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January 13, 2010 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-01-13

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 - 3A

Dog owner pleads
guilty to animal
A man who had hundreds of
live and dead Chihuahuas and
Chihuahua mixes in his Detroit-
area home has pleaded guilty to
an animal cruelty charge in a deal
that keeps him out of prison.
Fifty-six-year-old Kenneth
Lang Jr. of Dearborn made the
plea yesterday in Wayne County
Circuit Court. He had faced up to
four years in prison.
Under the deal, Lang gets five
years' probation, may not own
animals and must pay $3,000
restitution to the Animal Legal
Defense Fund.
In July, authorities found Lang
was hoarding the dogs. They say
some dead dogs in freezers in the
home may have been killed with
an injection.
Defense lawyer James Schmier
says his client needs treatment
for an obsessive-compulsive dis-
Woman unhappy
with McDonald's
A woman has been charged
with trashing a McDonald's res-
taurant in Missouri because she
was unhappy with her cheese-
burger. Police said they received
many tips after releasing video of
the Dec. 27 incident.
In the video, which has been
viewed hundreds of thousands of
times online, a customer is seen
throwing a sign and a water dis-
penser over a counter and pushing
three cash registers to the floor.
Yesterday, the Jackson Coun-
ty prosecutor's office charged
19-year-old Alesha McMullen of
Kansas City with Class D felony
property damage. It wasn't imme-
diately known if McMullen has an
attorney. A phone listing for her
could not be found.
Police say McMullen told offi-
cers her order was prepared
wrong and the restaurant refused
to give her a refund.
j U.S. pilots face
charges in Brazil
A Brazilian appeals court has
ruled two American executive
jet pilots should face negligence
charges for a 2006 midair colli-
sion that killed 154 people.
The ruling overturns a judge
lwho dismissed those charges in
2008 against Joseph Lepore of
Bay Shore, New York, and Jan
Paladino of Westhampton Beach,
New York.
Defense lawyer Joel Weiss said
yesterday he would likely appeal
the new decision.
The executive jet collided over
the Amazon with a Boeing 737 on
Sept. 29, 2006 - killing all aboard
the Boeing.
Prosecutors accused the pilots

of accidentally turning off a tran-
sponder that transmitted the
smaller jet's location and failing
to follow their flight plan. Weiss
says Brazilian controllers set the
planes on a collision course.
Man kills 2 patrons
in Japanese bar
A man opened fire at a bar in
western Japan yesterday, killing
two people and wounding one
seriously before taking his own
Guns are strictly controlled
in Japan, and shootings are rare.
When such attacks do occur, they
are often linked to gangsters
known as yakuza.
Police in Habikino City in
Osaka prefecture were inves-
tigating the gunman's motive,
police official Mitsuyuki Oda
said. The Kyodo News agency said
the gunman was a city employee
and could have been targeting
his mother-in-law as a result of a
family dispute. Police are trying
to confirm if an elderly women
who was killed was a relative of
the gunman.
Both the elderly woman and a
man in his 20s were pronounced
dead at a hospital. A man in his
5s is in critical condition, Oda
Oda said the gunman - identi-
fied as 49-year-old Yasuhisa Sugi-
ura - was also pronounced dead
at the hospital.
- Compiled from
Da~y wire reports

Regent Ilitch exploring
gubernatorial bid, had
meeting at White House

Obama asks
Congress for
more war funds

After Lt. Gov. drops
out of Democratic
race, nomination
is wide open
LANSING, Mich. (AP) -
University of Michigan Regent
Denise Ilitch met yesterday with
White House officials to explore
a possible Democratic bid for
Michigan governor.
Ilitch, whose father owns the
Detroit Red Wings and Tigers,
met with staff there Tuesday,
with President Barack Obama
"stopping by the meeting,"
according to a White House offi-
The official spoke on the con-
dition of anonymity because of
not being authorized to discuss
the matter publicly.
Denise Ilitch is not the first
Michigan gubernatorial hopeful
to meet with White House staff,
and the meeting indicates the

