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December 08, 2006 - Image 3

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-12-08

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

NEWS BRIEFS
WASHINGTON
Bush gives chilly
response to Iraq
study group
President Bush gave a chilly
response to the Iraq Study Group's
proposals for reshaping his policy
yesterday, objecting to talks with
Iran and Syria, refusing to endorse
a major troop withdrawal and vow-
ing no retreat from embattled U.S.
goals in the Mideast.
British Prime Minister Tony
Blair, an unflagging ally in the
unpopular war, stood with Bush
and wholeheartedly supported his
determination to fight to victory in
Iraq and spread democracy across
the Middle East.
"The vision is absolutely cor-
rect," Blair said at a news confer-
ence where the two leaders agreed,
nevertheless, on a need for new
approaches in Iraq.
1 "I thought we would succeed
quicker than we did," Bush said.
"And I am disappointed by the
pace of success." When a reporter
suggested Bush was denying even
to himself how bad things are, the
president tartly replied, "It's bad in
Iraq. That help?"
LONDON
Ex-Russian spy
buried, but trail of
radiation lingers
LONDON (AP) - A former KGB
agent was buried in a rain-swept
London cemetery yesterday, his
grave surrounded by Russian emi-
gres and his body sealed in a coffin
to prevent further contamination
by the radioactive substance that
killed him.
But the drama of Alexander Lit-

PROTEST
From page 1
of his classes on the plight of
American prisoners. The project
takes students into Michigan pris-
ons to work with inmates on art
projects.
Demonstration organizerAdrian
Griffin said the group on the Diag
orchestrated the display to draw
students' attention to an issue often
ignored in Michigan because the
state does not use capital punish-
ment.
Alexander's students organized
another demonstration on the Diag
yesterday in which they hand-

cuffed themselves together, form-
ing a human chain across the brass
'M.' From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the chain
stretched across the Diag. Protest-
ers shouted out statistics about the
criminal justice system.
"Seventy-two percent of all illicit
drug users are white," one chain
member yelled. "Yet blacks consti-
tute 58 percent of those incarcer-
ated for drug felonies."
Chainmemberstalkedwiththose
who stopped to watch, explaining
that they feel the penitentiary sys-
tem neglects the rights of prisoners
and fails to rehabilitate offenders.
At about noon, the chain of stu-
dents and a woman who had been
incarcerated for more than 30 years

had a tense exchange with a stu-
dent who said their sympathy for
convicts was unfounded.
The student shouted that a 17-
year-old had stabbed her boyfriend.
She said the offender should have
been tried as an adult despite his
age.
The protesters argued that the
perpetrator should receive psycho-
logical help.
Some members of the chain wore
signs around their necks tallying
the days they had been fasting for.
LSA senior Karen Soell said 60
students tried to limit themselves
to 600 calories a day for one to 10
days as an act of empathy for ahun-
ger strike taking place in a Texas

prison.
Soell had been fasting for nine
days.
Some of the public displays were
developed as final projects for Alex-
ander's classes. Students organized
yesterday's demonstration, the fast
and astudentgroup called Students
for Justice outside of class require-
ments.
Although his classrooms are
often a birthplace for activism,
Alexander said he doesn't play a
commanding role.
Instead, the activist projects
came out of student discussion in
Alexander's English 411 and Uni-
versity Courses 270 classes.
"I trust (my students) to really

Friday, December 8, 2006 - 3
think aboutthe issues and to talk to
each other," Alexander said. "Out
of this emerges people who take
charge."
Students described an atmo-
sphere unlike other classes they've
had. They said Alexander rarely lec-
tures. Insteadhe allows studentsto
pose opening questions and invites
guest speakers.
Several students said they plan
to continue social justice activism
after classes end. Alexander said
this is only natural.
"They just don't go out and do a
random project," Alexander said.
"When you do a project, you think
about it after - about how it affects
your life."

RFID
From page 1
The database then translates the
information into spoken words.
The tags are no longer than a
pencil, and each contains a single
microprocessor. They are also
cheap, running about 50 cents each.
Knox and Gifford predict that the
cost will decline to a nickel or less
in10 years.
But that doesn't mean it would
be inexpensive to make the cam-

pus compatible with TalkingPoints
technology. It would only cost a
few hundred dollars to tag every
University building, but the chal-
lenge is to develop an easily por-
table device to pick up the signals.
The device Gifford's team has put
togetherisn'tquitereadytohitshelves.
Gifford calls the device "ridiculously
large," ill-suited for blind people to
take around campus with them.
Gifford stressed that the device
wasn't even ready for preliminary
testing as he wheeled out a variety
of gadgets connected to a laptop on

a rolling cart during an interview
yesterday.
When Gifford pushed the cart
down a deserted aisle of the library,
a computerized voice called out
objects it passed labeled with RFID
tags.
"To your left, library stacks," it
said. "To your right, fire hose closet
for use in emergencies only."
Confusion arose for a moment
when the device insisted that to
the right, there were "restrooms
- women's and men's" when there
weren't any in sight.

