The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 3A
SIDNEY CENTER, N.Y.
NY town drops
plans to disrupt
The lawyer for a Muslim com-
munity in upstate New York says
the local government is dropping
plans to take legal action to force
the Muslims to shut their tiny
Tom Schimmerling, lawyer for
the 30-member Sufi community,
said yesterday that he had just
received a letter from a Sidney
town attorney saying the town had
decided not to act.
Hans Hass, a spokesman for
the Sufi Muslim community, says
its members want an apology and
a statement that the cemetery is
Hass has said anti-Islamic big-
otry motivated a town board vote to
try to shut down the cemetery. He
said he has a zoning board docu-
ment saying the cemetery is legal.
Town Supervisor Bob McCarthy
didn't immediately return a call
Wednesday. He has previously said
that the graveyard was illegal and
bigotry had nothing to do with it.
face sanctions after
Ecuadorean police have opened
internal disciplinary proceedings
against 13 of their own officers who
could be fired for their purported
roles in a deadly revolt.
Four colonels, seven captains,
a lieutenant and a second lieuten-
ant were placed on administrative
leave as the first step in a process
under which they could be dis-
missed after 60 days, depending on
the outcome of the investigation, a
police statement said yesterday.
One of the colonels is head of
the congressional guard, some of
whom are accused of assaulting
lawmakers and blocking them from
entering the capitol.
About a dozen people died and
270 were wounded in the Sept. 30
uprising by police angry over a new
law that would strip them of pro-
Feds clear FBI
agents in shooting
of Michigan imam
FBI agents who raided a Michi-
gan warehouse last year didn't
violate federal civil rights laws
when they fatally wounded and
restrained a Muslim cleric, the Jus-
tice Department announced yester-
After completing its own investi-
gation, the department's civil rights
division said no further criminal
investigation of the four FBI agents
who shot Imam Luqman Ameen
Abdullah or of the other agents in
the raid is warranted.
Four agents shot Abdullah 20
times as they tried to arrest him
during a raid at a Dearborn, Mich.,
warehouse on Oct. 28, 2009.
Abdullah, who led a Detroit
mosque, was being sought as part
of an ongoing stolen-goods sting
Federal authorities have
described Abdullah as the leader
of a radical Sunni group that aims
to create an Islamic state within
the U.S. Authorities say Abdullah
preached hate for the government
and encouraged followers to com-
mit violence, especially against
police and federal agents.
heads to the north
Soldiers armed with machine
guns on Wednesday began secur-
ing a northern Nigeria city, a day
after a radical Islamic sect set
a police station ablaze in what
appeared to be an attempt to
spark more violence in the trou-
Police also said that the feared
Boko Haram sect had planted unex-
ploded bombs at a police station and
a traffic roundabout the same time
another burned down the police
station. Tuesday's attack struck the
same police station in Gamboru that
was targeted last year, when rioting
and a government crackdown left
Meanwhile, authorities in
Bauchi, the same city where the
sect recently broke into a federal
prison, worry that an attack on a
police officer can be linked to the
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports.
Miner Pablo Rojas gestures as workers remove his rescue equipment after being pulled out of the collapsed San Jose gold
and copper mine where he had been trapped with 32 other miners for over two months near Copiapo, Chile.
All 33 workers saved
from Chilean mineIL
Last worker lifted
after 69 days
SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (AP) -
The last of the Chilean miners, the
foreman who held them together
when they were feared lost, was
raised from the depths of the
earth last night - a joyous end-
ing to a 69-day ordeal that riveted
the world. No one has ever been
trapped so long and survived.
Luis Urzua ascended smooth-
ly through 2,000 feet of rock,
completing a 221/-hour rescue
operation that unfolded with
remarkable speed and flawless
execution. Before a crowd of
about 2,000 people, he became
the 33rd miner tobe rescued.
The rescue workers who talked
the men through the final hours
still had to behoisted to the surface.
When Urzua stepped out of the
capsule, he hugged Chilean Presi-
dent Sebastian Pinera and shook
hands with him and said they had
prevailed over difficult circum-
stances. With the last miner by his
side, the president led the crowd
in singing the national anthem.
One by one throughout the day,
the men had emerged to the cheers
of exuberant Chileans and before
the eyes of a transfixed globe. The
operation picked up speed as the
day went on, but each miner was
greeted with the same boisterous
applause from rescuers.
"Welcome to life," Pinera told
Victor Segvia, the 15th miner out.
On a day of superlatives, it seemed
They rejoined a world intensely
curious about their ordeal, and
certain to offer fame and jobs.
Previously unimaginable riches
awaited men who had risked their
lives going into the unstable gold
and copper mine for about $1,600
The miners made the smooth
ascent inside a capsule called
Phoenix - 13 feet tall, barely
wider than their shoulders and
painted in the white, blue and red
of the Chilean flag. It had a door
that stuck occasionally, and some
wheels had to be replaced, but it
worked exactly as planned.
Beginning at midnight Tuesday,
and sometimes as quickly as every
25 minutes, the pod was lowered
the nearly half-mile to where
700,000 tons of rock collapsed
Aug. 5 and entombed the men.
Then, after a quick pep talk
from rescue workers who had
descended into the mine, a miner
would strap himself in, make the
journey upward and emerge from
a manhole into the blinding sun.
