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April 13, 2011 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-04-13

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 3A

Zipcar revs up for
public offering
Zipcar Inc., the car-sharing
company that rents rides for as
little as an hour, is expected to
get a warm reception from Wall
Street for its planned initial pub-
lic offering this week.
Its supporters think skyrocket-
ing gas prices will make car shar-
ing more popular. They praise
Zipcar's technological savvy and
its plans for overseas expansion.
Zipcar is "one of the long-
awaited hot tickets in the IPO
valley," said John Fitzgibbon,
founder of IPOscoop.com. Inves-
tors are warming up to IPOs
again after the market sputtered
in2008 and 2009.
Still, Zipcar has never been
profitable since it was founded
in 2000. It expects to lose money
again in 2011. Cars, its main
expense, don't come cheap.
SAN JOSE, Calif.
U.S. Energy Dept.
backs solar project
Federal energy officials are
putting financial support behind
two huge solar energy projects in
California that could create hun-
dreds of jobs and power 145,000
Energy Secretary Steven Chu
yesterday announced a condi-
tional offer of $1.2 billion in loan
guarantees for the California Val-
ley Solar Ranch project on the
state's Central Coast. The project
would use new technology to fol-
low the sun, increasing efficiency.
Chu announced the move at
a new factory near San Jose for
SunPower Corp., which would
sponsor the project. Pacific Gas &
Electric Co. would purchase the
The project is expected to cre-
ate 350 construction jobs and
power 60,000 homes.
10 sets of human
remains found in
Long Island case
Police in New York confirm
that remains found this week dur-
ing a search for possible victims
of a serial killer are human. That
makes 10 sets of remains found
along a beach highway in recent
The first remains found Mon-
day morning were about 1.5 miles
east of the entrance to Jones
Beach on Long Island. Later in
the day, a skull was found several
miles away.
The findings in Nassau County,
outside New York City, come after
police in neighboring Suffolk
County uncovered eight sets of
human remains since December
along the same highway.
Police ended an extensive
search of the area yesterday, but
say they could return.

Authorities suspect a serial
killer may be responsible for at
least some of the deaths. They
have not named any suspects.
Jamaica mulls pot
Officials in Jamaica say the
Caribbean island's government
will review decade-old recom-
mendations to decriminalize
possession of small amounts of
marijuana for personal and reli-
gious use.
Six Cabinet ministers will eval-
uate a 2001 report by the National
Commission for Ganja - as mari-
juana is known in Jamaica.
The government-appointed
panel argued that marijuana is
"culturally entrenched" in Jamai-
ca and that moderate use has no
negative health effects on most
The United States has spent
millions of dollars trying to eradi-
cate the drug in Jamaica. A U.S.
Embassy spokeswoman did not
immediately return calls seeking
comment Tuesday.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports


After agreement,
federal budget bill
expected to pass

A young boy holding an opposition flag, who was brought toa checkpoint near the front line by a female relative to show
support, is walked back to safety by a rebel fighter believed to be his father yesterday on the outskirts of Ajdabiya, Libya.
New battenLibya show
strain in NATO allilance

Britain, France
urge more U.S.
AJDABIYA, Libya (AP) -
Moammar Gadhafi's forces
fired rockets along the east-
ern front line and shelled the
besieged city of Misrata yester-
day as France and Britain urged
their NATO allies, includingthe
United States, to intensify the
campaign against the Libyan
But hopes for a rebel military
victory have faded and diplo-
matic efforts to find a solution
were picking up momentum.
On Wednesday, diplomats will
gather in the tiny Gulf nation of
Qatar for a meeting of the Libya
contact group, which aims to
coordinate an international
response to the conflict.
On Monday, African leaders
tried to broker a cease-fire but
were immediately shot down
when the opposition insisted
that Gadhafi give up power
For his part, Libyan govern-
ment spokesman Moussa Ibra-
him insisted that any talk of
Gadhafi stepping down, which
has also been suggested by
some European officials, was

"imperialist" thinking and he
lamented that the rebels had
not followed suit in accepting
the African proposal.
The Libyan rebels have prov-
en to be far weaker and out-
numbered by Gadhafi's forces
and without NATO airstrikes,
they could face a crushing
military defeat. So any real-
istic rebel hopes of unseating
Gadhafi now rest firmly on
international political pressure
combined with sustained NATO
French Foreign Minister
Alain Juppe said NATO was not
doing enough to ease the pres-
sure on Misrata. He also said
the alliance should be firing on
the weapons being used by Gad-
hafi's troops to target civilians
in Misrata, the only city in west-
ern Libya that is still partially
in the hands of rebels. Interna-
tional groups are warning of a
dire humanitarian crisis in Mis-
rata, Libya's third-largest city.
Paris lamented the limited
U.S. military role in Libya and
chided Germany for its lack of
involvement. In a dire analy-
sis, France's defense minister
acknowledged that without
full American participation
in the combat operation, the-
West probably can't stop
Gadhafi's attacks on besieged

rebel cities.
Britain's Foreign Secretary
William Hague agreed that the
allies must "intensify" their
France has played a particu-
larly aggressive role in Libya
in recent weeks, pushing diplo-
matically for a U.N. resolution
to allow the international mili-
tary operation and firing the
first strikes in the campaign.
France also was the first to rec-
ognize the Libyan opposition
and to send a diplomatic envoy
to the rebel-held city of Beng-
A NATO general rejected the
criticism and said the alliance is
performing well and protecting
Dutch Brig. Gen. Mark Van
Uhm said the alliance was suc-
cessful in enforcing an arms
embargo, patrolling a no fly
zone and protecting civilians. "I
think with the assets we have,
we're doing a great job," he said.
NATO took over command of
the operation over Libya from
the U.S. on March 31.

