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January 13, 2011 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, January 13, 2011- 3A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, January13, 2011 - 3A

NEWS BRIEFS
* LANSING
Gov. Snyder plans
to invest in state's
15 universities
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says
universities likely will have to sac-
rifice in the short run, but he wants
to invest more in higher education
when times get better.
The Republican governor met
Wednesday with the presidents of
the 15 state universities who make
up the Presidents Council. They
say they're ready to help Snyder
boost economic development.
Michigan Technological Uni-
versity President Glen Mroz said
in a statement that the meeting set
a positive tone for the relationship
between universities and the new
Snyder administration.
Snyder spoke about the project-
ed $1.8 billion shortfall but didn't
give any details on what he plans
for universities in the next budget.
State funding for university
operations has dropped 12 percent
over the past eight years, while
tuition has risen an average of 80
percent.
AUSTIN, Texas
Texas governor
challenges local
immigration rights
Republican Gov. Rick Perry
offered no clues yesterday on how
Texas might abolish "sanctuary
cities" that he says provide haven
to illegal immigrants, after order-
ing the new GOP-dominated state
legislature make the issue a top
priority.
"There are cities in this state
that have made decisions that
they're goingtobe havens for those
that are in conflict with federal
immigration laws or state laws,
and we're going to prohibit that,"
Perry said. "We'll have a good and
open discussion about what we're
going to prohibit."
Democrats say they've identi-
fied at least 40 bills targeting ille-
gal immigration this session. The
proposals include requiring local
law enforcement to ask anyone
without ID during a legal traffic
stop whether they're in the coun-
try legally. Another would require
school districts to identify stu-
dents who are illegal immigrants.
TOKYO
Pentagon views
North Korea a
threat to the U.S.
* Top Pentagon officials say the
United States fears the risk of war
is rising between South Korea
and the heavily militarized and
increasingly unpredictable regime
in North Korea. And the Pentagon
considers North Korea a threat to
the mainland United States.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates
is meeting top political leaders
in Japan today about the grow-
ing worry that North Korea might
push its saber-rattling too far.
Gates sees leaders in South Korea

on Friday.
Meanwhile, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman Mike Mullen says that
North Korea poses an evolving
threat beyond the region to the
United States specifically. Mullen
tells the Foreign Press Center in
Washington he urges coordinated
pressure among China, Russia,
South Korea and Japan. Those
nations have disarmament lever-
age and the most at stake.
* RATHDRUM,Idaho
Idaho mother wins
$190 million Mega
Millions jackpot
A northern Idaho woman has
claimed the remaining half of a
$380 million Mega Millions jack-
pot, Idaho Lottery officials said
Wednesday.
Holly Lahti, a 29-year-old moth-
er of two from the small town of
Rathdrum, will split the second-
largest lottery jackpot in history
with Jim and Carolyn McCullar of
Ephrata, Wash.
The McCullars appeared at a
news conference last Thursday to
announce they'd won half the jack-
pot, or $190 million.
Lahti wasn't on hand for
Wednesday's announcement in
Boise.
"She's requested that the
media respect her privacy and not
attempt to contact her until she's
prepared to speak to you," Lottery
Director Jeff Anderson said at a
news conference.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Obama goes
to Arizona
for memorial

AP
In this frame grab image taken from amateur video and acquired by APTN protesters are seen amid a burning vehicle in
Douz, Tunisia, Wednesday Jan. 12, 2011.
Tunisians protest
in capital,. 23 dead

President Obama
visits wounded Rep.
Gabrielle Giffords
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Thrust
into the role of consoler, President
Barack Obama yesterday stood
at the bedside of wounded law-
maker Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and
spent private moments with oth-
ers who were shot in an assassina-
tion attempt against her that has
unnerved the nation. He prepared
to try to rally the nation's spirit ina
memorial for the victims.
In an unscheduled stop shortly
after landing in Arizona, Obama
spent about 10 minutes with Gif-
fords and her husband in her hos-
pital room. The president and the
first lady also met with other vic-
tims wounded in the shooting ram-
page before moving onto the site of
the memorial, where they gathered
with families of those who were
killed. The president was to speak
for roughly 15 minutes toward
the end of the memorial, devoting
most of his comments to recalling
the lives of the victims. In total, 19
people were shot, and six of them
killed, in what police say was a bra-
zen attempt by a gunman to kill Gif-
fords. She was shot point-blank in
the head butis expected to survive.
Obama planned to use his com-
ments to "reflect on how all of us
might best honor their memory
in our own lives," said his spokes-
man, Robert Gibbs. An overflow
crowd packed the University ofAri-
zona basketball arena for a service
that was meant to give voice to the

