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March 17, 2010 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-03-17

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 3A

Honda recalls
410,000 mini-vans
and small trucks
Honda Motor Co. will recall
more than 410,000 Odyssey mini-
vans and Element small trucks
because of braking system prob-
lems that could make it tougher to
stop the vehicle if not repaired.
The recall includes 344,000
Odysseys and 68,000 Elements
from the 2007 and 2008 model
Honda said in a statement that
over time, brake pedals can feel
"soft" and must be pressed closer
to the floor to stop the vehicles.
Left unrepaired, the problem could
cause loss of braking power and
possibly a crash, Honda spokesman
Chris Martin said.
"It's definitely not operating the
way it should, and it's safety sys-
tems, so it brings it to the recall sta-
tus," he said.
The National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration has report-
ed three crashes due to the prob-
lem with minor injuries and no
deaths, Martin said. Honda notified
NHTSA of the recall yesterday, he
45 Detroit schools
slated for closing
under district plan
A $1 billion plan from Detroit
Public Schools' emergency finan-
cial manager calls for closing 45
schools during the next five years,
including two of the city's oldest
traditional high schools.
Robert Bobb plans to release the
complete list and possible closing
dates today.
Bobb's five-year master facili-
ties plan calls for closing 45 schools
between 2010-2015, renovating
some and consolidating others into
smaller and newer buildings as the
district prepares for a projected
enrollment drop of about 30,000
Osborn, Kettering and North-
western, along with the massive
83-year-old Cooley and 95-year-old
Southwestern high schools even-
tually, would close for good. Four
alternative high schools also would
Chile government
reports earthquake
and tsunami left
700 dead
The earthquake and tsunami
that struck Chile last month killed
700 people and caused damages of*
nearly $30 billion, according to the
government. Andthe ground hasn't
stopped shaking.
A magnitude-6.7 aftershock
rocked south-central Chile Monday
night, adding to the raw nerves and
mounting damages caused by the
Feb. 27 quake.
Chile's Interior Minister Rodri-

go Hinzpeter updated the known
death and damage toll on yester-
day, saying 200 people previously
listed as missing would be added to
the count of 500 previously known
"In economic terms, this is the
worst catastrophe Chile has suf-
fered," Hinzpeter added. He esti-
mated that damages could reach
nearly $30 billion, with insurance
covering just $5 billion to $8 billion.
Somali pirates
free North Korean
chemical tanker
Somali pirates freed a North
Korean chemical tanker and its 28
crew yesterday after the owners
delivered a ransom, the European
Union Naval Force said.
The MV Theresa VIII was
hijacked last November, northwest
of the island nation of the Sey-
The vessel had not asked for
assistance but warships were moni-
toring the situation, said Cmdr.
John Harbour. He could not pro-
vide details on the ransom.
Also yesterday, the EU Naval
Force said it intercepted two pirate
groups. The two groups, each con-
sisting of a mothership and two
skiffs, were tracked by maritime
patrol aircraft after commercial
ships reported attempted attacks.
Seventeen pirates in total had
been detained, Harbour said.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Vatican completes
probe into scandal
by Legionaries

U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden gestures as he speaks in Tel Aviv last week. Officials from both the U.S. and Israel are cur-
rently discussing potential ways to reach a settlement to one of the worst disputes between the two countries in decades.
U.S ., Israel atmtto
heal nworst rf nyears

Clinton: Officials
in midst of 'intense
talks' to reach
United States and Israel stepped
back yesterday from their deep-
est rift in decades, a dispute over
new Jewish homes in a tradi-
tionally Arab part of Jerusalem
that quickly became a test of U.S.
and Israeli commitment to peace
talks and one another.
Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton said U.S. and
Israeli officials are in intense
talks about resuming peace
negotiations, moving past the
breach opened when Israel
announced last week, during a
visit to Jerusalem by Vice Presi-
dent Joe Biden, that it will build
1,600 more Jewish houses in east
Israeli officials privately say
Prime Minster Benjamin Netan-
yahu - Washington-bound next
week - is willing to go to some
lengths to-calm tensions. U.S.
officials are also looking for a
way to finesse their demand that
Israel cancel the construction.
There is no obvious half-mea-
sure, and both countries are wary
of looking weak to the other, to
important political constituen-
cies at home and to the Arab
world. Still, the rhetoric from
both capitals suddenly softened.
"We have a close, unshakable
bond between the United States
and Israel and between the
American and Israeli people,"
Clinton said. "We share common
values and a commitment to a
democratic future for the world
and we are both committed to
a two-state solution. But that
doesn't mean that we're going to
Clinton has been the leading
voice of U.S. outrage over the epi-
sode, which embarrassed Biden
and called into question Israel's
stated willingness to resume
talks with the United States as

