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January 29, 2008 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-29

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 -- 3

NEWS BRIEFS
DETROIT
Kilpatrick's chief of
staff resigns amid
controversy
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpat-
rick's chief of staff said yesterday
she is resigning amid allegations
that she and the mayor lied under
oath about an affair.
In a letter to Kilpatrick that was
released by his office, Christine
Beatty said she believes she can
no longer effectively carry out her
duties. Her resignation takes effect
Feb. 8.
"I painfully regret the devasta-
tion that the recent reports have
caused to the citizens of Detroit, to
my co-workers, to the Mayor's fam-
ily and to my family and friends,"
Beatty wrote in the letter.
A prosecutor launched an inves-
tigation last week into the allega-
tions, which came to light when the
Detroit Free Press reported details
of steamy text messages between
Beatty and Kilpatrick.
KISUMU, Kenya.
Ethnic violence
escalates in Kenya
Thousands of machete-wielding
youths hunted down members of
President Mwai Kibaki's Kikuyu
tribe yesterday in western Kenya's
Rift Valley, torching homes and
buses, clashing with police and
blocking roads with burning tires.
Witnesses described seeing
two people pulled from cars and
stoned to death, while another was
burned alive in a minibus - the
latest victims of a month of esca-
lating violence triggered by a dis-
puted presidential election. The
death toll has soared over 800.
Kibaki has said he is open to di-
rect talks with opposition leader
Raila Odinga, who is from the Luo
tribe, but that his position as presi-
dent is not negotiable. Odinga says
Kibaki must step down and only
new elections will bring peace.
RAFAH, Egypt
Hamas works
with Egyptians
to restore order
Hamas militants joined Egyptian
forces for a second day yesterday in
trying to restore control at three
breaches in the Gaza border, build-
ing a chain-link fence to seal off one
opening and directing traffic at two
others.
Hundreds of thousands of Pal-
estinians have flooded into Egypt
unchecked over the past six days
since Hamas militants blasted holes
in the border partition. They have
been voraciously buying up food,
fuel and other goods made scarce
by Israeli and Egyptian closures of
Gaza's borders.
Hamas seized control of the Pal-
estinian territory in June but before
the breach, it had no role in policing
the border with Egypt. Now the Is-

lamic militant group is hoping that
will change now and it is pressing
for some kind of future role in bor-
der administration.
CHICAGO
Obama backer
Rezko arrested
Indicted political fundraiser Anto-
in "Tony" Rezko, who has poured
thousands of dollars into Barack
Obama's political campaigns, was
arrested by federal agents yesterday
after his bail was revoked.
Rezko has pleaded not guilty and is
scheduled to stand trial this month on
charges of fraud, attempted extortion
and money laundering.
Obama says he had no indication
of any problems with Rezko when he
accepted thousands of dollars in cam-
paign contributions from him. When
prosecutors unsealed their charges
against Rezko in 2006, Obama gave
$11,50 in Rezko contributions to char-
ities.
- Compiled from.
Daily wire reports
3,940
Number of American service mem-
bers who have died in the war in
Iraq, according to The Associated
Press. The following service mem-
ber was identified yesterday:
Sgt. Robert J. Wilson, Fort
Campbell, Ky.

Chrysler to expand
buyouts to more sites

Bush's final State of the Union
speech focuses on economy, Iraq

Auto giant looking
to cut up to 21,000
jobs nationwide
DETROIT (AP) - Chrysler
LLC is offering buyouts of up to
$100,000 to hourly workers at
11 of its U.S. facilities as part of
its goal of cutting up to 21,000
manufacturing jobs, or nearly
half its U.S. hourly work force,
a company spokeswoman said
yesterday.
Earlier this month, Chrysler
made offers to workers at four
assembly sites: Toledo North in
Toledo, Ohio; St. Louis North
and South in Fenton, Mo.; Bel-
videre, Ill.; and Jefferson North
in Detroit. Yesterday, the offers
were extended to seven addi-
tional sites in Michigan, includ-
ing assembly plants in Warren
and Sterling Heights; the Detroit
Axle, Mount Elliott Tool and
Die, and Mack Avenue Engine
plants in Detroit; an engine plant
in Trenton and a vehicle test
center in Sterling Heights. Also
given the offer were 110 employ-
ees at the company's Auburn
Hills headquarters who are in an
hourly bargaining unit but are
paid salaries.
A truck plant in Warren is
down this week but is expected
to get the same buyout offers
when it resumes operations.
Chrysler spokeswoman
Michelle Tinson said the com-
pany has eight other U.S. facili-
ties that are still awaiting buyout
offers. The company is working
with the United Auto Workers
union to determine when those
will be introduced. Chrysler has
approximately 45,000 UAW-rep-
resented hourly workers.

