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February 01, 2011 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-02-01

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam

Tuesday, February 1, 2011- 3

Th kihgnDiy-mciadiyo usaFbur ,21

NEWS BRIEFS
DETROIT
California man
threatens to
explode mosque
Hours before his arrest outside
a popular Detroit-area mosque, a
63-year-old California man held
court at anearbysports bar,telling
an employee that he was a Viet-
nam veteran-turned Muslim holy
warrior, that he planned to set off
a "big explosion," and that he was
"going to be part of making histo-
ry," the employees said yesterday.
Joe Nahhas, an operations
* manager at the J.S. Fields bar in
Detroit, told The Associated Press
that a man identified after his
arrest as Roger Stockham ordered
a double-Scotch on the rocks on
Jan.24 and told himhe planned to
cause an explosion that would be
"here, there, the mosque." Stock-
ham - who is bipolar and suffers
from other psychiatric disorders,
according to an attorney who rep-
resented him in a previous case
- was wearing a Vietnam War
veteran hat and said he is a Muslim
and a member of an Indonesian
mujahedeen group, Nahhas said.
ORLANDO, Fla.
Despite pleas, TSA
refuses to alter
screening process
The. Transportation Security
' Administration said it will not
hire private contractors to screen
airline passengers, despite calls
from a powerful Florida congress-
man to do so and passenger com-
plaints about federal screeners.
TSA Administrator John Pisto-
* le said in a memo to his employees
late Friday that the federal agency
will keep private contractors at
16 U.S. airports, but will not use
them anywhere else unless a clear
advantage emerges.
Pistole's memo comes two
months after Florida Republi-
can Rep. John Mica wrote to the
couatry'sa-busiest airports and
asked them to use private security
guards.
LONDON
Airline employee
named suspected
terrorist in plot
A former British Airways
employee has admitted some ter-
ror charges ahead of his London
trial.
Bangladesh-born Rajib Karim
is accused of deliberately seeking
a job with the flagship airline in
ordersto further an as-yet unspeci-
fiedterrorist conspiracy.
The 31-year-old pleaded guilty
yesterday to being involved in the
prodtdetion and distribution of a
video on behalf of the outlawed
terror group Jammat-ul Mujahi-
deenimangladesh.
He also pleaded guilty to fund-

ing associates in Yemen, offer-
ing himnself for terrorist training
abroad and encouraging others to
dothe same.
CHICAGO
Chicago governor
signs gay rights bill
Gov. Pat Quinn, saying it was a
"day of history," signed legislation
yesterday legalizing civil unions
for gayand lesbian couples, mak-
ing Illinois one of about a dozen
states that extend significant legal
protections to same-sex couples.
About 1,000 people crowded
into the Chicago Cultural Center
to watch Quinn, a Democrat, sign
the measure that supporters call a
matter of basic fairness and oppo-
nentsdecry as a threat to the sanc-
tity of traditional marriage.
"We believe in civil rights and
we'believe in civil unions," Quinn
said before signing the bill to a
roar:of cheers and applause.
The law, which takes effect
June 1, gives gay and lesbian cou-
ples official recognition from the
state and many of the rights that
accompany traditional marriage,
including the power to decide
medical treatment for an ailing
partner and the right to inherit a
partner's property.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Chrysler plans to
increase quarterly
profit under Fiat

Gov. Snyder unveils guide
to fix state's budge t woes

Net income
predicted to be
$500M for 2011
DETROIT (AP) - Chrysler
was collapsing when Fiat took
control of the company just 19
months ago.
Now, under the Italian auto-
maker's detail-driven CEO,
Chrysler is on the verge of turn-
ing its first quarterly profit since
its bankruptcy in 2009.
Chrysler Group LLC yesterday
said it dramatically narrowed its
losses in the fourth quarter and
2010. And it predicted net income
of $200 million to $500 million
for 201.
Chief Executive Sergio Mar-
chionne has transformed Chrys-
ler by managing its smallest
details, even picking the music for
company presentations.
As a result, Chrysler's vehicles
are startingto look and drive bet-
ter and its costs are under control.
Marchionne, 58, a Canada-
educated Italian who quickly
replaces executives who don't
deliver, has brought back the
speed and drive that Chrysler

