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April 07, 2009 - Image 3

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' The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam

Tuesday, A pril 7, 2009 -- 3

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, April 7, 2009 - 3

NEWS BRIEFS Obama:
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
I Analysts: Rocket
gives North Korea war vvWeei
new bargaining chip T 1 a . T T

North Korea's new rocket launch
gives the communist country
another bargaining chip in negoti-
ations over dismantling its nuclear
weapons program even if the flight
wasn't completely successful, ana-
lysts said Monday.
Even with suspected problems
in separating the second and third
stages, the rocket flew twice as far
as any missile the North previously
launched. That range falls far short
of U.S. territory, but neighbors are
concerned by the expanded reach
of a regime that claims to have
atomic bombs.
President Barack Obama and
other world leaders called Sunday's
launch a provocation that cannot
go unanswered, but the U.N. Secu-
rity Council was so divided it didn't
even issue a preliminary statement
of condemnation.
Diplomats privy to continuing
talks in New York said China, Rus-
sia, Libya and Vietnam voiced con-
cerns about further alienating and
destabilizing North Korea. China,
the North's closest ally, and Rus-
sia hold veto power as permanent
members and could water down
any response.
LANSING, MI
On first day, 101
apply for medical-
marijuana ID card
More than 100 people applied
for Michigan's new medical-mar-
ijuana program by the end of the
registry's first day.
The Michigan Department of
Community Health said in a state-
ment that 85 applications were re-
ceived Monday and 16 came in over
the weekend for a total of 101.
Cards will be issued to those
approved for the registry within
three weeks.
Michigan voters legalized medi-
cal marijuana lastyear. Rules for the
program went into effect Saturday.
Patients can apply for a state-is-
sued 1D card to protect them from ar-
rest for growing and using marijuana
to treat pain and other symptoms
stemming from ailments such as can-
cer and multiple sclerosis. A doctor's
recommendation is required.
CHICAGO
Study finds 1 in 5
4-year-olds obese
A striking new study says almost
linS American4-year-oldsisobese,
and the rate is alarmingly higher
among American Indian children,
with nearly a third of them obese.
Researchers were surprised tosee
differences by race at so early an age.
Overall, more than half a million
4-year-olds are obesethe study sug-
gests. Obesity is more common in
Hispanic and black youngsters, too,
but the disparity is most startling
in American Indians, whose rate is
almost double that of whites.
The lead author said that rate is
worrisome among childrensoyoung,
even in a population at higher risk for
obesity because of other health prob-
lems and economic disadvantages.
"The magnitude of these differ-
ences was larger than we expected,
and it is surprising to see differ-
ences by racial groups present so
early in childhood," said Sarah
Anderson, an Ohio State University
public health researcher. She con-

ducted the research with Temple
University's Dr. Robert Whitaker.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI
iPod repairman
guilty of fraud
A Michigan man has pleaded
guilty to fraud and money launder-
ing in a scheme to acquire more
than 9,000 replacement iPod Shuf-
fle music players.
Twenty-three-year-old Nicho-
las Woodhams of the Kalamazoo
area appeared in federal court in
Grand Rapids on Monday, less than
a month after charges were filed.
Woodhams had an iPod repair
shop and knew that owners could
get a replacement if their Shuffle
had problems. He guessed valid
1 serial numbers and entered them
into Apple Inc.'s Web site. Wood-
hams then resold the Shuffles
shipped by Apple.
He has agreed to give up prop-
erty, including a house, an Audi
sedan, a race car and more than
$570,000. Woodhams will be sen-
tenced Aug. 25. A message seeking
comment was left with his lawyer.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

