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February 15, 2002 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-15

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 15, 2002



Enron exec. says Lay was duped NEWS IN BRIEF
H E ES OU- E W -

Corp. executive Sherron Watkins
accused two top company officials
yesterday of duping then-Chairman
Kenneth Lay and the board of directors
about improper - and possibly illegal
- partnerships that concealed over $1
billion in debt.
Watkins said that when she told
Lay of her concerns, the chief finan-
cial officer, Andrew Fastow, wanted
her fired and her computer seized.
Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey
Skilling, Fastow and other executives
"did dupe Ken Lay and the board,"
she testified at a hearing of the
House Energy and Commerce inves-
tigative subcommittee.
"There were swindlers in the
emperor's new clothes discussing the
fine material that they were weaving,"
said Watkins. "And I think Mr.
Skilling and Mr. Fastow are highly
intimidating, very smart individuals
and I think they intimidated a number
of people into accepting" questionable
structures for the partnerships.
Self-assured as she answered law-
makers' questions, Watkins spoke
clearly and in detail and smiled when
lawmakers praised her for sticking her

neck out to the energy-trading compa-
ny's top official.
Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) called
Watkins "an extraordinary and coura-
geous woman" and a "bright spot" in a
company where executives turned a
blind eye to abuses.
Skilling's attorney, Bruce Hiler, dis-
puted Watkins' statements. "Every-
thing she said about my client is
based either on hearsay, rumor or
opinion," he said. "She did not talk to
my client. She has no basis in fact for
her views."
Watkins testified she was told last
summer by an Enron personnel execu-
tive that Fastow - chief architect of
the complex partnerships that eventu-
ally brought the company down -
wanted her to be terminated for taking
her concerns to Lay.
"I was not comfortable confronting
... Mr. Fastow with my concerns,"
Watkins said. "To do so, I believed,
would have been a job-terminating
Watkins also placed blame on
Enron's auditor, Arthur Andersen -
where she had worked for eight years
before going to Enron - and Vinson &
Elkins, a law firm representing Enron.

Campaign finance bill passes in house
Moving swiftly, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle pledged yesterday to
seek passage of sweeping legislation to rewrite campaign spending rules "the
minute we receive it" from the House. He said any filibuster was doomed.
"This is the year we're finally going to pass campaign finance reform,"
Daschle (D-S.D), said at a combination news conference and celebration
arranged by jubilant supporters of the measure less than eight hours after the
House approved it.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer did not respond directly when asked
whether President Bush would sign the bill designed to reduce the influence of
money in political campaigns. "The president will wait to be declarative until he
sees what the final bill is," Fleischer said, although supporters and opponents
alike have predicted for days that Bush's approval was assured.
The developments unfolded as the Senate's principal opponent of the
measure, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he wanted to study the House-
passed bill before deciding on a strategy. Either way, he seemed resigned to
passage, telling reporters he would be the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit to be
filed if the bill became law.


Enron Corp. executive Sherron Watkins, accompanied by her attorney Philip Hilder,
testifies on Capitol Hil before the House Energy and Commerce subcommitte.

Asked whether she believed Ander-
sen was culpable in Enron's collapse,
she replied, "I think so because they're
charged with auditing the results."
Watkins said she did not go to the
Securities and Exchange Commission
or other federal agencies with her
concerns about Enron's financial
practices because "I didn't want to
hasten our demise."
She said Lay had asked her if she

went outside the company with her con-
cerns. When she said no, Lay asked her
for time to investigate, Watkins testified.
She spoke as Enron announced from
Houston that two top Enron executives
at the center of the drama, accused of
failing to help control the partnerships,
were fired. Chief accounting officer
Rick Causey was among those named
by Watkins as mistakenly trusted by
Lay "to manage the details."

THE HAGUE, Netherlands
Milosevic says trial planned against him
Shifting from accused to accuser, Slobodan Milosevic took the offensive at his
war crimes trial yesterday and charged that Western.countries tried to bomb
Yugoslavia "back to the Stone Age" and were staging a political trial against him.
In his first chance to speak in his defense, the ousted Yugoslav president
claimed he had tried to prevent civilian casualties during the Balkan wars, that he
fought a legitimate campaign against terrorists destabilizing his country, and that
he knew nothing of Bosnian Serb concentration camps.
After sitting restlessly through two days of wrenching prosecution allegations
that he orchestrated murder, rape and expulsions, Milosevic dismissed the prose-
cution case as "concoctions."
Thumping his desk and waiving his arms energetically, he told the prosecutors,
"You basically have nothing. You just want to invent things. This is a political trial,
and this has nothing to do with the law itself."
In what is seen as the most important war crimes trial since World War II, the
60-year-old Milosevic could face life in prison if convicted of any of 66 charges
against him.