an intermediary. She has called
the announcement an insult and
dressed down Netanyahu by
telephone last week. The United
States wants to see a gesture
from Israel to the Palestinians
and a statement that the biggest
issues dividing those two parties,
including the fate of Jerusalem,
will be on the table for talks.
"Israel appreciates and values
the warm words of Secretary of
State Clinton about the deep ties
between Israel and the U.S. and
the commitment of the U.S. to
Israel's security," government
spokesman Mark Regev said
in Jerusalem.""Concerning the
commitment to peace - Israel's
government has proved over
the past year its commitment to
peace, in words and in deeds."
For President Barack Obama,
the unusually public fight tests
his willingness to take Israel
to task in the name of Mideast
peace, even if it means angering
some powerful political forces
whose support is necessary to
further his domestic agenda.
For his part, Netanyahu is left
to choose between his desire to
populate east Jerusalem with
Jews and his need not to alienate
his all-important U.S. ally.
Netanyahu's looming visit
leaves little time to paper over
the rift. If Netanyahu gets a cold
shoulder, he has little incentive
to scrap settlements the United
States sees as an affront to peace
talks. If he skips the trip entirely,
the Obama administration risks
a backlash from the pro-Israel
lobby and its congressional back-
ers, many of whom think Wash-
ington has already taken the spat
too far.
The dispute exposed ten-
sions that have been simmer-
ing between the two allies since
the election of a liberal-minded
U.S. administration and a right-
leaning Israeli government more
than a year ago. The United
States views the housing expan-
sion as a deliberate complication
to an eventual peace deal.
Palestinians want east Jerusa-
lem to be the capital of an even-

tual independent state.
"Though we differ on certain
issues, our discussions are being
conducted in an atmosphere of
cooperation as befitting long-
standing relations between
allies," Israel's ambassador to
Washington, Michael Oren, said
last night. "I am confident that
we will overcome these differ-
ences shortly."
Netanyahu yesterday ordered
his ministers and spokespeople
not to talk publicly about the
building plan.
However, Interior Minister
Eli Yishai, whose office issued
the order for the new homes, did
agree to speak to The Associated
Press about other issues, such as
the need to calm tensions with
the U.S.
"I am very sorry that there is
an escalation now and we are
taking many measures to calm
this," he said. However, he added
that "Israel is independent and
can do what it thinks is right."
An AP reporter'was poked in
the back by a Yidhai aide when
he asked the minister about the
construction plan. The minister
then abruptly ended the inter-
view, removing a microphone
from his lapel.
The Obama administration's
Mideast peace envoy canceled a
trip to Israel and the West Bank
this week due to what the State
Department said were schedul-
ing conflicts.
Clinton played down a con-
nection to U.S. pique, but admin-
istration officials acknowledged
a link, saying there was no point
in sending former Sen. George
Mitchell now because Israel had
not budged on the U.S. demand
to roll back the planned settle-
Clinton restated U.S. "dismay
and disappointment" with the
announcement but disputed the
perception of the relationship in
"I don't buy that," she said.
There are no current plans for
Netanyahu to meet with Obama
before his departure for his over-
seas trip, nor with Biden.

Vatican officials say
investigators will
report to Holy See
this week with results
can investigators have completed
their probe into the Legionaries
of Christ, the conservative order
that was once hailed by Rome but
fell into scandal after it revealed
that its founder had fathered a
child and had molested seminar-
The Vatican said yesterday its
five investigators are to report
back to Rome this week about
their examination of the Legion-
aries' 120 seminaries, schools and
communities around the globe. In
a statement, the Legionaries said
the first phase of the inquiry was
over and that a final report would
still take several months for Rome
to complete.
While the Vatican's recom-
mendations are unknown, Vati-
can analysts have speculated that
the Holy See would at the very
least appoint new leadership for
the order and outline a series of
reforms. Its recommendations
will be closely watched, given
the current focus on the Vatican's
handling the growing sex abuse
crisis convulsing the church in
Pope Benedict XVI ordered the
probe last year after prominent
Legionaries members acknowl-
edged its late founder, the Rev.
Marcial Maciel of Mexico, had
fathered a daughter and had sexu-
ally abused seminarians. Since
then, a Mexican woman has come
forward saying she had a lengthy
relationship with Maciel, that he
fathered her two sons, adopted a
third and sexually abused two of
The disclosure of Maciel's dou-
ble life has caused enormous tur-
moil inside the Legionaries and its
lay affiliate, Regnum Christi, par-
ticularly because the leadership
has been less than forthcoming
with information. The order had
essentially created a personality
cult around Maciel, teaching that
he was a hero whose life should be
studied and emulated.
In the wake of the revelations,
the order has taken down pictures
of Maciel that used to adorn its

