FALLUJAH, Iraq

Insurgents try to counter U.S. attack

Insurgents tried to break through the U.S. cordon surrounding
Fallujah yesterday as American forces launched an offensive against
concentrations of militants in the south of the city. Some 600
insurgents, 18 U.S. troops and five Iraqi soldiers have been killed
in the four-day assault, the U.S. military said.

In an apparent bid to relieve pressure on their trapped allies,
insurgents mounted major attacks in Mosul, Iraq’s
third-largest city 220 miles to the north. Guerrillas assaulted
nine police stations, overwhelming several, and battled U.S. and
Iraqi troops around bridges across the Tigris River in the city,
where a curfew was imposed a day earlier.

Elsewhere, a series of attacks throughout central Iraq
underscored the nation’s perilous security. In Baghdad, a car
bomb exploded yesterday moments after a U.S. patrol passed on
Saadoun Street, killing 17 bystanders and wounding 30. There were
no U.S. casualties.

Another car bomb exploded in Kirkuk as the governor’s
convoy was passing by, killing a bystander and wounding 14
people.

 

JERUSALEM

Israeli forces arrest nuclear whistle blower

Heavily armed police commandos stormed a Jerusalem church
compound and arrested Israeli nuclear program whistle blower
Mordechai Vanunu yesterday, drawing harsh condemnation from the
Anglican Church to which he belongs.

Vanunu, who was released seven months ago after completing an
18-year prison sentence for treason, was arrested on suspicion of
revealing classified information, police said. He was taken before
a magistrate, who ordered him confined to the church hostel under
house arrest for seven days.

“This is a disgrace to Israeli democracy!” Vanunu
shouted to journalists as he was led into court. “They want
to punish me again. They cannot punish me twice. I suffered 18
years in prison. I have the right to be free.”

Analysts said the arrest of Vanunu — who has repeatedly
defied orders not to give interviews — may be an Israeli
attempt to suppress discussion of its nuclear program at a time of
increasing international efforts to block Iran from going
nuclear.

 

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast

After evacuation of foreigners, violence ends

Staring with tears in their eyes, Ivory Coast’s people
emerged from their homes yesterday to survey the wreckage of five
days of violent upheaval and stock up on food.

France and other Western nations flew out hundreds of their
nationals in a second round of evacuations, while South Africa
convened urgent talks, warning the crisis could destabilize West
Africa.

The commercial capital, Abidjan, experienced the first day of
calm since anti-foreigner mobs took to the streets tomorrow after a
sudden, deadly clash between the forces of Ivory Coast and its
former colonial ruler, France.

Some shops reopened and traffic returned to streets strewn with
charred vehicles and the remnants of roadblocks. Residents crowded
supermarkets and waited in long lines to withdraw cash from
ATMs.

 

ATLANTA

Delta pilots agree to salary cuts for five years

Delta Air Lines pilots have agreed to slash their salaries by
nearly a third and forgo pay raises for five years to help the
struggling airline avoid bankruptcy, their union announced
yesterday.

The $1 billion in annual wage concessions from Delta’s
7,000 pilots is a huge victory for the Atlanta-based airline, which
has lost more than $6 billion since early 2001.

The plan received 79 percent support from pilots who voted over
10 days by phone and over the Internet. Voting ended at noon
yesterday.

The agreement, which becomes effective Dec. 1, was tentatively
reached by union leaders and Delta after 15 months of
negotiations.

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