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October 15, 2009 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-10-15

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 3A

Mich. lawmakers:
No gov. shutdown
Democratic Gov. Jennifer Gra-
nholm and Republican Senate
Majority Leader Mike Bishop said
yesterday they don't expect anoth-
er government shutdown over the
budget, but they didn't seem close to
agreeing on anything else.
The two met for just over an hour
yesterday afternoon before speak-
ing separately with reporters.
Bishop said he told Granholm he
sees no need for additional tax rev-
enue to enact a yearlong budget for
the state, and warned her against
vetoing items in the budget bills.
"What she's going to do, if she
decides to veto, is to unilaterally
de-fund sections of the budget,"
he said. "They're still pursuing tax
increases that are unnecessary at
" this time. They're bad for Michigan.
And we're going to stand strong."
Granholm told reporters that she
urged the Rochester Republican to
compromise on limited tax and fee
increases she says the state needs to
pay for college scholarships, Medic-
aid, K-12 education and money local
governments use for police and fire
Dow Jones shows
economy recovering
When the Dow Jones industrial
average first passed 10,000, traders
tossed commemorative caps and
uncorked champagne. This time
around, the feeling was more like
The best-known barometer of the
stock market entered five-figure ter-
ritory again yesterday, the most vis-
ible sign yet that investors believe
the economy is clawing its way back
from the worst downturn since the
The milestone caps a stunning 53
percent comeback for the Dow since
early March, when stocks were at
their lowest levels in more than a
"It's almostlike an announcement
that the bear market is over," said
Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst
at Jefferies & Co. in Boston. "That
is an eye-opener - 'Hey, you know
what, things must be getting better
because the Dow is over 10,000."'
Obamacalls for $250
Soc. Sec. payment
President Barack Obama called on
Congress yesterday to approve $250
payments to more than 50 million
seniors to make up for no increase in
Social Security next year. The Social
Security Administration is sched-
uled to announce today that there
will be no cost of living increase next
year. By law, increases are pegged to
inflation, which has been negative
this year.
It would mark the first year with-
out an increase in Social Security
payments since automatic adjust-
ments were adopted in 1975.
"Even as we seek to bring about
recovery, we must act on behalf of
those hardest hit by this recession,"

Obama said in a statement. "This ad-
ditional assistance will be especially
important in the coming months, as
countless seniors and others have
seen their retirement accounts and
home valuesfdecline as aresultofthis
economic crisis."
85,000 killed in
Iraq, report says
Iraq's government said at least
85,000 Iraqis were killed from 2004
to 2008, officially answering one of
the biggest questions of the conflict -
how many perished in the sectarian
violence that nearly led to a civil war.
What remains unanswered by the
government is how many died in the
2003 U.S. invasionand inthe months
of chaos that followed it.
A report by the Human Rights
Ministry said 85,694 people were
killed from the beginning of 2004
to Oct. 31, 2008 and 147,195 were
wounded. The figures included Iraqi
civilians, military and police but
did not cover U.S. military deaths,
insurgents, or foreigners, including
contractors. And it did not include
the first months of the war after the
2003 U.S.-led invasion.
The Associated Press reported
similar figures in April based on gov-
ernment statistics obtained by the
AP showing that the government
had recorded 87,215 Iraqi deaths
from 2005 to February 2009. The
toll included violence ranging from
catastrophic bombings to execution-
style slayings.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

NTSB report says pilot
caused 'U' plane crash

Two years later,
government report
says pilot's record
was "disturbing"
pilot of a 2007 medical flight that
crashed into Lake Michigan, kill-
ing all six aboard, mishandled an
unusual flight situation and was
unable to properly coordinate
with his first officer, the National
Transportation Safety Board said
Capt. Bill Serra was flying the
twin-engine Cessna from Milwau-
kee to Michigan. A four-member
medical crew affiliated with the
University of Michigan was on
board, as well as human organs for
Besides faulting Serra and first
officer Dennis Hoyes at a hearing,
the NTSB said that a culture of lax
security by flight operator Marlin
Air contributed to the crash. The
board also cited the failure of the
Federal Aviation Administration
to detect and correct deficiencies

