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January 04, 2008 - Image 3

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I The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, January 4, 2008 - 3

NEWS BRIEFS
WASHINGTON
U.S. sends diplomat
to Kenya to push
for calm
The top U.S. diplomat for Africa
is being dispatched to Kenya to
directly press leaders to calm vio-
lence that has followed allegations
of fraud in President Mwai Kibaki's
re-election, the State Department
said yesterday.
JendayiFrazer,assistantsecretary
of state for African affairs, planned
to leave later yesterday for talks with
Kibaki and opposition leader Raila
Odinga, State Department spokes-
man Sean McCormack said.
The diplomatic mission comes
as the country's political dispute
degenerates into ethnic violence
pitting Kibaki's influential Kikuyus
against Odinga's Luos and other
tribes. About 300 people have been
killed and 100,OOOmore displaced.
DES MOINES, Iowa
Dodd plans to
withdraw from
presidential race
Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd of
Connecticut was set to abandon his
bid for the Democratic presidential
nomination yesterday after a poor
showing in Iowa's precinct cau-
cuses.
The veteran lawmaker was to
announce his decision to support-
ers at a post-caucus party in Des
Moines, according to advisers
speaking on the condition of ano-
nymity. He was expected to travel
to Connecticut tomorrow with his
familyto thank friends and sup-
porters.
Dodd was never able to break
from the pack of Democratic con-
tenders despite his long and distin-
guished Senate career. He won just
0.02 percent of the state's caucus-
goers.
DALLAS, Texas -
Wrongly convicted
man released from
jail after 26 years
Three times during his nearly 27
years in prison, Charles Chatman
went before a parole board and
refused to admit he was a rapist.
His steadfastness was vindicated
yesterday, when a judge released
him because of new DNA evidence
showing he indeed wasn't.
The release of Chatman, 47,
added to Dallas County's nationally
unmatched number of wrongfully
convicted inmates.
District Judge John Creuzot,
whom defense lawyers credited
with shepherding Chatman's case
for exoneration through the legal
system, recommended that Texas'
Court of Criminal Appeals find
Chatman not guilty. With several
relatives dabbing at their eyes with
tissues and cheering, Chatman was
released.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan
Musharraf denies

government role in
Bhutto killing
President Pervez Musharraf
vehemently denied yesterday that
Pakistan's military and intelligence
W agencies were behind Benazir Shot-
to's killing, and implied she was part-
lyat fault.
Despite threats by militants, Bhut-
to poked her head out of the sunroof
of her vehicle to greet supporters at
an election rally, Musharraf said.
He conceded there were short-
comings in Pakistan's investigation
into the assassination but rejected
accusations of a lapse in security for
the former prime minister.
"The same military and intelli-
gence agencies are using the same
people who are attacking them? It's a
joke," Musharraf said at a news con-
ference, answering accusations that
people connected to his government
were involved in the suicide bomb
and gun attack that killed Bhutto a
week ago.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
3,907
Number of American service mem-
bers who have died in the war in
Iraq, according to The Associated
Press. The following U.S. casualties
were reported yesterday:
Army Sgt. Reno S. Lacerna, 44,
Waipahu, Hawaii

Some hopefuls rely on a student army

Paul, Obama recruit
heavily from
colleges, universities
By ANDY KEOLL
Daily StaffReporter
DES MOINES - At a small office
here inthe city's EastVillage,volun-
teers for Democratic candidate Sen.
Barack Obama's campaign made
phone calls to Iowans, informing
them of the Illinois senator's posi-
tions on key issues and encourag-
ing them to caucus for him.
As it turns out, Obama won the
caucus handily, winning strong
supportfrom newvoters and young
people.
Inside the office, Obama '08
campaign placards covered the
walls, with one-word messages like
"Hope" and "Trust," and large red,
white and blue hand-painted ban-
ners hung above volunteers who
were talking enthusiastically on
the phone.
The volunteers - many of whom
were college students - worked on
laptops, looked up phone numbers
of Iowan voters or checked their
e-mail. Near the back of the room,
several others took a break from
the action to throw a football.
Apart from the brightly colored
posters and mountains of discard-
ed coffee cups, what stood out in
this particular office, and also at
other offices and candidate-spon-
sored events throughout Iowa,
was the overwhelming presence of
hard-working and energetic young
people.
Although most Americans can
watch, read and hear about all the
candidates on a daily basis, wheth-
er in newspapers or on television
or radio, what they don't see are
the students doing the behind-the-
scenes work for each campaign.
While candidates attended pan-
cake breakfasts and spoke to large
crowds atfancy hotels,youngvolun-
teers passed outccampaignfliers and
knocked on doors inbelow-freezing

Tarak Shah, an MBA student at Cornell University and a Chicago native, works the phones in Des Moines for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Students from
across the country have volunteered for Obama's campaign, as well as for other candidates.

