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Sudan Rejects U.N. Resolution to Send Peacekeepers to Darfur

By Daniel B. Schneider

The Security Council passed a resolution Thursday authorizing the creation of a U.N. peacekeeping force for the ravaged Darfur region of Sudan, but the resolution calls for the consent of the Sudanese government before troops can be deployed.

Sudanese officials immediately rejected the resolution. A senior adviser to President Omar al-Bashir told Al-Jazeera television that the resolution was illegal and violated the peace accord signed by the government and one of the rebel factions.

But State Department officials were quick to say the resolution did not explicitly require Sudan’s consent. “This resolution invites Sudanese consent,” Kristen Silverberg, assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs, said at a briefing in Washington after the vote. “Nothing requires Sudanese consent.”

The proposed U.N. force is to include a military force of up to 17,300 members and a civilian police force of 3,300. It would replace or absorb the 7,000-member African Union force in Darfur, which has been hamstrung by financial and logistical problems and has failed to halt the slide into violence that President Bush has called genocide.

Flight Controller Had Little
Sleep Before Crash

By Matthew L. Wald

The air traffic controller in the tower on Sunday, when a Comair jet took off from the wrong runway and crashed, had had just two hours of sleep, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday evening.

The controller has told investigators that he saw the jet on the taxiway and gave it clearance to take off, and then turned his back to attend to other duties, failing to see it take the wrong turn. The plane crashed about 30 seconds later, killing 49 of the 50 people on board.

The safety board member, Deborah Hersman, said Wednesday that in addition to his ground control duties, the controller had radar responsibilities, including telling the crew of an American Eagle plane that was 3 minutes and 12 seconds ahead of the Comair jet to change course to avoid weather. Hersman said the controller told investigators that after giving takeoff clearance to the Comair jet, he began to take a count of traffic during his shift.

Three Polls Find Workers
Sensing Deep Pessimism

By Steven Greenhouse

Three new opinion polls released Wednesday found deep pessimism among American workers, with most saying that wages were not keeping pace with inflation and that workers were worse off in many ways than a generation ago.

The Pew Research Center found in a survey of 2,003 adults completed last month that an overwhelming majority said workers had less job security and faced more on-the-job stress than 20 or 30 years ago.

The nonpartisan Pew center, said, “The public thinks that workers were better off a generation ago than they are now on every key dimension of worker life — be it wages, benefits, retirement plans, on-the-job stress, the loyalty they are shown by employers or the need to regularly upgrade work skills.”

In a poll of 803 registered voters commissioned by the AFL-CIO, Peter D. Hart Research found that 55 percent said their incomes were not keeping up with inflation, 33 percent said their incomes were keeping even and 9 percent said their incomes were outpacing inflation.