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October 17, 2008 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-10-17

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0 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, October 17, 2008-

GM to cut another
1,600 jobs at 3
local factories
"Another 1,600 workers at three
General Motors Corp. factories
willbe laid offindefinitelyoverthe
next few months as the company
tries to control its inventory amid
a worsening U.S. sales slump.
About 700 workers at GM's
pickup truck plant in Pontiac will
be furloughed starting Feb. 1,
while another 500 at the Detroit-
Hamtramck sedan factory will be
laid off starting Jan. 12, spokes-
man Chris Lee said yesterday. In
addition, 400 workers at a two-
seat sports car assembly plant in
Wilmington, Del., also will be out
of work starting Dec. 8.
Workers were notified of the
* company's actions Sept. 29, Lee
The Detroit-Hamtramck plant,
which makes the Buick Lucerne
and Cadillac DTS full-size sedans,
already is down to a single daily shift.
GM will reduce its assembly line
speed from 56 to 38 cars per hour to
achieve the layoffs, Lee said.
The Pontiac plant, which makes
the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC
Sierra pickups, also is operating on
one shift and will see its line speed
go from 55 trucks to 24 trucks per
In Wilmington, the plant that
makesthePontiac Solstice,SaturnSky
and Opel GT roadsters will go from
two shifts per daycto one, Lee said.
Report: Banks
borrowed record
totals from banks
Banks borrowed in record
amounts from the Federal Re-
serve's emergency lending facility
over the past week, while invest-
ment banks drew loans at a brisk
- though slightly lower - pace,
further evidence of the credit
stresses hobbling the country.
The Fed's report, released yes-
terday, showed commercial banks
averaged a record $99.7 billion
in daily borrowing over the past
week. That surpassed the old re-
cord - a daily average of $75 bil-
lion - from the prior week. On
Wednesday alone, $101.9 billion
was drawn, an all-time high.
For the week ending Wednes-
day investment firms drew $131.1
0 billion. That was down a bit from
$134 billion in the previous week.
This category was broadened last
week to include any loans that
were made to the U.S. and Lon-
don-based broker-dealer subsid-
iaries of Goldman Sachs, Morgan
Stanley and Merrill Lynch.
Report: FBI looking
into ACORN's voter
registration ties
The FBI is investigating wheth-
er the community activist group

ACORN helped foster voter reg-
istration fraud around the nation
before the presidential election,
a senior law enforcement official
confirmed yesterday.
A second senior law enforce-
ment official says the FBI was
looking at results of recent raids
on ACORN offices in several states
for any evidence of a coordinated
national scam.
Both officials spoke on condi-
tion of anonymity because Justice
Department regulations forbid
discussing ongoing investigations
particularly so close to an election.
ACORN, the Association of Com-
munity Organizations for Reform
young people, minorities and poor
and working-class voters - most of
whom tend tobe Democrats.
Republican accusations about
the group were raised during
Wednesday's presidential debate
between Democrat Barack Obama
and GOP candidate John McCain.
Some ACORN employees have
been accused of submitting false
voter registration forms - includ-
ing some signed 'Mickey Mouse'
or other fictitious characters.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
Number of American service
members who have died in the
war in Iraq, according to The
Associated Press. There were no
deaths identified yesterday.

Obama continues his
push into once-red states

Suspected U.S. missile
strike kills 6 in Pakistan

Democratic getting spanked," he said. Obama
won the Iowa caucuses, only to
nominee warns lose the New Hampshire primary
, to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clin-
not to get cocky ton. "We want to make sure that
we are closing strong, running
WASHINGTON (AP) - Dem- through the tape."
ocrat Barack Obama extended An energized McCain told vot-
his front-running campaign into ers, "Choose well. There's much at
West Virginia, a bastion of white, stake," as he campaigned in Penn-
middle-class voters who rejected sylvania, one of a dwindling num-
his primary season appeals, and ber of Democratic-leaning states
confidently broached the subject the Arizona senator still hopes to
of victory ina presidential contest put in the GOP column.
playing out on Republican turf. Hitting his likely theme for the
GOP rival John McCain found finalweeks, McCain said the Dem-
himself looking for a break as he ocrat wants to "spread the wealth
was largely forced to defend his around" but that "people are not
standing in states President Bush going to let Sen. Obama raise their
won four years ago. taxes in a tough economy." And, he
"We are now 19 days not from tried anew to make the first-term
the end but from the beginning," Illinois senator's resume a liabili-
Obama told the crowd at a New ty: "The next president won't have
York fundraiser a day after the time to get used to the office. He
final presidential debate. He won't have the luxury of studying
noted the "extraordinary" work up on the issues before he acts."
ahead for the next president. With their face-to-face debates
Still, he warned against get- over, both candidates are courting
ting "giddy or cocky," reminding an estimated third of voters who
supporters with two words: "New are undecided or could still change
Hampshire." their minds. Obama is looking to
"You know, I've been in these solidify his advantage in polling in
positions before where we were key battlegrounds as the political
favored and the press starts get- environment and economic crisis
ting carried away and we end up favors Democrats.