In Trkey, Obama
reaches out to
Muslim world
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -
Declaring the U.S. "is not and
never will be at war with Islam,"
President Barack Obama worked
yesterday to mend frayed ties
with NATO ally Turkey and
improve relations with the larger
Muslim world.
Obama acknowledged still-raw
tensions over the Iraq warbutsaid
Muslims worldwide have little in
common with terrorists such as
al-Qaida and have much to gain
in opposing them. Reaching out,
he also spoke of Muslim connec-
tions in his own background.
"We seek broader engage-
ment based upon mutual inter-
est and mutual respect," Obama
said in a speech to Turkey's Par-
liament.
It was his first visit to a pre-
dominantly Islamic nation as
president, and he struck a bal-
ance between extending a hand
to Muslims in general and dis-
cussing Turkey's central role
in helping to bring stability to
a post-war Iraq and the wider
Middle East.
"Our partnership with the
Muslim world is critical, not just
in rolling back the violent ideolo-
gies thatrpeople of all faiths reject
but also to strengthen opportu-
nity for all its people," he said.
He portrayed terrorist groups
such as al-Qaida as extremists far
removed from the vast majority
of Muslims.
Turkey has NATO's largest
Army after the U.S., but rela-
Ford cut
stock pri
Ford shares rose
52 cents to close at
$3.77 yesterday
DETROIT (AP) - Shares of Ford
Motor Co. soared 16 percentyester-
day after the company said it com-
pleted tender offers that will reduce
its debt by38percent andshave mil-
lions ofdollars off its interest costs.
The automaker retired about
$9.9 billion in securities in
exchange for cash and shares
under terms of the debt buybacks.
Combined, the moves are
expected to reduce the Ford's
interest expenses by more than
$500 million this year, as it tries
to weather the worst auto sales
downturn in 27 years.
The Dearborn, Mich.-based
company said it will pay a total of
$2.4 billion and issue 468 million
shares as a result of the offers.
Shares of Ford rose 52 cents to
close at $3.77 yesterday.
About $4.3 billion inFord's senior
convertible notes were tendered
under an offer that expired Friday.

Up to $344 million will be used to
pay cash premiums to note holders.
A separate offer to repurchase
notes from its financingarmresult-
ed in $3.4billion in securities being
tendered. Ford Motor Credit will
use $1.1 billion to purchase that
secured term loan debt.
Ford Motor Credit previ-
ously said a second cash tender
offer that expired on March 23
was "over-subscribed," and it
doubled the amount of cash it
would spend to buy back the
debt. That resulted in the use of
$1 billion to purchase $2.2 bil-
lion in term loan debt.
Its total debt was reduced to
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tions between the two countries
soured after the 2003 invasion of
Iraq, which the Turks opposed.
Turkey barred U.S. forces from
going through its country to
attack Iraq.
Now, however, since Obama is
withdrawing troops, Turkey has
become more cooperative.
Sharing parts of its southern
border with Iraq, Turkey's role in
maintaining security will be piv-
otal after U.S. combat troops are
gone, despite the Turks' lingering
problems with Kurdish militants
in northern Iraq. Turkey also has
important leverage with both
Afghanistan and Pakistan and
has served as a broker between
Israel and several Arab states.
"Turkey's greatness lies in
your ability to be at the center of
things. This is not where East and
West divide - this is where they
come together," Obama said.
He acknowledged hard feel-
ings over Iraq. "I know that strain
is shared in many places where
the Muslim faith is practiced. So
let me say this as clearly as I can:
The United States is not and will
never be at war with Islam."
Obama's visit was closely
watched by an Islamic world that
harbored deep distrust of his pre-
decessor, George W. Bush.
Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya,
two of the biggest Arabic satel-
lite channels, carried his remarks
live.
The president invoked his own
heritage: "The United States has
been enriched by Muslim Ameri-
cans. Many other Americans
have Muslims in their family, or
have lived in a Muslim-majority
country. I know, because I am one
of them."
,s debt,
ces soar
about $15.9 billion after the buy-
backs.
Neil Schloss, Ford's treasur-
er, said that the reduction is in
line with how much competi-
tors General Motors Corp. and
Chrysler LLC were asked to cut
as a requirement of $17.4 billion
in federal loans. Those compa-
nies have yet to reach an agree-
ment with their debt holders.
The government's auto task
force has already asked GM and
Chrysler to cut their debt by a
level equal to or greater than
two-thirds in order to receive
additional funds. Ford is not
seeking government aid, but its
overall debt reduction effort has
already amounted to more than
two-thirds of its unsecured debt.
"We believe this was a very
successful transaction," Schloss
said, adding"we're going to watch
closely what our competitors are
required to do."
A Standard & Poor's Equity
Research analyst reiterated his
"Hold" on Ford yesterday, in light of
the offer results, but said the com-
pany still faces a tough sales year.
"in addition to lowered inter-
est costs, the reduction improves
Ford's balance sheet," said ana-

lyst Efraim Levy. "We still proj-
ect sizable losses at Ford in 2009,
and note that the failure of com-
petitors or key suppliers could
further complicate Ford's situa-
tion and cause it ask for the gov-
ernment loans that it is trying to
avoid."

