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Winchester Star: Friday, October 28, 2005 - Page 1

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   Winchester Star (Newspaper) - October 28, 2005, Winchester, Virginia                                The Winchester Star 110THYEARNO.99 40 PAGES/4 SECTIONS WINCHESTER, VIRGINIA 22601, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2005 www.wlnchesterstar.com      35 CENTS Storm of Protest Sinks Miers Nomination By DAVID ESPO _AP Special Correspondent_ WASHINGTON - In a striking defeat for President Bush, White House counsel Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to the Supreme Court on Thursday after three weeks of brutal criticism from fellow conservatives. The Senate's top Republican predicted a replacement candidate within days. Miers said she abandoned her quest for confirmation because the Senate was demanding documents and information detailing her private advice to the president. "I am concerned that the confirmation process presents a burden for the White House," she wrote in a letter to Bush expressing her 25 days as a Supreme Court nominee Oct. 3: Bush nominated Miers to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court. Oct. 6: Questions surfaced about her qualifications, some citing her lack of Judicial experience. Oct. 11: Disappointment grew among conservatives, who cited the lack of a record on issues such as abortion and the death penalty. Some called for Bush to withdraw her nomination. Oct. 19: Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Arlen Specter and others demanded more information from Miers before hearings begin on Nov. 7; one lawmaker described the Supreme Court nominee's answers so far as "incomplete to insulting." Harriet Miers . Oct. 4: Some Republicans questioned her conservative credentials. Oct: 7 Bush predicted that Miers would be confirmed despite grumbling from conservatives. Oct.'12: Bush said Miers religious beliefs were part of the reason he picked her for the high court. Oct. 24: Bush said he would not turn over documents detailing the private advice that Miers gave him while serving in the White House. Oct. 27: Miers withdrew her nomination. AP wish to drop the nomination. Senior lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee said they had requested no such documents. Instead, Republicans and Democrats said politics forced her to withdraw, particularly the demands of GOP conservatives who twice elected Bush and now seek to move the high court to the right on abortion and other is- sues. "They had a litmus test and Harriet Miers failed that test," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass. "In effect, she was denied due process by members of her own party," said Sen. John Warner, R-Va. And former GOP Sen. Dan Coats, whom the White House assigned to assist See Miers Page A7 Conservative Strength vs. Weaker Bush By TOM RAUM _Associated Press Writer_ An Analysis WASHINGTON - Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers's sudden withdrawal underscores the strength of the social conservatives who form President Bush's political base and the weakness of a president buffeted by one political misfortune after another. Her withdrawal came after restive conservatives mounted a See AnalysiH Page A7 Exxon Mobil Profits Soar Amid Boosts In Gas Prices Shell Earnings Also Rise By STEVE QUINN Associated Press Writer DALLAS - Exxon Mobil Corp. rewrote the corporate record books on Thursday as the oil company's third-quarter earnings soared to almost $10 billion and it became the first public company ever with quarterly sales topping $100 billion. Anglo-Dutch competitor Royal Dutch Shell PLC wasn't far behind, posting a profit of $9 billion for the quarter. Those results led Democrats in Congress to _ demand a new windfall profits tax. "Big oil behemoths are making out like bandits, while the average American family is getting killed by high gas prices, and soon-to-be record heating oil prices," Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement. But Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said President Bush opposes such a move and is instead considering a wide range of proposals to help cushion consumers, including the creation of an emergency reserve of gasoline and other refined products. Thursday's outsized earnings are a result of surging oil and natural gas prices that pushed pump prices to record territory after Hurricane Katrina. They come on the heels of similar eye-popping gains reported this week by BP PLC, ConocoPhillips Inc. and Marathon Oil Corp. See Profits Page A2 Associated Press A customer prepares to ^11 his tank at an Exxon station in Portland, Ore. Parade Aid Si.ii rhoid by |ef( Taylor Two-year-old jack Thompson receives some assistance with his dog costume from First Presbyterian Church Weekday School teacher Sabrina Kham on Thursday afternoon. He was preparing for the school's annual Halloween Parade on the Loudoun Street Mall in Winchester. For another photo, see Page A3. Report Charges Firms, Politicians In Iraq Oil Fraud U.N. Probe Lists More Than 2,200 By NICK WADHAMS and EDITH M. LEDERER Associated Press Writers UNITED NATIONS - Investigators