2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, December 10, 2002
United Airlines files for bankruptcy
CHICAGO (AP) -^United Airlines filed the
biggest bankruptcy in aviation history yesterday,
vowing to keep its jets flying while it tries to straight-
en out a business that is hemorrhaging as much as
$22 million a day.
The world's No. 2 airline is certain to cut employee
wages, reduce flights and eliminate unprofitable routes
during a Chapter 11 reorganization that United chief
executive Glenn Tilton expects to last about 18 months.
"We've made a good decision for United," Tilton
said. "This is a tremendous opportunity for United to
transform this company and to emerge stronger than
The bankruptcy filing is the sixth-largest in U.S.
history, covering $22.8 billion in assets.
United operates about 1,700 flights a day, or about
20 percent of all U.S. flights. It has the most exten-
sive worldwide route structure of any airline, but also
the industry's highest costs.
. Passengers are not likely to see any immediate
effect on flights or frequent-flier miles, according to
both United and industry analysts.
But the bankruptcy filing could set in motion a
restructuring of the entire industry, with large airlines
forced to become more like their low-cost rivals,
with fewer and smaller planes and lower wages for
United has lost $4 billion in the last two years
because of the weak economy, flawed business strate-
gies and fallout from the Sept. 11 attacks.
The airline cut service and laid off nearly 20,000
workers after the terrorist attacks, but it has not come
close to making up for revenue lost from the drop-off
in business travel.
United had hoped to stave off bankruptcy by
obtaining a $1.8 billion federal loan guarantee. But
the Air Transportation Stabilization Board, created to
help the industry recover after Sept. 11, rejected
United's request last week as too risky for taxpayers.
United said it has lined up $1.5 billion in financ-
ing from several banks to continue operating in'
Bush picks Snow
to lead Treasury
NEWS IN BRIEF
HEADLINES FROMAROUND TEWO,
Venezuela strike causes buying panic
Venezuelans waited up to four hours for gasoline and stocked up on food and
water yesterday as a strike seeking President Hugo Chavez's ouster created short-
ages at markets, banks, pharmacies and service stations.
The growing shutdown increased pressure on Chavez to give in to opposition
demands to call a referendum on his government or resign. Already, the eight-day
strike has crippled the oil industry - the world's fifth-largest and Venezuela's
main source of revenue.
Gas, drinking water and cash at automatic teller machines were increasingly
scarce in Caracas and other cities. Dozens of domestic flights were canceled. Banks
closed. Motorists waited in a mile-long line for gas in the central city Valencia.
Dozens of treasury and customs agents joined the opposition strike, which
began Dec. 2.
Harbor pilots and cargo handlers closed Venezuela's biggest port, Puerto
Cabello, 90 miles west of Caracas, said Jorge Serrano, president of the
National Ports Institute. Puerto Cabello handles most of Venezuela's non-
oil imports and exports.
Chavez ordered the military to help the Energy Ministry guarantee gas sup-
plies and oil exports by all means necessary - including by temporarily seiz-
ing private truck fleets.
Indonesia signs peace deal with rebel group
The Indonesian government signed a peace deal with rebels from Aceh
province yesterday, taking a major step toward ending a 26-year conflict that
threatened to destabilize the world's most populous Muslim nation.
The deal with the insurgents in Aceh, a region the size of Maryland that is rich
in oil and timber, grants its 4.1 million people autonomy but not independence. It
sets a cease-fire and calls for the eventual disarmament of the rebels.
"There's still a great deal of work to be done before we reap the harvest
of peace," said Wiryono Sastro Handoyo, the top Indonesian government
Rebel spokesman Isnander Al-Faseh said the rebels would withdraw their forces
and halt all attacks against government troops. But he accused the special forces
of bringing in reinforcements for a possible operation in the north of the province.
"This may be the work of hardline elements within the Indonesian military who
do not want this peace deal to succeed," Al-Faseh said.
President Bush called the peace deal a "courageous effort" and said the United
States will help provide humanitarian and reconstruction assistance for Aceh.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President
Bush turned to railroad executive John
Snow to be his new Treasury secretary
yesterday and signaled his determina-
tion to push ahead with a new round of
tax cuts to jump-start the sluggish
Three days after shaking up his
economic team by. firing Treasury
Secretary Paul O'Neill and Lawrence
Lindsey, the head of his National
Economic Council, Bush announced
he would nominate Snow, the presi-
dent of Richmond-based CSX Corp.,
one of the nation's largest railroad
freight lines, as O'Neill's successor
In many ways, Snow, 63, has a
resume similar to O'Neill's. Both men
served in the Ford administration
where they worked with Dick Cheney
and then both left the government to
pursue business careers.
However, O'Neill, the former head
of Alcoa Corp., proved to be a gaffe-
prone economic spokesman for Bush,
infuriating Republicans in Congress
and roiling financial markets with his
comments. Snow is seen as a more
cautious public speaker and a political-
ly savvy operator who will be better
able to sell the Bush program in Con-
gress and on Wall Street.