nation's shock, sadness and anger.
People erupted into cheers when
a panning camera flashed live video
screen images of people connected
to the story, including Sherriff Clar-
ence Dupnik, and Giffords' intern
Daniel Hernandez, who is credited
with using his own hands to stem
the bleeding from her head after
the shooting.
Searching for the right tone in
the evening service, Obama aimed
to console the country, not dissect
its politics.
Giffords was the target of the
first assassination attempt on a
member of Congress in decades.
Inside the Intensive Care Unit
at the hospital, the president spent
about 10 minutes with Giffords and
her husband, Mark Kelly. He also
met with four other victims from
the shooting, including two of Gif-
fords' staff members who were
wounded in the rampage.
A bipartisan delegation of law-
makers had accompanied Obama
on Air Force One in a sign of soli-
darity; all branches of government
were represented on site.
Back on Capitol Hill, Giffords'
House colleagues praised her and
the other shooting victims and
insisted that violence would not
silence democracy.
"We will have the last word,"
declared new House Speaker John
Boehner. He fought back tears as he
described Giffords' battle to recov-
er from Saturday's gunshot wound
to her head.
Obama was again playing the
role of national consoler that comes
to all presidents and, in rare times,
helps define them.

Youth respond to
oppressive gov. by
rioting in city
TUNISIA (AP) - Tear gas and
stone-throwing youths reached
the heart of Tunisia's once-
calm capital yesterday as rioters
desperate for jobs defied their
autocratic president in escalat-
ing unrest that poses his biggest
challenge in 23 years in power.
The army deployed armored
vehicles around Tunis, and the
government imposed a virtu-
ally unprecedented curfew to
try to quell protests over unem-
ployment and political repres-
sion that began more than three
weeks ago in a central Tunisian
town. Outside the capital, at least
two deaths were reported from
police fire yesterday.
The demonstrations have set off
clashes with police as they spread
around the country, leaving at
least 23 dead and shattering
Tunisia's image as an island of
calm in a region beset by Islamist
extremism.
The rioting stayed outside the
capital until yesterday, when the
interior minister was fired and
clashes broke out hours later,
-ineensifying -ane unprecedented
sense of uncertainty about the
future of Tunisia's government.
European countries issued warn-
ings about the increased dangers
of travel to the country.
President Zine El Abidine Ben
Ali, 74, has maintained an iron
grip on Tunisia since grabbing
power 23 years ago ina bloodless
coup, repressing any challenge to
a government many see as cor-
rupt and intolerant.
The image of stability and

religious moderation helps draw
millions of mostly European visi-
tors a year to the Mediterranean
beaches of this small North Afri-
can nation, making tourism the
mainstay of the economy. But Ben
Ali's tight control has also creat-
ed the simmering sense of anger
and resentment that erupted in
the capital and outside it.
A witness in the central city of
Douz said there were two deaths
at a protest there yesterday. Slah
Nebti, a 32-year-old French
teacher, said he saw "police fire
and everyone flee. I saw a man
who fell, and everyone surround-
ed him, so I filmed him."
The video, posted on Face-
book, showed the victim lying
face-down in a pool of blood.
Nebti said he didn't know the
victim personally, yet learned his
identity when he went with other
teachers to meet the man's fam-
ily. He identified the victim as a
computer science professor who
had spent time in France.
After Nebti posted the video
online, some of the victim's stu-
dents contacted him.
"They sent me messages to say
he was a good teacher and a good
man," Nebti said by telephone.
In Tunis, hundreds of pro-
testers emerged from a suk,
or market, in the capital and
hurled stones at police at a key
intersection. Officers responded
with volleys of tear gas, driving
the protesters to disperse into
adjoining streets. Stores in the
area were shuttered.
It was not clear whether there
were any injuries or arrests.
Two army vehicles were post-
ed at the intersection, which is
right by the French Embassy, and

military vehicles patrolled neigh-
borhoods on the edges of the
capital. The government ordered
the army to ensure the overnight
curfew is obeyed.
In another neighborhood in
central Tunis, hundreds of pro-
testers tried to reach the region-
al governor's office but were
blocked by riot police. And at
the main national union head-
quarters, police surrounded pro-
testers who tried to break out.
Tensions also erupted along the
edges of the capital.
The rioting first erupted in
mid-December in an inland town
after a young man tried to kill
himself. They then hopscotched
around the country, as social net-
works like Facebook spread word
of the unrest, circumventing
tight control of the media.
Police have repeatedly shot
at demonstrators setting fire to
buildings and stoning police. The
government says 23 people have
died but unions and witnesses
put the toll at 48 or higher.
The U.S. calls Tunisia a strong
ally in the fight against inter-
national Islamist terror groups,
which Rex Ali has-c -s ,tly
claimed threaten the nation.
There has been no indication
of a militant Islamist role in the
rioting, but Denmark's Foreign
Ministry said yesterday that
a risk exists of terror attacks
against Western interests in
Tunisia. Germany's government
issued a statement warning of
the "danger of kidnapping and
attacks, and Spain issued a travel
warning urging its citizens to
avoid inland Tunisia and to be
careful in tourist areas along the
coast.

