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April 13, 2010 - Image 3

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - 3

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - 3

Navy plane crashes,
three dead, one
A Florida-based Navy plane just
missed a house and crashed in
dense woods in north Georgia on
yesterday, killing three crew mem-
bers, and authorities were looking
for a fourth person believed to be
aboard, officials said.
Naval Air Station Pensacola
spokesman Harry White said
authorities have not confirmed
whether the pilot was among those
killed when a T-39N training plane
went down at 4:26 p.m. No one on
the ground was injured, he said.
The plane was part of Training
Air Wing6, which conducts routine
cross-country missions through
Fannin County, where it crashed,
about two hours north of Atlanta,
on the edge of the North Carolina
and Tennessee borders, White said.
Searchers found three bodies. The
twin-jet plane can carry two pilots
and seven passengers, according to
a Navy Web site.
Brown student
claims he was
wrongly expelled
for an alleged rape
A former Brown University stu-
dent alleges in a lawsuit unsealed
yesterday that he was removed
* from campus more than three years
ago after being falsely accused of
rape by the daughter of a major
donor and fundraiser for the Ivy
League school.
William McCormick III and his
parents say university adminis-
trators gave him a one-way ticket
home to Wisconsin after he was
accused of rape in the fall of 2006.
McCormick alleges the school
never told the police about the rape
allegations and accepted them as
true without doing an investiga-
The lawsuit says the father of the
accusing student is a Brown alum-
nus who has "donated and raised
very substantial sums of money,"
_ was in regular contact about the
allegations with school administra-
tors and contacted university presi-
dent Ruth Simmons directly.
* Israeli hospital to
be constructed over
Israel's prime minister has
* decided a new emergency room for
a hospital near Gaza will be built on
its original site, despite the discov-
ery of graves there.
Benjamin Netanyahu reversed
an earlier decision by his Cabinet
to move the new facility more than
100 meters away because of the
ancient pagan graves.
Yesterday's announcement is
sure to win praise from doctors.
They warned that if rockets hit
Ashkelon again, the trip from a sep-
arate emergency room to Barzilai

Hospital could be fatal. Ashkelon,
a southern coastal city of 100,000,
has been hit often.
But this could spark political
trouble. An ultra-Orthodox Jewish
partyin Netanyahu's ruling coalition
* had originally insisted on the move.
There was no immediate comment
from the party, whose leader serves
as deputy health minister.
* French TV
broadcasts Taliban
hostage pleas
French television station bowed
yesterday to Taliban demands and
broadcast pleas from two French
journalists held captive in Afghan-
istan who are facing the threat of
death unless a prisoner-hostage
swap is worked out.
French officials declined to
comment on the threat and said
they were consulting with the
relatives of the two journalists
who were captured in December
in Afghanistan while covering
Prance's military presence north-
*east of Kahul.
The Talihan circulated a video
statement hy the hostages that
was posted on an Islamist Web
site on Sunday, according to the
SITE Intelligence Group that
monitors extremist communica-
Stions. It demanded a French TV
broadcast of the comments and
said three months of negotiations
had failed.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Obama names
picks to replace
Justice Stevens

Russian officials and investigators work near the wreakage of the Polish presidential plane that crashed Saturday just out-
side the Smolensk ariport in western Russia.
Officials Sa human error
may have caused Polish
presidential plane crash

Montana Judge
Sidney Thomas
a new name among
Obama's options
dent Barack Obama's candidates
for the Supreme Court include a
new name, federal appeals court
Judge Sidney Thomas of Montana,
and at least six others who were
contenders when Obama chose his
first high court nominee last year,
The Associated Press has learned.
Among the others under con-
sideration are former Georgia
Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears,
federal appeals court judges Diane
Wood and Merrick Garland, Solici-
tor General Elena Kagan, Michi-
gan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and
Homeland Security Secretary
Janet Napolitano.
The president is seriously
reviewing about 10 people as a
potential nominee to replace Jus-
tice John Paul Stevens, who is retir-
ing this summer.
Seven of those names are now
confirmed to the AP by the admin-
A senior administration official
said the president's consideration is
not just centered on the three peo-
ple receiving the most public atten-
tion: Wood, Kagan and Garland.
The official spoke on condition of
anonymity because no announce-
ments have been made about the
people Obama is considering.
Thomas, 56, of Billings, Mont.,
serves on the 9th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals, the largest of the
nation's appellate courts. He was
nominated to the federal bench in
July 1995 by then-President Bill
Clinton and confirmed by the Sen-
ate in January 1996, with no con-
troversy, in a voice vote.
He comes from Western roots -
born in Bozeman, Mont., bachelor's
degree from MontanaState Univer-
sity, law degree from the Univer-

sity of Montana. Thomas worked
in private practice in Billings and
was an adjunct community college
law professor there for years before
becoming a federal judge.
The White House yesterday
quickly ended speculation about
another potential nominee: Secre-
tary of State Hillary Rodham Clin-
ton. Her named had been floated as
a possibilityby Sen. Orrin Hatch of
Utah, but White House press secre-
tary Robert Gibbs said Obama "is
going to keep her as his secretary
of state."
Obama's list includes three
people whom he interviewed as
finalists when the court had an
opening last year - Wood, Kagan
and Napolitano. The president ulti-
mately nominated federal Judge
Sonia Sotomayor to replace retir-
ing Justice David Souter. She was
later confirmed in a 68-31 vote by
the Senate.
With his second nomination in
less than a year, Obama is in a far
different position this time.
He has the experience of having
gone through a successful search,
and a ready-made listofnamesfrom
that effort. But administration offi-
cials say Obama is also intent not to
rely onthe candidates from lastctime
and that new ideas are in the mix,
cautioning about an over-reliance
on conventional wisdom.
So far, most of the known can-
didates under Obama's review are
familiar within Washington's polit-
ical and legal circles.
As for Thomas, an individual
who answered the phone at his
chambers in Billings said he was
not in town on Monday and a mes-
sage was notimmediately returned.
Attorneys who know him well
described him as an independent
The sprawling 9th Circuit,
based in San Francisco, is widely
perceived as liberal. But Ber-
nard "Bud" Longo, a conservative
Republican and a former law part-
ner with Thomas, said that label
does not apply to Thomas.

