0 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Friday, March 27, 2009 - 3
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, March 27, 2009 - 3
More U.S. troops
sent to Afghan war
Confronting an inherited and fal-
tering war, President Barack Obama
plans to dispatch thousands more
military and civilian trainers to
Afghanistan by the fall on top of the
17,000 combat troops he has already
ordered, senior administration offi-
cials said yesterday.
Obama's war strategy, which
will he announce today, includes no
timeline for withdrawal of troops.
The war began more than seven
As he plans to put more U.S. lives
will set benchmarks for progress in
Afghanistan and neighboring, trou-
bled Pakistan. The goal is to show
Congress and the American people
that the strategy is working - and
to set a clear framework for making
corrections as needed.
Obama also will call for increas-
ing aid to Pakistan as long as its
leaders confront militants in the
border region. The U.S. will launch
an intensive and expanded diplo-
matic effort to gain international
cooperation, including reaching out
to Russia, China, India, Saudi Ara-
bia and even Iran.
Obama plans to
raise fuel efficiency
standards by 2 mpg
The Obama administration
plans to raise fuel efficiency stan-
dards by 2 miles per gallon to 27.3
mpg for new cars and trucks in the
2011 model year, marking the first
increase in passenger car standards
in more than two decades.
Under the changes, which are
slightly less stringent than those
proposed by the Bush administra-
tion, new passenger cars will need
to meet 30.2 mpg for the 2011 model
year and pickup trucks, sport utili-
ty vehicles, and minivans will need
to reach 24.1 mpg, an administra-
tion official told The Associated
Press yesterday. The official spoke
on condition of anonymity because
the person was not authorized to
speak in advance of an announce-
ment expected today.
The fuel efficiency rules are the
first step in meeting a 2007 energy
law that will require car makers to
meet at least 35 mpg by 2020, a 40
percent increase over the current
standard of about 25 mpg.
OKs stimulus road,
Michigan road and bridge con-
struction is poised to get an $847
million boost now that state law-
makers have approved legislation
authorizing spending federal stim-
The state Senate unanimously
passed a bill yesterday that allows
the state to receive and spend
stimulus cash for transportation
projects. The House already has
approved the measure so it soon
should be on its way to Gov. Jenni-
fer Granholm for her signature.
That will allow the state to begin
entering into contracts for the
work, much of which will be done
this construction season. It will
add to state road and bridge spend-
ing that was expected to be about
$1.5 billion this fiscal year.
The transportation bill includes
$635 million for main state high-
ways and bridges and $212 million
for local road departments. Anoth-
er $26 million goes to other areas,
including bus transit and freight
Record flood levels
hit North Dakota
Officials in North Dakota have
ordered a mandatory evacuation
of one Fargo neighborhood and
a nursing home after authorities
found cracks in an earthen levee
built around the area.
Authorities say the evacuation
late Thursday is a precaution and
that the 40 homes in the River Vili
neighborhood are not in immedi-
ate danger. They say no water has
breached the levee.
They also say Riverview Estates
nursing home is being evacuated.
The number of residents affected
isn't immediately clear.
Fargo is on high alert after fore-
casters said the Red River could
crest higher than predicted - at a
record 43 feet.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
birth control to
see big price dip
President Barack Obama holds an 'Open For Questions' town hall style meeting in the East Room of the White House in
Washington yesterday. It was the first online town hall done in the White House. The town hall came on the same day that
his budget proposal won a key committee vote in the United States Senate.
Senate Democrats push
Oba-ma's recession budget
From Page 1
NuvaRing, also priced at $50 per
cycle, do not have generic equiva-
lents, Chivers said.
Dr. Susan Ernst, chief of gyne-
cology services at'UHS, said that
although most patients switched
to the generic brand of their birth
control product, for those patients
on products like the NuvaRing,
switching to a different form of
contraception was not always the
Ernstsaid the NuvaRing"is one of
those itemsthat really became unaf-
fordable for some patients," and that
because there is no generic alterna-
tive, patients would have to switch
to a pill form of contraception.
Despite the increase in pricing
for many brand-name contracep-
tive products, Ernst said she did
not see a decrease in patients' use
of birth control altogether.
"I really don't feel like patients
didn't use contraception because
of that problem," Ernst said. "I feel
like we were able to find something
that was acceptable to them and
often that was a generic because
we could give them a lower price."
