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January 21, 2010 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-01-21

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, January 21, 2010 - 3A

NEWS BRIEFS
" DETROIT
Court orders Detroit
ex-mayorto pay
$300,000 to city
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame
Kilpatrick lied again to the citi-
zens of the city he once led, a
judge said yesterday as he ordered
the disgraced official to pay more
than $300,000 in restitution
within 90 days or face further
punishment.
During a restitution hearing,
Wayne County Circuit Judge
David Groner had harsh words for
the ex-mayor and convicted felon,
calling his conduct "reprehensi-
ble" and accused him of showing
"contempt" for Detroit.
"You have not been credible
in this courtroom and again you
have not been honest," Groner
said. Kilpatrick was silent during
the hearing, shaking his head on
occasion as the judge made his
ruling.
LANSING, Mich.
Unemployment rate
drops to 14.6 percent
A Michigan's unemployment
rate improved in December for
the third straight month, drop-
ping slightly to 14.6 percent, state
officials said yesterday.
The new rate was down from
a national high of 14.7 percent in
November. The state jobless rate
peaked for the year in September,
when it hit 15.3 percent.
Modest recalls of laid-off auto
workers and a slower pace of job
loss in the service sector helped
stahilize Michigan's unemploy-
ment rate in the second half of
2009. The state spent the first
" half watching its rate climb as the
national recession worsened and
General Motors Corp. and Chrysler
LLC went through bankruptcy,
causing Michigan to lose more than
100,000 manufacturing jobs.
But the losses, which averaged
33,000 jobs a month in the first
half of the year, slowed to 2,000 a
month in the second half.
ANSONIA, Conn.
Angry man kidnaps
4Gwha tossing_ --
teenager
Police said a prank turned
potentially dangerous when a man
angry about a snowball hitting
his car allegedly pulled a knife
on a group of youths and kid-
napped one of them. No one was
injured. Joshua Good, 25, was to
be arraigned Monday in Superior
Court on charges including first-
degree kidnapping, threatening
and reckless endangerment. The
kidnapping charge carries 10 to 25
years in prison.
Police said a group of youths was
throwing snowballs near Colony
Park Friday night when Good's car
was hit. Police say Good threatened
the youths with a knife and forced a
13-year-old boy into his car.
Authorities say Good drove the
boy home and didn't hurt him.

Good posted $150,000 bail. He
didn't immediately return a phone
message yesterday.
BEIJING
* Chinese teen.
praised as hero for
killing local official
When Li Shiming was stabbed,
through the heart by a hired
assassin, few of his fellow villag-
ers mourned the local Communist
Party official many say made their
lives hell by seizing land, extort-
ing money and bullying people for
years.
Instead, villagers in the north-
ern town of Xiashuixi have made
Li's teenage killer something of
a local hero. More than 20,000
people from the coal-mining area
petitioned a court for a lenient
sentence.
"I didn't feel surprised at all
when I heard Li Shiming was
killed, because people wanted to
kill him a long time ago," said vil-
lager Xin Xiaomei, who says her
husband was harassed for years
by Li after the two men had a per-
sonal dispute. "I wanted to kill Li
myself, but I was too weak."
The murder trial has again cast
a harsh light on abuses of power
by communist cadres and the
frustration many ordinary Chi-
nese feel with a one-party system
that sometimes allows officials to
run their districts like personal
fiefdoms.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Democrats see
Mass. message:
Jobs, jobs, jobs

After surprise loss
in Mass., Dems push
for greater emphasis
on the economy
WASHINGTON (AP) - Wound-
ed in Massachusetts, frustrated
Democrats yesterday urged the
White House to focus on jobs and
the economy - not the health care
overhaul that's now at risk = and
pressed President Barack Obama
to more forcefully make their
case against Republicans ahead
of potentially disastrous elections
this fall.
On the day after the improbable
Senate election of Republican Scott
Brown in Massachusetts, Obama
and his Democratic Party raced to
re-evaluate their midterm election
strategy, adjust their health care
approach and assuage an angry
electorate. The embarrassing
defeat to the GOP in a Democratic
stronghold was a bitter end to the
president's first year in office, and
it triggered furious party soul-
searching.
"I would like the Democratic
Party as a whole including its lead-
er, the president, to speak clearly
about the differences and to define
those differences," Sen. Robert

Menendez of New Jersey, chair-
man of the Senate Democrats'
campaign effort, told The Associ-
ated Press. And it's not just about
Republicans and Democrats, he
said: "We have to do a much-better
job ofbothengagingand delivering
to independent voters."
Obama himself owned up to a
failure to communicate.
In a year of hopping from crisis
to crisis, he told ABC News, "we
lost some of that sense of speaking
directly to the American people
about what their core values are
and why we have to make sure
those institutions are matching up
with those values."
Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.,
put it more simply, assessing the
message Massachusetts sent.
"Economy, economy, economy,"
she said.
"We need a jobs bill. We need
short-term, focused strategies to
create jobs, real fast," said Sen. Bob
Casey, D-Pa. "If the dominantmes-
sage isn't about jobs and spending,
we'll be making a difficult chal-
lenge exponentially more diffi-
cult."
At the Capitol, Sen. Claire
McCaskill, D-Mo., declared, "If
there's anybody in this building
that doesn't tell you they are more
worried about elections today, you
should absolutely slap them."

week's earthquake. shift tent city on Monday in Port au Prince, Haiti, that was set up for people displaced by last
Americanls eager
to adopt orphaned
Haitian children

