Correction appended: A news brief headline in Wednesday’s edition of the Daily incorrectly said, “Israeli soldier killed as security increases.” The soldier was not killed, but wounded.

WASHINGTON

Bush may dispatch troops to quell flu

President Bush, stirring debate on the worrisome possibility of a bird flu pandemic, suggested dispatching American troops to enforce quarantines in any areas with outbreaks of the killer virus.

Bush asserted aggressive action could be needed to prevent a potentially crippling U.S. outbreak of a bird flu strain that is sweeping through Asian poultry and causing experts to fear it could become the next deadly pandemic. Citing concern that state and local authorities might be unable to contain and deal with such an outbreak, Bush asked Congress to give him the authority to call in the military.

The president has already indicated he wants to give the armed forces the lead responsibility for conducting search-and-rescue operations and sending in supplies after massive natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

 

JERUSALEM

Israeli soldier wounded as security increases

A Palestinian woman brandishing a knife stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Nablus yesterday before other soldiers shot and killed her, the army said.

The attack came as Israel beefed up security throughout its towns and cities to prevent attacks during Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, which began Monday night. Israeli troops also barred Palestinians from entering Israel from the West Bank and Gaza during the holiday.

Also yesterday, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said the Hamas militant group was setting itself up as a shadow government to the Palestinian Authority and needed to be dismantled. Mofaz demanded that the Palestinian Authority disqualify Hamas from running in parliamentary elections scheduled for January.

 

HADITHA, Iraq

U.S. military launches second offensive in Iraq

U.S. troops pushed through streets sown with bombs yesterday in their biggest operation this year in western Iraq, seeking to retake three Euphrates River towns from al-Qaida insurgents. At least five U.S. service members have been killed in the fighting.

Operation River Gate – launched at the start of the holy month of Ramadan _ was the second U.S. offensive in a week in Anbar province, near the Syrian border. Al-Qaida in Iraq called for intensified attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces during the Muslim period of fasting, which started yesterday for the nation’s Sunnis.

Blasts from U.S. warplanes and helicopters lit up the sky during the fighting, aimed at putting down Sunni-led insurgents intensifying their campaign of violence ahead of an Oct. 15 vote on Iraq’s new constitution.

 

BRUSSELS, Belgium

Chirac: Turkey needs culture change to join EU

French President Jacques Chirac said yesterday that Turkey would need to undergo a “major cultural revolution” before entering the European Union, and he reiterated that France would hold a referendum on admitting Ankara to the bloc.

The comments by Chirac represented the tough road ahead in Turkey’s membership in the 25-nation EU. It took last-minute wrangling after two days of arduous talks between EU foreign ministers to overcome Austrian objections to start the negotiations.

The entry talks are expected to last for at least 10 years before the EU can absorb Turkey and stretch its borders to the Middle East.

 

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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