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January 09, 2009 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-01-09

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, January 9, 2009 - 3

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, January 9, 2009 - 3

NEWS BRIEFS
WASHINGTON
Obama tax plan
finds opposition in
Senate
President-elect Barack Obama's
proposed tax cuts ran into opposi-
tion Thursday from senators in his
own party who said they wouldn't
do much to stimulate the economy
or create jobs.
Senators from both parties
agreed that Congress should do
something to stimulate the econ-
omy. But Democratic senators
emerging from a private meeting
of the Senate Finance Committee
criticized business and individ-
ual tax cuts in Obama's stimulus
plan.
They were especially critical
of a proposed $3,000 tax credit
for companies that hire or retrain
workers.
"If I'm a business person, it's
unlikely if you give me a several-
thousand-dollar credit that I'm
going to hire people if I can't sell
the products they're producing,"
said Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., a
member of the committee.
"That to me is just misdirected,"
Conrad said.
WASHINGTON
Cheney: No one
saw economic
crisis coming
Vice President Dick Cheney
said Thursday that he sees no rea-
son for President George W. Bush
to pre-emptively pardon anyone at
the CIA involved in harsh interro-
gations of suspected terrorists. "I
don't have any reason to believe
that anybody in the agency did
anything illegal," he said.
In an interview with The Asso-
ciated Press, Cheney also said that
Bush has no need to apologize for
not foreseeing the economic crisis.
"I don't think he needs to apol-
ogize. I think what he needed to
do is take bold, aggressive action
and he has," Cheney said.
"I don't think anybody saw it
coming," he said.
During a wide-ranging inter-
view lasting about 25 minutes,
Cheney also said Iran remains
at the top of the list of foreign
policy challenges that President-
elect Barack Obama will face.
He said an "irresponsible with-
drawal" from Iraq now would be
ill-advised.
CHICAGO
Blagojevich office
says impeach vote
was 'not a surprise'
Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich's office
has blasted the impeachment pro-
ceedings as "flawed" and "biased."
The Democratic governor's
office calls Thursday's unanimous
House impeachment panel vote
"not a surprise." It also predicts
he'll be impeached by the full
House, saying the outcome will be
different "when the case moves to
the Senate."

The House could vote on the
panel's recommendation .Fri-
day and then send it to the Sen-
ate, where a trial would be held
to decide if Blagojevich will be
removed from office.
r Blagojevich was arrested last
month on federal corruption
charges that included trying to sell
off President-elect Barack Obama's
vacant U.S. Senate seat.
OAKLAND, Calif.
Fatal Calif. train
station shooting
sparks anger
Protests over the fatal shooting
of an unarmed man by a Bay Area
Rapid Transit police officer turned
violent Wednesday night, with
windows broken, streets shut down
and train stations closed.
Hundreds of protesters took to
the streets of Oakland to condemn
the shooting and call for criminal
charges against 27-year-old officer
Johannes Mehserle.
Mehserle resigned from the
transit agency shortly before he
was supposed to be interviewed by
investigators Wednesday.
Mehserle is accused of shoot-
ing 22-year-old Oscar Grant of
Hayward, who was lying face-
down on the station platform
when he was shot and killed early
New Year's Day. Mehserle was
one of several officers responding
to reports about groups of men
fighting on a train.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

U.N. Security
Council calls for
Gaza cease-fire

JAMIE FRANCIS/AF
Tom Derking, a Tillamook, Ore. resident tosses a stick for a dog named Jake, Thursday in Tillamook, Ore. Derkint says this is
she third flsedIC keep him tram work inece Novemher
Northwest floodingY closes
roads, stalls co-mmerce

No serious injuries
after heavy rains,
avalanches
CENTRALIA, Wash. (AP) -
Floods, mudslides and avalanches
in the Pacific Northwest kept tens
of thousands of people from their
homes Thursday, brought freight
trains to a standstill and stranded
hundreds of trucks alongthe major
highways that link Seattle's busy
ports with markets around the
country.
The flooding - some of the
worst on record in Washington
state - was touched off by a com-
bination of heavy rain of 6 inches
or more and a warm spell in the
mid-40s that rapidly melted the
snow in the Cascade Range.
A 20-mile stretch of Interstate 5,
the state's major north-south free-
way, was shut down between Olym-
pia and the Oregon line, with one
section area under 3 feet of water.
Avalanches closed I-90, which cuts
east from Seattle through the Cas-
cades, along with the two other
routes through the mountains.
Amtrak service and most freight
trains were stopped as well.
Hundreds of truckers pulled
their rigs off onto the shoulders
or packed truck stops as the bad
weather bottled up nearly all

