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October 10, 2008 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily- michigandaily.com

N ew s Friday, October 10, 2008 -'3A

* The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom XVS Friday, October10, 2008 - 3A

NEWS BRIEFS
AUSTIN, Texas
More than 76,000
damage claims
filed after Ike
More than 76,000 damage
claims from Hurricane Ike have
been filed with the Texas-backed
windstorm insurance association,
which expects to pay billions of
dollars to policy holders for loss-
es.
Texas Windstorm Insurance
Association general manager Jim
Oliver cautioned Wednesday that
the final figure will depend on
whether claims are determined to
be wind or flood damage.
The association says it will pay
for wind damage, but not storm
surge damage, which it considers
to be flooding. "We are going to
look at every single claim individ-
ually," Oliver said. "That is going
to make the process slow."
DERA ISMAlL KHAN, Pakistan
Suspected U.S.
missile strike in
Pakistan kills 9
A suspected U.S. missile strike
targeted two areas in a Pakistani
tribal region near the Afghanistan
border yesterday, killing at least
nine people, Pakistani intelligence
officials said.
Also yesterday, bombings tar-
geting police killed 10 people and
wounded 14 in Pakistan's volatile
northwest and the capital - re-
minders of the challenge facing
the country as its lawmakers pur-
sue a national anti-terror consen-
sus.
The alleged missile strikes ap-
peared to be part of a surge in
U.S. cross border assaults from
Afghanistan on alleged militant
targets in Pakistan, which have
strained ties between the two an-
ti-terror allies.
NEW YORK
GM shares sink
more than 30
percent in sell-off
General Motors shares have
fallen' more than 30 percent after
Standard & Poor's Ratings Servic-
es said it's placing the automaker's
credit ratings under review for
possible downgrade.
S&P said yesterday that the
move reflects the weakening auto-
motive markets across the world
and expectations that tight credit
markets will make things tough
for the near futyre.
GM shares fell $2.26, or 33 per-
cent, to $4.65, helping drag the
Dow Jones industrial average
down by more than 600 points.
That's the lowest price for GM
shares since March 1950.
The ratings under review
include GM's "B-" long-term cor-
porate credit rating and its finance
arm's "B-"long-term counterparty
credit rating.
NEW DELHI

Dalai Lama back
in hospital after
cleared for travel
The Dalai Lama was hospital-
ized in New Delhi, his spokes-
man said yesterday, just days after
a medical checkup cleared the
Tibetan spiritual leader to resume
foreign travel.
S Tenzin Taklha told The Asso-
ciated Press that the Dalai Lama
was admitted to a New Delhi hos-
pital for "further consultations
with doctors."
Taklha declined to say when he
was hospitalized or provide any
details on his condition. He said
he expected more information to
be released later in the day.
In August, the 73-year-old Dalai
Lama was admitted to a Mumbai
hospital and underwent tests for
abdominal discomfort. Doctors
advised him to cancel a planned
trip to Europe and rest, saying he
was suffering from exhaustion.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
f b
4,180
Number of American service
members who have died in the
war in Iraq, according to The
Associated Press. There were no
deaths identified yesterday.

College Dems, GOP face off
on multicultural issues

Dow plummets more
than 675 points

Campus politicos
stand in for their
candidates
By THOMAS CHAN
Daily StaffReporter
College Democrats and College
Republicans squared off last night
in a discussion oftheir presidential
candidates' stances. The debate
focused on issues of concern to
campus multicultural groups.
The event at the Ford School
was structured as a three-on-
three, town-hall style debate.
Most of the questions were sub-
mitted in advance of the debate
by campus multicultural orga-
nizations like the Black Student
Union, Alpha Kappa Alpha, the
Indian American Student Associ-
ation and Relate, a mulitcultural
LGBT group. The question topics
included workplace wage equal-
ity, nuclear technology trading
with India and college afford-
ability.
In most of their responses, the
College Democrats and Republi-
cans gave their presidential candi-
date's positions.
The purpose of the debate,
according to Nathaniel Eli Coats
Styer, chair of the College Demo-
crats, was "to engage a broader
campus that we normally don't
get to reach," Styer said. "This is
a way to engage and allow them to
ask questions."
The audience, which filled the

