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April 02, 2010 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, April 2, 2010 - 3

S The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, April 2, 2010 - 3

NEWS BRIEFS
LANSING
New state law will
allow cheaper park
fees for motorists
Gov. Jennifer Granholm has
signed into a law a plan allowing
Michigan motorists to visit state
parks by paying a $10 fee when
they renew their vehicle license
plates each year.
Voluntarily paying the fee
would exempt state residents
from having to buy $6 daily or $24
annual passes to enter state parks
and have access to recreation
areas, forests and boat ramps.
The system takes effect Oct. 1.
Granholm signed the bill Wednes-
day.
Those choosing not to pay the
$10 can select an option on the
vehicle registration form to not
use the state parks system.
Out-of-state visitors still must
buy daily or annual passes for
Michigan parks.
Park officials hope the new fee
will raise more money for park
upkeep and operations.
WASHINGTON
Army decides to
dismiss troops who
choose to come out
Army Secretary John McHugh
is backtracking on his promise not
to discharge troops who tell him
that they are gay.
McHugh said in a statement
released yesterday that he was
"incorrect" when he had said
there would be a moratorium on
dismissals while the Pentagon
conducts a yearlong review on its
"don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Earlier this week, McHugh had
said he wouldn't punish troops
who admitted they were gay in
private conversations with him,
even though they technically vio-
lated the law.
MAKHACHKALA, Russia
Russian pres. tells
police to be tougher
to fight terrorism
President Dmitry Medvedev
made a surprise visit yesterday
to the violence-wracked south-
ern province of Dagestan, telling
police and security forces to use
tougher, "more cruel" measures
to fight the "scum" responsible
for terrorist attacks.
Russia's security chief said
some terror suspects had been
detained.
Twin suicide bombings in Mos-
cow - which Islamic militants
from the North Caucasus claim to
have carried out - have refocused
attention on the violence that
for years has been confined to
Russia's predominantly Muslim
regions. The rush-hour attacks
Monday on the Moscow subway
killed 39 people and left nearly 90
hospitalized.
On Wednesday, two suicide
bombings in Dagestan killed 12

people, including nine policemen,
a frequent target of attacks in part
because they represent Russian
authority.
Another explosion Thursday
killed two suspected militants
and wounded a third in Dagestan
near the border with Chechnya.
Police said the men may have
been transporting a makeshift
bomb.
CLAY TOWNSHIP, Mich.
Single-engine plane
crash on St. Clair
River kills pilot
A single-engine seaplane
crashed into a dock near a home
on the St. Clair River, killing the
8o-year-old pilot.
The St. Clair County sheriff's
department says the Grosse Pointe
man was flying the plane about
1 p.m. Thursday when witnesses
said the plane circled, went side-
ways and crashed into a dock in
Clay Township.
His name wasn't immediately
released.
Dock owner Ronald Mikolajc-
zyk tells the Times Herald of Port
Huron he heard a propeller buzz-
ing and then the sound of the plane
hitting the dock.
Federal Aviation Administra-
tion spokeswoman Elizabeth
Isham Corey says the pilot was
the only person aboard. The FAA
and National Transportation Safe-
ty Board were investigating the
crash about 30 miles northeast of
Detroit.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Obama thanks
flood workers-

AP PHOTO
Relatives of mine workers weep at the Wangjialing coal mine in Xiangning township, Shanxi province, yesterday.
Mne explosion in China
leaves 12 dead, 32 trapped

Record-breaking
rainfall causes road,.
sewage problems
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP)
- Detouring from his schedule,
President Barack Obama yesterday
thanked emergency workers strug-
gling against disastrous flooding in
the Northeast.
"When these kind of natural
disasters hit, what matters are the
people on the ground," Obama told
crews at the Massachusetts Emer-
gency Management Agency head-
quarters some 20 miles west of
Boston.
Joined by Massachusetts Gov.
Deval Patrick, Obama met with
state and local emergency opera-
tions officials who are monitoring
floods throughout the state.
The president thanked the work-
ers on behalf of all Americans for
their thorough response to the
floods. He did not visit any flood-hit
areas in hisbrief detour.
Record rainfalls have caused
flooding across the New England
states, with Rhode Island taking
the most devastating toll. Bridges

