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March 10, 2009 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-10

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 3

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 3

NEWS BRIEFS
WASHINGTON
Senators vote to
preserve personal
home-state projects
Members of both parties yester-
day voted to keep their cherished
home-state projects as the Senate
resumed debate on a spending bill
covering foreign aid and domestic
agency budgets.
By a 63-32 vote, lawmakers
rejected a bid by Sen. John McCain,
R-Ariz., to effectively strip about
8,000 of those earmarks from the
$410 billion measure.
"If the president really wants to
change Washington, as soon as this
bill reaches his desk, he should veto
it and send it back and say, 'Clean it
up,"' McCain said.
Instead, the White House says
President Barack Obama will sign
the measure, despite all the proj-
ects. During last year's campaign,
Obama he promised to cut the
number of earmarks way back and
institute other changes.
But lawmakers in both parties
defend the practice, and 10 Repub-
lican joined most Democrats to
defeat McCain's amendment.
"Yes, I fight for funds for my
state. That's what I came here to
do," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein,
D-Calif., a senior member of the
Senate Appropriations Commit-
tee, which doles out the earmarks.
"Candidly, why be an appropriator
if you can't help your state?"
WASHINGTON
Top Obama officials
meet to talk about
d.osing Guantanamo
TopofficialsoftheObamaadmin-
istration met privately yesterday to
discuss how to close the Guantana-
mo Bay detention facility.
Attorney General Eric Holder
hosted the first Cabinet-level meet-
ing of President Barack Obama's
Guantanamo task force. Partici-
pating in the meeting, among oth-
ers, were Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton, Defense Secre-
tary Robert Gates, CIA Director
Leon Panetta and FBI Director
Robert Mueller.
Obama has pledged to close the
facility for terror suspects within
a year, and officials must decide
which suspects to ship away to for-
eign countries and which to bring to
trial in U.S. courts, or tried and held
by the U.S. in some other fashion.
At Monday's high-level meeting,
the group discussed standards for
reviewing detainee cases, which
detainee decisions will get priority,
and what has been done to date.
WARREN, Mich.
Autos task force
tours Chrysler, tests
GM electric cars
Four members of President
Barack Obama's autos task force
spent much of their day yesterday
driving General Motors Corp. elec-
tric vehicles and touring a Chrysler
LLC pickup truck factory.

The members, led by Wall Street
financier Steven Rattner and Steel-
workers union official Ron Bloom,
traveled first to GM's tech center
in the Detroit suburb of Warren,
Mich., and then drove to Chrysler's
Warren Truck plant.
GM and Chrysler are living on
a total of $17.4 billion in govern-
ment loans, and the task force is
trying to determine if they will get
more money. The companies have
requested a total of $39 billion as
they try to survive the worst U.S.
auto sales downturn in 27 years.
Task force members first visited
the sprawling GM tech center, where
they were greeted by Chief Executive
Rick Wagoner and test-drove white
and silver Chevrolet Volt electric
cars, according to shots taken from
television news helicopters.
DETROIT
Detroit schools settle
with former chief
The Detroit Public Schools has
settled a lawsuit with a former
superintendent who claimed he
was wrongfully fired.
Emergency financial manager
Robert Bobb says in a release that
the district has settled with Wil-
liamColemanIII foranundisclosed
amount. Coleman was replaced in
2007 by former Superintendent
Connie Calloway, now on adminis-
trative leave.
Coleman alleged he was fired
after asking federal authorities to
investigate financial irregularities.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Ford workers
approve UAW
contract deals

Professor Stanley Wells, chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace trust and one of the world's leading experts on Shakespeare
studies, poses next to a newly-discovered portrait of William Shakespeare in central London yesterday.
Portrait of Shakespeare
unveilIed, but is it him?.

Painting is thought
to be the only one
created during his life
LONDON (AP) - The Bard, or
not the Bard? That is the question
posed by yesterday's unveiling of
a centuries-old portrait of a dark-
eyed, handsome man in Elizabe-
than finery.
Experts say it is the only portrait
of William Shakespeare painted
during his lifetime - in effect, the
sole source of our knowledge of
what the great man looked like.
But they can't be certain. In the
shiftingsandsofShakespeareschol-
arship, where even the authorship
of the plays is sometimes disputed,
nothing is written in stone.
"We're 90 percent sure that it's
Shakespeare," said Paul Edmond-
son, director of learning at the
Shakespeare Learning Trust,
which plans to exhibit the portrait
in Stratford-on-Avon. "You'll never
be entirely certain. There will
always be voices of dissent."
Incredibly, the portrait has been