House to consider
measure tomorrow,
Senate to cast
votes on Friday
Despite scattered opposition
from both ends of the political
spectrum, House Republicans
and the White House both pre-
dicted approval yesterday for
the hard-bargained $38 billion
package of spending cuts that
narrowly avoided a government
House Democratic leaders
remained non-committal on the
legislation, sealed late last week
in negotiations that excluded
House Speaker John Boehner
(R-Ohio) touted the plan some-
what cautiously, saying it was
"far from perfect and we need
to do much more if we're serious
about creating new jobs."
In a posting on his website,
Boehner said the measure calls
for the largest non-military
spending cut in history and
would set the stage for a com-
panion vote later in the week on
a Republican budget to reduce
federal deficits by trillions of
dollars over the next decade.
The spending bill covering
the rest is fiscal year through
Sept. 30 is ticketed for a vote in
the House tomorrow, with the
Senate to follow either later in
the day or on Friday.
The product of days of brinks-
manship, the compromise gave
the White House, House Repub-
licans and Senate Democrats
enough to claim victory yet left
critics every opportunity to find
Overall the $38 billion in
cuts are less than the $61 bil-

lion contained in legislation the
House passed in February. Sen-
ate Democrats and the White
House initially advocated no
reduction from current levels.
The legislation includes cuts
for the Environmental Protec-
tion Agency, the National Insti-
tutes of Health, community
health centers and the Commu-
nity Development Block Grant,
favored by mayors and other
local officials.
Yet the administration and
Senate Democrats succeeded in
blunting Republican demands
for even deeper reductions in
those programs and elimina-
tion of others. The deal pro-
tects some of President Barack
Obama's top priorities, leav-
ing Head Start untouched, for
example, while maintainingthe
maximum Pell education grant
of $5,550.
Two prominent conserva-
tives, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)
and Michele Bachmann
(R-Minn.) both said they would
vote against the legislation.
"I believe voters are asking
us to set our sights higher," said
Jordan, who chairs an organiza-
tion of House conservatives. He
said the group, the Republican
Study Committee, had called
earlier this year for $100 billion
in cuts, a total that far exceeds
the amount in the legislation.
Bachmann, a potential presi-
dential candidate, said on a
campaign-style trip to the first
caucus state of the 2012 cam-
paign that she was "very disap-
pointed with the bill that came
through. And that's an under-
In an appearance at a high
school in Pella, Iowa, she said,
"Voters expected us to defund
Obama-care," a reference to the
health care law that passed a
year ago.

D.C. Mayor arrested
in protest over budget

Gray analogized
D.C. situation to
popular uprisings
in Egypt, Libya
day after getting arrested with
other city leaders, the District
of Columbia's mayor called on
residents of the nation's capi-
tal to join him in protesting
likely new restrictions on the
city from Congress, drawing
analogies to this year's popular
uprisings in Egypt and Libya.
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray
said yesterday that residents
should work through religious
groups and neighborhood
and civic associations to push
back against consequences for
Washington in the federal bud-
get Congress is expected to pass
later this week.
D.C. has its own city govern-
ment, but Congress ultimate-
ly oversees the city's affairs
including its budget and laws.
As a result, Gray and other city
leaders said that Washington
became a pawn in last week's
budget negotiations. It appears
that a deal members of Con-
gress reached Friday to avert a
federal government shutdown
included provisions that ban
the district from spending its
own, city-collected tax money
to pay for abortions for poor
women. The deal would also
re-establish a school voucher
program that has divided city
Gray said he hoped that his
arrest Monday with 40 others,
including six members of the
District of Columbia Council,
would energize other residents.
On Monday, the mayor and oth-
ers sat down and blocked traffic
on Washington's busy Consti-

tution Avenue near the Capi-
tol before being arrested and
held until the early hours of
"I don't think there's any
doubt that we' got people's
attention," Gray said in an
interview in his office later
yesterday, still wearing a tag
from police on his wrist. "But
the reality is, too, that a single
event is not going to make a
lasting'difference. I think the
greatest value of this was to
be able to be a catalyst or to
be a spark for further involve-
Gray said he didn't have
any guarantees that activism
by citizens would work, but
he added that change comes
about when people get frus-
trated enough to take action,
making analogies to the civil
rights movement, the move-
ment to give women the right
to vote and recent events in
Egypt and Libya.
Gray acknowledged he has
no direct influence over the
federal budget process, but
he said the city's 600,000
residents could be a powerful
force. There was also some
suggestion Tuesday that
members of Congress and
even the White House took
notice of the protest.
White House spokesman
Jay Carney said during a
briefing with reporters that
the president does not sup-
port the provisions in the
budget that Gray has been
critical of but that, "in a nego-
tiation, you have to make
tough choices."
House Democratic Whip
Steny Hoyer of Maryland said
at a news conference that it
was unfortunate that the city
had been used as a bargaining
chip, but that the budget was
a compromise.

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