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November 17, 2010 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-11-17

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he Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 3A

irst amendment
iolationleads to
eacher's suspension
Howell High School econom-
es teacher Jay McDowell says he
idn't like where the discussion
as going after a student told his
-lassmates he didn't "accept gays,"
o McDowell kicked the boy out of
lass for a day.
In return, the teacher was kicked
ut of his Michigan school for a
ay - suspended without pay for
iolating the student's free speech
The incident has sparked intense
ebate in Howell, about 45 miles
orthwest of Detroit, over defend-
ing civil rights without trampling
on the First Amendment. It's
ained far wider attention since the
ivingston County Press & Argus
eleased video of a 14-year-old gay
student from another city defend-
ing McDowell at a Howell school
board meeting.
On Oct. 20, McDowell told a stu-
dent in his classroom to remove a
Confederate Flag belt buckle. She
complied, but it prompted a ques-
tion from a boy about how the flag
'differs from the rainbow flag, a
symbol of pride for the gay com-
Bomb threats lead
to canceled class on
Ohio State campus
Ohio State University has
reopened two laboratory build-
ings that were closed due to a bomb
No devices were found in the
labs, and all activities and classes in
the buildings were back on sched-
ule yesterday evening. Univer-
sity officials said another lab and
the main library, which were also
closed, were scheduled to reopen
later yesterday.
A bomb threat targeting the
library and the three labs was
e-mailed to the FBI yesterday
morning, prompting the school to
evacuate all four buildings.
An FBI spokesman says the
bureau is investigatingseveral leads.
Ohio State is one of the nation's
largest universities, with more than
56,000 students at its main Colum-
bus campus.
BOGOTA, Colombia
Colombia refuses
to extradite alleged
drug kingpin to U.S.
Colombian President Juan Man-
uel Santos spurned a U.S. request to
extradite an alleged cocaine king-
pin from Venezuela, saying yester-
day that the suspect will be sent
back to face charges in his home
Walid Makied, 41, has claimed
close ties .with Venezuela's social-
lot government and the U.S. State

Department last year called him
that country's "largest drug traf-
The announcement drew fierce
criticism from U.S. Rep. Connie
Mack. The Florida Republican
accused the obama administration
of"a complete dropping of the ball"
in a case that would have "shined
the light on a lot of bad behavior by
Hugo Chavez and his government."
First transgender
trial judge in the
nation appointed
A 49-year-old California pat-
ent lawyer has been elected as the
nation's first openly transgender
trial judge.
Alameda County elections offi-
cials say Victoria Kolakowski beat
prosecutor John Creighton 51 to 48
percent - a margin of nearly10,000
votes - in the Nov. 2 election to fill
the vacancy in California's Superior
Kolakowski had been leading
since election night, but outstand-
ing absentee and provisional ballots
made the race too close to call until
The Gay and Lesbian Victory
Fund has said she is the first openly
transgender trial court judge in the
Kolakowski spent the past
three years as an administrative
law judge settling energy contract
and environmental compliance
disputes for the California Public
Utilities Commission. She under-
went gender reassignment surgery
in 1991.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports.

Relatives burn the belongings of their relatives who were killed in the Monday fire on an apartment building in Shanghai.
Building di sasters hit
China, Inia 119 kile

Officials say high
death count due to
-poor infrastructure
BEIJING (AP) - Two of Asia's
most dynamic and fast-growing
cities were struck within hours by
disasters that devastated a pair of
apartment blocks and underscored
the challenges faced by both China
and India as they try to enforce
safety and building codes amid tor-
rid &conomic growth.
in Shanghai, welders appar-
ently ignited a blaze that engulfed
a high-rise, while in New Delhi it
might have been monsoon rains or
an illegal new floor that caused the
building's collapse Monday. The
two tragedies, thousands of miles
(kilometers) apart, killed at least
119 people.
Indian and Chinese cities have
expanded at breakneck speed
over the last few decades, buoyed
by growth that has swelled the
middle class and brought waves
of rural migrants seeking better
opportunities. The pace and scale
of the building boom has been
head-spinning, and is not expected
to slow soon.
Investigators looking into Mon-
day's blaze in Shanghai say unli-
censed welders misused their
equipment, accidentally start-
ing the fire that quickly engulfed
the 28-story apartment building.
Police detained eight people Tues-
day as they investigated the blaze
that killed 53 and sent 70 to hospi-
In New Delhi, the five-story
building pancaked, killing 66 peo-
ple and injuring scores. Neighbor-
hood residents said the landlord
was adding an unauthorized floor

to the 15-year-old building to pack
in more migrant workers and their
families. An official said monsoon
rains may have weakened the
Maria Chen, China represen-
tative for ICF International - a
management and technology con-
sulting company based in Fairfax,
Virginia, that helps companies
in China become more energy
efficient - said the rapid pace of
construction inevitably leads to
disasters such as the fire in Shang-
"Part of the problem is just the
scale of magnitude," said Chen.
"Every year China is putting up 2
billion square meters (2.4 billion
sq. yards) of new building space
... That's 50 times Manhattan's
office stock. So China is putting
that many buildings on the groumd,
quickly, and with minimal (safety)
enforcement. That's really one of
the overarching problems - and
also developers desire to make
quick money."
India and China have produced
high growth in sharply different
ways. China's more government-
directed capitalism excels at top-
down 'directives and mammoth
infrastructure projects. India's
urbanization has been more cha-
otic with greater scope for pri-
vate entrepreneurship. But they
are both running up against basic
problems in their race to mod-
ernize: shoddy construction, lax
enforcement of building codes, and
rampant corruption.
In India, the result has been
glass and steel high-rises and thick-
ets of crowded low-rise buildings
and shanty towns. Callous build-
ing contractors flout existing laws
while unscrupulous government
officials ignore illegal construc-

