2 -- The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 5, 2001
Bush pledges $3B in layoff aid
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush, saying
terrorism has "sent a shock wave throughout our econ-
omy" pledged yesterday to extend unemployment ben-
efits aid provide $3 billion in emergency aid to
workers laid off because of the assaults.
With fresh signs of trouble in the economy, Bush
said he and other political leaders "hear the cries of
those who have been laid off"
Unemployment benefits will be extended by 13
weeks in states hit hardest by the attacks, Bush told
Labor Department employees. He also used the
appearance at the department to encourage states to
sign up children for a government-run health care pro-
gram. The program already has roughly $11 billion
available and unclaimed by the states.
Earlier, the Labor Department announced that new
claims for unemployment benefits shot up last week to
the highest level in nine years. The travel and tourism
industries were particularly hard hit. More than
200,000 layoffs have been announced since Sept. 11,
one slight measure of the attacks' impact.
Democrats questioned whether Bush was doing
enough to help workers. "It's a step in the right direc-
tion," said House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt
Bush's plans for emergency aid was one element of
efforts by the administration and Congress to boost the
economy. On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Paul
O'Neill said he wanted to work with Congress on a
stimulus package in the range of $60 billion to $75 bil-
lion, including business and individual tax cuts. Key
lawmakers were invited to the White House for follow-
up meetings yesterday.
"Now is not the time to be timid," Bush said. "It's
time to be wise."
Officials familiar with details of Bush's emergency
aid package provided these details:
The $3 billion in new funding would be made avail-
able through the states under an existing program of
emergency grants to meet a variety of needs, including
health insurance, day care and job training. Individuals
who were working on Sept. 11 and are not eligible for
regular unemployment benefits would qualify, and
would also be required to enroll in government-run
training programs. The president also was expected to
stress that $6 billion already exists in a variety of job
training program. At least some of the $3 billion would
come from the money Congress has already approved
for national recovery, meaning it can be released at the
stroke of the president's pen.
Separately, the president was expected to invite gov-
ernors to apply for federal funds for a government-run
program that provides health care for children. One
official said the government has $11 billion earmarked
for the program that has not been claimed by any of
the states, and that Bush would announce a stream-
lined review process at the Department of Health and
The additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits
would be made available to states where joblessness
has risen by 30 percent since the end of August. The
benefits would also be extended to states in which the
president declared a national emergency or major dis-
aster declaration in connection with the attacks.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), said
he told Bush the proposals seemed fine, but he cau-
tioned: "I'm not sure that it covers all of the different
needs we have with regard to people who fall through
NEWS IN BRIEF
Sharon warns U.S. not to harm Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon aimed unusually harsh words at the Unit-
ed States yesterday after a string of Palestinian attacks, urging Washington not to
"appease" Arab states at Israel's expense.
Sharon stopped just short of canceling a U.S.-backed cease-fire, but said that
Israeli security forces would do whatever is necessary to protect Israeli citizens.
"From now on we will count only on ourselves," he told a news conference.
Sharon's remarks indicated a shift in policy that could undercut Washington's
efforts to bring Arab and Muslim states into an international coalition against
Islamic militants suspected of carrying out the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the
United States. The prime minister said Israel would fight terrorism without
letup, dropping Israel's earlier promise to suspend military strikes against Pales-
tinians as part of a truce deal sought by Washington. The tough words followed
an attack by a Palestinian gunman, who killed three Israelis at a bus station in
northern Israel before he was gunned down.
The attack in the city of Afula, just across from the West Bank town of Jenin,
came just minutes after senior Israeli and Palestinian officials completed an appar-
ently fruitless meeting about implementing the latest truce, declared Sept.26 to try
to end a year of fighting.
Energy prices expected to drop for winter
Most Americans hard hit by the economy's downturn have one less thing to
worry about: energy prices.
With plenty of supplies and weak demand, the government predicted yesterday
the cost of gasoline, heating fuel and electricity all should be much tower this
winter than last. That's in sharp contrast to a year ago, when short supplies and
spikes in demand saw prices soar.
The Energy Information Administration's winter fuels report said that prices
have been declining and should continue to do so in the coming months because
of solid inventories and sagging energy demand triggered by the poor economy.
The most striking turnaround is seen in natural gas prices, expected to average
about a third of what they were last winter on the wholesale market, Gas is used
to heat more than 56 million homes, especially in the Midwest.
A typical household using natural gas is expected to spend about a third less
this winter for heating, a savings of about $320 over last winter, said the agency.
Homes using heating oil and propane are likely to see costs drop 17 to 23 per-
cent, a savings of at least $170.
Firestone recalls 3.5 million tires
WASHINGTON (AP) - Bridge-
stone/Firestone Inc. agreed yesterday
to recall 3.5 million more Wilder-
ness AT tires mounted on sport utili-
The National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration ordered the tire maker to
replace the tires after a 11/2-year inves-
The recall involves the P235/75R15
and P255/70R16 Wilderness AT tires
manufactured before 1998 that were
supplied as, original equipment to Ford
Motor Co. or sold as replacement tires
for other SUV brands.
Bridgestone/Firestone says only
about 768,000 of the tires are still on the
market. Many of the tires have already
been replaced by the owners or as part
of a replacement plan announced in
May by Ford in response to the August
2000 recall of '6.5 million
"We do not agree with NHTSA's
CEO John Lampe said in a state-
ment. "Our testing and science show
our tires perform extremely well.
