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April 07, 2010 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-04-07

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 3A

Detroit River refuge
gets 35 more acres
of land to expand
The Detroit River International
Wildlife Refuge is expanding with
35 acres of land in Monroe Coun-
ty's Berlin Township.
The acquisition was announced
Tuesday by the U.S. Fish and Wild-
life' Service, Monroe County, The
Trust for Public Land and Ducks
Unlimited Inc. It includes seasonal
wetlands and land used for farming
over the past 30 years.
The property is home to great
blue heron, egret and raptors.
Michigan Democratic Congress-
man John Dingell says in a state-
ment the property 28 miles
southwest of Detroit will benefit
wildlife and area residents.
Agricultural portions of the land
will be returned to prairie and
The refuge includes more than
5,700 acres of islands, wetlands and
other protected habitats along the
Detroit River and Lake Erie.
Police ID bodies
found dismembered
in New Jersey
Police have identified a man and
woman whose dismembered body
parts were found stuffed in bags
and dumped on a residential street
in a quiet northern New Jersey
The Union County Prosecutor's
Office is withholding the names
until family members can be noti-
fied. An office spokesman says noti-
fications are under way.
Prosecutor Theodore
Romankow has said that an autop-
sy showed one of the victims was a
Hispanic male between 30 and 35
years old.
Investigators still don't. know
how long the pair had been dead or
why they were dumped in Linden,
about 20 miles outside Manhattan.
Residents say the bags had been
there at least since Thursday.
The body pieces were found
Monday by police and a sanitation
worker who responded when a resi-
dent called to complain about ille-
gally dumped trash.
US hopes to ease
Russia's fears on
missile defense
Secretary of State Hillary Rod-
ham Clinton says the U.S. will con-
tinue to try to seek common ground
with Russia on missile defense
despite the Kremlin's fear that such
systems are aimed at crippling its
nuclear arsenal.
She told a Pentagon briefing she
understands reservations being
voiced by Moscow about a new
nuclear arms reduction treaty to be
signed later this week.
Russia unsuccessfully sought to
include limits on missile defenses

during months of negotiations on
the new arms treaty and yesterday
said it reserves the right to with-
draw from the pact if it deems U.S.
missile defense systems in Europe
as a threat.
QUITO, Ecuador
Writers at Ecuador
state paper claim
Twenty columnists and con-
tributors to the Ecuadorean state
newspaper El Telegrafo said yes-
terday they will no longer write for
the paper because of alleged cen-
In a signed letter sent to media
outlets, the writers said they were
quitting to protest "acts of censor-
ship and the violation of the rights
of free expression and press free-
In recent weeks, El Telegrafo's
director and sections editor were
removed from their posts and the
deputy director resigned amid a
disagreement with management
over the direction the newspaper
was headed.
El Telegrafo was a private news-
paper until three years ago when it
was taken over by the government
amid debts and legal problems.
On April 1, a note from manage-
ment directed that the newspaper's
editorial section not publish "com-
mentaries, strategic information
and other strictly internal informa-
tion" written by the columnists and
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Quake offers
tough lessons
for U.S. coast

President Barack Obama arrives in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 2', 2010, alter he
phoned Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to discuss the new START treaty.
Obama calls nuclear
terrorism top threat

White house aims to
limit international
threat and conflict
ing America's nuclear strategy, the
a fundamental shift that calls the
spread of atomic weapons to rogue
states or terrorists a worse threat
than the nuclear Armageddon
feared during the Cold War.
The Obama administration
is suddenly moving on multiple
fronts with a goal of limiting the
threat of a catastrophic interna-
tional conflict, although it's not
yet clear how far and how fast the
rest of the world is ready to fol-
In releasing the results of an
in-depth nuclear strategy review,
President Barack Obama said his
administration would narrow the
circumstances in which the U.S.
might launch a nuclear strike, that
it would forgo the development of

new nuclear warheads and would
seek even deeper reductions in
American and Russian arsenals.
His defense secretary, Robert
Gates, said the focus would now be
on terror groups such as al-Qaida
as well as North Korea's nuclear
buildup and Iran's nuclear ambi-
"For the first time, prevent-
ing nuclear proliferation and
nuclear terrorism is now at
the top of America's nuclear
agenda," Obama said, distanc-
ing his administration from the
decades-long U.S. focus on arms
competition with Russia and on
the threat posed by nuclear mis-
siles on hair-trigger alert.
"The greatest threat to U.S.
and global security is no lon-
ger a nuclear exchange between
nations, but nuclear terrorism by
violent extremists and nuclear
proliferation to an increasing
number of states," he said, spell-
ing out the core theme of the new
Obama's announcement set the

stage for his trip to Prague Thurs-
day to sign a new arms reduction
agreement with Russia. And it pre-
cedes a gathering in Washington
next Monday of government lead-
ers from more than 40 countries
to discuss improving safeguards
against terrorists acquiring nucle-
ar bombs.
In May, the White House will
once again help lead the call for dis-
armament at the United Nations in
New York during an international
conference on strengthening the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Congressional Democrats
hailed yesterday's announce-
ment, but some Republicans
said it could weaken the nation's
Rep. Buck McKeon of Califor-
nia, the top Republican on the
House Armed Services Commit-
tee, said the policy change could
carry "clear consequences" for
security and he was troubled by
"some of the language and per-
ceived signals imbedded" in the

