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January 16, 2004 - Image 2

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 16, 2004

NATION/WORLD

Bush blasted at
King grave visit

ATLANTA (AP) - Looking for
election-year support from black voters
in the South, President Bush was greet-
ed at Martin Luther King, Jr's grave
here yesterday by noisy demonstrators
who chanted "Go home, Bush!" after
receiving a warmer reception at a shab-
by church in New Orleans.
As Bush placed a wreath on King's
crypt, a low chorus of boos could be
heard from across the street where
700 protesters beat drums and waved
signs bearing slogans such as "War is
not the answer" and "It's not a photo-
op, George."
Bush's four-stop swing through
Georgia and Louisiana allowed him
face time with two important con-
stituencies - religious conservatives,
who make up his base of support, and
black voters, only 9 percent of whom
supported him in 2000. Events in both
states were paired with fund-raisers,
which raised $2.3 million for his cam-
paign account, already brimming with

more than $130 million.
In this year's presidential race, Bush
probably will garner only slighly more
of the black vote, predicts David Bosi-
tis, a political analyst in Washington
who focuses on black issues.
"Nine percent is the lowest for a
Republican candidate since Barry
Goldwater," he said. "When you get a
zero on a test and you take it a second
time, the odds are that you're going to
do a little better."
The president, standing silently, his
head slightly bowed, appeared
unfazed by the protesters at King's
tomb, where he laid a wreath of red,
white and blue flowers to mark what
would have been the civil rights
leader's 75th birthday.
King Center officials said they
extended no formal invitation to Bush
but accepted his offer to come.
The president's critics dismissed his
visit to the grave as a symbolic ges-
ture that only underscored shortcom-

NEWS IN BRIEF.',
AR UHEADLINES FROM AR U DTH.OL
G CITY, GZGaza Strip ~- ~
Israel seals Gaza Strip after suicide bombing
The first female Hamas suicide bomber was given a hero's funeral yesterday, a
day after killing four Israeli border guards, and Israel sealed the Gaza Strip to
review security at border crossings.
The closure prevented thousands of Palestinian workers from getting to their
jobs in Israel and a nearby industrial zone. The workers, among the few with jobs
in the impoverished region, worried life would only become more difficult - but
few were willing to openly blame militants for their new hardship.
Top Israel army commanders met at the Defense Ministry yesterday to consider
a response to the latest attack, a security official said. Targeted killings of senior
Hamas militants were expected to resume, said the official, who spoke on condi-
tion of anonymity.
Wednesday's attack at the Erez border crossing between Israel and Gaza was
the first time the Islamic militant group Hamas dispatched a female suicide
bomber, and the group threatened more violence.
"She is not going to be the last (attacker) because the march of resist-
ance will continue until the Islamic flag is raised, not only over the
minarets of Jerusalem, but over the whole universe," Hamas leader Mah-
moud Zahar said.

a

Protesters berate President Bush in Atlanta during his visit to

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s gravesite
ings in the administration's relation-
ship with blacks.
Back in Washington, Rep. Elijah
Cummings, chairman of the Congres-
sional Black Caucus, said not one pol-
icy decision made by the Bush
administration - from the war in Iraq
to the economy, from education to the
environment - has mirrored King's
dream. "The president needs to be
more embracing of elected African

yesterday.
American officials and the entire
African American community every
day of the year, not just on January
15th," he said.
Bush didn't speak publicly at the
grave, but earlier at the black church
in Louisiana, Bush said King under-
stood that "faith is power greater than
all others," and that it was important
for America to "honor his life and
what he stood for."

WASH INGTON
Federal pension deficit triples in 2003

Shiites protest U.S. plan
for new Iraqi parliament

The deficit for the government's pension insurance program ballooned to a
record $11.2 billion last year, more than triple the previous year's total, and offi-
cials are warning that taxpayers could be called on for a bailout.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s financial woes are driven by an increas-
ing number of bankrupt pension plans, from such companies as Bethlehem Steel
and US Airways, and record-low interest rates, officials said.
Outgoing Executive Director Steven Kandarian said the agency could continue
to pay pension benefits to retirees in bankrupt plans "for a number of years," but
the growing deficit "puts at risk the agency's ability to continue to protect pen-
sions in the future."
He urged Congress to act soon to reform the nation's private pension system,
which also is being squeezed by low interest rates, a subdued stock market and
laws that do not require employers to maintain full funding levels in their retire-
ment plans. Under funding for all pension plans is estimated at more than $350
billion. PBGC's single-employer program posted a $7.6 billion net loss for the
financial year ending Sept. 30 on top of a $3.6 billion shortfall in 2002.

