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January 23, 2003 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-01-23

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 23, 2003


Earthquakes devastate Mexico

COLIMA, Mexico (AP) - Emergency crews dug
into piles of collapsed cement and brick yesterday to
reach victims trapped by a powerful earthquake that
killed at least 25 people, crumpling walls like paper,
turning brick into powder and leaving steel reinforce-
ment bars scattered like straws.
At least 300 people were injured in the 7.8 mag-
nitude quake that hit western Mexico, civil defense
officials said. Among the dead were-a 90-year-old
man crushed by a falling lamppost in the Colima
state town of Tecoman and a 1-year-old girl killed
by a collapsing brick ceiling in neighboring Jalis-
co state.
"All of a sudden the house came crashing down,
and I was buried under a wall," recounted Colima
resident Doris Janet Robles, 17, who was at a prayer
meeting at a relative's house when the quake hit
Tuesday night.
"I was suffocating, until my brother was able to get
me out" said Robles, who was hospitalized for a bro-
ken pelvis.
In the city of Guadalajara - Mexico's second-
largest, more than 100 miles from the epicenter -
bells from one of colonial city's dozens of ancient

churches fell from the tower and dozens of homes
partially collapsed.
The quake also rocked Mexico City, 300 miles east
of the epicenter, sending terrified residents fleeing
into the streets. But there was little damage in the
Mexican capital.
At least 10 quakes ranging in magnitude from 3.9
to 4.5 shook the coastal area following Tuesday's
quake. The aftershocks did little additional damage,
but one 5.8-magnitude temblor sent residents of Col-
ima scurrying out of their damaged homes yesterday
In Colima state's capital, parts of downtown lay in
ruins yesterday, with collapsed adobe houses and
cars crushed under piles of bricks. In all, 166 homes
were destroyed in the capital - also called Colima
- home to 230,000 people. President Vicente Fox's
government called a state of emergency throughout
the state.
Rescue workers in yellow suits dug through
wrecked buildings, using pneumatic drills and their
bare hands to pull away concrete slabs in search of
survivors, and passers-by, relatives and neighbors
joined the battle to save those trapped.


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Children of earthquake victim Maria .
Rodriguez comfort each other during the
funeral of their mother in Colima.
Maria Elena Ramirez, 47, was pulled from a pile
of rubble that once was her home, along with her 7-
year-old son Jesus Martin, both buried when a wall
crashed down on them.
Continued from Page 1A
gle-family houses by the city.
"We have applied for more inspec-
tors, but the city is also going through
the process of being more efficient by
cutting costs," Sebolt said.
City inspectors only look for the
minimum housing code requirements
when inspecting a house, he said.
Yet LSA senior Vanessa Furtado's
house met the minimum requirements
of the city's housing code just six
months before her porch collapsed
and sent her to the hospital with a bro-
ken knee.
The Ann Arbor Tenants Union's
website advises tenants that inspectors
favor landlords when checking homes.
While Sebolt said city inspectors do
not accept bribes from landlords, he
admitted that some landlords may
treat inspectors to lunch, or may give
them what he called a "token."
Amy Ament, executive director of
the AATU, said although there is no
significant evidence that shows city
inspectors favor landlords, it is recom-
mended that tenants are present for
the house inspection.
Since homes are inspected just
every two and a half years, it is diffi-
cult for students - who often rent for
just one or two years - to be involved
in the inspection process.
"Tenants must know his or her
rights. Often times, college is the first
time students are renting and they are
not aware of their rights and responsi-
bilities," Ament said.
City inspectors do not automati-
callycheck eerything in the house.
The tenant must inform the inspector
of any problems with the house,
Ament said.
Another important resource is the
inspector's office. If a student's land-
lord is not responding to their com-
plaints, they can call the city
inspector, Sebolt said. "If anyone is
seeing something that looks unsound
they can call up the building inspec-
tion department and we will come out
and inspect the house at no cost to the
tenant," he said.
Students often encounter landlords
who will not work with them on prob-
lems. "Landlords often try to intimi-
date students by threatening eviction
or not doing repairs," Ament said.
LSA junior Julie Rajagopal said she
felt intimidated by her landlords after
they refused to remove the bats that
were living in her apartment.
"My roommates and I called our
landlord 100 times about the bats.
They finally told us to chase them
with a bucket and a broom,"
Rajagopal said.
University Off-Campus Housing
Advisor Melissa Goldstein said if a
student has a problem with the safety
of their home or is feeling intimidated
by landlords, they can seek aid at the
University Off-campus Housing
Office or at Student Legal Services.
o come "We are here for the students and
hoevers they need to feel OK coming to talk to
us. If you are scared to report some-
thing, you need to contact us immedi-
ately," she said.
The OCHO has many resources
available to help make renting an
apartment more comfortable for stu-
dents, Goldstein said.
Many of the local landlords are
enrolled in an OCHO program that

