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February 08, 2010 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, February 8, 2010 - 3A

NEWS BRIEFS
DERTROIT
Detroit Zoo houses
more than 1,000
seized animals
The Detroit Zoo is serving as
a sanctuary to more than 1,000
mammals, reptiles and spiders
seized from a Texas exotic ani-
mal dealer.
The Macomb Daily reports
that the 1,100 animals now at the
Detroit Zoo home were among
nearly 27,000 animals seized
Dec. 15 in the nation's largest
exotic animal rescue effort.
After a judge ruled the ani-
mals will not be returned to
U.S. Global Exotics, Detroit Zoo
employees spent seven weeks
helping care for the animals at a
temporary site in Dallas.
On Thursday, 1,100 of the
" homeless animal were moved to
the Detroit Zoo, including five
wallabies, four sloths and hun-
dreds of reptiles, spiders and
amphibians.
Zoo official Scott Carter says'
zoo workers are now working
to help place hundreds more of
the seized animals with other
accredited zoos and sanctuaries.
BOULDER, Colo.
Authorities look
into fatal Colorado
plane collision
Investigators plan to talk
to other pilots to determine
whether they heard any com-
munications between two small
planes just before they collided
in Colorado, killing all three
people on board both planes
while a glider under tow by one
of the aircraft cut loose and flew
to safety.
With no hlackhbox data, inves-
tigators are relying heavily on
video, photos and witnesses'
testimony to determine what
led to the fiery crash Saturday,
National Transportation Safety
Board investigator Jennifer
Rodi said yesterday.
The crash occurred asout-
bout 1:30 p.m. Saturday near
the Boulder Municipal Airport
when a southbound Cirrus SR20
collided with a westbound Piper
Pawnee that was towing the
glider, causing the "immediate
disintegration and explosion of
. both airplanes," Rodi said.
EVOLENE, Switzerland
Skier survives
17-hour burial
" beneath avalanche
A skier was buried beneath
an avalanche for 17 hours in the
Swiss Alps before being pulled
from the snow with only mild
hypothermia, police said yes-
terday.
The 21-year-old man
appeared to have survived
because he was trapped next to
a pocket of air that allowed him
to breathe even though he was
unable to free himself from the

crushing weight of the snow,
police in the southern canton of
Valais said.
"I've never heard of such
a case before," said police
spokesman Jean-Marie Bornet.
"It's already very difficult to
survive more than 45 minutes
beneath an avalanche."
The man, who had been ski-
ing alone on an unmarked slope
in the Evolene region about 80
kilometers (50 miles) east of
Geneva, was reported missing
by his family at 4.30 p.m. Satur-
day, police said.
BAGHDAD
Protests held in
Iraq amid row over
recent election ban
Hundreds of protesters
denounced Iraqis still loyal to
Saddam Hussein's Baath Party
yesterday as tensions soared
over the decision to blacklist
suspected Baathists from next
month's election.
Protesters chanted and car-
ried signs that said, "No, No to
Baath Party!" and "The return
of the Baath Party is a return
to mass graves."
Shiite officials, including
Prime Minister Nouri al-Mali-
ki and his political allies, are
trying to purge all high-level
posts of Iraqis with ties to the
Baath party, which was out-
lawed in Iraq in 2003.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

'Historic' snow hits mid-Atlantic

Some areas buried by
more than 2 feet of
snow, thousands left
without power
WASHINGTON (AP) - Planes
were grounded, trains stood still
and Greyhound buses weren't
rolling in the Mid-Atlantic yes-
terday, leaving stranded travelers
wondering when they'll be able to
escape the icy, gray mess created
by a major snowstorm.
'Hundreds of thousands of
homes were without power with
temperatures below freezing all
day, with utilities warning it could
be days before it's all restored.
Plows had scraped down to bare
pavement on some main thorough-
fares while not touching streets
in many areas buried by 2 feet or
more.
In the nation's capital, mean-
while, today will be another day
for residents to get back to normal.
The federal government made the
decision to close agencies today,
and many school districts across
the region were giving students
a snow day. For those stranded,
however, the thought of another
day of weekend wasn't much to
smile about.
Joel Jones of Durham, N.C.,
said he was on a bus from Balti-
more on Friday. When he arrived
in Washington, the rest of the trip
was canceled. He walked to Union
Station to get a train, where he has
remained, sleeping on chairs.
"I'm starting to worry because I
take insulin," said the 41-year-old,
who has diabetes. "I got enough
for like one more shot, so I have

