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September 09, 2004 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-09

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10A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 9, 2004

NEWS

WISH
Continued from page 1A
work to support the foundation.
"The Stars program has really
spread through grassroots efforts,
where people like (Tosoian) have
taken the reins and started this pro-
gram at the University of Michigan.
This is a wonderful opportunity to
get students interested in outreach for
Make-A-Wish. We are truly excited
about it," Tarcha said.
UM Stars, now the second of two
chapters in Michigan, hopes to expand
with the help of students at other uni-
versities around the state and coun-
try. Currently, Rosenthal is working
with students from the University
of Wisconsin-Madison, Northwest-
ern University and others to open
new chapters in the coming years. A
mass meeting for UM Stars will be
held Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 9:15 p.m. in
Anderson Room D of the Union. Con-3
tact the program at stars@umich.edu
or call 1-800-622-9474 for more info
about Make-A-Wish Foundation of
Michigan.
BILL
Continued from page 1A
that bring international scholars to the
University, which Tessler said improves
academic quality.
Hoekstra in a written statement said
this legislation is pivotal in increasing
the awareness of international educa-
tion in light of recent events occurred
since President Bush announced the
war on terror. He said an advisory
board would be beneficial, as it will
ensure accomplishing the govern-
ment's goal.
"Since the events of Sept. 11, 2001,
international education has taken on a
more fundamental and immediate role
than ever before," Hoekstra said
The main supporters of the bill say
the board would actually monitor curri-
cula to ensure lessons are unbiased and
both sides of the issues are presented.

NADER
Continued from page 1A
would encourage a lot of Nader voters
to vote for them."
She added that instant runoff vot-
ing, a system that allows voters to rank
their preferences instead of voting for
only one candidate, would give alterna-
tive candidates a better chance than the
current system does.
Students for Nader lists instant run-
off voting in its mission statement as an
issue it aims to promote.
Krishnaswamy said some Demo-
cratic groups on campus have been less
than supportive of Nader's upcoming
visit. She said members of Billionaires
for Bush, a group whose trademark is
facetiously supporting Bush in order
to ridicule his economic policies, tore
down Nader flyers and caused mischief
in other ways.
"One of them came up to us and
started asking for flyers," she said.
"After a while we figured out he was
asking for an inordinate amount of
flyers and just trying to take all of
them."
Lois Waldman, co-director of the
Commission on Law and Social Action
of the American Jewish Congress,
said this resolution is aimed at ensur-
ing unbiased education in the United
States.
"Our study shows that some pro-
grams are biased and distorted. Aca-
demic freedom is required on both
sides," she said.
Although the advisory board pro-
posed in the legislation is weak, it
would ensure that bias is not present in
universities, said Waldman. She said
the professors would not be censored or
removed, but this gives them a reason
to provide a more diverse and impartial
education.
Last October, the bill passed in the
House of Representatives with an unre-
corded vote and it is expected to come
before the Senate Committee on Health,
Education and Labor and Pensions for
debate this month.

A Delta commuter jet, right, makes it's way to a terminal at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Grapewine, Texas yesterday.
Delta Air ines to cut
jobs, close down Dallashu

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ATLANTA (AP) - Delta Air Lines is axing up to
7,000 jobs, cutting employee wages and shedding its
Dallas hub as part of a sweeping turnaround plan aimed
at helping the nation's third largest carrier cope with
high fuel costs and competition from low-fare rivals.
But even with those changes - part of a $5 bil-
lion cost-saving program - Chief Executive Officer
Gerald Grinstein warned yesterday Delta would seek
bankruptcy court protection if Delta can't slow the
pace of pilot retirements by the end of September.
Grinstein told reporters that he fears pilots could
jump ship en masse because they are worried about
their pensions and keenly aware of UAL Corp.'s threat
to terminate the employee retirement plans at its Unit-
ed Airlines unit. Several hundred Delta pilots have
retired early in recent months, and more have threat-
ened to do so, he said.
"We have to know what we're dealing with before
the end of the month," Grinstein said, after delivering
a speech to 300 middle managers that was broadcast
on the Internet..
The normal pilot retirement age at Delta is 60.
Senior pilots with enough years of service can retire
early at age 50, and roughly 2,000 are currently eligi-
ble, Grinstein said. If that many retired early, it would

hurt Delta's ability to operate the international flights
that many of its senior pilots handle, Grinstein said.
Pilots union spokesman Chris Renkel said pilots
would be less likely to retire early if Atlanta-based
Delta Air Lines Inc. would heed the union's request
for the company to promise not to try to take away any
employees' accrued benefits.
So far, Renkel said, Delta has refused to guaran-
tee the future availability of lump-sum payments
pilots can get if they retire early. "It is unfortunate
that our management has chosen a Webcast envi-
ronment to deliver this ultimatum," Renkel said in
a memo to pilots.
Neither the airline nor the union would say what
the maximum lump-sum payment is. Delta pilots who
retire can elect to receive 50 percent of their pension
benefit in a lump sum and the other 50 percent as an,
annuity later, regulatory filings show.
Pension benefits paid to Delta pilots and other retir-
ees rose almost 23 percent to $1.1 billion in 2003 from
$888 million the year before, regulatory filings show.,
The increased pace of early pilot retirements would
likely push that number even higher this year.
Before the retirement issue escalated, Delta had
been warning investors for months that it may have

to file for bankruptcy protection if it didn't get deep
wage cuts from its pilots. Management said on July
30 it needed a minimum of $1 billion in conces-
sions from pilots to survive. Pilots have offered up
to $705 million.
Grinstein told reporters yesterday that talks with
the pilots are continuing, "but time is running out" to
reach an agreement. He declined to be more specific.
Delta also is trying to restructure its roughly $20 bil-
lion in debt, and Grinstein said private discussions
with creditors are going well.
Despite the latest measures, Grinstein said "bank-
ruptcy is a real possibility."
"We're working hard and fast to avoid it," Grinstein
said. But he added, "If the pilot early retirement issue
is not resolved before the end of the month, or if all of
the pieces don't come together in the near term, we
will be required to restructure through the courts."
On the New York Stock Exchange, Delta shares fell
44 cents, or 9.8 percent, to close yesterday at $4.04.
In his speech to employees, Grinstein said that the
airline will cut 6,000 to 7,000 jobs, or about 10 per-
cent of its overall work force, over the next 18 months.
More job cuts are likely in the future, he told reporters
afterward.

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