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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - 3

9 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - 3

NEWS BRIEFS
LANSING
State issues new
drivers licenses for
Mich. residents
Michigan motorists getting
new driver's licenses will notice
a different look.
Secretary of State Ruth John-
son said yesterday that new
licenses will have better security
features.
State licenses last were
changed in 2003. The updated
ones begin circulating later this
month.
. They'll feature an intricate
line pattern and outline of the
state of Michigan with the Great
Lakes on the front, as well as
the Mackinac Bridge. For driv-
ers who have joined the Michi-
gan Organ Donor Registry, a red
* heart and the word "donor" will
appear on the card.
NEW YORK, NY.
NYU to build new
Shanghai campus
New York University has
announced that it will create
a degree-granting liberal arts
campus in Shanghai.
NYU Shanghai is scheduled
to open in the fall of 2013. It will
eventually enroll 3,000 under-
graduate, graduate and profes-
sional students.
Classes will be taught in Eng-
4 lish. About 40-50 percent of the
students will come from China.
It will be the school's second
major international campus.
Last year, NYU opened a school
in Abu Dhabi in United Arab
Emirates. It also has a dozen
smaller programs in other coun-
tries.
NYU has also embarked on
an ambitious plan to expand
its campus at home. The school
plans grow its campus by 6 mil-
lion square feet over the next two
decades.
SAN DIEGO, Calif.
Thieves steal
$44,000 of lawn
art, statues
San Diego County authorities
are looking for art thieves who
have made off with at least 18
metal, wood and concrete statues
- including a 600-pound bronze
moose.
The North County Times
reports the thieves have stolen
nearly $44,000 worth of lawn art
since October. Most of the thefts
occurred in San Marcos and
Ramona.
The artworks included Bud-
dha yard statutes, a life-sized
aluminum colt, a 3-foot-tall
statue of the Virgin Mary and a
copper statue of three children
valued at $15,000.
Detectives suspect that the
metal works may have been bro-
ken up and sold to recyclers,

while the other pieces might
have been resold.
SANAA, Yemen
Looters set off
ammunitions
explosion, kills 78
Yemen's chaos deepened yes-
terday when people looting a
munitions factory set off an acci-
dental explosion that killed at
least 78 in an area torn from gov-
ernment control by Islamist mili-
tants exploiting the president's
rapidly dwindling power.
The militant seizure of the fac-
tory and nearby towns amplified
Western fears that the fragile
Yemeni state could deteriorate
quickly because of President Ali
Abdullah Saleh's standoff with
an opposition coalition of youth
groups, military defectors, clerics
and tribal leaders calling for his
ouster.
Saleh has cooperated closely
with the U.S. in the battle against
Yemen's branch of al-Qaida,
which has used areas of Yemen
0 long out of state control to launch
attacks including the attempt to
bomb a Detroit-bound airliner
with a bomb sewn into under-
wear.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Auto industry to
suffer damages
from Japan quake

CHARLIE NYE/AP
Indiana Speaker of the House Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, right, is joined by Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore
David Long, R-Fort Wayne, addressed the five-week walkout of House Democrats at the front of the House chamber
on Thursday, March 7.
Democrats return to Id.
after labor union protests

Japanese factories
shut down from
natural disaster
TOKYO (AP) - The auto
industry disruptions triggered
by Japan's earthquake and tsu-
nami will worsen in the coming
weeks.
Car buyers will have difficul-
ty finding the model they want
in certain colors, thousands of
auto plant workers will likely
be told to stay home, and com-
panies such as Toyota, Honda
and others will lose billions of
dollars in revenue. More than
two weeks since the natural
disaster, inventories of crucial
car supplies - from computer
chips to paint pigments - are
dwindling fast as Japanese fac-
tories that make them struggle
to restart.
Because parts and supplies
are shipped by slow-moving
boats, the real drop-off has yet
to be felt by factories in the
U.S., Europe and Asia. That will

come by the middle of April.
"This is the biggest impact
ever in the history of the auto-
mobile industry," said Koji Endo,
managing director at Advanced
Research Japan in Tokyo.
Much of Japan's auto indus-
try - the second largestsupplier
of cars in the world - remains
idle. Few plants were seriously
damaged by the quake, but with
supplies of water and electricity
fleeting, no one can say when
factories will crank up. Some
auto analysts said it could be as
late as this summer.
There are signs, though, that
things might not be as bad as
analysts are predicting. Nissan
Motor Co., which has seen pro-
duction stop in several areas,
said Monday that it expects fac-
tories to be back in operation in
weeks rather than months.
The company has studied all
of its parts suppliers and com-
panies that supply parts to them
and has determined that the
situation isn't as dire as some
predictions, spokesman Brian
Brockman said yesterday.

