The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Monday, February 11, 2008 - 3A
Gates says he sees
progress in Iraq
Hard choices face Iraq's politi-
cal leaders on how to stabilize the
country despite promising new
signs of progress toward reconcili-
ation, Defense Secretary Robert
Gates said yesterday.
"They seem to have become
energized over the last few weeks,"
Gates said. The Pentagon chief
told reporters who traveled with
him from a conference in Germa-
ny that he wants to "see what the
prospects are for further success
in the next couple of months."
In an interview on the trip to
Iraq, Gates cited the recent pas-
sage of an amnesty law as an
example of political progress. He
said he would ask Iraqi leaders
to assess the prospects for other
important steps such as passing
a law that would spell out power-
sharing between the provinces
and the national government.
Army sniper gets 10
years for planting
evidence on civilian
A U.S. Army sniper convicted
of killing an unarmed Iraqi civil-
ian and planting evidence on his
body was sentenced yesterday to
10 years in prison.
Sgt. Evan Vela faced a possible
life sentence. Earlier Sunday, ju-
rors found him guilty of murder
without premeditation in the May
11 killing of an Iraqi man south of
Vela was also sentenced to for-
feit all pay and allowances, and will
receive a dishonorable discharge.
His case is automatically referred
to a military appeals court.
Bush: McCain must
work harder for
John McCain is a "true conserva-
tive,"President Bush says, although
the likely Republican presidential
nominee may have to work harder
to convince other conservatives
that he is one of their own.
McCain "is very strong on
national defense," Bush said in an
interview taped for airing on "Fox
News Sunday." "He is tough fiscal-
ly. He believes the tax cuts ought to
be permanent. He is pro-life. His
principles are sound and solid as
far as I'm concerned."
But when asked about criticism
of McCain by conservative com-
mentators Rush Limbaugh and
Ann Coulter, the president said, "I
think that if John is the nominee,
he has got some convincing to do
to convince people that he is a solid
conservative and I'll be glad to help
him if he is the nominee."
care projects aiding
Efforts by Michigan health care
systems to build new hospitals and
renovate old ones are providing a
boost to the state's construction
industry, which has been hit by a
downturn in the housing market.
Thirteen of the largest projects
are pumping at least $2.2 billion into
their communities, the Detroit Free
Press reported yesterday. And for
patients, the projects are offering
things like improved technology and
more private rooms.
"The current construction boom in
health care preserves and maintains
the existing workforce," said David
Reese, senior vice president of Skan-
ska AB, a Stockholm, Sweden-based
company with a Michigan headquar-
ters in Southfield.
At their peak, health care build-
ing projects may involve as many as
300 workers at a construction site, in
addition the several dozen or more
the construction company employs,
according to industry leaders.
* - 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 no deaths identi-
From Page 1A
whether they were willing to take
acutinthenumber oftickets avail-
able to students to keep the event
Students surveyed favored keep-
ifit meant they wouldn't receive the
eight tickets they would've received
at Eastern Michigan.
But after the University's Com-
mencement Advisory Committee
ruled out the Big House as a viable
optionmore thanaweek ago,citing
safety concerns and the possibility
that the stadiumwouldn't be ready
for first game of the upcoming
football season, studentswerepre-
sented with Elbel Field or the Diag
as their finaltwo venue options.
Graduates will receive six tick-
ets each for the ceremony, which
takes place on April 26.
There will still be a graduate
procession as part of the ceremony,
which willbegin at McDivitt-White
Plaza between West Hall and East
Hall. Shuttles to and fromthe event
LSA senior Justin Benson, vice
president of LSA Student Govern-
ment and a member of the Com-
mencement Advisory Committee,
said the committee's recommenda-
tion to have commencementcon the
Diag was primarily based on the
"Because the survey gave stu-
dents the opportunity tovoicetheir
opinions, we made a decision that
whatever the majority was on the
survey would be the committee's
LSA senior Eric Portenga said
the most encouraging aspect of
the entire commencement situ-
ation was the amount of student
inputthe University incorporated
into each of its decisions regard-
ing the ceremony's venue.
The detailed rationale provided
by University officials in support
of each decision was something
Portenga said he appreciated -
especially when it came to decid-
ing between the final two choices
of Elbel Field and the Diag.
"I'm extremely happy they
looked into every aspect for both
of the final locations - number of
tickets available, how visible the
stage will be," Portenga said. "I'm
very glad the administration put
that together so we were able to put
ourselves atthose locations and see
what atmosphere looked like."
Students can submit sug-
gestions to the commencement
planning committee via the
website until Friday. There will
also be another student forum on
Wednesday at 7 p.m. inthe Angell
Hall Auditorium B to discuss the
From Page 1A
precedent set by unequal treatment
in the past. He spoke before about
30 students in the Wedge Room of
West Quad and spoke in commemo-
ration of Black History Month.