Two killed in Calif.
storm evacuations

Officials say road
to adoption lengthy
to prevent pari'ents
from selling kids
MIAMI (APJ - Tammy Gge
cries every time she turns on the
TV and sees the devastation in
Haiti. And'thongtrnheahemdy has
three daughters, she didn't hesitate
when her husband suggested that
they adopt from Haiti.
"That's all he needed to say," she
said.
Gage and her husband Brad are
among many Americans express-
ing interest in adopting children
who have been left orphans from
the quake last week. Adoption
advocacy groups are reporting doz-
ens of calls a day.
"The agencies are being flooded
with phone calls and e-mails," said
Tom Difilipo, president and CEO of
the advocacy group Joint Council on
International Children's Services.
"The response is 'Can we help with
these children by adopting them?"'
The need is vast. Even before
last Tuesday's deadly magnitude-
7.0 earthquake, Haiti, one of the
world's poorest countries, had
380,000 orphans, according to
UNICEF. There is no.counting
children newly orphaned by the
quake, but aid groups estimate
the number in tens of thou-
sands.
"Everybody here and in the
world wants to do something.
I think it's a way that people
are opening up their heads and
their hearts," said Mary Ross
Agosta, spokeswoman for the
Archdiocese of Miami, which
has offered temporary housing
for children until they are either
placed with extended family,
put in foster care or adopted.
This week, 54 orphans
arrived in Pittsburgh after a
mission that involved officials
in the White House, the State
Department and the Depart-
ment of Homeland Security. The
orphans were being cared for
at Children's Hospital of Pitts-
burgh. So far, seven children
have been placed with their
adoptive families.
"We have received quite a
few phone calls, including one
from as far away as Alaska," said
Clare Kushma, a spokeswoman
for Catholic Charities of Pitts-
burgh. She estimated the num-
ber of calls as close to 100, but is
referring people to the Allegh-
eny County's Department of
Human Services for adoptions.
The road to adoption is a long
one. The orphans coming to
the U.S. now are children who
either had already established a
relationship with potential par-
ents in the country, or who were
certified as orphans before the
quake but hadn't been placed
with parents yet, said Chris
Bentley, a U.S. Citizen and

titnigration Services spokesman.
Before new adoptions can occur,
officials need to establish that the
children are identified by the Hai-
tian government as orphans; there
have been reports of families sell-
ing their children to adoption bro-
kers. And potential families need to
he cleared, too.
"All this is a2-year process mini-
mum," Difiliposaid. "Somefamilies
ht faedive yers" ,--
New solutions may be enact-
ed for these orphans, though,
said Mary Robinson, CEO of the
National Council for Adoption. Her
advocacy group has gotten an offer
from Puerto Rico to serve asa rest-
ing place for children until they are
adopted.
State Department spokesman
Darby Holladay said the orphans
are one of the highest priorities for
the U.S. government.
"We are looking at each and
every orphan case individually and
we are working around the clock
with officials of both Homeland
Security and the Haitian govern-
ment to find solutions," he said.
He said the U.S. Embassy in
Haiti has processed immigrant
visas for 46 orphan children whose
cases were ready for processing.
In addition, there have been 100
humanitarian waivers for orphans.

The Department of Home-
land Security has also set up an
e-mail on Haitian adoptions,
haitianadoptions(at)dhs.gov,where
people can get queries answered
about ongoing adoptions. Bentley
also said there will be a task force
to help Haitian children come into
the U.S. for adoption.
Gage, 38, of Stanberry, Mo., said
her oldest daughter texted her
the-phone number of the National-
Council for Adoption while on the
school bus. The family knows that
adoption can take a long time, but
plans to stick it out.
"Of course the sooner, the better,
but I know kind of the process," she
said.
Gage and her husband Brad had
discussed adopting before, but she
was moved by the devastation in
Haiti. "Really, I wanted to get on
the next flight out and help these
people," she said.
UNICEF will now work to find
children who are alone and deter-
mine whether they are orphans
or have become separated from
family, New York-based spokes-
man Patrick McCormick said. 'If
they have relatives, the agency will
work to reunite them. Alternative
and longterm choices such as inter-
national adoption would be options
only after that.

Strong winds and
heavy rain forces
locals to leave homes
LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE,
Calif. (AP) - A third powerful
Pacific storm pounded Califor-
nia with heavy rain and snow
yesterday, forcing evacuations of
hundreds of homes below wild-
fire-scarred mountains, shutting
a major interstate and unleashing
lightningstrikes on two airliners.
Fierce winds howled along the
coast and in the mountains, and
forecasters warned of rainfall rates
as high as la!0 inches an hour on soil
already saturated from two days
of wild weather that caused urban
street flooding in coastal cities,
spawned a damaging tornado and
toppled trees, killing two people.
Despite stern pleas from
authorities and door-to-door calls
by police officers and sheriff's
deputies, some residents refused
to comply with evacuation orders
issued for Los Angeles-area foot-

hill communities below the steep
San Gabriel Mountains where 250
square miles of forest burned in a
summer wildfire.
Rick and Starr Frazier put their
faith in concrete barriers and a
2-foot-high wall of sandbags on the
perimeter of their home in La Can-
ada Flintridge.
"Look at our house, we're pretty
well fortified here," Starr Frazier
said. "If any rain or mud or any-
thing comes down;it'll be blocked
by our barricades and we're very
well stocked with food and water."
When they told Los Angeles
County deputies they weren't leav-
ing, the deputies asked them to
fill out forms stating they'd been
advised of the danger. They also
were warned it might not be pos-
sible to rescue them.
While most others in the Fra-
ziers' community appeared to be
complying, officials in nearby Los
Angeles reported only about 40
percent compliance by residents of
262 homes in that jurisdiction.
Police Chief Charlie Beck sternly
urged the rest to go.

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