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December 07, 2007 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-12-07

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The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Friday, December 7, 2007 - 3
THE CARTWHEELIN' KRIS KRINGLE

NEWS BRIEFS
WASHINGTON
House passes
first energy bill in
three decades
The House approved the first
increase in federal automobile fuel
efficiency requirements in three
decades yesterday as part of an thi
energy bill that also repeals billions Bi
of dollars of oil company tax breaks b
and encourages use of renewable a
fuels. er
The bill, passed by a vote of 235-
181, faces a certain filibuster in the ph
Senate and a veto threat from the te
White House. m
"We will send our energy dol- fi
lars to the Midwest, not the Middle it
East," said House Speaker Nancy le
Pelosi, referring to the bill's empha- o
sis on promoting renewable energy bs
sources, especially ethanol, which
would see a sevenfold increase by cri
2022 to 36 billion gallons a year. c
na
COLLEGE STATION, Texas fi.
Romney addresses by
role of his Mormon e
faithto
to
Republican Mitt Romney said T
yesterday his Mormon faith should Pa
neither help nor hinder his quest th
for the White House and vowed to cu
serve the interests of the nation, not pi
the church, if elected president.
"When I place my hand on the -
Bible andtakethe oathofoffice,that
oath becomes my highest promise
to God," Romney said in a speech
that explicitly recalled remarks
John F. Kennedy made in 1960 in an
effort to quell anti-Catholic bias.
After declining for months to
address the issue of his Mormonism
directly, Romney switched course
as polls showed widespread unease
about his religion - and showed
him losing his once-sizable lead in
the opening Iowa caucuses to Mike
Huckabee, a Baptist minister and
former governor of Arkansas.
WASHINGTON
Tapes of CIA
interrogations
destroyed
The CIA videotaped its interro-
gations of terror suspects in 2002
and destroyed the tapes three years
later out of fear they would leak -
to the public and compromise the
identities of U.S. questioners, the
director of the agency told employ-
ees yesterday.
CIA Director Michael Hayden
said House and Senate intelligence
committee leaders were informed
of the existence of the tapes and the
CIA's intention to destroy them. He
also said the CIA's internal watch-
dog watched the tapes in 2003 and
verified that the interrogation prac-
tices were legal.
He said the CIA began taping the
interrogations as an internal check
on the program after President
Bush authorized the use of harsh
questioning methods. The meth-

ods included waterboarding, which
simulates drowning, government
officials said.
OMAHA, Neb.
Omaha gunman
may have smuggled
rifle into mall
The teenage gunman who went
on a shooting rampage in a depart-
ment store may have smuggled an
assault rifle into the mall under-
neath clothing, police said yester-
day.
The teen entered the store
Wednesday using an elevator, and
moments later, gunfire pierced
through the notes of Christmas
music at the Westroads Mall's
Von Maur department store. Peo-
ple huddled in dressing rooms
and barricaded themselves in
offices as 19-year-old Robert A.
Hawkins sprayed the floor with
bullets.
Six store employees and two
customers were killed. When the
shooting was over, Hawkins shot
himself.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
U.. #EAT S
3,886
Number of American service mem-
bers who have died in the war in
Iraq, according to The Associ-
ated Press. There were no new U.S.
deaths reported yesterday.

Who gains most on mortgage relief?

Bush
by s
By ED
WAS]
ing i
ush's p
y the s
n indu
nmen
Altho
an at
rday, i
ortgag
rms. T
leaves
nders.
sly a sn
orrowei
The
riticisi
ates wh
arrow,
rms, w
thers
y letti
owners
ncourai
iwing
"The
day is
'reasury
aulson
e agre
ilt prob
erfect