temperatures here in Iowa.
Tarak Shah, a Cornell Univer-
sity graduate student from Chi-
cago, greeted volunteers, answered
phones and organized caucus
carpools at Obama's East Village
office. He arrived here the day after
Christmas to volunteerforthe cam-
paign in the lead-up to the caucus.
Shah, who first met Obama as
an undergraduate student at the
University of Illinois, said he didn't
mind giving up so much of his win-
ter break because the work would
support the presidential candidate
he believes is best suited to lead the
nation.
Shah said he feels a certain
amount of ownership of the cam-
paign because he has invested so

much time and energy in it.
"When I talk about Sena-
tor Obama's campaign, I call it
our campaign," Shah said. "Even
though I'm a volunteer, it really
does feel like it's an inclusive cam-
paign that's worked so hard to
reach out to students and young
people in general."
Republican presidential candi-
date Ron Paul's campaign brought
in almost 275 students from 39
states and four countries to canvass
for the Texas congressman these
last two weeks.
Jeff Frazee, Paul's national
youth coordinator, said the stu-
dents passed out campaign litera-
ture, went to the homes of Iowans
and tried to spread Paul's limited

government and anti-war message
throughout as much of the state as
possible.
Paul's campaign offered student
volunteers free hotel rooms, food
and gas money if they signed up to
come work for the campaign. All
students had to do was find a way
to get to Iowa.
"These are all students who took
the initiative to volunteer, saying,
'I'm going to give up my Christ-
mas break and I'm goingto come to
Iowa because I think this campaign
is important,' "Frazee said.
At a rally on Wednesday for Dem-
ocratic candidate John Edwards in
an Iowa City coffee house, students
comprised almost all of the event's
organizers and staffers.

While Edwards told a packed
room to "fight against corporate
greed" and "take their democracy
back," student volunteers passed
out pamphlets outlining Edwards'
positions on key issues, distributed
posters and signed up caucus-goers
who pledged to support Edwards.
Long after Edwards had finished
his speech and left Iowa City for the
next stop on his whirlwind "Mara-
thon for the Middle Class" bus
tour, student volunteers remained,
cleaning up the coffee house.
One volunteer groaned about
having to pick up empty coffee cups
that had been left behind.
"When JohnEdwards is our next
president," a friend replied, "this'll
all be worth it."

Toyota takes #2 spot n U.S.

Sales numbers end
Ford's 75-year lock
on the spot
DETROIT (AP) - Toyota
Motor Corp. overtook Ford Motor
Co. to become the No. 2 automak-
er by U.S. sales in 2007, using new
products and relentless strategy
to break Ford's 75-year lock on the
position.
Toyota sold 2.62 million
cars and trucks in 2007, which
amounted to 48,226 more than
Ford, according to sales figures
released yesterday. Toyota's sales
were up 3 percent for the year,
buoyed by new products like the
Toyota Tundra pickup, which saw
sales jump 57 percent. Ford's sales
fell 12 percent to 2.572 million
vehicles.
General Motors Corp.
remained the U.S. sales leader,
selling 3.82 million vehicles in
2007. But that was down 6 per-

cent from the previous year as
customers turned away from
some large sedans and sport util-
ity vehicles and GM cut low-prof-
it sales to employees and rental
car agencies. GM's car sales fell 8
percent for the year while truck
sales were down 4 percent.
Overall, the year was the
worst for the auto industry since
1998 as consumers fretted over
high gas prices, falling home
prices and the economy. U.S.
sales totaled 16.1 million for the
year, down from 16.6 million in
2006, according to Autodata
Corp.
December also was a tough
month for automakers despite a
slew of holiday discounts. Toy-
ota's sales slipped 2 percent for
the month, while GM's sales were
down 4 percent and Ford's fell 9
percent.
Nissan Motor Co.'s Decem-
ber sales were down 2.4 percent,
while Honda Motor Co.'s Decem-
ber sales were flat, with a 10 per-

cent increase in car sales canceled
out by a 10 percent decline in
truck sales.
"This was definitely a chal-
lenging year to be in the car
business, and 2008 isn't likely
to be a piece of cake," Dick Col-
liver, executive vice president of
American Honda, said in a state-
ment.
Colliver said automakers with
more fuel-efficient offerings fared
better as gas prices took their
toll. Honda's full-year sales were
up 2.5 percent, thanks in part to
booming sales of the Fit subcom-
pact, while Nissan's shot up 5 per-
cent thanks to strong sales of the
Versa subcompact.
Chrysler LLC also had a solid
December, with sales up 1 per-
cent for the month thanks to brisk
sales of the new Dodge Caravan
minivan, which saw a 51 percent
jump. Chrysler sales were down
3 percent for the year as falling
truck and SUV sales erased gains
on the car side.

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State has surprise
$350 mil. surplus

Legislators to meet
in Jan. to figure
out what to do with
extra money
LANSING (AP) - Reduced
spending and higher than
expected tax receipts helped the
state leap into the new year with
a $350 million budget surplus.
Michigan ended its fiscal year
Sept. 30 with $259.1 million.
Annual state financial reports
also listed the School Aid Fund
with more than $94 million.
The surplus is for the 2006-
07 fiscal year, a period in which
a deficit of more than $1 billion
was filled by delaying payments
to state universities and com-
munity colleges, dipping into
funds set aside for job training
and substance abuse treatment
and selling off part of the state's
future tobacco settlement. Taxes
were not raised to deal with the
shortfall.
Budget officials and state leg-

islative leaders will decide how
the extra money will be used.
The Senate Fiscal Agency has
predicted a deficit of $34 million
for the state general fund next
fiscal year, while others have
warned of a larger shortfall, the
Detroit Free Press reported yes-
terday.
Officials are to meet Jan. 11
to update Michigan's budget
forecasts for the current fis-
cal year and the one that starts
Oct. 1.
The surplus is not part of this
year's budget agreement, under
which taxes were raised by $1.35
billion and spending was cut or
restricted by more than $400
million to help wipe out a $1.75
billion state budget deficit and
place the state on sounder finan-
cial footing.
"The fact that we've closed
the books with a surplus is more
advantageous than finding out
we're in the hole again," Matt
Marsden, spokesman for Senate
Majority Leader Mike Bishop
(R-Rochester) told The Detroit
News.

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