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December 04, 2009 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-12-04

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, December 4, 2009 - 3

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, December 4, 2DD9 - 3

NEWSBRIEFS
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich.
Man's false 911
call fails to divert
police during high
speed car chase
A Macomb County man is jailed
after police say he tried to divert
them by calling 911 to report a non-
existent crime while being chased
in a stolen truck.
Sheriff Mark Hackel says
26-year-old Jesse Eden of Shelby
Township is being held on $100,000
bond after his arraignment yester-
day on charges including filing a
false police report and possession
of stolen property.
Hackel says a deputy tried to
stop Eden after he allegedly stole a
bottle of liquor Monday from a store
in Washington Township, about 30
miles north of Detroit. The sheriff
says Eden drove off and called 911
to falsely report an armed robbery
and shooting.
Hackel says the chase ended in
Troy in Oakland County when the
truck hit another vehicle and over-
turned. No serious injuries were
reported.
MEDFORD, Ore.
Tree hunters
stranded in snow
Keith and Jennifer Lee were
driving home on a remote moun-
tain road, their prized Christ-
mas tree strapped to the roof of
their all-wheel-drive, when they
rounded a backcountry corner and
found themselves suddenly mired
in snow.
Out of cell phone range, and
unaware a search was under way,
the couple spentthree days and two
cold nights before Keith Lee finally
freed the Subaru and drove home,
the tree still tied on top.
They soon heard radio news
reports about a search that had
begun Wednesday with ahelicopter,
Sno-Cats and ATVs. They called 9i,
then phoned a close friend who was
taking care of their four children.
"I screamed, 'They're safe,
they're coming home,"' said the
friend, Sophie Smith. "Everybody
just fell and cried."
Just like thousands of Orego-
nians each year, the Lees bought a
Christmas tree permit from their
local national forest office and
headed out Tuesday morning to
find the perfect tree - a silver-tip
fir that only grows at high eleva-
tion, just like the one they got a
year ago.
SAN DIEGO, Calif.
Border agents
seize $1.6M in
counterfeit toys
Officials have seized thousands
of counterfeit toys worth $1.6 mil-
lion alongsouthern Californiabor-
dec points.
U.S. Customs and Border Pro-
tection says the toys included
more than 2,500 knockoff Barbie
dolls, worth $58,500, that were

contained in boxes shipped to San
Diego in October and November.
At the Otay Mesa border point,
agents seized 3,100 battery-oper-
ated toy vehicles bearing fake
"Jeep" labels in October.
The manufacturer of the toy
vehicles, which were designed for
kids to drive, did not have permis-
sion to use the Jeep trademark.
SYDNEY, Australia.
Australian man
dives into jellyfish
A man dove face-first into an
extremely venomous, peanut-sized
jellyfish in waters off northeast
Australia and medics flew him to a
hospital intensive care unit to treat
the potentially fatal sting, officials
said Friday.
The 29-year-old man, whose
name has not been released, was
on a yacht yesterday off northeast
Queensland state. As a precaution,
he waswearingafull-length "sting-
er suit," a lightweight version of a
wetsuit that covers everything but
the face, feet and hands and helps
protect against venomous jellyfish
that are common in northern Aus-
tralia's waters during the Southern
Hemisphere summer.
But when he dove into the water
near South Molle Island, he was
immediately stung in the face by a
potentially lethal Irukandji jelly-
fish, Central Queensland Helicop-
ter Rescue Service spokeswoman
Leonie Hansen said. He was taken
back to the island, where a rescue
team rushed to his aid.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

