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February 26, 2010 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-02-26

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, February 26, 2010 - 3

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, February 26, 2010 3

NEWS BRIEFS
* LANSING, Michigan
Food summit
meant to boost
agriculture in Mich.
Finding ways to increase the
availability of fresh, healthy food
across Michigan and spur econom-
ic growth in the state are some of
the topics on the agenda during a
meetingin Lansing.
The first Michigan Good Food
Summit takes place yesterday at
the Lansing Center. Since Septem-
ber, summit work groups have been
examining those topics and oth-
ers such as how to make Michigan
farms more viable.
The summit is backed by the
W.K. Kellogg Foundation. It's
hosted by the C.S. Mott Group for
Sustainable Food Systems at Michi-
gan State University, the Food Bank
Council of Michigan and the Mich-
igan Food Policy Council.
The state says higher demand
for locally grown food has created
opportunities to boost Michigan's
agriculture industry.
Registration is $30 at the door.
WASHINGTON
Ethics panel finds
Rangel broke rules
Rep. Charles Rangel, the most
powerful tax-writing lawmaker in
Congress and a 34-year veteran of
Capitol Hill, knowingly accepted
Caribbean trips from a corpora-
tion in violation of House rules,
the House Ethics Committee ruled
Thursday, The Associated Press has
learned.
At least four other members of
the Congressional Black Caucus
who were also on the 2007 and
2008 trips were exonerated by
the panel, according to a congres-
sional source familiar with the
findings.
The finding is certain to jeopar-
dize Rangel's chairmanship of the
House Ways and Means Commit-
tee. The tax-writingcommitteewill
take a lead as Congress determines
the fate of former President George
W. Bush's expiring tax cuts.
Rengel's ethics troubles also
present an election-year dilemma
for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
who led a Democratic takeover of
the House in 2006 on a campaign
promise to end a "culture of corrup-
tion" in the GOP-led Congress.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico
Clean-up crews
ordered back to
work despite no pay
The owners of a Puerto Rican
fuel depot that exploded in Octo-
ber have been ordered to resume
cleanup after contractors walked
off the job last week, the U.S. Envi-
ronmental Protection Agency said
yesterday.
It is the second time cleanup
crews quit working at the Carib-
bean Petroleum Refinery site, or
CAPECO, since the explosion that
forced the evacuation of more than
1,500 people, the agency said.
The company apparently has not

paid workers, said an EPA official
who spoke on condition of ano-
nymity because the person was not
authorized to release the informa-
tion.
An attorney for CAPECO, Nere-
ida Melendez, did not respond to an
e-mail seekingcomment.
The explosion caused a fire that
burned for two days and led to
an oil spill that is still a threat to
humans and nearby wetlands and
bodies of water, the EPA said.
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico
Police chief gunned
down at son's school
Mexican authorities say gunmen
killed a deputy police chief outside
an elementary school as his wife,
son and other students and parents
looked on.
A state prosecutors' spokesman
says Chihuahua City police coordi-
nator Antonio Olague was dropping
the boy off at school when assail-
ants in a car attacked.
Police had no suspects in
Wednesday's shooting. Prosecu-
tors' spokesman Eduardo Ezparza
confirmed the attack Thursday.
Chihuahua City is the capital
of Chihuahua state, the worst-hit
region in Mexico's brutal druggang
violence.
Cartels have killed scores of
police and government officials
in reaction to a frontal assault by
thousands of troops and federal
police deployed across Mexico.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

N.Y. Governor Paterson says he's not
dropping out of race, despite scandal

Leading Democrats
have been asking
Paterson to bow out
NEW YORK (AP) - Despite
calls from leading Democrats to
step aside, Gov. David Paterson
said yesterday he won't drop his
election bid amid a growing scan-
dal surrounding accusations of
domestic violence against a key
aide.
The embattled governor said he
will speak to key NewYork Demo-
crats about his political future
but for now he's continuing his
campaign to be elected governor.
Paterson rose to governor in 2008,
when former Gov. Eliot Spitzer
resigned in a prostitution scandal.
Paterson also said he will coop-
erate fully with a state attorney
general's investigation into con-
tact his administration had with
a woman who accused aide David
Johnson of domestic violence. No
criminal charges were brought
after the Halloween 2009 con-
frontation.
"I'm not suspending my cam-
paign, but I am talking to a num-
ber of elected officials around the
state as I would fellow Democrats
to hear their opinions," Paterson
said before a gala of the group 100
Black Men at a Manhattan hotel.
Asked if he would withdraw if
fellow Democrats asked him to,
Paterson responded: "I am obvi-
ously listening to them. I've got
an open mind about this thing.
I want the Democrats to win in

