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February 13, 2009 - Image 3

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Friday, February 13, 2009 - 3

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, February 13, 2009 - 3

NEWS BRIEFS
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.
Calvin College
ousts student over
Facebook posting
Calvin College has expelled a
student over a sexual comment
about a fellow student he says was
posted on his Facebook page with-
out his knowledge.
Calvin earlier put 19-year-old
sophomore Tony Harris of South-
field on six months' probation.
TheChristianReformedChurch-
affiliated school told Harris to have
no contact with the female student,
move out of the dormitory they
shared and post a retraction on
Facebook.
Vicky Harris tells The Grand
Rapids Press Calvin expelled her
son yesterday after he refused to
post an apology. Messages seek-
ing comment were left for Calvin
spokesman Phil de Haan after busi-
ness hours yesterday.
Harris says the November post-
ing appeared after he'd given
another person his password.
MOSCOW
Crash of U.S.,
Russian satellites a
threat in space
U.S. and Russian officials traded
shots yesterday over who was to
blame for a huge satellite collision
this week that spewed speeding
clouds of debris into space, threat-
ening other unmanned spacecraft
in nearby orbits.
The smashup 500 miles (800
kilometers) over Siberia on Tuesday
involvedaderelictRussianspacecraft
designed for military communica-
tions and a working satellite owned
by U.S.-based Iridium, which served
commercial customers as well as the
U.S. Department of Defense.
A prominent Russian space
expert suggested NASA fell down
onthe job by not warning of the col-
lision. But U.S. space experts said
the Russian has the wrong agency.
The U.S. military tracks the
18,000 objects in orbit, monitoring
onlycertain threats because it lacks
the resources to do everything, said
Maj. Regina Winchester, spokes-
woman for U.S. Strategic Com-
mand,whichoverseesthemilitary's
Space Surveillance Network.
YEA Australia
Police: Man
questioned about
Australia wildfires
A spokesman says police are
questioning a man in connection
with Australia's deadly wildfires.
Victoria state police spokesman
Chris Nash told The Associated
Press yesterday that a man was
assisting investigators with their
inquiries into the wildfires, but
declined to go into details.
Respected newspaper The Age
reported that the, 39-year-old sus-
pect was expected to be charged
with arson causing death.
The Age reported that the

suspect was from the town of
Churchill. Police say one of Aus-
tralia's wildfires that struck last -
weekend was deliberately set near
Churchhill and that it killed at least
21 people.
More than 180 people were
killed as wildfires swept across
southeastern Victoria state.
DALLAS
Texas officials
order Peanut Corp.
to recall products
Texas health officials ordered
the recall yesterday of peanut
products from a plant operated
by the company at the center of
a national salmonella outbreak,
days after tests indicated the likely
presence of the bacteria there.
Peanut Corp. of America was
ordered to recall all products ever
shipped from its plant in Plain-
view after the Texas Department
of. State Health Services said it
found dead rodents, rodent excre-
ment and bird feathers in a crawl
space above a production area on
Wednesday.
Health Department spokesman
Doug McBride said it was up to
Peanut Corp. to inform its clients
around the country of the recall.
It wasn't immediately clear if the
company was complying: Phone
messages seeking comment from
the company weren't returned,
and no information regarding the
Texas action was posted on the
company's site.
Compiled from
Daily wire reports

War crimes court overshadows Darfur talks

Up to 300,000
people have died in
the conflict
DOHA, Qatar (AP) - Darfur reb-
els and Sudan government officials
exchanged blame for undermining
three-day-old peace talks, which'
were overshadowed yesterday by
fighting over a Darfur town and the
prospect of an imminent interna-
tionalarrestwarrantagainstSudan's
president for alleged war crimes.
The talks hosted by Qatar are
the first such one-on-one meeting
between the Sudanese government
and Darfur's strongest group of
ethnic African rebels, the Justice
and Equality Movement. It 'was
also the first round of peace talks
between any rebels and the gov-
ernment since the last negotiations
foundered in 2007.
Other Darfur rebel groups are
not attending the talks, which
began Tuesday with the aim of
sealing a cease-fire and setting a
framework for negotiations on a
peace deal. Up to 300,000 people
have died and 2.7 million have been

