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September 23, 2010 - Image 3

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10 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, September 23, 201Q - 3A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, September 23, 201Q - 3A

NEWS BRIEFS
DETROIT
* Gov't needs $134
a share to recover
GM money
A government watchdog says the
U.S. Treasury would have to sell its
General Motors stock for $133.78
each to get back the nearly $50 bil-
lion it spent bailing out the Detroit
automaker.
Special Inspector General
for bailout funds Neil Barofsky
revealed the figure in an Aug. 30
letter to Republican Sen. Charles
Grassley of Iowa. The letter was
obtained by The Associated Press
yesterday.
! He says the government gave
GM $49.5 billion to stay in busi-
ness. GM repaid $6.7 billion and
the rest was converted to preferred
shares and a 61 percent stake in the
company. The government plans to
start selling its GM shares in mid-
* November.
Barofsky told Grassley he would
look into the steps taken to make
sure taxpayers get their money back.
HELENA, Mont.
U.S. sen. says local
Canada border
crossing frivolous
A U.S. senator with an influential
voice in the dispute over a little-
used border post between Montana
and Canada said yesterday that offi-
cials should scrap an $8.5 million
stimulus-funded upgrade and shut
down the underused crossing.
Sen. Jon Tester said Canada,
which surprised U.S. officials by
closing its side of the Whitetail port
this summer, was not interested
in sharing a new station or fully
reopening its side of the border. He
said a renovation to the port going
into Saskatchewan no longer makes
sense.
The port is one of a few that ser-
vices a rural and long stretch of the
border in northeastern Montana.
Residents say it is largely used by
farmers who live in the area for
trade and convenience.
Federal officials say they can't
keep the border station open with-
out modernizing security. Ieforet
terrorism became a chief concern,
the station closed for the night by
a fin angeones insthe road,.
KABUL, Afghanistan
25 militants killed
at NATO outpost
near border
Insurgents attacked a NATO and
Afghan army outpost in eastern
. Afghanistan near the Pakistan bor-
Wder and at least 25 of the militants
were killed in the resulting skir-
mish, officials said yesterday.
Troops at the combat outpost
in Spera district of Khost province
returned fire with mortars late
Tuesday, killing 25 to 30 insur-
gents, NATO said in a statement.
Initial reports found there were no
civilian casualties, it said.
Gen. Raz Mohmmad Horya Khil,
a senior commander of the Afghan

National Army in the province, said
29 insurgents were killed. There
were no casualties among NATO or
Afghan troops, he said.
Horya Khil said the attack, com-
ing from the Pakistan side of the
border, was directed at the Mir
Safar joint-NATO and Afghan army
camp and lasted for more than two
hours. Helicopters were called in to
provide support.
Bodies and weapons on the field
were being recovered, he said.
LANSING
Retirement plan
stalling state's
budget negotiations
A plan aimed at sparking more
retirements of state government
workers continues to lack votes to
pass in the Michigan House.
The plan drew opposition late
yesterday afternoon from both
Democrats who hold the major-
ity in the House and Republicans.
Attempts to pass two versions of
the plan failed so convincingly that
votes weren't formally counted
before an electronic board display-
ing the votes was cleared.
A retirement incentive plan is
part of a tentative state budget
deal reached between Demo-
cratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm's
administration, Republican Sen-
ate Majority Leader Mike Bishop
and Democratic House Speaker
Andy Dillon.
The plan could raise at least $50
million in its first year.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports.

