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March 24, 2009 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-24

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1 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 3

NEWS BRIEFS Suicide bomber
LANSING Cdeb b r
5 5percentpaycut kills 23 in blast
for state emnlovees

proposed yesterday in Irag i

Republicans in the Michigan
House yesterday called for a 5
percent pay cut for state employ-
ees and a 5 percent cut to state
departments to help address a
growing deficit in this year's
budget.
GOP leaders said state gov-
ernment is spending $5 million
more each business day than
is being collected in tax rev-
enue. A plan proposed yesterday
would cut salaries 5 percent for
52,000 state workers, make state
employees and retirees pay high-
er health care premiums, and
reduce spending by 5 percent
across the board in state depart-
ments.
"It is time to bring state gov-
ernmentin line withthe econom-
ic realities of the private sector,"
said House Minority Leader
Kevin Elsenheimer, R-Kewadin.
WASHINGTON
Investigation opens
more possibilities
for plane crash
Speculation over the crash of
a single-engine turboprop plane
into a cemetery shifted to ice
on the wings yesterday after it
became less likely that overload-
ing was to blame, given that half
of the 14 people on board were
small children.
While descending Sunday in
preparation for landing at the
Bert Mooney Airport in Butte,
Mont., the plane passed through
a layer of air at about 1,500 feet
that was conducive to icing
because the temperatures were
below freezing and the air "had
100 percent relative humidity
or was saturated," according to
AccuWeather.com, a forecasting
service in State College, Pa.
Safety experts said similar
icing condition existed when a
Continental Airlines twin-engine
turboprop crashed into a home
nearBuffaloNiagaraInternation-
al Airport last month, killing 50,
HARTFORD, Conn.
Legislators consider
apology for slavery
Connecticut legislators are
considering making their state
the first in New England to apol-
ogize for slavery and other racist
policies of old.
A legislative committee heard
* testimony yesterday on a resolu-
tion that would issue a formal,
general apology and express the
General Assembly's "profound
contrition" for the official acts
that sanctioned and perpetuated
slavery hundreds of years ago.
The state's African-American
Affairs Commission, a liaison
between black communities and
the government, is urging leg-
islators to pass the resolution,
which ithas called "an exercise in
reconciliation" and not an effort
to determine fault for slavery.

Concerns raised over
possible resurgence
of violence in Iraq
BAGHDAD (AP) - A suicide
bomber struck a tentfilled yester-
day with Kurdish funeral mourn-
ers, unleashing a huge fireball
that killed at least 23 people in a
northern town where Kurds and
Arabs are competing for power.
Also yesterday, Turkey's visiting
president pressed the Iraqi gov-
ernment to crack down on Kurd-
ish rebels who stage cross-border
raids into Turkish territory from
sanctuaries in northern Iraq.
The provincial security office
said 23 people were killed and 34
wounded in the suicide attack in
the town of Jalula some 80 miles
(120 kilometers) northeast of
Baghdad.
A member of the provincial
security committee, Amir Rifaat,
said 24 people were killed and 28
wounded. The difference could
not be immediately reconciled.
Karim Khudadat, whose
father was being mourned, said
he was receiving visitors when
the bomber struck.
"I was with my relatives out-
side the tent receiving people
who came to offer condolences
when suddenly the explosion took
place," Khudadat said. "Suddenly
a huge flame engulfed the tent
and I was wounded in my head
and legs."

capital
Elsewhere, eight people were
killed and 10 wounded in a bomb-
ing near a bus stop west of Bagh-
dad, and a policeman died and
eight people were wounded in a
suicide blast at a market in the
northern town of Tal Afar.
A series of high-profile bomb-
ings this month has raised concern
that insurgents may be regrouping
as the U.S. begins to scale down
combat operations and hand over
security responsibility to the Iraqis
ahead of a planned American troop
withdrawal by the end of 2011.
The attack in Jalula was note-
worthy because it points to ris-
ing tensions in the north between
Kurds and Arabs over control of a
swath of territory that the Kurds
want to incorporate into their self-
ruled region.
U.S. officials believe Kurdish-
Arab tension is among the major
flashpoint issues threatening Iraqi
stability now that the threat posed
by Sunni and Shiite insurgents has
been diminished.
Last August a suicide bomber
killed 25 people, mostly police
volunteers, in Jalula, a predomi-
nantly Arab town where the Iraqi
army forced out Kurdish fighters
of the self-ruled Kurdish govern-
ment last year after a standoff that
U.S. officials feared would lead to
armed conflict.
A Jalula resident who was
wounded in Monday's blast blamed
al-Qaida in Iraq, a Sunni Arab orga-
nization that typically carries out
suicide bombings.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner watches President Obama during a meeting with small business owners at the White House.
Stocks soar after new a
-mortgage purchase plan

Plan would purchase
nearly $1 trillion in
bad mortgages
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
Obama administration aimed
squarely at the crisis clogging the
nation's credit system yesterday
with a plan to take over up to $1
trillion in sour mortgage securities
with the help of private investors.
For once, Wall Street cheered.
The announcement, closely
stage-managed throughout the day,
filled in crucialblanksinthe admin-
istration's financial rescue package
and formed what President Barack
Obama called "one more critical
element in our recovery."
The coordinated effort by the
Treasury Department, the Federal
Reserve and the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corp. relies on a mix of
government and private money -
mostly from institutional investors
such as hedge funds - to help banks
rid their balance sheets of real-
estate related securities thatare now.

