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January 22, 2010 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-01-22

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Friday, January 22, 2010 - 3

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, January 22, 2010 - 3

Fire at auto show
causes evacuation
A small electrical fire forced the
evacuation of thousands of people
yesterday from exhibit halls at
Detroit's Cobo Center where they
were checking out the North Amer-
ican International Auto Show.
No injuries were reported, offi-
cials said.
The fire was in the rafters above
the Audi display and filled the main
hall with smoke. No vehicles were
damaged and smoke was being
aired out from the building, said
auto show spokesman Sam Locric-
chin. The show reopened later in
the day.
The Detroit Regional Conven-
tion Facility Authority said a mal-
function in a piece of electrical
equipment caused the fire. Gary
Brown, chief construction officer
for authority, said the fire was not
related torecent electricalupgrades
at the hall.
The authority, which runs Cobo
Center, said the exhibit halls were
calmly evacuated.
Supreme Court lifts
limits on corporate
campaign donations
The Supreme Court has ruled
that corporations may spend freely
to support or oppose candidates
for president and Congress, easing
. decades-old limits on their partici-
pation in federal campaigns.
By a 5-4 vote, the court on yes-
terday overturned a 20-year-old
ruling that said corporations can
be prohibited from using money
from their general treasuries to pay
for their own campaign ads. The
decision, which almost certainly
will also allow labor unions to par-
ticipate more freely in campaigns,
threatens similar limits imposed by
24 states.
It leaves in place a prohibition on
direct contributions to candidates
from corporations and unions.
Critics of the stricter limits
have argued that they amount to
an unconstitutional restraint of
free'speech, and the court majority
apparently agreed.
"The censorship we now con-
front is vast in its reach," Justice
AnthonyKennedy said in his major-
ity opinion, joined by his four more
conservative colleagues.
Guantanamo Bay to
aid in Haiti relief
The Haiti earthquake is giving
the American base at Guantana-
mo Bay a new mission: supply-
ing aid to the devastated island
nation and potentially detaining
thousands of Haitian migrants
captured at sea.
President Barack Obama's dead-
line for closing the base prison
expires Friday with no new date
in sight, but a huge effort to pro-
vide earthquake aid is just getting

The U.S. has designated Guan-
tanamo, less than 200 miles from
Haiti, as the hub of the aid opera-
tion. Dozens of helicopters and
planes take off daily to ferry sup-
plies and personnel to the stricken
country or to American ships off
the coast. I
In ordinary times, the base air-
strip is ghostly, with only about
three flights a day, including the
sporadic release of prisoners.
China says Google
case will not affect
relations with U.S.
China says the dispute it is hav-
ing with Internet giant Google
should not be linked to its bilateral
ties with the United States.
A report from the official Xin-
hua News Agency said yesterday
quoted Vice Foreign Minister He
Yafei as saying that the rift with
Google over online censorship and
security should not be "over inter-
Google says it will remain in
China only if the government
relents on rules requiring the cen-
sorship of content the ruling party
considers subversive.
The ultimatum came last week
after Google said it uncovered a
computer attack that tried to plun-
der its software coding and the
e-mail accounts of human rights
activists protesting Chinese poli-
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

California officials declare state of
emergency after storms grip state

Four powerful but.
Pacific storms are con
being blamed for area
several deaths eva
Calif. (AP) - A state of emergency Trip
has been declared in five Califor- can
nia counties due to a series of win- prol
ter storms. resc
Acting Gov. Jerry Brown pro- "
claimed the emergency Thursday for theI
Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San thre
Francisco and Siskiyou counties. able
Four powerful Pacific storms II
have caused several deaths, urban ban
flooding, power outages and forced mou
evacuation of more than 1,200 the1
homes in danger of massive debris put
and mudflows. of r
Steady rain fell yesterday on they
saturated Southern California intl
as the fourth Pacific storm in a O
week came ashore, triggering dire Del
warnings by authorities that huge wht
mud flows were likely in foothill sinc
communities and residents of "I
endangered homes should obey to h
evacuation orders. I'mI
Travel snarls mounted as a A
major highway was closed by snow mor
and strong winds forced cancella- wor
tion of flights at several airports. A yard
possible tornado left a trail of dam- Oce
age in a community northwest of ban
Los Angeles. neig
The siege of storms has led to but
several deaths statewide, street mai
flooding in urban areas and turned T
the region's often-dry river and trol;
creek channels into ragingtorrents. thel
Muddy water gushed down hills lade
Hope for

