The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 3A
Granholm leads her
last Labor Day run
Gov. Jennifer Granholm says her
five-mile Labor Day run across the
Mackinac Bridge could be a meta-
phor for Michigan's past, present
The state's outgoing Democratic
leader was among 300 runners who
led several thousand walkers yes-
terday across the span linking the
Upper and Lower peninsulas.
In a telephone interview with
The Associated Press, Granholm
" said the run started under clouds,
with rain during the crossing, and a
burst of sunshine at the finish line.
The 51-year-old Canadian-born
mother of three is an avid runner
and was accompanied by husband
Dan Mulhern, daughter Cecelia
and two cousins.
Granholm described the experi-
ence as "magnificent."
In her eighth and final year as
governor, Granholm acknowledged
the state has been through the
toughest economic period since the
"Time magazine called it the
decade from hell," she said. While
the magazine used the phrase to
describe the nation as a whole, Gra-
nholm said, it's "certainly" been
'hell in Michigan.
Michigan's seasonally adjusted
unemployment rate stood at 13.1
percent in July, well above the
national rate of 9.5 percent.
Hopeful signs, she said, are that
automakers are finally doing some
hiring and that Michigan is struc-
turally better positioned now.
to hit Mexico, Texas
A hurricane watch has been
issued for the coasts of Texas and
Mexico in the Gulf as Tropical
Storm Hermine approaches.
The hurricane watch issued yes-
terday covers the area from Rio San
Fernando, Mexico, northward to
Baffin Bay in Texas.
Hermine's maximum sustained
winds have increased to near 50
mph (85 kph). Additional strength-
ening is expected and the storm
could approach hurricane strength
- Hermine is located about 205
;Miles (325 kilometers) south-south-
:ast of Brownsville, Texas, and is
* noving north-northwest near 13
.4ph (20 kph).
Heavy rain is predicted with
'ortheastern Mexico into south
'"exas getting 4 to 8 inches with as
.much as a foot in some places. It
:ould cause flash floods and mud-
*NG.S., South Korean
:uclear envoys meet
South Korea's envoy to stalled
"North Korean nuclear talks is meet-
'lng with senior U.S. officials as
China and the North reportedly are
pushing for the disarmament nIego-
- tiations to resume.
.b_ The.State Department said Wi
Sung-lac met with Deputy Secre-
tary of State Jim Steinberg and oth-
ers Friday to discuss North Korea.
Wi's meeting follows a U.S. visit this
week by China's nuclear envoy.
China has suggested a com-
promise among the six countries
involved in the nuclear disarma-
a'ent talks so that negotiations can
get back on track.
Seoul and Washington have been
wary. They accuse North Korea of
torpedoing a South Korean warship
North Korea walked away from
tie talks to protest international
jondemnation of its missile test.
IAKKI MARWAT, PAKISTAh
17 dead, 40 injured
in suicide bombing
A Taliban suicide bomber deto-
nated a car in an alley behind a
police station in a strategically
important town in northwestern
lakistanyesterday, killingat least 17
police and civilians in an explosion
tliat shattered the station and neigh-
About40 people werewounded in
the attack in Lakki Marwat, which
sits on the main road between Pun-
jab province, Pakistan's largest and
most prosperous, and the North and
South Waziristan tribal regions.
A Pakistani army offensive
pushed many militants out of South
Waziristan in October. The mili-
tants still control much of North
Waziristan, where U.S. drone air-
craft have been conducting a cam-
paign of targeted killings.
- Compiled from
Iranian human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, right, and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, left, and French phi-
losopher Bernard Henry Levy, background, during a press conference, in relation to the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.
Iranian woman's death
sentence sparks outcry
End of Ramadan
fear for woman's life
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - The
lawyer for an Iranian woman sen-
tenced to be stoned on an adultery
conviction said yesterday that he
and her children are worried the
delayed execution could be car-
ried out soon with the end of a
moratorium on death sentences
for the Muslim holy month of
In an unusual turn in the case,
the lawyer also confirmed that
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
was lashed 99 times last week in
a separate punishment meted out
because a British newspaper ran
a picture of an unveiled woman
mistakenly identified as her.
Under Iran's clerical rule, women
must cover their hair in public.
The newspaper later apologized
for the error.
With the end of Ramadan this
week, the mother of two could be
executed "any moment," said her
lawyer, Javid Houtan Kian.
The sentence was put on hold
in July after an international
outcry over the brutality of the
punishment, and it is now being
reviewed by Iran's supreme court.
Ashtiani was convicted in 2006
of having an "illicit relationship"
with two men after the murder
of her husband the year before
and was sentenced at that time
to 99 lashes. Later that year, she
was also convicted of adultery
and sentenced to be stoned, even
though she retracted a confes-
sion that she says was made under
"The possibility of stoning still
exists, any moment," Kian told
The Associated Press. "Her ston-
ing sentence was only delayed; it
has not been lifted yet."