French police chief:
Country facing a
'peak'terror threat

French Authorities
suspect al-Qaida
affiliate is plotting
PARIS (AP) - France is fac-
ing a "peak" terror threat, and
authorities suspect al-Qaida's
North African affiliate of plot-
ting a conventional bomb attack
on a crowded target, the national
police chief said yesterday.
The warning from National
Police Chief Frederic Pechenard
came on the eve of national pro-
tests that unions hope will send
millions into city streets, and
was the latest warning in a recent
drumbeat from French officials
that the public needs to be more
alert about terrorism.
"France is today under threat.
For that matter, French people
need to get used to it," he told
Europe-1 radio. "We're now fac-
ing a peak threat that can't be
doubted. There is a specific threat
against French interests."
"We have serious indications,
coming from reliable intelligence,
saying that there's an important
risk of an attack," he said, add-
ing that al-Qaida in the Islamic
Maghreb, or AQIM, "is targeting
us in particular."
Last week, there was a false
bomb alert at the Eiffel Tower,
and investigators are looking into
an anonymous phone call that
prompted police to evacuate the
most-visited monument in the
tourism-oriented country.
AQIM claimed responsibility
for last week's abduction of five
French nationals and two Afri-
cans in northern Niger. Peche-
nard said the group isn't thought
to have the means to launch a
nuclear or biological attack in
France, but could carry out assas-
sinations or attacks using conven-
tional explosives.
"In order to do the maximum
possible damage (such an attack)
would be likely to happen in a
place where there are lots of
people, which could be the pub-
lic transit system, a department
store or a gathering," Pechenard
said.
Last week, the French Senate
voted to ban burqa-style Islamic
veils in France, a subject that has
prompted warnings by AQIM.
Counterterrorism officials in

France say the ban is just one of
several factors that have made
France a target of the group.
Another was France's military
logistical support for a July raid
by Mauritanian forces against the
group that left six of its militants
dead. AQIM has its base in a vast
swath of African desert.
Today, hundreds of thousands
are expected to take to the streets
across France for demonstrations
against the government's pension
reform. A previous round of pro-
tests earlier this month brought
more than 1 million people out.
Pechenard said he didn't
believe the protests would be a
terrorist target.
But in an underground nerve
center at Paris police headquar-
ters, agents were bracing for any
possibility, laying out maps of the
planned march route in the capi-
tal and going over deployment
plans.
Olivier Bagousse, who runs the
Paris police department's Com-
mand and Information Center,
said authorities have stepped up
their alert level following recent
intelligence that France is under
high threat.
"For the last few weeks, we
have been particularly sensitive.
Our staffers have been encour-
aged anew to be on the lookout,"
he told The Associated Press in a
restricted-access zone at police
headquarters, which sits across
the square from Notre Dame
Cathedral. "We are very vigi-
lant."
The center resembles a small-
scale police version of NASA's
Mission Control: Officers plot
police positions on a big-screen
electronic city map - think
Google Maps - and keep tabs
on a wall of TV monitors feeding
in video from some of the 400
closed-circuit cameras scattered
throughout the city.
Using a computer's joystick,
one officer remotely zooms the
lens on a camera atop the famed
Arc de France in and out - peer-
ing down the bustling Champs-
Elysees.
Authorities are straddling a
fine line between keeping the
public watchful and sowing panic
or at least, as one police spokes-
man described it, "a situation
where people start seeing poten-
tial bombs everywhere."

President Barack Obama speaks at a summit on the Millennium Development Goals at the United Nations yestenday.
At U -N., Obama calls
for oreforeign aid

President pushes for
greater help despite
sour economy
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -
President Barack Obama yes-
terday defended U.S. aid to
impoverished people even dur-
ing sour economic times at home
yet promised a sterner approach,
favoring nations that commit to
democracy and economic revival.
Addressing world leaders,
Obama offered no new commit-
ments of U.S. dollars, but rather
a blueprint of the development
policy that will drive his govern-
ment's efforts and determine
where the money flows. His mes-
sage was that the United States
wants to help countries help
themselves, not offer aid that pro-
vides short-term relief without
reforming societies.
"That's not development, that's
dependence," Obama said. "And
it's a cycle we need to break.