At NATO talks, Clinton praises allies

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cretary of state new commitments, Clinton said.
Clinton made the comments in
aimed to sell an interview with reporters travel-
ingwith her from Washington. She
)ama's changing departed the U.S. capital yesterday
shortly after testifying before the
war strategy Senate Foreign Relations Com-
mittee, where she joined Defense
JSSELS (AP)--U.S. Secretary Secretary Robert Gates and Adm.
te Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mike Mullen, chairmanofthe Joint
ig today at NATO headquar- Chiefs of Staff, in defending the
velcomed an expected series president's decision to send 30,000
ouncements by allied nations more troops to Afghanistan.
itional military, civilian and Clinton told reporters she was
ial support for the war effort pleased that allies have responded
hanistan. positively to the Obama plan.
ton was attending a string of "We are encouraged that they
tgs here with allied foreign aregoingto-beginning(today)but
ers and with representatives not ending (today) - have a num-
i-NATO countries that have ber of public announcements about
in Afghanistan, plus Russia. additional troop commitments and
ught to sell President Barack additional civilian assistance and
a's revamped war strategy, development aid, as well," she said
banks on major new allied without naming any countries.
butions, not just to escalate She said she had discussed the
mbat effortbut also to bolster matter with her counterparts from
n functions and provide more 20 to 25 countries over the past
pment aid. week.
..StanleyMcChrystal, thetop NATO Secretary-General
can commander in Afghani- Anders Fogh Rasmussen said
iso was to attend the meeting Wednesday that the allies will con-
TO's main political council tribute at least 5,000 more troops
'lain the 43-nation military to the war effort "and probably a
n, which he has sought to few thousand more."
and reinforce since he took The U.S. now has about 71,000
ommand last June. He has troops in Afghanistan, while 42
bed conditions in the fight other NATO andnon-NATO nations
t Taliban extremists - now have a total of 38,000 troops there.
ninth year -- as serious and They are fighting a far smaller col-
trating. lection of Taliban militants who
ed governments need to be enjoy a haven across the border in
o sell their publics on the Pakistan.
enlarging the war, and par- European countries have been
'ly those countries in which reluctant to add large numbers of
al parties share power have soldiers to a war that often looks
ure "the political stars are in unwinnable and to support an
rent" before they announce Afghan government tainted by cor-

MANUEL BALCE CENETA/AP
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reviews a document with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates during a visit to.NATO
headquarters yesterday.

ruption and election fraud. Some
leaders are waiting for an interna-
tional conference on Afghanistan
in London in late January before
promising any more troops.
Asked about the criticism that
has focused on Obama's decision
to announce a date in 2011 to begin
the withdrawal of American troops
from Afghanistan, Clinton said that
it has been misunderstood by some
and that others were simply seek-
ing to create a controversy.
"There have been some mis-
understandings about what that

date meant," she said, referring to
Obama's announcement that begin-
ning in July 2011, the U.S. troop
contingent would begin to be with-
drawn. The administration has said
the pace and scale of the withdraw-
alwillbedetermined afterafurther
assessment of conditions on the
ground, starting with an adminis-
tration review in December 2010.
"Some people seized on that, for
whatever reason or lack of under-
standing, as a way to try to create a
difference where I'm not sure there
is one," Clinton said.

She also took a gentle stab at the
Bush administration's approach to
running the war. She said Afghani-
stan's defense chiefhad,toldherlast
month that for the first time he felt
like a full participant in the NATO
military structure, as a result of
changes made by McChrystal, who
was appointed to the top command
by Obama several months after he
took office. Referring to the more
limited Afghan participationbefore
McChrystal's arrival, she said,
"That's a little bit discouraging,
when one looks back."

Karzai supports
troop withdrawal
deadline for US

Afghan president
calls for direct talks
with Taliban's leader
KABUL (AP)-PresidentHamid
Karzai put a brave face yesterday
on President Barack Obama's deci-
sion to start pulling out troops in
mid-2011, telling The Associated
Press in his first public response
that it will push Afghans to take
control of their own destiny.
But he blamed the United States
for stalling peace overtures in the
past and offered to talk directly
with the Taliban's top leader.
Karzai appeared relaxed and
confidentthroughoutthe exclusive
AP interview - the Afghan presi-
dent's first remarks since Obama's
announcement Tuesday that he
will send 30,000 more U.S. troops
to Afghanistan by next fall with
the anticipation that they would
start coming home in July 2011.
Karzai said the deadline, just 18
months away, is "not a concern for
us - it is rather an impetus."

"For Afghans it's good that we
are facing a deadline," he said.
"We must begin to stand on our
own feet. Even if it is with our own
meager means - whatever those
means may be. And we must begin
to defend our own country.
"If we, the Afghan people, can-
not defend our country, ourselves,
against an aggressor from within
or without, then no matter what
the rest of the world does with us,
it will nowt produce the desired
results," he said during the one-
hour interview at the turreted
brick palace in the heavily guarded
heart of the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Republicans have objected to
the setting of a hard deadline
for withdrawing troops for fear
it would encourage the Taliban
to play a waiting game and say
Obama must be willing to delay
the start of a pullout if security
deteriorates..
But Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton and Defense Secretary
Robert Gates told U.S. lawmakers
yesterday that the July 2011 date
is flexible.