BASRA, Iraq (AP) - Shouting "No to Ameri-
ca!" tens of thousands of Shiite Muslims took to
the streets yesterday to protest a U.S.-backed for-
mula for choosing Iraq's new legislature.
The protest came as an aide to Iraq's foremost
Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-
Sistani, warned that he might issue a fatwa, or reli-
gious edict, rejecting a U.S.-backed government if
his demands for direct elections are ignored.
The turnout in Basra, estimated by British sol-
diers at up to 30,000, was the biggest protest
organized by Shiite clerics against the power-trans-
fer plan.
The United States wants regional caucuses to
choose a new parliament, which will then select an
Iraqi administration. It says security is too poor
and voter records too incomplete for fair elections.
The clerics want direct elections, fearing the
caucuses may be rigged to keep Shiites out of
power.
The Americans are also wary of elections
because of who might win. With Iraq in turmoil,
Islamic radicals or Saddam Hussein's Baath party
might dominate a vote simply because they have
the best organizations.
Al-Sistani and other clerics wield vast influence
among Iraq's Shiites, believed to comprise about
60 percent of the country's 25 million people.
omeS CAUCUSES
Continued from Page 1.
O U t convention. In Iowa, reg
Democrats gather at caucus si
split up into groups according
pagne toast at an candidate preferences.
conference. If a particular group has me

"The large crowd before you today are express-
ing their feeling that they don't want anything
imposed on them," said cleric Ali al-Mussawi al-
Safi, al-Sistani's representative in Basra. "We want
to affirm our rights. We want elections in all politi-
cal domains."
Protesters, virtually all of them male, chanted "
yes to elections! Yes, yes to al-Sistani!" Later, they
sat on the pavement listening to robed and tur-
baned clerics rail against the U.S. plan.
U.S. officials say al-Sistani's demand is unrea-
sonable. They maintain that a credible vote could
not be held on such short notice due to the coun-
try's precarious security situation and the lack of
accurate voter rolls.
Instead, the Nov. 15 agreement provides for par-
liament members to be selected in 18 regional cau-
cuses. The legislature would then choose a new,
sovereign administration to take office by July 1.
Faced with al-Sistani's objections, U.S. adminis-
trator L. Paul Bremer left Baghdad for Washington
yesterday for consultations with President Bush
and his senior national security advisers.
"If Bremer rejects the opinion of Grand Ayatol-
lah Ali al-Sistani, then he will issue a fatwa to
deprive the elected council of its legitimacy,"
Mohammed Baqir al-Mehri, al-Sistani's represen-
tative in Kuwait, told Abu Dhabi television.
15 percent of the total number of peo-
ple at the caucus location, they are
allowed to send a delegate to the state
nominating convention, which in turn
istered nominates delegates to go to the
[tes and national convention.
to their If a particular group does not have
15 percent its members must disband
re than and join another group.

WASH INGTON
$128.7 billion deficit
posted in first quarter
The government produced a
deficit of $128.7 billion for the first
three months of the 2004 budget
year, which was $20 billion more
than for the same period a year ear-
lier, the Treasury Department
reported yesterday.
For the budget year that began
Oct. 1, spending totaled $569.4 bil-
lion, compared with $535.6 billion
for the same period last year. Rev-
enues came to almost $440.8 billion,
compared with $427.3 billion.
The year-to-date deficit of $128.7
billion was about 19 percent more
than the shortfall of $108.2 billion
produced in the first three months of
the 2003 budget year.
LONDON
WHO faces criticism{
over malaria drugs
The World Health Organization and
other aid agencies are undermining the
battle against malaria by funding cheap-
er and less-effective drugs, contributing
to tens of thousands of deaths of chil-
dren in Africa, researchers asserted.
The scientists, writing in The Lancet
medical journal, accused WHO and the
Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and
Malaria of promoting programs that use

U
I

the wrong drugs because they are a tenth
the cost of better medicines.
Both agencies defended their posi-
tions, saying they cannot dictate
countries' drug policies and that
many are changing to the new drugs.
At least 1 million people, most of
them children, die every year from
malaria. One reason propelling the dead-
ly mosquito-borne epidemic is that the
bug has become immune to the conven-
tional drugs, chloriquine and sulfadox-
ine-pyrimethamine.

Molding a poster of Ayatollah al-Sistani, Shiites on the
streets of Basra yesterday demand free elections.
" .
Spirit rover overci
risky surface roll-

