2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 8, 2003
Fed retools emergency rescue plan NEWS INjBRIEF
WASHINGTON (AP) - Con- and other Fed officials, the central ries about a sudden jump in interest Greenspan in a speech in December SEOUL, South Korea j4
fronting new fears of recession, the bank is expected to move beyond its rates down the road. in New York noted that the Fed from Py y ang c ance llks with SouthKorea
Federal Reserve is refining an emer- traditional buying and selling of The fact that Fed officials have 1942 to 1951, as part of an agreement AyJngyang C k t
gency economic rescue plan that
includes further interest rate cuts and
billions of dollars in extra cash for the
The Fed's effort would be aimed at
pulling the country out of a nosedive
that has seen 465,000 jobs evaporate
in just the past two months, raising
fears among economists that the weak
recovery from the 2001 recessionis in
danger of stalling out altogether.
"Clearly, the Fed is in uncharted
territory," said economist David
Jones. "I think they will try some
One key element hasn't been used
successfully in a half-century.
Based on comments by Federal
Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan
short-term Treasury securities held by
banks to the direct purchase of
longer-term securities in an effort to
influence long-term interest rates.
Also, Fed officials have indicated
they are prepared in the event of an
unexpected shock to the system to
lend massive amounts of money
directly to commercial banks to
make sure that financial markets do
not freeze up.
And as a third policy option, Fed
officials have indicated they would
explicitly state that if the federal
funds rate is moved below its current
41-year low of 1.25 percent, it is like-
ly to stay at the lower level as long as
needed to get the economy on its feet
- which would help investors' wor-
been so open in discussing these
options underscores the need the cen-
tral bank sees to restore investor con-
fidence that has been shaken by the
fact that the Fed's aggressive two-year
campaign to cut short-term rates has
yet to produce a sustainable economic
recovery. The Fed's target for the fed-
eral funds rate, the interest that banks
charge for overnight loans, is now at a
41-year low of 1.25 percent.
"The Fed is trying to buck up
fragile confidence," said Mark
Zandi, chief economist at
Economy.com. "They know that
everyone is asking the question:
what can be done if the U.S. econo-
my slides back into a recession and
it ignites a deflationary cycle?"
with the White House, successfully
capped long-term Treasury yields at
2.5 percent as a way to hold down bor-
rowing costs to finance World War II.
However, private economists note
that a later Fed effort dubbed "Opera-
tion Twist" - in which the central
bank sold short-term Treasury securi-
ties and bought long-term securities in
the early 1960s in an effort to influence
rates at both ends of the yield curve -
was judged to be a failure because the
central bank did not make the transac-
tions in large enough amounts.
"If you want to produce results, you
have to convince markets that you are
serious and will do whatever it takes
to alter the rate structure," said former
Fed board member Lyle Gramley.
Cabinet-level talks aimed at reconciliation between North Korea and South
Korea were canceled yesterday after Pyongyang failed to confirm that the meet-
ings would take place, South Korea's Unification Ministry said.
Seoul had hoped to use the meetings to persuade its communist neigh-
bor to scrap its suspected nuclear weapons program. The cancellation is a
setback for South Korean efforts to ease tensions between Washington
The cancellation came ahead of a meeting tomorrow of the U.N. Security
Council to discuss North Korea's nuclear program.
The council could eventually discuss imposing sanctions against North
Korea, if a political solution is not found. China and Russia have said they
North Korea has warned that it would regard international sanctions
against its isolated regime as a declaration of war.
The Cabinet-level talks were supposed to take place in Pyongyang from
yesterday until Thursday.
The two Koreas had agreed to meet during their last round of Cabinet-
level talks in Seoul in January.
China reveals widespread SARS deaths Court ruies to uphold cross burning ban
GUANGZHOU, China (AP) - China reported
another death from severe acute respiratory syndrome
and revealed yesterday that fatalities in recent weeks
have been more widespread than previously reported.
In the country's south, international experts were
researching whether the mystery disease might have
come from animals on farms or in the wild.
