2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 14, 2006
Some workers, students have lost
jobs for skipping work and school
to go to immigration rallies
CHICAGO (AP) - Six employees at a seafood
restaurant in Houston were fired this week after skip-
ping work to take part in a pro-immigration march. In
Detroit, 21 immigrants lost their jobs as meat cutters
after attending a similar protest last month.
And several students at a high school near Tampa,
Fla., were suspended this week for walking out of class
to go to a demonstration.
Across the country, workers and students have paid
a price for attending the immigration rallies that have
recently swept the nation. They have lost jobs or been
cited for truancy for joining the hundreds of thousands
who have protested proposed federal legislation that
would crack down on illegal immigrants.
In one case, the family of a 14-year-old Los Ange-
les-area boy said he committed suicide because he
was threatened by a school official for participating in
immigration protests. School officials disputed that.
Now, some rally organizers are telling people not
to risk their jobs or education to attend the demon-
strations and are considering rescheduling protests to
weekends and evenings.
"This is a concern because this is a demographic
of people who have historically not come out into the
streets to raise an issue:' said Germonique Jones, a
spokeswoman for the Washington-based Center for
Community Change, an umbrella group behind the
rallies. "Obviously businesses have to be run, and it's
only right for people to tell their employers that they
will be out beforehand. ... We don't want people losing
their jobs over this."
But many others say marchers want to make the sac-
rifice to show the importance of immigration reform.
In some cases, fired workers have been offered their
jobs back after advocacy groups have gotten involved,
including the 21 Detroit meatpacking company Work-
ers. The company said Thursday that it would rehire
them, but only if the staffing company they were hired
through can confirm they are legal immigrarts.
Pedro Ortega, 30, was fired along with nine co-
workers from an automotive parts factory in a suburb
south of Chicago after attending a March 10 immigra-
tion march that drew more than 100,000 people.
A workers-rights organization got involved and
negotiated with Cobra Metal Works Corp., which
rehired the employees about a month later, he said. The
company said in a statement it supports immigration
reform and will allow workers to speak out as long as
they follow company procedures for taking time off.
Ortega, who has worked at the factory for eight
years, said attending the march was worth the reper-
cussions, and he plans to attend another rally in Chi-
cago scheduled for May 1.
"We have to change the way the American people
think about us," Ortega said. "We are here to work and
to make our lives better."
But in Phoenix, one of the organizers of a city's
immigration march earlier this week, former state
Sen. Alfredo Gutierrez, said a planned May 1 work
and school boycott is generating little interest from
many advocacy groups. He said participants are tired
and have to return to work.
In Chicago, Rafael Pulido, a deejay on WOJO-FM
who was instrumental in getting the word out about the
city's huge March 10 rally, said he tells his listeners not
to skip school.
This artist's rendering shows Zacarias Moussaoui In U.S. District Court on the witness stand in Alexandria,
Moussaojui Says hehas
no regret, no re morse
Iran won't retreat 'one iota' on enrichment
Iran's president insisted yesterday his country will not retreat "one iota" on its
uranium enrichment, and his negotiator made no such concession in talks the U.N.
hoped would head off a confrontation with the Security Council over Tehran's
The U.N. nuclear agency chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, said that in four hours of
discussions yesterday with Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, he put for-
ward the U.N. request for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment until questions over
its nuclear program are resolved.
But Larijani indicated suspension was not an option. "Such proposals are not
very important ones," he told reporters matter-of-factly while standing next to
ElBaradei at a joint news conference after the talks.
Paistani forces kill Egyptian al-Qaida terrorist
An al-Qaida member wanted for his suspected role in the bombings of U.S.
embassies in East Africa was killed by Pakistani forces in a raid near the Afghan
border, a Pakistani Cabinet minister said yesterday.
