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September 15, 2010 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 3A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Wednesday, September15, 2010 - 3A

" LANSING, Mich.
Mich. State Police
to face budget cuts
A plan that would cut the over-
all Michigan State Police budget
by about 4 percent next fiscal year
is moving through the state Legis-
The Michigan House unani-
mously passed the budget bill
Tuesday. The proposal now goes to
the state Senate.
The police agency doesn't plan
any trooper layoffs or post closings
as result of the budget for the fis-
cal year starting Oct. 1. A few non-
trooper jobs could end through
The department's overall budet
would be about $529 million, about
half from the state's general fund.
Michigan lawmakers are trying
to eliminate an overall budget defi-
cit projected at about $484 million
for next fiscal year.
Bodies found from
flooding in Texas
The death toll from flooding
caused by the remnants of Tropical
Storm Hermine (hur-MEEN') has
reached eight after two more bod-
ies were found in Texas.
One body was identified Tues-
day as that of 51-year-old Jennifer
Ring of Austin. The mother of two
children had been missing since
swift water swept her sport utility
vehicle off a road on Sept. 8.
Austin police say two fishermen
found her body in Lake Austin on
In nearby Georgetown, police on
Tuesday found the debris-wrapped
body of a man in a drainage field. A
police statement says the cause of
his death hasn't been determined
but Hermine flooding was a factor.
Those deaths bring to seven the
number of people killed in Texas
in Hermine-related flooding. One
person also was killed in Oklaho-
Haiti defends speed
of post-earthquake
rebuilding attempts
Haiti's prime minister defend-
ed the speed of reconstruction in
his earthquake-ravaged country
in a speech Tuesday, saying rub-
ble in the capital is being cleared
as fast as possible.
Speaking at the Americas Con-
ference in Florida, Prime Min-
ister Jean-Max Bellerive said
presidential elections will be
held in November as planned, and
recovery projects initiated since
the Jan. 12 earthquake remain on
"One (U.S.) official said it
would take a thousand trucks
one thousand days to remove the
rubble from the streets of Port-
au-Prince," Bellerive said. "Haiti
does not have a thousand trucks
and Haiti has not had one thou-
sand days."
The accomplishments Bellerive
listed included the restoration

of electricity, getting students
back to class and his govern-
ment's plans for roads linking cit-
ies throughout the mountainous
Mex. immigration
officer resigns in
light of massacre
Mexico's top immigration offi-
cial resigned Monday in the wake
of a massacre of 72 migrants that
exposed how brutally drug cartels
have come to control human smug-
gling routes in the country.
Cecilia Romero stepped down
as head *of the National Institute of
Migration, a post she had held since
the beginning of President Felipe
Calderon's term in December 2006,
the Interior Department said in a
The statement gave no reason
for her resignation, only praising
Romero's efforts to modernize the
institute, improve migrant shelters,
and push through several accords
with other countries to help make
deportations more orderly.
A government official, who
spoke on condition of anonymity
because he was not authorized to
speak publicly about the issue, said
the government was looking for
someone with more experience in
security to head the institute.
The official said the massacre
three weeks ago highlighted how
intertwined drug trafficking and
illegal immigration have become in
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Carter: North
talks possible

A sketch explaining different Islamic veils seen ona desk at the Senate, in Paris. The French Senate voted Tuesday to ban the
burqa-style veil, a move that affects a minority of the country's Muslim women, but with symbolic repercussions.
France forbids pulc
wearing ofIslamic Veil

Former president
hopes prisoner
return will open
ATLANTA (AP) - Former Pres-
ident Jimmy Carter said Tues-
day that he hoped North Korea's
release of an American prisoner to
him would jump-start six-nation
denuclearization talks that could
lead to a permanent peace deal on
the peninsula.
Carter said he worked five weeks
to get permission from the White
House and the State Department
before making the private trip in
August to free Aijalon Gomes, 31,
who hadbeen held since he crossed
into the country from China on
Jan. 25 for unknown reasons. He
had been sentenced to eight years
hard labor.
North Korea officials told him
they would only release him if
Carter came to get the captive
himself, the former president said
in his first public remarks since
his journey to the country.
"We didn't have any communi-
cation with North Korea, so they
called and asked me to come over
there to get Mr. Gomes," the Geor-
gia Democrat said during a discus-
sion at the Carter Center. "They
said they would not let him go
to anyone except me. obviously,
they wanted me to come back over

Carter would not say if he met
with North Korean leader Kim
Jong Ii. But he said he met with
leaders who told him "they were
eager to have peace talks that will
lead to the denuclearization of the
peninsula and a permanent peace
treaty with the U.S. and South
Carter is well-regarded in North
Korea despite the longtime ani-
mosity between the two countries.
He met with the late President Kim
Il Sung on his last trip to Pyong-
yang in 1994 in a cordial meeting
that led to a landmark nuclear dis-
armament deal. The North Korean
leader died weeks later.
"They really revere me in a way
for being the last person who met
with Kim II Sung before he passed
away," the ex-president said.
"We meet with some unsa-
vory people, some outcasts from
international diplomatic circles,"
he said. "But they're the ones
who can solve problems involv-
ing unwarranted war or abuse of
human rights."
Carter, who traveled to China a
week after his visit, said he hoped
Gomes' release would start peace
talks. China has hosted the talks
since 2002but North Korea walked
awaylastyear inprotestofinterna-
tional condemnation following its
test of a long-range missile.
"I think they would like to be
accepted in the world political
environment," he said. "They do
some strange things because we
just don't understand them."