SINGAPORE
Singapore tops list of
state executioners
Singapore has the highest execution
rate in the world relative to its popula-
tion, outstripping China, Saudi Arabia
and Sierra Leone, Amnesty Internation-
al said in a report released yesterday.
More than 400 prisoners have been
hanged since 1991 in the Southeast
Asian city-state of 4 million people, the
London-based rights organization said in ,
a report on Singapore entitled "A Hidden
Toll of Executions."
"It is the cold-blooded killing of a
human being by the state in the name of
justice, and violates one of the most fun-
damental of all human rights: the right to
life," Amnesty said in a statement,
describing the number of executions in
Singapore as "shockingly high."
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - To the
great relief of NASA scientists, the
Spirit rover rolled onto the surface of
Mars and trundled across the salmon-
colored soil yesterday for the first
time since the vehicle bounced to a
landing nearly two weeks ago.
The slow maneuver was a nail-bit-
ing moment for scientists who had
feared that Spirit might become yet
another casualty in the star-crossed
history of Mars exploration.
"This is a big relief," said Rob Man-
ning, manager of the entry, descent and
landing portion of the mission. "Our
wheels are finally dirty."
The six-wheeled vehicle had been
perched atop its lander since its
arrival on Mars on Jan. 3. Yesterday, it
finally rolled down a ramp onto the
surface of the Red Planet, covering a
mere 10 feet, as planned. The trip
took 78 seconds.
Engineers had worried that the golf-
cart-size vehicle might become
snagged on its ramp or damaged
beyond repair, making it impossible to
complete its mission. Scientists said
the roll-off may have been the riskiest
step the rover would ever take on Mars.
NASA engineers and scientists were
misty-eyed and choked-up as they
described the success of the maneuver,

and raised a champ
early morning newsc

"Mars now is our sandbox, and we
are ready to play and learn," said
Charles Elachi, director of NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory.
Spirit is to spend three to four days
parked beside its lander, giving it time
to find its bearings and perform some
preliminary analysis of the soil and
pebbles around it. Then it will set off a
meandering journey to prospect for
geologic evidence that the now-dry
planet was once wetter and hospitable
to life.
"Now we are the mission that we all
envisioned three and a half years
ago," said Jennifer Trosper, mission
manager for surface operations.
Black-and-white pictures beamed
from Spirit showed its two rear wheels
on the Martian soil, with its lander 32
inches behind it. Two parallel tracks
led away from the lander through the
cakey dust.
Originally, Spirit was supposed to
roll straight off the lander on its ninth
day on Mars. But the now-deflated air
bags that cushioned the rover's land-
ing blocked the main ramp, forcing
Spirit to perform a slow, 115-degree
turn to line its wheels up with a differ-
ent ramp.

HOUSING
Continued from Page 1
After the interviews in late January,
Nafranowicz will give a report of
observations and recommendations to
Harper, who will make the final deci-
sion sometime after mid-February.
University housing system accommo-

tage of...and we want to make sure
students have a good housing experi-
ence, on and off campus," she said.
"We have no jurisdiction (off-cam-
pus), but we do have influence."
Since the departure of Zeller,
Mary Hummel and Archie Andrews
served as the two associate direc-
tors of housing during the interim
period.
"I think (Hummel and Andrews) are

dates nearly 98
class. The
committee is
looking for a
director who
can handle
the chal-
lenges of
running a
large system
and can also
manage the
significant
changes the
University is
expecting to
make on
campus.
"We're in
the process
of revitaliz-
ing and
remodeling
new resi-
d e n c e
h a 1 1 s
Ha rp e r

_r

percent of the freshman

Housing Search
Four candidates come to visit the Uni-
versity in two weeks for public forums
Carole Henry, executive director for
Housing and Food Services at the Universi-
ty of Connecticut, appears Jan. 26 at 2
p.m. in the Michigan Union Pond Room.
Frankie Minor, director of Residential Life
at the University of Missouri, appears Jan.
27 at 2 p.m. in the Union Wolverine Room.
0 Michael Coakley, executive director of the
Division of Student Housing and Dining Ser-
vices at Northern Illinois University, appears
Jan. 28 at 2 p.m in the Union Pond Room.
Fred Fotis, director of Housing and
Conferences at the University of British
Columbia, appears Jan 29. at 2 p.m in the
Union Pond Room.

doing a fabu-
lous job filling
in and have
afforded us
more time to
make this
d e c i s i o n,"
Keller said.
This extra
time has
allowed the
committee to
look at as
many candi-
dates and dif-
ferent traits as
possible,
Keller said.
"The per-
son we're
looking for
will be open
to change and
possibilities
for the Uni-
v e r s i ty,

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MARIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY
LECTURE
"FJETY YEARS SINCEBRO WN V BOARD
OF EDUCATION"
Christopher Edley, Jr.
Founding Co-Director of the Civil
Rights Project At Harvard

SCOREKUEPERS
WE HAVE SOME NEW
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L

added. "There are going to be major
renovations during this person's
tenure."
Harper also mentioned plans to
"solve the problem" of off-campus
housing.
"Students have been taken advan-
:i i a 1] aa

Keller added. "We want some new
ideas that the old administration has-
n't even talked about yet."
Harper is optimistic about the candi-
date who will be chosen. "This is
someone who is going to love this
place and love the students," she said.
HAD ENOUGH.OF
MEDIA-DODGING
PRESIDENTIAL.

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