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March 30, 2007 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-03-30

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, March 30, 2007 - 3

NEWS BRIEFS
BAGHDAD
122 dead in
Baghdad market
bombings
Five suicide bombers struck
Shiite marketplaces in northeast
Baghdad and a town north of the
capital at nightfall yesterday, kill-
ing at least 122 people and wound-
ing more than 150 in one of Iraq's
deadliest days in years.
The savage attacks came as a
new American ambassador began
his first day on the job, and Senate
Democrats ignored a veto threat
and approved a bill to require Pres-
ident Bush to start withdrawing
troops.
At least 178 people were killed
or found dead yesterday, which
marked the end of the seventh week
of the latest U.S.-Iraqi military
drive to curtail violence in Baghdad
and surrounding regions.
WASHINGTON
Democratic tax
plan squeaks
through House
House Democrats pushed their
budget blueprint to passage yester-
day, promising a big surplus in five
years by allowing tax cuts passed in
President Bush's first term to expire.
The plan would award spend-
ing increases next year to both the
Pentagon and domestic programs,
but defers difficult decisions about
unsustainable growth in federal
benefit programs such as Medicare.
The 216-210 vote sets up nego-
tiations with the Senate, which last
week passed a budget blueprint
with spending increases similar to
the House plan. The Senate plan
would not generate surpluses since
it assumes lawmakers will renew
the mostpopular of the tax cuts due
to expire at the end of 2010.
HOLLY, Colo.
Four dead,
more injured in
tornadoes
A massive spring storm spawned
dozens of tornadoes from the Rock-
ies to the Plains, killing at least four
people in three states, including a
woman who was flung into a tree
by a twister as wide as two football
fields.
Sixty-five tornadoes were re-
ported late Wednesday in Okla-,
homa, Texas, Kansas, Colorado and
Nebraska, the National Weather
Service said. The storms continued
yesterday afternoon, WITH A tor-
nado injuring at least five people in
Oklahoma City.
In Colorado, Rosemary Rosales,
28, died after being found critically
injured in the tree after the huge
tornado destroyed several homes
and damaged dozens of others in
Holly, a town of 1,000 people about
235 miles southeast of Denver near
the Kansas line.
HAVANA

Castro signals
desire to return to
public role
Fidel Castro signaled yesterday
he is itching for a return to public
life after eight months of illness that
has kept him out of sight, lambast-
ing U.S. biofuel policies in a front-
page newspaper editorial.
But Castro's scathingattackinthe
Communist Party daily left unan-
swered what role he will play in
politics and government, and when
he might appear again in public.
In his article, the 80-year-old
revolutionary asserted that Presi-
dent Bush's support for using crops
to produce ethanol for cars could
deplete corn and other food stocks
in developing nations, putting the
lives of3 billion people at risk world-
wide.
"There are many other issues
to be dealt with," Castro added at
the end of the editorial, apparently
promising more such missives.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
3,236
Number of American service
members who have died in the War
in Iraq, according to the Depart-
ment of Defense. The following
service members were identified
yesterday:
Marine StaffSgt.MarcusA.Gol-
czynski, 30, of Lewisburg, Tenn.
Army Master Sgt. Sean M.
Thomas, 33, of Harrisburg, Pa.

A SHARP STUDENT

Pair tops alum's bid
for Tribune Company

In last-minute move,
L.A. billionaires
offer more than Zell
By KATHERINE Q. SEELYE
The New York Times
The drama for control of Tribune
Co. intensified last night as two Los
Angeles billionaires put in a last-
minute bid, topping an offer from
the Chicago real estate magnate
and University alum Sam Zell, by a
dollar a share.
The two billionaires, Ronald W.
Burkle and Eli Broad, sent a letter
last night to Tribune management
prior to the company's self-imposed
deadline of Saturday, according to a
person with knowledge of the pro-
posal.
The two investors said that like
Zell, they would structure a deal
based on an employee stock own-
ership plan, but would offer $34 a
share, one dollar more than Zell's
bid. They also said they would
put in $500 million of their own
money, compared with Zell, who
had planned to put in at least $300
million.
A Tribune spokesman had no
comment on Thursday night.
The late bid almost certainly
complicates the Tribune's delibera-
tions as it seeks a way to increase
shareholder value. It throws into
doubt any previous timetable for a
decision about the company.
Both offers are based on a rela-
tively unusual device of employee
stock ownership plans, which have
been successful for many small
companies but have had mixed

