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February 12, 2009 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-02-12

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, February 12, 2009 -- 3A

Lawmakers agree
on stimulus bill
Moving with lightning speed,
key lawmakers announced agree-
ment yesterday on a $789 bil-
lion economic stimulus measure
designed to create millions of jobs
in a nation reeling from recession.
President Barack Obama could sign
the bill within days.
"The middle ground we've
reached creates more jobs than
the original Senate bill and costs
less than the original House bill,"
said Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid, one of the participants in an
exhausting and frenzied round of
The bill includes help for vic-
tims of the recession in the form
of unemployment benefits, food
stamps, health coverage and more,
as well as billions for states that
face the prospect of making deep
cuts in their own programs.
It also preserves Obama's signa-
ture tax cut - a break for millions
of lower and middle income tax-
payers, including those who don't
earn enough to pay income taxes.
Peanut*Co. owner
refuses to testify
See the jar, the congressman
challenged Stewart Parnell, hold-
ing up a container of the peanut
seller's products and asking if he'd
dare eat them. Parnell pleaded the
The owner of the peanut com-
pany at the heart of the massive
salmonellarecall refused to answer
the lawmaker's questions - or any
others - yesterday about the bac-
teria-tainted products he defiantly
told employees to ship to some 50
manufacturers of cookies, crackers
and ice cream.
"Turn them loose," Parnell had
told his plant manager in an inter-
nal e-mail disclosed at the House
hearing. The e-mail referred to
products that once were deemed
contaminated but were cleared in a
second test last year.
poena, the owner of Peanut Corp.
of America repeatedly invoked his
right not to incriminate himself at
the House Energy and Commerce
subcommittee hearing on the sal-
monella outbreak that has sickened
some 600 people, may be linked to
nine deaths - the latest reported in
Ohio yesterday - and resulted in
one of the largest product recalls of
more than 1,900 items.
Two satellites
collide 500 miles
above Siberia
Two big communications sat-
ellites collided in the first-ever
crash of two intact spacecraft in
orbit, shooting out a pair of massive
debris clouds and posing a slight
risk to the international space sta-

NASA said it will take weeks to
determine the full magnitude of
the crash, which occurred nearly
500 miles over Siberia on Tuesday.
"We knew this was going to hap-
pen eventually," said Mark Matney,
an orbital debris scientist at John-
son Space Center in Houston.
NASA believes any risk to the
space station and its three astro-
nauts is low. It orbits about 270
miles below the collision course.
There also should be no danger to
the space shuttle set to launch with
' seven astronauts on Feb. 22, offi-
cials said, but that will be re-eval-
uated in the coming days.
Rescuers search
for more victims of
Oklahoma twisters
Rescuers sorted through bricks
and shattered plywood yester-
day in search of more victims
of a deadly tornado that blasted
through a small Oklahoma town
where many people in a trailer
park had nowhere to escape the
howling winds.
Some people were killed by fly-
ing debris. One man died when a
pickup truck fell on him. At least
eight bodies were recovered.
There were also miraculous tales
of survival: People taking shelter in
a closet pulled a woman to safety
after the tornado blew part of the
roof off and threatened to carry her
away. Another woman was found
injured but alive beneath an over-
turned mobile home.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Banks agree on greater accountability


ues to spiral downward in an ever-
worsening recession.
Taxpayers are furious with big
banks that benefited from the fed-
eral bailout designed to get credit
moving again, but which also spent
lavishly on executive bonuses,
company retreats and office redec-
Lawmakers also are feeling the
heat for signing off on the bailout
package plan, which was conceived
last year under President Bush and
now is in the hands of President
Barack Obama.
Across Capitol Hill, senators
pressed Treasury Secretary Tim-
othy Geithner on whether the
Obama administration will need
to request more money to fund
its financial industry rescue plan.
Obama's finance chief declined to
speculate and told the Senate Bud-
get Committee that more requests
are possible.
"So you have no clue," Sen. Lind-
sey Graham, R-S.C., told Geithner.
"Why not just ask for more? We
know you will."
A day after unveiling an effort
to pump up to $2 trillion into
the financial system, Geithner
defended the lack of detail in the
plan that caused fresh heartburn
on Wall Street and Capitol Hill.
He said the plan was presented
in mistakes of the past 12 months
where things *were rushed out
before they were ready, and strat-

egy had to be adapted because of
Over more than five hours in
the House, the CEOs were met
with deep skepticism from law-
makers who aggressively quizzed
them on how they have used
more than $160 billion in taxpay-
ers' money.
Rep. Barney Frank, chairman
of the panel, told the CEOs as the
hearing opened. "There has to be a
sense of the American people that
you understand their anger ... and
that you're willing to make some
sacrifices." Frank, D-Mass., also
asked banks to impose a moratori-
um on mortgage foreclosures until
Geithner comes up with a system-
wide mortgage modification.
The panel's top Republican,
Spencer Bachus of Alabama, said
the bankers and Congress must
sway people by "winning back
their trust and their confidence."
Repeatedly, lawmakers were
scornful and treated the financial
heavyweights almost like naughty
schoolchildren, ordering them to
raise their hands to indicate their
responses to blanket questions
about their own use of perks and
any policy changes made since
accepting the bailout money.
"You created the mess we're in,"
scolded Michael Capuano, D-Mass.
"And now you're saying 'Sorry.
Trust us.' ... America doesn't trust
you anymore."

