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March 06, 2006 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-03-06

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 6, 2006


detainees worry
they'll never leave




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N Many prisoners
complain they have
never been told why
they were detained.
(AP) - Ahamed Abdul Aziz has
been in the Guantanamo Bay prison
for more than three years and, by
his account, has been interrogated
50 times without being charged with
any crime. He waits with anguish
for freedom but fears it will never
"We are in a grave here," he told

sent here," said Army Maj. Jeffrey
Weir, a prison spokesman. "Some
are mainly security, others are intel-
ligence. It's across the board."
Aziz, who is from Mauritania in
West Africa, was captured in Paki-
stan in 2002, according to one of
his lawyers, Anna Cayton-Holland.
His lawyers do not know what he is
accused of.
"He thinks he's going to die here,"
said another member of his defense
team, Agnieszka Fryszman.
Many detainees are accused of
specific deeds, but some complain
they spend years in confinement
before learning the allegations.

his lawyers.
He was echo-
ing the despair
felt by many of the
roughly 490 pris-
oners held as sus-
pected terrorists at
the U.S. naval base
in eastern Cuba.
-Charges have been
filed against only
10 of them.
hearings, which
the Pentagon
released Friday
after a successful
Freedom of Infor-
mation Act lawsuit
by The Associated
Press, show the
frustration among
prisoners waiting
for the military
to decide whethera

"I've been

here for

three years, been
through many
interrogations and
no interrogator
ever mentioned
any of these
accusations, so
how did they just
come up now?"
- Boudella al Hajj
Guantanamo detainee

Boudella al
Hajj, an Algerian
cleric who said
he worked with
orphans in Bosnia
for a humanitar-
ian group and the
Bosnian army, was
accused of being
in contact with
al-Qaida mem-
ber Abu Zubay-
dah and belonging
to an Algerian
militant organiza-
tion, among other
In the tran-
scripts, he denied
the allegations and
asked why he had
never heard them
"I've been here

FBI testimony key in terror trial
Zacarias Moussaoui may be the defendant, but it's the FBI that will likely
be on trial once testimony begins today in the confessed al-Qaida conspirator's
death penalty trial.
Both prosecutors and defense lawyers have indicated that FBI agents will pro-
vide key testimony at Moussaoui's sentencing trial, which will determine wheth-
er the 37-year-old Frenchman is sentenced to life in prison or death.
Moussaoui's trial has been more than four years in the making. He is the only
person who has ever been charged in connection with the attacks that took place
Sept. 11,2001.
He has already pleaded guilty to conspiring with al-Qaida to hijack planes and
commit other crimes. The trial will simply determine Moussaoui's punishment,
and only two options are available: death or life in prison.
To obtain the death penalty, prosecutors must first prove a direct link
between Moussaoui and the Sept. 11 attacks.
Iraqi PM under greater pressure to step down
Sunni Arab and Kurdish politicians increased pressure yesterday on Shiite
Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to abandon his bid for a new term, while lead-
ers of Iraq's Shiite majority struggled to overcome growing internal divisions.
Despite the squabbling, there were reports the new parliament would be called
into session for the first time as early as the end of the week, starting the clock
on a 60-day period during which it would have to elect a president and approve
a prime minister and Cabinet.
The struggle to form a broad-based governing coalition acceptable to
all the country's main groups has been further hampered by the surge in
sectarian conflict.
Targeted sectarian violence killed at least five people Sunday. Three men died
in a gunfight at a Sunni mosque in Baghdad and two relatives of a top Sunni cleric
were slain in a drive-by shooting. Sunnis accused deaths squads allied to the inter-
im government, allegations denied by the Shiite-dominated Interior Ministry.
VIENNA, Austria
Iran threatens to speed nuclear program
Iran threatened yesterday to embark on full-scale uranium enrichment if
the U.N. nuclear watchdog presses for action over its nuclear program, and
the American ambassador to the United Nations warned of the possibility
of "painful consequences" for Iran.
The comments came as the International Atomic Energy Agency's board pre-
pared to meet today to discuss referring Iran to the U.N. Security Council, but del-
egates said whatever step the council might take would stop far short of sanctions.
AT&T to buy out BellSouth for $67 billion
AT&T Inc. is buying BellSouth Corp. for $67 billion in stock in a bid that fur-
ther consolidates the telecommunications industrv and would wive AT&T total

Cheating on taxes
now bigger taboo

to charge them,

transfer them or release them.
"I don't want to spend any more
time here. Not one more minute,"
Afghan prisoner Mohammed Gul
said at a combat status review tribu-
Another unidentified Afghan man
told his tribunal: "I was not a Tal-
iban. I was not against the Ameri-
cans. I want to go home."
An Afghan man, identified only
as Abdul in one of the transcripts,
urged U.S. military officers over-
seeing his tribunal to free him so he
could feed his family.
"I don't know what they have to
eat," he said.
The United States has released
or transferred to authorities in their
home countries about 270 detainees
since the prison opened in January
2002, months after the U.S.-led mil-
itary campaign that ousted Afghan-
istan's hard-line Taliban regime for
harboring Osama bin Laden and al-
Qaida bases.
Pentagon officials say detainees
can be released if a review panel
determines they no longer pose a
threat to the United States and have
no intelligence value in its war on
U.S. officials say the camp houses
'only people who want to kill Ameri-
can troops or civilians.
"The folks that are at Guantanamo
Bay all have a valid reason for being

for three years, been through many
interrogations and no interrogator
ever mentioned any of these accu-
sations, so how did they just come
now?" he said. "It's weird how this
just came up now."
One tribunal member, who was
not identified, later said: "We didn't
realize you had never been confront-
ed with these allegations."
Another man, Pakistani million-
aire Saifullah Paracha, was told by
a U.S. Air Force colonel running his
hearing that he would one day be
able to pursue his case in American
"I've been here 17 months -
would that be before I expire?" Para-
cha asked.
With some Bush administration
officials now referring to the war
against terrorism as the "long war,"
Guantanamo appears to be turning
into a more permanent detention
A two-story prison building that
can house 200 detainees is slated to
open this summer.
It is modeled after a mainland
maximum-security prison and will
be located near a similar facility that
can house 100 detainees.
"It's becoming clear that we will
need to continue to house some
number of detainees for an extended
period," said a Pentagon spokesman.
Maj. Michael Shavers.