results for bigger companies.
Such plans, specialists say, have
been virtually untested in the last
two decades on companies the size
of Tribune, whichhas about 20,000
employees.
The Burkle-Broad proposal
would give the two investors 40
percent of the company, transfer-
ring 60 percent to the employees,
according to someone with knowl-
edge of the proposal. The owner-
ship ratio involved in Zell'sproposal
is sketchy, although his plans would
also make the employees the major-
ity owners.
Tribune, whose assets include
The Los Angeles Times, The Chi-
cago Tribune, 23 television stations
and the Chicago Cubs, was forced
to put itself on the block almost
six months ago at the behest of its
biggest shareholders, the Chandler
family, who were unhappy with the
management and the sagging share
price.
Zell's proposal would buy out
the Chandlers; it is not clear how
the Burkle-Broad plan would deal
with the family, but in offering
more money, the Burkle-Broad
plan could probably accomplish the
same thing.
Zell has said that he would keep
the company intact, although his
long-term plans have not been
made public.
Broad, a real estate developer
and civic leader, and Burkle, a gro-
cery magnate who runs Yucaipa,
an investment firm for private and
public retirement funds, had ini-
tially and separately expressed
interest in acquiring only The Los
Angeles Times, and their long-term
objectives for the whole company
are not known.

Tribune said in September that it
would explore its strategic alterna-
tives and come up with a plan by the
end of the year. But the response to
its auction was lackluster and it
extended its deadline to the end of
the first quarter, which is Saturday.
Burkle and Broad put in an ear-
lier bid for what amounted to about
$27 a share. But that too was per-
ceived as inadequate.
Zell came late to the game and
the company vacillated on his
initial offer, prompting him to
increase it. People with knowl-
edge of the situation said the
company had most recently been
leaning toward his proposal,
which would take the company
private, but it was concerned that
he would be taking on too much
debt.
Still on the table is a plan by the
company to restructure itself, part-
ly by spinning off its television sta-
tions.
One hurdle for any new owner
would be to overcome government
rules that do not allow owners of
newspapers to own broadcast out-
lets in the same market. Tribune
has been doing so under a special
waiver.
The idea of using an employee
stock ownership plan was not origi-
nal with Zell. In fact, Burkle him-
selfhadbackedjustsuch anidealast
year in an attempt to acquire other
newspapers. But, oddly, that option
was not part of his and Broad's ear-
lier bid for Tribune.
Once Zell put forth the notion
of an employee ownership plan,
and it seemed to be winning favor
with Tribune, Burkle and Broad
recast their bid to base it on such
a plan.

LSA freshman Constance Cho inspects a cactus plant at the Matthaei Botanical Gar-
dens during a field trip taken for her Biology 162 class yesterday. As part of a labora-
tory assignment, students were asked to record different features of various plants.

CHEATING
From page 1
In a study of 11 colleges, includ-
ing the University of Michigan,
engineers cited problems with the
instructor as the main justifica-
tion for cheating. Only 21 percent of
students said they disagreed with
the statement "It is wrong to cheat
if the instructor did an inadequate
job teaching the course."
When Finelli told this to profes-
sors at the presentation, some put
down their catered Cosi sandwich-
es for a moment to scoff.
"Maybe they cheated on the sur-
vey," one professor yelled from the
back of the room.
College of Engineering junior
Kan Yang said most students work
together on homework assign-
ments even though the practice is
listed as cheating in the College of
Engineering's honor code.
"It's exceedingly difficult to get a
good grade if you do homework by
yourself," Yang said. "Most of the
professors are not that competent
in teachingthe material."
Finelli said teachers could try to
curb cheating by improving their