November."
Paterson's comments came
after a day of developments sur-
rounding Johnson and any role
the administration and state
police played after the Halloween
confrontation.
Paterson's top criminal justice
Cabinet member resigned over the
burgeoning scandal, saying con-
duct by the state police was "dis-
tressing" for an administration
that has devoted itself to reducing
domestic violence.
Elected officials and other
candidates for office clamored
for .Paterson to end his cam-
paign - formally launched
just days ago - as the turmoil
mushroomed around Johnson.
A police report detailed in The
New York Times discusses a con-
frontation between Johnson and
the woman over her Halloween
costume.
The Times reported Wednes-
day on court papers showing a
phone call between state police
and the woman. Paterson's office
acknowledges he talked to the
woman but says she placed the
call, and a spokesman for the
governor denied anyone tried to
keep the woman from pursuing a
domestic-violence case.
Paterson's office has not made
Johnson available for comment.
The state police said in a news
release that they won't comment
on any aspect of the case during
the investigation by the office
of Andrew Cuomo, the popular
attorney general whom many
would like to see run as the Dem-

New York Gov. David Paterson, center, speaks to media outside West Wing of the White House in Washngnton, Moday

ocratic candidate for governor
instead of Paterson.
The Paterson administration
asked Cuomo's office to investi-
gate the matter, and the attorney
general's office said it would look
into whether crimes or other
wrongdoing were committed. The
state police said Cuomo asked the
agency not to open its own inter-
nal probe.
Rick Lazio, a Republican can-
didate for governor, said Cuomo
should tell New Yorkers if any of
his staff gave the Times informa-
tion for the Johnson story.
"If you do not disavow any con-
nection to this story the same
conflict of interest would be pres-

ent and anyfindings of your inves-
tigation would be immediately
called into question," Lazio said
in a written statement.
Criminal Justice Services
Commissioner Denise O'Donnell
abruptly quit Thursday after-
noon, saying state police Super-
intendent Harry Corbitt had
assured her his agency was not
involved in the confrontation
involving Johnson.
Corbitt denies misleading
O'Donnell. He said that he told
her state police weren't involved
in the investigation, not that they
hadn't contacted the woman.
Paterson's office had no imme-
diate comment about O'Donnell's

resignation. Paterson has been
resisting calls from fellow Demo-
crats not to seek a full term, and
some saw O'Donnell's departure
as a sign the administration was
tottering.
"That's a very serious blow,"
state Sen. Bill Perkins, a Demo-
crat who represents Paterson's old
state Senate district in Manhat-
tan's Harlem neighborhood, said
of O'Donnell's departure. "She
has been loyal, so the Cabinet, so
to so speak, is falling apart."
Paterson, the state's first black
governor, faces a big test before his
scheduled campaign announce-
ment in Harlem, his home district,
on Sunday.

Afghanistan officials establish
control in Taliban stronghold

Chavez denies breach
of human rights laws

Marines still
searching Marjah
for Taliban holdouts
MARJAH, Afghanistan (AP)
- Afghan officials raised the
national flag over Marjah yester-
day, asserting government con-
trol even as Marines searched for
militant holdouts. Kabul also con-
firmed the arrest of another top
Taliban leader - part of a round-
up that could further strain the
insurgent movement.
About 700 men in turbans
and traditional caps gathered
in a central market for the flag-
raising ceremony, during which
Abdul Zahir Aryan was installed
as the top Afghan official in this
town of 80,000 in Helmand prov-
ince. The provincial governor
told the crowd that authorities
were eager to listen to requests
from the townspeople and pro-
vide them with basic services
that they didn't have under the
Taliban.
Taliban fighters still con-
trol about 25 percent of the
80-square-mile (200-square-
kilometer) area in and around the
town nearly two weeks after U.S.
and Afghan forces launched their
attack to seize Marjah, a major
Taliban logistics and supply cen-
ter and the largest community in
the south under insurgent con-
trol.
Marines and Afghan soldiers
slogged through bomb-laden
fields of northern Marjah on
Thursday in search of an esti-
mated 100 Taliban and foreign
Serving
Ann Arbor
since 1980

