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January 08, 2003 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-01-08

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 8, 2003 - 7
March attempts to limit Venezuelan state revenue

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Tens of
thousands of Venezuelans marched on the
federal tax agency yesterday and many ripped
up their tax forms, vowing to further deprive
President Hugo Chavez of revenue as part of
their strike that has already dried up oil
Chavez warned that tax evasion carries up
to seven years in prison.
"It's a crime not to pay taxes," he said in a
speech he ordered to be broadcast on all tele-
vision and radio stations, interrupting cover-
age of the march. "We will not tolerate it."
"We'll take all actions necessary to make
sure every last cent is paid because it belongs
to the people."
Protesters cheered and blew whistles as
they tore up blank tax forms at the doors of
the tax agency. They called for individuals
and businesses to stop paying income and
value-added taxes.
National Guard troops and police patrolled
the headquarters of the agency but there was
no unrest. The march was the first opposition
protest in the capital since clashes between
Chavez foes and followers and security forces
left two people dead and 78 injured last week.
"This government uses our money to
repress the people. We're not going to give
one more cent to Hugo Chavez," said Luis
Carlos Bustillos, 59, a veterinarian. "This will
cause chaos for a few months but it's better
than chaos for a lifetime."
Venezuela's largest labor confederation, the
biggest business chamber and opposition
political parties began the strike Dec. 2 to
pressure Chavez into resigning or accepting
an early vote on his rule. The president has
refused to do either.
The strike has crippled Venezuela's oil
industry, which provides half of government

Last year, President Hugo Chavez's government
collecteed $6 billion in tax revenues - 91
percent of its original goal.

income and 80 percent of export revenue. The
country is the world's fifth-largest oil
exporter, and the strike has helped send inter-
national oil prices above $30 per barrel.
Most public schools opened after the holi-
days, but most private schools stayed closed,
said Education Minister Aristobulo Isturiz.
The strike has been largely ignored by small
business owners, but shopping centers and
private factories were shuttered. Banks were
only opening three hours a day.
The government may have to cut this year's
$25 billion budget by up to 10 percent,
Finance Minister Tobias Nobrega said yester-
day. Taxes were supposed to pay for a third of
the budget. Oil exports were supposed to pay
for half.
Eliminating tax evasion - traditionally at
50 percent - is a tenet of Chavez's govern-
ment. Last year, his government collected $6
billion in tax revenues - 91 percent of its
original goal.
Adversaries blame Chavez's policies for a
deep recession, 17 percent unemployment, an
increasingly feeble currency and inflation sur-
passing 30 percent. Chavez, who survived an
April military uprising, says his foes are try-
ing to provoke another coup.
Opponents say they will hold a Feb. 2 refer-
endum to ask Venezuelans if Chavez should
quit even if the president ignores it, as he says
he will. The opposition delivered 2 million
signatures in November to demand the refer-
Chavez refused requests by the National

Elections Council for funds for the vote. But
he invites opponents to challenge him in a
possible recall referendum in August, midway
through his six-year term.
In Washington, a senior State Department
official told reporters that negotiations spon-
sored by the Organization of American States
were stalled over whether to hold early presi-
dential elections.
The official said the OAS has reached
agreement on several points dealing with con-
fidence building measures but not on elec-
Government efforts to restore oil produc-
tion and domestic gasoline supplies suffered a
setback yesterday when a vacuum unit of a
key refinery was damaged, refinery chief
Pedro Jimenez told broadcasters. Industry
sources said the accident would delay efforts
to bring the 130,000 barrels a day refinery
back online.
Still, lines at service stations were consider-
ably shorter in Caracas and there were more
vehicles on the roads as the government
imported gasoline from Brazil and awaited
shipments from Trinidad and Tobago, the
United States and Russia.
Local environmentalist Lenin Herrera
denounced that oil slicks were accumulating
on Lake Maracaibo because "collection of oil
spills on the lake are not taking place regular-
ly and efficiently." But Felix Rodriguez, head
,of western operations of state oil monopoly
Petroleos de Venezuela denied there was any-
thing abnormal about the stains.

Venezulans opposing President Hugo Chavez ripped tax payment forms yesterday during a march to the
federal tax agency In Caracas, Venezula. The march is the newest development in the month-old strike.

Continued from Page 1
"That's what you have at a large place
like this that is as old as it is - mate-
rials that are ancient as well as con-
She added that two special papyri
represent the real gems of the exhibit.
"They are copies of the Letters of
Saint Paul - the earliest known in the
They date from around 145 to 150
- we have two of them on display in
this exhibit. We have 30 leaves from
that codex (in total)," Beam said.
"These are the earliest that are
known. Consequently, (they) are of
great importance to scholars
because they have the least chance
for error."
Also on display is one leaf from a
,Gutenberg Bible, the first book
printed on a movable type printer.
There are about 40 complete copies
left in the world, and although the
University does not have one, even a
page of this rare volume is quite
valuable, Beam said.
"A single leaf is very significant to
our students, especially the art history
and the library science students,
because they can study the print and
the topography," Beam said.
"It's the beginning of a new technol-
ogy, so they're quite interested in all
that one page can tell us, which is a
great deal, even if you're not interested
in the biblical text at all."
Beam added, however, that most
who come are not scholars, but Christ-
ian pilgrims.
"The largest numbers of people that
come are church-based Bible study
groups, and there may be 800 to 900 a
year," she said.
"Those who come on a religious pil-
grimage (show up) nearly every day."
But some students are not attracted to
the exhibit because they feel it applies
too exclusively to Christians members of
the University community.

