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December 02, 2010 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-12-02

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 3A

NEWS BRIEFS
DETROIT
Industry execs say
auto sales show U.S.
market in recovery
After a year of watching auto
sales slowly increase month by
month, industry executives are
finally willing to firmly declare
that the U.S. market is in recov-
ery.
People who had been too afraid
to make a big car purchase are
finally coming back to dealer-
ships, a little more confident that
they won't lose their jobs. And
that's reflected in November's
auto sales figures: Industry sales
were up 16.9 percent for the month
compared with a year ago. Ford,
General Motors, Chrysler, Honda,
Nissan and Hyundai all posted
double-digit gains.
"We're starting to see people
showing an inclination to go back
into the dealerships, to go back into
the malls," said Jim Bunnell, gen-
eral manager of General Motors
Co.'s U.S. sales operations. "It's
not going to happen overnight, but
we think as we roll through 2011,
we're going to see a nice, gradual
improvement and recovering in
the automotive sector."
NISKAYUNA, N.Y.
EPA investigates
radiation release at
NY nuclear lab
The U.S. Environmental Pro-
tection Agency is investigating
whether the release of radioactive
material into the air and water at a
Cold War-era atomic power labora-
tory in upstate New York violated
federal laws.
The investigation stems from
the open-air demolition of an old
research building at Knolls Atomic
Power Labs near Albany. On Sept.
29, radiation above safe levels was
discovered on workers' boots, and
demolition work there has since
been suspended.
EPA Regional Administrator
Judith Enck said in a statement
yesterday that the agency is inves-
tigating whether the releases of
radioactive material into the air
and the Mohawk River violated
federal environmental laws.
EPA officials would not elabo-
rate beyond saying the investiga-
tion is ongoing.
TEHRAN, Iran
Iranian government
to boost security for
nuclear scientists
Iran said yesterday it will
increase security for its nuclear
scientists as a funeral was held for
a leadingexpert killed in a mysteri-
ous assassination that the govern-
ment blamed on the Mossad and
kthe CIA.
tIranian state media said the kill-
ing of the scientist and the wound-
ing of another on Monday was part
of a Western campaign to sabotage
its nuclear program, which the U.S.
and its allies suspect is aimed at

producing weapons - something
Iran denies.
According to Iran, that cam-
paign included the abduction of
Iranian scientists, the sale of faulty
equipment and the planting of a
destructive computer worm known
as Stuxnet, which briefly brought
Iran's uranium enrichment activity
to a halt last month.
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.
Army sergeant
pleads guilty to
shooting Afghans
An Army staff sergeant charged
with shooting at unarmed Afghans
has pleaded guilty in a deal that
requires him to testify against
other defendants.
Staff Sgt. Robert Stevens of
Portland, Ore., acknowledged his
guilt to aggravated assault and
other charges at his court-mar-
tial Tuesday in Washington state.
Prosecutors dropped a conspiracy
count.
Five soldiers are charged with
killing three Afghan civilians for
kicks. Stevens is not one of them
i but acknowledged that in March
he followed an order from Staff
Sgt. Calvin Gibbs to shoot at two
Afghans in a field who posed no
threat. Those Afghans were not
injured.
Gibbs is accused of leading the
0 alleged conspiracy but says the
shootings were justified.
A military judge still must
accept Stevens' plea.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports.

Militia of more
than 1,000 in
Somalia forms

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, smiles as she talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the start of
the OSCE Summit at the Palace of Independence in Astana, Kazakhstan yesterday.
Belarus to sacrifice
stockpile of uranium