)45 provide them with benefits such as
advertising, but they are required to
abide by the rules of the program
which are designed to help students.
The OCHO offers counseling for stu-
dents and mediation between land-
lords and students. If the student
requests a mediation session with the
landlord to discuss problems, the
landlord is required to attend by the
program rules.
Another resource designed to pro-
tect students from unreasonable, dis-
respectful landlords is the AATU,
which can inform students of their
legal rights and offer tangible support.
The group, located in the Trotter

Activists speak out
against abortions
Anti-abortion activists by the
thousands marched with banners and
placards in sub-freezing weather
yesterday, buoyed by hopes that the
new Republican-run Congress will
curb the procedure..
President Bush, who already has
promised to sign any bill which restricts
late-term abortions, chose the 30th
anniversary of the Supreme Court's land-
mark Roe v. Wade decision to declare the
United States "must protect the lives of
innocent children waiting to be born."
lush, who was in St. Louis to give a
speech on his tax-cut plan, noted in a
broadcast hookup that the gathering on
the National Mall was near the memori-
al to Thomas Jefferson, author of the
Declaration of Independence.
"The March for Life upholds the
self-evident truth of that declaration -
that all are created equal, and given the
unalienable rights of life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness," he said.
KARACHI. Pakistan
of aniel Pearl's death
Scraps of refuse mix with chalky
dust on the desolate dirt pith where
Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel
Pearl spent the last tortured days of his
life. It was in a concrete shed here that
the killers videotaped his gruesome
murder, and in the overgrown yard
outside that the journalist's dismem-

bered remains were finally found.
Four people have been convicted in the
American reporter's kidnapping and
murder, including the British-born mili-
tant who masterminded his abduction on
Jan. 23,2002.
Investigators in the case have uncov-
ered a web of extremism, with operatives
from several Pakistani groups and possi-
bly Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network
in on the plot. That mix is bad news for
Pakistan, which has endured a series of
attacks since its president threw his sup-
port behind the U.S.-led war on terrorism.
Rate of household
stock purchases rising
Slightly more than half of U.S.
households owned stock"in 2001,
compared with about a third only a
decade earlier as the Wall Street
boom of the 1990s pushed stock
ownership to record level.
The big rise in stock prices plus the
longest economic expansion in history
helped to boost family balance sheets,
the Federal Reserve reported yester-
day in the government's most exten-
sive look at wealth in the country.
The typical family's net worth -the
difference between household assets
and liabilities - rose to $86,100 in
2001, a gain of 10.3 percent from 1998
after removing the effects of inflation.
Family incomes were up as well in
2001, with the median family - the
midpoint for all families - earning
$39,900, a gain of 9.6 percent from 1998.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.

Nations hesitate to go to war with Iraq
. President Bush's efforts at bringing allies around to the U.S. position on Iraq
appeared to be unraveling yesterday, putting the administration in a difficult position
ahead of a key U.N. report and debate.
Weapons inspectors were coming up empty. France and Germany were balking at
moving toward war. Turkey was resisting having U.S. ground troops on its soil.
Opposition was growing in Britain while polls showed the American public didn't
want to go to war in Iraq.
The administration was trying to lay the groundwork to make a strong case against
Iraq when U.N. inspectors deliver their report on Monday to the Security Council. U.S.
officials had seen the Jan. 27 report as a possible war decision point, but they've drawn
opposition from allies who want the inspectors given more time to do their work.
"An extra delay is necessary," French President Jacques Chirac asserted yesterday.
France has hinted it might use its Security Council veto to block an Iraq war resolu-
tion. Germany also called for a delay.
In remarks yesterday in St. Louis that appeared directed at both Iraqi leader Sad-
dam Hussein and unconvinced allies, Bush declared, "Its time for us to hold the
world to account and for Saddam to be held to account. ... We must not be fooled by
the ways of the past."
Teen indicted for Virginia sniper killings
A grand jury indicted 17-year-old Lee Boyd Malvo on two counts of capital
murder in last fall's sniper shootings, setting the stage for a death penalty trial.
The indictment, issued Tuesday and made public yesterday, also includes
one count of using a firearm in a murder. Both capital murder counts stern
from the Oct. 14 slaying of FBI agent Linda.-Franklin.
The indictment officially marks the transfer of Malvo's case to adult court.
A- juvenile court judge ruled last week that Malvo could be tried as an adult,
making him eligible for the death penalty if convicted of capital murder.
His arraignment has not been scheduled.
Malvo and John Allen Muhammad, 42, are accused of killing 13 people
and wounding five in Alabama; Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and
Washington, D.C. They are being tried first in Virginia because its laws
allow the best opportunities for the death penalty.
The grand jury granted Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert Horan's
request for capital murder indictments under two statutes: one prohibiting the killing
of more than one person in a three-year period, and an anti-terrorism law.



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