freight in and around Seattle, cost-
ing the economy untold millions of
dollars of day.
. "You can't go north, you can't
go east, you can't go south. What
are my options?" said Jon Amer-
man, a trucker from White Hall,
Mont., who had planned to head
east to Yakima to pick up apples
after delivering a load of goods to
Seattle. Instead, he pulled over to
the side, and figured his company
was losing more than $1,000 a day
every day that he was idle.
More than 30,000 people
in western Washington were
urged to evacuate their homes
on Wednesday in low-lying areas
from Bellingham near the Cana-
dian border to the Kelso area near
the Oregon line as rivers spilled
over their banks and flooded some
neighborhoods.
The stricken areas included such
far-flung Seattle bedroom com-
munities as Fife, Orting and Sno-
homish, but Seattle itself saw little
flooding.
Rescuers used boats to evacu-
ate scores of people from nursing
homes. Fire trucks rolled through
the streets, using loudspeakers to
warn people to leave.
No serious injuries were
reported.
"I think we're seeing an all-tim-
er, or as bad as anyone has seen,"
said Rob Harper, a spokesman for

the state Division of Emergency
Management. "We just haven't
seen this extent of flooding."
Many rivers were still rising
Thursday, though others began
dropping as the heavy rain sub-
sided and snowmelt lessened with
falling temperatures.
State officials said the danger of
avalanches would keep I-90 closed
at Snoqualmie Pass at least until
Friday, and I-5 would probably still
be flooded over the weekend.
Crews struggled to reopen high-
ways, especially those leading to
communities cut off by the flooding
and avalanches.
In Orting, a town near Mount
Rainier, Jamie Hicks used five
pumps to try to clear the 21/2 feet
of water from his house, about 50
yards from the swollen Puyallup
River.
"We're veterans at this," Hicks
said as his son rowed a boat in
front of the house. "You just pump
it out."
In Snohomish, about 30 miles
north of Seattle, a crowd watched
as Robert Bishop and his room-
mates were rescued by boat from
their two-story duplex. The home
close to the Pilchuck River was
nearly half underwater.
"I thought it was fine, but it went
higherthan Ithought," said Bishop,
48, who waited out previous floods.
"It was very scary."

U.S. abstains from
14-0 vote
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The
U.N. Security Council approved
a resolution Thursday night call-
ing for an immediate and durable
cease-fire between Hamas mili-
tants and Israeli forces in Gaza.
The U.S. abstained from the 14-0
vote.
Israel and Hamas were not par-
ties to the vote and it will now
be up to them to stop the fight,
ing. But the text of the resolution
was hammered out by the United
States, Israel's chief ally, and by
Arab nations that have ties to.
Hamas and the Palestinians inthe
Israeli-occupied territories.
"We are all very conscious that
peace is made on the ground while
resolutions are written in the Unit-
ed Nations," British Foreign Secre-
tary David Miliband said.
U.S. Secretary of State Condo-
leezza Rice said the United States
"fully supports" the resolution
but abstained because it "thought
it important to see the outcomes
of the Egyptian mediation" with
Israel and Hamas, aimed at
achieving a cease-fire.
The Egyptian and French ini-
tiative must be "not just applaud-
ed, but supported," she said.
In deciding that the U.S. should
not block the resolution, Rice said,
"the Security Council has pro-
vided a road map for a sustainable,
durable peace in Gaza."
The decision came on the 13th
day of an Israeli air and ground
offensive against the Islamic
group Hamas which rules Gaza
and has been launching rockets
and mortars into southern Israel
for years. It followed three days
of intense negotiations between
ministers from key Arab nations
and the council's veto-wielding
Western powers - the U.S., Brit-
ain and France.
With Palestinian civilian casu-
alties mounting, the Arabs were
under intense pressure to get a
resolution - and several diplo-
mats said they wanted it before
Friday prayers at mosques in the
region.

As of Thursday, about 750 Pal-
estinians, at least a quarter civil-
ians, had been killed along with 13
Israelis.
Theresolutionexpressed"grave
concern" at the escalatingviolence
and the deepening humanitarian
crisis in Gaza and emphasized the
need to open all border crossings
and achieve a lasting solution to
the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Arab nations called for the
emergency Security Council
meeting to get the council to call
for an immediate cease-fire.
They had been pressing their
own resolution, which not only
would have demanded an end to
all military activity in Gaza but
was revised to include mention
of Hamas by name and call for
an international force to prevent
arms smuggling - two key U.S.
demands.
But the changes in the Arab
text didn't meet all the demands
of the United States and its
key Western allies, Britain and
France, all veto-wielding mem-
bers of the council.
Those nations countered by
shelving a weaker "presidential
statement" they had proposed
Wednesday and introducing a rival
resolution written by the British.
The resolution "stresses the
urgency of and calls for an imme-
diate, durable and fully respect-
ed cease-fire, leading to the full
withdrawal of Israeli forces from
Gaza." While the "call" is tanta-
mount to a demand on the parties,
Israel's troops won't be required
to pull out until there is a "dura-
ble" cease-fire.
The resolution calls on U.N.
member states "to intensify
efforts to provide arrangements
and guarantees in Gaza in order
to sustain a durable cease-fire and
calm, including to prevent illicit
trafficking in arms and ammuni-
tion and to ensure the sustained
re-opening" of border crossings.
This is a weaker statement than
Israel sought, and the U.S. would
have liked. There is also no men-
tion in the resolution of an "inter-
national observer force" proposed
by the Arabs - and the word
"Hamas" was dropped during the
negotiations.

I I I

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