Chrysler, which is in the
midst of a restructuring after a
majority stake in the automaker
was sold last summer to private
equity firm Cerberus Capital
Management LP, announced in
November it planned to cut up
to 12,000 jobs, including 8,000
to 10,000 hourly and 2,000 sala-
ried jobs.
The cuts came in addi-
tion to 13,000 layoffs Chrys-
ler announced last February,
including 11,000 hourly and
2,000 salaried workers. Around
6,400 hourly workers had left
the company under than pro-
gram as of June, Tinson said, but
additional retirement packages
could be rolled out under than
program, which was scheduled
to run through 2009.
Employees have until Feb. 18
to decide whether to take the lat-
est offers.. Some workers could
leave as early as April, but the
dates they will leave the com-
pany will vary by worker and by
plant.
Under Chrysler's current
offer, employees who are on
temporary or indefinite layoff or
have at least one year of service
can get up to $100,000 and six
months of health benefits if they
agree to cut ties with the compa-
ny. Retirement-eligible employ-
ees can get a $70,000 lump-sum
payment as an incentive to retire
with a regular pension. A sepa-
rate program gives workers close
to retirement their full benefits
if they retire early, but they get
no lump-sum payment.
Ford Motor Co. and General
Motors Corp. are offering simi-
lar buyouts and early retirement
packages to cut costs and reduce
production capacity to match
sagging U.S. demand.

Address was
interrupted nearly 70
times for applause
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
The New York Times
WASHINGTON - Facing an
unstable economy and an unfin-
ished war, President Bush used his
final State of the Union address
last night to call for quick passage
of his tax rebate package, patience
in Iraq and a modest concluding
agenda that includes $300 mil-
lion in scholarship money for
low-income children in struggling
schools.
With Senate Democrats already
jockeying to amend the stimulus
package that the administration
negotiated with the House last
week, Bush, in his address, urged
lawmakers to resist the tempta-
tion to "load up the bill" with other
provisions. To do so, he warned,
"would delay or derail it, and nei-
ther option is acceptable."
Yet Bush devoted relatively lit-
tle of his 53-minute speech to the
economy, the issue that is the top
concern of voters during this elec-
tion year. He spent far more time
talking about the issue that has

been his own primary concern,
Iraq.
Bush made the case that his
troopbuilduphad"achievedresults
few of us could have imagined
just one year ago," and reminded
Americans that in coming months,
20,000 troops will have come
home. Yet he avoided any timetable
for further withdrawal and, if any-
thing, seemed to be preparing the
country for a far longer-term stay
in Iraq, warning that a precipitous
withdrawal could lead to a back-
slide in security.
"Members of Congress," Bush
said, "having come so far and
achieved so much, we must not
allow this to happen."
The White House had promised
that the speech would look for-
ward, not back. Facing the reali-
ties of a final year in office, with
little time to win legislation from a
Congress controlled by Democrats,
Bush used the address to empha-
size his power to block actions that
he opposes. He vowed to veto any
tax increases or legislative ear-
marks that were not voted on by
the full Congress.
Butthespeech,interruptednear-
ly 70 times by applause, was also
infused with a sense of summing
up, as Bush opened by remarking
that "our country has been tested

in ways none of us could imagine"
since he delivered his first address
to Congress, seven years ago.
"We have faced hard decisions
about peace and war, rising com-
petition in the world economy, and
the health and welfare of our citi-
zens," Bush said. "These issues call
for vigorous debate, and. I think
it's fair to say we've answered that
call. Yet history will record that
amid our differences, we acted
with purpose."
Democrats responded by say-
ing that Bush had offered "little
more than the status quo," in the
words of the Senate Democratic
leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, and
the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of
California.
Yet the party's official response
was not criticism but a call for
unity, delivered by Gov. Kathleen
Sebelius of Kansas. Sebelius urged
the president to build on the bipar-
tisanship of the stimulus package
- a sign that with the fall elections
just 10 months away, Democrats
are aware they must show voters
they can work across the aisle.
"There is a chance, Mr. Presi-
dent, in the next 357 days, to get
real results and give the Ameri-
can people renewed optimism that
their challenges are the top prior-
ity," Sebelius said.

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