enough until tomorrow. Hopeful-
ly, I'll get on the bus in the morn-
ing."
The National Weather Service
called the storm "historic" and
reported a foot of snow in parts of
Ohio and 2 feet or more in Wash-
ington, Delaware, New Jersey and
Pennsylvania. Parts of Virginia,
Maryland and West Virginia got
closer to 3 feet.
Many roads reopened but
officials continued to warn resi-
dents that highways were still
icy, a remnant from the storm
President Barack Obama called
"Snowmageddon."
In Washington, the sun was
finally shining yesterday and the
sounds of shovels could be heard
on streets. In contrast to Satur-
day, when people were frolicking
on the barren streets, thoughts
turned yesterday to cleanup.
The snow snapped tree limbs
onto power lines, and several roofs
collapsed under the weight.
Making matters worse, the
weather service issued a storm
watch for tomorrow.
Some people without electricity
worried whether the power would
return in time for last night's
Super Bowl kickoff - though it
was an afterthought for others just
trying to stay warm.
Julia Nickles-Bryan and her
husband, Charles Bryan, were
more focused on keeping their
twin 7-year-old daughters warm
inside their Baltimore home -
where the thermostat read 47
degrees. All they had for heat was
a gas stove, gas water heater and a
fire in the fireplace.
"We're basically camping,"
Nickles-Bryan said.
Bill McKenzie, 42, a govern-

t. SCOTT APPLEWHITE/AP
Washington residents clear snow in front of their yard yesterday. Up to two feet of snow covered the surrounding area.

ment contractor from San Anto-
nio, Texas, was staying at a hotel
near BWI Airport in Elkridge,
Md., when the snow hit. He had
planned to watch the Super Bowl
with friends in the area, but the
storm made that impossible. He
spent Saturday at a sports bar next
to his hotel and was back for much
of the day yesterday to watch the
game.
"It's a godsend," McKenzie said.
"If this place wasn't here, we'd all
be starving to death."
In Philadelphia, 28.5 inches of
snow fell during the storm, just
shy of the record 30.7 inches dur-
ing the January 1996 blizzard.
Snow totals were even higher to
the west in Pennsylvania, with 31
inches recorded in Upper Stras-

burg and 30'inches in Somerset.
Almost 18 inches was recorded
at Washington's Reagan National
Airport, which had canceled all
flights. That's the fourth-highest
storm total for the city, and airport
officials haven't decided when
flights would resume. At nearby
Dulles International Airport in
Virginia, the record was shattered
with 32 inches. Some flights there
have resumed.
At Reagan National Airport,
59-year-old Gwen Dawkins was
trying to get back to Detroit. She
was supposed to leave yesterday
but still hadn't yesterday after-
noon because of delays and can-
cellations. And she said there was
"no way we're getting out of here
tonight."

"You've got a whole city held
captive here," she said. "They were
very ill-prepared."
Authorities say most public
transportation in Philadelphia has
resumed. In Pittsburgh, bus ser-
vice restarted but light-rail wasn't
running.
In Mount Lebanon, a suburb
south of Pittsburgh, Robb and
Meredith Hartlage were again
trying to clear the sidewalk in
front of their house.
"We did a couple hours yester-
day. I would say about four hours
mixed with sledding," said Robb
Hartlage, 40, who said he's not
too old to play in the snow. He
acknowledged, however, that the
shoveling was hard work.

Obama rallies Dems
amid GOP challenges

Hundreds flee
south Afghan town
ahead of offensive

President to party:
"We can't solve all of
our problems alone"
WASHINGTON (AP) - Just
a year after celebrating Barack
Obama's inauguration, despon-
dent Democrats on Saturday
heard from their party leader
who urged optimism in the face
of Republicans' strong challenge
to their congressional dominance.
The president said politi-
cal leaders must plot their way
forward to November with an
understanding of the economic
difficulties Americans face.
"I understand their frustration.
You understand it as well," Obama
said.
At its winter meeting, a defiant
Democratic Party worked to proj-
ect a message of strength even as
loyalists acknowledged the pros-
pect of several defeats in Novem-
ber. The party that controls the
White House typically loses seats
during midterm elections at an
average rate of 28 net House seats.
President Bill Clinton, the last
Democratic commander in chief,
lost control of Congress in his first
term and Democrats privately are
predicting it could happen again.
Obama, looking to write his
own history, warned fellow Dem-
ocrats that "we have to acknowl-
edge that change can't come
quickly enough."
A government report on Fri-
day put the unemployment rate
at 9.7 percent. Distrust of Wash-
ington has grown and spurred an
anti-Washington sentiment that
sent scores of activists to a "tea
party" convention in Nashville
on the same day. Another sign of
the tone: Republican Sen. Scott
[ -<',I