White House has not yet settled
on a favorite. Obama is keeping
an eye on the contest in this bat-
tleground state, which he doesn't
want to see slide into GOP hands
as New Jersey and Virginia did
last year.
Several Democrats are look-
ing closely at the race now that
presumptive Democratic front-
runner Lt. Gov. John Cherry has
withdrawn, including House
Speaker Andy Dillon and Lan-
sing Mayor Virg Bernero. Both
have set up committees to raise
money and explore a possible
Ilitch has not established
an exploratory committee, but
could set one up soon. A lawyer
who owns Ambassador Maga-
zine and Denise Ilitch Designs,
she brings a combination of
business and political experi-
ence that could make her a good
choice to replace Gov. Jennifer
State Rep. Alma Wheeler
Smith has been in the hunt for

the Democratic nomination
since mid-2009 and Sen. Han-
sen Clarke was the first to jump
in last week after Cherry with-
drew. U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, for-
mer Genesee County Treasurer
Dan Kildee and Michigan State
University Trustee George Per-
les are among other Democrats
contemplating a run.
Yesterday marked the end of
the governor's race for former
state Rep. John Freeman. Like
Cherry, he cited problems raising
money as the reason he dropped
out, noting in a statement that
"the amount of money required
to runa viable campaign was out
of reach."
Freeman served six years in
the state House representing the
area around Madison Heights
before leaving because of term
limits in 1998. He most recently
led a group pushing for changes
to health care in Michigan. He
announced his withdrawal from
the race on Facebook and Twit-

Additional $33 billion
would aid war efforts
in Iraq and Afghan.
Obama administration plans to
ask Congress for an additional
$33 billion to fight unpopular
wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, on
top of a record request for $708
billion for the Defense Depart-
ment next year, The Associated
Press has learned.
The administration also plans
to tell Congress next month that
its central military objectives for
the next four years will include
winning the current wars while
preventing new ones and that its
core missions will include both
counterinsurgency and counter-
terrorism operations.
The administration's Qua-
drennial Defense Review, the
main articulation of U.S. military
doctrine, is due to Congress on
Feb. 1. Top military command-
ers were briefed on the document
at the Pentagon on Monday and
yesterday. They also received a
preview of the administration's
budget plans through 2015.
The four-year review outlines
six key mission areas and spells
out capabilities and goals the
Pentagon wants to develop. The
pilotless drones used for sur-
veillance and attack missions in
Afghanistan and Pakistan are a
priority, with a goal of speeding
up the purchase of new Reaper
drones and expansion of Preda-
tor and Reaper drone flights
through 2013.
The extra $33 billion in 2010
would mostly go toward the
expansion of the war in Afghani-
stan. Obama ordered an extra
30,000 troops for that war as part
of an overhaul of the war strategy
late last year.
The request for that additional
funding will be sent to Congress
at the same time as the record
spending request for next year,
making war funding an espe-

cially difficult pill for some of
Obama's Democratic allies.
Military officials have sug-
gested that the 2011 request
would top $700 billion for the
first time, but the precise figure
has not been made public.
U.S. officials outlined the
coming requests on condition of
anonymity because the budget
request will not be sent to Con-
gress until later this month.
Obama's request for more
war spending is likely to receive
support on Capitol Hill, where
Republicans will join moderate
Democrats to pass the bill.
But the budget debate is also
likely to expose a widening rift
between Obama's administra-
tion, - it sees more troops and
money as necessary to winning
the war - and Democratic lead-
ers, who have watched public
opinion turn against the mili-
tary campaign.
"The president's going to have
to make his case," House Speak-
er Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told
reporters last month at her year-
end briefing.
The 2010 budget contains
about $128 billion for military
operations in Iraq and Afghani-
That figure would rise to $159
billion next year under the pro-
posals prepared for Congress.
The Pentagon projects that war
funding would drop sharply in
2012, to $50 billion, and remain
there through.2015. That is a cal-
culation that the United States
will save money from the with-
drawal of forces in Iraq, as well
as a prediction that the Afghani-
stan war will begin to wind down
in the middle of 2011.
Obama has promised that U.S.
forces will begin to withdraw
from Afghanistan in July 2011,
but his defense advisers have set
no time limit for the war.
The Pentagon projects that
overall defense spending would
be $616 billion in 2012; $632 bil-
lion in 2013; $648 billion in 2014;
and $666 billion in 2015.