200-seat Anneberg Auditorium, for his ties to lobbyists for Indian
was noticeably polarized between casinos. McCain has served as
Democratic and Republican sup- the chairman of the Senate Indi-
porters, with the Republicans in an Affairs Committee and helped
the minority. Applause for the craft legislation that has allowed
Democrats' responses were also dozens of tribes to open lucrative
considerably louder. casinos.
LSA junior Ashley Schneider, The moderator, John Matlock,
secretary of the College Republi- director of the University's Office
cans, acknowledged the difficulty of Academic Multicultural Initia-
Republicans have in attracting tives, also posed a few questions
minority voters, but addtd that "A of his own.
lot of minority groups are actually "If you were advising your
socially conservative." respective candidate, what would
College Republicans Chair you say aboutsomethingyou don't
Brady Smith said he was pleased like or that the candidate should
by the diverse turnout at last change?" asked Matlock.
night's event. For the Democrats, all three
"When you look at the folks stand-ins wanted Senator Obama
you have out here, great cross- to fully support gay marriage.
section of the United States who "We're to the left of Senator
have the same concerns as the Obama on this," Public Policy
bulk of the population," he said. junior Sonya Suter said.
"We're looking forward to reach- For the College Republicans,
ing out and really demonstrat- Lefebvre said she was dissatisfied
ing what the Republican Party is with both candidates' positions
about this evening and what we on health care coverage.
can do for them." - "I think that the cost is impor-
Though most questions were tant along with covering as many
submitted in advance, a few ques- people as possible, but I think
tions were posed on the spot. that both candidates miss the
One member of a Native Ameri- issue, including John McCain,"
can cultural group asked, "I just she said.
wanted to know your stance on Kortni Malone, LSA sopho-
Native-run casinos." more and member of Black Stu-
Lauren Lefebvre of the College dent Union, said she attended the
Republicans responded, "John debate to the Republican posi-
McCain supports," before paus- tions on the issues.
ing and drawing laughter from "Myself, I'm a Democrat, and I
the crowd. "I'm not sure how to find that you can't just always be
address exactly what you said in biased in your thinking," Malone
that." ,said. "Things need to be biparti-
McCain has been criticized san oftentimes."

With GM's credit
rating in jeopardy,
market takes a hit
NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks
plunged in the final hour of trad-
ing yesterday, sending the Dow
Jones industrial average down
more than 675 points, or more
than 7 percent, to its lowest level
in five years after a major credit
ratings agency said it was consid-
ering cutting its rating on General
Motors Corp.
The Standard & Poor's 500
index also fell more than 7 per-
cent.
The declines came on the anni-
versary of the closing highs of the
bow and the S&P. The Dow has
lost 5,585 points, or 39 percent,
since closing at 14,198 a year ago.
The S&P 500, meanwhile, is off
655 points, or 42 percent, since
recording its high of 1,565.15.
Yesterday's sell-off came as
Standard & Poor's Ratings Ser-
vices put GM and its finance affil-
iate GMAC LLC under review to
see if its rating should be cut. GM
has been struggling with weak
car sales in North America.
The action means there is a
50 percent chance that S&P will
lower GM's and GMAC's ratings
in the next three months.
S&P also put Ford Motor Co.
on credit watch negative. The
ratings agency said that GM and
Ford have adequate liquidity now,
but that could change in 2009.
GM led the Dow lower, fall-
ing $2.15, or 31 percent, to $4.76,
while Ford fell 55 cents, or22 per-
cent, to $2.05.
"The story is getting to be like
that movie Groundhog Day," said
Arthur Hogan, chief market ana-
lyst at Jefferies & Co. He pointed
to the still-frozen credit markets,
and Libor, the bank-to-bank lend-

ing rate that remains stubbornly
high despite the Fed's recent rate
cut.
"Until that starts coming down,
you'll be hard-pressed to find any-
one getting excited about stocks,"
Hogan said. "Everything we're
seeing his historic. The problem
is historic, the solutions are his-
toric, and unfortunately, the sell-
off is historic. It's not the kind of
history you want to be making."
According to preliminary calcu-
lations, the Dow fell 678.91, or 7.3
percent, to 8,579.19. The blue chips
hadn'tclosedbelow the 9,000 level
since the June 30,2003.
Broader stock indicators also
tumbled. The Standard & Poor's
500 index fell 75.02, or 7.6 per-
cent, to 909.92, while the Nasdaq
composite index fell 95.21, or 5.47
percent, to 1,645.12.
The Russell 2000 index of
smaller companies fell 47.37, or
8.67 percent, to 499.20.
A wave of fear about the econ-
omy sent stocks lower late in the
final two hours of trading after
a volatile start to a day in which
major indicators like the Dow and
the S&P 500 index bobbed up and
down. The Nasdaq, with a bevy
of tech stocks, spent much of the
session higher but eventually as
the sell-off intensified. Still, its
losses were less severe because
of the relatively modest drops in
names like Intel Corp. and Micro-
soft Corp.
On the New York Stock
Exchange, declining issues came
to nearly 3,000, while fewer than
250 advanced.
The sluggishness in the credit
marketsthat triggered much
of the heavy selling in markets
around the world since mid-Sep-
tember appeared little changed
Thursday following days of
efforts by the Federal Reserve
and other central banks to resus-
citate lending.