forced from their homes in Dar-
fur's war, which began after rebel
groups complaining of discrimi-
nation and neglect took up arms
against the Arab-led government
in 2003.
But the talks were shaken yes-
terday by reports that the Hague-
based International Criminal
Court will soon issue a warrant
against President Omar al-Bashir,
whom court prosecutors accuse of
war crimes for allegedly master-
Aminding genocide against Darfur's
ethnic Africans. Al-Bashir denies
the charges
A U.S.officialin Washington said
Thursday that the ICC is expected
to issue a warrant this month. The
official spoke on condition of ano-
nymity because of the diplomatic
sensitivity of the situation.
The leader of JEM, Khalil Ibra-
him, who was attending the Qatar
talks this week, welcomed the
report and said his group is ready
to arrest al-Bashir if he doesn't
hand himself in.
"A decision (by the ICC to issue
a warrant) won't affect the Doha
negotiation track, instead it rein-
forces the need for negotiations,"

MANEESH BAKSHI/AP
Justice and Equality Movement, JEM, leader Dr. Khalil Ibrahim, center, and his brother Jibrilbrahim, left, are seen during the
Darfur Peace talks, in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Feb S2009.

Ibrahim said.
Some international workers in
Darfur fear a warrant could spark a
backlash by al-Bashir, leading him
to end the peace process. Khar-

Commerce secretary SOBER MONITOR
From page 1

nominee withdraws

Judd Gregg is the
third Obama
cabinet nominee
to withdraw
WASHINGTON (AP) - Say-
ing "I made a mistake," Repub-
lican Sen. Judd Gregg of New
Hampshire abruptly withdrew as
commerce secretary nominee on
yesterday and left the fledgling
White House suddenly coping
with Barack Obama's third Cabi-
net withdrawal.
Gregg cited "irresolvable con-
flicts" with Obama's policies,
specifically mentioning the $790
billion economic stimulus bill
and 2010 census in a statement
released without warning by his
Senate office.
Later, at a news conference
in the Capitol, he sounded more
contrite.
"The president asked me to do
it," he said of the job offer. "I said,
yes. That was my mistake."
Obama offered a somewhat
different account from Gregg.
"It comes as something of a
surprise, because the truth, you
know, Mr. Gregg approached us
with interest and seemed enthu-
siastic," Obama said in an inter-
view with the Springfield (Ill.)
Journal-Register.
Later, he told reporters travel-
ing with him on Air Force One that
he was glad Gregg "searched his
heart" and changed course now
before the Senate confirmed him
to the Cabinet post. He also said
Gregg's withdrawal won't deter
him from working with Republi-
cans and trying to change the par-
tisan ways of Washington.
"Clearly he was just having
second thoughts about leaving
the Senate, a place where he's
thrived," Obama added.

The unexpected withdraw-
al came just three weeks into
Obama's presidency and on the
heels of several other Cabinet
troubles. The new president is
in the midst of expending politi-
cal capital in Washington - and
around the country - for his
economic package and is seeking
to move forward with an ambi-
tious agenda in the midst of an
economic recession while the
country continues to face threats
abroad.
Now Obama also finds himself
needing to fill two vacancies - at
Commerce and at the Health and
Human Services Department.
Former Senate Democratic leader
Tom Daschle withdrew his nomi-
nation for that post amid a tax
controversy. Treasury Secretary
Tim, Geithner was confirmed
despite revelations that he had not
paid some of his taxes on time.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richard-
son was Obama's first choice as
commerce secretary. He withdrew
in early January following disclo-
sure that a grand jury is investi-
gating allegations of wrongdoing
in the awarding of contracts in
his state. Richardson has not been
implicated personally.
Gregg was one of three Repub-
licans Obama had put in his Cabi-
net to emphasize his campaign
pledge that he would be an agent
of bipartisan change.
White House Chief of Staff
Rahm Emanuel said Gregg told
the White House early this
week that he was having second
thoughts and met with Obama
about them during an Oval Office
meeting on Wednesday. Emanuel
said there were no hard feelings
and "it's better we figured this
out now than later."
"He went into this eyes open
and he realized over time it
wasn't going to be a good fit,"
Emanuel added.