of the company.
On a cockpit voice recorder,
Serra can be heard soon after
take off struggling to control the
plane. The NTSB was unable to
determine what caused this, nar-
rowing it to two potential causes:
Hoyes inadvertently turning on
the plane's autopilot, or a problem
with the aircraft's trim control,
which helps maintain the air-
craft's position. A problem with
this control could have caused the
plane to turn sharply, leading to
the crash.
Under either scenario, NTSB
experts said, the crash likely could
have been avoided if the pilots had
maintained a reduced airspeed.
The safetyboard cited the check-
ered history of Serra, and faulted
Marlin Air for not being aware that
in two separate incidents, Serra's
pilot's license was temporarily
revoked. He had been convicted of
using a plane to smuggle drugs into
the United States.
NTSB experts also said their
investigation showed Serra had a
history of cavalier behavior and
rule bending.
Other pilots told NTSB inves-

tigators that Serra had instruct-
ed others to ignore treacherous
weather in some cases and had
once tried to fly even though a strut
had collapsed on his plane.
Reports from other pilots about
Serra "were disturbing," said Mal-
colm Brenner, human performance
group chairman for the NTSB. "At
(Serra's) initial safety meetings he
said something to the effect that
all of us have broken regulations at
some point."
Hoyes had logged many hours
in the air, but seemed inept and
unskilled as a pilot, experts said.
Hoyes made a series of routine
errors that distracted the pilot
and may have contributed to the
The NTSB also recommended
that Cessna make design modi-
fications to the aircraft involved
- the Citation II - including mov-
ing the location of the button that
switches the plane to autopilot.
The autopilot button and another
motion control button are located
near each other on the center con-
sole, and some aircraft makers
have redesigned consoles to avoid

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke with business and govern-
ment leaders during her visit to Russia this week.
Cinton: (Work us,,
with us, Rsi

U.S. urges Russian
officials to stop
"living in the past"
KAZAN, Russia (AP) - U.S.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham
Clinton on Wednesday challenged
Russians to open up their politi-
cal system, embrace diversity and
scorn Cold War-era thinking.
In Moscow and Kazan, the capi-
tal of Russia's religiously and ethni-
cally diverse republic of Tatarstan,
Clinton underscored to audiences at
elite universities the Obama admin-
istration's desire to "reset" relations
with Russia.
"We have people in our govern-
ment and you have people in your
government who are still living in
the past," she told a crowd of about
2,000 students at Moscow State
University. "They do not believe
the United States and Russia can'
cooperate to this extent."
"They do not trust each other
and we have to prove them

wrong," she said.
Though she seemed to cast blame
equally, Clinton took particular
aim at Russian suspicions toward
improved ties and the influence of
U.S. policies and Western values.
"The more open that Russia can
become, the more Russia will con-
tribute," she said. "The more active
and dynamic the political system
you have, the more ... ideas will go
into the mix and out of it will come
even better answers to the problems
that we all face."
The comments came a day after
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey
Lavrov objected to the Obama
administration's strategy of publicly
threatening Iran with more sanc-
tions to get it to come clean about its
suspect nuclear program.
At a news conference with Clinton
on Tuesday, Lavrov said that while
more sanctions might eventually be
needed, talking about them or other
penalties now is "counterproduc-
tive." The U.S. believes Iran will
respond only if confronted by a uni-
fied position.

In this June 3, 2009 file photo, UN investigator Richard Goldstone visits the destroyed house where members sf the Samo-
ni family were killed in an artillery strike during Israel's offensive in January in Gaza City.
Palestinians urge Israeli
punishment over Gaza