Egyptian Mohsin Musa Matawalli Atwah, 45, who was on the FBI's list of
most-wanted terrorists, was killed along with at least six other militants in a raid
led by helicopter gunships late Wednesday in the remote North Waziristan vil-
lage of Naghar Kalai, near the Afghan border, the minister said on condition of
anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
Pictures of Venus's south pole released
European scientists released new photos of Venus' south pole yesterday, reveal-
ing a swirling mass of sulfuric acid clouds powered by 220 mph winds.
The clouds, 13 miles deep, completely enclose Venus. The new images of the plan-
et's south pole, which is turned away from Earth, closely resemble those of its more
familiar north pole.
The images, taken from the European Space Agency's orbiting Venus Express
spacecraft from a distance of roughly 124,000 miles, show pale clouds turning
around a dark vortex.
Gov't forces battle rebels in oil-producing Chad
Government forces used attack helicopters, tanks and heavy weapons yes.
terday to beat back rebels who charged 600 miles in pickup trucks from the
Darfur border to reach the capital of this volatile, oil-producing nation ir
the center of Africa.
The assault underscored concerns that the civil war in Darfur, part of
western Sudan, has undermined Chad President Idriss Deby's authority anc
destabilized the entire region. It also showed how little control Deby wields
in the countryside, where rebels cruise the desert at will.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
A letter to the editor on page 4A of Wednesday's paper (Distinct lack of a
Buddha mars the Buddha Machine) incorrectly identified the letter's author as
Michael Owens. His name is Matthew Owens.
A sidebar on yesterday's front page (Spanish major vs. minor) incorrectly
stated the requirements to acquire a Spanish major or minor. The requirements
listed were for acquiring a Spanish teaching certificate.
An article in Wednesday's B-Side (The sun also rises) incorrectly listed
"X-Men: The Last Stand" as "X-Men 3: The Last Stand." The same article also
incorrectly listed the release date for "World Trade Center" as Aug. 11. The film
will be released Aug. 9. The Detroit Electronic Music Festival was also mis-
identified as Fuse-in.
The caption accompanying a photograph on page 2B of this week's Sports-
Monday misidentified the pictured golfer as Brandon Duff. The golfer was Matt
Please report any error in the Daily to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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On witness stand, suspected
terrorist tells court hearing 9/11
victims' suffering made his day
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - Confessed al-Qaida
conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui said yesterday it
made his day to hear accounts of Americans' suf-
fering from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and he would
like to see similar attacks "every day."
Taking the witness stand for the second time in his
death-penalty trial yesterday, Moussaoui mocked a
Navy sailor who wept on the stand as she described
the death of two of her subordinates.
"I think it was disgusting for a military person"
to cry, Moussaoui said of the testimony of Navy
Lt. Nancy McKeown. "She is military, she should
expect people at war with her to want to kill her."
Asked if he was happy to hear her sobbing, he
said, "Make my day."
Moussaoui said he had "no regret, no remorse"
about the 9/11 attacks. Asked by prosecutor Rob
Spencer if he would like to see it happen again,
Moussaoui responded: "Every day until we get
Moussaoui also said on cross-examination that he
is convinced President Bush will free him before the
end of his term and that he will return to London.
Spencer tried several times to get Moussaoui to
say he didn't really believe that, but Moussaoui was
"I haven't doubted it for one single second," said
Moussaoui, adding that the vision came to him in a
dream just like his dream of flying a plane into the
He also argued that he could not get a fair trial so
close to the Pentagon and he criticized U.S. support
Moussaoui testified that he believes his court-
appointed lawyers are working against him and that
if he'd had control over his defense, he would have
argued that he should escape the death penalty and
be available for a prisoner swap if American troops
are captured overseas.
Moussaoui, as defiant on the witness stand as he
has been at the defendant's table throughout the trial,
testified against the advice of his court-appointed
lawyers and attacked them before the jury that must
decide whether to sentence him to death or to spend
life in prison.
Offering a lengthy explanation of why he hates
Americans, Moussaoui criticized the United States's
support for Israel. He said Muslims have been at war
with Christians and Jews for centuries. Israel, he
said, is "just a missing star in the American flag."