once had. He pushed engineers
and designers to bring out 16 new
or revamped models in the past
year, including 11 in the fourth
quarter alone.
Last year at this time, many
Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep deal-
ers were wondering if they'd even
make it through the year. Sales
were down and there were few
new products on their lots. The
company needed a $12.5 billion
bailout from the government to
survive in 2009. For years, it piled
up debt and produced very few hit
cars.
Carl Galeana, who runs dealer-
ships in suburban Detroit, Florida
and South Carolina, is impressed
with the turnaround that Mar-
chionne engineered.
"I think this guy is a vision-
ary. He talks about what he needs
to do and he goes out and gets it
done."
Of the 16 new or revamped
models, five were rebuilt from the
ground up in under two years, far
faster than the normal three or
four years. They include the 300
big sedan, the Jeep Grand Chero-
kee and Dodge Durango SUVs,
Dodge Charger muscle car and
the Fiat 500 minicar.

In anticipation of
budget proposal,
Snyder talks change
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - State
and localgovernments have piled
up debt, failed to deal with fall-
ing tax revenues and racked up
around $18 billion in unfunded
pension obligations, all of which
they now must fix, Gov. Rick Sny-
der said yesterday.
He released a 21-page "Citi-
zens Guide to Michigan's
Health" that sums up Michigan's
financial challenges. Among
them are an unemployment trust
fund that's $3 billion in the red,
a widening budget gap for state
and local governments and a $2
million state rainy day fund that's
enough to keep the state running
for only 30 minutes.
The new governor said Michi-
gan faces serious problems, but
can deal with them if it has the
will.
"We will beat this. We won't
let it beatus," he told hundreds of
business leaders, elected officials
and policxymakers attending the
Business Leaders for Michigan
leadership summit at the Radis-
son hotel in downtown Lansing.
"It's not time to cry about it. It's
not time to whine about it. It's
time to go to work."
The guide is intended to fulfill

the Republican governor's cam-
paign promise to make it easier
for taxpayers to understand
where the state stands and how
it got here. Some of the informa-
tion has been available in vari-
ous state reports, but the state's
annual financial report runs to
more than 200 pages. Snyder
wanted the highlights collected
and presented in one easy-to-
read document.
"A person shouldn't have to be
a CPA or an economist to under-
stand how taxpayer dollars flow
in and out of government," he
said.
The governor didn't give spe-
cific ideas how he'll correct the
problems the report identifies,
saying those will come on Feb. 17
when he releases his proposal for
the budget year that starts Oct. 1.
But he won applause from the
audience when he vowed to get
the state on the right path once
and for all.
He also unveiled tools that
local governments and school
districts can use to produce simi-
lar reports on their spending by
plugging their numbers into' a
template.
"It's hard to see why you
wouldn't do this," he said, urging
citizens to push their local offi-
cials to prepare the reports.
The citizens guide and trans-
parency tools are available on the
governor's official state website.

A separate two-page "Michi-
gan Fiscal Scorecard" gives the
state unsatisfactory scores on
five topics, including debt lev-
els and low reserves. Instead of
having a rainy day cushion of 10
percent, state government has a
reserve of just 1.5 percent, while
local school districts as of a year
ago had about 5.2 percent of
operatingcosts in reserve.
While it will take time, Sny-
der said he wants to see all those
grades turnpositive in the future.
The citizen's guide shows how
taxes and fees are collected and
used across the state. It also lists
future bills, such as ones to pay
public employee pensions and
repay federal loans.
Michigan has about $3.1 bil-
lion in unfunded pension lia-
bilities for state government
employees and the same amount
for local government workers.
The unfunded pension liability
for school districts is $12 billion,
according to the report.
Just under half of state
employees are eligible for a
defined benefit pensionthat gives
them monthly payments when
they retireFar-moreteachers,
and local government workers
are covered by defined benefit
pensions. Over half of state work-
ers are in a defined contribu-
tion retirement system, which
includes only 401(k) investment
plans.

Foreign adoption
decreases in U.S.

