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December 05, 2008 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-12-05

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, December 5, 2008 - 3

NEWS BRIEFS
MUMBAI, India
India demands
strong action from
Pakistan
India demanded yesterday that
Pakistan take "strong action"
against those behind the deadly
Mumbai attacks, and Washington
pressured Islamabad to cooperate
with the investigation.
The only known surviving
attacker told police that his group
trained for months in camps oper-
ated by a banned Pakistani mili-
tant group, learning close-combat
techniques, explosives training
and other tactics for their three-
day siege.
Teams from the FBI and Brit-
ain's Scotland Yard met with top
Indian police as they prepared to
help collect evidence, a police offi-
cial said.
Soldiers removed the remain-
ing bodies from the shattered Taj
Mahal hotel, where the standoff
finally ended Saturday morning,
with at least 172 people dead and
239 wounded.
BAGHDAD
String of bombings
kills two American
soldiers in Iraq
Suicide bombers killed 17 people
- including two American soldiers
- and wounded more than 100 in
a string of blasts in two Iraqi cities
yesterday as a timetable for with-
drawing all, U.S. troops won final
government approval.
The brazen attacks in areas
where the U.S. military has strug-
gled for years to maintain order
raised questions about Iraq's abil-
ity to ensure its own security as the
U.S. scales down its own combat
role under the newly ratified U.S.-
Iraqi security pact, which calls for
an American withdrawal within
three years.
Iraq's three-member presiden-
tial council signed off on the pact
yesterday, removing the last legal
barrier so that the agreement can
take effect Jan. 1.
But the latest bombings under-
score the fragility of Iraq's recent
security gains, adding new urgen-
cy to U.S. efforts to train and equip
an Iraqi security force capable of
maintaining order after American
troops have gone home.
OTTAWA, Canada
Canadian prime
minister suspends
parliament to
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
suspended Parliament yesterday
to avoid almost certain defeat in a
confidence vote - an unprecedent-
ed move allowing him to retain
power and confront Canada's flag-
ging economy.
The Conservative leader won
the approval of the unelected rep-
resentative of the head of state for
the power to shut down Parlia-
ment until Jan. 26, hoping to buy
enough time to develop a stimulus

package.
"Today's decision will give
us an opportunity - I'm talking
about all the parties - to focus on
the economy and work together,"
Harper said.
Harper, whose party won re-
election just two months ago, said
a budget will be the first order
of business when Parliament
resumes.
WASHINGTON
Clinton rushes to
curb campaign debt
With just weeks before Presi-
dent-elect Barack Obama is sworn
in, his choice for secretary of state,
Hillary Rodham Clinton, is scram-
bling to reduce massive campaign
debt before federal ethics rules
prohibit her from doing so.
Clinton and her husband, for-
mer President Bill Clinton, will
headline a major debt retirement
event in New York Dec. 15 with
"Ugly Betty" star America Ferrera
as master of ceremonies. Tickets
range from $50 to $1,000, with
top donors earning a premium seat
and a backstage photo with the
. former first lady.
Clinton also plans to sell a chil-
dren's book, titled "Dreams Taking
Flight" by author Kathleen Krull,
about her pioneering candidacy.
Clinton's mother, Dorothy Rod-
ham, planned to send an e-mail to
supporters later this week asking
them to purchase the book to help
raise funds to pay down Clinton's
debt.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

State Senate pushes
Granholm for budget

Granholm expects
to propose cuts
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The
Michigan Legislature's top
Republican said Thursday his
chamber won't vote on other
issues until Democratic Gov. Jen-
nifer Granholm submits an exec-
utive order to start dealing with a
brewing state budget problem.
Senate Majority Leader Mike
Bishop, R-Rochester, said the
Senate would come in next
Wednesday to deal with Gra-
nholm's anticipated order, which
potentially would include spend-
ing cuts or savings to whittle into
a state budget deficit.
Granholm hasn't yet issued an
executive order, but has said she
expects to propose some cuts
before the end of the month. She
and other governors also are push-
ing for a federal stimulus package
that might help ease the financial
burden facing state budgets.
The Legislature's leading

Democrat, House Speaker Andy
Dillon of Wayne County's Red-
ford Township, called Bishop's
approach "myopic and danger-
ous." Dillon said the Senate was
stonewalling efforts to pass leg-
islation that could help Michigan.
No official estimate of the Michi-
gan state budget deficit for the cur-
rent fiscal has been made, but some
project it could be above $400 mil-
lion based on early returns fromthe
fiscal year that started in October.
"Thisloomingbudget crisiswill
be difficult to resolve, but it must
remain our top priority," Bishop
said in a statement. "Lame duck
session must be used wisely to
address this budget crisis and not
used to work on political issues,
which have little or no impact on
the future of our state."
Bishop said negotiations would
continue on key priorities, but
votes on non-budget issues would
be on hold until Granholm's exec-
utive order is before the Senate
Appropriations Committee for its
consideration.

