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April 11, 2011 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, April 11, 2011- 3A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, April 11, 2011 - 3A

Missing Associated
Press photographer
located in Libya
An award-winning Associated
Press photographer covering the
conflict in Libya was located yes-
terday after being missing for more
than a day, the news agency said.
Altaf Qadri was safe and
unhurt, and was on his way back
to the AP offices in Benghazi,
according to John Daniszewski,
the agency's senior managing
editor for international news and
Qadri became separated from
his colleagues near the eastern
. Libyan city of Ajdabiya while on
assignment Saturday, according to
the AP.
"We're very pleased that he has
emerged unharmed while cov-
ering the violence in the area,"
Daniszewski said. "We thank all
the people around the world who
offered good wishes for his safe
Texas wildfires
spread across state
Firefighters from25 stateswere
battling more than a dozen blazes
across much of West Texas yes-
terday in what state forest service
officials called the single worst
fire day the state has ever seen.
A fast-moving wildfire had
spread to more than 60,000 acres
yesterday in Presidio County
and Jeff Davis County, where it
destroyed about 20 homes in Fort
Davis, about 200 miles southeast
of El Paso. Widespread electric-
ity outages were reported after
numerous power poles burned.
But the blaze that started Sat-
urday night missed the nearby
McDonald Observatory, one of
the world's leading astronomical
research facilities, which instead
was used as an evacuation shelter,
said assistant director Anita John-
Cuba blamed for
sunken barge with
supplies for Haiti
A U.S. housing company is
blaming Cuba for the loss of a
barge loaded with supplies to
build shelters for displaced earth-
quake survivors in Haiti.
Executives with Harbor Homes
LLC said late Saturday that the
Cuban government denied the
U.S. Coast Guard permission to
enter its waters to reclaim a drift-
ing barge carrying $2 million
worth of humanitarian supplies
bound for the quake-devastated
Caribbean country.
As a result, the barge carry-
ing cargo to build 1,000 homes
in Haiti sank in December as the
Cuban military attempted to tow
it ashore. A tow line snapped and
the barge ran aground, scattering
building supplies, three tractors,

and a bulldozer into the Atlantic,
company officials said.
Former Egpyt
president denies
abuse of power
In the first remarks since his
dramatic ouster, former President
Hosni Mubarak denied that he
used his position to amass wealth
andpropertyduringthree decades
in power, and issued an emotional
defense of his legacy.
The statement, broadcast yes-
terday at the end of a turbulent
weekend that saw a deadly mili-
tary crackdown on protesters,
only stoked more public anger.
In the prerecorded audiotape,
the 82-year-old Mubarak spoke
with a tone of authority more in
keeping with his past power than
his current situation.
As the ruling military council
comes under increasing public
pressure for its management of
the post-Mubarak transition, the
ex-president's first words were a
reminderthathe still has agrip on
the country's mood.
-Compiled from
* Daily wire reports

Tough transition
in Tunisia after
govt. overthrow

With new freedom
comes fear of
political turmoil
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) - In the
new Tunisia, a store window in
the capital displays books that
were banned under the former
regime. Protesters shout for jobs
or justice almost daily on tree-
lined streets.
And after half a century of one-
man rule, Tunisians can choose
from more than SO political par-
Yet the freedom that is intoxi-
cating Tunisia comes with a sense
of fragility, a fear that it could
spin out of control. So helmeted
troops backed by armored vehi-
cles stand guard alongthe central
Avenue Bourguiba in Tunis, and
some buildings are ringed with
barbed wire. Police have sealed
off a plaza where Tunisians held
days-long sit-ins not so long ago,
and have fired tear gas to prevent
new rallies there.

