2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 26, 2004
Israel, Hezbollah to swap prisoners NEWS IN BRIEF
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BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - Israel
and Hezbollah will exchange prisoners
in a two-stage deal in which the mili-
tant Lebanese group promises to
obtain information about Israel's most
famous missing serviceman and Israel
releases Lebanon's longest-held pris-
oner within three months, the Hezbol-
lah leader said yesterday
The deal begins with an exchange of
prisoners and human remains Thursday
and Friday, and will proceed to the case
of missing Israeli airman Ron Arad and
negotiations for the release of more pris-
oners, Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan
Nasrallah, told a news conference.
"After Thursday and Friday, there
will be no Lebanese prisoners in Israeli
jails," Nasrallah said. "But the door is
still open and the second stage will be
very important, especially for the
He spoke a day after the deal, negoti-
ated with German help, was
After releasing 400 Palestinian pris-
oners to the West Bank and Gaza Strip,
Israel will bring 23 Lebanese prisoners
and 12 prisoners from other Arab
countries to Munich where the swap
will take place, the officials said.
Nasrallah said the Palestinians would
include members of Hamas and Islamic
Jihad, the groups responsible for most
of the suicide bombings in Israel.
Hassan Balhas, left, and Fatima Azzam Balhas, parents of Lebanese
prisoner Ali Balhas, held in Israel for 11 years, sit in front of their
house in the southern Lebanese village of Sidiqine yesterday.
It will be Israel's most significant
release of Palestinian prisoners since Ariel
Sharon became prime minister in 2001.
The remains of 59 Lebanese killed
in battle also will be handed to
Lebanese authorities at a border cross-
ing in south Lebanon, Nasrallah said.
Hezbollah has promised to free
Israeli businessman Elhanan Tannen-
baum and three Israeli soldiers - all
captured by the guerrilla group in
Tannenbaum is known to be alive.
But Nasrallah refused to say whether
the three Israeli soldiers were dead or
alive. The world will find out Thurs-
day, he said.
Hezbollah guerrillas captured the
Lawmakers work on bills to
ease escalating pension woes
WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawmak-
ers call it a perfect storm, a confluence
of events that is forcing financially
weak companies to pay billions of dol-
lars more into pension plans and
threatening the retirement security of
millions of Americans.
So serious is the situation that busi-
ness groups have joined with organized
labor and Republicans have allied with
Democrats behind a Senate bill to
change the formula that determines
pension contributions. The measure also
provides relief to airlines and steelmak-
ers lagging in their pension payments.
The Bush administration has issued
a veto threat over any bailouts to
underfunded plans that would only
worsen pension financial woes. But the
likelihood is that the House and Senate
will move quickly to come up with a
bill the president can sign.
'We have a pension time bomb in this country.'
- Sen. Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota
The House acted on the measure late
last year; the Senate is expected to vote
on its version this week.
"We have a pension time bomb in
this country," said Senate Democratic
leader Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota).
Senate Finance Committee Chair-
man Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), a
sponsor of the legislation, added, "Just
when you think things can't get any
worse, they do."
Conditions contributing to the per-
fect storm include a weak job market,
particularly in manufacturing, a slowly
recovering stock market and historical-
ly low interest rates that have driven up
what companies are required to pay
annually into their pension plans.
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), also a
sponsor of the bill, said pensions are
underfunded by $350 billion and that
as many as 20 percent of defined bene-
fit pension plans are at risk of being
terminated or frozen.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty
Corp., the federal agency that insures
the pensions of 44 million Americans,
saw its deficit expand to a record $11.2
billion at the end of last year.
Its "reasonably possible exposure"
from financially weak employers more
than doubled last year to $85.5 billion.
three soldiers after a shootout on the
Lebanese-Israeli border in which the
troops were wounded. Israel has
declared Adi Avitan, Beni Avraham
and Omar Sawaid to be dead.
In the deal's second stage, Nasrallah
said a committee will be formed to
seek information on Arad and four
Iranian diplomats who disappeared in
Lebanon in 1982 during the Israeli
"Any positive development in the
case of Ron Arad will open the way for
the release of more Palestinians and
Arabs," Nasrallah said.
In Jerusalem on yesterday, Prime
Minister Sharon said he had been
assured Hezbollah would make every
effort to find out what happened to
Arad, who was captured after his plane
was shot down in 1986.
"A system was decided on in
which all the relevant sides will
cooperate fully until we discover the
fate of Ron Arad and he returns
home - something we all hope will
happen in the near future," Sharon
told his Cabinet.
Arad contacted his family in the first
two years of his capture, but nothing
was heard after 1988.
Nasrallah said further talks are also
planned to secure the release of
Lebanon's longest-held prisoner in
Israel, Samir Kantar.
Continued from Page 1A
tion)," Wilkin said. The result was the
"Making of America" collection - and
a new technology that set the Universi-
ty apart from its colleagues in regards
to digital preservation, Wilkin said.
The DGC is not housed in a specific
location - it spans the entire Universi-
ty library system.
LSA sophomore Heather Ross was
glad to discover an alternative to
searching through microfilm. "I've
kind of stayed away from microfilming.
It's too time-consuming. This would be
more advantageous" she said.
The text search feature is distinct from
anything the University has offered to
date. The Bentley Historical Library has
online "finding aids" that are guides to
the physical collections. But these are
different from the DGC because instead
of providing full text, as the DGC does,
they only lead students to a box of docu-
ments which they must search through.
