The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 3
ANN ARBOR, Mich.
Stem cell trial for
ALS treatment gets
A University of Michigan neu-
rologistis the principal investigator
for the first human clinical trial of a
Dr. Eva Feldman has worked
with a team of neurologists to
develop the protocol for injecting
neural stem into patients' spinal
cords. The cells are patented by
Neuralstem Inc., a Rockville, Md.-
based biotech company.
The U.S. Food and Drug Admin-
istration has approved Neural-
stem's plan to test the safety of the
treatment for the fatal, untreatable
neurodegenerative disorder com-
monly called Lou Gehrig's Disease.
The initial phase to determine
the safety of the treatment is to
take place at Emory University in
Southeast, killing 3
Floodwaters that swept across
the rain-soaked Southeast killed at
least three people and left five oth-
ers missing Monday, including a
Georgia toddler who disappeared
after a mobile home was split apart
by a swollen creek.
Three Georgia motorists died
when their vehicles were swept off
Atlanta-area roads, and some major
highways were submerged. Offi-
cials urged motorists to stay off the
roadsas anewline ofstormsthreat-
Fast-moving water also swept
away a Tennessee man who went
swimming in an overflowing ditch
Crews in northwest Georgia
worked furiously toshore up alevee
that had been breached and was in
danger of failing along the Chat-
tooga River. Hundreds were evacu-
ated in the small townofTrion, and
inmate crews were piling sandbags
along the levee wall.
"It's agrave situation forus," said
Lamar Canada, ChattoogaCounty's
emergency management director.
Govt. warns of
danger of mass
A judge ordered an Afghanistan-
born Colorado man who allegedly
received al-Qaida training and had
bomb-making instructions on his
computer to be held pending a de-
tention hearing Thursday, as the
government warned law enforce-
ment around the nation Monday
about the danger of an attack on
a 24-year-old airport shuttle driver,
played a direct role in an alleged
terror plot that unraveled during a
trip to New York City around the
anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
He has been charged with lying to
the government in a matter involv-
Investigators said they found
notes on bomb-making instruc-
tions that appear to match Zazi's
handwritingon his laptop, and dis-
covered his fingerprints on materi-
als - batteries and a scale - that
couldbe usedto make explosives.
to have angered
West by denying
Iran's president said Monday he
is proud to stoke international out-
rage withhislatestremarks denying
the Holocaust as he heads for the
United Nations this week - show-
ing he is as defiant as ever while his
country comes under greater pres-
sure to curtail its nuclear program.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad takes
the world stage with a speech
Wednesday to the U.N. General
Assembly. He appears intent on
showing he has not been weak-
ened by three months of turmoil at
home, where the pro-reform oppo-
sition has staged dramatic protests
claiming Ahmadinejad's victory
in June presidential elections was
Ahmadinejad has a reason to try
On Oct. 1, Iran is to enter key nego-
tiations with the United States and
other powers seeking concessions
on Iran's nuclear program.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
Pres. vows to
Obama tours NY s"ce 1983.
Obama vowed that by 2020,
promises economic America will again have the world's
highest proportion of college gradu-
recovery ates. He said recent increases in
Pell Grants and a simplification of
TROY, N.Y. (AP) - Touting resil- financial aid processes will help the
ience ina part of New York particu- nation reach that goal.
larly hard hit by recession, President The president also praised a
Barack Obama said Monday that plan to keep wireless carriers from
better economic days are coming blocking certain types of Internet
thanks to innovation and some help traffic flowing over their networks.
from the government. Obama said he was pleased that the
"As we emerge from this current chairman of the Federal Commu-
economic crisis, our great challenge nications Commission is announc-
will be to ensure that we do not just ing principles "to preserve an open
drift into the future," Obama said at Internet in which all Americans can
Hudson Valley Community College. participate and benefit."