The contradictions playing out
in Tunisia's streets show how this
tiny country's burst of freedom is
marred by a growing anxiety over
the future. With elections coming
up, liberals worry that democ-
racy will bringthe Islamists, per-
haps the best-organized political
movement in post-revolt Tunisia,
to power. Economists fear that
continued turmoil will scare off
investors and tourists.
Activists who helped drive
out dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben
Ali in January are concerned his
die-hard supporters will try to
At stake is more than Tunisia
itself. Just as Tunisia's overthrow
of Ben Ali sparked anti-govern-
ment uprisings across the Arab
world, its success - or failure - in
moving toward a stable democra-
cy could once again send a strong
signal to its neighbors.
"Tunisia has particular sym-
bolic value as the first Arab revo-
lution," said Shadi Hamid, an
analyst at the Brookings Doha

PresidentBarack Obama poses for photographers in the Blue Room at the White House Friday, April 8. He spoke about
the budget and averted government shutdown after a deal was made between Republican and Democrat lawmakers.
White House: Obam a
to lay out spending plan

President to reveal
budget cuts during
speech Wednesday
budget deal down, President
Barack Obama and Congress
began to pivot yesterday from
the painful standoff over this
year's spending to a pair of defin-
ing debates over the nation's
borrowing limit and the elec-
tion-year budget.
Much will be revealed at
midweek, when the House and
Senate are expected to vote on a
budget for the remainder of this
fiscal year and Obama reveals
his plan to reduce the deficit, in
part by scaling back programs
for seniors and the poor. Across
the dial yesterday, messen-
gers from both parties framed
the series of spending fights as
debates over cuts - a thematic
victory for House Republicans
swept to power by a populist
mandate for smaller, more aus-
tere government.
"We've had to bring this
president kicking and scream-
ing to the table to cut spending,"
said House Majority Leader Eric
Cantor, R-Va., on "Fox News
Presidential adviser David
Plouffe said Obama has long
been committed to finding ways
for the nation to spend within

its means. He confirmed that
the president would unveil more
specifics for deficit reduction
with a speech Wednesday that
would reveal plans to reduce the
government's chief health pro-
grams for seniors and the poor.
"You're going to have to look
at Medicare and Medicaid and
see what kind of savings you
can get," Obama adviser David
Plouffe said yesterday on NBC's
"Meet the Press."
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions,
the top Republican on the Sen-
ate Budget Committee, called
Obama's planned speech "an
apparent recognition that the
budget plan he submitted to
Congress ... fails to address our
dire fiscal challenges."
In a press release yesterday,
Sessions said any revision to
the 2012 budget submitted by
Obama in February "must be
presented in a detailed, concrete
form" for scrutiny by the House
and Senate budget committees
and the Congressional Budget
The presidential speech on
Wednesday is part of official
Washington's shift from the
standoff over spending through
Septemberto next year's budget
and beyond. Alone and togeth-
er, the prospects of raising the
debt ceiling and passing a 2012
spending plan are politically
perilous, a knot that lawmakers
will spend the coming months

trying to unravel. That means
competing plans to shore up the
nation's long-term fiscal health
in a debate many predict will
make Friday's nail-biter look
For all the forward focus yes-
terday, congressional officials
still were analyzing Friday's
348-70 vote to fund the govern-
ment through the week. Operat-
ing under it, aides were putting
to paper the longer-term bipar-
tisan accord to fund the gov-
ernment through September. It
wasn't clear that the vote would
remain the same on the spend-
ing bill for the next six months.
The late hour of Friday's
handshake left lawmakers little
time to react. House members of
both parties who voted for the
funding through the week could
not say yesterday that they'd
vote for the plan to fund the gov-
ernment through September.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen,
D-Md., who voted "yes" Friday
to extend funding this week
while the final compromise was
written, said he was nonethe-
less undecided on whether he'd
vote for the final deal. On ABC's
"This Week," he said he didn't
think the six-month compro-
mise would pass.
On the other side of the aisle,
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., also a
"yes" vote on Friday, would not
commit to voting for the six-
month deal either.

Global weapons
spending at lowest
rate in last decade

United States tops
list in military
spending last year
world's military spendinggrew by
only 1.3 percent in 2010, thanks to
budget constraints caused by the
global financial crisis, with the
top three arms investors being
the United States, China and Brit-
ain, a think-tank said Monday.
South America was the region
with the largest military spend-
ing growth of 5.8 percent, with
countries such as Brazil seeking
to increase its international influ-
ence, said the Stockholm Interna-
tional Peace Research Institute.
The institution, known as
SIPRI, said global military spend-
ing in 2010 was the lowest since
It said the United States topped
the list by spending $698 billion
last year, followed by China with
$119 billion and the United King-
domwith $59.6 billion.
SIPRI said the rise in spending
in South America was partly driv-
en by increased staff costs and
internal security threats in some

