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MiamiHerald.com

INTERNATIONAL EDITION

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MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2011

108TH YEAR I Š2011 THE MIAMI HERALD

Syria tries to ease deep political crisis

Radiation levels rise at stricken Japan plant

BY MICHAEL SLACKMAN

New York Times Service

CAIRO â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The Syrian government tried to ease a grave political crisis on Sunday by blaming armed gangs for killing 12 people in the northwestern port city of Latakia in previous days and promising to soon lift a draconian emergency law that allows the government to arrest and detain people without charges. Despite an announcement that Syriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s president, Bashar al Assad, was to address the nation on Sunday night, he stayed out of sight, as he has during more than a week of unrest that is threatening his own 11-year presidency and more than 40 years of his familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s iron-ďŹ sted rule. At least 61 people have died during crackdowns on protesters in several cities. The capital, Damascus, was quiet throughout the day, offering a veneer of calm at a time of great uncertainty. Speculation over highlevel conďŹ&#x201A;icts swirled as Syrians retreated to their homes, fearful of more protests and more bloodshed. There were rumors of cracks within the insular and opaque leadership of the nation, while the government sent out competing messages of compromise and crackdowns. There was also confusion over what, if anything, the government was planning regarding the emergency law. A government ofďŹ cial told reporters in Damascus that it would soon be repealed. But the ofďŹ cial did not explain what it would mean to remove the emergency law, in place since 1963, given that so many other laws restrict freedoms and grant immunity to the secret police. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What will change is nothing,â&#x20AC;? said Radwan Ziadeh, a Syrian human-rights activist and legal expert now teaching at George Washington University. What was certain was that the crisis was far from resolved by sunset on Sunday. The coastal town of Latakia was sealed off by security services and the military one day after witnesses and human-rights groups reported

BY HIROKO TABUCHI AND KEITH BRADSHER

New York Times Service

ANJA NIEDRINGHAUS/AP

Libyan rebels celebrate at a checkpoint in Al Egila, east of Ras Lanuf on Sunday.

FAST FORWARD Libyan rebels march toward Gadhafi stronghold BY KAREEM FAHIM AND DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK New York Times Service

AJDABIYA, Libya â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Libyan rebels backed by allied warplanes recaptured a pair of strategic oil towns as they erased recent losses and returned to the doorstep of Col. Moammar GadhaďŹ â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most important bastion of support in his tribal homeland of Surt. Their swift return once again sets the stage for what both sides consider a potentially decisive battle in the war for Libya. It underscores the essential role that Western airstrikes â&#x20AC;&#x201D; now focused mainly on GadhaďŹ ground troops since the elimination of his air defenses â&#x20AC;&#x201D; have played in turning around the rebelsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; fortunes, but that also raises questions about the ability of the poorly equipped and disorganized rebel forces to take on GadhaďŹ â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s garrison inside the city of Surt. NATO agreed to take over the airstrikes at a meeting Sunday night in Brussels, effectively taking command from the U.S.led coalition. NATOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s military council had already agreed to take over maintaining a no-ďŹ&#x201A;y zone against the Libyan leaderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

6TURN TO SYRIA, 2A

AFP-GETTY IMAGES

Rebels climb aboard a bombed-out tank after retaking Ajdabiya from the forces of Moammar Gadhafi. aircraft, but the United States had asked that NATO broaden its oversight to include the airstrikes as well. The airstrikes, which began a week ago, have quickly reversed the military balance along the eastern coast. The rebel advance on Sunday moved the eastern front further west than it had been at the peak of rebel gains several weeks ago.