Italian firefightersworkaon a collapsed buildintaafter a major earthquake in L'Aquila, central Italy yesterday.
Italy quake claims 150,
injures more than 1,500

Earthquake is the
deadliest in Italy in
nearly three decades
L'AQUILA, Italy (AP) - Res-
cue workers using bare hands
and buckets searched frantically
for students believed buried in a
wrecked dormitory after Italy's
deadliest quake in nearly three
decades struck this medieval city
before dawn yesterday, killing
more than 150 people, injuring
1,500 and leaving tens of thou-
sands homeless.
The 6.3-magnitude earthquake
buckled both ancient and modern
buildings in and around L'Aquila,
snuggled in a valley surrounded by
the snowcapped Apennines' tallest
peaks.
It also took a severe toll on the
centuries-old castles and churches
in the mountain stronghold dat-
ing from the Middle Ages, and the
Culture Ministry drew up a list
of landmarks that were damaged,
including collapsed bell towers
and cupolas.
The quake, centered near
L'Aquila about 70 miles northeast
of Rome, struck at 3:22 a.m., fol-
lowed by more than a dozen after-
shocks.

Firefighters with dogs and a
crane worked feverishly to reach
people trapped in fallen build-
ings, including a dormitory of the
University of L'Aquila where a
half- dozen students were believed
trapped inside.
After nightfall yesterday, res-
cuers found a scared-looking dog
with a bleeding paw in the half-col-
lapsed dorm. Relatives and friends
of the missing stood wrapped in
blankets or huddled under umbrel-
las in the rain as rescuers found
pieces of furniture, photographs,
wallets and diaries, but none of the
missing.
The body of a male student was
found during the daylight hours.
"We managed to come down
with other students but we had to
sneak through a hole in the stairs
as the whole floor came down,"
said Luigi Alfonsi, 22, his eyes fill-
ing with tears and his hands trem-
bling. "I was in bed - it was like it
would never end as I heard pieces
of the building collapse around
me."
Elsewhere in town, firefight-
ers reported pulling a 21-year-old
woman and a 22-year-man from
a pancaked five-story apartment
building where many students had
rented flats.
Amid aftershocks, survivors

hugged one another, prayed qui-
etly or tried to call relatives. Resi-
dents covered in dust pushed carts
of clothes and blankets that they
had thrown together before fleeing
their homes.
Slabs of walls, twisted steel sup-
ports, furniture and wire fences
were strewn in the streets, and
gray dust was everywhere. A body
lay on the sidewalk, covered by a
white sheet.
Residents and rescue workers
hauled debrisfromcollapsedbuild-
ings by hand or in a bucket brigade.
Firefighters pulled a woman cov-
ered in dust from her four-story
home. Rescue crews demanded
quiet as they listened for signs of
life from inside.
RAI television showed rescue
workers gingerly pulling a man
clad only in his underwear from a
crumbled building. He embraced
one of his rescuers and sobbed
loudly as others placed a jacket
around his shoulders. Although
shaken and covered in dust, the
man was able to walk.
Some 10,000 to 15,000 buildings
were either damaged or destroyed,
officials said. L'Aquila Mayor Mas-
simo Cialente said about 100,000
people were homeless. It was not
clear if his estimate included sur-
rounding towns.

Letter believed to be from
NY killer explains shooting

Shooter said he
felt persecuted
by the police
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (AP)
- The man who opened fire in
an immigrant center, killing 13
people before taking his own life,
felt he was persecuted by police,
couldn't accept his "poor life" and
was intent on killing himself and at
least two other people, according
to a letter mailed to a television
station the day of the massacre.
The letter's authenticity could
not immediately be verified yes-
terday. It was mailed to News
10 Now, in Syracuse, and post-
marked Friday, the day Wong
went into the American Civic
Association community center
and started shooting.
Part of the letter reads: "I
am Jiverly Wong shooting the
people."
The letter was dated March
18, more than two weeks before
the shooting, which occurred in
a neighborhood of homes and
small businesses. It included

photos of Wong smiling with two
guns, a gun permit and his driver's
license.
The letter ends with him saying
he can't "accept my poor life," that
he is taking on the job of a judge and
will "cut my poor life." He writes
"at least two people with me go to
return to the dust of the earth."
Police speculated Wong, who
was ethnically Chinese but was
from Vietnam, was angry over los-
ing a job and frustrated about his
poor English skills.

The letter reads, "I am sorry I
know a little English."
It indicates a delusional man
obsessed with unidentified police
he says taunted him and tortured
him, even going into his room,
watching him sleep and touching
him while he slept. The letter says
police stole money from his wal-
let and stopped their cars in front
of him 32 times in efforts to make
him crash into them.
"I never hit the car," the letter
states.

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