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March 29, 2006 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-03-29

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 29, 2006


of staff
Budget director will
replace Andy Card in
what may be a larger
staff reorganization
House chief of staff Andy Card has
resigned and will be replaced by
budget director Joshua Bolten, Presi-
dent Bush announced yesterday amid
growing calls for a White House
shakeup and Republican concern
about Bush's tumbling poll ratings.
Though there was no immediate
indication of other changes afoot,
the White House did not close the
door on a broader staff reorganiza-
tion. White House press secretary
Scott McClellan said Bolten will
have the authority to make person-
nel shifts if he deems them neces-
sary, and he declined to say whether
top aides, such as the two current
deputy chiefs of staff, Joe Haginaand
Karl Rove, would remain in place.
"All of us serve at the pleasure of the
president; McClellan said. "It's pre-
mature to talk about any future deci-
sions that may or may not be made."
Bush announced the changes in a
nationally broadcast appearance in
the Oval Office.
"I have relied on Andy's wise coun-
sel, his calm in crisis, his absolute
integrity and his tireless commitment
to public service," Bush said. "The
next three years will demand much of
those who serve our country. We have
a global war to fight and win."
Card, 58, stood stoically with his
hands by his sides as Bush lauded his
years of service through the Sept. 11
attacks, war and legislative and eco-
nomic challenges. Gripping the podi-
um, Card said in his farewell: "You're
a good man, Mr. President." Card's
eyes were watery. Card said he looks
forward to just being Bush's friend.
Bush then gave him five quick slaps
on the back and the two walked out of
the Oval Office together.
The president called Bolten, 51,
a man with broad experience, both
on Wall Street and in Washington,
including the last three years as direc-
tor of the Office of Management and
Alarmed by Bush's declining
approval ratings and unhappiness
about the war in Iraq, Republicans
have been urging the president to
bring in new advisers with fresh ideas
and energy. Bolten has been with
Bush since his first campaign for the
White House.
"The good news is the administra-
tion has finally realized it needs to
change its ways, but the problems go
far deeper than one staffer," said Sen.
Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) "Simply
rearranging the deck chairs on the
Titanic by replacing Andy Card with
Josh Bolten without a dramatic change
in policy will not right this ship."


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Protesters shut down the Eiffel Tower
More than 1 million people poured into the streets across France and strikers
disrupted air, rail and bus travel yesterday - even shutting down the Eiffel Tower
- in the largest nationwide protest over a youth labor law.
Scattered violence erupted in Paris, and riot police used water cannons and tear
gas to disperse several thousand youths who pelted them with stones and bottles
after an otherwise peaceful march.
Police made 787 arrests around the country - 488 of them in Paris, National
Police Chief Michel Gaudin told The Associated Press. Injuries in the capital were
tallied at 46 demonstrators and nine police officers.
Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy later invited some 200 police officers, some
still wearing their protective gear, to the Interior Ministry for wine and snacks.
"I'm proud of you," he said. "Mission accomplished."
Unions and the leftist opposition joined in solidarity with the angry students for
the one-day strike, increasing the pressure on Prime Minister Dominique de Vil-
lepin to withdraw the measure that makes it easier to fire young workers.

KABUL, Afghanistan
Christian convert disappears after release
An Afghan man who had faced the death penalty for converting from
Islam to Christianity quickly vanished yesterday after he was released from
prison, apparently out of fear for his life with Muslim clerics still demand-
ing his death.
The United Nations said it is working to find a country willing to grant asy-
lum to Abdul Rahman, who has appealed to leave Afghanistan. Italian Foreign
Minister Gianfranco Fini will ask his government to accept Rahman, the Ital-
ian government said in a statement.
AP PHOTO Rahman, 41, was released from the high-security Policharki prison on the
outskirts of Kabul late yesterday, Afghan Justice Minister Mohammed Sarwar
ctions. Danish told The Associated Press.
"We released him last night because the prosecutors told us to," he said. "His
family was there when he was freed, but I don't know where he was taken."


Israeli acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, second from left, waves to supporters as he Is surrounded by bodyguards as he
celebrates the results of the Kadima party, founded by ailing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in yesterday's Israeli general ele
Kadima Party claims
victory in Israeli electic


