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November 09, 2009 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-11-09

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10 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, November 9, 2009 - 3A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, November 9, 2009 - 3A

NEWS BRIEFS
" WASHINGTON
GOP officials say
Dems put agenda
ahead of country
Democrats just don't get the elec-
tion message from voters and are
pushing a liberal, big government
agenda at their party's peril, Repub-
lican officials said yesterday as they
predicted a political price after the
majority's victory on health care.
Voters are "tired of the borrow-
ing, the spending, the bailouts, the
takeovers," said Rep. Mike Pence of
Indiana, the No. 3 House GOP leader,
pointing to GOP victories in guberna-
torial races in Virginia and New Jer-
sey last week.
The Democratic-controlled House
narrowly approved a health care bill
Saturday night, with 39 Democrats
voting against it and a single Repub-
lican voting in its favor. President
Barack Obama's top domestic initia-
tive faces a high hurdle in the Sen-
ate, which must pass its own bill and
then negotiate a compromise with the
House to craft a final measure.
"On a narrow partisan vote, the
Democrats put their liberal, big gov-
ernment agenda ahead of the Ameri-
canpeople,"Pencesaid."IfDemocrats
keep ignoring the American people,
their party's going to be history in
about a year."
DENVER, Colo.
Man threatens
abortion doctor
With concerts and memorials
today, Germans will celebrate the day
the Berlin Wall came crashing down
20 years ago.
On that cold night, they danced
atop the wall, arms raised in victory,
hands clasped in friendship and giddy
hope. Years of separation and anxiety
melted intothe unbelievable reality of
freedom and a future without border
guards, secret police, informers and
rigid communistcontrol.
Germans are celebratingwith con-
certs boasting Beethoven and Bon
Jovi; a memorial service for the 136
people killed tryingto cross over from
1961 to 1989; candle lightings and
1,000toweringplasticfoamdominoes
to be placed along the wall's route and
tippedover.
On Nov. 9, 1989, East Germans
came in droves, riding their sputter-
ing Trabants, motorcycles and rickety
bicycles. Hundreds, then thousands,
then hundreds of thousands crossed
over the following days.
WASHINGTON
Obamato attend
memorial for Fort
Hoodvictirns

After weeks of debate, Iraq election
law passes, sets up national vote

Passage avoids crisis
that almost delayed
troop withdrawal
BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq's parlia-
ment ended weeks of debate yes-
terday and passed a long-delayed
law paving the way for the planned
January election to go forward,
sidestepping a crisis that could have
delayed the U.S. troop withdrawal.
The decision appeared to resolve
a key sticking point - who will be
allowed to vote in the disputed,
oil-rich city of Kirkuk. The issue
had threatened to delay Iraq's key
parliamentary elections, which
in turn would affect how quickly
American combat forces could
leave the country.
In a sign of how intensely Wash-
ington was followingthe debate, U.S.
Ambassador Christopher Hill could
be seen shuttling between various
political factions before the law's
passage. President Barack Obama,
speaking at the White House, wel-
comed the new legislation.
"This is an important milestone
as the Iraqi people continue to take
responsibilityfortheirfuture.I want
to congratulate Iraq's leaders for
reaching this agreement," Obama
said. "The United States will con-
tinue to stand with Iraq as a strong
partner and as a friend."
Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al-
Maliki, in a statement posted on his
Web site, hailed the election law's
passage as a "historic victory of the
will of the people," and described it
as a strong response to the people
who are trying to undermine the

country's security.
The U.S. ambassador, speaking
to reporters after the vote, said the
American troop drawdown will
proceed asscheduled. Military com-
manders have said the U.S. troop
withdrawal would start in earnest
about 60 days after the vote, the idea
being that the country would be on
stable footing by then.
"What is important is that with
the election law, we are very much
on schedule for the drawdown," Hill
said.
Under the president's plan, all
U.S. combat troops will be out of the
country by the end of August 2010,
leaving about 50,000 trainers and
support troops, who in turn would
leave by the end of 2011.
It was not clear exactly when
the election would be held - Jan.