The country's death toll was 53, state television
reported, citing the Health Ministry. That included 43
deaths in the southern province of Guangdong, where
experts suspect severe acute respiratory syndrome, or
SARS, originated, it said. More than 2,300 people have
been sickened worldwide.
State television reported one SARS death each in the
provinces of Shanxi in the north, Sichuan in the west
and Hunan in central China - the first reported fatali-
ties in those areas and an indication the disease was
more widespread than previously acknowledged.
China previously reported fatalities in Guangdong,
Beijing and the Guangxi region to Guangdong's west.
China's government has faced mounting criticism at
home and abroad that it has released information about
SARS too slowly.
"It would have been much better if the Chinese gov-
ernment had been more open in the early stages,"
World Health Organization Director-General Gro
Harlem Brundt said Sunday in New Delhi, India.
WHO experts searching Guangdong for clues to
how SARS spreads and why it kills were studying
whether it might have come from animals.
The team has not yet found clear evidence support-
ing the theory, but its members met with animal-health
officials and discussed both farm animals and wildlife,
including pigs, ducks, bats, rodents, chickens and other
birds, said team leader Robert Breiman.
Experts have linked SARS to a new form of
coronavirus, other forms of which usually are
found in animals. Coronavirus is the virus family
that causes the common cold.
That link "may suggest that it originates from ani-
mals," Breiman said. He said, "the discussions today
were inconclusive, so we really don't have clues."
The team, in Guangdong since Thursday, is meeting
with doctors and scientists, visiting hospitals and
reviewing medical records.
"Atypical pneumonia is a disaster. There is no prece-
dent for something like this," said Huang Huahua, the
governor of Guangdong, who met yesterday afternoon
The Supreme Court upheld a state ban on cross burning, ruling yesterday
the history of racial intimidation attached to it outweighs the free speech
protection of Ku Klux Klansmen or others who might use it.
A burning cross is a particularly powerful instrument of terror, and government
should have the power to stamp out or punish its use as a weapon of intimidation,
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote.
The protections afforded by the First Amendment "are not absolute,"
The court voted 6-3 to uphold the ban, but split 5-4 on the narrower ques-
tion of whether-the law violates the constitutional guarantee of free speech.
Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with the broad premise that states may bar
cross burning, but did not agree with the court's holding that the law was
constitutional on free speech grounds.
Thomas, the court's only black member, said the court didn't even have to
consider the First Amendment implications because a state has a right to bar
conduct it considers "particularly vicious."
Citizens in downtown Hong Kong wear surgical
masks yesterday to guard against SARS. Hong
Kong has had 883 SARS cases.
with the WHO experts.
On Sunday, China's Health Ministry reported
six SARS deaths. That included Pekka Aro, an
International Labor Organization official who
died Sunday in a Beijing hospital.
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HAVANA (AP) - The first dissi-
dents tried in a massive crackdown
on Cuba's opposition will spend
between 15 and 25 years in prison,
after being convicted of collaborating
with American diplomats to under-
mine the socialist state, family mem-
bers said yesterday.
Prosecutors originally sought life
sentences for at least a dozen of the 80
defendants, but no such sentences were
among those announced yesterday.
Opposition political party leader
Hector Palacios, among those original-
ly recommended for a life sentence,
received a 25-year sentence, said his
wife, Gisela Delgado.
"This is an injustice," Delgado
said after leaving the courthouse.
"We are as Cuban as members of the
Independent journalist Raul Rivero
received the 20-year sentence sought
by prosecutors, family members said.
The communist government accuses
the dissidents of being in the pay of
Washington and collaborating with
U.S. diplomats here to harm Cuba and
The last of the summary trials;
which began Thursday, were expected
to end yesterday, with all sentences
announced before the end of this week.
The crackdown has been con-
demned by international human rights
groups and press organizations, with
the U.S. State Department terming the
proceedings a "kangaroo court."
Those arrested in last month's crack-
down include more than two dozen
independent journalists, leaders of
independent labor unions and opposi-
tion political parties, and pro-democra-
cy activists involved in a reform effort
known as the Varela Project.
