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September 09, 2003 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-09

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I

[-NATION/WORLD

C§,1mn i i n Trixi TXTT D)TTu

1%0/% a i i r SA f inin
reforms
Weighed
by court
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
Supreme Court was told yesterday that
Congress overstepped its bounds in
passing legislation imposing compli-
cated new rules intended to clean up
election campaign finances.
The law "intrudes deeply into the
political life of the nation" and "in a
word, goes too far," said Kenneth
Starr, the former independent counsel
who investigated President Bill Clin-
ton, who now is serving as an attorney
for challengers to the law.
Solicitor General Theodore Olson
said the law was a response to a per-
ception of corrupt politics - "the
breakfasts, the lunches, the receptions,
the dinners ... the relentless pursuit ofc
big contributions."
Justices returned early from their
summer break for the first time int
nearly three decades to hear argumentsE
in the complex case, the results of
which will guide next year's cam-
paigns and those for years to come. i
In the first half of arguments yester-
day, justices animatedly queried attor-
neys who contend the law is an1
unconstitutional infringement on free
speech rights and government lawyersc
defending the law.
Groups as varied as the American
Civil Liberties Union and the National
Rifle Association are challenging the
2002 law, which bans huge, unlimited
donations to political parties known as
"soft money," and tightens controls on
political advertising in the weeks
before an election.c
Starr, the first of eight attorneysI
who would argue before the justices,f
said the law hamstrings local politicali
parties, which work with national par-
ties, and hurts grass-roots political1
efforts.
Justice Antonin Scalia seemed skep-
tical of the law, which he said was
passed by incumbent lawmakers wor-j
ried about protecting themselves.
"There will be abuses under this law,"I
he predicted.I
Olson said Congress may not havec
fixed every potential abuse, but spentt
six years coming up with the plan.
The case attracted unusual attention.E
Televisionicameras lined the approah '
to the court yesterday morning and a
line of seat-seekers stretched down the
plaza of the court building toward the1
street. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.)l
and Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), princi-
pal authors of the law under challenge,
took seats side-by-side in the court.
The court must decide if Congress'
rewrite of campaign laws squares with
First Amendment free-speech protec-
tions.

HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
NEW DELHI, India
Pakistan criticizes Sharon's visit to India
Ariel Sharon began a landmark visit to India yesterday, intent on cement-
ing defense deals and fortifying his country's friendship with a longtime
Palestinian ally during the first visit here by an Israeli prime minister.
Pakistan, India's neighbor and chief rival, immediately warned of the
"dangerous consequences" of a military alliance between Israel and India,
knowing Sharon hopes to seal the $1 billion sale of an advanced airborne
radar package.
"I think such a collaboration should be avoided at all costs," Pakistani
Foreign Ministry spokesman Masood Khan told reporters yesterday, adding
it would hurt peace in the region.
The United States is applauding the three-day state visit, the first by an
Israeli leader since India opened ties with the Jewish state in 1992, and
may be looking toward a three-way strategic alliance in the region.
In the long term, however, Washington might oppose Israeli efforts to
provide India with technology - some developed jointly with the United
States - that could tilt the military balance in the region and upset U.S.
allies, such as Pakistan, in the global war on terrorism.
WASHINGTON
Group files 261 lawsuits against file sharers

The music industry's largest trade group filed 261 copyright lawsuits across the
country yesterday against Internet users who trade songs online, an aggressive cam-
paign to discourage piracy through fears of expensive civil penalties or settlements.
The Recording Industry Association of America warned it ultimately may file
thousands of cases. Its first round was aimed at what it described as "major offend-
ers" illegally distributing on average more than 1,000 copyrighted music files each.
"Some of my grandkids got in there," said Durwood Pickle, 71, of Richardson,
Texas, who said his son had explained the situation in an e-mail to the recording
industry association. "I didn't do it, and I don't feel like I'm responsible. It's been
stopped now, I guarantee you that"
Pickle said his teen-aged grandchildren used his computer during visits to
his home.
"I'm not a computer-type person," Pickle said. "They come in and get on the
computer. How do I get out of this? Dadgum it, got to get a lawyer on this."

I

PARIS
French report blasts
understed hospitals
A scathing French government report
yesterday blamed hospital understaffing
during summer holidays, chronic
bureaucratic snags and a dearth of eld-
erly care for the 11,400-plus death toll
in this summer's brutal heat wave.
Also yesterday, the Dutch Central
Bureau for Statistics estimated 1,000 to
1,400 people died in the Netherlands
from the heat that gripped Europe this
summer - higher than an earlier pro-
jection of 500 to 1,000.
The French report, ordered by the
Health Ministry, pointed to disarray and
lack of communication between weather
officials, emergency services and hospi-
tals, and said that a "massive" exodus of
doctors on August vacation left many
elderly to fend for themselves.
"Hospitals found theiselves in
growing difficulties to provide person-
nel in a sufficient number," said the 47-
page report, with some 100 additional
pages of graphs and charts.
SHELBVILLE, Tenn.
Southerners push for
miitary school of old
Disgusted by what they see as the
extinction of the all-male Southern mili-
tary college, some graduates want to
build one of their own, based on the way
The Citadel and Virginia Military Insti-
tute used to be.
That is, they say, before those schools

started admitting women, before they
stopped saying mealtime prayers and
before the winds of political correctness
swept aside many of the reminders of the
Confederacy.
"Southern traditions that have been
tarnished and almost lost will live again,"
backers of the planned Southern Military
Institute say on their Web site. "The con-
cept of an officer and a Southern gentle-
man will be the standard, not the
exception."
WASHINGTON
As owners imore
weight, so dopets
The old wives' tale holds that people
start to look like their pets. Turns out it's
the other way around: America's pets are
starting to look like Americans - over-
weight.
Whether it's round hounds or corpulent
cats, as many as one-fourth of cats and
dogs in the Western world are overweight,
according to the National Research Coun-
cil, an arm of the National Academies.
It's the council's first update since
1986 of its "Nutrient Requirements of
Dogs and Cats" and, while aimed at vet-
erinarians, pet food makers and scien-
tists, the 500-page report also contains
useful pointers for people with pets.
Kathryn Michel, a veterinary nutri-
tionist at the University of Pennsylvania,
said she has noted more overweight pets
in recent years, particularly cats, and the
problem seems to occur at younger ages
than in the past.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.

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