repeatedly delayed by sharp dis-
agreements over how voting would
take place in the northern city of
Kirkuk, claimed by both Arabs and
Kurds and a major flashpoint in the
country.
Kurds consider Kirkuk a Kurd-
ish city and want it part of their
self-ruled region in northern Iraq.
During the rule of former dictator
Saddam Hussein, tens of thousands
of Kurds were displaced under a
forced plan by Saddam to make
Kirkuk predominantly Arab, though
many of these have since returned.
The Arab-led central government
vehemently opposes anything that
would remove Kirkuk from its con-
trol.
Under the legislation passed yes-
terday, the vote in Kirkuk would

be held just like in other regions
around the country, but the votes -
and those in other disputed areas -
could be subject to a special review
if it is determined that there was a
large population increase.Arabs and
the Turkomens claim Kurds have
packed the city with immigrants to
tip the balance in their favor.
The legislation did not include
any guaranteed seats for Arab and
Turkomen lawmakers from Kirkuk,
something which had been dis-
cussed in earlier versions.
Both Kurds and Arabs appeared
to claim victory after the some-
times raucous parliament session
that was televised live on Iraq state
TV.
"This is a good law because it
occurred after broad agreement,

and it presents a solution to a prob-
lem that we have now solved. It
doesn't achieve all our (Kurdish)
ambitions, but it achieves a balance,"
said Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish
lawmaker.
But Omar al-Jabouri, a Sunni
member of parliament, called the
voting "a great victory," because, he
said, Kurds were forced to accept
special circumstances in regards to
the Kirkuk voting.
The law passed with141votes, but
it was not immediately known how
many of the parliament's 275 mem-
bers voted against the legislation
or even attended the session. Low
turnouts are common in Iraq's par-
liament, which often does not have
enoughpeopletoformthenecessary
138-person quorum.

16 as originally planned or a later
date in January. The head of the
Independent High Electoral Com-
mission, Faraj al-Haidari, told The
Associated Press that he expected
the vote to be held within a week
of Jan. 16.
Deputy Parliament Speaker,
Khalid al-Attiyah said it would
likely be held January 21 or23. The
Iraqi constitution mandates that
the vote takes place inJanuary, but
does not specify which day.
Once the legislation is approved
by the president and his two vice
presidents, the election commis-
sion will decide how many days are
needed to hold the vote, al-Haidari
said. Then the commission will
send a letter to parliament and to
the prime minister to inform them
of their decision.
The law's passage had been

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President Barack Obama will
attend a memorial service tomorrow
honoring victims of the Ford Hood
shootings, an attack he described
as "all the more heartbreaking and
all the more despicable" because it
occurred on the nation's largest Army
post.
He praised those who ended the
shootings,whichkilled13 and wound-
ed 30 others, and lauded the armed
services' diversity - a move designed
to calm tensions about the suspected
shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.
"They are Americans of every race,
faith and station. They are Christians
and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and
nonbelievers,"Obamasaid inhisradio
and Internet address Saturday, airing
the weekend before Veterans Day.
"They are descendants of immi-
grants and immigrants themselves.
They reflect the diversity that makes
this America. But what they share is a
patriotism like no other."
KALAMAZOO, Mich.
Western Michigan
opens Detroit-area
recruit center
Western Michigan University has
decided to open a recruiting office in
Royal Oak and plans to start offering
"new academic programming" in the
Detroit area as well.
The Kalamazoo-based school says
southeastern Michigan now supplies
37 percent of its students and says the
Royal Oak office gives it a presence in
the heart ofthe region.
The university says its three-year
lease starts Jan. 1.
New academic offerings in the
Detroit area would be through West-
ern Michigan's Extended University
Programs.
Vice Provost Keith Hearit says
Western Michigan has started talks
with Oakland Community College for
a partnership that could lead to stu-
dents starting their bachelor's degree
work at Oakland.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

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