Rebels pushed past the oil towns of Brega and Ras Lanuf, meeting little resistance as they recaptured two important reďŹ neries. By the evening, they had pushed west of Bin Jawwad, according to ďŹ ghters returning from the front. Emboldened by the retaking

TOKYO â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Sharply elevated radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex on Sunday raised the possibility of spreading contamination and forced an emergency evacuation of part of the damaged plant. The concerns began when a worker attempting to measure radiation levels of the water puddles there saw the reading on his dosimeter jump beyond 1,000 millisieverts, the highest reading. The worker left the scene immediately, said Takeo Iwamoto, a spokesman for the Tokyo Electric Power, the operator of the Fukushima plant. Michiaki Furukawa, a nuclear chemist and board member of the Citizensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Nuclear Information Center, a Tokyo-based watchdog group, said exposure to 1,000 millisieverts an hour of radiation would induce nausea and vomiting, while levels between 3,000 to 5,000 millisieverts an hour could be lethal. Such high amounts of radiation would clearly make continued recovery work near the reactor very difďŹ cult and could hobble attempts to bring the nuclear crisis under control. Tetsuo Iguchi, a professor in the department of quantum engineering at Nagoya University, said that at the sharply elevated levels of radiation, workers would be able to remain on site for only about 15 minutes before health considerations required them to leave. The Japanese governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top spokesman, Yukio Edano, told an afternoon press brieďŹ ng Sunday that it appeared the radioactive puddles had developed when the No. 2 unitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fuel rods were exposed to air, but that â&#x20AC;&#x153;we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t at this time believe they are melting. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re conďŹ dent that we are able to keep them coolâ&#x20AC;?. The higher levels may have suggested a leak from the reactorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fuel rods â&#x20AC;&#x201D; from either the suppression

6TURN TO LIBYA, 2A n Libyan woman recounts her ordeal, 3A

6TURN TO JAPAN, 2A

Ferraro broke barriers in U.S. politics VALERIO MEZZANOTTI/NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE

Claude Angeli, editor of Le Canard Enchaine, at his office in Paris.

A devotee of print scoops the competition in France BY SUZANNE DALEY

New York Times Service

stand. Le Canard Enchaine is â&#x20AC;&#x153;about paper and ink,â&#x20AC;? it says. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even consider snickering. This is not some strange journalism backwater. Angeli and his crew of 16 journalists â&#x20AC;&#x201D; fewer than half of them writing on computers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; are probably the most successful â&#x20AC;&#x153;gotchaâ&#x20AC;? journalists in the country. On a recent afternoon, Angeli pulled a small index card from his black book â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a running list of this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s triumphs. There was the public ofďŹ cial who charged about

PARIS â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Claude Angeli had his little black book on the table â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a real little black book, leather bound and yellowing pages. No BlackBerry. No iPhone. No computer in sight. Angeli is the 79-year-old executive editor of Le Canard Enchaine, a weekly satirical newspaper. He writes his articles longhand. True, Le Canard Enchaine has a webpage, but there is little on it beyond images of old front pages and the suggestion that you buy the paper on Wednesdays at your news- 6TURN TO ANGELI, 2A

BY MATT SCHUDEL

Washington Post Service

Her nomination energized the party faithful at the Democratic National Convention, where Ferraro received an eightminute ovation, and she proved to be a dynamic presence on the campaign trail, where she often drew larger, more enthusiastic crowds than Mondale. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This candidacy is not just a symbol, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a breakthrough,â&#x20AC;? she said during the campaign. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just a statement, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a bond between women all over America.â&#x20AC;? Despite the historic nature of Ferraroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s candidacy, the Democratic ticket

Geraldine Ferraro, who shattered political barriers as the ďŹ rst female major-party nominee on a presidential ticket when she was chosen as the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 1984, died at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where she was being treated for blood cancer. She was 75. Ferraro was a threeterm member of the House of Representatives when the Democratic presidential nominee, Walter Mondale, chose her as his running mate. Democrats were elated by the choice, which was seen as a landmark achievement in U.S. politics and as a possible way to derail the reelection hopes of President Ronald Reagan. 6TURN TO FERRARO, 5A

AP FILE

THOUSANDS PROTEST AGAINST SPENDING CUTS IN BRITAIN, 6A

USE OF FORCE IN BAHRAIN MAY HIT ECONOMY, BUSINESS FRONT

VCU STUNS KANSAS IN NCAA TOURNEY, SPORTS FRONT

INDEX NEWS EXTRA................3A U.S. NEWS.....................5A OPINION........................7A COMICS & PUZZLES...6B 5


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THE MIAMI HERALD 28 MARCH 2011