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October 01, 2003 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-10-01

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 1, 2003


Senate panel OKs $87B Iraq plan

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republi-
cans muscled President Bush's $87 bil-
lion plan for Iraq and Afghanistan
through a Senate committee yesterday
but signaled that they may ultimately
defy the White House and structure
some of the aid as a loan.
The Senate Appropriations Commit-
tee approved the bill 29-0, with
Democrats reluctant to oppose a bill
dominated by funds for U.S. troops.
But the unanimous tally belied sharp
partisan divisions over $20.3 billion
included for Iraqi reconstruction, and
the fight on the Senate floor seems

likely to last until after lawmakers
return from a Columbus Day recess in
With even GOP senators flashing
signs of unease over the Iraq
rebuilding money, the panel's chair-
man said a bipartisan compromise
was being explored to provide
some of the rebuilding assistance
as loans that Iraq eventually would
have to repay.
A compromise might be included
when Congress considers the bill in
coming weeks. It would envision that
"part of it should be considered

repayable when oil comes out of the
ground" in Iraq, said Senate Appropri-
ations Committee Chairman Ted
Stevens, (R-Alaska.).
Administration officials have
opposed strongly transforming the
reconstruction spending into loans.
They say it would make it harder
for Iraq's economy to grow and
would fuel Arab arguments that the
United States is interested chiefly
in Iraqi oil.
The willingness of some GOP
lawmakers to strike a deal, however,
underscores how effectively Democ-

rats have turned the plan's $20.3 bil-
lion for Iraqi reconstruction into a
political issue.
"We oughtn't be too fast to give
away $20 billion if we can find a
way not to," said Sen. Arlen Specter
(R-Pa.), who is up for re-election
next year.
Democrats have built their politi-
cal case, in part, by arguing that
with record federal deficits and a
weak domestic economy, Americans
should not foot the entire cost of
rebuilding a country with the world's
second largest oil reserves.

Remai.ning U.S.
peacekeeping force
in Liberia departs

Third prison camp worker arrested
A civilian translator at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was
arrested at a Boston airport after authorities found classified information in his
possession, officials said yesterday.
The arrest was the third involving someone who worked closely with the large-
ly Muslim, non-English-speaking population of about 660 suspected al-Qaida and
Taliban fighters being held at the Guantanamo Bay camp. Two military personnel
are also in custody.
Dennis Murphy, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said
the arrest came at Boston's Logan International Airport. The suspect was identi-
fied as Ahmed Mehalba, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Egypt who had
flown Monday to Boston from Cairo, with a stop in Milan, Italy.
At a brief hearing yesterday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Boston, Mehal-
ba entered no plea and was detained pending another hearing scheduled for Oct.
8. On the charge of making false statements, he could face up to five years in
prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted.
Mehalba, wearing jeans and an orange golf shirt, said nothing during the hear-
ing, except to tell the judge that he could not afford his own attorney.
Former soccer player guilty of terrorism
A former pro soccer player who joined the al-Qaida terrorist network was con-
victed and sentenced to prison yesterday for plotting to bomb a NATO base
believed to contain nuclear weapons.
Nizar Trabelsi of Tunisia, who once played professional soccer in Germany,
received the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison from a court that also con-
victed 17 other men and acquitted five others in the largest terrorism trial in Bel-
gium's history.
Trabelsi admitted planning to drive a car bomb into the canteen of the Kleine
Brogel air base, a Belgian military post used by NATO where U.S. troops are
Trabelsi testified that he intended to kill American soldiers, not to detonate the
nuclear warheads that are believed to be at the base.
Two accomplices - Amor Sliti, 44, and Abdelcrim El-Haddouti, 26 - each
got five years in prison.

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) - U.S.
military planes and helicopters car-
ried the last few U.S. ground forces
out of war-ruined Liberia yesterday
- leaving Liberians thankful for
their help, but dismayed at their silent
About 30 members of a U.S. mili-
tary liaison team flew out of
Liberia's main airport, ending their
work with a West African-led peace
Their ship, the USS Iwo Jima,
* Engfish 'sage
* Organizing
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* 15 years Eperience
734.717.2546 danstein@umich.edu

was no longer visible from Mon-
rovia's shore by yesterday after-
noon, and was due to leave the
region within hours.
The Iwo Jima was the last of three
U.S. warships deployed in early
August off Liberia's capital, Mon-
rovia, where fighting killed more
than 1,000 civilians in June and July
as rebels besieged the city.
The mission of Joint Task Force
Liberia Mission "has been accom-
plished," a U.S. military spokesman
said, speaking on condition of
The presence of the U.S. troops
helped drive President Charles Taylor
into exile, clearing the way for a
power-sharing deal between his gov-
ernment and rebels after 14 years of
devastating conflict.
More than 100 heavily armed
U.S. Marines went ashore in Liberia
on Aug. 14, prodded by internation-