"Instead, we must choose to do what Obama offered kind words to New
past generations have done: shape a York's embattled governor, David
brighter future through hard work Paterson, despite reports that the
and innovation." White House wants Paterson to drop
Obama delivered an economic out of next year's gubernatorial race.
pep talk and a plug for his economic Obama told the college audi-
recovery plan: a sustained invest- ence, "A wonderful man, the
ment in education, technology, governor of the great state of
health care and research. He told his New York, David Paterson, is in
audience that for years, Washington the house." Earlier, Paterson had
has not lived it up to its responsibili- greeted the president when he
ties to help. landed in upstate New York.
"If government does its modest Some Democrats fear Paterson's
part, there is no stopping the most low approval ratings will cost their
powerful and generative economic party a chance to hold the gover-
force the world has ever known: the nor's seat and hurt other Democrats
American people," Obama said. on next year's ballot. White House
His pitch came in a region where spokesman Robert Gibbs wouldn't
the economic mood has long been say whether the president had
gloomy. Nationwide, unemployment ordered that word be sent to Pater-
is at 9.7 percent, the highest level son urging him not to run in 2010.
House to pass
e-mergency bill on
Admiral Michael Mullen testifies on Capitol Hill on Sept.15, 2009 before the Senate Armed Services Committeehearing on
US eyes m--ore drone
hits on terror havens
sending more troops
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
White House is considering
expanding counterterror opera-
tions in Pakistan to refocus on
eliminating al-Qaida instead of
mounting a major military esca-
lation in Afghanistan.
Two senior administration
officials said Monday that the
renewed fight against the ter-
rorist organization could lead to
more missile attacks on Pakistan
terrorist havens by unmanned
U.S. spy planes. The officials
spoke on condition of anonymity
because no decisions have been
Top aides to President Barack
Obama said he still has questions
and wants more time to decide.
The officials said the admin-
istration would push ahead with
the ground mission in Afghani-
stan for the near future, still
leaving the door open for sending
more U.S. troops. But Obama's
top advisers, including Vice Pres-
ident Joe Biden, have indicated
they are reluctant to send many
more troops - if any at all - in
the immediate future.
In weekend interviews, Obama
emphasized that disrupting al-
Qaida is his "core goal" and wor-
ried aloud about "mission creep"
that moved away from that direc-
tion. "If it starts drifting away
from that goal, then we may have
a problem," he said.
The proposed shift would
bolster U.S. action on Obama's
long-stated goal of dismantling
terrorist havens, but it could also
complicate American relations
with Pakistan, long wary of the
growing use of aerial drones to
target militants along the porous
border with Afghanistan.
The prospect of a White
House alternative to a deepen-
ing involvement in the stalemat-
ed war in Afghanistan comes as
administration officials debate
whether to send more troops -
as urged in a blunt assessment of
the deteriorating conflict by the
top U.S. commander there, Gen.
The two senior administration
officials said Monday that one
option would be to step up the
use of missile-armed unmanned
spy drones over Pakistan that
have killed scores of militants
over the last year.
The armed drones could con-
tain al-Qaida in a smaller, if more
remote area, and keep its lead-
ers from retreating back into
Afghanistan, one of the officials
Most U.S. military officials
have preferred a classic coun-
terinsurgency mission to keep
al-Qaida out of Afghanistan by
defeating the Taliban and secur-
ing the local population.
However, one senior White
House official said it's not clear
that the Taliban would welcome
al-Qaida back into Afghanistan.
The official noted that it was only
after the 9/11 attacks that the
United States invaded Afghani-
stan and deposed the Taliban in
pursuit of al-Qaida.
Pakistan will not allow the
United States to deploy a large-
scale military troop buildup on
its soil. However, its military and
intelligence services are believed
to have assisted the U.S. with
airstrikes, even while the gov-
ernment has publicly condemned
The Pakistan Embassy in
Washington did not immediately
return calls seeking comment.
Wider use of missile strikes
and less reliance on ground
troops would mark Obama's sec-
ond shift in strategy and tactics
since taking office last January.
Such a move would amount to
an admission that using a tradi-
tional military strategy to take
on the Taliban with thousands
more troops is doomed to fail-
ure, echoing Russia's disastrous
Afghanistan invasion in the late
1980s and other ill-fated con-
querors in the more distant past.