there were no immediate major
dents, and officials appeared
cerned the lack of massive
ris flows from wildfire burn
as was misleading for residents.
It's time to roll, it's time to
cuate," said Los Angeles County
lic Works Director Gail Farber.
ounty Fire Chief Deputy John
pp bluntly warned that signifi-
t debris flows were likely and
bably would block potential
ue attempts.
For those people that are still in
homes and are in those areas of
eat, it's very likely we will not be
to reach you," he said.
n the upper reaches of subur-
La Canada Flintridge, where
untainsides rise sharply from
backyards of homes, authorities
pink ribbons on the mailboxes
esidents who stayed behind so
y would know where to search
he event of a catastrophe.
Pne person who didn't leave was
os Tucker, a retired geologist
o has lived in the community
e the homes were built in 1962.
I'm just gambling it's not going
happen," he said. "Let's hope
3s an overnight lull gave way to
re rain at midmorning, public
ks crews shoveled mud from
ds, driveways and gutters along
an View Boulevard in subur-
La Canada Flintridge. The
hborhood was otherwise all
deserted, with newspaper and
1 deliveries cut off.
he county's extensive flood-con-
system was working, but many of
basins designed to catch debris-
o runoff from fire-scarred

A vehicle in California drives through high water yesterday. The floods were caused by a series of rainstorm
ern part of the state throughout the week.

mountains were full and evacuations
remained necessary, Farber said.
The basins are located on
streams and other water courses
emerging from the mountains to
intercept surges of mud, boulders
and other debris while allowing
water to flow into open channels
and underground storm drains
that empty into the ocean.
"We can thank a measure of luck
and the flood control system ... for
working so well, however we can't
keep counting on luck forever," said
Los Angeles County sheriff's Chief

Neil Tyler.
The arrival of the new storm
system shut down Interstate 5 in
the snowy Tehachapi Mountains
north of Los Angeles for the second
day in a row, interrupting travel on
one of state's major arteries.
A fierce wind struck two neigh-
borhoods in Ventura, and wit-
nesses described a tornado, police
Sgt. Jack Richards said. Trees were
toppled, cars were damaged and a
shed was torn apart in a 1/o-mile
span through two neighborhoods.
No one was hurt.

The National Weather Service
said radar patterns indicated it
may have been a non-rotating gust
called a microburst, but it was still
under investigation.
Southwest Airlines canceled
hundreds of flights in Southern
California and Arizona due to
strong winds and heavy rains.
Southern California Edison said
near 11,000 customers were with-
out power, and repair crews were
having trouble reaching equip-
ment in desert and mountain areas
because of snow.

Obama admin. promises more

reCe in aiti -- aid to Yemen to fight terrorism

1 \~1., 1 S %' L%.U 111 1 5.O .
begins tofade

Rescue efforts now
focused on keeping
survivors alive
(AP) - The rubble from the epic
earthquake now deathly quiet,
search-and-rescue teams packed
their dogs and gear Thursday
as the focus shifted to keeping
injured survivors alive, fending
off epidemics and getting help to
hundrids of homeless camps.
"We're so, so hungry," said
Felicie Colin, 77, lying outside
the ruins of her Port-au-Prince
nursing home with dozens of
other elderly residents who have
hardly eaten since the earth-
quake hit on Jan. 12.
A melee erupted at one char-
ity's food distribution point as
people broke into the storehouse,
ran off with food and fought each
other over the bags.
As aftershocks still shook the
city, aid workers were stream-
ing into Haiti with water, food,
drugs, latrines, clothing, trucks,
construction equipment, tele-
phones and tons of other relief
supplies. The international
Red Cross called it the great-
est deployment of emergency
responders in its 91-year history.
But the built-in bottlenecks
of this desperately poor, under-
developed nation and the sheer
scale of the catastrophe still left
many of the hundreds of thou-
sands of victims without help.
The U.S. military reported a
waiting list of 1,400 internation-
al relief flights seeking to land on
Port-au-Prince's single runway,
where 120 to 140 flights were
arriving daily.
"They don't see any food
and water coming to them, and
they are frustrated," said Prime
Minister Jean-Max Bellerive.
Four ships managed to dock
at the capital's earthquake-
damaged port, holding out the
promise of a new avenue for
getting aid to the city. A Danish
navy ship was seen unloading
crates. But the going was slow,
since only one truck at a time
could maneuver on the crack-
riven pier.
The picture was especially
grim at emergency medical
centers, where shortages of sur-
geons, nurses, their tools and
supplies have backed up critical
"A large number of those
coming here are having to
have amputations, since their
wounds are so infected," said
Brynjulf Ystgaard, a Norwegian
surgeon at a Red Cross field