A young Liberian man who helped out at a U.S. forces base near the
Liberian capital Monrovia waits for the remaining U.S. forces to depart
by air from the war-torn West-African nation yesterday.

al appeals to intervene as Liberia's
three-year civil war pressed upon
the capital.
Liberians said yesterday they had
wanted to give the Americans a
proper send-off.
"We welcomed the Americans

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when they arrived here overtly. Why
their quiet departure?" asked 39-year
old Mark Tingeh.
"To leave without a ceremony to
bid them goodbye is to present
Liberians as an ungrateful people,"
Tingeh said.
Continued from Page 1
can approach an airline for better
rates than you're having now."
In addition to maintaining a web-
site, the University has created a task
force to gather faculty input on travel
management, Abruzzi said. The "task
team" will hold their first meeting
this month.
But he added that employees will
still have to choose the optimal rate
and book the travel themselves.
"Its sort of a cross between Trave-
locity and a travel agent, but all the
arrangements will continue to be
done by the travelers," he said.
Among faculty, the University's
proposal for data centralization
earned cautious praise. While Uni-
versity personnel said they look for-
ward to planning their business travel
through the University, they added
that they would be wary of systems
channeling reservations through a
single travel agency.
"I would like a system where a
travel agency would do (the booking)
if they assured me that I'd get the
cheaper ticket," said Business School
Prof. Sendil Ethiraj, citing that a lack
of competition in such a monopoly
could dissuade agencies from offering
attractive discounts.
But Timothy Slottow, chief finan-
cial officer for the University, said he
would not force faculty to purchase
travel through any agency.
"Although we would not do it, of
course we could save money if we
mandated a central travel agent,"
Slottow said.
Slottow added that the University
has already negotiated contracts
with several travel agencies, but
that their services are optional to
Other faculty said they hoped for
better travel discounts, but ques-
tioned the viability of the Universi-
ty's plan.
"My general reaction is I'm not
sure how much leverage the Univer-
sity would have with Northwest (Air-
lines)," said economics Prof. Gary
Saxonhouse, referring to Northwest's
economic hub at Detroit Metro Air-
port. "The situation with Michigan
State (University) is quite different.
Lansing is not a hub. A number of
different airlines fly in there....
Michigan State is in position to bar-
gain for better rates."
Some officials at other universi-
ties said they opposed centralization
"We're very decentralized and
don't really see that large of an
advantage in having a centralized
travel system," said Mike Hardiman,
purchasing director for the Universi-
ty of Wisconsin. He added that a cen-

Blair defends war
in address to party
A defiant Prime Minister Tony Blair,
bruised by dissent over the war in Iraq,
faced down his critics yesterday and
defended the U.S.-led campaign to top-
ple Saddam Hussein.
In an often somber address to his
restless Labor Party, Blair said 6 1/2
years in office and growing unease over
his policies had left him battered. But
he defended his government's record,
said it was ready for a historic third
term in office and insisted his forthright
leadership was best for Britain.
"It's the only leadership I can offer.
And it's the only type of leadership
worth having," he said.
At the end of his highly personal 50-
minute address, Blair basked in a mas-
sive ovation - deafening applause that
faded long after he left the cavernous
conference hall.
AOL starts Latino
Internet service
Tienes e-mail.
America Online is launching a serv-
ice today for the burgeoning number of
U.S. households where Spanish is the
main or the only language spoken.
The AOL Latino service is wholly in
Spanish, from the familiar "You've got
mail" greeting down to the instructions
on the installation CDs.

The U.S. Hispanic population has
grown over the past two years at
nearly four times the rate of the
overall population, and Hispanics
are now the country's largest minori-
ty group.
Yahoo! Inc. already has a "Yahoo!
En Espanol" site with news, maps
and even greeting cards in Spanish,
while Microsoft's MSN has acquired
the Spanish-language Yupi portal.
Both companies also offer instant-
messaging software and Web-based
e-mail in Spanish.
Studies: Students
have less homework
It's a troubling story: Public school
students get so loaded with homework
that they stress out and lose out on
chances to be playful kids.
But that story is largely wrong, two
new studies contend.
Most students actually have less than
an hour of homework a night, said Tom
Loveless, director of the Brown Center
on Education Policy at The Brookings
Institution, a Washington think tank.
Compelling anecdotes of overwhelmed
kids and exasperated parents don't
reflect what most families face, accord-
ing to a Brookings analysis of a broad
range of homework research.
"People are unduly alarmed over the
amount of homework," Loveless said.
"They should realize kids are not over-
worked - and indeed, there is room for
even more work."



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