2A - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 26, 2003
Congress takes aim at telemarketers
NEWS IN BRIEF'
WASHINGTON (AP) - A united
Congress raced through legislation
yesterday intended to ensure that the
national "do-not-call" list goes into
effect as scheduled next week, allow-
ing people to block many unwanted
telemarketing sales pitches.
The House voted 412-8 for a bill
making clear that the Federal Trade
Commission has the power to
enforce the list. The Senate voted 95-
0 several hours later. President Bush
plan to sign the measure, his
The legislation was prompted by a
federal judge's ruling Tuesday that the
agency lacked the power to create and
operate the registry.
The list, which is supposed to be
effective on Wednesday, had over-
whelming support in Congress. But
its immediate future remained in
doubt after U.S. District Court Judge
Lee West in Oklahoma City rejected
the FTC's request to delay his ruling.
The FTC immediately appealed to the
U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in
Even if Bush signs the legislation,
the FTC must win its appeal to reverse
West's decision. A new law would give
the agency considerable leverage in its
In debate before the votes, lawmak-
ers from both parties criticized West's
response to a lawsuit brought by tele-
marketers, which claim the list
infringes on free speech rights and will
devastate the industry.
"Clearly the court's decision was
misguided. The measure before us
makes crystal clear the commission
can and should proceed with the do-
not-call list," said Sen. John McCain.
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Democratic candidates debate issues
Retired Gen. Wesley Clark emphatically presented his credentials as a Democ-
rat yesterday and attacked President Bush in campaign debate as "a man who
recklessly cut taxes, who recklessly took us into war in Iraq."
Asked in the debate's opening moments about favorable comments he made
about Bush as recently as 2001, Clark did not disavow them.
Instead, he said he is pro-choice, pro-affirmative action, pro-environment and
pro-health, adding "that's why I am proud to be a Democrat."
In a further slap at Bush's Iraq policy, the former NATO supreme commander
said the United States should "engage with allies, be a good player in the interna-
tional community, should use force only as a last resort."
Clark took his place alongside the other nine contenders scarcely a week after
joining the race - and rival Howard Dean passed up an opportunity to criticize
the former general's recent political conversion.
"It's up to the voters in the Democratic Party to determine," he said. Dean, the
former Vermont governor whose campaign has surprised the political pundits,
quickly pivoted to other issues.
"The biggest issue in this campaign is the question of patriotism and democra-
cy. I'm tired of (Attorney General) John Ashcroft and (Vice President) Dick
Cheney ... lay claim to the American flag."
* 15 years Experience
Japan earthquake registers at magnitude of 8
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PARIS (AP) - The heat wave
that scorched Europe in August
killed more than 19,000 people,
according to official estimates tal-
lied by The Associated Press, mak-
ing it one of the most deadly natural
disasters in the past century. The
death toll may be higher:The AP
survey of a dozen countries found
that two - Germany and Spain -
have attributed only a fraction of
summer fatalities to heat so far.
France - by far the hardest hit
- yesterday reported a staggering
heat wave death toll of 14,802. Sci-
entists at INSERM, the National
Institute of Health and Medical
Research, reached the figure by
counting the number of deaths over
and above what would be expected
for the month of August. The toll
exceeds an earlier government
count of 11,435, a figure based on
deaths in only the first two weeks of
the month, when Sahara-like tem-
peratures gripped the continent.
No comprehensive Europe-wide
toll exists, and the dimensions of
the tragedy may never be known
since nations are using different
measures to determine heat-related
deaths. The French compared the
spike in mortality rates this summer
to last and attributed the full differ-
ence to the record heat.
The AP conducted its survey over
the past two weeks, obtaining infor-
mation from government and non-
government sources, including
national Health Ministries, govern-
ment statistics offices, mortuaries
and ambulance services.
Continued from Page 1A
at a late Wednesday night meeting.
"We got the call late to go and meet at
Crisler," senior forward Colin Dill said.
"We saw Coach walk in, and he had a
big smile on his face, so we knew it was
not bad news. As soon as he said (the
ban was reversed), we were all really
excited. It was more of a shock than any-
"First, we just talked amongst our-
selves about how surprised and how
happy we were," senior forward J.C.