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Israel says U.N.
report is one-sided,
biased and wrong
Palestinians called yesterday for
global action to punish Israel for
alleged war crimes during its mili-
tary assault on Gaza last winter,
warning that the credibility of the
United Nations and international
human rights law was at stake.
The demand was based on the
findings of a commission headed by
former South African judge Richard
Goldstone that accused both Israeli
forces and Palestinian militants
of war crimes and possible crimes
against humanity during their Dec.
27-Jan.18 war.
Israel immediately rejected the
commission's report, calling it "one-
sided, biased and therefore wrong."
The report became the focus
of the Security Council's monthly
Mideast meeting yesterday after an
about-faceby the Palestinians.
Palestinian Foreign Minister
Riad Al-Malki and Israel's U.N.
Ambassador Gabriela Shalev
opened the council meeting yester-
day by trading accusations about
the Goldstone report. The session
ended yesterday evening after near-
ly50 speeches.
The U.N. Human Rights Council
commissioned the report and took
it up in early October, but Palestin-
ian diplomats agreed to delay con-
sideration until March under heavy
pressure from the United States.
The U.S. feared it would jeopar-
dize attempts to revive the Mideast
peace process.
The call for a delay sparked
scathing criticism of Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas and led
the Palestinians to reverse course,
first seeking an emergency Secu-
rity Councilmeetingand then seek-
ing to reopen the Human Rights
Council debate, which will happen
The Goldstone report concluded
that Israel used disproportionate
force, deliberately targeted civil-
ians, used Palestinians as human
shields, and destroyed civilian
infrastructure during its incursion

into Gaza to root out Palestinian
rocket squads.
It accused Palestinian armed
groups of deliberately targeting
civilians and trying to spread terror
through its rocket attacks on south-
ern Israel. Hamas, the Palestinian
Authority's main rival, controls
Gaza and most armed groups in the
Al-Malki said "the savage Israeli
military aggression" exhibited "a
callous disregard for human life"
and deliberately destroyed thou-
sands of homes, schools, mosques
and industrial and agricultural
He called the report "another
wake-up call to the internation-
al community that must not be
ignored," adding that "the credibil-
ity and foundations of international
human rights and humanitarian
law, as well as of the U.N. as awhole,
is at stake."
Israel's Shalev countered that
the report "favors and legitimizes
She insisted that "it denies Isra-
el's right to defend its citizens. ... It
permitsterrorists to victimize civil-
ians, target the innocent, and use as
human shields those it claims to
Shalev accused the world of
"doing nothing" about Hamas'
smuggling of Iranian arms into
Gaza, its launching of attacks from
schools, mosques and hospitals, or
its firing if 12,000 rockets against
innocent Israeli civilians.
And she accused Libya - the
only Arab member on the council
- of trying to "hijack" its agenda by
raising the Goldstone report, noting
that three weeks ago Libyan leader
Moammar Gadhafi called the Secu-
rity Council a "terror council."
The report recommended that
the Security Council require both
sides to carry out credible investi-
gations within three months into
alleged abuses during the conflict
- in which 13 Israelis and almost
1,400 Palestinians, including hun-
dreds of civilians, were killed - and
to follow that up with action in their
If either side refuses, the investi-
gators recommended that the Secu-
rity Council refer the evidence for

prosecution by the International
Criminal Court, the world's first
permanent war crimes tribunal,
within six months.
France's U.N. Ambassador
Gerard Araud called the allega-
tions in the report "grave indeed"
and urged both parties to conduct
independent investigations that
meet international standards. Brit-
ain's U.N. Ambassador John Sawers
expressed regret that Israel refused
to cooperate with the commission
and urged the Israeli government
"to carry out full, credible and
impartial investigations."
The draft resolution to be con-
sidered at this week's Human
Rights Council meeting in Geneva
would condemn Israel's failure to
cooperate with Goldstone's fact-
finding mission and endorse the
report's recommendations. The
draft calls on the U.N. and other
bodies to ensure implementation
of the recommendations, calls on
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
to submit a report to the council on
the status of implementation, and
asks the General Assembly to take
up the Goldstone report in the cur-
rent session.
The Human Rights Council is
expected to vote on the resolution
tomorrow, and approval will likely
return the issue to the Security
But council diplomats say there
is little chance that the Security
Council will take any action, pri-
marily because of objections by
the United States, Israel's closest
ally, which said the report should
be handled by the Human Rights
U.S. deputy ambassador Ale-
jandro Wolff reiterated yesterday
that the report and "the allegations
of human rights and humanitarian
law violations ... are not a matter for
Security Council action."
"its unbalanced focus on Israel."
Wolff said Israel has the institu-
tions to seriously investigate the
allegations "and we encourage it to
do so." On the other hand, he added:
"Hamas is a terrorist organization
and has neither the ability nor the
willingness to examine its viola-
tions of human rights."

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