People running past rubble of a damaged building in Port-au-Prince, Haiti yesterday. The largest earthquake ever recorded in
the area shook Haiti yesterday, collapsing a hospital where people screawed for help.
After deadly earthquake,
.S. to aid Haitian recovery

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Rescue teams sent
to Haiti civilians
facing disaster
U.S. yesterday was dispatching
disaster rescue teams to earth-
quake-stricken Haiti, where a U.S.
official said a "serious loss of life"
was expected.
President Barack Obama said
his thoughts and prayers were
with the people of Haiti and that
the U.S. stood ready to help the
impoverished Caribbean nation.
While telephone lines were
down in the Haitian capital of
Port-au-Prince and cell phone
communication was spotty, U.S.
officials there reported "signifi-
cant damage."
"There were some people (from
the embassy) in the city when
the earthquake first happened,"
State Department spokesman
P.J. Crowley said. "They reported
structures down. They reported
a lot of walls down. They did see
a number of bodies in the street
and on the sidewalk that had
been hit by debris. So clearly,
there's going to be serious loss of
life in this."
Frank Thorp, a retired rear
admiral who ran the Navy's public
information office until recently,
said he believed his daughter-in-
law was trapped in the rubble.
Thorp said he was told last night
that his son's wife, Jillian Thorp,
24, had used her cell phone to call
from help from a Haitian Minis-
tries mission house run by Nor-
wich.Missions based in Norwich,

White House officials said
Obama had asked aides to make
sure U.S. personnel at the embassy
were safe. There are fewer than20
U.S. military personnel in Haiti,
largely working with the embassy
there. Officials said Obama told
them to start preparing in case
humanitarian assistance was
The State Department, the U.S.
Agency for International Develop-
ment and U.S. Southern Command
have started to coordinate. USAID
said it was sending a disaster
assistance response team and had
activated its partners, the Fairfax
County (Va.) Urban Search and
Rescue Team and the Los Angeles
County Search and Rescue Team.
USAID disaster experts also
would assist.
Secretary of State Hillary Rod-
ham Clinton said from Hono-
lulu that the U.S. was gathering
information about the quake and
its impact, and that the U.S. was
offering full assistance - civilian
and military - to Haiti.
Clinton spoke with the deputy
chief of U.S. Embassy in Port-au-
Prince, David Lindwall, before
making a speech in Honolulu.
"We have been in touch with
the embassy," State Department
spokesman Gordon Duguid said
in Washington. "They report
significant damage in town, but
the embassy is unaffected. The
embassy is workingto get in touch
with Haitian government as well
as trying to ... account for Ameri-
"Haitian phone lines are down
and cell phone coverage is under-
standably unreliable," he said.
The U.S. ambassador to Haiti

was in the country, but was at his
residence, which is in Petionville,
and the phones lines were out,
Duguid said. "The embassy is in
touch with ambassador via radio."
The State Department set up a
toll-free number to call for infor-
mation about family members
in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747. The
department said some callers may
receive a recording because of
heavy volume of calls.
"Our embassy is also trying to
make contact with the Haitian
government," Duguid said late
Tuesday. "There are emergency
meetings going on right now in
Washington to identify assets that
can be moved quickly into the
area. U.S. search and rescue teams
have been put on alert, and we are
trying to assess the status of the
airport. As President Obama has
said, we will assist in any way we
"Our people in Haiti are literal-
ly in the dark," Crowley said. "And
now the people at the embassy
actually - they've got generators
there, so our embassy has to be
able to function," but with lim-
ited abilityto assess what has hap-
pened outside and how to-begin
sending assistance.
The Office of Foreign Disaster
Assistance will be assembling a
team to send to Haiti, Crowley
said, including search and rescue
experts from the U.S.
Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., chair-
man of the House Foreign Affairs
Western Hemisphere subcommit-
tee, said, "This is the worst pos-
sible time for a natural disaster
in Haiti, a country which is still
recovering from the devastating
storms of just over a year ago."

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