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November 07, 2007 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-11-07

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 - 3A

NEWS BRIEFS
BAGHDAD
2007 was deadliest
year yet for U.S.
military in Iraq
The U.S. military announced
six new deaths yesterday, making
2007 the bloodiest year for Ameri-
can troops in Iraq despite a recent
decline in casualties and a sharp
drop in roadside bombings that
Washington links to Iran.
With nearly two months left in
the year, the annual toll is now 853
- three more than the previous
worst of 850 in 2004.
But the grim milestone comes as
the Pentagon points toward other
encouraging signs as well - grow-
ing security in Baghdad and other
former militant strongholds that
could help consolidate the gains
against extremists.
LANSING
Senate panel votes
to change benefits
for lawmakers
A state Senate panel voted yes-
terday to change health care ben-
efits for future lawmakers when
they retire.
After working six years, current
lawmakers qualify to get 90 per-
cent of their health care covered
once they turn 55, which turns
into supplemental coverage when
they become eligible for Medicare
at 65.
' Bills that could be approved as
early as Wednesday by the full Sen-
ate would set up a system where
lawmakers elected after this year
get a percentage of their health
care paid for based on the number
of years worked. The bills would
not affect current legislators.
Future lawmakers would have to
work 14 years to get the same level
of coverage at 55 that current law-
makers now get in six years.
NEW YORK
Companies now,
able to create free
pages on Facebook
Facebook has begun trans-
forming itself from an online
hangout into an online business
district.
Companies can now create their
own pages on Facebook for free,
under a new program announced
yesterday. Advertisers also will be
able to show users their pitches in
the guise of friends' endorsements,
based on what the friends buy and
do online.
For example, if a friend has
booked a vacation on Travelocity,
the online travel agency will be able
to display the friend's photo as part
of an ad to entice the user to buy
flights and hotel stays.
BAGHLAN, Afghanistan
Bomb attack kills
28, including 5

gov't members
A bomb attack struck a group of
lawmakers yesterday as they were
being greeted by children on a visit
to a sugar factory in Afghanistan's
normally peaceful north. At least
28 people were killed, including
five parliament members as well as
children.
U.S.-backed President Hamid
Karzai blamed the "the enemies of
peace and security," a euphemism
often used for the militant Tal-
iban. But such a spectacular attack
could also have been the work
of al-Qaida. The Taliban denied
involvement.
Video obtained by AP Television
News of the scene just before the
blast shows schoolchildren, tribal
elders and government officials lin-
ing the streets to greet 18 lawmak-
ers as they were about to enter the
sugar factory in Baghlan, a town
about 95 miles north of the capital,
Kabul.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
Number of American service mem-
bers who have died in the war in
Iraq, according to The Associated
Press. There were three new casu-
alties identified yesterday.
Pfc. Kevin R. Bewley, 27, of Hec-
tor, Ark.
Sgt. Daniel J. Shaw, 23, of West
Seneca, N.Y.
Spc. Christine M. Ndururi, 21, of
Dracut, Mass.

Deposed
justice
calls for
resistance
Lawyers protest
suspension
of constitution
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP)
- Pakistan's deposed chief jus-
tice called on lawyers yester-
day to revolt against President
Gen. Pervez Musharraf's impo-
sition of emergency rule and a
crackdown on the opposition
that has left thousands under
arrest.
The government considered a
delay in parliamentary elections
despite Western demands they
be held on schedule in January
to bring democracy to a nucle-
ar-armed couptry dogged by
political uncertainty and rising
Islamic militancy.
Fragile security in the north-
west - cited by officials as a
reason for the suspension of
the constitution - deteriorated
further as pro-Taliban militants
seized a town from outnum-
bered security forces.
While Musharraf says emer-
gency powers are needed so
the government can better
fight Islamic extremists, his
crackdown has been aimed at
lawyers and liberal political
activists opposing his rule. The
Supreme Court, in particular,
had chipped away at his powers
this year.
Chief Justice Iftikhar
Mohammed Chaudhry, a fig-
urehead for the resistance, has
been under house arrest since
Saturday night. But he managed
to address hundreds of law-
yers using a cell phone from his
Islamabad residence, which he
said was surrounded by security
forces.
"Go to every corner of Paki-
stan and give the message that
this is the time to sacrifice,"
Chaudhry said over loudspeak-
ers. "Don't be afraid. God will
help us and the day will come
when you'll see the constitution
supreme and no dictatorship for
a long time."
Attorneys gathered at the
Islamabad Bar Association
cheered.
"Chaudhry! Chaudhry!" they
chanted. "Musharrafis a crimi-
nal! We will not accept uniforms
or bullets!"
Moments later, mobile phone
service cut off in Islamabad, but
Chaudhry'smessagehadalready
been recorded as an MP3 file. It'
spread swiftly, and local TV sta-'
tions aired it via satellite. CellI
phone service resumed hours
later.
After Chaudhry spoke, hun-
dreds of police in the central
city of Multan blocked about
1,000 lawyers from leaving a
district court complex to stage a
street rally in defiance of a ban
on protests. Both sides pelted
each other with stones and offi-
cers swung clubs to scatter the

crowd.
At least three lawyers and
three officers were injured,
some bleeding from the head.
Violence also was reported at a
rally by lawyers in the eastern
city of Gujranwala.
The clashes marked the sec-
ond straight day of unrest since
emergency rule was declared
Saturday by Musharraf, who
took power in a 1999 coup. He
has ousted independent-minded
judges, put a stranglehold on the
media and granted sweeping
powers to authorities to crush
dissent.
Many of those detained have
been lawyers, who have been
in the forefront of protests
against the military ruler, but
opposition party supporters
and human rights activists also
are under arrest. The govern-
ment says about 2,500 were
detained; the opposition says
3,500.
The United States and other
Western nations have urged
Musharraf to stick to the elec-
tion timetable, but so far no date
has been set. They also want the
president to fulfill his promise
to give up his second post as
army chief.
"President Musharraf has
made certain commitments
with respect to taking off the
uniform and to holding elec-
tions as scheduled in January.
We have, through a number of
different means, conveyed ,to
him that we expect him to abide
by those commitments," State
Department spokesman Sean
McCormack said.

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