teachingandmakinganefforttoshow
students that they care about them.
She also said her results indicate
that students in competitive envi-
ronments aren't that serious about
ethical concerns.
Engineering senior Cesar Tapia
said he thinks students cheat
because the school has a Darwinist
nature that is "less about learning
and more about survival."
Allen said the honor code helps
foster the "collaborative and team
environment" in the College of
Engineering by holding students to
a higher standard.
But Yang said the honor code is
the source of the problem, because
students are more likely to cheat
without supervision.
Although cheating seems to a
problem at the University, Finelli's
study showed that University stu-
dents are less likely to cheat than
students at many other institutions.
Finelli's study included samples from
11 colleges. It found that University
students cheat less than students at
other schools on average, although
they cheated more in high school.
"It shows that the Honor Code
sort of works," Finelli said. "Some-
times."

Police: Gay man died naturally, not beaten

DETROIT (AP) - Police said
Wednesday that an elderly gay man
whose death became a national
focus for gay rights advocates
based on reports he had been fatal-
ly attacked because of his sexual
orientation actually died of natural
causs
"There's no evidence that an
assault occurred," police spokes-
man James Tate said Wednesday.
The death of Andrew Anthos,
72, last month drew wide atten-
tion, and was cited on the floor
of Congress by Sen. Carl Levin
(D-Mich.) as evidence of the need
to extend hate crime legislation to
gays.
But the Wayne County Medi-

cal Examiner's Office concluded
that Anthos fell because he had an
arthritic neck, and detectives were
unable to find witnesses to a beat-
ing, police said.
"They determined that he died
of natural causes," Tate told The
Detroit News.
"So the case will be closed,"
homicide unit supervisor Lt. Linda
Vertin told the Detroit Free Press.
According to family members,
Anthos said he was riding a city bus
home from the library on Feb. 13
when a young man asked him if he
was gay and called him a "faggot."
Anthos said the man followed
him off the bus, confronting him
again.

Anthos said he told the man he
was gay as he helped a friend whose
wheelchair was stuck in a snow
bank.
Anthos said the attacker struck
him in the back of the head with
a pipe and ran off after the friend
yelled for him to stop. Anthos died
Feb. 23.
Medical Examiner Dr. Carl
Schmidt said evidence did not
support the report of an attack on
Anthos and said a head injury likely
came from falling.
Anthos probably flexed his
neck, which caused arthritic
spurs to compress his spinal
cord enough to paralyze his legs,
Schmidt said.

WIRELESS
From page 1
dents involved in the pilot program
can access the wireless service.
The project is being funded
solely by 20/20 and private inves-
tors, but it has an agreement with
Washtenaw County. The company
has not received money from the
city of Ann Arbor or the Washt-
enaw County government. It plans
to make money by selling faster ser-
vice.
Once the service is launched,
anyone with a wireless-enabled
computer will be able to use wire-
less at a speed of 84 kilobytes per
second for free. Skratek said the
service is slow but fine for checking
e-mail or using search engines.
"The free service isn't a great
service, but it does provide access,"
he said.
A faster service, running at 500

kilobytes per second, will be avail-
able for $35 per month through
20/20.
Skratek said the service's biggest
competition comes from companies
that sell wireless cards that use cel-
lular signals to provide Internet
access.
Wireless Internet access using
one of Verizon Wireless's cards
costs at least $60 per month.
Verizon Wireless spokeswoman
Michelle Gilbert said the company
is not fazed by Washtenaw County's
wireless program.
She said her company's service
offers a more secure connection and
is available in more places - includ-
ing indoor locations.
Rackham student Carolyn Gersh
said she wouldn't use the wireless
service.
"I know plenty of people that
would find it useful," she said. "But
I don't know if I would use it out-
side."

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