"Online finding aids allow people to
do preparatory work to make more
efficient use of time when they get
here," said Greg Kinney, Bentley His-
torical Library associate archivist.
The DGC is also available to every-
one, including people not affiliated
with the University. The collection
can be accessed at
www hti. umich. edu/g/genpub.
"What's important is what we call
'digital inclusion' - making it avail-
able to everyone. Everyone in the Unit-
ed States, and everyone in the world,"
said Maurita Holland, a professor in
the School of Information.
Holland said that School of Informa-
tion students engage in developing
policies and collections for digital
libraries, Holland added.
"It certainly challenges students to
think, what is the value of a library as a
physical place? It is a community gath-
ering more often.
"In the future, it is important to think
of what the library will mean, because
the library occupies valuable real estate
- it's located right in the middle of the
campus. And if we make it digital, your
laptop, your iPod, may become just as
valuable," Holland said.
Students on campus have already
begun to weigh the advantages and dis-
advantages of the digital collection and
have mixed views on the subject.
"I think I'll still end up going (to the
library). The staff is really helpful,"
LSA junior Kristen Wisniewski said.
LSA junior Chloe Foster said that as
a political science major, she would use
DGC frequently. "I'm sure that you're
missing out without the staff help, but I
don't think that's necessarily needed or
the most important part of the library. I
think it's worth trading in," Foster said.
PASA ENA, Caltfd~f
NASA gets pictures from second Mars rover
NASA's Opportunity rover zipped its first pictures of Mars to Earth early yes-
terday, delighting and puzzling scientists just hours after the unmanned spacecraft
successfully landed on the Red Planet three weeks behind its identical twin.
The pictures showed a surface smooth and dark red in some places and strewn
with fragmented slabs of light bedrock in others. Bounce marks apparently left by
the rover's air bags on landing were clearly visible in the foreground.
"I am flabbergasted. I am astonished. I am blown away. Opportunity has
touched down in an alien and bizarre landscape," said Steven Squyres, the mis-
sion's main scientist, at a news conference early yesterday. "I still don't know
what we're looking at."
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration began receiving the first
of dozens of black-and-white and color images from Opportunity about 1 a.m.
PST, or four hours after its apparently flawless landing. Mars at the time was 124
million miles from Earth.
Mission members hooted as the images splashed on a screen in mission control
at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "The pictures just blow me away. We've cer-
tainly not been to this place before," deputy project manager Richard Cook said.
The unmanned, six-wheeled rover landed at 9:05 p.m. PST in Meridiani
Planum, believed to be the smoothest, flattest region on Mars.
U.S. and Costa Rica
enter free trade deal
The Bush administration reached an
agreement with Costa Rica yesterday
that will allow that nation to join four
of its neighbors in creating a Central
American Free Trade Area with the
United States, officials of the two coun-
The deal must be approved by
The agreement came after two weeks
of intense negotiations aimed at over-
coming differences in such areas as
telecommunications and insurance that
had prompted Costa Rica to back out at
the last minute from completing the
CAFTA talks last month with the four
other nations - Guatemala, El Sal-
vador, Nicaragua and Honduras.
Administration officials said they
were pleased with the market-opening
language finally reached with Costa
Rica, which had sought to protect its
monopoly operations in telephones and
Scientists may have
leaked weapons info
The father of Pakistan's nuclear pro-
gram, considered a national hero for
giving the Islamic world its first atomic
bomb, has been confined to the capital
as investigators probe whether scientists
leaked weapons technology, an
acquaintance said Saturday.
Abdul Qadeer Khan has been ques-
tioned "many times" in recent weeks,
said Zahid Malik, author of the book
"Islamic Bomb" on Pakistan's
"He's cooperating (with the investi-
gation) but he's satisfied that he's
done nothing wrong," Malik, who met
with Khan on Thursday, told The
Top inspector calls
for Iraqi intel probe
U.S. intelligence agencies need to
explain why their research indicated Iraq
possessed banned weapons before the
American-led invasion, says the outgoing
top U.S. inspector, who now believes
Saddam Hussein had no such arms.
"I don't think they exist," David Kay
said yesterday. "The fact that we found
so far the weapons do not exist - we've
got to deal with that difference and
Kay's remarks on National Public
Radio reignited criticism from Democ-
rats, who ignored his cautions that the
failure to find weapons of mass destruc-
tion was "not a political issue."
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
Bird flu outbreak hits 7th Asian country
Indonesia became the seventh country in Asia to confirm an outbreak of deadly
bird flu, as the World Health Organization warned yesterday the virus could be
resistant to basic human influenza drugs.
The disease has already affected millions of chickens in Indonesia, said Sofjan
Sudardjat, a senior agriculture official. But the virus has not yet crossed over to
humans, he said.
Indonesian officials had earlier denied the diseases' presence, but the
Indonesian Veterinarians Association said several independent investigations
had revealed that bird flu had already killed millions of chickens over the past
Asia is on a region-wide health alert, with governments slaughtering mil-
lions of chickens to contain outbreaks in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia,
South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Vietnam has slaughtered more than 3 million
chickens while Thailand has exterminated some 9 million. Yesterday, the Thai
government enlisted hundreds of soldiers and 60 prisoners to help with the
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