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April 08, 2009 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-04-08

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

NEWS BRIEFS
NEW YORK
Despite scolding,
Chrysler unveils
new SUV
It sounds crazy: Just a week after
the White House scolded Chrysler
LLC for relying too much on gas
guzzlers, the company is heading
to a marquee auto show Wednes-
day to unveil a new SUV.
Chrysler insists the Jeep Grand
Cherokee, which clocks in at 20
mpg in its two-wheel-drive ver-
sion and 19 in four-wheel-drive, is
a crowd favorite and a crucial part
of its lineup.
"This is a very important
vehicle for us. It's one of the pri-
mary legs of the Chrysler stool,"
Chrysler spokesman Rick Deneau
said. "Customers have told us they
want this vehicle and that it's the
right size."
The 2011modelis11percent more
fuel efficient than its predecessor,
powered by a cleaner and more
powerful engine. Still, Chrysler's
decision to debut an SUV as its only
new car at the New York Interna-
tional Auto Show seems like odd
timing to say the least.
PLAQUILA, Italy
Aftershocks hit
Italy; survivor found
Strong aftershocks yesterday
sent a fresh wave of fear across
earthquake-shattered central
Italy, and rescue crews pulled a
young woman alive from a col-
lapsed building about 42 hours
after the main quake struck the
mountainous region.
Eleonora Calesini, a 20-year-
old student, was found alive in the
ruins of the five-story building in
central LAquila, said her grandfa-
ther, Renato Calesini, in the sea-
side town of Mondaini.
"She's safe!" he told The Associ-
ated Press, adding that her father
had gone to devastated city in the
snowcapped Apennine mountains
to try to locate the student, who
wears a hearing aid. She report-
edly had an arm injury but was in
good condition otherwise.
The death toll from Italy's
worst earthquake in three de-
cades climbed to 235, with 15 still
missing, civil protection officials
said. The dead included four stu-
dents trapped in the rubble of a
dormitory of the University of
L'Aquila, the ANSA news agency
reported.
WASHINGTON
Biden says Cheney
'dead wrong' on
security issues
Vice President Joe Biden said
Tuesday his predecessor, Dick
Cheney, is "dead wrong" when he
says President Barack Obama's
national security policies are mak-
ingthe United States less safe.
Biden said the exact opposite
is true and added that President
George W. Bush's vice president
was part of a dysfunctional deci-
sion-making system.

"I don't think he is out of line,
but he is dead wrong. ... The last
administration left us in a weaker
posture than we've been any time
since World War II: less regarded
in the world, stretched more thin-
ly than we ever have been in the
past, two wars under way, virtu-
ally no respect in entire parts of
the world," Biden said. "And so
we've been about the business of
repairing and strengthening those.
I guarantee you we are safer today,
our interests are more secure today
than they were any time during the
eight years" of the Bush adminis-
tration.
AUBURN HILLS, Michigan
Leno to offer free
show in Detroit
Jay Leno is offering a money
back guarantee to anyone attend-
ing his standup shows in the
Detroit area.
"Not that I'm the greatest comic
in the world, but it's free," the
comedian said. "If you don't like
it, you get your money back."
Tickets and parking won't cost
a thing for Leno's performances
yesterday and today at The Pal-
ace of Auburn Hills. The NBA's
Detroit Pistons donated their
home for the event.
The show is for "anyone out of
work in Detroit," Leno said.
"The idea is: 'Come on down.
Forget your troubles ... and meet
other people in your situation,"'
he said.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Wednesday, April 8, 2009- 3A
ermont
legalizes gay
marriage

