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October 05, 2005 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-05

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 5, 2005


New Orleans
mayor lays off
3,000 workers

Damage to the city's
finance forces will make
layoffs permanent
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Mayor Ray
Nagin said yesterday the city is laying
off as many as 3,000 employees - or
about half its workforce - because of
the financial damage inflicted on New
Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.
Nagin announced with "great sadness"
that he had been unable to find the money
to keep the workers on the payroll.
He said only nonessential workers
will be laid off and that no firefighters
or police will be among those let go.
"I wish I didn't have to do this. I wish
we had the money, the resources to keep
these people," Nagin said. "The problem
we have is we have no revenue streams."
Nagin described the layoffs as "pretty
permanent" and said that the city will
work with the Federal Emergency Man-
agement Agency to notify municipal
employees who fled the city in the after-
math of Katrina, which struck about a
month ago.
The mayor said the move will save
about $5 million to $8 million of the
city's monthly payroll of $20 million.
The layoffs will take place over the next

two weeks.
"We talked to local banks and other
financial institutions and we are just
not able to put together the financing
necessary to continue to maintain
City Hall's staffing at its current lev-
els," the mayor said.
Meanwhile, former President Clin-
ton met with dozens of New Orleans-
area evacuees staying at a shelter in
Baton Rouge's convention center.
And officials ended their door-to-door
sweep for corpses in Louisiana with
the death toll yesterday at 972 - far
fewer than the 10,000 the mayor had
feared at one point. Mississippi's
Katrina death toll was 221.
A company hired by the state to
remove bodies will remain on call if any
others are found.
Clinton, working with former Presi-
dent Bush to raise money for victims,
shook hands and chatted with the
evacuees, some of whom have been
sleeping on cots in the Rivercenter's
vast concrete hall for more than a
month and complained of lack of
showers, clean clothes, privacy and
medical care.
"My concern is to listen to you ... and
learn the best way to spend this money
we've got," Clinton said.

Bush may dispatch troops to quell flu
President Bush, stirring debate on the worrisome possibility of a bird flu
pandemic, suggested dispatching American troops to enforce quarantines in
any areas with outbreaks of the killer virus.
Bush asserted aggressive action could be needed to prevent a potentially crip-
pling U.S. outbreak of a bird flu strain that is sweeping through Asian poultry and
causing experts to fear it could become the next deadly pandemic. Citing concern
that state and local authorities might be unable to contain and deal with .such an
outbreak, Bush asked Congress to give him the authority to call in the military.
The president has already indicated he wants to give the armed forces the lead
responsibility for conducting search-and-rescue operations and sending in supplies
after massive natural disasters and terrorist attacks.
Israeli soldier killed as security increases
A Palestinian woman brandishing a knife stabbed and wounded an Israeli sol-
dier at a checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Nablus yesterday before other
soldiers shot and killed her, the army said.
The attack came as Israel beefed up security throughout its towns and cities to
prevent attacks during Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, which began Monday
night. Israeli troops also barred Palestinians from entering Israel from the West
Bank and Gaza during the holiday.
Also yesterday, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said the Hamas militant
group was setting itself up as a shadow government to the Palestinian Authority
and needed to be dismantled. Mofaz demanded that the Palestinian Authority dis-
qualify Hamas from running in parliamentary elections scheduled for January.
U.S. military launches second offensive in Iraq
U.S. troops pushed through streets sown with bombs yesterday in their biggest
operation this year in western Iraq, seeking to retake three Euphrates River towns
from al-Qaida insurgents. At least five U.S. service members have been killed in
the fighting.
Operation River Gate - launched at the start of the holy month of Ramadan _
was the second U.S. offensive in a week in Anbar province, near the Syrian border.
Al-Qaida in Iraq called for intensified attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces during the
Muslim period of fasting, which started yesterday for the nation's Sunnis.
Blasts from U.S. warplanes and helicopters lit up the sky during the fighting,
aimed at putting down Sunni-led insurgents intensifying their campaign of vio-
lence ahead of an Oct. 15 vote on Iraq's new constitution.
BRUSSELS, Belgium 1
Chirmc: Turkey needs culture change to join EU
French President Jacques Chirac said yesterday that Turkey would need
to undergo a "major cultural revolution" before entering the European
Union, and he reiterated that France would hold a referendum on admitting
Ankara to the bloc.
The comments by Chirac represented the tough road ahead in Turkey's
membership in the 25-nation EU. It took last-minute wrangling after two
days of arduous talks between EU foreign ministers to overcome Austrian
objections to start the negotiations.
The entry talks are expected to last for at least 10 years before the EU can absorb
Turkey and stretch its borders to the Middle East.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, surrounded by New Orleans fire officials,
thanks the firefighters for their rescue effort on Sept. 30.