with fraternities in an effort to
reduce risk and avoid social pro-
bation," Nunez said in an e-mail
interview. "This program was a
product of that philosophy."
In fall 2008, the program was
piloted with four training ses-
sions, which included two for the
IFC and Panhellenic Association
executive boards and two for the
pledge classes.
Parritz said it's important for
sober monitors to receive ade-
quate training because the Greek
community relies on them to
maintain a safe environment at
parties.
"My goal for this program is to
have every new member - that is,
the individuals generally respon-
sible for the operation and conduct
of our social events.- complete it
by February of 2010," Parritz said
in an e-mail interview. "Our com-
munity trusts these individuals
with the safety and conduct of
our social events; as such, they
should be trained by profession-
als, and never be placed in a situ-
ation where they are unsure what
to-do."
Desprez said there have been
three training sessions so far this
semester, with each session having
between 10 and 40 people in atten-
dance. There are planstohave eight
to 12 sessions conducted by the end
of the semester, she said.

toum worries that the prospect of
prosecution could harden rebels'
negotiating positions.
The head of the Sudanese gov-
ernment delegation in Qatar, Amin
The training program includes
conversations and demonstrations
on blood alcohol content, recogniz-
ing different levels of intoxication,
alcohol-related laws, risk manage-
ment issues, conflict management
skills, and emergency protocol,
Desprez said.
Parritz said that so far only
members of the IFC and Pan-
hel executive boards have gone
through the training. They plan
to have first-year members start
attending the sessions after spring
break. The training program is not
a series program, but rather some-
thing individuals would go to only
once, he said.
In the past, the program was
imposed as a sanction for chapters
that violated social responsibility
policy, said Parritz. But this semes-
ter, the program will no longer be
used as a requirement for those
chapters, but as a recommended
educational tool for all chapters.
Desprez said there will be other
educational programs designed for
chapters that have violated social
responsibility policy.
"Our hope is we can get as many
people trained and not have people
see it as some sort of punishment,"
Desprez said. "We would design
something different. When we
design an educational program
based on a sanction we would have
it tailored to that particular inci-
dent."
Parritz said the program is not
going to be mandated for all Greek
members so that it remains some-

Hassan Omar, railed against the
ICC, calling it a "European court
with a political character. It was
used openly for political pressure,"
Omar said.
thing that individual chapters can
voluntarily attend.
"To preserve the integrity and
genuine interest in the sober moni-
tor training program, we are leav-
ing the decision to the individual
chapters as to whether or not they
want their new members to par-
ticipate," Parritz said.
LSA freshman Michael Was-
serman, a member of Delta Tau
Delta, attended a training ses-
sion on Tuesday. He said 'he
thinks the program will be suc-
cessful in helping the Greek
community.
"I think it's going to be very
effective," Wasserman said. "It's
helpful to know what to do in bad
situations and how to assess if it's
something serious."
Nunez said the program was
designed specifically to meet the
needs of the University's Greek
community. He added that the pro-
gram was the first of its kind to be
developed at the University or any
other institution.
"It isn't a cookie-cutter pre-
sentation, or a paid speaker who
makes the same presentation
at universities across the coun-
try," Nunez said. "It is a program
developed by Michigan students
and staff, specifically to address
the needs. of the Michigan Greek
community."
Parritz said the program's goal
is ultimately one of long-term
value, in which all members of the
Greek community will be educated
in this area.

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