U.S. officials believe
reporter is still alive

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) - A
British-born Muslim militant admitted
yesterday to kidnapping Wall Street
Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl
and said he believed the journalist is
dead. Officials dismissed the militant's
claim, and the Journal said it remained
confident Pearl is alive.
"As far as I understand, he's dead,"
Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh said in a
courthouse in the southern Pakistani
city of Karachi, where Pearl disap-
peared on Jan. 23 while investigating a
story on Islamic militants. Saeed said
he carried out the kidnapping of "my
own free will," adding: "I don't want to
defend this case. I did this."
The 27-year-old Saeed has a history
of kidnapping Westerners. He
appeared in court yesterday sullen,
bespectacled and surrounded by police
with machine guns, helmets and bullet-
proof vests.
He was formally charged with kid-
napping and ordered jailed for two
more weeks.
Officials quickly cast doubt on
Saeed's statement about Pearl's
death. He gave no details on where
or when the 38-year-old journalist
was allegedly killed, and just a day
earlier, police said, he had told them
Pearl was still alive.

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In Washington, Pakistani President
Pervez Musharraf said his government
does not believe Saeed because he has
been "saying something one day and
another thing on the other day"
"We are putting all kinds of pres-
sure," Musharraf said after a meet-
ing yesterday with U.S. lawmakers.
He said intelligence agencies in
Pakistan and the FBI are doing their
"utmost" to secure Pearl's release.
"I hope and pray that he's alive,"
the president said.
Interior Minister Moinuddin
Haider also dismissed Saeed's claim.
"Until the body is found we can-
not believe what Omar is saying,"
Haider said. "We need proof or evi-
dence. We will continue to work on
him, grind him, ask him 'where was
Pearl kept? Where is his body?'
Omar himself admitted he master-
minded and planned this crime."
Pearl's wife, Mariane, who is six
months pregnant with the couple's
first child, pleaded for her husband's
release in a letter to his captors.
"As you know, Danny is an inno-
cent man, a journalist who has
come to you as a guest with an open
mind and the sole objective of writ-
ing about your views for a global
audience," she wrote.
Continued from Page 1
County Jail work program by May 1.
The work program coordinates com-
munity service projects, ranging from
picking up trash to larger projects like
park improvements.
In addition, Hines stipulated Curry
could not be involved in any assault
behavior and cannot possess alcohol or
drugs at any time during the next 12
During the hearing, Curry's lawyer,
Steven Fischman, asked for two claus-
es in the original sentence to be
removed - one requiring court drug
and alcohol testing, and another pro-
hibiting Curry from contacting the vic-
tim. Fischman said that Curry should
be exempt from drug testing because
he is tested regularly as a member of
the football team. He also said the vic-
tim is still dating Curry. Judge Hines
consented with both objections.
"I think it's a very fair result," Fis-
chman said.
If Curry does not violate the terms
of his probation for 11 months, Judge
Hines told Curry that she will elimi-
nate the last month. However, she
warned Curry to follow his sentencing
"Violation of any terms will result in
jail;" she said.
Continued from Page 1.
GEO said it won't extend the con-
tract because members feel the Univer-
sity has been stalling the negotiations
and because they found many of the
University's counterproposals unac-
ceptable, de Leon said.
"The Administration (last) Thursday
said that they would give us a proposal
on child care (on Tuesday), which we
took to mean that they would give us
some kind of meaningful concession;'
de Leon said. He said they didn't feel the
University's proposals were acceptable.
GEO's proposal on child care asks the
University to provide a child-care facili-

Bomb under tank
kills 3, wounds 2
A bomb went off under a tank in the
Gaza Strip yesterday, killing three
Israelis and wounding two, military
officials said, as European diplomats
stepped up an offensive to end Israeli-
Palestinian violence.
The attack followed an Israeli incur-
sion into Gaza that was denounced by
the Palestinian leadership as a "danger-
ous escalation" in violence. It was
Israel's largest operation in Gaza during
16 months of Israeli-Palestinian clash-
The military officials, speaking on
condition of anonymity, said Palestini-
ans opened fire on a civilian convoy
guarded by soldiers and set off a bomb.
The Israelis responded by sending a
tank into the area and soon after a sec-
ond, larger bomb exploded under it,
they said. Israel Radio and TV said the
casualties were soldiers in the tank.
American operation
to land in Philippines
American soldiers will march into a
Philippine jungle this weekend to train
local troops to battle Muslim extrem-
ists, in the process broadening the U.S.
military war against terrorism.
Critics see unnecessary dangers in
the move.
Backers say it's a logical step to carry
the anti-terror campaign beyond

Afghanistan, and with far less military
"This is not an operation like you,
saw in Afghanistan," said Gen. Richard
Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, referring to the hunt for Osama
bin Laden and al-Qaida terrorists in that
arid, mountainous land. "This is assis-
tance. This is training."
The Pentagon plans to start moving
tomorrow the first of some 160 special
operations troops onto the southern
Philippines island of Basilan.
Scientists announce
first cloning of a cat
In an advance that takes cloning
out of the barnyard and into the liv-
ing room, researchers announced
yesterday they have cloned a cat.
The female domestic shorthair is
called "cc" for "copycat." It was
born Dec. 22 and is now healthy and
frisky, researcher Duane Kraemer of
Texas A&M University in College
Station said.
Headed up by Dr. Mark Westhusin
of A&M's veterinary medicine
school, the project is the first report-
ed success in cloning dogs or cats,
which has been long discussed for
pet owners.
Many people have already stored
cells from their pets in anticipation
of cloning in the future, said Krae-
"It looks like there will probably
be quite a lot of interest," he said.
- Compiledfrom Daily wire reports.

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