countries, but that the change
also should be seen in light of the
region's strong economic growth
and relatively limited exposure to
the world financial crisis.
In many other countries, mili-
decreased as governments dealt
with budget constraints, SIPRI
Arms investment growth in
Asia slowed to 1.4 percent, reach-
ing a total of $317 billion, and
weapons outlays in Europe fell by
2.8 percentto $382 billion in 2010.
China increased its military
expenditures by 3.8 percent in
2010 to $119 billion. That com-
pared to a growth of 15 percent
between 2008 and 2009, and
SIPRI said the Chinese gov-
ernment had linked its smaller
increase in 2010 to the country's
weaker economic performance
the year before.
Spending cuts also were notice-
able in countries with financial
problems such as Greece and the
smaller economies in central and
The U.S. arms investment
growth slowed to 2.8 percent in
2010, compared with a growth of
7.7 percent in 2009.

Gulf regions ask Yemen
president to step down

Tens of thousands
of protesters march
in capital
SANAA, Yemen (AP) - A
regional bloc of oil-rich Arab
nations along the Gulf, includ-
ing powerful Saudi Arabia,
called on Yemen's president
yesterday to step down as part
of a deal with the protest move-
ment demanding for his ouster
after 32 years.
Keeping up the pressure,
tens of thousands of protest-
ers complaining of poverty
and corruption marched in the
capital, Sanaa, yesterday, a day
after renewed clashes between
demonstrators and security
forces there. Witnesses said
police fired a barrage of tear
gas late Saturday and that many
demonstrators suffered breath-
ing problems.
The statement, by foreign
ministers of the six-nation Gulf
Cooperation Council meeting
in the Saudi capital, called on
President Ali Abdullah Saleh
transfer his powers to his vice
president in return for prom-
ises that neither he nor his fam-
ily would be prosecuted for any
crimes committed under his
That falls short of protesters'
demands, which include seeing
Saleh face justice. And Saleh
himself has so far refused to
immediately step down, saying
he wants to first be certain the
country is in "safe hands," sug-
gesting the already fragile and

impoverished country could
fall into serious tumult without
"The transfer of power ought
to be in an easy and peaceful
manner that would avoid slid-
ing into chaos and violence, and
as part of a national consensus,"
said a final statement from the
Gulf council.
The embattled president,
once a key U.S. ally in the war
against the al-Qaida terror
network, has tried to cling to
power despite two months of
near-daily protests calling for
his resignation.
Last week, he rejected an
earlier mediation offer by the
Gulf Cooperation Council, say-
ing the group was meddling in
Yemen's affairs. The council
had invited Saleh and Yemen's
opposition groups to Saudi Ara-
bia for talks on its proposal,
similar to the one it endorsed
A diplomat at the Riyadh
meeting said the bloc repeated
an offer to mediate between
Saleh and his opponents. He
requested anonymity because
of the matter's sensitivity.
"All parties must commit to
ending all forms of revenge, pur-
suit and prosecution through
guarantees to that effect," the
statement said.
The statement also called
for the formation of a national
unitygovernment headed bythe
opposition to steer the country
through a transitional period.
Protesters in Sanaa
expressed reservations about

the plan, saying Saleh was buy-
ing time, and refusingto absolve
him from prosecution.
"This is not new. We had
accepted the Gulf offer before
on condition that Saleh step
down, along with all his family
members and sons who are in
power," said Wassim al-Qarshi,
an organizer of the Sanaa pro-
test. He said the protesters want
a transitional presidential coun-
cil to prepare the country for
elections and a new constitu-
The protesters called for
nationwide protests Mon-
day, and the Interior Ministry
warned against taking to the
streets in violation of the law
that requires protests to be
On Saturday, a senior adviser
to Saleh met in Riyadh with the
Saudi foreign minister, a sign
that negotiations are continu-
The Gulf council consists of
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab
Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait
and Bahrain.
In rejecting the initial media-
tion offer, Saleh appeared to
have been particularly ruffled
by a comment by Qatar's prime
minister last week that "we
hope to reach an agreement
that includes the resignation" of
Saleh has offered to step
down at the end of this year
if an acceptable transfer of
power is reached, but the
opposition fears he is just stall-
ing for time.

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