Italy is among several coun-
tries pressing for Iran to show
flexibility in the case. The coun-
try's foreign minister, Franco
Frattini, said the Italian ambas-
sador in Iran met with authori-
ties in Tehran who "confirmed
to us that no decision has been
made" about the stoning sen-
"I interpret that in the sense
that the stoning, for now, won't
take place," Frattini said in an
interview on Italian state TV.
After putting the stoning sen-
tence on hold, Iran suddenly
announced that the woman had
also been brought to trial and
convicted of playing a role in her
husband's 2005 murder. Her law-
yer disputes that, saying no charg-
es against her in the killing have
ever been part of her case file.
In early August, Iranian
authorities broadcast a pur-
ported confession from Ashtiani
on state-run television. In it, a
woman identified as Ashtiani
admits to being an unwitting
accomplice in her husband's kill-
Kian says he believes she was
tortured into confessing.
In the latest twist, authorities
are said to have flogged her for the
publication of a photo of a woman
without her hair covered in the
Times of London newspaper. The
woman in the photo was misiden-
tified as Ashtiani.
She was lashed on Thursday,
Kian said, citing information
from a fellow prisoner who was
released last week. Kian has been
allowed no direct contact with his
client since last month.
"We have no access to Ashtiani,
but there is no reason for the
released prisoner to lie" about the
flogging, he said.
There was no official Iranian
confirmation of the new punish-
The woman's son, 22-year-old
Sajjad Qaderzadeh, said he did
not know whether the new lash-
ing sentence had been carried out
yet, but that he also heard about
the sentence from a prisoner who
recently left the Tabriz prison
where his mother is being held.
"Publishing the photo provid-
ed a judge an excuse to sentence
my poor mother to 99 lashes on
the charge of taking a picture
unveiled," Qaderzadeh told the
The Times apologized in its
Monday edition but added that the
lashing "is simply a pretext."
Man seeking mental
help begins short
standoff in Georgia
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - A for-
mer Army soldier seeking help
for mental problems at a Georgia
military hospital took three work-
ers hostage at gunpoint yesterday
before authorities persuaded him
No one was hurt and no shots
were fired in the short standoff at
Winn Army Community Hospital
on Fort Stewart, about 40 miles
southwest of Savannah, said fort
spokesman Kevin Larson. Mili-
tary officials said the hostages
were able to calm the gunman and
keep him away from patients until
Military police arrested the
gunman, who was being ques-
tioned yesterday afternoon.
His name was not immediately
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, a
senior Fort Stewart commander,
said the former soldier was seek-
ing help for mental problems that
were "connected, I'm quite cer-
tain, to his past service."
"He hadn't gotten the care that
he wanted and he wanted it now,"
Phillips said, based on what one of
the hostages had told him. "He'd
had some experiences that could
lead one to believe there were
aftereffects to his service."
Both he and Larson declined to
be more specific, citing the active
The suspect walked into the
hospital's emergency room at
about 4 a.m. carrying two hand-
guns, a semiautomatic rifle and a
semiautomatic version of a sub-
machine gun, Phillips said. He
took a medic hostage and headed
to the building's behavioral treat-
ment wing on the third floor.
An Army psychiatric nurse
spotted the gunman and
approached him to talk, Phillips
said. That nurse was then taken
hostage along with a behavioral
health technician who refused
to allow the gunman through a
locked door to the patient area.
Still, the nurse - an Army
major - was able to start calming
"Working together, they main-
tained the situation, kept the gun-.
man out of the territory where
he could harm someone else and
bought time for someone else to
get there," Phillips said.
Military police soon arrived
and surrounded the hospital.
Army investigators trained in
hostage negotiations worked their
way to the floor.
In less than two hours, they
persuaded him to put down his
weapons and surrender.
Because the suspect is a civil-
ian and the standoff involved hos-
tages on a federal installation, the
FBI was called in to help with the
It was unclear Monday what
charges the man would face.
Fort Stewart, the largest Army
post east of the Mississippi River,
is home to the 3rd Infantry Divi-
sion. Most of the division's 19,000
soldiers are deployed to Iraq. It's
the 3rd Infantry's fourth tour in
Iraq since the war began in 2003.
Phillips said he'd seen nothing
to indicate the former soldier had
previously sought treatment at the
Fort Stewart hospital.
"He broke the law, obviously,
and he threatened people" and
would have to face the conse-
quences, Larson said. "But we
are going to get him the help for
Gubernatorial races may
foreshadow 2012 election
seek wins for races
in 37 states
WASHINGTON (AP) - Never
before have so many governor-
ships been up for grabs - and with
so much at stake.