and highways have washed out
from Maine to Connecticut and
sewage systems have been over-
whelmed to the point that families
were asked to stop flushing toilets.
National Guard troops were
deployed in Rhode Island, Massa-
chusetts and Connecticut. Home-
land Security Secretary Janet
Napolitano and FEMA Deputy
Administrator Rich Serino planned
to travel to Rhode Island on Friday
to assess the damage.
Obama made'his unannounced
stop after rallying in Maine for his
new health care law. He then dart-
ed to a pair of evening fundraisers
in Boston for fellow Democrats.
Flooded tracks in Rhode Island
prompted Amtrak to suspend some
services in the Northeast for the
second consecutive day. The major
route between East Coast cities
opened late yesterday afternoon.
The rains stopped Wednes-
day and the floodwaters began to
recede in hard-hit Rhode Island,
though flooding could persist for
several days and permanently close
businesses alreadystrugglingin the
weak economy.
The flooding capped rainfall
records across the region.

Mine tragedy is the
second to occur in
China this week
BEIJING (AP) - A gas explo-
sion at a mine in central China
killed 12 workers and trapped
32 underground, state media
said yesterday, the second major
mine disaster in the country this
week.
Fifty miners were able to
escape after the Wednesday eve-
ning blast, which was caused by
an underground gas leak, the Xin-
hua News Agency said, citing in
Henan province's governor, Guo
Gengmao. It'spossiblethe trapped
miners survived the explosion, he
was cited as saying.
About 100 rescue workers were

trying to reached the trapped
workers at the privately owned
Guomin Mining Co. coal pit in
Yichuan County of Luoyang City,
Xinhua said. The mine had been
under renovation.
Mine boss Wang Guozheng
has disappeared and authorities
ordered his assets frozen in the
wake of the accident, Xinhua said.
Yichuan County Chief Wu Ligang
and three other county officials
were fired.
News of the explosion came as
rescue work continued at a mine
in northern China's Shanxi prov-
ince, four days after 153 workers
were trapped underground when
water flooded the shaft where
they were working.
The flood at the Wangjialing
mine started when workers dig-
ging tunnels broke through into

an old shaft filled with water,
a government safety body said,
accusingmine officials of ignoring
safety rules and danger warnings
in a rush to open the mine.
There has been no contact with
the trapped miners, but authori-
ties held out hope that some could
be alive.
China's coal mines are the
world's deadliest, despite a
multiyear government effort to
reduce fatalities. Most accidents
are blamed on failure to follow
safety rules or lack of required
ventilation, fire-control and
equipment.
Accidents killed 2,631 coal min-
ers in China last year, down from
6,995 deaths in 2002, the most
dangerous year on record, accord-
ing to the State Administration of
Coal Mine Safety.

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Guinea-Bissau PM held at
his home in attempted coup

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Citizens of Guinea-
Bissau show support
for detained leader
BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau (AP) -
Mutinous soldiers seized the head
of Guinea-Bissau's armed forces
yesterday and placed the country's
prime minister under house arrest
in an apparent coup attempt in the
tiny coup-plagued African nation
where the president was assassi-
nated last year.
A crowd of hundreds gathered
outside Prime Minister Carlos
Gomes Jr.'s office in the capital in
a show of support for the detained
leader as martial music played on
the radio, code for a military-led
coup in this part of the world.
Soldiers surrounded the prime
minister's office at around 8 a.m.
yesterday, said his press attache
Mamodou Djau, who arrived
shortly after the soldiers made
off with Gomes and a member of
his Cabinet. Djau said the pre-
mier was taken to a military camp,
before being driven back to his
residence where he appeared to be
under house arrest.
"We don't know what is going
on. We are all asking the same
question," said Djau, who was
reached on his cell phone. He said
he had not been able to speak to
the prime minister since the inci-
dent.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-
moon "is following with concern
the military incidents in Guinea-
Bissau involvingthe detention and
subsequent release of the prime
minister," U.N. associate spokes-
man Farhan Haq said in a state-
ment.