Shiite politician killed in Baghdad

While in convoy,
notable lawmaker
struck by bomb
BAGHDAD (AP) - A roadside
bomb killed a prominent mem-
ber of Muqtada al-Sadr's politi-
cal movement yesterday, raising
fears of new internal Shiite blood-
shed ahead of regional elections
expected in January.
The victims' allies blamed Unit-
ed States and Iraqi forces for the
blast. Suspicion also fell on Shiite
splinter groups - some with sus-
pected links to Iran, which has
sheltered al-Sadr for nearly 18
months.
Saleh al-Auqaeili, considered a
moderate within al-Sadr's move-
ment, was traveling in a convoy
with other Shiite lawmakers when
the bombing occurred about 200
yards from an Iraqi army check-
point in mostly Shiite eastern
Baghdad, a colleague said.
Al-Auqaeili died at a hospital,
Sadrist spokesman Ahmed al-
Massoudi said. One commuter on
a motorcycle was also killed in
the blast, police said.
Al-Sadr's followers have long
opposed the U.S. military pres-
ence in Iraq, and some of them
were quick to blame the Ameri-
cans and their Iraqi allies, citing
the movement's opposition to a
U.S.-Iraqi security agreement
that has been under negotiation
for months.
"The occupation forcessentus
a message by staging this attack
because ofour stance against the
agreement," said al-Massoudi,
the Sadristspokesman.
Later, however, the Sadrist
political department called the
killing a "terrorist act of crimi-
nal gangs," a phrase often used
to describe renegade Shiite
militants that the U.S. believes
are trained and armed by Iran.
Tehran denies links to Iraqi
Shiite militants.
Maj. Mark Cheadle, a spokes-
man for the U.S. military's
Baghdad command, said the
attack appeared to have been
carried out by "unaligned" Shi-
ite groups.
The two top American offi-
cials in Iraq condemned the
"heinous crime" as "an attack
against Iraq's democratic insti-
tutions."
"Significantprogresshasbeen
made in the effort to bring peace
and stability to Iraq. We are con-
fident the Iraqi people will stand
together to ensure terroristsawill
not succeed," Ambassador Ryan
Crocker and Gen. Ray Odierno,
commander of U.S. forces here,
said in a jointstatement.
Police detained 14 people for
questioning, including 12 mem-
bers of a government-run secu-
rity force-that protects a power
station near the blast site.
The attack reflects tension
within the Shiite community
following the splintering of
al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia,
which fought U.S. and Iraqi
troops for weeks in Baghdad's
Sadr City district until a cease-

fire last May.
Shiite politicians negotiated the
truce that enabled the Iraqi army
to take control of the sprawling
Sadr City slum, which had been al-
Sadr's stronghold in the capital for
years.
But some militia fighters were
angered at what they considered a
"sell-out" by Shiite politicians and
refused to heed al-Sadr's orders
transforming the Mahdi militia
into an unarmed social movement.
U.S. and Iraqi officials also fear
a rise in violence ahead of pro-
vincial elections due by Jan. 31.
Much of the concern has focused
on regional contests in the heav-
ily Shiite south, where parties in
the government of Prime Minis-
ter Nouri al-Maliki face a strong
challenge by al-Sadr's followers
in a region that includes vast oil
wealth and prestigious religious
shrines.
The U.S. commander in charge
of southern Iraq warned Thursday
that he expects "nefarious" Irani-
an meddling in the provincial bal-
loting - including bombings and
"assassinating prominent candi-

dates" as the elections approach.
His comments were not linked to
the al-Auqaeili killing.
"There's no doubt that Iran
influences Iraq," Maj. Gen.
Michael Oates told reporters.
"The risk would come if they seek
to influence the election using
some nefarious operations or sur-
rogates or they raise the level of
violence in the country."
Several followers of al-Sadr
have been targeted in past attacks,
but Thursday's bombing was
notable because it occurred in an
area that is considered relatively
secure andwithin view ofan Iraqi
army checkpoint.
Falah Hassan Shanshal, who
was traveling in a different car in
the same convoy, said the group
became suspicious when discov-
ering there were no traffic jams in
the usually crowded area. He said
the "operation was a pre-planned
one" and that the explosion was
remote-controlled.
"We hold the security forces
responsible for this attack. They
should be responsible, for the
security of the city," he said.

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