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February 09, 2001 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-09

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 9, 2001--5

Judge orders sale of electric power

YUBA CITY, Calif (AP) -- Citing an
energy crisis of "catastrophic proportions," a
federal judge yesterday ordered three major
suppliers to sell electricity to California
despite their worry two cash-strapped utili-
ties won't pay for it.
The reprieve for California energy regula-
tors came as the governor announced he will
dramatically accelerate power plant con-
struction to try to stave off summer black-
U.S. District Judge Frank Damrell Jr.'s
extension of a temporary restraining order
he issued Tuesday ensures the suppliers will
not pull about 4,000 megawatts off the
state's power grid. That's enough power for
roughly 4 million homes.

"The state of California is confronting an
energy crisis of catastrophic proportions," the
judge wrote. The loss of the power they pro-
vide "poses an imminent threat of blackouts:'
The grid's manager, the California Inde-
pendent System Operator, sought the order,
warning that the electricity's removal would
disrupt the region's power supply so severely
that outages would spread beyond California.
"This would be a serious impact on the
safety, health and welfare of not only Cali-
fornians, but everyone in the Western U.S.,"
said Jim Detmers, the ISO's managing direc-
tor of operations.
The order, in effect at least until a Feb. 16
hearing on the case, names Reliant Energy
Services Inc., AES Pacific Inc. and Dynegy

"The state of California is confronting an
energy crisis of catastrophic proportions"
- Frank Damretl Jr.
U.S. district judge

Power Corp.
Reliant had been under a temporary
restraining order issued by the Sacramento
judge Tuesday night, shortly before the mid-
night expiration of a Bush administration
directive requiring suppliers to continue sell-
ing to California despite utility solvency
The other two companies had voluntarily

committed to keep supplying the ISO pend-
ing yesterday's ruling.
Houston-based Reliant, which is
responsible for about 9 percent of Califor-
nia's energy, has balked at selling the ISO
emergency power to send to Southern.Cal-
ifornia Edison and Pacific Gas and Elec-
tric Co. It fears it will never be paid by the
cash-strapped utilities.

California Gov. Gray Davis (second from right) tours a new
gas-fired power plant near Yuba City, Calif., yesterday.

Florida tops in shark attacks last year


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Seventy-nine shark
attacks - 1 of them fatal - were reported
around the world last year, the highest number in
the four'decades that records have been kept.
Florida w4s No. I with 34 attacks, according to
a report released yesterday by the International
Shark Attack File. The file is a compilation of
unprovoked shark attacks since 1958 and is at the
University of Florida at Gainesville.
Florida also had the lone U.S. death, which
occurred in August in.St. Petersburg when a man
jumped off his dock.'
Florida "has a huge number of people in the
*Study: . A
in 588
CHICAGO (AP) - A study of
heterosexual couples in Africa con-
eludes that the chance of catching
the AIDS virus from a single sexual
encounter with an infected person is
one in 588.
This risk is calculated for people
who do not use condoms and who
have sex regularly with one infected
Experts have long assumed that
the risk of contracting AIDS from a
single heterosexual encounter in
North America and Europe is about
one in 1,000, and the figures that
emerge from the new African data
are similar.
In this study, researchers followed
174 sexually monogamous couples
in Rakai, Uganda, in which one
partner had HIV and the other did
not. They were given condoms but
usually did not use them. Typically
the couples had sex nine or 10 times
a month, and over time, 38 people
became infected.
Earlier data from the same
research team showed that the risk
,of people transmitting HIV is slight
if the amount of virus in their
bloodstream is low. Those findings
have encouraged the belief that the
wide use of AIDS drug combina-
*'tions, which make virus levels fall
dramatically, will slow the spread of
'the disease.
The latest figures were presented
by Dr. Ronald H. Gray of Johns
Hopkins University at the Eighth
-Annual Retrovirus Conference in
"Chicago, which concluded yesterday.
Among the findings:
a Infected teen-agers are three
times more likely than people over
40 to spread HIV to others during
each sexual encounter. This differ-
ence cannot be explained by the fact
that young people are more sexually
The risk that an HIV-infected
woman will transmit the virus to an
uninfected man is one in 454. For
an infected man to an uninfected
woman, it is one in 769. This differ-
ence is not large enough to be sta-
tistically meaningful, and many
have assumed that HIV spreads
more readily from men to women
than vice versa.
The risk of spread depends
greatly on how much virus people
carry. In those whose level of virus
is less than 1,700 copies per milli-
liter of blood, the risk is one in
10,000. When levels are over
38,500, risk is one in 294.

The risk of transmission
appears to be the same for different
subtypes of virus. Some have specu-
lated that AIDS is much more
,prevalent in Africa because a differ-
ent variety of the virus dominates

water and the number of person-hours in the
water is probably higher than anywhere in the
world," said George Burgess, director of the file.
"We have a tremendously long coastline with
tropical waters, a huge native population and a
bigger tourist population."
Of the other fatal attacks, three occurred in
Australia, two in Tanzania and one each in Fiji;
Japan; New Guinea; and New Caledonia.
"There is a much better chance of getting
struck by lightning than being attacked by a
shark," said Gary Violetta, curator of fishes at
SeaWorld Orlando.

The United States had 51 attacks, followed by
Australia with seven, South Africa with five and
the Bahamas with four. In the United States,
Florida was followed by North Carolina (5), Cali-
fornia (3), Alabama (2), Hawaii (2) and Texas (2).
Fifty-eight attacks were reported in 1999.
More people spending longer hours in the
water and a growing number of tourists swim-
ming in exotic, unfamiliar locales have con-
tributed to the increase, even though there are
fewer sharks than 20 years ago, Burgess said. In
addition, more attacks are being reported because
of the Internet.

A fhle y P s r /d Iiiafluhlmg:
Meet The Brewer Nights
v Every Mnday Ashley's will host a
brewer from one of the region's
breweries. Theywill be offering
samples of their beers including
some found only at the brewery.
You are invited to come and meet
these craftsmen in an informal
setting in Ashley's Underground Pub.
i .Monday Feb. 12th
Arbor, MI 4 8-10 pm
Erik Harms
lead Brewer Dragoneade Brewery
Monday Feb. 19th
8-10 pm
Jim Roffey
Brewmaster, Roffey's Brewing Co.
Michigan Mondays 9pm-close
$1.00 off Pints of Michigan Brewed Beer.

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