Adoptions from
other countries falls
13 percent
NEW YORK (AP) - The num-
ber of foreign children adopted
by Americans fell by 13 percent
last year, reaching the lowest
level since 1995 due in large part
to a virtual halttoadoptions from,
Guatemala because of corruption
problems.
China remained America's
No. 1 source of adopted children,
accounting for 3,401, according
to figures released by the State
Department yesterday for the
2010 fiscal year. Ethiopia was
second, at 2,513, followed by Rus-
sia at 1,082 and South Korea at
863.
Guatemala was the No. 1
source country in 2008, with
4,123 adoptions by Americans.
But the number sank to 756 for
2009 and to only 51 last year as
the Central American country's
fraud-riddled adoption industry
was shut down while authorities
drafted reforms.

The overall figures for 2010
showed 11,059 adoptions from
abroad, down from 12,753 in
2009 and down more than 50
percent from the all-time peak of
22,884 in 2004.
The last time there were fewer
foreign adoptions to the U.S. was
in 1995, when there were 9,679.
The latest figures did not
include the more than 1,100 chil-
.dren airlifted from .Haiti to the
United States after the earth-
quake in January 2010. Most of
those children were in the U.S.
adoption pipeline, but the adop-
tions were not finalized by the
end of the fiscal year.
The adoptions from Ethiopia
were up by more than 200 from
2009, but adoptions from Russia
fell by about 500.
Some pending adoptions from
Russia were slowed after a Ten-
nessee adoptive mother put a
7-year-old boy on a plane back
to Moscow, unaccompanied by
an adult, in April. As a result,
U.S. officials agreed to a Russian
demand to negotiate a new, bind-
ing agreement to cover adoptions
between the two countries.

Senior military officers during the 65th Anniversary Armed Forces Day in Myanmar's new city on March 27, 2010.
Man-mar launches first
pno
parlia-ment In two decades

Tuesdays Are South Of The Border
er~ iol*id aelhc Spec'is All ight
$2.50 Tequila Sunrise & Vodka D inks
25%Of M xic a Far- All With NO COVER
"** * y "ow 9.*

Country opens new
government, chooses
new officials
NAYPYITAW, Myanmar
(AP) - Myanmar opened its
first parliament in more than
two decades yesterday, an event
greeted with cautious optimism
by opposition lawmakers despite
the military's tight management
of the event.
The military and its allies
hold more than 80 percent
of the seats in both houses of
parliament, ensuring that the
army exercises control over the
wheels of power, as it has since
a 1962 coup deposed the last.
legitimately elected legislature.
A single-party parliament under
the late dictator Gen. Ne Win
was abolished in 1988 after the
army crushed a pro-democracy
uprising.
The 440-seat lower house
and 224-seat upper house were

opened simultaneously at 8:55
a.m. (0225 GMT) in a massive
new building in Naypyitaw, the
remote city to which the capi-
tal was moved from Yangon in
2005. The 14 regional parlia-
ments, whose members were
also elected last November,
opened at the same time.
In the afternoon, the two
houses convened together, and
legislative officers were elected,
according to Dr. Khin Shwe,
a business tycoon and upper
house representative of the jun-
ta-backed Union Solidarity and
Development Party.
Thura Shwe Mann, who had
been the junta's third-ranking
member and retired from the
military to run for election
with the USDP, was picked to
be speaker of the lower house,
and the junta's Culture Minister
Khin Aung Myint, named speak-
er of the upper house, Khin Shwe
said. The election of a vice presi-
dent was scheduled for Tuesday,
while the timing for picking a

president was not yet clear.
With its allies controlling par-
liament and loyalists - many
recently retired senior junta
members - expected to fill top
government posts, the military
will be keeping a tight grip on
power. The 2008 constitution,
drafted under the junta's guid-
ance and with provisions ensur-
ing the military's dominance,
also came into effect yesterday.
Roads leading to the parlia-
ment building were sealed off
with roadblocks manned by
armed police. Delegates wear-
ing traditional attire and repre-
sentatives of ethnic minorities
in the garb of their respective
groups were bused from state
guest houses to the site. Each bus
was checked for bombs as they
entered the compound.
Reporters, diplomats and the
public at large were barred from
witnessing the proceedings
inside. Myanmar state television
yesterday night showed footage
of the opening.

4

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