Food was reaching tens of
thousands, but the need was
much greater. Perhaps no one
was more desperate than the 80
or so residents of the damaged
Municipal Nursing Home, in a
slum near the shell of Port-au-
Prince's devastated cathedral.
The quake killed six of the elder-
ly, three others have since died
of hunger and exhaustion, and
several more were barely clipg-
ing to life.
"Nobody cares," said Phileas
Justin, 78. "Maybe they do just
want us to starve to death."
In the first eight days after the
quake, they had eaten just a bit of
pasta cooked in gutter water and
a bowl of rice each. On Thursday,
they had a small bowl of spaghet-
ti and five bags of rice and beans,
and cooking oil, were delivered.
A dirty red sheet covered the
body of Jean-Marc Luis, who
died late Wednesday. "He died
of hunger," said security guard
Nixon Plantin. Yesterday, four
days after The Associated Press
first reported on the patients'
plight, workers from the British-
based HelpAge International
visited and said they would help.
One by one, such deaths were
adding to a Haitian government-
estimated toll of 200,000 dead,
as reported by the European
Commission. It said 250,000
people were injured and 2 mil-
lion homeless in the nation of 9
As U.S. troops began patrol-
ling Port-au-Prince to boost
security, sporadic looting and
violence continued.

U.S. to provide $70
million in military
aid in 2010
Obama administration will provide
more counterterrorism and devel-
opment aid to embattled Yemen,
but the country must show results
for assistance to continue to flow,
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham
Clinton said Thursday.
After meeting with Yemeni For-
eign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi at
the State Department, Clinton told
reporters the U.S. was pleased with
steps the Yemeni government was
takingto combat violent extremists,
including al-Qaida in the Arabian
Peninsula. That group has claimed
responsibility for the attempted
Christmas Day bombing of a
Detroit-bound American airliner.
Yemen is emerging as a central
focus in the fight against violent
extremists, and the United States
has ramped up both military and
civilian aid to the country over'
the past year. Clinton's remarks
reflect the administration's rising
concern about the crisis facing the
impoverished country and a deci-
sion to raise Yemen as a priority
on its foreign policy agenda.
the United States will intensify its
cooperation with Yemen on both
security and development," Clin-
ton said. "Yemen has demonstrat-
ed a willingness and a capacity to.
take action against al-Qaida and
other extremist groups, and the
United States commends these
She did not detail the enhanced
assistance but noted the U.S. cur-
rentlyhasathree-year, $121 million
development and economic assis-
tance program with Yemen. Sepa-
rately, the U.S. is providing nearly

$70 million in military aid this year.
Clinton's comments come ahead
of an international conference on
Yemen next week in London at
which new aid could be announced.
But she made clear that without
the Yemeni government reforms,
donors, including the U.S., would
balk at sending aid to the impover-
ished countrythat is facing internal
unrest apart from the extremists.
"The success of this investment
depends on Yemen's ability to make
the tough choices necessary to
improve the capacity to govern, to
reform its economy, to protect human
rights, to combat corruption and to
create a better environment for busi-
ness and investment," she said. ,
Yemen's government is weak,
and its authority does not extend
far outside the capital, but it has
stepped up military strikes against

al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula,
a strengthening terror offshoot
formed a year ago by Yemen and
Saudi militant factions.
Clinton stressed that the fight
against extremists could not be
waged solely by military means.
She said it must be accompanied by
improvements in people's lives that
will make them less prone to turn
to violence.
"Our relationship cannot be just
about the terrorists," she said. "As
criticial as that is to our security
and our future and to the stability
and unity of Yemen, the best way to
really get at some of these underly-
ing problems that exist is through
an effective development strategy."
Al-Qirbi reaffirmed his govern-
ment's commitment to fighting
terrorism and said reforms were

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