institutes, edited its Web sites and
reviewed editions of books that
heavily quoted from Maciel's writ-
ings, the Legionaries' New York
and Atlanta directors wrote in a
letter to Regnum Christi members
in September.
Still, several U.S. dioceses have
either restricted the Legionaries'
work or set limits on its recruit-
ment practices. The archdiocese
of Miami has barred Legionaries
priests from exercising any minis-
try whatsoever.
The Vatican investigation
was extraordinary since it only
launches a so-called "apostolic
visitation" when it considers a
group unable to correct a major
problem on its own.
In 2002, at the height of the
clergy sex abuse scandal in the'
United States, the Vatican ordered'
an evaluation of all U.S. seminar-
ies. More recently, it has ordered
one for U.S. women's religions
Five bishops appointed by-
Rome spent eight months visit-
ing Legionaries communities to
get firsthand knowledge of the
order and its work. In a state-
ment yesterday, the Legionaries
said over the next several months.
there may be further communica-,
tions between the investigators
and Rome before the pope "gives
the instructions that he considers
suitable and necessary."
Even after the revelations came
out, questions remained about
whether any current leaders cov-
ered up Maciel's misdeeds and-
whether any donations were used
to facilitate the misconduct or pay
off victims.
One of the Mexican sons alleg-
edly fathered and abused by-
Maciel, Jose Raul Gonzalez, has
said he asked the Legionaries of
Christ for $26 million because
Maciel had promised him a trust'
fund when he died and as finan-
cial compensation for the alleged
sexual abuse.
The Legionaries was formed in
1941 and became one of the most
influential and fastest-growing
orders in the Roman Catholic
Church. Pope John Paul II cham.
pioned the group, which became
known for its orthodox theol-
ogy, military-style discipline,-
fundraising prowess and success
recruiting priests at a time when,
seminary enrollment was gener
ally dismal.

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GOP says Dems' plan on
health bill abuses rules

Pelosi ponders
using unorthodox
methods to pass
health care reform
brazen abuse of Congress' rules.
Or a legitimate tactic used many
times by both parties.
Republicans and Democrats
have sharply divergent views
about the method being contem-
plated by House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi for a final vote on President
Barack Obama's health care over-
haul perhaps this week.
Using rhetoric reminiscent
of the tea party movement, the
GOP says Democrats are fla-
grantly ignoring the will of the
American people by trying to
pass the legislation to reshape
the U.S. health care system with-
out a direct House vote on the
bill approved by the Senate in
Democrats responded yes-
terday that the moves they are
contemplating have been used

by both parties numerous times
to pass legislation such as huge
increases in the government's
ability to borrow money, restric-
tions on immigrant workers and
creation of a presidential line-
item veto, which was later ruled
The attacks by GOP lead-
ers underscore an offensive by
Republicans hoping to either
derail Obama's top legislative
priority by scaring off waver-
ing Democratic lawmakers, or to
bank arguments they can employ
against Democratic candidates
in this fall's congressional cam-
Top House Democrats are
hunting votes so the cham-
ber can finally send Obama the
11-year, nearly $1 trillion health
care bill the Senate approved on
Christmas Eve. Democrats also
want to send him a smaller, sec-
ond bill changing the overhaul
legislation, such as easing a new
tax on high-priced health insur-
ance policies and killing extra
Medicaid payments to Nebraska
that have become a symbol of
Washington's backroom deal-

House Democrats worry that
a direct vote on the broad Sen-
ate bill would prove unpopular
among voters. To try easing the
political pain, House leaders are
considering a process in which
the same House vote approving
the rules for debating the smaller
fix-it bill would automatically
send the huge Senate-approved
measure to Obama.
Pelosi, D-Calif., seemed to give
Republicans an easy target when
she told liberal bloggers Monday
that she liked the idea "because
people don't have to vote on the
Senate bill."
House Minority Leader John
Boehner, R-Ohio, said the Dem-
ocratic effort to avoid a direct
House vote on the health over-
haul bill was "the ultimate in
Washington power grabs, a leg-
islative ploy that lets Democrats
defy the will of the American
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas,
accused Pelosi of seeking "an
immaculate conception" that
would make it appear they hadn't
actually voted on the health bill.

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