fighter holdouts - the last signifi-
cant pocket of insurgents left in
the town. Progress was slowed by
difficult terrain with no roads, few
tracks and many hidden mines.
Several residents told Marines
that the Taliban were falling
back and trying to delay the
allied advance with hidden
bombs.
"I'd expect they can't keep this
up for long," said Capt. Joshua
Winfrey, a company commander
in the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine
Regiment. He predicted the
insurgents will soon hold their
ground and fight.
Despite the insurgent hold-
outs, enough of the town has
been secured for NATO and
Afghan authorities to begin the
most difficult part of the mission
- restoring local government and
rushing in public services to win,
the confidence of the population
to dry up support for a Taliban
return.
Aryan, the chief administra-
tor, cannot work out of the main
government building because the
Taliban rigged it with bombs and
booby traps.
"When an area has been liber-
ated and cleared, then we pro-
vide governance immediately, we
provide development assistance,
we provide the local community
with a better livelihood," NATO
Sc-rer--navl A nde r Foa

Rasmussen said at an alliance
meeting in Spain. "The current
operation in Helmand province
will serve as a role model for fur-
ther operations."
The loss of Marjah comes as the
Taliban is reeling from the arrests
of key figures, including their No.
2, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar,
who was picked up this month in
Pakistan.
Two Pakistani intelligence offi-
cers told The Associated Press
that nearly 15 senior and mid-
level Taliban figures have been
detained in Pakistan in recent
weeks. They spoke on condition of
anonymity because they weren't
supposed to release the informa-
tion.
An Afghan government
spokesman, Siamak Herawi, said
Thursday that Pakistani officials
had told Afghan authorities that
the top Taliban commander for
eastern Afghanistan, 'Mullah
Abdul Kabir, was among those
taken into custody. Kabir's arrest
last week had been rumored for
days, but Herawi's comment was
the first on the record by an offi-
cial of either country.
NATO troops have taken over
Marjahi before, only to withdraw
and leave the town under the
control of corrupt and ineffectual
administrators who alienated the
townspeople and enabled the Tal-
ihn t nmPn k

Local rights activists
applaud report
citing violations
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP)
- President Hugo Chavez said
yesterday that Venezuela should
boycott the Organization of Amer-
ican States' human rights body,
saying the panel wrongly accused
his government of political repres-
sion.
Chavez took issue with a report
issued this week by the Inter-
American Commission on Human
Rights, which cited widespread
human rights violations in Ven-
ezuela. The socialist leader called
the 300-page report "pure gar-
bage" and described the commis-
sion's president, Santiago Canton,
as "excrement."
"Weshouldpreparetodenounce
the agreement in which Venezuela
joined ... this terrible Inter-Ameri-
can Commission on Human Rights
and leave it," Chavez said during a
televised address.
Local rights activists applauded
the account issued by the rights
committee, saying it sheds light on
widespread rights abuses.
The report released Wednesday
at OAS headquarters in Washing-

ton complains of a lack of indepen-
dence for Venezuela's judiciary,
the closing of news media outlets
that are critical of the govern-
ment, and political discrimination
and repression under Chavez.
"We don't recognize the com-
mission as an impartial institu-
tion," said Gabriela Ramirez, the
Venezuelan government's top
rights guarantor. Ramirez said the
report incorrectly concludes that
"the Venezuelan state threatens
democracy and human rights."
- The report condemned the pro-
cedures for appointing and remov-
ing judges, saying the regulations
"lack the safeguards necessary
to prevent other branches of gov-
ernment from undermining the
Supreme Court's independence."
Government opponents have
long complained that the Supreme
Court - whose members are
appointed by the predominantly
pro-Chavez National Assembly -
has been packed with the presi-
dent's allies, giving him nearly
unlimited power. Chavez denies
holding sway over justices.
The OAS commission also
called attention to an increase in
sanctions against news media, sin-
gling out the case of Globovision,
a television news network that is
fiercely critical-pf Chavez.

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