Russia invited
to tour Iran's
nuclear sites.

Man protests destruction of oaks

Iran also extends
invitation to China
and Hungary
MOSCOW (AP) - Russia has
not yet decided whether to accept
Iran's invitation to tour its nuclear
sites, but believes that such a visit
could help ease concerns about the
Iranian nuclear program, a senior
Russian diplomat said Tuesday.
Iran invited several countries -
including Russia, China and Hun-
gary, which currently holds the
European Union's rotating presi-
dency - to tour the sites ahead
of the next round of international
talks on its disputed nuclear pro-
gram, now set for Jan. 21-22 in
Turkey.
The invitation was not extend-
ed to the United States or the three
European countries - Britain,
France and Germany - that have

been more critical of Iran. Those
four countries also take part in the
talks, together with Russia and
China.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ser-
gei Ryabkov said Tuesday that
Moscow received Iran's invita-
tion "with interest," but had some
questions about the proposed tour
and was discussing them with the
Iranians before makinga decision.
"We believe that in the end an
optimal solution can be found that
would allow for such a visit to take
place for the benefit of removing
the international community's
concerns about Iran's nuclear
program," he said, making Rus-
sia's first comments on the Iranian
invitation.
Iran said the facilities to be vis-
ited include the uranium enrich-
ment facility at Natanz and the
Arak site where it is building a
plutonium-producing heavy water
reactor.

Tree sitter inspires
movement against
construction of dam
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) - With
the sounds of bulldozers echo-
ing beneath him, veteran tree
sitter John Quigley perched in a
century-old oak yesterday, saying
he won't come down until public
works officials stop felling scores
of trees as part of a dam improve-
ment project.
Quigley, who helped save a
beloved oak with a similar sit-in
eight years ago, was joined by a
handful of other sitters who took
up positions in branches overlook-
ing 11 acres of picturesque foot-
hills.
"They're destroying trees all
around us," Quigley said by cell
phone as the sound of bulldozers
below him could be heard. "It's
a sad scene and definitely some-
thing that didn't need to happen."
Public works officials say the
11 acres of trees, some of them
more than 100 years old, must go
to ensure the integrity of a near-
by dam that provides most of the
drinking water to the Los Ange-
les suburbs of Arcadia and Sierra
Madre.
As darkness fell about two
dozen protesters and curious
onlookers including actress Darryl
Hannah gathered at a gate leading
to a stand of trees being felled.
"I came out just to support the
community that is trying to put
out some common sense and not
cut down a paradise for a rubble
pit," Hannah said.
The actress said she learned of
the protest from Quigley, who she
has known since she took part in
a tree-sitting protest to try to save

an urban garden in a warehouse
district near downtown Los
Angeles that was plowed under
in 2006.
Hannah, like other environ-
mental activists, said the sediment
from the Dam could be placed
elsewhere, including a huge gravel
pit about 10 miles away.
Later Wednesday about three
dozen people held a candlelight
vigil with a moment of silence
to express their dismay over the
removal of the trees.
"We shouldsend some thoughts
out to the guys in the trees and the
girls in the trees," Hannah said as
the silence ended.
Los Angeles County Public
Works spokesman Bob Spencer
said four people were believed to
be hiding in the trees and public
workers were checking the area
treebytree to make sure none was
taken down with a person in it.
"The safety of all the people
here today, the trespassers, the
contract workers, the protesters,
is of chief importance to us," he
said.
David Czamanske, vice chair of
the Sierra Club's Pasadena group,
said deputies had not asked the
demonstrators at the gate to dis-
perse. The tree-sitters were not
affiliated with his group, he said.
Spencer said the tree removal
project has been in the works for
three years and the county has
approval from federal and state
agencies. He said it must done for
the Santa Anita Dam, which was
built in 1927, to meetseismic safety
standards.
Over the years, Spencer said,
sediment has built up behind the
dam, limiting its water capacity
and compromising its safety in the
event of an earthquake or other
catastrophe.
Clearing the 11 acres of oaks

and sycamores will create a place-
ment area the sediment can be
channeled to.
Spencer said the dam provides
75 percent of the drinking water
used in Arcadia, a city of about
56,000 people, and all of the
drinking water for Sierra Madre,
where about 10,000 people live.

'

L.

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