But stepping up attacks on the
remnants of al-Qaida also would
dovetail with Obama's presiden-
tial campaign promise of directly
going after the terrorist network
that spawned the Sept. 11, 2001,
attacks on New York and Wash-
Over the past few weeks,
White House and Pentagon offi-
cials have debated the best way
to defeat al-Qaida - and whether
to send more troops to Afghani-
stan to battle the extremist Tali-
ban elements that hosted Osama
bin Laden and his operatives in
the 1990s and have continued to
aid the terrorist group.
McChrystal has argued that
without more troops the United
States could lose the war against
the Taliban and allied insur-
"Resources will not win this
war, but under-resourcing could
lose it," McChrystal wrote in a
five-page Commander's Sum-
mary that was unveiled late
Sunday by the Washington Post.
His 66-page report, which was
also made public by the Post in
a partly classified version after
appeals from Pentagon officials,
was sent to Defense Secretary
Robert Gates on Aug. 30 and is
now under review at the White
White House officials have
made clear that Pakistan should
be the top concern since that
is where top al-Qaida leaders,
including bin Laden'himself, are
believed to be hiding. Very few
al-Qaida extremists are believed
to still be in Afghanistan, accord-
ing to military and White House
There have been more than
i50 missile strikes against Paki-
stan targets since August 2008,
according to an Associated Press'
count. Two weeks ago, a U.S.
drone killed a key suspected al-
Qaida recruiter and trainer, Pak-
istani national Ilyas Kashmiri.
A draft study by Notre Dame
Law School professor Mary
Ellen O'Connell found that drone
attacks by the U.S. in Pakistan
began in 2004, jumped dramati-
cally in 2008 and continue to
climb so far this year.
Bill slated to extend
benefits by 13 weeks
WASHINGTON (AP) - Despite
predictions the Great Recession is
running out of steam, the House is
takingup emergency legislation this
week to help the millions of Ameri-
cans who see no immediate end to
their economic miseries.
A bill offeredby Rep. Jim McDer-
mott, D-Wash., andexpected to pass
easily would provide 13 weeks of
extended unemployment benefits
for more than 300,000 jobless peo-
ple who live in states with unem-
ploymentrates ofatleast 8.5 percent
and who are scheduled to run out of
benefits by the end of September.
The 13-week extension would
supplement the 26 weeks of benefits
most states offer and the federally
funded extensions of up to 53 weeks
that Congress approved in legisla-
tion lastyear and in the stimulus bill
enacted last February.
People from North Carolina to
California "have been calling my
office to tell me they still cannot find
work a year or more after becoming
unemployed, and they need some
additional help to keep their heads
above water," McDermottsaid.
Critics of unemployment insur-
ance argue that it can be a disincen-
tive to looking for work, and that
extending benefits at a time the
economy is showing signs of recov-
ery could be counterproductive.
But this recession has been par-
ticularly pernicious to the job mar-
ket, others say.
Some 5millionpeople, aboutone-
third of those on the unemployment
list, have been without a job for six
months or more, a record since data
started being recorded in 1948,
according to the research and advo-
cacy group National Employment
"It smashes any other figure we
have ever seen. It is an unthinkable
number," said Andrew Stettner,
NELP's deputy director. He said
there are currently about six jobless
people for every job opening, so it's
unlikely people are purposefully
living off unemployment insurance
while waiting for something better
to come along.
The current state unemployment
check is about $300 a week, supple-
mented by $25 included in the stim-
That doesn't go very far when
a loaf of bread can cost $2.79 and a
gallon of milk $2.72, Senate Finance
Committee Chairman Max Baucus,
D-Mont., said at a hearing last week
on the unemployment insurance
"We need to keep our unem-
ployed neighbors from falling into
poverty. We need to figure out how
best to make our safety net work,"
The jobless rate currently stands
at 9.7 percent and is likely to hover
above 10 percent for much of 2010.
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