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Archive for Wednesday, October 20, 2004

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October 20, 2004

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Missouri

Plane crash kills at least 8

A commuter plane crashed Tuesday in woods as it approached an airport in northeastern Missouri, killing at least eight of the 15 people on board, officials said.

At least two people on board the flight from St. Louis survived and were being treated at a hospital, and five were missing, said Adair County Chief Deputy Larry Logston.

The last communication from the Jetstream 32 twin-engine turboprop indicated it was on a normal approach to Kirksville Regional Airport, and there was no mention of any problems, said Elizabeth Isham Cory, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Chicago.

Weather conditions at the time of the crash were overcast with misting and some thunderstorms in the area. It wasn't immediately clear if the plane went down in a storm.

Afghanistan

Karzai team confident of victory in first round

With one-third of the votes counted in Afghanistan's landmark presidential election, Hamid Karzai was leading with 64 percent, and his campaign team said Tuesday it was certain the interim leader would reach the simple majority required to avoid a run-off.

The camp of ethnic Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, currently third, also said Tuesday that the race was over, but Karzai's key challenger accuses the U.S.-backed incumbent of cheating and refuses to concede defeat.

Karzai has captured 1,857,476 votes, or 64.4 percent. His closest challenger, former Education Minister Yunus Qanooni, trails with 16.6 percent. Dostum is third with 7.4 percent.

Jerusalem

Army chief condemns call for disobedience

Israel's army chief of staff on Tuesday condemned a call from scores of rabbis on observant soldiers to refuse to obey orders to evacuate Jewish settlements under next year's planned Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip.

The statement by Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, broadcast on local media, reflected army officials' growing concern that a significant number of soldiers would heed the rabbis' call, causing a crisis in the army.

"Insubordination is dangerous to us as an army, as a society and as a nation. This is not legitimate and inappropriate," Yaalon said. "Don't put us in impossible situations."

Under Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's "disengagement plan," Israel would withdraw from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements next year, removing 8,600 settlers from their homes.

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