"A single leaf is
very significant to
our students,.
especially the art
history and the
library science
students, because
they can study the
print and
- Kathryn Beam
Curator for the Humanities in the
Special Collections Library
LSA sophomore Amie Paradime
said that although she recognizes the
historical value of the exhibit, she
would not see it herself for personal
It applies "to those that are more
connected to the Bible and with reli-
gion," she said.
Engineering freshman Marshall
Weir shares a similar perspective,
although he said the entire Univer-
sity can benefit from the exhibit.
"It's obviously most significant to
the Christian community to see where
their holy text has come from and
what it's gone through, but also for
(non-Christians)," he said.
"I think it is useful to study that,
like any great work of literature, as a
work of history - seeing things they
had in the past can give you another
The exhibit is located on the sev-
enth floor of the Graduate Library and
is open 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday
through Friday.

Continued from Page 1
about the economy but said he spent
less during the holiday season than
in years past.
"I was limited by my parents'
budget and did not spend much dur-
ing Christmas."
Another survey conducted by the
University, the Index of Consumer
Expectations, a component of the

Index of Leading Economic Indica-
tors, which still has not regained the
entire decline from the 2002 peak
of 92.7, also rose to 80.8 in Decem-
ber from 78.5 in the previous
The survey, which is accessible
only to paying subscribers, is con-
ducted by the University.
The results are based on about
500 telephone interviews with
Americans nationwide.

China denies U.S.
claim about rocket
technology secrets

Continued from Page 1
We're simply waiting to see how
things develop," he said.
Courant said he adjusted to the
previous reduction of state funding
by reducing expenditures at mostly
the administrative level. He added
that the University improved its
purchasing process and arranged
for the conservation of energy con-

The reduced grant is also respon-
sible for the change in the libraries'
printing process that requires
patrons to log onto the computers
before use.
Courant added that he and the
heads of many departments within
the University would appreciate an
increase or retention of funds.
But Courant said he realizes the
depleted resources of the state make
such a possibility unlikely.
"I'm hopeful but I'm not very
optimistic," he said.

BEIJING (AP) - China has
rejected accusations that two Ameri-
can aerospace companies illegally
provided it with rocket technology,
saying its successful space program
needs no foreign help.
"It is unnecessary for the Chinese
side to gain satellite, rocket and mis-
sile technology from U.S. compa-
nies," Foreign Ministry
spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said yes-
terday. "Saying that U.S. companies
made unsuitable technology trans-
fers to the Chinese side ... does not
conform with the facts."
Hughes Electronics Corp. and
Boeing Satellite Systems have been
accused by the State Department of
illegally providing technical data fol-
lowing failed Chinese rocket launch-
es carrying American satellites in
1995 and 1996. Boeing acquired
Hughes' space unit in 2000.
Hughes has denied wrongdoing.
The commercial arm of China's

space program does a thriving busi-
ness launching satellites for foreign
U.S. companies have been major
customers, though they are currently
barred under sanctions imposed by
Washington in a dispute over exports
of Chinese missile technology,
Beijing is also developing a
manned space program, and this
week completed what it said was a
successful weeklong test flight by an
unmanned space capsule in prepara-
tion for a manned mission later this
Some in the United States fear
that technology supplied to China's
commercial program could be used
to improve its "nuclear missiles - a
claim Beijing denies.
"The commercial launch service
in China has always followed inter-
national practice and the principle of
openness and fairness has been
adhered to," Zhang said.

te rtory may cause
trouble for U.S.

Continued from Page 1.

focused on four major categories -
clinical care, educational mission,
research and patient and family
The panel then evaluated the data
submitted and made the selections.
Unlike similar rankings done in
U.S. News and World Report - in
which rankings are based on doc-
tors' evaluations - Child Magazine
the michigan daily

relies solely on the statistics from
the surveys.
"The grading is based on data.
There is no room for opinion,"
Cicero said.
In the fiscal year 2002, Mott
admitted a total of 8,462 children,
and had more than 20,000 children
visit the emergency room.
During the same year, the hospi-
tal saw more than 70,000 children
in its many outpatient specialty