However, we have decided that it is
in the best interest of our company,
our employees, our dealers and our
customers if we replace the limited
number of tires in question and
close this chapter in the company's
Ford spokesman Ken Zino said the
automaker would consider trying to
recover some of the $3 billion cost of
the replacement program from Bridge-
stone/Firestone as a result of the latest
recall, although no decision had been
Most of the tires are original equip-
ment on the Ford Explorer and Mercury
Mountaineer. The recall does not apply
to other sizes of Wilderness AT tires or
those supplied to other manufacturers as
In a statement, NHTSA said those
tires that are not involved have different
design features and have not experi-
enced as many tread separations.
corruption, can one
woman remain good
orw ill she become
w, ruthless to survive?
Ce Good crson of S~echwan
By Bertolt Brecht - Directed by Malcolm Tulip
October 4 - 6 & 11 - 13 at 8pm - October 7 & 14 at 2pm
General Admission $15 - Students $7 with ID
League Ticket Office * 734-764-2538
UM School of Music - Department of Theatre and Drama
"Don't let your
get ahead of
615 E. LIBERTY OFF STATE
SAT UNTIL 4:20
October 7-10, 2001
9:00 AM-8:00 PM
Eastern Michigan University
799 N. Hewitt Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197-1701
Fashions from the pages of the
J.Crew Catalog up to 70% off!!
(No)thing over 39.99!)
*excluding leather & cashmere
From I-94 East: Take Exit 181 (Michigan Ave.) Turn
right onto Michigan Ave. Follow Michigan Ave. until
you reach Hewitt Rd. Turn left onto Hewitt Rd. and the
Convocation Center will be on the right.
From I-94 West: Take Exit 181 (Michigan Ave.) Turn
TOULOUSE, France (AP) -
France's environment minister said
yesterday that a chemical plant blast
last month that killed 29 people may
have been a terrorist attack.
Yves Cochet's comments came
after revelations that a man found
dead at the site in Toulouse was
known to police for possible Islam-
ic fundamentalist sympathies and
was involved in altercations before
the blast with workers displaying
the American flag in sympathy with
victims of the Sept. 11 terror
"A new piece of information
reached us today which shows that
there might have been a terrorist ori-
gin" to the blast, Cochet said on LCI
television. "We are not ruling out
any hypothesis, including that of an
accident." Cochet did not say what
the new piece of information was,
and his ministry did not immediate-
ly return a call for comment.
Last week, Toulouse's prosecutor,
who is leading the investigation,
said he was "99 percent certain that
the Sept. 21 explosion at the AZF
chemical fertilizer plant was acci-
Investigating magistrates visited
the explosion site Tuesday, and
police are still questioning plant
News reports yesterday quoted
police officials as saying that Has-
san Jandoubi, 35, a French national
born in Tunisia and working at the
plant, was found dead at the scene.
The reports said Jandoubi was
hired to work at the AZF plant by a
subcontractor shortly before the
explosion, as little as five days
before, according to Le Figaro. It
said he was believed to have been
involved in altercations on the eve
and morning of the blast with work-
ers displaying the U.S. flag.
Police officials refused to com-
ment on reports concerning Jan-
doubi, with some saying they were
disturbed by a rash of imprecise
media reports on the investigation,
which is not yet complete.
In an interview with Le Parisien
newspaper, an investigator said it
took five days to get permission to
search Jandoubi's apartment, a delay
that "spoiled" the investigation.
"The apartment had been com-
pletely cleaned out. No clothes, no
photos, nothing," said the investiga-
tor, who spoke to the newspaper on
condition of anonymity. "If we had
been allowed to do our jobs, per-
haps there wouldn't be this uncer-
Police say there are followers of
several Islamic groups in the low-
income Toulouse suburb of Mirail.
One police officer, speaking on
condition of anonymity, said the
groups "have woven networks that
offers discount fares
People waiting to fly on the cheap
got their chance yesterday as airlines
began deeply discounting tickets to
help rebuild passenger loads that have
been down sharply since the Sept. 11-
Delta Air Lines kicked off the glob-
al fare sale, and Northwest Airlines
Terry Trippler, an airline expert with
OneTravel.com, said he expected other
airlines would follow suit.
"This is the clearance sale. There
are some people who will never travel
at any price and there are some people
who have a price at which they will
travel. For many people, not all of
them, this is the price that will get
them to travel," Trippler said.
Northwest, for example, was offering
roundtrips between New York and Los
Angeles for $279, Minneapolis-Boston
for $251 and Detroit-Dallas for $251.
Koizumi to allay
fears of militarism
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro
Koizumi plans to visit China and
South Korea in the coming days in
an effort to allay fears that his nation
is becoming more militaristic as it
gears up to support a U.S.-led strike
Koizumi also hopes to repair the
damage caused by a controversial
textbook's treatment of World War H
The U.S. bishops' group that sets
religious policy for Roman Catholics
in this country and serves as the
church's national voice on social and
political issues is poised to elect its
first black president,'Bishop Wilton D.
Gregory of the Belleville diocese in
Gregory also serves as the vice
president of the United States Con-
ference of Catholic Bishops, and is
expected to ascend to the group's
top post when the bishops hold
their fall meeting next month in
Since 1966, every conference
vice president but one has been
elected president. In that one
exception, the vice president
refused to be a candidate, said con-
ference spokesman William Ryan,
declining further comment on the
- Compiledfrom Daily wire reports.
and his own visit to a war memorial,
which together put relations with
Japan's two neighbors on their worst
footing in years.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo
Fukuda said Koizumi expects to
meet with Chinese President Jiang
Zemin on Monday and with South
Korean President Kim Dae Jung on
Beijing and Seoul rebuffed a similar
summit offer from Koizumi a few
Roman Catholics to
elect black president
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