of the U.N. oil-for-food program issued a final report on Thursday that accused more than 2,200 U.S. and foreign companies, and prominent politicians, of colluding with Saddam Hussein's regime to bilk the operation of $1.8 billion. The 623-page document was a scathing indictment that exposed the global scope of a scam that allegedly involved such name-brand companies as DaimlerChrysler and Siemens AG, as well as a former French U.N. ambassador, a firebrand British politician and the president of Italy's Lombardi region. It meticulously detailed how the $64 billion program became a cash cow for Saddam and more than half the companies participating in oil-for-food - at the expense of regular Iraqis suffering under tough U.N. sanctions. It blamed shoddy U.N. management and the world's most powerful nations for allowing the corruption to go on for years. "The corruption of the program by Saddam would not nearly have been so pervasive if there had been diligent management by the United Nations 'CHAIRMAN Associated Press Paul Volcker, chairman of the panel investigating the oil-for-food program, talks with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (foreground) before Volcker addressed the organization's delegates on Thursday. and its agencies," said Paul Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman who led the investigation. Volcker and many nations said the report underscored the urgent need to reform the United Nations. Earlier reports in his investigation have led to criminal inquiries and indict- Sce Report Page AS Israelis Retaliate for Bombing, Kill 7 Palestinians By KARIN LAUB Associated Press Writer JERUSALEM - Israel killed seven Palestinians in a missile strike against Islamic Jihad on Thursday, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he would not 'meet with the Palestinian leader until he cracks down on armed groups - a double-edged Israeli response to the latest suicide bombing. Sharon threatened a "broad and relentless" offensive against Palestinian militants, including mass arrests and air strikes, but security officials said Is- Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says he will not talk peace with Mahmoud Abbas until the militants' attacks end. rael would stop short of a large-scale military operation. Sharon's decision to shun Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was the clearest signal yet. that efforts to revive peacemaking after Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip last month have run aground. Abbas has said he cannot and will not confront militants, fearing civil war, but it's unlikely that progress can be made unless the two leaders meet. The international community has been pressing for a quick Israeli-Palestinian agreement on new security arrangements for Gaza's borders, and a continued deadlock over such issues will prevent the economic recovery of impoverished Gaza. That, in turn, could hurt Abbas' chances in parliamentary elections in January. In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice lodged a new appeal on Thursday with Abbas to prevent terror attacks on Israel and dismantle the groups that carry them out. She balanced her request to Abbas with appeals to Israel to resume contacts with the Palestinians, said State Department spokesman Sean McCorma-ck. Wednesday's bombing in an open-air market in the central Israeli town of Hadera killed five Israelis, the fourth suicide attack by Islamic Jihad since Abbas negotiated a truce deal with See Mideast Page A8 Come and Get It School Lunch - the two words usually have a strong opinion attached to thenh What goes into feeding the masses each day? 1      .<   Comics | B7 Dear Abby | C7 -Family | C6-7 Movies | B12 Sports | CI-5 MISS YOUR PAPER? Call 667-3200 from 7 to 11 a.m., 665-4946 after business hours. Prosecutors Fight DWI Rulings By MATTHEW BARAKAT Associated Press Writer FAIRFAX - A judge who has ruled that Virginia's drunken driving law is unconstitutional is misinterpreting the U.S. Supreme Court case on which his opinion is based, prosecutors said on Thursday. A different judge heard arguments on the constitutionality of Virginia's law, which presumes that a driver with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher is intoxicated, unless the driver can prove otherwise. Defense attorneys argued that such a presumption is unconstitutional because it infringes bn the guarantees to a presumption of innocence. They cite an obscure 1985 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Francis v. Franklin, as support for their argument. ! Defense lawyers presented that argument in July to District Judge Ian M. O'Flaherty, and he agreed, dismissing two drunken cases in the summer and several more this month, including drivers whose blood alcohol level has been more than twice the legal limit. See DWI Page A7 Ashlee Stevens 1$ considered lucky because she has her own cell at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center in Winchester. For a story on the crowded facility, see Page B1. Star Photo by left Taylor Costume Contest during t   Spooky Skate mi^s\ 2nd, 3rt Prizes 0608566000375   

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