Group is said to be
funded by a mystery
donor nation
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - In the
northern reaches of Somalia and
the country's presidential palace,
a well-equipped military force is
being created, funded by a mys-
terious donor nation that is also
paying for the services of a former
CIA officer and a senior ex-U.S.
diplomat.
The Associated Press has
determined through telephone
and e-mail interviews with three
insiders that training for an anti-
piracy force of up to 1,050 men
has already begun in Puntland, a
semiautonomous region in north-
ern Somalia that is believed to
hold reserves of oil and gas.
But key elements remain
unknown - mainly who is provid-
ing the millions of dollars in fund-
ing and for whatultimate purpose.
Pierre Prosper, an ambassador-
at-large for war crimes issues
under former President George
W. Bush, told AP he is being paid
by a Muslim nation he declined to
identify to be a legal adviser to the
Somali government, focusing on
security, transparency and anti-
corruption.
Prosper said the donations
from the Muslim nation come
from a "zakat fund," referring to
charitable donations that Islam
calls for the faithful to give each
year. The same donor is paying for
both training programs.
Somalia hasn't had a fully func-
tioning government since 1991
and is torn between clan war-
lords, Islamist insurgent factions,
an 8,000-strong African Union
peacekeeping force, government
forces and allied groups. Given
that mix, the appearance of an
unknown donor with deep pock-
ets is troubling, said E.J. Hogen-

doorn, a Nairobi-based analyst
with the International Crisis
Group.
"We don't know if this
unknown entity is operating in
the interests of Somalis or their
own self-interest," he said in an
interview. "If it's a company, there
has to be a quid pro quo in terms
of (oil and gas) concessions. If it's
a government, they are interested
in changing the balance of power."
The new force's first class of
150 Somali recruits from Punt-
land graduated from a 13-week
training course on Monday, said
Mohamed Farole, the son of
Puntland President Abdirahman
Mohamed Farole. The son, who is
a liaison between the government
and journalists and diplomats,
told AP the new force will hunt
down pirates on land in the Gal-
gala mountains.
The range lies 125 miles (200
kilometers) north of the nearest
main pirate anchorage but is home
to an Islamist-linked militia that
complains it has been cut out of
energy exploration deals.
The Islamist militants led by
Mohamed Said Atomhave clashed
with government forces several
times this year. A March report by
the U.N. accuses Atom of import-
ing arms from Yemen and receiv-
ing consignments from Eritrea,
including mortars, for delivery
to al-Shabab forces in southern
Somalia. Al-Shabab is Somalia's
biggest insurgent group and has
ties with al-Qaida.
The president's son empha-
sized the force was dedicated to
anti-piracy, but said that he hoped
greater security in the region
would bring more investors into
"public-private partnerships"
with the government.
"You cannot have oil explo-
ration if you have insecurity,"
Mohamed Farole said. "You have
to eliminate the pirates and al-
Shabab."