Mathis said. "I called my parents, talked
to my father, just talked about how sur-
prised (I was) and told him the good
Postseason eligibility is a break-
through for a Michigan team that has
had to deal with several emotional blows
during the past 11 months. After initially
imposing sanctions on itself for the
2002-03 postseason, most were under
the impression that the Wolverines
would be eligible for this coming post-
season. But the team was dealt an addi-
tional setback in May, when the NCAA
handed down an additional year without
Entering the season with the assump-
tion that its appeal would be denied, all
Michigan had to play for was pride and a
Big Ten title. This was especially disap-
pointing to a squad of players with other-
wise high expectations - graduating
senior LaVell Blanchard was Michigan's
only significant loss, and the team fin-
ished last year with a 17-13 record, its
best finish since 1997-98.
After putting together a 13-game win
streak following an 0-6 start last season,
Michigan dropped six of its last 10
This decision to remove the postsea-
son ban should provide the Wolverines
with extra motivation come the end of
February. Regardless of the team's posi-
tion in the Big Ten standings, Michigan
may still be looking to earn an invite to
the 'Big Dance.'
"Those are games we felt we should
have won one way or another," Robinson
said of the way the team finished the
season. "This year if we get ourselves
back in that position, we're going to play
those games to the best of our ability."
A strong quake with a magnitude of 8 rocked the northern Japan island of
Hokkaido early today, injuring more than 160 people, knocking out power, derail-
ing a train and touching off an industrial fire.
Public broadcaster NHK reported that at least 164 people were hurt, including
at least two seriously, in the quake, mostly by falling objects in their homes. It
blacked out 16,000 homes and capsized fishing boats.
The quake struck at 4:50 a.m. and was centered in the Pacific, about 60 miles
off Hokkaido's eastern shore. The U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colo., said
the temblor had a preliminary magnitude of 8. An earthquake of that magnitude is
capable of causing tremendous damage.
A powerful aftershock of magnitude 7 followed shortly after 6 a.m., the U.S.
Geological Survey said from Golden, Colo. Another aftershock was reported at 8
a.m. Its magnitude was not immediately known.
Japan's Central Meteorological Agency initially estimated the quake's magni-
tude at 7.8, but later revised that to 8.0.
The government warned local residents to avoid coastal areas due to the possi-
bility of tsunami, or ocean waves caused by seismic activity.
Islamic court reverses
An Islamic court overturned the
conviction of an illiterate mother sen-
tenced to be stoned to death for having
sex out of wedlock, easing pressure on
the Nigerian government in a case that
has drawn sharp criticism from around
Lawyers hailed yesterday's ruling as
a triumph for Islamic justice, but con-
servative Muslims in the predominantly
Islamic north said Amina Lawal should
have been executed.
"It's a big relief for all of us,"
defense lawyer Hauwa Ibrahim told
The Associated Press. "Amina can
have her life back, and we are grateful
to the court."
Wrapped in a light orange veil and
sitting quietly at the front of a small,
sweltering courtroom, the 32-year-
old at the center of the controversy
appeared emotionless throughout the
hearing, staring down at the floor,
cradling her nearly 2-year-old
Deadline for DNA
Time is running out for perhaps
hundreds of Florida convicts to ask
for DNA testing that might clear
A two-year window opened by the
state Legislature for inmates to seek
post-conviction DNA analysis is set to
close on Wednesday. The Innocence
Project, a nonprofit legal clinic
researching hundreds of old cases on
inmates' behalf, has little hope of com-
pleting the task by the deadline.
No other large state has a deadline
this soon. Florida has the fourth-
largest prison population in the
country, with nearly 78,000 people
Working since April, the Innocence
Project has pored over about 400 cases.
Panel on obesity
The government's plan for a new food
pyramid to help fat people lose weight is
running into opposition from experts on
the panel writing the guidelines for it.
Obesity, the panel members acknowl-
edge, is a problem - 64 percent of
adults and 13 percent of the nation's
children are defined as being over-
weight, according to the government's
latest survey in 2001.
But some are questioning whether
the guidelines are the place for tackling
At the committee's first meeting this
week, some members also said a stronger
"eat less, exercise more" message aimed
at fat consumers will not reduce obesity.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
U La ~ i
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