in private hands for several centu-
ries but the owners - the Cobbe
family - had no idea the man in
the painting was responsible for so
many enduring masterpieces.
All that changed three years
ago, Edmondson said, when one
of the Cobbes (he won't say which
one) walked into the National
Portrait Gallery in London's
Trafalgar Square to see a travel-
ing exhibit called "Searching for
Shakespeare."
One of the first things he saw
was a famous portrait of the Bard
that usually hangs in the renowned
Folger Shakespeare Library in
Washington.
"Hisjawdropped,"saidEdmond-
son. "He realized he had one at
home. And the one he had at home
turned out to be the original."
Edmondson said the portrait
is far superior to the copies made
after Shakespeare's death, includ-
ing the famous 1623 engraving that
graces the cover of the First Folio
collection of Shakespeare's plays.
"This is Shakespeare alive, with
fresh blood pumping through his
veins, painted in his lifetime,"

Edmondson said with obvious
pride. "The copies look dead by
comparison."
He said scholars are convinced
it is Shakespeare because so many
copies of the painting were made,
including the one at the Folger, and
because the painting was handed
down through the generations
along with a portrait of the Earl of
Southampton, Shakespeare's main
patron.
The Cobbe collection curator,
Mark Broch, spent three years
researching the painting, and sev-
eral sophisticated tests, includ-
ing X-ray examinations, tree-ring
dating on the wooden frame, and
infrared imaging, were made to
determine its age.
At the Folger Library, art and
special collections curator Erin
Blake agreed that their Shake-
speare portrait is based on the one
unveiled Monday, which officials
have dubbed "the Cobbe portrait."
But she said it is impossible to
verify beyond all doubt that the
person in both portraits is Shake-
speare, although circumstantial
evidence suggests it is.

Contract changes
include freezing wages
and benefit cuts
DETROIT (AP) - Unionized
workers at Ford Motor Co. have
approved contract changes that
include freezing wages and cut-
ting benefits in a move aimed at
helping the automaker remain
competitive.
The United Auto Workers said
yesterday a majority of hourly
workers voted in favor of modifi-
cations to the 2007 contract with
Ford, eliminating cost-of-living
increases and cash bonuses.
The agreement is expected to be
a model for Chrysler LLC and Gen-
eral Motors Corp., which need to
bring their labor costs in line with
those of foreign auto companies'
plants in the U.S. as a condition for
the $17.4 billion they have received
in federal loans so far. Under terms
of their loan agreements, progress
must be made by March 31. The
companies are seeking an addition-
al $21.6 billion in government aid.
Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford,
which has not sought government
funding as its rivals have, is the
first U.S. automaker to come to an
agreement with the union. The
company said that it did not want
to be at a disadvantage should its
competitors negotiate lower labor
costs with the UAW.
The UAW pact also allows Ford
to use company stock to make pay-
ments to a union-run health care
trust, called voluntary employee
beneficiary associations,orVEBAs.
Ford can use stock to pay up to 50
percent of its payments, which
would pay retiree health care ben-
efits. Ford owes $6.3 billion to its
VEBA at the end of this year.
Chrysler, however, may not be
able to match Ford's guarantee of
issuing additional shares for the
trust if Ford's share price drops,

according to a person briefed
on Chrysler's negotiations. The
person asked not to be identified
because the talks are private.
Chrysler is a privately held
company and would have to grant
partial ownership to the union,
since there are no public shares of
the company. Chrysler must pay
around $9.9 billion to its trust at
the end of the year, while GM has
to pay about $20 billion.
The UAW said 59 percent of
Ford's production workers and
58 percent of skilled-trades work-
ers voted for the concessions. At
least two local unions rejected the
measures.
"By working together with our
UAW partners, we identified solu-
tions that will help Ford reach
competitive parity with foreign-
owned auto manufacturers and
that are important to our efforts
to operate through the current
economic environment with-
out accessing a bridge loan from
the U.S. government," said UAW
President Ron Gettelfinger in a
written statement.
Base wages for UAW workers
will remain the same, but the deal
limits supplemental pay that laid-
off workers receive whiletheycol-
lect unemployment benefits. The
ratified deal also ends the contro-
versial jobs bank program that let
workers collect most of their pay
from the company when laid-off.
"Now the pressure is on to get
a similar agreement at GM and
Chrysler. Time is running out,"
said Aaron Bragman, an auto ana-
lyst with the consulting company
IHS Global Insight in Troy, Mich.
"It's ironic that Ford was able to
accomplish it, being the one that
doesn't have an agreement with
the government."
Shares of Ford rose 4 cents, or
2.4 percent, to close at $1.74 in the
regular session. After hours, the
stock gained 6 cents, or 3.5 per-
cent, to $1.80.

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