Five-week walkout
increased talks of
legislative issues
across the state
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Indiana House Democrats who
fled the state five weeks ago to
protest a Republican agenda
they considered an assault on
labor unions and public educa-
tion returned to the Statehouse
yesterday to resume work.
Minority Leader Patrick
Bauer said he and his fellow
Democrats ended one of the
longest legislative walkouts in
recent U.S. history after win-
ning concessions from Repub-
licans over recent weeks on
several issues.
"We're coming back after
softening the radical agenda,"
said Bauer, D-South Bend,
whose return was greeted by
cheering union workers. "We
won a battle, but we recognize
the war goes on."
Republican House Speaker
Brian Bosma gaveled in the
chamber early yesterday eve-
ning, giving the House its first
quorum since Democrats fled to
Illinois on Feb. 22.
"It's refreshing and pleas-
ant to see a full chamber," he
said.
But what Democrats actually
achieved with the walkout is a
matter of debate. The conces-
sions are likely more than Dem-
ocrats would have gained had
they not boycotted - but won't
stop the GOP agenda.
Republicans had vowed
throughout the standoff that
they wouldn't remove items
from their agenda, and by and
large they won't have to. The

only bill actually killed by the
boycott was a "right-to-work"
proposal that would prohibit
union representation fees from
being a condition of employ-
ment.
GOP legislators agreed to
some changes on several other
bills. For example, they agreed
to cap for two years the num-
ber of students who could par-
ticipate in a voucher program
usingtaxpayer moneyto attend
private schools - but it would
still be among the nation's
most expansive use of vouchers
when the limits expire. Repub-
licans also agreed last week to
reduce the number of govern-
ment projects that would be
exempt from the state's pre-
vailing construction wage law,
but the amended bill is still
expected to pass.
The Democrats' most signifi-
cant achievement may be that
people across the state are talk-
ing about these issues. Bauer
said the public needed a "time-
out" to learn about the agenda
pushed by Republicans who took
sweepingcontrol of the House in
2010 elections.
Thousands of people attend-
ed Statehouse rallies during
the walkout, and hundreds of
people attended local town
hall meetings. Many teachers
said they didn't realize Repub-
licans supported vouchers and
other measures they think will
erode public education, and
some union members said they
wished they had voted.
In that sense, Democrats
"punched above their weight,"
said Robert Dion, who teaches
politics at the University of
Evansville.
"They got the attention of
the state, and they were able to
finagle some meaningful con-

cessions that I don't think were
necessarily offered all that will-
ingly," Dion said.
On the other hand, Dion said,
Democrats have a bit of a black
eye because the walkout lasted
so long.
The Democrats had fled
to protest 11 pieces of legisla-
tion, denying the House the
two-thirds of members present
needed to do business, since
the state constitution requires a
quorum to conduct any official
business.
Indiana's boycott began a
week after Wisconsin's Demo-
cratic senators left for Illinois
in their three-week boycott
against a law barring most pub-
lic employees from collective
bargaining. Wisconsin Repub-
licans used a parliamentary
maneuver to pass the law with-
out them, and the matter now is
headed to court.
The Indiana standoff got a
bit nasty at times - with name-
calling, scathing political ads,
rowdy rallies and fines total-
ing more than $3,000 for most
absent Democrats - but last
week Republicans and Demo-
crats seemed to tone down the
rhetoric.
The walkout had the poten-
tial to force a special session or
even a government shutdown
if a new budget wasn't adopted
before July 1. Bosma predicted
that lawmakers would have
plenty of late nights as they
work toward the scheduled end
of the regular legislative session
April 29.
"It's long past time to get to
the people's business," Bosma
said. "Hopefully we can make
this work in five short weeks."
Bosma said he didn't consider
the changes to the government
projects bill substantive.

Fishermen barricade
harbor from migrants

15,000 migrants
enter Italy in
wake of North
Africa uprisings
LAMPEDUSA, Italy (AP) -
Exasperated Italian fishermen
towed empty boats seized from
illegal immigrants across the
entrance of Lampedusa's harbor
on yesterday to try to prevent
any other vessels carrying North
Africans from reaching the tiny
island in the Mediterranean Sea.
Other islanders overturned
garbage bins to protest the relent-
less arrival of illegal immigrants,
including many now coming from
Libyan shores.
"Enough, we're full," read a
slogan scrawled on a white sheet
and carried by two protesters.
More than 3,000 new migrants
have arrived in the last three days
alone on the island of 5,000 resi-
dents, which lives off tourism and
fishing. With the shelters on the
island full, the migrants, many of
them Tunisian men who fled the
unrest in their homeland, have
taken to sleeping on the docks or
in makeshift tent camps in fields.