McCain is trying to change the
dynamics, but even Republicans
acknowledge it's largely out of
McCain's hands.
"It appears Obama is trying
to build a mandate," said Steve
Lombardo, a Republican pollster
in Washington. "Can McCain
do anything to turn it around?
"We're going to need some kind
of outside game-changing event
to really make a difference," said
Saul Anuzis, the GOP chairman
in Michigan.
Nevertheless, McCain is trying
to gain ground with automated
phone calls in at least two states,
Nevada and Wisconsin. The mes-
sage: "Barack Obama has worked
closely with domestic terrorist
Bill Ayers, whose organization
bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pen-
tagon, a judge's home and killed
In 1969, Ayers co-founded the
Weather Underground, an anti-
Vietnam war group that claimed
responsibility for bombing gov-
ernment buildings. More than 25
years later, Ayers, by then a col-
lege professor living in Obama's
Chicago neighborhood, hosted a
meet-the-candidate session at his
home for Obama.

At least two
extremists believed
to be Arab killed in
strike, source says
The Washington Post
KABUL, Afghanistan - A sus-
pected U.S. missile strike near the
headquarters of a top Taliban lead-
er in Pakistan's tribal areas yester-
day killed six people and injured
five others, according to Pakistani
intelligence officials and residents.
The attack occurred late yester-
day morning, said Ikramullah Meh-
sud, a resident, when an unmanned
U.S. Predator drone fired several
missiles on two homes in the town
of Ladha in the tribal area of South
A Pakistani intelligence official
who spoke on condition of anonym-
ity said the bombardment killed at
least two extremist commanders
who are believed to be of Arab ori-
gin. "The others killed were most
likely local militants, but we don't
have any information about the
owners of the two houses that were
bombed," the intelligence official
In the wake of faltering Paki-
stani efforts to control the flow of
insurgents across the border into
Afghanistan, U.S. missile attacks
on Islamist insurgents sheltering
in the rugged mountainous tribal
areas of Pakistan have become
more frequent this year. There have
been 12 such attacks on Pakistan's
tribal areas since August. Most
of the recent missile strikes have
occurred in the tribal areas of South
and North Waziristan, which are
believed to be the main operational
bases-fortop al-Qaeda leaders.
But Thursday's attack in South
Waziristan was notable because it
marked the first aerial assault in
more than a year on a well-known
redoubt of Pakistani Taliban leader
Baitullah Mehsud, according to
another Pakistani intelligence offi-
cial. The official said there was no

indication that Mehsud was nearby
when the attack occurred, but resi-
dents told authorities that several
Arab men believed tobe allied with
the Taliban had been seen in the
area of the attack recently.
U.S. intelligence officials have
named Mehsud as the mastermind
behind the Dec. 27 suicide bomb
attack that killed former Pakistani
prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
Mehsud has denied responsibility
for her death. With an estimated
25,000 Islamist insurgents united
under his command, Mehsud is,
nonetheless, considered by many
military and intelligence experts to
be one of Pakistan's most powerful
Taliban commanders.
Concerns about the spread of the
Taliban insurgency inside Pakistan
reached new heights last month
after a spectacular suicide bomb
attack on a Marriott Hotel in Islam-
abad killed more than 50 people
and injured about 250. Rising secu-
rity concerns have been a topic of
debate among Pakistani lawmakers
who met this week in a closed-door
session to discuss a recent military
briefing about insurgent activity in
the country.
In recent months, Pakistan has
evolved into the new frontline in
the U.S.-led war on Islamist insur-
gents in the region. On Wednesday,
top U.S., Pakistani and Afghan
military officials met in Islamabad
to discuss cooperative efforts to
combat insurgents on both sides
of the 1,500 mile border between
Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It was the second time in recent
months that the top NATO com-
mander, Gen. David D. McKier-
nan, has met in Islamabad with the
Pakistani army chief, Gen. Ashfaq
Kayani, and the Afghan army chief,
Gen. Bismullah Khan.
McKiernan, in a written state-
ment released Thursday, said
Pakistan, Afghanistan and NATO
must work together to close gaps
in military efforts to crush the
insurgency. "We most close those
seams and work together to give
the insurgents no place to hide,"
McKiernan said.
Hussain reported from Islam-
abad, Pakistan.

In another wild day, Dow ends up 401

Nothing surprising
investors in one of
the most volatile
markets in history
NEW YORK (AP) - A stock
market as difficult to fathom as it
is volatile pulled off another stun-
ning U-turn yesterday,.transform-
ing a 380-point loss for the Dow
Jones industrials into a 401-point
Was it the government's bailout
beginning to have an effect? The
credit markets finally beginning
to loosen up? Investors looking for
a bottom in stocks?
Wall Street seemed sure of this

much: The whipsawing will con-
tinue. So buckle up.
"You're notgoingtosee50-point
ranges, you're going to see two-
three-four hundred point ranges,"
said Woody Dorsey, president of
Market Semiotics, a financial fore-
casting firm in Castleton, Vt.
At any other time in the history
of the stock markets, a day like yes-
terday would be enough to draw a
double take. But in these extraor-
dinary times, it was the second-
calmest day of the week.
The Dow set a record on Mon-
day with a 936-point gain. After
a 77-point loss on Tuesday, a rela-
tive breather, sellers stampeded
on Wednesday and drove the Dow
back down 733.
On Thursday, heavy selling in

the morning took the Dow close
to 8,200, butstocks rallied into the
lunch hour and picked up steam
in the afternoon. The average fin-
ished at 8,979.26.
The gain of 401 points marked
the 21st trading session out of the
past 24 in which the Dow has
finished with a triple-digit gain
or loss, an unprecedented run of
Thanks to a massive cash infu-
sion by European central banks
and the U.S. Treasury, interest
rates on overnight, one-week and
two-week debt began to shrink,
and lending loosened up just a bit.
"It's a start, but we've still got a
long way to go," said Kim Rupert,
fixed income analyst at research
firm Action Economics LLC.

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