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October 14, 2009 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-10-14

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 3A ;

NEWS BRIEFS
DETROIT
Ford, UAW agree
to tentative deal
Ford Motor Co. yesterday reached
a deal to alter its contract with the
United Auto Workers union that
helps the automaker keep costs in
line with rivals but risks alienating
rank-and-file workers.
The agreement with the UAW's
leadership includes a no-strike pro-
vision, a wage freeze for entry-level
workers and work rule changes so
employees can do more tasks.
But a $1,000 bonus and promises
of additional work at some facto-
ries may be enough to get the pact
through a ratification vote that likely
will begin this week.
Details of the agreement were to
be presented to local union leaders
from across the country at a meet-
* ing in downtown Detroit yesterday.
Leaders will vote on whether to
recommend the agreement to Ford's
41,000 UAW members, but it could
be a tough sell. Local union lead-
ers have reported a large amount
of opposition to more concessions
because Ford is in better financial
shape than competitors Chrysler
LLC and General Motors Co.
A person briefed on its provi-
sions said the bonus is payable in
March to every UAW worker based
on improvements in quality and pro-
ductivity.
KABUL, Afghanistan
Karzai defends
" scrutinized election
President Hamid Karzai
acknowledged fraud yesterday in
the still-unresolved August presi-
dential election but defended the
" vote as a "victory" for the Afghan
people.
Results of the Aug. 20 balloting
have stalled because of allegations
of massive fraud, as a U.N.-backed
panel investigates the charges
before deciding whether Karzai
won or must face his main rival,
Abdullah Abdullah, in a runoff
Allegations that Karzai's follow-
ers triedto rigthe electionhavetar-
nished his image and raised doubts
in the United States about the mer-
its of the war even as the Obama
administration weighs sending
thousands more U.S. troops to fight
Taliban insurgents.
In a bid to refurbish his image,
Karzai appeared yesterday on
* ABC-TV's "Good Morning Amer-
ica," endorsing calls for more U.S.
troops and accusing his critics of
exaggerating the extent of election
fraud.
MOSCOW
* Russian FM:
Threats of Iran
sanctions won't work
Russia pushed back yesterday at
U.S. efforts to threaten tough new
sanctions if Iran fails to prove its
nuclear program is peaceful, a set-
back to the Obama administration's
desire to present a united front with
Moscow.
After meeting with U.S. Secretary
of State Hillary Rodham Clinton,

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey
Lavrov said Moscow believed that
such threats would not persuade
Iran to comply and that negotiations
should continue to be pursued.
"At the current stage, all forces
should be thrown at supporting the
negotiating process," he told report-
ers at a joint news conference with
Clinton. "Threats, sanctions and
threats of pressure in the current
situation, we are convinced, would
be counterproductive."
FLINT, Mich.
Woman to be tried
over girl found dead
A woman accused of starving
her adopted quadriplegic daughter
and stashing the 9-year-old's body
in a storage unit must stand trial on
charges including murder, a judge
ruled yesterday.
Lorrie Thomas, 40, of Flint, is
scheduled to be arraigned Monday
in circuit court on six charges in-
cluding second-degree murder and
welfare fraud after Judge Tracy
Collier-Nix of 68th District Court
ruled there was enough evidence
to send her to trial.
Authorities believe Shylae
Thomas was dead for six weeks
when her body was discovered in-
side a 33-gallon container in astor-
age unit near Flint on April 22. The
Wdoctor who performed an autopsy
on the 33-pound girl said the cause
of death was a combination of ne-
glect, malnourishment and dehy-
dration.
- Compiled from
Djily wire reports