Measure approved
by a veto override in
the legislature
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Ver-
mont, the state that invented civil
unions, yesterday became a pioneer
once again as the first state to legal-
ize gay marriage through a legisla-
ture's vote.
The House barely achieved the
votes necessary to override Gov. Jim
Douglas' veto of a bill that will allow
gays and lesbians to marry beginning
September 1. Four states now have
same-sex marriage laws and other
states soon could follow suit.
Bills to allow same-sex marriage
are currently before lawmakers in
New Hampshire, Maine, New York
and New Jersey. The three other
states that currently allow same-sex
marriage - Connecticut, Massachu-
setts and Iowa - each moved to do so
through the courts, not legislatures.
"For a popularly elected legisla-
ture to make this decision is a much
more democratic process" because
lawmakers have to answer to the vot-
ers every other November, said Eric
Davis, a retired Middlebury College
political science professor.
Courts typically deal with arcane
points of constitutional law. While
legislatures debate some of the same

principles, the process may become
much more personal. In Vermont,
some of the most gripping debate
came when gay and lesbian law-
makers took to the House floor last
Thursday and told their ownperson-
al love stories.
Getting gay marriage approved in
a political, rather than purely legal,
forum is a big step, said Boston Uni-
versity law professor Linda McLain,
an expert on family law and policy.
"What may give courage to other
legislatures is that this legislature
managed to do it," she said.
She added that using the civil
rights language of equality - the
measure in Vermont was dubbed the
marriage equality bill - could help
make gay marriage more acceptable
elsewhere.
Opponents said they, too, believe
activists will be emboldened inother
states. The action comes just days
after the Iowa Supreme court ruled
that not permitting gay marriage
there was unconstitutional.
"To the millions of Americans
who care about marriage, we say get
ready: President Obama and Demo-
crats will use Vermont as an excuse
to overturn the bipartisan federal
Defense of Marriage Act," said Brian
Brown, executive director of the
National Organization for Marriage,
which waged a radio campaign
against the measure.

President Barack Obama gestures while speaking to military personnel at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq, yesterday, Inan
announced visit to the country, the president told troops he wants to phase out combat in the region.
Obam a in Baghdad:
Iraq must take control

President tells U.S.
troops it's time to
phase out combat
BAGHDAD (AP) - Flying
unannounced into a still-dan-
gerous war zone, President
Barack Obama told U.S. troops
and Iraqi officials alike yesrday
it is time to phase out America's
combat role in a conflict he
opposed as a candidate and has
vowed to end as commander in
chief.
Iraqis "need to take respon-
sibility for their own coun-
try," Obama told hundreds of
cheering soldiers gathered in
an ornate, marble palace near
Saddam Hussein's former seat
of power.
"You have given Iraq the
opportunity to stand on its own
as a democratic country. That is
an extraordinary achievement,"
he told the troops, saluting
their efforts during six years of
American fighting and losses.
Just hours before he arrived,
a deadly car bomb exploded
in Baghdad, underscoring
the continuing peril despite a
recent decline in violence. But
the mood was festive as Obama
spoke to some 600 troops,
quickly gathered for his visit.
"We love you," someone yelled
from the crowd of photo-snap-
ping men and women in uniform.
"I love you back," respond-
ed the president, repeating a
sequence that played out at
hundreds of campaign stops on
his successful run for the White
House last year.
Obama met with top U.S.
commanders as well as senior
Iraqi leaders on a visit of a little
more than four hours that was
confined to Camp Victory, the
largest U.S. military base in a
war that began in 2003 and has
cost the lives of 4,265 mem-
bers of the U.S. military. Many
thousands more Iraqis have
perished.

A helicopter flight to the heavily
fortified Green Zone a few miles
distant was scrapped, but White
House aides attributed the change
in travel plans to poor weather
rather than security concerns.
After a session with Prime
Minister Nouni al-Maliki, Obanma
said he had "strongly encouraged"
Iraqis to take political steps that
would unite political factions,
including integrating minority
Sunnis into the government and
security forces.
Al-Maliki told reporters, "We
assured the president that all the
progress that has been made in
the security area will continue."
American commanders told
the president the country is expe-
riencing a relatively low level of
violence, although the car bomb
explosion in a Shiite neighbor-
hood of Baghdad was evidence of
a recent resurgence. Obama flew
from Turkey, the next-to-last stop
on an eight-day itinerary that also
included Britain, France, Germa-
ny and the Czech Republic.
Aides said Obama chose to visit
Iraq rather than Afghanistan,
where U.S. troops are also in com-
bat, in part because it was close
to Turkey and in part because of
upcoming Iraqi elections.
In his remarks to the troops,
Obama made no mention of the
Afghanistan conflict - where he
has decided to commit 21,000
additional troops - and it was not
known whether it came up in his
meeting with Gen. Ray Odierno,
the top U.S. commander, and
other officers.
Obama announced plans in
February to withdraw U.S. troops
from Iraq on a 19-month time-
table, although a force as large as
50,000 could remain at the end of
that period to provide counterter-
rorism duties.
He said that for the next year and
a half, the United States will be a
"stalwart partner" tothe Iraqis.And
yet, he said, "they have got to make
political accommodations. They're
going to have to decide that they
want to resolve their differences