Acting Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert likely to need coalition to
help draw Israel's final borders
JERUSALEM (AP) - Acting Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert declared victory for his centrist Kadima party in
Israel's elections yesterday, vowing to act on his own if nec-
essary to draw Israel's final borders and "painfully" uproot
Jewish settlers if negotiations with the Palestinians are not
Standing below a massive portrait of his mentor Ariel
Sharon, Olmert addressed chanting Kadima members after
exit polls and media reports of early results predicted the
party would have enough seats in parliament to form a rul-
ing coalition.
Building on the vision of Sharon, who formed the party
shortly before succumbing to a devastating stroke that left
him in a coma, Olmert claimed a mandate to withdraw
from much of the West Bank and set Israel's borders, which
he has said he will do by 2010.
The turnout was the lowest in Israel's history, and the
results showed voters turning away from conventional
political parties to an assortment of third parties with
agendas ranging from pensioner rights to the legalization
of marijuana. The aftermath will likely be a period of dif-
ficult negotiations between Olmert and potential coalition
"Today, Israeli democracy has spoken its piece, in a loud
and clear voice," Olmert declared. "Israel wants Kadima,"
which means forward in Hebrew.
Olmert said he was ready for new peace talks and was
prepared to make painful compromises such as uprooting
some Jewish settlements in the West Bank and allowing
Palestinians to have a state. But he demanded that the Pal-
estinians be willing to compromise in return.
"In the coming period, we will move to set the final
borders of the state of Israel, a Jewish state with a Jewish
majority," Olmert said. "We will try to achieve this in an
agreement with the Palestinians."
Olmert has said he would govern only with parties that
accept his program, and projections showed a center-left
coalition capturing 61 to 65 seats in the 120-member par-
liament. The hawkish parties fell far short of their plan to

win enough seats to block Olmert's program.
As Israel held its election, the Palestinian parliament
approved a new Cabinet led by the Hamas militant group.
Incoming Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told
AI-Jazeera television that he opposed Olmert's plan. "Such
a plan definitely won't be accepted by the Palestinian peo-
ple or the Palestinian government," he said.
Allies of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a mod-
erate from the Fatah Party, called for immediately renew-
ing talks on the internationally backed "road map" peace
plan under the auspices of the Palestine Liberation Organi-
zation, which he heads.
Olmert has said he supports the road map but will not
wait indefinitely for a peace deal and would move unilater-
ally after a reasonable period of time.
Turning to the Palestinians, Olmert said: "We are pre-
pared to compromise, give up parts of our beloved land of
Israel, remove, painfully, Jews who live there, to allow you
the conditions to achieve your hopes and to live in a state in
peace and quiet."
"The time has come for the Palestinians ... to relate to
the existence of the state of Israel, to accept only part of
their dream, to stop terror, to accept democracy and accept
compromise and peace with us," he said.
Israeli officials have ruled out talks with Hamas unless
the Islamic group renounces violence and accepts Israel's
right to exist, demands llamas has so far rejected.It remains
unclear whether Olmert would negotiate with Abbas with-
out a change in Hamas' position.
With results in from 94 percent of the polling stations,
Kadima was winning 29 seats, Labor 20 and Likud 12.
That was in line with TV projections which showed Kad-
ima winning 29 to 32 seats, fewer than the 34 projected
in recent polls. "Kadima has won today. The next prime
minister is Ehud Olmert," said Roni Bar-On, a Kadima leg-
The leader of the largest party is traditionally asked first
to try to form a ruling coalition. Whether Olmert chooses
to form a government with dovish parties or more hardline
factions could determine his ability to carry out his plan.
Olmert could form a coalition with Labor, the dovish
Meretz and the party that advocates pensions for retirees,
or he could add the ultra-Orthodox Shas or United Torah
Judaism parties to his government.

Bernanke: Interest rates will continue to rise
Ben Bernanke, sticking with the Federal Reserve's playbook in his first meeting
as chairman, boosted borrowing costs to a five-year high and hinted that an addi-
tional interest rate increase could be in store.
Wrapping up a two-day meeting yesterday, Bernanke and his Fed colleagues
struck a mostly positive tone, saying the economy "rebounded strongly" in the
January-to-March quarter from an end-of-year lull. But Fed policymakers raised
concerns about the potential for inflation to flare up.
On Wall Street, stocks tumbled as investors expressed disappointment that more
rate increases could be in the offing. The Dow Jones industrials lost 95.57 points
to close at 11,154.54.
President Reagan's defense secretary dies
Caspar Weinberger, who oversaw the Pentagon's biggest peacetime spending
increase as President Reagan's defense secretary and later was indicted for his role
in the Iran-Contra affair, died yesterday. He was 88.
Weinberger had been hospitalized in Bangor, Maine, with a high fever and pneu-
monia brought on by his age, according to his son, Caspar Weinberger Jr.
President Bush called him "an American statesman and a dedicated public ser-
vant" who strengthened the military and helped end the Cold War. "This good man
made many contributions to our nation," the president said in a statement.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said, "He left the U.S. armed forces stron-
ger, our country safer and the world more free"
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
Please report any error in the Daily to corrections@mihigandaily.com.
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