The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 14, 2006 · Page 7
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 7

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006
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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14.2006 iNTEfiNfflOIUL THE HAYS DAILY NEWS A7 Large eruption forces fresh evacuation A day earlier, officials said it was OK to return By ROBERT KENNEDY ASSOCIATE!) PRESS MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia — A large eruption of searing hot gas and debris sent more than 1,000 villagers fleeing from the slopes of Indonesia's Mount Merapi today, prompting authorities to raise the volcano's alert status to its highest level again. The highest alert means thousands of villagers will have to be evacuated, a day after authorities lowered the' level a notch and allowed people to go home, said government vulca- nologist Subandrio, who goes by one name. Government vulcanologist Triyani said the gas cloud traveled some 3 miles down the slope along a river and almost enveloped one village. "When we downgraded the status, we said that if its activities increased, and we thought it was dangerous to the people, then we will review it," he told el-Shinta radio station. "In fact, that happened again, and there- fore, we raised the status to the highest level." Most of those who fled three villages on the mountain's southern slopes today had just returned home after spending several weeks in camps lower down from the peak of the mountain, said villager Edi Egan. "We were very happy to go back in the morning, but as soon as we got there, we saw a massive cloud steaming toward us," said Egan, whose village, Cangkringan, lies less than 3 miles south of Merapi's volatile lava dome. "We all decided it was time to leave." Vulcanologist Antonius Rat- domopurbo said Monday a crack in the lava dome's southern foot had widened, threatening to unleash more powerful surges of gas down Merapi's southern slopes. Merapi has been venting steam and debris since May 13. More than 20,000 people fled the mountain during a surge in activity after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake rocked the area May 28. In recent days, most men had returned to tend to their farms and animals during the day, before going to government shelters at night. The largest superheated cloud of the year brought down a section of the Merapi's lava dome Friday and created a new crater, relieving pressure on the dome, Ratdomopurbo said. The main dangers at the 9.700-foot Merapi are fast-moving bursts of blistering gases and rock fragments called pyro- clastic flow. One killed more than 60 villagers in 1994, and about 1,300 people died when Merapi erupted in 1930. Merapi erupts A large eruption of Mount Merapi forced a fresh evacuation today, a day after the government lowered the alert level. SOURCES: ESRI; USQS Militants killed in Afghanistan MUDA QALA, Afghanistan (AP) — Coalition and Afghan forces killed 26 suspected militants today in fighting in eastern mountains, while in southern Afghanistan, more than 11,000 troops prepared for their biggest offensive since the fall of the Tal- iban five years ago. Suspected Taliban militants attacked a coalition logistics patrol in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire, killing one American soldier and wounding two others, the U.S. military said. About 100 British troops were quickly air-dropped in to support the patrol, and coalition air fire killed or wounded 12 militants in the area, said coalition spokesman Maj. Quentin Innis. Another coalition soldier died in combat in the eastern Kunar region. The fighting in the eastern mountains near the Pakistani border that killed 26 suspected militants also left four civilians dead when a rocket hit their home in a separate rebel attack, said Paktika provincial Gov. Akram Khelwak. c | [Heljcpp.ter/ gunships;and ap-,., tikery fire supported troops on the ground, Khelwak said. One' •Afghan police officer was wounded. The large offensive that starts Thursday will involve 11,000 U.S., British, Canadian and Afghan troops. The push, which aims to squeeze Taliban fighters in four volatile provinces, will focus on southern Uruzgan and northeastern Helmand, where the military says most of the forces are massed. Dubbed Operation Mountain Thrust, the offensive comes amid Afghan and coalition efforts to curb the fiercest Taliban-led violence since the hard-line Islamic government was toppled for harboring Osama bin Laden following the Sept. 11,2001, attacks. Europe treads softly on Iran nuclear issue VIENNA, Austria (AP) — Europe is treading softly on the issue of Iran's uranium enrichment program at a meeting of the UN, nuclear agency, fearing too much pressure could jeopardize talks with Tehran, documents made available to The Associated Press showed today. A draft statement by the European Union drawn up for later delivery at the 35-nation board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency notes that "international concerns about Iran's nuclear program remain to be resolved and that repeated requests by the board remain to be fulfilled." But beyond that mild criticism of Tehran's refusal to cooperate with an IAEA probe of its nuclear activities, the four- paragraph statement is conciliatory, urging Iran "to respond positively" to a recent offer to resume nuclear talks. Separately, a confidential letter from Peter Jenkins, Britain's chief representative to the IAEA, restricts itself to informing the meeting that Iran has been offered a package of incentives in exchange for negotiating on its nuclear program. The only implicit threat is a June 1 quote from British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett, who warns of the possibility of "further steps... in the UN. Security Council" if Iran remains defiant. Britain in the past has been among Europe's strongest critics of Tehran's nuclear ambitions. Palestinians storm parliament, attack Hamas lawmakers By MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH ASSOCIATED PRESS RAMALLAH, West Bank — Dozens of Palestinian civil servants stormed the parliament today to demand long-overdue salaries, pelting Hamas lawmakers with water bottles and forcing the parliament speaker to flee the building. The second attack on the parliament this week, along with the shooting death of a Hamas gunmen in the Gaza Strip, cast doubt on renewed efforts by leaders of the rival Fatah and Hamas parties to halt their increasingly deadly infighting. Tensions have been high since Hamas defeated Fatah in legislative elections in January. President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, who was elected separately last year, has been in a power struggle with the Islamic group, and 22 people have been killed in factional fighting in recent weeks. Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas agreed late Tuesday to start a weeklong series of meetings to try to reach an agreement over a proposal that implicitly recognizes the Jewish state. Their talks continued today as senior security commanders joined in. Abbas has endorsed the plan as a way to restart peace talks and l,ift crippling international economic sanctions'that n'ave '' rendered, the.government unable, since February, to pay salaries that support one-third of the Palestinian population. Hamas has rejected it. In France, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed to "make every effort" to resume negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, although he also insisted that rocket attacks must stop first. In Ramallah, hundreds of government workers demonstrated outside the parliament building, chanting anti-government slogans and demanding their wages. As the chanting grew louder, several dozen protesters burst into the building and pelted Hamas lawmakers with water bottles, tissue boxes and other small items. "We are hungry. We are hungry," the protesters screamed. "Haniyeh, go home!" During the melee, some MUHAMMED MUHEISEN / Associated Press A Palestinian civil servant shouts today as a group interrupts in a protest at a session of the Palestinian Legislative Council in the West Bank town of Ramallah. demonstrators climbed onto lawmakers' desks. At one point, security guards broke up a scuffle between two female lawmakers. No injuries were reported. Parliament speaker Abdel Aziz Duaik, a top Hamas official, fled the hall under heavy guard shortly before the crowd burst in. "I'm not coming back until they leave," Duaik said as he rushed out. Order was restored after about 45 minutes, and the session resumed. Most of the demonstrators we.re thought to be Fatah ac-., , tivists. Later today, several hundred Hamas supporters marched peacefully in Ramallah to condemn attacks on government buildings. "We ask, whose interests are you serving through these actions, burning down our institutions?" Hamas leader Farhat Assad asked in a speech. "It is uglier than the practices of the Israeli occupation." Earlier this week, hundreds of pro-Fatah security personnel went on a rampage in Ramallah, shooting and burning th$ parljia- ment and Cabinet buildings in a rage against the Hamas-led government. The power struggle, which has spilled over into factional fighting, has centered on control of the powerful, Fatah-dominated security forces. In fighting today, a Hamas gunman was killed in the southern Gaza Strip shortly after Hamas militants attacked the local commander of one of the Palestinian security agencies. The commander was shot in the legs seven times and moderately wounded. After the Hamas militant was killed, the group attacked the commander's home and set it on fire. Hamas activists pulled the commander's family out of the building before it was torched. In their meeting in Gaza City, Abbas, Haniyeh and senior security officials discussed ways to end the violence. "We deplore and regret these incidents," Haniyeh said. "We all are concerned and interested in stopping this deterioration. The government is going to carry out its responsibilities along with the security branches in order to maintain law and order." Participants said today's talks focused on Hamas' controversial private militia. Hamas deployed the 3,000-member force last month, setting off weeks of bloodshed. Abbas has demanded the force be disbanded. Haniyeh said Abbas had agreed to incorporate the militia into the regular police force in Gaza. But he declined to say when this might take place. Hamas has twice pledged to remove the militia out of public places, but it remains in position. The wider dialogue between Fatah and Hamas has concentrated on a plan that calls for a Palestinian state alongside Israel and in effect recognizes the Jewish state. Abbas believes the plan gives the Palestinians a way to form a united political front. But if the talks fail, he has scheduled a July 26 referendum on the plan, over Hamas' objections. Hamas, which is sworn to Israel's destruction, wants changes in the language of the document, but Abbas says it will not be revised. The talks have come amid a spike in fighting with Israel. On Tuesday, an Israeli airstrike killed eight civilians and two militants in Gaza. Two children were among the dead. Abbas called the airstrike "state terrorism," and Haniyeh demanded an international inquiry. LA CROSSE LIVESTOCK MARKET, INC. LA CROSSE, KANSAS Receipts from June 9th (539 hd) Steers 200-300* $135.00-180.00. 300-400* $139.00-152.50. Heifers .$146.00-159.00 ..$115.00-140.00 .$115.50-129.00 .$105.00-117.00 ...$95.00-108.00 ...$97.00-104.00 400-500* $112.50-129.00.. 500-600* $100.50-120.50.. 600-700* $102.00-116.00.. 700-800* $102.00-108.00.. Weigh-up Cows: $40.00-54.75 Weigh-up Bulls: $55.50-81.25 Upcoming Sales: June 16th NO SALE June 23rd NO SALE June 30th Regular Sale To watch your cattle sell go to: www.lacrosselivestock.com for a link! Have a safe harvest! FRANK SEIDEL 785-222-2586 or 785-650-4919 Thank you for your business! t_i ^< _ Ja .i^t, , tm^ - <—< •^^^^^^•••^^^^••^••^•^•^^^"••^•***^* — ^^^ r i«*^»*»« Answer to Tuesday's Bob's Big Bucks Puzzle : " Wex-Tecn Wireless Customers > Toby &' Dana Griffith , \ •'. ^ ^ Amie, Kolton & Oscar the ; &6;gf hear the difference Hear what REAL customers have to say about Nex-Tech Wireless service... "Great reception and in rural America that's really important. And, it's easy for our kids to reach one of us." 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