Former provost cites
need for engin. grads

Vest compares state of
engineering studies
in U.S. to those in
Japan, China
By FIDES ARANETA
For the Daily
When it comes to innovation,
the United States could be fall-
ing behind.
In a keynote address yesterday
morning, National Academy of
Engineering President Charles
M. Vest discussed the country's
dwindling number of engineer-
ing students.
The speech at Penny and Roe
Stamps Auditorium on North
Campus was part of an event
called Assuring Michigan's
Knowledge-Based Workforce: A
Summit on Diversity & Opportu-
nity in K-16+ Engineering Edu-
cation.
Vest, a former University of
Michigan provost and president
emeritus of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, com-
pared the state of engineering
studies in the United States to
those of Japan and China.
According to Vest, in the early
1980s, the United States, Japan

and China were equal in the
number of graduating engineers,
atabout 75,000 people. However,
he said, in 2002, the figures for
Japan and China had risen to
100,000 and 250,000 graduates
respectively, while the number
of graduates in the United States
fell to about 60,000.
In particular, Vest empha-
sized the need for a more diverse
student population in the field of
engineering.
"Our nation is facing tectonic
economic and global changes
and challenges," Vest said. "We
are seeing some backsliding in
the participation of women and
underrepresented minorities in
our engineering."
Vest said that in his earlier
years of teaching, women and
underrepresented minorities
were few in number, but they
were among the best in the class.
He said he wants to give more
opportunity for success to every
young person.
"The time really has come to
slay the dragon of complacency,"
he said. "There's little slack left.
Other nations are not biding
their time.
"I'm really worried, and in
fact," he continued, "I'm fright-
ened, but nonetheless, deep
inside me, there's still a spark of

optimism."
Vest argued that K-12 educa-
tion in America should do more
to encourage young people to
pursue engineering.
He said a majority of engi-
neering students in the state of
Michigan is from other coun-
tries. Since many of them return
home after graduation, he said,
they cannot be relied on so heav-
ily to contribute to innovation in
America.
"This requires two things:
inspiration and improvement in
education," Vest said.
Vest suggested giving AP
exams in math, science and
English at a younger age and an
incentive: a cash payment for
good marks.
Additionally, Vest cited a
National Math and Science
Initiative program that will
graduate 10,000 K-12 teachers,
appropriately disciplined in par-
ticular subjects, as a move in the
right direction.
Vest said the purpose of the
summit was "to help others see
the future. And to give them a
sense that the future need not
simply happen to them, some-
thing they respond to, but they,
to a large extent, can make the
future happen, they can shape it,
not just respond to it."

Senate Finance Committee member Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, second from
right, is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington yesterday during the committee's hear-
ing regarding health care reform.
Snowe vote pushes
health bill forward'
Oly pia Snowe only a hint of the bipartisanship that
Obama seeks.
Republican on key At the White House, Obama
called the events "a critical mile-
Cmte. to vote for bill stone" toward remaking the
nation's health care system. He
WASHINGTON (AP) - Historic praised Snowe as well as Sen. Max
legislation to expand U.S. health Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the
care and control costs won its first committee, and declared, "We are
Republican supporter yesterday going to get this done."
and cleared a key Senate hurdle, a There were fresh challenges.
double-barreled triumph that pro- Within minutes of the vote, labor
pelled President Barack Obama's unions and large business organi-
signature issue toward votes this zations both demanded changes in
fall in both houses of Congress. the bill, which was an attempt at a
"When history calls, history middle-of-the-road measure fash-
calls," said Maine Republican ioned by the committee under Bau-
Olympia Snowe, whose declara- cus' leadership.
tion of support ended weeks of Still, nearly nine months after
suspense and provided the only the president pledged in his Inau-
drama of a 14-9 vote in the Sen- gural Address to tackle health
ate Finance Committee. With her care, legislation to expand cover-
decision, the 62-year-old law- age to millions who lack it has now
maker bucked her own leadership advanced further than President
on the most high-profile issue of Bill Clinton's ill-fated effort more
the year in Congress, and gave the than a decade ago - or any other
driveto remakehealth care atleast attempt in more than ageneration.
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S U 3o U

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