Robert Warner, 51, of New Orleans
said he and others have struggled to get
private housing set up through the Fed-
eral Emergency Management Agency.
"We've been mired in the bureaucrat-
ic red tape since Day One," he said.
Clinton later was driven through New

Orleans' heavily damaged lower Ninth
Ward, where houses were caved in or
pushed off their foundations.
"I saw things I'd never thought I'd
see," Clinton said later before a meeting
with residents of the largely untouched
Algiers neighborhood.

Hurricane Stan slams into Mexico

E59 people die, most from
landslides in El Salvador caused by
the tropical storm
VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP) - Hurricane Stan
slammed into Mexico's Gulf coast yesterday, forc-
ing authorities to close one of the nation's busiest
ports and spawning related storms across the region
that left at least 59 people dead, most from land-
slides in El Salvador.
Stan, which whipped up maximum sustained
winds of 80 mph before weakening to a tropical
storm, came ashore along a sparsely populated
stretch of coastline south of Veracruz, a major port
185 miles east of Mexico City.
The storm's outer bands swiped the city, knock-
ing down trees and flooding low-lying neighbor-
hoods, authorities said. There were no immediate
reports of injuries.
All three of Mexico's Gulf coast crude-oil load-
ing ports were closed yesterday as a precaution,
authorities said, but the shutdowns were not expect-
ed to affect oil prices.
Meteorologists said Stan was driving sepa-
rate storms across Central America and south-
ern Mexico, provoking flooding and landslides.

At least 41 people were killed in El Salvador,
the majority in landslides yesterday. Nine people
died in Nicaragua, including six people believed
to be Ecuadorean migrants killed when their boat
ran ashore.
Four deaths were reported in Honduras and three
in Guatemala. In Costa Rica, a 36-year-old woman
was killed when her home was buried by a landslide
early yesterday.
In Mexico's southern state of Chiapas, a river over-
flowed its banks and roared through the city of Tapa-
chula, carrying away ramshackle homes of wood and
metal. One man was killed and dozens of people were
missing yesterday, the Televisa television network
A state civil protection official said he could not
confirm the report because communication with Tapa-
chula was cut off.
Rain was falling Tuesday in much of Central Amer-
ica, forcing thousands from their homes. Among those
evacuated were residents of San Salvador's Santa
Tecla neighborhood, where an earthquake-triggered
landslide in January 2001 killed some 500 people.
Officials have worried the mountain running along-
side the neighborhood might collapse again with heavy
rains or another quake.
Mexico offered to send aid to El Salvador, if needed.

"We are keeping an eye on the situation in El Sal-
vador," presidential spokesman Ruben Aguilar said
In the southern state of Oaxaca, also affected by
heavy rains and wind, officials opened 950 shelters
and were keeping an eye on 80 communities consid--
ered to be vulnerable.
In Veracruz, schools canceled classes and officials
at a nearby nuclear power plant had readied the facility
for the category 1 hurricane's strong winds and rains.
Thousands of residents abandoned their homes and
stayed in some of the 2,000 shelters set up all along
the coastline.
At Chachalacas beach, 20 miles north of Vera-.
cruz, Celestino Criollo struggled amid rising winds
and intermittent rains to clear equipment from his
beach-side, thatched-roof seafood restaurant.
Criollo said the storm's rapid approach had
caught many beach dwellers by surprise.
"We knew it would be strong and the tide high, but
we didn't think it would come this quick," he said. "They
advised us, but they could have done it sooner."
The closed crude-oil loading ports - Coat-
zacoalcos, Dos Bocas and Cayo Arcas - handle
most of the 1.8 million barrels a day of crude oil
exported by state-owned oil monopoly Petroleos
Mexicanos, or Pemex.

- Compiled from Daily wire reports

A title on a feature photo in Monday's edition of the Daily incorrectly spelled
A caption in a feature photo in yesterday's edition of the Daily was incorrectly
phrased. The caption should have said former Northwest Airlines maintenance
workers and Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality were protest-
ing a Getaway Tours and Charters office in Ann Arbor for assisting Northwest
Airlines in transporting "scabs" to work.
Please report any error in the Daily to corrections@michigandaily.com.
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