Russia maintains
plane had no
technical problems
WARSAW, Poland (AP) - Rus-
sian investigators suggested
human error may have been to
blame in the plane crash that
killed the Polish president and
95 others, saying yesterday there
were no technical problems with
the Soviet-made plane.
The Tu-154 went down Saturday
while trying to land in dense fog
near a Smolensk airport in west-
ern Russia. All aboard were killed,
including President Lech Kaczyn-
ski and dozens of Polish political,
military and religious leaders.
They had been traveling in the
Polish government-owned plane
to attend a memorial in the nearby
Katyn forest for thousands of Pol-
ish military officers executed 70
years ago by Josef Stalin's secret
The pilot had been warned of
bad weather in Smolensk, and
was advised by traffic controllers
to land elsewhere - which would
have delayed the Katyn obser-
He was identified as Capt.
Arkadiusz Protasiuk, 36, and the
co-pilot as Maj. Robert Grzy-
wna, 36. Also in the cockpit were
Ensign Andrzej Michalak, 36, and
Lt. Artur Zietek, 31.
In Warsaw, there was concern
the pilots may have been asked by
someone in the plane to land at
Smolensk instead of diverting to
Minsk or Moscow, in partto avoid
missing the ceremonies.
Polish Prosecutor General
Andrzej Seremet said Polish
investigators talked to the flight
controller and flight supervisor
and "concluded that there were
no conditions for landing."
"The tower was advising
against the landing," Seremet said.
The plane was equipped with
an instrument landing system,
or ILS, said Col. Wieslaw Grze-
gorzewski of the Polish Defense

"I can confirm the pilots were
preparing for landing without the
ILS system," he said. "The airport
didn't have the ILS system."
Russian media reports said the
Smolensk airfield is a former mili-
tary air base that lacks equipment
for automatic landings.
The business daily Kommer-
sant said yesterday that about
50 military personnel maintain
the airport which is used only
sporadically for official visits. It
said the airfield has no perma-
nent traffic controllers, and they
are brought from the city of Tver
when it's necessary.
Kommersant also said that
that the pilots had been informed
about the bad weather in the area
while the plane was still over
Belarus, but the captain said he
would see conditions for himself
and then make a decision.
Polish investigators said they
will listen tothe cockpitconversa-
tions recorded on the black boxes
to see if there were "any sugges-
tions made to the pilots" from
other people aboard the plane.
Other Russian officials said the
pilots were offered the chance to
landin Moscow, MinskorVitebsk,
but they chose Smolensk, despite
four failed attempts before the
fifth and fatal approach.
Polish media reported in
August 2008 that pilots flying
Kaczynski to Tbilisi refused the
president's order to land there
because of the country's war with
Russia, diverting instead to Azer-
In remarks on Russian tele-
vision, Deputy Prime Minister
Sergei Ivanov told a government
meeting including President
Dmitry Medvedev that the data
recorders on the plane were found
to have been completely func-
tional, which will allow a detailed
"It is reliably confirmed that
warning of the unfavorable
weather conditions at the North
airport and recommendations to
go to a reserve airport were not
only transmitted but received by
the crew of the plane," he said.

Russian investigators have
almost finished reading the flight
recorders, said Alexander Bas-
trykin, Russia's chief investigator.
"The readings confirm that
there were no problems with
the plane, and that the pilot was
informed about the difficult
weather conditions, but neverthe-
less decided to land," Bastrykin
said during a briefing with Rus-
sian Prime Minister Vladimir
Putin in Smolensk.
The wreckage will remain on
site through midweek to speed
the investigation, Russian Deputy
Transport Minister Igor Levitin
In Warsaw, the acting presi-
dent, Bronislaw Komorowski,
moved yesterday to start appoint-
ing replacements for the many
posts left vacant in the presiden-
tial office. He appointed a retired
general, Stanislaw Koziej, as new
National Security Bureau chief,
and said the first task he was set-
ting him was a review of the rules
for travel of top military officials.
Both Russia and Ukraine
declared a day of mourning yes-
terday, as Poles struggled to come
to terms with the tragedy that
eliminated so many of their gov-
ernment and military leaders.
Tens of thousands watched as
Kaczynski's body, returned Sun-
day to Warsaw, was carried in a
coffin by a hearse to the presi-
dential palace. His twin brother,
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the former
prime minister, was present.
Adam Bielan, an aide to Jaro-
slaw, said the two brothers spoke
briefly Saturday morning when
the president called his twin just
before the plane crash to say they
would be landing soon.
At U.N. headquarters in New
York, the U.N.'s blue and white
flag flew at half-staff Monday in
Kaczynski's memory.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon expressed his "most
profound condolence at such a
tragic passing away of President
Lech Kaczynski, with whom I
have been working very closely,
especially on climate change."

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