The rescue was planned with
extreme care. The miners were
monitored by video on the way
up for any sign of panic. They had
oxygen masks, dark glasses to
protect their eyes from the unfa-
miliar sunlight and sweaters for
the jarring transition from sub-
terranean swelter to chilly desert
As they neared the surface, a
camera attached to the top of the
capsule showed a brilliant white
piercing the darkness not unlike
what accident survivors describe
when they have near-death expe-
The miners emerged looking
healthier than many had expect-
ed and even clean-shaven. Sev-
eral thrust their fists upwards like
prizefighters, and Mario Sepul-
veda, the second to taste freedom,
bounded out and led his rescu-
ers in a rousing cheer. Franklin
Lobos, who played for the Chilean
national soccer team in the 1980s,
briefly bounced a soccer ball on
his foot and knee.
"We have prayed to San Loren-
zo, the patron saint of miners,
and to many other saints so that
my brothers Florencio and Renan
would come out of the mine all
right. It is as if they had been born
again," said Priscila Avalos. One
of her brothers was the first miner
rescued, and the other was due
out later in the evening.
Health Minister Jaime Mana-
lich said some of the miners
probably will be able to leave
the hospital today - earlier than
projected - but many had been
unable to sleep, wanted to talk
with families and were anxious.
One was treated for pneumonia,
and two needed dental work.
"They are not ready to have
a moment's rest until the last of
their colleagues is out," he said.
As it traveled down and up,
down and up, the rescue capsule
was not rotating as much inside
the 2,041-foot escape shaft as offi-
cials expected, allowing for faster
The first man out was Floren-
cio Avalos, who emerged from the
missile-like chamber and hugged
his sobbing 7-year-old son, his
wife and the Chilean president.
No one in recorded history has
survived as long trapped under-
ground. For the first 17 days, no
one even knew whether they were
alive. In the weeks that followed,
the world was captivated by their
endurance and unity.
Ahmadinejad lauds Iran's
strength in Lebanon talk
says U.S. and Israeli
presence in ME will
BEIRUT (AP) - Iran's presi-
dent made a bold show of
strength in Lebanon, vowing
before thousands of Hezbollah
supporters that U.S. and Israeli
power in the Middle East will
soon be eclipsed.
The visit by Mahmoud Ahma-
dinejad, welcomed by crowds of
cheering Shiites, underscored
the eroding position of pro-
Western factions in Lebanon.
More broadly, it suggested that
the competition over influence in
Lebanon may be tipping toward
Iran and its ally Syria, away from
the United States and it Arab
allies Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
"We seek a unified, modern
Lebanon," said Ahmadinejad,
whose country is the main patron
of the Shiite Hezbollah militant
group, the most powerful mili-
tary force in Lebanon. "We will
stand with the people and gov-
ernment of Lebanon - and with
all elements in the Lebanese
nation - until they achieve all
Ahmadinejad sought to depict
his country as an ally of the
entire nation, not just Hezbol-
lah. Iran, whose ties to the group
date back nearly 30 years, funds
Hezbollah to the tune of millions
of dollars a year and is believed
to supply much of its arsenal.
Hezbollah boasts widespread
support among Shiites and virtu-
ally runs a state-within-a-state in
But Ahmadinejad's dramatic
arrival only exacerbated fears
among many Lebanese - particu-
larly Sunnis and Christians - that
Iran and Hezbollah are seeking to
impose their will on the country
and possibly pull Lebanon into a
conflict with Israel.
The United States and Israel
criticized the visit, with White
House spokesman Robert Gibbs
saying Ahmadinejad is continu-
ing his "provocative ways."
"We reject any efforts to desta-
bilize or inflame tensions within
Lebanon," U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Rodham Clinton said.
After meeting Lebanese Presi-
dent Michel Suleiman and sign-
ing a series of economic and
commercial cooperation agree-
ments, Ahmadinejad went to
Hezbollah's stronghold in the
Shiite district of south Beirut.
Before a crowd of Hezbollah
supporters, he gave a passionate
speech denouncing the United
States and Israel.
He blamed Washington for the
heated sectarian divisions in Leba-
non and elsewhere in the Mideast,
saying the United States sought to
create strife "between people from
different religions who coexisted
for hundreds of years." He warned
that the only way for Washington
to keep its position in the region
was to "end the domination of the
"The Zionist regime is sliding
towards collapse, and no power is
capable of saving it," he said.
Allies of Lebanon's Western-
backed, mainly Sunni coalition,
which is led by Prime Minister
Saad Hariri, showed their worry
over Ahmadinejad's visit.
A group of 250 politicians,
lawyers and activists wrote an
open letter to Ahmadinejad, crit-
icizing his support of Hezbollah.
"Your talk of 'changing the
face of the region starting with
Lebanon' and 'wiping Israel off
the map through the force of the
Islamic Resistance in Lebanon'
... makes it seem like your visit is
that of a high commander to his
front line," the letter said.
In Tripoli, a mainly Sunni city
in the north, posters have gone
up in recent days showing Ahma-
dinejad's face crossed out, above
the words: "No welcome to the
rule of clerics."
Thousands of Hezbollah sup-
porters lined the highway from
the airport into Beirut, waving
Lebanese and Iranian flags for
Ahmadinejad's arrival. Trailed
by heavily armed security in
bulletproof vests, Ahmadine-
jad smiled and waved from the
sunroof of his black SUV as he
passed, and the crowd threw
flowers and sweets at his motor-