An Indian soldier takes cover as the Taj Mahal hotel burns during gun battle between Indian military and militants inside the
hotel in Mumbai Saturday Nov. 29
Mnm ai attacks plotted
since 2007, oficials say

Indian operative
may have been used
by Pakistani group
NEW DELHI (AP) - A Paki-
stani militant group apparently
used an Indian operative as far
back as 2007 to scout targets for
the elaborate plot against India's
financial capital, authorities said
Thursday, a blow to Indian offi-
cials who have blamed the dead-
ly attacks entirely on Pakistani
extremists.
As investigators sought to
unravel the attack on Mumbai,
stepping up questioning of the
lone captured gunman, airports
across India were put on high
alert amid fresh warnings that
terrorists planned to hijack an
aircraft.
Also Thursday, police said
there were signs that some of
the six victims of the attack on a
Jewish center may have been tor-
tured. "The victims were stran-
gled," said Rakesh Maria, a senior
Mumbai police official. "There
were injuries noticed on the bod-
ies that were not from firing."
Members of an Israeli rescue
group which had ateam in Mum-
bai said it was impossible to tell if
the bodies had been abused, how-

ever, because no autopsies were
conducted in accordance with
Jewish tradition.
The surviving gunman, Ajmal
Amir Kasab, 21, told interro-
gators he had been sent by the
banned Pakistani militant group
Lashkar-e-Taiba and identified
two of the plot's masterminds,
according to two Indian govern-
ment officials familiar with the
inquiry.
Kasab told police that one of
them, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakh-
vi, Lashkar's operations chief,
recruited him for the attack, and
the assailants called another
senior leader, Yusuf Muzammil,
on a satellite phone after hijack-
ing an Indian vessel en route to
Mumbai.
The information sent investi-
gators back to another reputed
Lashkar operative, Faheem Ansa-
ri, who they hope could be key in
pulling together different strands
of the investigation.
Ansari, an Indian national,
was arrested in February in
north India carrying hand-drawn
sketches of hotels, the train ter-
minal and other sites that were
later attacked in Mumbai, said
Amitabh Yash, director of the
Special Task Force of the Uttar
Pradesh police.
During his interrogation,

Ansari also named Muzammil as
his handler in Pakistan, adding
that he trained in a Lashkar camp
in Muzaffarabad - the same area
where Kasab said he was trained,
a senior police officer involved in
the investigation said.
In Pakistan, Interior Ministry
chief Rehman Malik told report-
ers he had no information on
Lakhvi or Muzammil but that
authorities would check.
Ansari "told us about a
planned Lashkar attack on Bom-
bay, on southern Bombay," said
Yash, referring to Mumbai by
its previous name. "He gave us
eight or nine specific locations
where the attack would be car-
ried out," he said, adding that
Ansari had detailed sketches
of the places and escape routes
from the sites.
Ansari said he carried out
the reconnaissance in the fall of
2007, which also included the
U.S. consulate, the Bombay stock
exchange and other Mumbai sites
that were not attacked.
Ansari is now in Indian cus-
tody, according to Yash. It was
unclear ifhe was being questioned
again, but Maria said they were
working to determine if Ansari
played a role in how the attackers
"got such intricate knowledge of
the sites."

Democrats want a bolder,
more assertive Obama

Party calls for
greater role in
economic policy
WASHINGTON (AP) - Demo-
crats are growing impatient with
President-elect Barack Obama's
refusal to inject himself in the
major economic crises confronting
the country.
Obama has sidestepped some
policy questions by saying there
is only one president at a time. But
the dodge is wearing thin.
"He's going to have to be more
assertive than he's been," House
Financial Services Committee
Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass.,
told consumer advocates Thursday.
Frank, who has been dealing
with both the bailout of the finan-

cial industryandaproposed rescue
of Detroit automakers, said Obama
needs to play a more significant
role on economic issues.
"At a time of great crisis with
mortgage foreclosures and autos,
he says we only have one president
at a time," Frank said. "I'm afraid
that overstates the number of pres-
idents we have. He's got to remedy
that situation."
Obama has maintained one
of the most public images of any
president-elect. He has held half
a dozen press conferences, where
he has entertained question after
question about the economy, the
mortgage crisis, and the flailing
auto industry. He called for pas-
sage of extended unemployment
benefits - which has passed - and
even a stimulus package if possible
before Jan. 20.

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