h plan criticized The heart of Bush's plan is a
cautious attempt to help troubled
ome consumer homeowners by persuading finan-
ciers to freeze mortgages at low
advocates introductory rates for five years,
but without actually forcing the
)MUND L. ANDREWS hands of lenders and investors
The New York Times who hold the mortgages.
One of the financial industry's
HINGTON - At least one lead negotiators estimated that
s clear about President at most 20 percent of subprime
lan to help people trapped borrowers whose payments will
mortgage meltdown: It is increase sharply over the next 18
stry-led plan, not a gov- months - 360,000 out of 1.8 mil-
t bailout. lion people - would qualify for
ugh Bush unveiled the rapid consideration of a special
the White House yes- five-year freeze on their interest
ts terms were set by the rates.
eindustryand WallStreet The number of people who
he effort is voluntary and actually obtain that help would be
plenty of wiggle room for smaller, because each borrower
Moreover, it would affect would face a battery of tests aimed
mall number of subprime at weeding out those who are con-
rs. sidered too hopelessly in debt and
plan was the target of those who make too much money
m from consumer advo- to justify relief.
ho said its scope was too In one curious twist, the plan
and from investment could eliminate many people who
who said it went too far. have good credit scores or who
warned that the plan, managed to improve their credit
ng some stretched hom- scores, because the good ratings
s off the hook, could would be a sign they did not need
ge more reckless bor- help.
in the future. "Talk about moral hazard,"
approach announced remarked Rep. Barney Frank (D-
not a silver bullet," said Mass.) the chairman of the House
y Secretary Henry M. Financial Services Committee.
Jr., who hammered out "We've all told people, don't go
ement. "We face a diffi- any more deeply into debt. Now
blem for which there is no we're saying that people who go
solution." more deeply into debt will have an

advantage over people who don't
go more deeply into debt."
The administration's theory
is that there is a "sweet spot" in
the market where it makes more
financial sense for lenders to offer
some relief than it does to fore-
close on homeowners.
Most analysts agree that there
is indeed a sweet spot of some
sort. Investors typically lose 40
percent or 50 percent on homes
that go into foreclosure, and the
cost of shielding borrowers from a
big jump in rates can be much less
than that.
"I think there is a sweet spot,"
said Bert Ely, abankingconsultant
in Alexandria, Va. "But I worry
that the sweet spot is much small-
er than people think it is. And as
housing prices continue to decline
and debts pile up, I fear the sweet
spot will shrink."
Administration officials esti-
mate that about 500,000 sub-
prime borrowers are in danger
of losing their houses in the next
18 months as their low teaser
rates expire and their monthly
payments jump by 30 percent or
more. Outside analysts warn that
the number of foreclosures could
be much higher.
The Mortgage Bankers Asso-
ciation reported that the number
of new foreclosure proceedings
hit an all-time record in the third
quarter, and that the delinquency
rate on mortgages climbed to the
highest level since 1986.

Santa Claus (LSA junior Phillip Gray) does a cartwheel on the Diag yesterday to draw
attention to the Kappa Alpha Psi effort to collect money for Vistas Nuevas, a program
for underprivileged children in Detroit. The money will be used to buy Christmas pres-
ents for the children.
CMU OKs arena renovations

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich.
(AP) - The Central Michigan
University board of trustees yes-
terday approved a $20.3 million
project to renovate and expand
Rose Center, site of its basketball
games and other sports and cul-
tural events.
The work would include "signifi-
cant enhancements in seating, rest-
rooms, concessions, accessibility,
service and comfort, the university

said in a news release. It said total
seating would remain about 5,200.
The trustees also approved a
fundraising campaign for the proj-
ect, with the intent that it be entirely
financed with donations.About $2.5
million has been pledged so far.
The school said it hopes to start
construction in spring2009 and fin-
ish by summer 2010. It said games
will be played elsewhere during the
work.

D0 RLLYOk HOLIDA Y SHoPPING OVER

FRIENDS NOT
LETTING YOU
STAND ON YOUR
SOAPBOX?
Apply to be a Michigan
Daily columnist.
E-mail gmgraca@umich.
edu.

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