Decision to give up Soviet-origin nuclear weapons i
1994, but retained highly enriche
nuclear materials uranium stocks for research pu
poses.
follows Obama's U.S. officials portrayed Belaru
.p.l.c . sudden reversal as a recognitio
policy initiative that it would benefit from buildin
a power-generating nuclear reacto
ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AP) that runs on low-enriched urani
- In a sudden turnaround, the um, which cannot be used to mak
former Soviet republic of Belarus nuclear weapons without furthe
announced yesterday that it will enrichment. Clinton said the U.S
give up all its weapons-grade ura- would support Belarus in its pur
nium - fresh momentum for anti- suit of such a reactor, but detail
proliferation efforts even as the were not released.
U.S. welcomed Iran's decision to With its decision to give up it
resume talks on its controversial stockpiles of highly enriched ura
nuclear program. nium by 2012, Belarus secured a
On a day of whirlwind diploma- invitation to the next nuclear secu
cy capped by the Belarus deal, U.S. rity summit, to be held in Sout
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Korea in two years. Earlier thi
Clinton praised Iran's return to month the U.S. completed, wit
nuclear talks, urged Europe to do British help, an even.more ambi
more in Afghanistan and insisted tious project to securetons ofhighl
that recent WikiLeaks disclosures enriched uranium and weapons
would have no lasting effect on U.S. grade plutonium in Kazakhstan.
relations around the world. "We can be confident it will no
The Belarus decision is a diplo- never fall into the wrong hands,"
matic victory for President Barack Clinton said of the newly secured
Obama, who has set a goal of secur- Kazakh nuclear materials.
ing all the world's nuclear materials Clinton used the occasion of
within four years as a centerpiece a major pan-European security
of his strategy for denying nuclear conference to personally reas-
weapons to terrorists. sure leaders whose governments
Belarus, which had been a hold- were the subject of sometimes
out, was banned from an April unflattering mention in the
nuclear security summit hosted by leaked State Department docu-
Obama, along with Iran and North ments that Washington remains
Korea. a reliable partner. She foresaw,
The amount of material Belarus however, more fallout triggered
will send to Russia for disposal by the embarrassing WikiLeaks
was not mentioned but is believed episode.
to be enough to make at least sev- "I anticipate that there will be
eral nuclear bombs. Belarus, which a lotcof questions thatcpeople have
gained independence in the break- every right and reason to ask, and
up of the Soviet Union, gave up its we stand ready to discuss them
Sweden demands
arrest of founder of
WikiLeaks website
Julian Assange who has "such casual disregard"
for her obligations
accused of rape, "Given that Sweden is a civi-
lized country, I am reluctantly
sexual molestation, forced to conclude that this is a
persecution and not a prosecu-
unlawful coercion tion," Stephens wrote in an e-mail
to The Associated Press.
LONDON (AP) - Swedish offi- Ny declined specific com-
cials ratcheted up the pressure on ment on Stephens' criticism,
WikiLeaksfounder JulianAssange saying that her decision to seek
yesterday, asking European police Assange's arrest had been tested
to arrest him on rape allegations inthe Swedish courts.
as his organization continued to "I see nothing unusual, or any-
embarrass the Obama administra- thing that breaches the rules in
tion with a stream of leaked diplo- the processing of this case," Ny
matic cables. told AP. She added that there was
The 39-year-old Australian nothing unusual about issuing an
computer hacker disappeared international arrest warrant for
from public view after a Nov. 5 someone who has left the country
press conference in Geneva. He and is accused of a crime as seri-
has spoken publicly only through ous as rape.
online interviews, while a state- Assange's whereabouts aren't
ment from his lawyer said the Aus- known, but a European arrest
tralian was being persecuted by warrant applies to countries
Swedish officials who are seeking across the continent. In England
his arrest on allegations of rape, and Wales, such warrants are
sexual molestation and unlawful vetted by the Serious and Orga-
coercion. nized Crime Agency (SOCA)
Sweden's Director of Public before being passed on to the rel-
Prosecution Marianne Ny said that evant local police forces. SOCA
a European arrest warrant had declined comment yesterday, as
been issued for Assange in con- did London's Scotland Yard. But
nection with the allegations. Lon- a German security official, speak-
don-based lawyer Mark Stephens ing on condition of anonymity,
complained that Assange had yet said that a warrant for Assange
to receive formal notice of the has been issued in Germany.
allegations he faces - something The exact nature of the allega-

he described as a legal require- tions facing Assange aren't com-
ment under European law - and pletely clear, although Stephens
said that Assange had repeatedly has in the past described them as
offered to answer questions about a partof"a post-facto dispute over
the investigation, to no avail. consensual, but unprotected sex"
Stephens was scathing in his and Swedish prosecutors have
condemnation of Ny, saying he'd disagreed about whether to label
never come across a prosecutor the most serious charge as rape.

n at any time with our counterpa
d around the world," she told a ne
- conference after a summit meeti
of the Organization for Secur
s' and Cooperation in Europe - t
n first such high-level meeting of t
g 56-nation group inl years.
r Asked about Iran's latest mo
- Clinton told reporters she
e encouraged that Tehran has agre
r to return to Geneva for a new rou
S. of international talks on its disp
- ed nuclear program.
s However, a uranium-exchan
agreement that was announced f
s lowing talks with Iran in Octot
- 2009 - but which later unravel
n and led to a negotiating impasse
- would have to be modified to ta
h into account the fact that Iran h
s since produced more enriched u
h nium, Clinton said.
- The Iran talks are schedul
y for Monday and Tuesday. Parti
- pating with the U.S. will be Bi
ain, France, Germany, Russia a
w China.

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