But for some students, generic
products were not always advised.
Engineering sophomore Lianna
Gordon started getting her birth
control product from UHS in 2008.
But after switching to the birth
control pill Yaz, her doctor advised
her not to switch to the generic
brand when prices rose.
Gordon said she stopped buy-
ing Yaz from UHS, because the
price was $50, double the price she
would pay for the same product at
The Village Apothecary located at
1112 South University Ave.
But Gordon said if drug compa-
nies reinstated the discounts with
college health clinics, she would
reconsider where she purchases
her birth control.
"If they're doing discounts
through the school, then yeah, I
would definitely go through UHS,"
Chivers said that on the same
day UHS received the news thatthe
federal budget bill could potential-
ly lower the price of birth control
products, it called the drug compa-
nies to inquire about reinstatingthe
contracts that would provide them
with the discounted prices.
"I'm just hoping they will think
very positively about how we can
move forward with the new lan-
guage and be able to roll back the
price,"Chiverssaid."But that can'tbe
guaranteed because it will all revolve
around the manufacturer and how
they choose to handle this."
Lisa Ellen, spokeswoman for
New Jersey-based drug company
Schering-Plough, said the corpo-
ration has not come to any con-
crete decisions about reinstating
contracts but is looking into the
possibility of doing so for certain
contraceptive products, includ-
ing the popular birth control pill
"Overall we're looking into the
pricing and the legislation," Ellen
said. "We have not made any final
decisions but we're evaluating it."
wins key committee
vote along party lines
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate
Democrats pushed a recession-
era budget backed by the Obama
administration through com-
mittee yesterday after rejecting
Republican attempts to cut spend-
ing and reduce mammoth deficits.
The 13-10 vote was along party
lines in the Senate Budget Com-
mittee, and came as GOP critics
sharpened their attacks on a plan
that Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama
derided as "the most irrespon-
sible budget in the history of the
The plan calls for spending
of $3.5 trillion for the year that
begins Oct. 1, and assumes a
From Page 1
time and responding by becoming
increasingly involved with commu-
nity service work while still donat-
ing the money we can," he said.
He added that Greek Week's
unique format also motivated him
to work with the organization.
"We were drawn to the social
and competitive aspects ofthe com-
munity service work done during
Greek Week," he said. "We want to
build upon this idea of making com-
munity service something social
thatyou can do with friends."
Rachael Reeves, president of
the Panhellenic Association, said
she was very "impressed" with
Greek Week's dedication to help
"While it is always great how
much money we raise as a commu-
nity, it is also important to have a
more direct involvement with the
charities themselves as many of our
From Page 1
private tutors to replace the classes
at the French university," Ethan
David, an LSA junior and student
in the Aix-En-Provence program,
wrote in an e-mail interview.
Because of the situation and
uncertainty about regular class
meetings, many students are
concerned about fulfilling neces-
sary credits at the University of
"My concern was that I wasn't
going to receive credit for my
courses," LSA junior Sonita Moss,
program, wrote in an e-mail inter-
view. "What's good is that they're
deficit of $L2 trillion. It includes
increases for hundreds of domes-
tic programs and clears the way
for major legislation later in the
year on President Barack Obama's
priorities of health care, energy
Despite their criticism, Senate
Republicans have said they do not
intend to propose an alternative to
the Democrats' budget, a decision
that spares them the need to make
politically difficult choices.
Republicans conceded thatSen.
Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman
of the committee, had produced
a plan that sliced recommended
spending beneath levels Obama
requested less than a month ago,
with lower deficits projected as a
But some said he had not gone
far enough, while others argued
that the budget lacked the type
chapters were created to further
philanthropic pursuits," she said.
Greek Week, which runs from
March 23 until April 1, pits 13 teams
councils against one another in a
variety ofcompetitionsto encourage
participants to raise money.
As a supplement to Greek Week
this year, participants took part
in the first annual Service Day,
which allowed about 300 volun-
teers to get directly involved with
Brooks said Service Day gave
students the chance to do some-
thing besides the typical Greek
"I also think the members of the
Greek community were excited to
do something other than participat-
ing in competitive events such as
State Street Day and Diag Day," she
said. "Our first annual Service Day
allowed over 300 individuals to help
local charities in both Ann Arbor
and Ypsilanti complete projects that
would benefitour area directly."
ensuring everyone their credits
and tailoring the courses to what
we were taking at the (Universite
de Provence Fac de Lettres)."