Instead of just managing poverty,
we have to offer nations and peo-
ple a path out of poverty."
Obama spoke at a major anti-
poverty summit convened by the
United Nations, one day ahead of
his main speech to the U.N. Gen-
eral Assembly. The president is in
the midst of a three-day trip to the
U.N. for its annual meeting.
World leaders yesterday were
wrapping up an intensive review
of the poverty reduction goals
adopted 10 years ago, a highly
ambitious effort that has yielded
mixed results. The mission is
to cut extreme poverty, reduce
child and maternal mortality
and expand primary education,
among other objectives, by 2015.
The president, met by applause
as he took the grand U.N. stage,
sought to elevate the mission of
U.S. development.
Noting the Americans hurting
at home, where a recession has
eroded millions of jobs, Obama
defended the spending of U.S. tax
dollars to help others build up

their agriculture, transportation
and health systems. He called it
not just a moral imperative but an
investment that can help the global
economy and reduce the threats of
instability and extremism.
"Let's put to rest the old myth
that development is mere charity
that does not serve our interests,"
Obama said.
The White House framed the
president's blueprint as a fresh,
far-reaching approach to helping
other countries, although it builds
on programs of other presidents.
Obama sought to offer a sense of
clarity of why the United States
aids other nations, saying it is
"rooted in America's enduring
commitment to the dignity and
potential of every human being."
Obama said development
should no longer be measured by
how much money or medicine
is delivered, but by the extent to
which the U.S. helps countries
build up themselves. He aimed
to show toughness in setting
demands of recipient nations.

I.-

Man's death clouds
Mideast peace talks

Shooting death
sparks outcry from
Palestinian youths
JERUSALEM (AP) - Crowds
of Palestinian youths violently
rampaged in east Jerusalem yes-
terday following the shooting
death of a local man, clouding
fragile peace efforts even as the
Palestinian president signaled
he may back away from threats
to quit negotiations if Israel
resumes West Bank settlement
construction.
At one point, Israeli riot police
stormed the hilltop compound
known to Jews as the Temple
Mount and to Muslims as the
Noble Sanctuary - the most
explosive site in the Israeli-Pal-
estinian conflict, and the place
where the last Palestinian upris-
ing began almost exactly 10 years
ago.
That uprising - which killed
thousands of people over some
five years of violence - erupt-
ed after a failed U.S.-led peace
effort at Camp David. Yester-
day's outburst comes less than
a month after the sides resumed
peace negotiations, at a tense
moment when those talks are
already facing possible col-
lapse over Israel's plans to end
its 10-month slowdown of con-
struction in the Jewish settle-
ments of the West Bank.
The "moratorium" on con-
struction was declared last
November under intense U.S.
pressure to help coax the Pal-
estinians into talks with the
government of Prime Minis-
ter Benjamin Netanyahu, who
- despite having accepted the
principle of a Palestinian state
- inspires very little faith in
the Palestinians. Netanyahu
said all along that the measure
would end on Sunday - and the
Palestinians have threatened to
walk away from the talks if this
occurs.
The impasse and looming

deadline have created a palpable
tension that has built throughout
the week.
On Monday, Israel's deputy
premier made a public call on
the Palestinians to abandon their
demand, casting such a move as
a mutual "compromise" in which
Israel might retain some of the
restrictions. On Tuesday, Israel's
military chief warned that a col-
lapse of the talks could well lead
to violence.
Meanwhile, the Israeli politi-
cal system braced for either out-
come. If Netanyahu backs down
and extends the freeze, troubles
with his pro-settler coalition
partners are likely and he would
have to persuade the centrist
Kadima party to join the coali-
tion.
If he doesn't and the talks
break down, Israel's internation-
al standing would suffer - along-
side the possibility of renewed
violence with the Palestinians.
A glimmer of hope arrived
from the United States, where
Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas indicated a possible soft-
ening of his position in a Tues-
day night address to prominent
American Jewish figures.
"I cannot say I will leave the
negotiations, but it's very dif-
ficult for me to resume talks
if Prime Minister Netanyahu
declares that he will continue his
(settlement) activity in the West
Bank and Jerusalem," Abbas
said, according to a transcript of
the event obtained by The Asso-
ciated Press.
The Palestinian ambassador
to the United Nations later said
Abbas' comments had been mis-
construed and Abbas was still
ready to walk away.
"The position of the presi-
dent is still the same," Riyad
Mansour said. But he stopped
short of a denial, and the S. Dan-
iel Abraham Center for Middle
East Peace, which sponsored
the meeting, said the comments
were recorded and Abbas was
speaking in English.

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