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January 07, 2010 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-01-07

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8A - Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 0

- Thursday, January 7, 2010 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Governors give state of the state
addressees amid financial crisis

Yemeni official:
U.S. troops not
welcome here

0

Besher, Paterson,
and Schwarzenegger
talked job creation
in speeches
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -
Governors in California, New York
and Kentucky spelled out ambitious
plans to create jobs and deal with a
crippling financial crisis Wednes-
day at a time when states around
the country are opening their leg-
islative sessions under an ominous
cloud of economic uncertainty.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in
California and Gov. David Paterson
in New York delivered state of the
state addresses that tried to strike
upbeat notes for the future while
acknowledging that they are in
the midst of deep fiscal problems.
In Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear
said he would "refuse to use this
recession as an excuse not to move
forward."
Legislative sessions got under
way in other states, with lawmak-
ers arriving at capitols in a more
subdued mood than usual on
account of the economy. In Nebras-
ka, there was a call for a shortened
session to save money.
The pain is being felt in most
states as lawmakers begin ses-
sions this month. The Center on
Budget and Policy Priorities says
state budget shortfalls are likely
to reach a staggering $180 billion
for the coming fiscal year - a
crunch that means new tolls to
fund road projects, more prison-
ers being released early to trim
corrections budgets, and possibly
the end of welfare programs in
some states.
In his final State of the State
speech, Schwarzenegger sought to
look beyond his often-rocky tenure
and tell lawmakers they must act
boldly to reform the state's tax and
budgeting systems so future lead-
ers do not find themselves in simi-
lar dire circumstances. He noted
sweeping changes to the tax sys-
tem recommended by a bipartisan
commission last year.
He also outlined plans to
train 140,000 workers and cre-

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, center, stands at the podium with Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, left, and Sen-
ate President Pro Tern Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, right, after delivering his final State of the State address yesterday.

Minister says
Yemen shouldn't
turn into Iraq or
Afghanistan
SAN'A, Yemen (AP) - As Yemen
becomes the new front in the war
on terror, its leaders want this tobe
clear: It does not intend to become
another Iraq or Afghanistan with
thousands of U.S. troops on the
ground.
Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-
Qirbi drew some red lines yester-
day in itsburgeoning alliance with
Washington against al-Qaida,
telling The Associated Press that
Yemen welcomes U.S. and foreign
troops for training, intelligence
and logistical support.
"But not in any other capacity,"
he said, adding, "there is a lot of
sensitivity" among Yemenis about
foreign combat troops. He under-
lined that Yemeni forces would
remain under Yemeni command,
without any joint authority with
the Americans.
His comments came as Yemeni
security forces carried out a hunt
for Mohammed Ahmed al-Hanaq,
the suspected leader of an al-Qaida
cell believed tobe plotting attacks
on the U.S. Embassy or other con-
sulates in Yemen. While troops
searched in the mountainous
region of Arhab northeast of San'a
where he was hiding, officials
were negotiating with local tribal
sheiks, demanding al-Hanaq's sur-
render.
Washington and San'a are still
feeling out how far they can go in
their newly intensified partnership
against al-Qaida, whose fighters
have dug roots into the mountains
of this impoverished Arab nation
and now, the Obama administra-
tion says, present a global threat.
Military personnel from the
United States and other West-
ern countries are already on the

ground helpingtrainYemenicoun-
terterror units and exchanging
intelligence, and Washington and
Britain are ramping up aid, pour-
ing in tens of millions of dollars to
build up the security forces.
Yemen's government has been
weakened by wars, poverty and
its own misrule and corruption.
Central authority barely extends
beyond the capital, and heavily
armed tribes control large areas.
Many tribes are bitter toward
San'a, and some give refuge to al-
Qaida fighters.
The U.S. says the group in
Yemen, known as al-Qaida in the
Arabian Peninsula, trained and
provided the explosive materi-
als for the 23-year-old Nigerian
accused of trying to blow up an
American passenger jet head-
ing to Detroit on Christmas Day.
This week, the U.S. and other
Western countries temporarily
closed their embassies in San'a
after threats of a terrorist attack
surfaced. The move was criti-
cized by al-Qirbi.
"It was the wrong decision actu-
ally,"he said ofthe closures Sunday
and Monday. "Closing embassies
in response to a threat plays into
the hands of the terrorists."
He was also critical of Obama's
decision to halt the release of
Yemenis held at Guantanamo
Bay military prison, out of fear
they could return to terror activi-
ties. The government "would like
Yemenis to be handed over" and
will prosecute any who committed
crimes, al-Qirbi said.
Al-Qirbi said the U.S. should
focus itself on building up Yemen's
own forces.
Mistrust of the United States is
high among the population of 22
million, and President Ali Abdul-
lah Saleh relies in part on sup-
port from Islamic conservatives
- including some in the military
- who may resist too close an alli-
ance with the Americans against
al-Qaida.

ate 100,000 jobs in a state with an
unemployment rate of more than
12 percent - but acknowledged the
need for more cuts in the face of a
$20 billion budget deficit.
Inwarningthatthemonthsahead
will not be easy, Schwarzenegger
conceded that some areas of state
government had been cut too far,
pointing to K-12 and higher edu-
cation. He said he would seek to
protect education funding, calling
it an embarrassment for California
that the state spends far more on its
prison system than on its universi-
ties. Prisons account for roughly 11
percent of general fund spending,
compared to 7.5 percent for higher
education.
"First, as bitter as the words are
in my mouth, we face additional
cuts. We know what that means.
We know the pain it entails," he
told lawmakers packed into the
Assembly chamber as his wife,
first lady Maria Shriver, looked

on. "What can we say at this point
except the truth? That we have no
choice."
In New York, Paterson
addressed budget deficits in his
speech by proposing the merging
of state agencies and public track-
ing of agency performance. He
asked Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch to
take the lead on a four-year recov=
ery plan, proposed a constitutional
spending cap and promised to use
his executive authority to veto or
delay spending to keep the govern-
ment solvent.
In a speech critical to improv-
ing his standing in the polls, the
Democrat called for curbing the
state's overspending and for creat-
ing jobs, in part by renewing New
York's once-mighty manufacturing
sector. Among his proposals is the
acquisition and renewal of aban-
doned factories for sale back to the
private sector.
Paterson also focused consider-

ably on ethics reform. He said he
would introduce ethics legislation
to limit the influence of special
interests and wants a new inde-
pendent agency to enforce ethics
laws. He proposed term limits for
elected officials as well as requir-
ing them to disclose their outside
business ties.
"Outside influences and inside
decay have bred cynicism and
scorn in the people we represent,"
the governor said, adding that he
expected pushback against his
proposals. "Prosperity hides all
manner of sin, but no longer."
Kentucky's Gov. Beshear said
that his top priority remained job
creation and retention. His state
has lost more than 113,000 jobs
since the recession began two
years ago, and has a jobless rate of
10.6 percent.
"In these troubled times, Ken-
tuckians need hope and they need
help," he said.

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