U.S. officials look
to Chile as model
for natural disaster
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - As the
Easter earthquake shook South-
ern California, the state's disaster
management chief was thousands
of miles away in Chile, examin-
ing what experts say is the best
case study yet for how a truly cata-
strophic earthquake could impact
the United States.
Chile and the U.S. Pacific coast
have more in common than their
geology; they share advanced con-
struction codes, bustling coastal
cities, modern skyscrapers and vet-
eran emergency services.
These were all put to the test
in Chile, which despite its exten-
sive planning lost 432 lives in the
8.8-magnitude earthquake and
resulting tsunami - lessons that
California, Oregon and Washing-
ton have yet to fully learn despite
They include: Coastal flood
maps mean nothing without local
enforcement. Hospitals need to
not only stay upright but also stay
open. Stringent building standards
require stringent inspections. And
tourists need to be taught about the
dangers of tsunamis, which caused
the greatest loss of life in Chile, wip-
ing out seaside campgrounds on the
last weekend of summer vacation.
"People living there know that
when the earth shakes, it's like an
alarm going off: Get out. But visi-
tors aren't conditioned like that,"
said Matthew Bettenhausen, the
secretary of California's Emergen-

cy Management Agency.
Most of Chile's modern build-
ings emerged with little more than
broken plaster, but there were some
spectacular failures among recent-
ly built structures. Some experts
blame code violations that lax
inspections failed to catch.
"It's not enough to have a good
law - you have to follow it," says
Rodolfo Saragoni, the University of
Chile's top seismic engineer.
Chileans who lost their homes
are asking how building firms got
away with cuttingcorners.
"I've never made walls this thin
for this kind of building," said civil
engineer Carolina Astorga, show-
ing the AP the damaged founda-
tions of her 19-story apartment
building in Santiago.
She moved in a month before the
quake. Now the building is sunken,
leaning and uninhabitable.
"They save more rebar, more
money and it comes out cheaper
for the contractor. But here are the
Code enforcement in California,
Some are sticklers, but others are
essentially "paper building depart-
ments, where they're pushing paper
but not actually rigorously enforcing
building codes," said Fred Turner, a
structural engineer with the state's
Seismic Safety Commission.
"I'm afraid there are a few juris-
dictions in California that are prob-
ably not much better," Turner added.
Likewise, the tsunami responsi-
ble for most of Chile's death toll was
perfectly predictable from official
flood maps published on the navy's
Web site. But the coastal cities dev-
astated by the waves did nothingftor
incorporate the charts in public

Toyota issues
internal repairs-

Pope Benedict XVI blesses a child during Palm Sunday mass in St. Peter's square at the Vatican on Sunday. The Pope opened
Holy Week on Sunday amid one of the most serious crises facing the church in decades.
Vatican speaks out agalns
anti -Catholic 'hate' campain

Pope targeted for
opposing abortion,
same-sex marriage
Vatican heatedly defended Pope
Benedict XVI yesterday, claim-
ing accusations that he helped
cover up the actions of pedophile
priests are part of an anti-Catho-
lic "hate" campaign targeting the
pope for his opposition to abor-
tion and same-sex marriage.
Vatican Radio broadcast com-
ments by two senior cardinals
explaining "the motive for these
attacks" on the pope and the Vati-
can newspaper chipped in with
spirited comments from another
top cardinal.
"The pope defends life and
the family, based on marriage
between a man and a woman, in a
world in which powerful lobbies
would like to impose a completely
different" agenda, Spanish Car-
dinal Julian Herranz, head of the
disciplinary commission for Holy
See officials, said on the radio.
Herranz didn't identify the
lobbies but "defense of life" is
Vatican shorthand for anti-abor-
tion efforts.
Also arguing that Benedict's
promotion of conservative fam-
ily models had provoked the so-
called attacks was the Vatican's

dean of the College of Cardinal',
Angelo Sodano.
"By now, it's a cultural con-
trast," Sodano told the Vatican
newspaper L'Osservatore Roma-
no. "The pope embodies moral
truths that aren't accepted, and
so, the shortcomings and errors
of priests are used as weapons
against the church."
Also rallying to Benedict's side
was Italian Cardinal Giovanni
Lajolo, who heads the Vatican
City State's governing apparatus.
The pope "has done all that he
could have" against sex abuse by
clergy of minors, Lajolo said on
Vatican radio, decrying what he
described as a campaign of "hatred
against the Catholic church."
Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, a Minne-
apolis, Minnesota-based minister
in the United Church of Christ
who is faith work director of the
National Gay and Lesbian Task
Force, described the cardinals'
comments as "diversionary coun-
terattacks" that are an affront
both to the victims of clergy
abuse and to gays and lesbians.
"It makes me heartsick," she
Sex abuse allegations, as well
as accusations of cover-ups by
diocesan bishops and Vatican offi-
cials, have swept across Europe
in recent weeks. Benedict has
been criticized for not halting the
actions of abusive priests when he

