenders. One study cited by
the report found that 7 percent
of college men admitted to
attempting rape, and 62 percent
of those men admitted to
multiple offenses, averaging six
rapes each.
Obama, who has overseen
a military that has grappled
with its own crisis of sexual
assaults, spoke out against the
crime as "an affront on our
basic decency and humanity."
He then signed a memorandum
creating a task force to respond

to campus rapes.
Obama said he was speaking
out as president and a father of
two daughters, and that men
must express outrage to stop
the crime.
"We need to encourage
young people, men and women,
to realize that sexual assault is
simply unacceptable," Obama
said. "And they're going to
have to summon the bravery to
stand up and say so, especially
when the social pressure to
keep quiet or to go along can be
very intense."
Obama gave the task force,
comprised of administration
officials, 90 days to come up
with recommendations for col-
leges to prevent and respond
to the crime, increase public
awareness of each school's track
record and enhance coordina-
tion among federal agencies to
hold schools accountable if they
don't confront the problem.
Records obtained by The
Associated Press under the
federal Freedom of Informa-
tion Act illustrate a continuing
problem for colleges in inves-
tigating crime. The documents
include anonymous complaints
sent to the Education Depart-
ment, often alleging universities
haven't accurately reported on-
campus crime or appropriately
punished assailants as required
under federal law.
A former Amherst College
student, Angie Epifano,
has accused the school of
trivializing her report of being
raped in a dorm room in 2011 by
an acquaintance. She said school
counselors questioned whether
she was really raped, refused
her request to change dorms,
discouraged her from pressing
charges and had police take
her to a psychiatric ward. She
withdrew from Amherst while
her alleged attacker graduated.
Among the federal laws
requiring colleges to address
sexual assault are: Title IX,
which prohibits gender dis-
crimination in education; the
renewed Violence Against

Women Act, which was signed
into law last year with new
provisions on college sexual
assault; and the Clery Act,
which requires colleges and
universities to publicly report
their crime statistics every year.
The Education Department
has investigated and fined
several schools for not
accurately reporting crimes.
Most notably was a 2006 case
at Eastern Michigan University,
in which the government
eventually fined the school a
then-record $357,000 for not
revealing a student had been
sexual assaulted and murdered
in her dorm room.
Violent crime can be under-
reported on college campuses,
advocates say, because of a uni-
versity's public-image incentive
to keep figures low, or because
crimes can occur off campus
and instead investigatedby local
police. Other times, schools put
such suspects before a campus
court whose proceedings are
largely secret and not subjected
to judicial review.
Students Active for Ending
Rape, a nonprofit group that
works with student activists to
push for sexual assault policy
changes on their campuses, said
in a report last year that schools
often do not fully address the
problem. The report gave more
than 80 percent of college
policies a grade C or below, an
F to nearly one-quarter and said
one-third don't fully comply
with the Clery Act.
The White House report
also declares that the criminal
justice response to sexual
assault broadly is too often
inadequate and lays out a goal of
increasing arrest, prosecution
and conviction rates without
any specific targets.
The report blames police bias
and a lack of training to investi-
gate and prosecute sex crimes
for low arrest rates and says the
federal government should pro-
mote training and help police
increase testing of DNA evi-
dence collected from victims.

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