P Morgan Chase & Co. CEO James Dimon, speaks to lawmakers at the conclusion of testimony before a House Financial Ser-
ces Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, yesterday.


Eight top bankers tae
appear before out.
financial committee hav
WASHINGTON (AP) - Facing offi
a disgusted- public and Congress, Mor
bank CEOs agreed with demands Fin:
for greater accountability yester- tee.
day in the first testimony on how A

y're spending money from the
payer-funded $700 billion bail-
Both our firm and our industry
e far to go to regain the trust
axpayers, investors and public
cials," John J. Mack, head of
rgan Stanley, told the House
ancial Institutions Commit-
dded JP Morgan Chase & Co.'s

Jamie Dimon: "We stand ready to
do our part going forward."
The eight top bankers appear-
ing before the panel were gener-
ally contrite and conceded they
have work to do to win over a bitter
public and an exasperated Con-
gress. They had little choice but
to acknowledge as much, given
intense anger and anxiety as the
troubled financial system contin-

Madoff's wife pulled out
$15 million before arrest

Bank withdrawals
included $10M the
day before her
husband's arrest
BOSTON (AP) - The wife of
disgraced money manager Ber-
nard Madoff withdrew more
than $15 million from a firm co-
owned by her husband - includ-
ing $10 million on the day their
children turned her husband
over to authorities for oversee-
ing an alleged $50 billion Ponzi
scheme, the top securities regu-
lator in Massachusetts said yes-
Secretary of State William
Galvin said Ruth Madoff, 67,
withdrew $5.5 million on Nov.
25 and $10 million on Dec. 10 -
the day before Bernard Madoff
was arrested - from Cohmad
Securities Corp., a New York
firm co-owned by her husband.
The secretary cited wire
transfer records produced by
Cohmad as proof of the with-
drawals. They came as Madoffs'
scheme was unraveling as inves-
tors filed $7 billion worth of
redemption requests.
They also appeared to fol-
low what authorities consider
a disturbing trend on the part
of the Madoffs to hide money
that could be used to reimburse
burned investors.
Prosecutors have already said
investigators found 100 signed
checks worth $173 million that
Madoff was ready to send out to

his closest family and friends at
the time of his arrest in Decem-
ber. Two weeks later, during the
Christmas holidays, Madoff sent
more than $1 million in jewelry
and heirlooms to family and'
"We're not accusing her
of anything wrong," Galvin
spokesman Brian McNiff said
of Ruth Madoff. "It's just one of
the things that came out in the
response, such as it was, from
Cohmad" to a subpoena from
Massachusetts officials. "Now,
what someone in New York or
the feds may think of it may be
entirely different."
A telephone number listed
to Ruth Madoff in Palm Beach,
Fla., rang busy and a number in
New York had been disconnect-
ed. A Cohmad spokeswoman in
New York said the company had
no comment. Ira Sorkin, a law-
yer for Bernard Madoff, said he
had no comment on the with-
In New York, meanwhile,
the government and lawyers
for Madoff agreed to a 30-day
delay in the Wednesday dead-
line for obtaining a grand jury
indictment against the money
The new deadline is March 13.
As he had during a similar
extension a month ago, Assis-
tant U.S. Attorney Marc Litt
wrote that the government
requested the extension "for
the purpose of allowing time to
conduct additional discussions
regarding a possible disposition
of this case."

Egyptian workers unveil
perfectly preserved mummy
Mummy sealed in
limestone sarcophagus
SAQQARA, Egypt (AP) - Illu-
minated only by torches and cam-
era lights, Egyptian laborers used
crowbars and picks yesterday to lift
the lid off a 2,600-year-old lime- - , ,
stone sarcophagus, exposing - for
the first time since it was sealed in
antiquity - a perfectly preserved
The mummy, wrapped in dark-
stained canvas, is part of Egypt's
latest archaeological discov-
ery of a burial chamber 36 feet x
(11 meters) below ground at the
ancient necropolis of Saqqara. The
find, made three weeks ago, was
publicly announced Monday and
shown to reporters for the first
time yesterday.
Egypt's archaeology chief Zahi
Hawass has dubbed it a "storeroona Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass (left) brushes away the sand to reveal a wood-
for mummies," because it houses en sarcophagus at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, yesterday.
eight wooden and limestone sar-
cophagi as well as at least two tional media yesterday into the the shaft, holding on to a rope-
dozen mummies. burial chamber, supervising as one pulled winch turned by workers
Hawass-led a group of interna person at a time was lowered into above ground.

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