was a Vatican cardinal and earlier
while he was the archbishop of
Munich in his native Germany.
The mainland European scan-
dals - in Germany, Italy, Austria,
Denmark and Switzerland - are
erupting after decades of abuse
cases in the United States, Can-
ada, Australia, Ireland and other
In Germany, nearly 2,700
people called the church's sex-
ual abuse hot line in the first
three days it was operating, a
Catholic church spokesman said
yesterday.A team of psychologists
and other experts have spoken
with 394 people so far, ranging
from several minutes up to an
hour, Trier Diocese spokesman
Stephan Kronenburg said.
"Most callers reported cases of
sexual abuse," he told The Associ-
ated Press.
Benedict has ignored victims'
demands that he accept respon-
sibility for what they say is his
own personal and institutional
responsibility for failing to swift-
ly kick abusive priests out of the
priesthood, or at least keep them
away from children.
But he has been protected by a
vanguard of senior Vatican prel-
ates who are fending off what
they contend is an orchestrated
attempt to attack the leader of the
world's more than 1 billion Catho-

Documents: Toyota
lagged in issuing US
issued internal repair procedures to
its own distributors in 31 European
countries about sticking accelera-
tor pedals months before it warned
U.S. regulators about the problem
- and on the same day it told the
U.S. government it would conduct a
recall over loose floor mats, accord-
ing to Toyota documents obtained
yesterday by The Associated Press.
Transportation Secretary Ray
LaHood earlier this week cited
the Sept. 29 European warn-
ings in his decision to assess a
record $16.4 million fine on the
Japanese automaker for failing to
alert the U.S. government to its
safety problems quickly enough.
LaHood on yesterday said Toyota
made a "huge mistake" by not dis-
closing safety problems with gas
pedals on some of its most popu-
lar models sooner.
Detailed chronologies provided
by Toyota to the government and
obtained by the AP show rising
concerns at the end of 2009 about
sticking gas pedals and complaints
from Toyota owners in the U.S.
about the problem. According to
the documents, Toyota's European
division issued technical informa-
tion to the European distributors
"identifying a production improve-
ment and repair procedure to
address complaints by customers
in those countries of sticking accel-
erator pedals, sudden rpm increase
and/or sudden vehicle accelera-
On the same day, Toyota told the
National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration of its decision to
recall several Toyota and Lexus
vehicle models "to address the risk
of accelerator pedal entrapment
by all-weather floor mats," accord-
ing to a timeline of the company's
handling of the floor mat recall.
The two timelines, entitled "pre-
liminary chronology of principal
events," were provided to the gov-
ernment on March 24.
Toyota has said the problems
involved separate issues and in the
case of the sticking gas pedals, the
problem was related to the buildup
of condensation on sliding surfaces
in the accelerator system that helps

drivers push down or release the
gas pedal.
The documents obtained by
AP were among 70,000 pages of
papers turned over to government
investigators. They detail internal
communications and testing of
the sticking pedals before Toyota
presented its findings to NHTSA
four months later, during a meet-
ing in Washington on Jan. 19. Two
days later, Toyota announced it
would recall 2.3 million vehicles to
address the sticking pedals.
On Oct. 7, according to the time-
line, a staff member of Toyota's
productplanning and management
division at the company's head-
quarters in Japan sent a Toyota
colleague in North America a copy
of engineering change instruc-
tions describing the same design
changes for the accelerator pedal of
a Toyota RAV4 as was implemented.
in Europe.
Two weeks later, the timeline
says a member of the product
planning team in North America
received a call from a colleague
in Japan "instructing him not to
implement the (engineeringchange:
instructions) noted above."
Toyota notified NHTSA in
November 2009 of three cases of
sticking pedals in Corollas sold in
the United States that were report-;
ed to the company in late Octo-
ber. In November and December,
Toyota engineers examined pedals.
from the Corollas and "concluded
that the phenomenon experienced
in the United States was essentially
the same as the phenomenon expe-
rienced in Europe."
In mid-January, Toyota held,
internal meetings "to discussstatus
of production changes and to pre-
pare for meetings with NHTSA" on
Jan. 19, according to the timeline.
LaHood told reporters in Chica-
go on Tuesday that he wouldn't be
surprised if a review of documents
from Toyota Motor Corp. uncov-
ered additional safety lapses by the
Japanese automaker.
"This is the first thing that we'
have found. It may not be the last
thing," LaHood said, addingthat "it
would not surprise me if we discov-
ered other information."
Under federal law, automakers
must notify the National High-
way Traffic Safety Administration
within five days of determiningthat
a safety defect exists and promptly,
conduct a recall.

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