Brown won a special election to
take the seat of the late, liberal
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Mas-
sachusefts.
Democrats also lost gubernato-
rial contests in Virginia and New
Jersey that had been in Democrat-
ic hands.
Obama sought to energize
Democratic loyalists against what
he called "the other party." He
urged Democrats to work with
their Republican counterparts.
"We can't solve all of our prob-
lems alone," Obama said, as the
audience sat in silence.
While Republicans have stood
in solid opposition to the presi-
dent's proposed overhaul of health
care, Obama insisted he wasn't
willing to abandon the domes-
tic priority that has consumed
months of his agenda and has fall-
en short of victory, for now.
"Let me be clear: Iam not going
to walk away from health care
insurance reform," Obama said,
bringing the audience in the hotel
ballroom to their feet.
Republicans, though, made
clear the Democrats' cur-
rent health proposals must be
scrapped.
"If they get past this arrogant
phase that they have been stuck in
about a year, if they can work their
way past that and concentrate on
the real problem which is the cost,
we are willing to look at it," said
Senate Republican leader Mitch
McConnell of Kentucky. "To work
together, first you have to do iton
a bipartisan basis."
Obama, recognizing his agenda
can't be accomplished without
GOP support, in recent weeks has

been emphasizing the need for
bipartisanship as a way of moving
forward.
'"We can't return t he derelic-
tion of duty," Obama said. "Amer-
ica can't afford to wait, and we
can't look backward."
His party, for certain, would
prefer not to revisit its ordeals of
2009, which produced some vic-
tories but hardly the narrative
that would deliver them electoral
victories this year.
"I know we've gone through
a tough year. But we've gone
through tougher," Obama said.
DNC chairman Tim Kaine, the
former Democratic governor of
Virginia who saw a Republican
follow him into office, insisted
that Democrats should not be
despondent, even if the path for-
ward has become more difficult
following the Massachusetts Sen-
ate election.
"The ghost of Harry Truman
would kill us if he heard us com-
plaining about having only 59
Democratic senators," Kaine said.
Around the room Saturday at
the DNC meeting, Democrats
sought to remain upbeat.
"The fight's been tough," said
Alejandra Salinas, the chair of the
Young Democrats of America's
Hispanic caucus. "We might lose
some seats, but we'll pick up new
ones."
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton,
Washington's nonvoting repre-
sentative in the U.S. House, said
Democrats would continue to
keep up the fight.
"They underestimated us four
yearsago when we took back the
Congress," she said.

Civilians leave area
controlled by Taliban
as militants dig in
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan
(AP) - Minivans piled high with
mattresses and clothing lined up
at checkpoints last as hundreds of
civilians fled a Taliban-controlled
area ahead of a planned NATO
offensive in southern Afghanistan.
The militants, meanwhile, dug
in for a fight, reinforcing their
positions with rocket-propelled
grenades and heavy weapons,
accordingto witnesses.
The U.S. military has not given
a start date for the operation to
clear insurgents from the Helmand
province town of Marjah, the big-
gest community in the south under
insurgent control. But the military
has said fightingwill startsoon and
many residents weren't taking any
chances.
American aircraft dropped leaf-
lets over Marjah yesterday warn-
ing people of the coming offensive,
officers said, and the U.S. fired illu-
mination rounds after sundown,
apparently to help spot Taliban
positions.
Villagers said the leaflets were
aimed primarily at the militants,
listing several of their command-
ers by name and warning fighters
to leave the area or be killed.
U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrys-
tal, the top NATO commander in
Afghanistan, said the success of

the operation depends on convinc-
ing civilians that the government
will improve services once the mili-
tants are gone.
The offensive in Marjah - a
farming community and major
opium-production center with a
population of 80,000 - will be the
first since President Barack Obama
announced he was sending 30,000
additional troops.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai
discussed the on-going operations
in Helmand province ina telephone
conversation yesterday with British
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a
spokesperson for Brown said.
The spokesperson said they "wel-
comed the leading role" played by
Afghan Security Forces in prepar-
ing for the offensive, stressing that
"Afghan leadership was fundamen-
tal to the success of the operation."
U.S. officials have longtelegraphed
their intention to seize Marjah.
McChrystal said the element of sur-
prise was not as important as letting
citizens know that an Afghan govern-
ment will be there to replace Taliban
overlords and drug traffickers.
"We're trying to create a situa-
tion where we communicate to them
that when the government re-estab-
lishes security, they'll have choices,"
McChrystal told reporters Sunday.
The International Committee of
the Red Cross said there was no way
to count the number of people who
have left Marjah because many have
moved in with relatives or rented
houses in nearby towns instead of
registering for emergency relief.

ri

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