The crackdown ended several years
of relative government tolerance for
the opposition. It began when Cuban
officials criticized the head of the
American mission in Havana, James
Cason, for actively supporting the
Siberian fire kills 21
students, 1 teacher
A fire engulfed an old wooden
school in the northern Siberian
republic of Yakutia yesterday, killing
21 students and a teacher, emer-
gency officials said.
Ten more students were hospital-
ized with burns and fractured bones
after they tried to escape the flames
by jumping out the windows of the
two-story building,'said Yelena
Mineyeva, spokeswoman for Yaku-
tia's Emergency Situations Ministry.
The students were between the ages
of 11 and 18.
Russian President Vladimir Putin
called the fire a "major calamity"
and ordered the federal government
to fully cooperate with authorities
in Yakutia, about 3,000 miles east
In televised comments, Putin
instructed his Cabinet to "provide
help to the republic and immediately
to the families of the victims."
Expets try to build
fitness into society
Try to take 10,000 steps a day, Dr.
Julie Gerberding advised the congress-
men, a mostly graying bunch with a bit of
paunch who curiously fingered the beep-
er-sized step-counters she'd brought them.
It doesn't sound like much, until you
consider the average person takes far less
than 4,000 steps a day. Our environment
- long commutes, elevators, computer-
dominated jobs, remote controls that
keep us on the couch - makes it too
easy to be sedentary.
Now instead of lecturing Americans to
exercise, health officials are trying differ-
ent experiments to build fitness back into
society - playing music to entice eleva-
tor users onto the stairs, starting walk-to-
school programs, constructing sidewalks
and handing out pedometers. "We have
to build opportunities for physical activi-
ty into everyday life," explains William
Dietz, fitness and nutrition chief at the
Centers for Disease Control and Preven-
tion, which Gerberding heads.
cheat at 'Millionaire'
An arpy major, his wife and a col-
lege teacher were convicted yesterday
of using "coded coughs" to win the top
prize on Britain's "Who Wants to be a
Charles Ingram maintained that luck,
military training and strategy had
helped him answer the $1.55 million
question - "A number 1 followed by
100 zeros is known by what name?"
But prosecutors said college pro-
fessor Tecwen Whittock used a sys-
tem involving coded coughs from his
seat in the audience to guide Ingram
to the correct multiple-choice
response: a googol.
The jury found 39-year-old
Ingram, his wife Diana, 39, and
Whittock, 53, guilty of deception in
trying to win the contest.
Judge Geoffrey Rivlin upbraided
the defendants for a "shabby school-
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Deadj- orallpphict.i1n rd y. AprH 25.20WX,
Louisiana student shoots
at classmates, kills one
NATCHITOCHES, La. (AP) - A
gunman opened fire in a classroom
at a Louisiana trade school yesterday,
killing one student and wounding
another, police said.
Calvin Joseph Coleman, 22, was
arrested about an hour after the shoot-
ings, said Assistant Police Chief Chris
Stanfield. Police said he had registered
at Louisiana Technical College, but had
not attended classes for several weeks.
The shootings happened about
11:30 a.m. in an electronics class at the
vocational-technical school's Natchi-
toches campus, Stanfield said. At the
time, three students and an instructor
were in the room, police said.
"He came into the classroom and
fired four or five times," Stanfield said.
Investigators said they believe the
dead man, identified as Terome Sil-
vie, 32, was the intended target and
the wounded man was a bystander.
Silvie was shot four times, while the
other man was hit by a bullet frag-
ment, police said.
Police Chief Ralph Peters said
after the shootings the gunman
jumped into a car and left with
someone who had been waiting for
him. Police would not say if the other
person had been arrested.
The wounded man was treated for
a minor leg wound and released from
the hospital, police said.
Police were not sure of a motive in
the shooting, Stanfield said.
According to the state corrections
department, Silvie was paroled in
March 2002 after serving just under
seven years of a 20-year prison sen-
tence for attempted manslaughter. That
charge stemmed from a 1995 robbery
in which two men were wounded.
Peters said the gunman was appar-
ently not signed up for the class
where the shooting took place.
Classes were canceled for the day
after the shooting. The school,
which has 675 students ands30 staff
members, is one of 42 two-year
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