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THE EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK with GABE NELSON
A look at the big news events this week and how important they really are. Conveniently rated from one to10.
rule 84: A slippery
sidewalk isn't reason
enough to shuffle to
class like an anxious
penguin. rule 85:
Napping on library
chairs and sofas is
all right unless you
snore, breathe heav-
ily or make sexual
noises in your sleep.
rule 86: It's fine
to talk trash about
that kid who makes
a point to disagree
with everything any-
one says in discus-
- E-wail rule subwissions to
CAN WE BUY THE CIGARS YET?
After almost fifty years as leader of Cuba, Fidel Castro
said yesterday that he plans to step down from his post
as president. The Cuban Parliament will gather this
weekend to pick a successor, with the favorite being his
8 brother Raul Castro. While the response in Cuba was
subdued, the news brought greatjoy to two groups:
Miami residents and CIA operatives, who've spent
decades trying to depose Castro. The assassination
attewpts wight have tailed, but their wait-until-the-
bastard-dies strategy seews close tu paying ot.
WIKI-WILD WILD WEB
On Friday, a federal judge ordered the shutdown of
Wikileaks.org, a website that encouraged users to
post documents showing corporate or government
wrongdoing. The judge made the decision after
someone posted a document showing that the Cayman
Islands-based Julius Baer Bank helps customers
evade taxes. Wait, really? The ultimate decision in the
case will be an important test of First Amendment
rights on the Internet, but I wish the leak in question
were a little juicier. The site might as well have
revealed the shocking fact that fat kids love cake.
IMITATING AN ICON... NUDE
Actress Lindsay Lohan posed nude for next week's
issue of New York wagavive, recreating Hollywood
starlet Marilyn Moroe's lastrphoto shoot before her
"1116 death in t962. Lohan, who has gone to rehab wultiple
times in the last year after arrests for drunken driving
and cocaine possession, seems a suitable surrogate for
Monroe, who - Oh, that's right. I don't care.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recalled 143
million pounds of beef Sunday after an undercover
tape from California's Westland/Hallmark meat
company surfaced showing cows being pushed by
forklifts or dragged by chains because they were
unable to walk. While safety concerns were minimal,
government officials decided the failure of the
ranchers to report the sick cowsniustified the recall.
Wait, the beef wasn't tainted? Something's not quite
right. Oh, it must be time for a barbecue at the USDA!
BALKANS FURTHER BALKANIZED
The disputed region of Kosovo declared
independence from Serbia on Sunday, making it
the seventh nation sliced jigsaw-style from the
boundaries of the former Yugoslavia. Kosovo
must now try to gain recognition from the United
Nations, which could be a little tricky. With all
these little Balkan nations going out and declaring
independence ill the time, the U.N needs to
make sure this isn't just a ploy for attention.
BY GARY GRACA I EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
Africa is this year's hot destination for diplomatic excursions. While President Bush is on the savanna this
week, University President Mary Sue Coleman will visit over Spring Break. Whose presidential tour wins?
SPRING BREAK 08: AFRICA
Mary Sue Coleman and a delegation of University
officials are headed to South Africa and Ghana
thin week to build ties with African universities
and weet with leading figures in African politics
and higher education. Coleman's trip will take a
fascinating turn in Ghana when she encountern a
group of children wearing hats and shirts that say
"Michigan Football: 2006 eose towl Chawpions."
MagazineEditor.- essica Vvngeciai
Edtor inChif:fAndrow Grossman
Manging Editor: GabeNelsn
Photo Edtor: Shay Scccvl
Junk Draweor:vria n ngel
Designer Alisn Saurn
Coer photo; Chanel Vi onHbsburg-
WRITE FOR THE STATEMENT
LENGTH OF TRIP: 6 days
COUNTRIES VISITED: Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Liberia
OBJECTIVE: Trumpeting his programs to reduce poverty, illiteracy
and disease. More importantly, Bush wants to show that while he may
have screwed up the Middle East, ignored the genocide in Darfur and
destroyed America's international prestige, a few African countries
still like him.
TRAVEL POSSE: First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice (until she got shipped off to Kenya on Monday to
play negotiator between that country's warring factions). Dick Cheney
had to stay home because his tendency to scare children would ruin
too many charter-school photo ops.
BEST GIFT GIVEN: $698 million in aid to fight poverty and disease in
WORST GIFT GIVEN: A pair of Shaquille O'Neal's size-23
shoes - an obvious afterthought that he probably picked
up at a sweatshop on his way from the airport.
BEST GIFT RECEIVED: An official George W. Bush Day
in Benin. It's a day when everyone wears cowboy boots,
tries not to listen to themselves when they talk, makes
gut decisions and liberates as many things as possible
- unless it is sexual liberation, and then there is only
abstinence. Fortunately for Americans, we've enjoyed
seven years of that kind of non-stop fun.
WORST GIFT RECEIVED: A stuffed leopard and lion
doll from Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete - an
obvious afterthought that he probably picked up at a
sweatshop on his way from the airport.
BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME: Bush doesn't go Dick Cheney
or Ernest Hemingway and shoot any people or
COUNTRIES TO VISIT: South Africa and Ghana
OBJECTIVE: Improving health care systems, championing the Inter-
net as a way to make heath resources more available, strengthening
study-abroad programs and learning a bit about how African
heritage is preserved.
TRAVEL POSSE: Gary Krenz, special counsel to the president, and 12
University professors and administrators.
BEST GIFT GIVEN: A wide variety of University paraphernalia, includ-
ing pens, desk clocks and books. It's just like picking up a bunch of
stuff from Steve and Barry's for your grandparents - people
love it. What member of African royalty wouldn't want a
"Michigan King" T-shirt?
WORST GIFT GIVEN: An honor-
ary Doctor of Laws degree for the
vice chancellor of the University
of Cape Town. The University of
Michigan seems to be giving
these honorary titles out to
people like candy - even Mos
Def is a visiting professor. Steve
and Barry's should look into
making "Michigan Doctor of
Laws" T-shirts. Now that's
something the vice chancel-
lor could actually use.
MOST LIKELY OUTCOME:
A "Discover Africa" theme
LENGTH OF TRIP: 14 days
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