"I look forward to joining your
economic team to advance a pro-
growth, pro-jobs agenda," said
Snow, who holds a Ph.D. in econom-
ics from the University of Virginia
and has been an active participant in
public policy debates in Washington,
at one time as chairman of the influ-
ential Business Roundtable.
Determined not to repeat his father's
mistake of appearing to be insensitive
to rising joblessness during economic
hard times, Bush told reporters that he
would soon be proposing "specific
steps to increase the momentum of our
economic recovery and the Treasury
secretary will be at the center of this
Bush pledged to provide more tax
relief, saying "many Americans have
very, little money left over after taxes."
He also said he wanted to put forward
proposals to bolster investor confi-
dence, which has been shaken by the
loss of trillions of dollars in stock mar-
ket wealth, and to help Americans save
Congressional and business lobby-
ists who have been briefed by adminis-
tration officials said yesterday that
Bush was considering a package of tax
cuts and spending measures that would
cost between $250 billion and $300
billion over 10 years.
These officials, who spoke on con-
dition of anonymity, said that the major
tax cuts the administration was consid-
ering were accelerating the personal
tax rate reductions scheduled to take
effect in 2004 and 2006, lowering the
tax on corporate stock dividends, long
a Republican goal, and boosting tax
breaks to encourage businesses to
invest in new plants and equipment.
Some congressional sources said
that the administration might be will-
ing to consider proposals such as cut-
ting the Social Security payroll tax or
extending unemployment benefits as a
way to attract Democratic votes for the
Snow, who spent part of yesterday
making telephone calls to key law-
makers, was expected to encounter
questioning during his Senate nomi-
nation hearing about government
support for CSX.
by Israeli troops
Israeli troops shot and killed a men-
tally disabled Palestinian yesterday and
arrested an alleged gunman accused of
killing a 10-month-old Israeli girl last
year in the West Bank city of Hebron.
A Palestinian Cabinet minister,
meanwhile, joined a growing chorus of
Palestinian leaders questioning the use
of violence in the 26-month-old upris-
ing against Israel.
Planning Minister Nabil Shaath
said attacks on all Israeli civilians
must stop, including those on Jewish
settlers in the West Bank and Gaza
Strip. "Stopping targeting Israeli
civilians is a step that needs to be
implemented," Shaath said.
The Palestinian Authority has con-
demned attacks on civilians in Israel, but
has said settlers and soldiers remain legit-
imate targets. In yesterday's violence,
Israeli troops shot and killed a 28-year-
old mentally disabled Palestinian, Basel
al-Koa, at a military checkpoint.
investigative arm of Congress, U.S.
District Court Judge John Bates said
only seven senators and congressmen
had expressed support for the efforts to
get the information.
The lawsuit by Comptroller General
David Walker against Cheney was an
unprecedented act that raised serious sep-
"No court has ever before granted
what the comptroller general seeks,"
wrote Bates. "This case ... is not the set-
ting for such unprecedented judicial
Gore, Kerry leading
New Hampshire poll
Former Vice President Al Gore and
Sen. John Kerry are running about
even among potential voters for the
2004 New Hampshire Democratic
presidential primary, an independent
poll reported yesterday.
The poll, from Marist College's
Institute for Public Opinion, had
Gore, the party's unsuccessful nomi-
nee in 2000, favored by 31 percent
of Democrats and independents who
say they may vote in the primary,
traditionally the first in the nation.
Kerry, from neighboring Massa-
chusetts, had the support of 28 per-
cent of the potential primary voters.
Potential New Hampshire primary
voters were split on the prospect of
another Gore candidacy with 50 per-
cent saying he should run again and
44 saying he should not.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
not speak U.S. judge dismisses
Cheney task force suit
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
Supreme Court declined yesterday to
decide whether poor death row inmates
can get more free legal help at the
expense of taxpayers.
The case, filed on behalf of three
Texas men who already have been exe-
cuted, questioned whether the federal
government should pay for an inmate's
legal bills during state clemency pro-
ceedings and some last-minute court
States must provide attorneys for
indigent death-row inmates to file
state-level appeals. The federal gov-
ernment pays for some appeals in fed-
But clemency appeals, filed to gov-
ernors or state clemency boards, aren't
covered by taxpayers. Poor inmates
often get free clemency help from legal
Defense attorneys contend a 1998
federal law requires death row inmates'
lawyers to represent them through
"every" stage of appeals.
"Without the assistance of a lawyer,
people just can't make compelling
cases to courts or governors about why
they shouldn't be executed, even if
there are strong facts and compelling
reasons why an execution should not
go forward," said law Prof. Charles
Weisselberg at the University of'Cali-
The Bush administration argued it
makes no sense for the federal govern-
ment to assist inmates in state clemen-
Solicitor General Theodore Olson
said states may not want federal courts
getting into their business by appoint-
ing and paying for lawyers.
Kent Scheidegaer of the nro-death
A federal judge yesterday rebuffed
congressional efforts to learn about,
meetings that Vice President Dick
Cheney's energy task force held with
industry executives and lobbyists while
formulating the Bush administration's
recent energy plan.
In dismissing the lawsuit by the
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