Vast majority votes
to pass bill, attracts
religious criticism
PARIS (AP) - The French Sen-
ate on Tuesday overwhelmingly
passed a bill banning the burqa-
style Islamicveil on public streets
and other places, a measure that
affects less than 2,000 women
but that has been widely seen as
a symbolic defense of French val-
The Senate voted 246 to 1
in favor of the bill in a final
step toward making the ban a
law - though it now must pass
muster with France's constitu-
tional watchdog. The bill was
overwhelmingly passed in July
in the lower house, the National
Many Muslims believe the
legislation is one more blow to
France's No. 2 religion, and risks
raising the level of Islamophobia
in a country where mosques, like
synagogues, are sporadic targets
of hate. However, the law's many
proponents say it will preserve
the nation's values, including its
secular foundations and a notion
of fraternity that is contrary to
those who hide their faces.
In an attempt to head off any
legal challenges over arguments
it tramples on religious and other
freedoms, the leaders of both par-
liamentary houses said they had
asked a special body to ensure it
passes constitutional muster. The
Constitutional Council has one

month to rule.
The bill is worded to trip safely
through legal minefields. For
instance, the words "women,"
"Muslim" and "veil" are not even
mentioned in any of its seven
"This law was the object of
long and complex debates," the
Senate president, Gerard Larch-
er, and National Assembly head
Bernard Accoyer said in a joint
statement announcing their
move. They said they want to be
certain there is "no uncertainty"
about its conforming to the con-
France would be the first Euro-
pean country to pass such a law,
though others, notably neighbor-
ing Belgium, are considering laws
against face-covering veils, seen
as conflicting with the local cul-
"Our duty concerning such
fundamental principles of our
society is to speak with one
voice," said Justice Minister
Michele Alliot-Marie, opening
a less than 5-hour-long debate
ahead of the vote.
The measure, carried by Presi-
dent Nicolas Sarkozy's conser-
vative party, was passed by the
lower house of parliament, the
National Assembly, on July 13.
It would outlaw face-covering
veils, including those worn by
tourists from the Middle East,
on public streets and elsewhere.
The bill set fines of euro150
($185) or citizenship classes for
any woman caught covering her
face, or both. It also carries stiff
penalties for anyone, such as hus-

bands or brothers, convicted of
forcing the veil on a woman. The
euro30,000 ($38,400) fine and
year in prison are doubled if the
victim is a minor.
The bill is aimed at ensuring
gender equality, women's dignity
and security, as well as upholding
France's secular values - and its
way of life.
Some women, like Kenza Drid-
er, have vowed to wear a full-face
veil despite a law. Drider says she
prefers to flirt with arrest rather
than bow to what she says is an
"It is a law that is unlawful,"
said Drider, a mother of four from
Avignon, in southern France. "It
is ... against individual liberty,
freedom of religion, liberty of
conscience," she said.
"I willicontinue to live my life
as I always have with my full
veil," she told Associated Press
Television News.
Drider was the only woman
who wears a full-faced veil to
be interviewed by a parliamen-
tary panel that spent six months
deciding whether to move ahead
with legislation.
Muslim leaders concur that
Islam does not require a woman
to hide her face. However, they
have voiced concerns that a law
forbidding them to do so would
stigmatize the French Muslim
population, which at an esti-
mated 5 million is the largest in
western Europe. Numerous Mus-
lim women who wear the face-
covering veil have said they are
being increasingly harassed in
the streets.

Homeowners waiting
for FEMA buyouts
years after flooding

Uruguayan survivors of a 1972 plane crash in the Chilean Andes, gesture while posing
for photos with relatives of trapped miners.
Trappendtiners to
be guaranteed jobs

More than two
years after floods,
federal gov't has yet
to fulfill promise
Karen Niece loves her idyllic bun-
galow in the Indiana countryside,
but when storms dumped nearly a
foot of rain on her 19-acre proper-
ty in 2008, flash floods left mold in
the foundation - and gave Niece
a lung infection she will have the
rest of her life.
After the water receded, Niece
and thousands of other flood vic-
tims around the Midwest stayed
in their damaged homes, despite
health risks, because they had
pinned their hopes on a federal
program that helps buy flood-
damaged properties. Two and
even three years later, many are
still waiting for relief.
"I really don't want to leave,
but I don't want to get sicker," the
66-year-old homemaker said, sit-
ting at her kitchen counter about
60 miles southwest of Indianapo-
lis. "But I haven't heard anything.
I don't know what they'll do or if
they'll do anything."
The Federal Emergency Man-
agement Agency helps local gov-
ernments purchase flood-prone
properties to save on future
cleanup costs. But the buyouts are
not automatic, nor are they quick,
which is raising questions about
whether the program is worth the