through constitutional means and
legal means. They are going to have
to focus on providing government
services that encourage confidence
amongtheir citizens.
"All those things they have to
do. We can't do it for them."
By contrast, little more than a
week ago, the president announced
a revamped Afghanistan strategy
that calls for stamping out the Tali-
ban and al-Qaida and broadening the
missionto include pressure on neigh-
boring Pakistan to root out terrorist
camps in its lawless border regions.
"We spend alotoftime tryingto
get Afghanistan right, but I think
it is important for people to know
that there is still a lot of work to
do here," Obama said shortly after
Air Force One touched down in
the Iraqi capital.
Earlier, before departing Istan-
bul, the president told students,
"Moving the ship of state takes
time." Referring to his long-stand-
ing opposition to the war, he said,
"Now that we're there," the U.S.
troop withdrawal has to be done
"in a careful enough way that we
don't see a collapse into violence."
The military is in the process of
thinning out its presence ahead of
a June 30 deadline under a U.S.-
Iraq agreement negotiated last
year that requires all American
combat troops to leave Iraq's cit-
ies. As that process moves for-
ward, the increase in bombings
and other incidents is creating
concern that extremists may be
regrouping.
While Obama spent much of
the past week overseas grappling
with the worldwide economic cri-
sis and the war in Afghanistan, a
constant theme of the trip was his
determination to turn a new page
in U.S. relationships abroad after
eight years of the Bush adminis-
tration.
Nowhere was that intention
more evident than in Iraq, where
a Bush-ordered invasion in 2003
began as a quick rout of forces
loyal to Saddam Hussein before
gradually turning into a murder-
ous environment for U.S. troops.

Israel tests plan
to shoot down
Iranian missiles

Fears of attack
compounded by
Ahmadinejad's call
for destruction
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel suc-
cessfully tested an anti-missile sys-
tem designed to protect the country
against Iranian attack, the Defense
Ministry said, perfecting technology
developed in response to failures of
similar systems during the 1991 Gulf
War.
The intercept of a dummy mis-
sile was the 17th test of the Arrow
system, a U.S.-Israeli joint venture.
Israeli defense officials said the
interceptor was an upgraded Arrow
II, designed to counter Iran's Shahab
ballistic missile.
Israel has identified Iran as its
biggest threat, citing the country's
nuclear program and its develop-
ment of long-range ballistic missiles.
Those fears have been compounded
by Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad's repeated calls for the
destruction of the Jewish state.

Israel believes Iran is developing
nuclear weapons that could pose a
threat to its existence. Iran denies
that and says its nuclear work is for
peaceful purposes such as energy
production. Israel has threatened
military action, and Iran has said
it would strike back, warning last
month that Israel's own nuclear
facilities were within missile range.
Iran's Shahab-3 missiles have a
range of up to 1,250 miles (2,000
kilometers), putting Israel well with-
in striking distance. Iranian officials
were not available for comment on
the Israeli test.
Inastatementthe Defense Minis-
try said the interceptor shot down "a
missilesimulatingaballisticthreatin
especially challengingconditions." It
called the test "an important step in
'the development program and the
development of operational abilities
to counter the growingthreat of bal-
listic missiles inthe region."
Defense Minister Ehud Barak
watched Tuesday's intercept from a
military helicopter,the ministrysaid.
According to the Israeli Embassy in
Washington, Pentagon representa-
tives also were present.

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Speaker: David Walsh,
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Michigan League
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Contact: Be'at the V
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