The races come just ahead of
and legislative redistricting to
reflect the U.S. population of the
2010 census, a process in which
governors will play a central role.
Of the 37 governorships on the
ballot, more than half are open
seats. And many of the contests
are in prime 2012 presidential bat-
Democrats control 26 gover-
norships and must defend 19 in
November. Sheer math, the sour
economy and historical trends
favoring the out-of-power party
in midterm elections suggest big
Republican statehouse gains.
"We are now tasked with
remaking the political map,"
proclaims the website of the
Republican Governors Associa-
tion, headed by Mississippi Gov.
Haley Barbour, a potential presi-
Republicans are hoping for
eight or more pickups. "We can't
wait until 2012 to start taking our
country back," says Barbour.
Democrats are striving to mini-
mize losses and pull off some
"We knew it was going to be
a tough year just by virtue of the
fact that we elected a Democrat
to the White House in 2008," said
Nathan Daschle, executive direc-
tor of the Democratic Governors
Association. "History shows the
president's party loses 5.5 gover-
nors seats in midterm elections."
Furthermore,the poor economy
and growing tea-party activism
are weighing on all incumbents
and those perceived as establish-
"In a year like this, no one is
safe," Daschle said.
Underscoring the high stakes:
The GOP governors association is
poised to spend up to $65 million
on the races; its Democratic coun-
terpart, about $50 million.
Republicans' best shot for pick-
ups may be a string of governor-
ships now held by Democrats
across Great Lakes and upper Mid-
western states, including Ohio,
Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and
Iowa as well as Pennsylvania.
Democrats have fewer oppor-
tunities for gains, although they
appear on track to pick up Repub-
lican governorships in Hawaii,
Connecticut and possibly Minne-
Both parties were pumping
resources into high-profile cam-
paigns in populous California,
Texas and Florida, all won by
Republicans four years ago. Dem-
ocrats hope to add at least one of
those big three to their column.
These have been particularly
tryingtimes for governors.
On the front line of the econom-
ic crisis, many have been forced
to cut services or raise taxes - or
both. And they've been bloodied
by voter anger and the tea party
movement sweeping the nation.
Unlike the federal government,
governors can't print money and
many are barred from deficit
That, along with term limits in
some states, is why so few sitting
governors are running. Only 13
incumbents are on the ballot.
And some standing for re-
election are in close races,
including Democratic Govs.
Chet Culver in Iowa, Ted Strick-
land in Ohio, Martin O'Malley in
Maryland, even Deval Patrick in
Spectators watch assa fire humns in 4-Mile Canyon in Boulder Colorado.
More than 400
homes evacuated as
DENVER (AP) - A wind-
driven wildfire broke out in the
rugged Colorado foothills and
quickly spread across 4 square
miles yesterday, destroying some
homes and triggering evacua-
tions of as many as 400 others.
No injuries were reported.
Authorities could not say how
many structures burned down,
but they said at least some of
them were houses.
The fire started in Four Mile
Canyon northwest of Boulder,
and erratic winds gusting to 45
mph spread the flames both to
the west and northeast.
At least four roads in the area
were closed, and a billowing,
white plume of heavy smoke was
visible for miles. The cause was
"It's fast-moving. We've got
a lot of wind up there," Boul-
der County sheriff's Cmdr. Rick
Brough said. He said emergency
crews were concentrating on
About 200 homes scattered in
and near the canyon were evacu-
ated earlier in the day. Brough
said residents of two other sub-
divisions closer to Boulder, each
with about 100 homes, were
ordered to evacuate yesterday
At least 100 buildings were
One fire vehicle was destroyed,
said Patrick von Keyserling, a
spokesman for the Boulder Coun-
ty Office of Emergency Manage-
At least two heavy air tankers
were sent to the Rocky Mountain
Metropolitan Airport southeast
of Boulder to help, but the winds
were too strong for them to fly
over the fire.
"They just can't get up until
the wind dies down," Brough
The strong winds accompa-
nied a cold front moving across
the state. They weren't expect-
ed to slacken until last night,
said Scott Entrekin, a National
Weather Service meteorologist.
About 100 ground crews were
on the scene and 75 more were on
standby, Brough said.
"It was tremendously dark
about an hour ago," said Mari-
lyn Cole, who was working at the
Country Corner Store in Hygiene,
about 10 miles northeast of the
fire. "It's very, extremely hazy."
Three evacuation centers
were set up in Boulder and in
the mountain village of Neder-
land, and at least 65 people had
checked in at the three centers by
A shelter for livestock was set
up at the Boulder County Fair-
grouys in Longmont.
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