extremely difficult to value..
The goal, said Obama, is to get
banks lending again, so "families
can get basic consumer loans, auto
loans, student loans, (and so) that
small businesses are able to finance
themselves, and we can start get-
ting this economy moving again."
It was a huge gambit and one that
came like a tonic to Wall Street,
whichhad pannedanearlier outline
of the program that lacked detail.
Stocks soared, the Dow Jones
industrial average shooting up
nearly 500 points, thanks to the
bank-assets plan and a report
showing an unexpected jump in
home sales.
The introduction of the plan was
closely choreographed so that the
president - rather than Treasury
Secretary TimothyGeithner --would
be the first administration official to
appear on camera at midday to dis-
cuss it. Geithner met earlier in the
day, before markets opened, with a
group of reporters at the Treasury
Department to go over specifics. But
cameras and broadcast-quality audio
recorders were barred.

It was the reverse of what hap-
pened Feb. 10. Then, after Obama
had helped raise expectations
toward Geithner and the plan, the
treasury secretary went before
cameras and bombed, The. Dow
plunged about 300 points amid
investor confusion about details.
The fleshed-out plan is designed
to help fix a value on damaged
mortgage loans and other toxic
securities.
If the value of the securities
goes up, the private investors and
taxpayers would share inthegains.
If the values go down, the govern-
ment and private investors would
incur losses.
"This will help banks clean up
their balance sheets and make it
easier for them to raise capital,"
Geithner said.
The plan will take $75 billion to
$100 billion from the government's
existing $700 billion Troubled
Asset Relief Program. The govern-
ment will pair this with private
investments and loans from the
FDIC and the Fed to generate $500
billion in purchasing power.

Sudanese president
flaunts UN charges

al-Bashir travels
to Eritrea despite
pending warrant
for war crimes
KHARTOUM (AP) - Sudan's
president traveled to Eritrea yes-
terday, choosing one of Africa's
most politically isolated nations for
his first trip abroad since an inter-
national court sought his arrest on
charges of war crimes in Darfur.
The one-day visit followed Eri-
trea's official invitation to Sudan's
Omar al-Bashir, who faces the
arrest warrant by the Nether-
lands-based International Crimi-
nal Court.
Eritrean television showed
live coverage of al-Bashir being
greeted at the airport in the Eri-
trean capital Asmara by his coun-
terpart President Isaias Afwerki;
along with drummers and danc-
ers. Sudanese state television later
yesterday showed live images of al-
Bashir returning to Khartoum.
SudaneseForeignMinisterDeng
Alor said the visit was "important"
and reflected Eritrean "solidar-
ity ... with Sudan against the ICC."

Eritrean Information Minister Ali
Abdu told The Associated Press that
al-Bashirwas accompaniedbyheads
of security and intelligence and was
there to discuss regional security, ...
The ICC charged al-Bashir on
March 4 of leading a counterinsur-
gency against Darfur rebels that
involved rapes, killings and other
atrocities against civilians. His
government has been accused of
unleashing Arab militiamen known
as janjaweed against Darfur civil-
ians in a drive to put down a revolt
by ethnic Africans in the region.
Up to 300,000 people have died
and 2.7 million driven from their
homes in the conflict since 2003,
according to the U.N.
Under the ICC charter, member
states are bound to arrest those
indicted when they enter their ter-
ritory. Eritrea is not a signatory,
however, and has vehemently con-
demned the indictment, making it
a kind of safe haven for el-Bashir to
visit.
"It's unjustifiable and illegal and
illogical and futile, the so-called
ICC decision," said Abdu. "We
believe it's an extension and symp-
tom of the ongoing world hegemony
and domination by a few powers in
this world."

t ak e th is su m m e r

i

MEXICO CITY
Mexico gov't
offers reward for Tuesdays Are South Of The Border
. Carona/Dos Equis Specials All Night
drug traffickers & rplj nea VOSVJrin2
Mexico's government yeter 25%Off Mexican Fare & NO COVER
day offered $2 million each for ia or Bomb S ocials 10 to Close
information leading to the arrest r. - / , r
of 24 top drug lords in a public + 9 O Ld next Ste M ynaed r $NMyctwo
challenge to the cartels' violent
grip on the country.
The list indicated that drug
gangs have splintered into six
main cartels under pressure
from the U.S. and Mexican gov-
ernments. The two most power-
ful gangs - the Pacific and Gulf
cartels - each suffered fractures 8 9 1 5 2 4
that have given rise to new car-
tels, according to the list pub-
lished by the Attorney General's
Office.
The list offers 30 million pesos 6
($2 million) in rewards for 24 top
members of the cartels and 15 3 4
million pesos ($1 million) for 13
of their lieutenants.
Mexico's drug violence has
killed more than 9,000 people
since President Felipe Calderon 5 3 9
took office in December 2006 as
gangs battle each other for terri-
tory and fight off a government
crackdown. Some of that violence 4 7 9
is spilling over into the United
States, especially the Southwest,
where kidnaps and killings are on 1 5 3 2 4 7
the rise.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

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