"He calls on the military and
political leadership of Guinea-
Bissau to resolve differences by
peaceful means and to maintain
constitutional order and ensure
respect for the rule of law," Haq
said.
Immediately after the prime
minister was seized, hundreds of
people descended into the street
in a show of support for the demo-
cratically elected leader whose
party controls 67 of the parlia-
ment's 100 seats. The crowd gath-
ered first around Gomes' office
and later around his private resi-
dence.
At the military camp, the head
of the armed forces Zamora Indu-
ta remained under guard, while
his No. 2 appeared to be in control.
Antonio Ndjai, the detained
army chief's deputy, called a
news conference soon after
Gomes was released and issued
a chilling warning: "If the people
continue to go out into the streets
to show their support for Carlos
Gomes Jr., then I will kill Carlos
Gomes Jr. Or Iwill send someone
to kill him," he said, according to
the interview broadcast on state
TV.
Earlier in the day, soldiers had
gone to the United Nations com-
pound in the capital, where a
senior army leader accused of a
previous coup attempt had been
in hiding for the past 95 days. A
foreign diplomat who asked not
to be named because he was not
authorized to speak to the press
said that Admiral Bubo Na Tchuto
left the U.N. compound with the
soldiers.
He appeared to be acting as
second-in-command of the muti-
nous soldiers and he told reporters

gathered at the news conference:
"I spent 95 days inside the U.N.
compound. Why didn't the popu-
lation take to the streets then?
Why are they takingto the streets
now for Gomes?" Na Tchuto asked.
"I spent 11 years fighting for
Guinea-Bissau's independence.
Gomes did not take part in that
fight," he said. "If the popula-
tion continues to go out into the
streets, I will send the military to
clean the streets," he said.
Na Tchuto was himself placed
under house arrest in 2008 after
being accused of plotting a coup.
He escaped his captors and fled
abroad. He disguised himself as a
fisherman and returned in a dug-
out canoe and immediately sought
refuge inside the U.N. compound.
Since independence from Por-
tugal in 1974, the West African
nation has been beset by coups,
military revolts and political
assassinations. The lawlessness
has in recent years attracted
South American drugs traffickers,
who have used the country as a
transit point for shipping cocaine
to Europe.
The country's last president
who had ruled for nearly a quar-
ter-century was assassinated on
March 2, 2009 hours after the
head of the army was killed in a
bomb explosion. Elections were
held three months after the twin
assassinations and Gomes' party
came to power.
Experts applauded the elec-
tions which appeared to be free
and fair, but cautioned that the
country needed to find a way to
contain the military, which has
long controlled the country from
behind the scenes.

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ALUMNIASSOCIATION
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

With new rules, consumers to pay
more for cars, trucks, less at pumps

New standards to
increase mileage by
10 mpg in six years
WASHINGTON (AP) - Driv-
ers will have to pay more for cars
and trucks, but they'll save at the
pump under tough new federal
rules aimed at boosting mileage,
cutting emissions and hastening
the next generation of fuel-stingy
hybrids and electric cars.
The new standards, announced
Thursday, call for a 35.5 miles-
per-gallon average within six
years, up nearly 10 mpg from now.
By setting national standards
for fuel efficiency and greenhouse
gas emissions from tailpipes, the
government hopes to squeeze out
more miles per gallon whether
you buy atiny Smart fortwo micro

car, a rugged Dodge Ram pickup
truck or somethinginbetween.
Theruleswillcostconsumers an
estimated $434 extra per vehicle in
the 2012 model year and $926 per
vehicle by 2016, the government
said. But the heads of the Trans-
portation Department and Envi-
ronmental Protection Agency said
car owners would save more than
$3,000 over the lives of their vehi-
cles through better gas mileage.
Touting the plan, Transporta-
tion Secretary Ray LaHood said,
"Putting more fuel-efficient cars
on the road isn't just the right
thing to do for our environment,
it's also a great way for Americans
to save a lot of money at the pump."
The requirements for the
2012-2016 model years pleased
environmentalists who have criti-
cized sluggish efforts by previous
administrations to boost fuel effi-

ciency. They also were welcomed
by automakers who have been
seeking a single standard after
California and a dozen states tried
to create their own rules.
Dave McCurdy, a former Okla-
homa congressman who leads the
Alliance of Automobile Manufac-
turers, a trade group representing
11 automakers, said the industry
supported the single national
standard for future vehicles. He
said the program made "sense for
consumers, for government poli-
cymakers and for automakers."
Not all dealers were pleased.
Ed Tonkin, a Portland, Ore., car
dealer who chairs the National
Automobile Dealers Association,
said the rules were the "most
expensive fuel economy mandates
in history" and would turn many
new cars and trucks into luxury
items for consumers.

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