Employers cut 130, 000 jobs in November - 70,000 fewer than in October. Forecasters estimate,however, that the unem-
ployment rate will remain at a 26-year high rate of 10.2 percent.
Unemployment levels drop but
expected to remain high in 2010

Economy predicted
to make steady but
slow recovery
WASHINGTON (AP) - New
unemployment claims have fallen
for a fifth straight week, boosting
expectations that the economy
shed fewer jobs in November and
remains on a path to recovery.
That optimism was tempered,
though, by signs yesterday that
the rebound will be slower and
bumpier than those that followed
previous recessions. Both retail
sales and activity in the service
sector unexpectedly shrank last
month as consumers remained
anxious about their jobs and hesi-
tant to spend.
The surprise dip in the service
sector was worrisome, because
this area accounts for nearly 80
percent of the nation's economic
activity. It includes such diverse
industries as health care, retail,
financial services and transpor-
tation.
Productivity gains in the third
quarter also showed that employ-
ers are managingto squeeze more
work out of fewer workers. That's
a potentially ominous sign for
the nearly 16 million unemployed
Americans.
Nigel Gault, chief U.S. econo-
mist at IHS Global Insight, said
the reports depicted an economy
growing but only sluggishly.
"We have got a recovery, but
it is going to remain pretty slow
and well below what you would
normally see coming out of this
deep of a recession," Gault said.
Most worrisome for the econ-
omy, perhaps, is that consumers

- who drive 70 percent of the
economy - continue to limit their
spending.
The latest evidence was the
miserable November the nation's
big chain retail stores reported
yesterday. After posting two
monthly gains after more than a
year of declines, the stores said
sales dipped last month - a criti-
cal decline because it meant the
holiday shopping season got off to
a lackluster start.
The more positive news yester-
day was the Labor Department's
report that the number of newly
laid-off workers filing for unem-
ployment benefits fell for a fifth
consecutive week. It dropped to
a seasonally -'adjusted 457,000
last week. That's the lowest total
since the week of Sept. 6, 2008.
The government is expected
to report today that employers
shed 130,000 jobs in Novem-
ber, fewer than the 190,000 jobs
lost in October. But forecasters
think the unemployment rate
will remain at 10.2 percent, a
26-year high.
PresidentBarackObamakicked
off a White House jobs forum
yesterday, saying he was "open to
every demonstrably good idea" to
reverse the rising tide of job loss-
es. But with limited government
resources, the private sector ulti-
mately will have to lead.
"We have to be surgical, and
we're going to have to be cre-
ative," Obama said.
Companies have been laying
off fewer workers. But they have
yet to ramp up hiring, and the
jobless rate is expected to keep
climbing, probably hitting 10.5
percent or higher by the middle
of next year.

The government's productiv-
ity report said output per hour of
work shot up at an annual rate of
8.1 percent in the July-September
period. It was the sharpest quar-
terly increase in six years. For now,
that means companies can get by
without hiring more workers.
The question is how long they
can do so. Nigel Gault, an econo-
mist at IHS.Global Insight, said
companies are reaching the lim-
its of their ability to boost output
with scaled-down work forces.
Gault expects employers to
begin rehiring in coming months
to meet customer demand. That
would help sustain the recovery,
because it would bolster incomes
and encourage more consumers
to spend. Many analysts say the
economy should begin seeing net
job growth sometime early next
year.
For now, shoppers are being
held back not only by job anxi-
ety but by low wages. Over the
12 months that ended in October,
wages and salaries - the most
vital component of incomes -
fell 2.9 percent, the Commerce
Department said last week.
Partly because of that, Gault
forecast that the overall economy,
as measured by the gross domes-
tic product, will limp along at
subpar rates of about 2.5 percent
through mid-2010. High unem-
ployment, which has depressed
wages and consumers' ability to
spend, will continue to restrain
the economy, he said.
On Wall Street, a late-day slide
pulled stocks lower ahead of the
jobs report today. The Dow Jones
industrial average fell 86.53, or
0.8 percent. Other stock averages
also dropped.

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