Knox, momentarily perplexed,
unraveled the mystery - there was
a spare tag lying on a table nearby.
"Something like a tag on a table
could cause a really bizarre situa-
tion," he said.
Right now Knox and Gifford are
mainly focused on showing the
world that their technology works.
The next phase of the project will
be gathering input through user
studies, though the technology will
need to be made smaller and more
user-friendly first.
Gifford said it's hard to think

about user interface when the
equipment is so large.
"It's kind of like pushing a gro-
cery cart," Knox said.
The same technology Gifford
pushed around on a cart will ideally
be compressed into something as
small as a cell phone. Despite lim-
ited funding, Knox hopes to reach
that goal by next summer.
Knox said he imagines the sys-
tem expanding beyond aid for the
blind, perhaps as a guide for tour-
ists who don't speak the native lan-
guage.

WAYNE STATE
From page 1
"(The voters) were directing Wayne
State and otheruniversities inthe state
to hold minorities to the same stan-
dards of admissions that are used for
all applicants and not to adopt special
standards that would provide them a
preference," Bartell said.
Wayne State Law School faculty
members debated two amendments
aimed at moderating the most con-
troversial exceptions for more than
two hours, ultimately ending in
deadlock. Dean Frank Wu cast the
tiebreaking vote to temper the most
contentious exceptions.
John Weinberg, a Wayne State
law professor who helped draft

the new policy, defended it in The
Detroit News.
"The bottom line is we are still
interested in doing a holistic evalu-
ation," Weinberg said. "Our goal is
to get a class that is diverse in the
broadest sense - a student body
that has a broad set of interests,
backgrounds, perspectives and life
experiences - and to do that with-
out using race."
But not all critics of affirmative
action are convinced that Wayne
State's new policies will hold up
under legal scrutiny.
Paul Beard of the Pacific Legal
Foundation, an anti-affirmative
action group, questioned Wayne
State Law School's new policies in
an interview with Inside Higher
Ed. He said his firm would go to

court to enforce Proposal 2 if need-
ed.
Beard described the geographic
exception for students living it
Detroit and the immediate area as
"awfully suspicious" and vowed tc
investigate it further.
"I'll bet you anything that they'll
weight these (exceptions) for
minority applicants," Beard said.
- The Associated Press
contributed to this report
ATV1LA
to...
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the
Michigan Daily
Account Executive
of the week

vinenko's death was not over. Who-

ever dosed him with polonium-210
appears to have left a lengthening
trail of victims.
Seven employees at the London
hotel where the meeting took place
have tested positive for low levels of
polonium-210, Britain's Health Pro-
tection Agency said yesterday.
The seven are not likely to suf-
fer short term health problems, a
Health Protection official told BBC
Television, but the poison could
cause "a very slight increase" in
their-risk of health problemsover
the long term.
The agency said the seven were
working at the Millennium Hotel's
wood-paneled Pine Bar on Nov. 1,
the day Litvinenko became sick. He
died Nov. 23.
Among the others contaminated
by the poison is Mario Scaramel-
la, an Italian security consultant
working with the Italian parlia-
ment who also met the Russian in
London Nov. 1.
Scaramella was found to have
significant quantities of polonium-
210 in his body and there are con-

outgoing chair of the American
MIDEAST Movement for Israel; and Miriam
From page 1 Liebman, president of the Union of
Progressive Zionists.
LSA junior Jennifer Netburn, Not everyone shares the group's
the group's philanthropy chair, vision. Cherine Foty, president of
said she wished the representation the Palestinian Student Associa-
was more even. There were many tion, said she wouldn't work with
more Jewish students than Arab Bridge the Gap.
students at the meeting. "I find it ironic that a group
Business Schooljunior Fouad Has- wants to talk about all these things
san, one of the group's co-presidents, when in the meantime Gaza is being
said goal is to have equal numbers bombed on a daily basis," she said.
.from both sides, but there are many Foty said dialogue does not work
more Jewish students at the Univer- in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict
sity than students of Arab descent. because there is a distinct power
Most of the group's executive imbalance.
board members already belong to "One side has billions and billions
Israeli or Palestinian organizations of dollars, of weapons, of internation-
on campus. But board members al aid and various companies sending
said they hope Bridge the Gap will money and support," she said. "The
provide the middle ground other other side reallyhas none of that."
student groups lack. Meagan Mirtenbaum, Bridge the
Hassan was co-founder and a Gap's other co-president, said she
former president of the Palestin- expected some negative responses.
ian Student Association. Bridge "We're trying to keep in mind
the Gap members include Fatima that there are going to be people
Makhzoum, president of the Arab against it and try to stay away from
Student Association; Josh Berman, that and stay positive," she said.

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been shown the door at their own
offices, forced to crowd in a base-
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work, if not their careers. The usual
backslapping has given way to
back pats as colleagues try to com-
fort losers who will soon be going
home.
Historic hallways are jammed
with desks, leather sofas, chairs, To play: Complete the grid so that every row, column
lamps, metal file cabinets and card-
board file boxes, part of a massive and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 to 9.
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when the lame-duck Congress There is no guessing or math involved,
finishes, probably today. Rub- just use logic to solve. Good Luck and enjoy!
bermaid trash bins holding office
garbage bear signs saying "Do Not
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- Compiled from
Daily wire reports I I I

2.887

The grade point average ..
of Theta Xi, which has the
lowest of any fraternity on
campus. The GPA of new
members is 3.226. The aver-
age GPA for Interfraternity
Council fraternities is 3.150
and the average GPA of all
men on campus is 3.179.

7

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