Moussaoui told jurors that Islam requires Muslims
to be the world's superpower as he flipped through
a copy of the Koran searching for verses to support
his assertions. One he cited requires non-Muslim
nations to pay a tribute to Muslim countries.
"We have to be the superpower. You have to be
subdued. We have to be above you," Moussaoui said.
"Because Americans, you are the superpower, you
want to eradicate us."
At one point, defense lawyer Gerald Zerkin asked
Moussaoui if he thought he was helping his case
when he testified earlier that he planned to pilot a
plane into the White House on Sept. 11.
"I was putting my trust in God, so from an Islamic
point of view, yes," Moussaoui responded, acknowl-
edging that non-Muslims might view his testimony
as harmful to his case.
At several points during his afternoon testimony,
Moussaoui acknowledged that he has lied when it
has suited his interests throughout the course of his
Defense lawyers have said Moussaoui is lying
about his role in Sept. 11 - the worst terrorism
attack ever on U.S. soil - in the hopes of achieving
martyrdom through execution.
Can Rumsfeld withstand backtalk?
of former commanders
openly call for defense
WASHINGTON (AP) - Crusty and
unapologetic, Donald H. Rumsfeld is
the public face of an unpopular war
and a target of unrelenting criticism. A
growing number of commanders who
served under him say he has botched
the Iraq operation, ignored the advice
of his generals and should be replaced.
The White House insists the defense
secretary retains President Bush's con-
fidence. Few close to the administra-
tion expect him to be shown the door.
"The president believes Secretary
Rumsfeld is doing a very fine job dur-
ing a challenging period in our nation's
history," Bush spokesman Scott
McClellan said yesterday as the admin-
istration circled its wagons around the
embattled Pentagon chief.
Two more retired generals called for
Rumsfeld's resignation on Thursday,
bringing the number this month to six.
Retired Army Major Gen. John Riggs
told National Public Radio that Rumsfeld
fostered an "atmosphere of arrogance."
Retired Gen. Charles Swannack told CNN
that Rumsfeld micromanaged the war. "We
need a new secretary of defense,"he said.
Military experts say the parade of
recently retired military brass calling
for Rumsfeld's resignation is troubling
and threatens to undermine strong sup-
port Bush has enjoyed among the offi-
cer corps and troops.
With public anti-war sentiment
increasing, "the president and his team
cannot afford to lose that support," said
Kurt Campbell, a former deputy assis-
tant secretary of defense.
Yet for Bush to try to distance him-
self from Rumsfeld "would call into
question everything about the last
three years' strategy in ways the White
House worries would send a very nega-
tive message," said Campbell, now
with the Center for Strategic and Inter-
Joining the criticism earlier this week
was retired Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste,
who served as an infantry division com-
mander in Iraq until last November. He
called for a "fresh start at the Pentagon:'
accusing Rumsfeld of ignoring sound
military decision-making and seeking to
intimidate those in uniform.
Earlier calls for Rumsfeld's replace-
ment came from retired Marine Gen.
Anthony Zinni, retired Marine Lt.
Gen. Gregory Newbold and retired
Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton.
The most nettlesome member of
Bush's Cabinet, Rumsfeld has been a
lightning rod since the war began in
He was blamed for committing too few
U.S. troops and for underestimating the
strength of the insurgency. He took heat in
2004 over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at
the U.S. Army-run Abu Ghraib prison, and
for a brusque response he gave to an Army
National Guard soldier in Kuwait who
questioned him on inadequate armor.
Republicans in Congress have
offered Rumsfeld little in the way of
Pentagon spokesman Eric Ruff said
yesterday that Rumsfeld has not talked
to the White House about resigning
- and is not considering it.
As to the latest general to call for
Rumsfeld's resignation, "I don't know
how many generals there are. There are
a couple thousand at least, and they're
going to have opinions," Ruff said. "It's
not surprising, we're in a war."
But it is surprising, especially
because it's a time of war, said P.J.
Crowley, a retired Air Force colonel
who served as a Pentagon spokesman
in both Republican and Democratic
administrations and was a national
security aide to former President
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