E Spate of financial
scandals makes people
more mindful of fraud
knew your neighbors had cheated on
their taxes, should you turn them in?
More than 3 out of 5 people surveyed
by the IRS Oversight Board said you
The board, which provides inde-
pendent oversight and advice for the
Internal Revenue Service, found 62
percent of people surveyed completely
or mostly agreed "it is everyone's per-
sonal responsibility to report anyone
who cheats on their taxes."
That's more than the year before,
when a slim majority of 53 percent
agreed with that view.
The board didn't- delve too much
deeper during its interviews with 1,000
people last summer, nor did the board
ask a sociologist or psychologist to
interpret the results.
Chairman Raymond Wagner Jr.
speculated that a spate of financial
scandals caused taxpayers to reconnect
with their honesty and integrity.
"Taxpayers are mindful of the cor-
porate accounting scandals, the mutual
fund scandals, big accounting firms
and law firms concocting sophisti-
cated, illegal tax shelters for their big,

wealthy clients," Wagner said.
"I think that is calling to people's
mind their own sense of playing by the
rules and fair play, and paying what
they owe under the tax laws," he said.
Scholars who study taxpayers'
behavior and honesty agree that sto-
ries of corruption could be influencing
taxpayer attitudes. They also note that
state amnesty programs and state cam-
paigns to stamp out tax shelters may be
getting attention.
"It does.seem that there's a sense of
increased social responsibility that's
emerging there," said Steven Sheffrin,
dean of the social sciences division at
the University of California, Davis.
Sheffrin speculated that the survey
may have picked up a "whistleblower
type of sentiment," that taxpayers
aren't thinking about investigating
their neighbors' possible misdeeds but
supporting efforts to root out greed and
fraud in business and politics.
Jonathan Feinstein, an economics
professor at the Yale School of Man-
agement, described it as a kind of soli-
darity taxpayers feel for those who turn
in powerful people behaving badly. He
called it "some support, moral support,
for the kind of whistleblowers who are
catching these people."
"Are you going to actually tattle on
your neighbor? Most people probably
will not," Feinstein said.

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control of their growing joint venture, Cingular Wireless LLC.
The proposed purchase, announced yesterday, also goes a long way toward
resurrecting the old Ma Bell telephone system, which was broken apart in 1984.
The merged company would have 70 million local-line phone customers, 54.1 million
wireless subscribers and nearly 10 million broadband subscribers in the 22 states where
they now operate. The deal appears to be the largest yet among U.S. telecom players.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
Due to an editing error, a sidebar in the Feb. 23 Statement magazine incorrect-
ly stated that the Daily's prediction to win the Oscar for best director was Paul
Haggis. As the article stated, the pick was Ang Lee. In the same issue, a chart
listing the Daily's predictions switched the picks for best original screenplay and
best adapted screenplay. Also due to an editing error, a story in the same issue
(Oscars rule, Facebook drools) incorrectly stated that Scarlett Johansson would
appear on stage .at the Oscars if "Match Point" wonfor best original screenplay.
Please report any error in the Daily to corrections@ michigandaily.com.
Ohb! iriguto
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1327


Study: Obesity in
children wilrise

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Study says half of the
children in Americas will
be fat by end of decade
LONDON (AP) -- The number of
overweight children worldwide will
increase significantly by the end of the
decade, and scientists expect profound
impacts on everything from public
health care to economies, a study pub-
lished today said.
Nearly half of the children in North
and South America will be overweight
by 2010, up from what recent studies say
is about one-third, according to a report
published by the International Journal
of Pediatric Obesity.
In the European Union, about 38 per-
cent of all children will be overweight
if present trends continue - up from
about 25 percent in recent surveys, the
study said.
"We have truly a global epidemic
which appears to be affecting most
countries in the world," said Philip
James, chairman of the International
Obesity Task Force and author of an
editorial in the journal warning of the
The percentages of overweight chil-
dren also are expected to increase signif-
icantly in the Middle East and Southeast
Asia. Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Egypt
have rates comparable to fully industri-
alized nations, James said.
He estimated that, for examnle, one

"There needs to be a ban on all forms of
marketing, not just telvision adverts'
Researchers analyzed a variety of
published medical reports on obesity
from 1980 to 2005 and World Health
Organization data. They were able
to track the growth rate of obesity in
school-age populations in 25 countries
and in preschoolers in 42 countries.
Researchers concluded that the preva-
lence of childhood obesity increased in
almost all the countries for which data
were available, a trend fueled by more
sedentary lives and the increasing avail-
ability of junk food, among other factors.
The public health consequences of
the trend alarm experts, said Dr. Phillip
Thomas, a surgeon unconnected to the
study who works extensively with obese
patients in the northwest England city of
Because obese children tend to carry
the problem into adulthood, Thomas
and other doctors say they will tend to
be sicker as they get older, suffering
from heart disease, stroke and other ail-
ments stemming from their weight.
"This is going to be the first gen-
eration that's going to have a lower life
expectancy than their parents," Thomas
said. "It's like the plague is in town and
no one is interested"
Another doctor who examined the
journal report was Dr. Brian McCrindle,
a childhood obesity expert and professor
of pediatrics with a pediatric hospital in

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