According to figures presented
by Underwood, blacks are 30 per-
cent more likely to die of heart
attacks, 40 percent more likely to
die of strokes and twice as likely
as whites to die of breast cancer.
They trail whites in health cover-
age, vaccinations, prenatal care
and exercise rates. The 10 lead-
ing causes of death among blacks
include homicide and HIV, nei-
ther of which appear in the top 10
causes for whites.
But these differences aren't
caused by race and genetics alone,
He said physicians in predomi-
nantly black areas are less likely to
be certified, hinderingtheir ability
to provide high-quality care.
He presented a 2002 study
of that showed that race alone
couldn't explain the survival dis-
crepancies seen globally. Under-
wood said the inequalities are a
direct result of the history of slav-
ery in the United States.
"Based upon American history,
I'm not surprised by what we see,"
Underwood referred to a 1932
study of black syphilis victims who
were given toxic salves of mercury
and arsenic. And as recently as 1961,
black females were given hysterec-
tomies without consent, he said.
School of Nursing junior Bayy-
inah Muhammad, Alpha Kappa
Alpha's standards board co-chair,
said she's seen racial disparities in
care during her clinical practices
for nursing school. She said she
thought the information would
"help communities help them-
School of Nursing junior Schar-
nice Ward agreed.
"The U of M Health System
is not diverse," she said. "It's
expensive, and most minorities do
not have an opportunity to take
advantage of it."
- James Dalong Lu and David R.
Kinzer contributed to this report.
From Page 1A
Once completed, a weak sig-
nal of 84 kbps would be beamed
throughout the county and made
available free to the public. The
project is designed for exte-
rior use only, as the signal is not
meant to penetrate commercial or
For $35 a month, residents
could extend the service to their
homes or upgrade to a faster 500
Currently, only about 30 of
Washtenaw County's 720 square
miles are covered by the signal.
Included in the pilot program
are covers portions of the west
side of the Diag, State Street,
several blocks of downtown Ann
Arbor and a 28-square-mile sec-
tion of Manchester in southwest
of the county.
Several other counties, includ-
ing Oakland and Livingston coun-
ties, have similar programs in the
Last week, the city of Ypsilanti
launched its own free wireless
program with the help of a pri-
Andy Palms, the University's
director of Information Technol-
ogy Communications, said the
University has no plans to partner
with the project to increase wire-
less coverage on campus.
Palms said that because all
wireless signals share the same
broadcasting spectrum, occa-
sionally Washtenaw Wireless or
University transmitters interfere
with each other. For that reason,
Palms said, the University has
worked with Washtenaw Wire-
less to solve technical difficulties
between the University's wireless
networks and the program's net-
Palms said the University is
beginning its own discussions
about providing outdoor wireless
signal on campus. He said the deci-
sion of whether to implement such
a program would depend on stu-
dent demand for outdoor wireless.
Some schoolshave already added
outdoor access,like the Law School,
which added a wireless network to
cover the Law Quad, have already
added outdoor access.
Palms said students tend to
want more coverage in campus
buildings rather than outdoor
Ross School of Business junior
Maciej Kowalski agreed.
"It would be better to have
wireless in the dorms rather a
signal outside," he said.
Many students said outdoor
Internet access, either through
Washtenaw Wireless or the Uni-
versity would be more of conve-
nience than a necessity.
"It would be better to find a
hotspot for a stronger signal than
a weak one outside," said LSA
freshman Julie Bateman.
Still, LSA sophomore John
Witt said working outdoors
might be more trouble than it's
. "It wouldn't affect me much,"
he said. "Batteries don't last long
outside. There are no sockets out-
side to plug into."
Poll finds most Americans
think country is in recession
Economy grew by 2.2
percent in 2007
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sixty-
one percent of the public believes
the economy is now suffering
through its first recession since
2001, according to an Associated
The fallout from a depressed
housing market and a credit crunch
nearly caused the economy to stall
in the final three months of last
Some experts, like the majority
of people questioned in the poll,
say the economy actually may be
shrinking now. The worry is that
consumers and businesses will
hunker down further and pull back
spending, sending the economy
into a tailspin.
"Absolutely, we're in a reces-
sion," said Hilda Sanchez, 44, of
Squeezed by high energy and
food bills, "we can't afford the
things that we normally buy," she
said. "We are cuttingcorners in our
spending. For our groceries, we are
buying a lot of generic and we are
eating out less."
For many, the meltdown in the
housing and mortgage markets
has proved especially disturbing.
Record numbers of people were
forced from their homes, unable to
afford the monthly loan payments.
People watched their single big
gest asset fall in value, a reason to
tighten the belt.
"Obviously the housing market
is creating deep concern. And one
of the real problems could be that
if people, as a result of their value
of their homes going down, kind of
pull in their horns," President Bush
said in a television interview aired
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