The island has been flooded
with more than 15,000 migrants
since mid-January, when Tuni-
sians overthrew their longtime
strongman, but hundreds have
been transferred to centers in
other parts of Italy. The island is
60 miles (100 kilometers) east of
the Tunisian coast, closer to Afri-
can than the Italian mainland.
As local women cheered, the
fishermen on Monday pulled the
migrants' seized boats across
the harbor. The migrants simply
watched from land, their laun-
dry flapping from improvised
clotheslines.
The migrants' boats - often
open-topped wooden fishing ves-
sels purchased from smugglers -
are spotted far offshore by Italian
coast guard air and sea patrols,
whose motorboats then escort the
migrants to the island. Monday's
blockade was a mostly symbolic
act, since few migrants' boats
have entered the small port or
docked by themselves at Lampe-
dusa.
Angry islanders knocked over
garbage bins along the roads
Monday and several women
chained themselves together,
shouting that the migrants should
no longer be broughtto shore.

Gov. Snyder passes law to
cut unemployment benefits

Michigan jobless
benefits to decrease
from 26 to 20 weeks
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov.
Rick Snyder yesterday made
Michigan the first state in the
country to lower the number
of weeks jobless workers canx
get state benefits, a trend other
cash-strapped states may follow
as a way to avoid taxing busi-
nesses more for unemployment
benefits.
Snyder said he signed the bill
reducing state benefits from
26 to 20 weeks because it will
allow people out of a job now
to get up to 20 more weeks of
help from a federal program for
those who used up their state
and most of their regular fed-
eral unemployment benefits.
The change will allow them to
extend unemployment benefits
to 99 weeks.
Those last 20 weeks of feder-
al benefits would have expired
for 35,000 Michigan residents
in early April and for 150,000
residents by the end of 2011 if
Snyder hadn't signed the bill by
Friday.
"Cuttingthem off so abruptly
would have jeopardized the
well-being of those who are try-

ing hard to find work," Snyder
said in a release after signing
the bill in private.
But critics, including Michi-
gan's entire Democratic con-
gressional delegation, said the
Republican governor should
have vetoed the bill rather than
sign cuts in state jobless benefits
into law. Nearly every state has
offered at least 26 weeks of ben-
efits for the past half-century,
and Michigan's unemployment
rate has been one of the nation's
highest for the past five years.
"Gov. Snyder's decision to
sign this reckless measure cut-
ting the lifeline for Michigan's
unemployed will reverberate
for years in Michigan," U.S.
Rep. Sander Levin of Royal Oak
said in a release. "Republicans
hijacked a simple technical
change to extend 100 percent
federally funded benefits this
year and gave Michigan the
dubious distinction of becoming
the only state in the union with
20 weeks of state unemploy-
ment insurance."
A letter urging Snyder to veto
the bill was signed by Michi-
gan's two U.S. senators, Carl
Levin and Debbie Stabenow,
as well as Democratic Reps.
Hansen Clarke, John Conyers,
John Dingell, Dale Kildee, Gary
Peters and Sander Levin.

"Michigan would be the only
state to have 20 weeks of state
unemployment insurance and
the first state to reduce benefits
during a period of high unem-
ployment. These are two dis-
tinctions we do not want for
our state," they wrote in the let-
ter. They noted that Michigan's
action could cause federal bene-
fits to be reduced by an addition-
al 16 weeks in Michigan, possibly
costing jobless workers 22 weeks
of state and federal benefits.
Michigan added 71,000 jobs
between February 2010 and last
month, the first sustained job
gain the state has seen inthe past
decade, and its unemployment
rate has taken the biggest tumble
of any state in the country over
the past year, from 13.5 percent
to 10.4 percent.
Still, finding a job isn't easy.
Michigan last year ranked third-
highest nationally inthe percent-
age of unemployed workers who
had been looking for a job for a
year or more - 36 percent out of
590,000 workers, according to
the federal Bureau of Labor Sta-
tistics.
State Democratic lawmakers
supported the extension of the
federal benefits but voted against
the overall plan because of the
other changes to the state jobless
benefits system.

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