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -
The government dispatched defense
officials to Pakistan's border with
Afghanistan and told the U.S. mili-
tary not to enter its territory with-
out permission, the Pakistani
defense minister said Monday. The
announcement came a week after a
borderland skirmish that involved
American troops.
At the same time, though, Rao
Sikandar Iqbal pledged continuing
cooperation with American forces
in fighting terrorism and the effort
to apprehend fleeing al-Qaida and
Taliban fugitives in eastern
Iqbal said his defense officials
met representatives of the U.S. mili-
tary Sunday at the remote region of
Angore Adda in the rugged border-
land of Pakistan's northwest Fron-
tier Province.
"The U.S. troops have been clear-
ly told that next time there will be
no violation from their sides, and
that theywill not cross our border
from Afghanistan," Iqbal told The
Associated Press.
The defense minister's comments
came a day after Pakistan said it
wants to avoid any repeats of a skir-
mish with the U.S. troops near the
Afghan border last month and will
cooperate more closely to prevent
On Dec. 29, a Pakistani border
guard shot and wounded an Ameri-
can soldier in the head in eastern
Afghanistan's Paktika province, just
a few hundred yards from Pakistan's
border. The shooting prompted U.S.
forces to call in an airstrike on a
building where the guard was
believed hiding.
The U.S. military said the build-
ing it hit was inside Afghanistan.
Islamabad says one bomb landed on
its side; the matter is still being

investigated by officials.
The situation grew more tense
when Pakistan dispatched extra
troops to the border after the United
States, saying said reserved the
right to cross into Pakistan in hot
pursuit of enemy fighters fleeing
from Afghanistan.
But in the border meeting Sun-
day, both sides were conciliatory
and agreed to improve an intelli-
gence-sharing system they hope
will make their joint operations
"more effective and successful,"
Iqbal said.
"We are cooperating with the
United States in the war against ter-
rorism because we are against all
forms of terrorism," he said.
"Of course this cooperation will
Pakistan is a key U.S. ally and
has cooperated with Washington for
more than a year.
The Afghan-Pakistani border is
unmonitored and undefined in
places, and many people - espe-
cially in tribal areas - come and
go unfettered by political bound-
Remnants of the Taliban and al-
Qaida are believed to be in the area,
regrouping to attack U.S. forces in
U.S. officials are concerned that
remnants of Afghanistan's deposed
Taliban militia and Osama bin
Laden's al-Qaida network have
crossed into Pakistan and evaded
the thousands of Pakistani troops
along the 1,344-mile frontier.
Since President Gen. Pervez
Musharraf threw his support to the
United States after the Sept. 11
attacks, Pakistani security agencies
working with the FBI haveled to the
arrests of more than 443 suspected
Taliban and al-Qaida insurgents in

Continued from Page 1
Mchela, like other alien residents
and university students, said he was
reluctant to speak freely about his
feelings regarding the treatment of
men from Muslim nations by the
U.S. government because of fear of
"People are afraid to talk about
the situation because they fear
small remarks could be easily mis-
construed as a threat to national
security and the INS could take
action against them," said Saad Sid-
dqui, a Business School senior and
a Pakistani citizen holding a tempo-
rary educational visa.
"Airport security was routine
before September 11. Now it's a
hostile atmosphere. The INS has a
lot of authority right now so there is
a lot of speculation involved in the
process of inquisition," Siddiqui
After returning from a vacation in
Pakistan Friday, Siddqui said he
was delayed more than two hours
after being interrogated, finger-
printed and photographed by INS
The officers rifled through his
possessions, including his wallet,
and even copied his credit card
numbers, he added.
Unlike Mchela, Siddiqui noted
the heightened level of condescen-
sion in the attitudes of the INS offi-
Siddiqui said the officers did not
speak rudely to him because he
speaks excellent English, but they
treated others with poorer English
LSA sophomore Aly Caverson
said she agrees with the registration
program because it is important to
protect national security since the
terrorist attacks.
"I understand that people might
say that the United States shouldn't
assume that one bad apple spoils
the whole bunch, but we're just tak-

they're still human beings, and all
human beings deserve to be treated
with the same fundamental rights of
humanity," he said.
Still, the law distinguishes
between the people required to obey
the conditions of the registration
law and U.S. citizens.
"Non-citizens in his country have
much more limited rights than what
Americans naturally think of as
their civil rights," Rine said.
A lack of rights and immense INS
authority is what is making non-
immigrants paranoid and afraid,
Siddqui said.
Alexander Azzam, an Ann Arbor
immigration attorney, said the reg-
istration is simply a milder alterna-
tive to the encampment method
used to control Japanese-Americans
during World War II.
"If I am a terrorist from one of
those countries, I will not register.
I'm supposed to be underground
and I'd avoid detection and the
police. It's unlikely any potential
terrorists will show up at registra-
tion and say, 'Hi, I'm here on a fake
visa, please arrest me,"' Azzam
Siddiqui said the government
needs to make the law applicable to
non-citizens of all ethnicities in
order to create equality under the
registration program.
"If you are going to make those
groups register, then you should
have everyone register, but who's to
say that no one who is a citizen
could be a terrorist," Siddiqui said.
Another alternative to the proce-
dure is to increase precautions at
the rudimentary stage and make
obtaining a visa harder.
"It's so difficult to get a United
States visa that when you get one,
it's like opening the gates of para-
dise," Mchela said. In the end, he
said, the registration is an excuse
for the government to reduce risk
by deporting people.
"I think that what the government
is doing to non-citizens is indicative


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