limbo it creates for homeowners.
"The last thing you need when
recovering from a disaster is won-
dering whether FEMA is going to
have the money to pay what they
owe," said Rep. Earl Pomeroy, a
Democrat from North Dakota,
another state where the buy-
out process bogged down after
FEMA's disaster aid ran dry.
More than $13 million was on
hold in North Dakota alone, delay-
ing the buyouts of more than 100
homes affected by floods last year.
Communities that partici-
pate in the program must agree
to take the properties off the tax
rolls and maintain them as green
space. Homeowners must decide
whether to accept the govern-
ment's offer. The process can take
months in the best cases.
In western Indiana's Vigo
County, time has virtually stood
still since June 2008, when
storms dumped up to 10 inches
of rain on parts of the state. The
floodwaters killed three people
and caused hundreds of millions
of dollars in damage. President
Bush declared 39 Indiana coun-
ties disaster areas.
FEMA still has not approved
any of Vigo County's seven buyout
"There are days when it's just
really hard to think about," said
Honnalora Hubbard, Niece's for-
mer neighbor. "Two years later,
you're still not able to put a trau-
matic experience behind you."
The delays in Indiana have cre-
ated "a big, long line of black holes

of people waiting," said Dean
Bruce, a member of the town
board in the southern Indiana
community of Spencer, where 23
flooded properties still don't have
FEMA approval.
Congress passed a war fund-
ing bill July 27 that included $5.1
billion to replenish FEMA's disas-
ter-relief fund, but there's been
little improvement. Spokeswoman
Rachel Racusen said the agency
has a backlog of "thousands of
projects" from floods and other
"Though FEMA provides fund-
ing for this program, the decision
to participate in the program and
a large part of the application pro-
cess takes place at the state and
local level," Racusen said Tuesday.
Homeowners in Wisconsin,
where floods in 2007 and 2008
caused extensive damage, are
experiencing similar delays.
In Gays Mills, a village about
80 miles northwest of Madison,
FEMA purchased 25 homes after
the floods.
But Michelle Engh, a housing
specialist with a Wisconsin non-
profit group called CouleeCap,
said none of her clients are in
new homes yet..And many hom-
eowners who did receive buyouts
did not get paid enough to buy
new homes, with lots of their
properties appraised for around
"There's this gap that exists
between what people received
and the cost of the new home,"
Engh said.

After 40 days,
miners could still
face months
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -
Chile's 33 trapped miners have
something good to think about:
their next jobs. Bulldozer driver,
mechanic, electrician. And here's a
couple they might find particularly
useful: "risk reduction specialist"
and "escape-tunnel driller."
Two dozen companies with
operations in Chile have made
more than 1,000 job offers to the
trapped miners and their 317 side-
lined co-workers at a job fair this
week. Even if they choose to go
back to mining, the work won't
necessarily be underground and
it will almost certainly be with
a company with a better safety
record than their struggling cur-
rent employer.
The 33 miners have been
trapped for 40 days in harrowing,
sweltering conditions since an
Aug. 5 collapse. No miners in his-
tory have been trapped so long,
and it still could be months before
a hole large enough to get them
out is completed. They are get-
ting food, medicine, communica-
tion and other essentials through
narrower holes dug by rescuers,
but their anxiety has become evi-
dent, with more questions asked
each time they hear the drilling
Their relatives wait anxiously
for the miners, many in tents at
the mine itself, but in many ways
life goes on without them. One
of them, Ariel Ticona, became a
father for the first time Tuesday.
The San Esteban mining com-

pany, which owns the mine, has
pursued bankruptcy protection
since the collapse and has claimed
it can't afford to pay the trapped
miners, even though they'll have
to work their way out by clearing
rubble around the clock below the
escape tunnels.
The San Jose miners have been
offered 1,188 jobs as of Tuesday,
many of them posted on a gov-
ernment labor ministry web site.
Mining industry companies have
interviewed some 200 of the min-
ers who are not trapped at a hotel
in the regional capital of Copiapo,
and say they have no trouble wait-
ing for the trapped miners to be
rescued before they interview
them as well.
"The 33 won't be without a
job," vowed Sara Morales, a dep-
uty human resources director for
Terra Services, a Chilean drilling
company. She told The Associ-
ated Press on Tuesday that she had
received resumes from 80 miners
and will offer 20 of them jobs.
There will be no deadline for the
trapped miners to take advantage
of this "relocation program," said
Jose Tomas Letelier, a vice-presi-
dent at Canadian gold miningcom-
pany Kinross.
None of the trapped miners
should have to venture back into
marginal mines like San Jose that
struggle to meet Chile's modern
safety standards. Many of these
job offers come from some of the
world's most advanced mining
companies - major international
players making huge investments
in Chile.
The companies are prepared
to have the miners work as truck
or bulldozer drivers, heavy equip-
ment operators, electricians,
mechanics, and supervisors in var-
ious jobs up on the surface.

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