The University's Office of
International Programs is trying
to keep students aware of current
developments. The OIP has set up
a page on its website for students
studying abroad to get informa-
tion and has been in contact with
on-location program directors.
In an e-mail interview, Nicole
LeBlanc, assistant director at the
that fulfillingcredits in the wake of
the strikes is no longer a concern.
"(Fulfilling credits) should not
be an issue, based on the current
academic plan in place which will
give students a full semester of
of enforcement measures needed
to make sure the targets aren't
exceeded in future years.
Sessions' attempt to cut an
additional $200 billion from non-
defense domestic programs over
five years was defeated on a party-
line vote, 13-10.
Conrad responded that he
already had trimmed spending
below Obama's request by $160
billion over five years and had
reduced the deficit by two-thirds
over the same period. He said Ses-
sions' proposal would have frozen
spending in particularly worthy
programs like veterans services
"at a time when we have large
numbers of them returning from
Iraq and Afghanistan."
Republicans also failed several
times to make it more difficult for
Congress to exceed spending lim-
its prescribed for 2011-2014.
LSA senior Liz Henley, co-
director of Greek Week, said the
shift to more service was one
of the main goals for this year's
"When Dayna and I were
appointed as co-directors, one of
our big goals for Greek Week 2009
was to make it more service-ori-
ented," she said. "I feel that we've
really done that."
On Monday, organizers are
hosting another event, called Diag
Day, to bring participants closer to
the charities. The event will fea-
ture children's games like spell-
ing bees and mascot competitions
as well as a can castle building
competition. The kids from Peace
Neighborhood Center, one of the
charities Greek Week is helping,
will be judging castles the teams
make out of the canned foods they
collected over the semester.
"It's really fun to get the kids
involved and they get to judge big
structures that Greek Week par-
ticipants make," Henley said.
credits," LeBlanc wrote. "Some
students did not have courses
affected by the strike, depending
on their faculty/institute."
"If an OIP student should find
themselves in an academic situa-
tion which needs special attention,
however, we will work directly
with that student on an individual
basis," LeBlanc said.
While the situation caused
panic, Moss wrote she has chosen
to remain optimistic.
"Maybe I'm not getting the
ideal education here in France,
but I am meeting extraordinary
people and giving myself to the
entire experience," she said. "I
go to Michigan for the educa-
tion; I came to France for some-
From Page 1
said. "Now we're just like 'OK,
what are we supposed to do?'
"We just wish someone would
tell us what's goingon," he said.
Engineering sophomore Keith
Lamprecht expressed similar dis-
pleasure with the amount of infor-
mation authorities were getting to
"They don't reallytell us awhole
lot and I kind of thought they
would," he said. "They haven't
really done anything for us besides
tell us to go to South Quad."
West Quad resident and Nurs-
ing freshman Breann Eckerle was
on the ninth floor of South Quad
hanging out in the hallway, wait-
ing for word on the situation in her
She said she was passing the
time by people watching, but was
"tired" and getting "pissed" about
"I wish there was somewhere
we could sleep," she said.
Clean-up has been underway
since the incident occurred early
this morning, Brown said.
Logan said there was a delay
in getting residents back in their
rooms because of air quality
"The fire marshall did require
that we conduct an air quality
test for the safety of the students
because any time you have build-
ing material ina combustion it can
create fumes that could be discom-
forting," Logan said.
Logan said University Housing
is also adding $10 in Blue Bucks
to the accounts of each resident
affected by the water infiltration
into their -rooms, to assist with
The residence hall's sprinkler
system quickly extinguished the
small fire, Brown said.
The cafeteria in South Quad,
which is directly across Madi-
son Street from West Quad, was
opened for West Quad residents
during the clean-up.
Brown said the incident took
place on the lowest level of the
building, which usually makes it
easier to contain.
Police Sergeant Michelle Chatell,
who was on the scene early Thurs-
daymorning, declined to comment.
Brown said there hadbeen some
flooding on the first floor because
once a sprinkler is activated, all
the water in its pipes has to come
down. Cleaning up that water,
Brown said, usually takes a long
The University is offering a
reward of up to $500 for infor-
mation leading to the success-
ful arrest and prosecution of the
person or persons involved in the
arson. Anyone with information is
being asked to contact University
Police at (734) 763-1131.
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