tions of poor quality that meet the
soaring demand for cheap housing.
With land prices spiraling out
of control in New Delhi, builders
stack additional floors onto their
buildings without getting the
required clearances or by paying
bribes to get officials to turn a blind
eye - which residents alleged is
what happened in Monday eve-
ning's disaster.
The building, housing hundreds
of people, was located in the city's
congested Lalita Park area. Emer-
gency efforts were hampered
because vehicles had difficulty
navigating the neighborhood's nar-
row alleyways.
officials ordered the evacuation
of at least one other nearby build-
ing with a flooded basement that
they feared could collapse.
In China too, real estate prices
in mega-cities such as Beijing and
Shanghai have spiraled, yet resi-
dents often worry about the integ-
rity of new gleaming buildings that
are built fast and with little appar-
ent attention to quality.
Last year, a nearly finished
13-story apartment building in
Shanghai collapsed. Excavations
for an underground parking garage
may have undermined the struc-
ture, causing it to topple.
Ambitious government plans
to renovate old. buildings to make
them more energy efficient - and
reduce China's greenhouse gas
emissions, the world's largest -
are also adding to the construction
Shanghai's fire chief told report-
ers during Monday's fire the flames
raced along a scaffolding of bam-
boo and flammable nylon nets -
erected to retrofit the 1990s-era
building with more energy-effi-
cient insulation.

Cheney reflects on Bush years
after grand opening of center

Former President ruary 2013. Its policy institute is
already working and will focus
Bush opens a policy on education reform, global
health, human freedom and eco-
institute focusing on nomic growth.
Bush also was joined by the
policy and reform former first lady Laura Bush and
former Secretary of State Con-
DALLAS (AP) - Former Vice doleezza Rice as shovels were
President Dick Cheney, looking pressed into the earth to com-
noticeably thinner after heart memorate the groundbreaking
surgery over the summer, told for the George W. Bush Presiden-
former President George W. Bush tial Center under a giant white
he believes time is shedding new tent at Dallas' Southern Method-
light on the decisions Bush made ist University, the alma mater of
while in office. the former first lady.
"Two years after your tour in "It is hard to believe there
the White House ended, judg- is this much excitement about
ments are a little more measured shoveling dirt," quipped Bush,
than they were," said Cheney, who who then turned serious as he
introduced his former boss dur- talked about the center.
ing a groundbreaking for Bush's "Today's groundbreaking
presidential center in Dallas. marks the beginning of a jour-
"When the times have been tough ney," he said. "We take the first
and critics have been loud, you've step toward the construction of
always said you've had faith in the presidential center, which
history's judgment. And history is will be a dynamic hub of ideas
beginning to come around." and actions, based upon timeless
Cheney, who suffers from con- principles."
gestive heart failure, used a cane Former Colombian President
to walk but went to the podium Alvaro Uribe also attended the
without it. Spokesman Peter. groundbreaking, as did Bush
Long said later that the former administration officials includ-
vice president lost weight dur- ing former White House Press
ing his long hospital stay - about Secretary Ari Fleisher, former
a month - and is hoping to keep Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and
it off for his health. The cane was former Commerce Secretary Don
for a bad knee from playing high Evans.
school football that acts up occa- Acknowledging a group of
sionally, Long said. soldiers from Fort Hood in the
Cheney was one of more than crowd, Bush told them: "I really
3,000 friends, supporters and don't miss Washington, but I do
former administration officials miss being your commander in
attending the groundbreaking. chief."
outside, about 100 protesters Jake Torres, SMU's student
were joined by a handful of coun- body president, told the crowd
ter-protesters. . that Bush had occasionally visit-
The center, which will house ed to classes during the past two
both a library and a policy insti- years and said "it was a great day
tute, is expected to open in Feb- for SMU when we were chosen."

After Bush took the podium,
he told Torres: "Mr. President, a
word of advice: It's not too early
to start thinking about your
Bush - largely out of the pub-
lic eye since leaving office and
returning to Texas - has been
back in the spotlight with the
release of his book, "Decision
Points," last week.
His memoirs will be reflected
in part of the library's perma-
nent exhibit, a "decision theater,"
where visitors can hear a set of
facts, then try to decide what
they would have done. The per-
manent exhibit also focus on
themes of freedom, opportunity,
compassion and responsibility.
An exhibit running through
Feb. 6 at the university's Mead-
ow's Museum gives the public its
first glimpse into Bush's archives,
including the bullhorn he used
when he visited ground zero days
after the Sept.11 terrorist attacks.
In his speech yesterday,
Cheney referred to the signifi-
cance of the bullhorn, which
Bush used to tell those gathered
at ground zero: "I can hear you.
The rest of the world hears you.
And the people who knocked
these buildings down will hear
all of us soon."
"Far in the future, visitors
here will see the bullhorn and
when they do, I hope they'll pic-
ture the wowrld as it was that
day and realize how it was trans-
formed in the months and years
ahead. America went from being
on the defense against terrorists
to going on the offense against
them," Cheney said.
"Because you were determined
to throw back the enemy, we did
not suffer another 9/11 or some-
thing worse," he continued.

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