The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Wednesday, November 9,2011 - 3A
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 3A
Father of 9-year-
old driver charged
with child abuse
A 9-year-old girl cried yes-
terday as she explained how she
drove a full-size van in suburban
Detroit while her father sat in the
passenger seat after a night of
The girl said her dad, Shawn
Weimer, asked her if she wanted
to drive in the wee hours of Oct.
"I said yeah but I'd be a little
scared," she said.
Weimer, 39, was charged
with child abuse after police in
Brownstown Township stopped
the van and found the girl behind
the wheel. A judge will decide
Nov. 15 whether he will stand
The girl cried throughout her
brief testimony. Judge Michael
McNally tried to calm her and
offered a soft drink before call-
ing a recess.
D.C. qualifies for
President Barack Obama has
signed a disaster declaration for
the District of Columbia from
this summer's earthquake. The
damaged Washington National
Cathedral could be eligible.
Yesterday's declaration makes
federal funding available to
repair buildings damaged by the
5.8-magnitude quake on Aug. 23.
Mayor Vincent Gray's adminis-
tration says damages to govern-
ment facilities total $6.8 million.
Gray says money is needed to
repair schools and other gov-
ernment buildings as well as
the cathedral, which was heav-
ily damaged. Initial repairs are
expected to cost $15 million.
Federal Emergency Manage-
ment Agency spokeswoman
Rachel Racusen says Gray could
seek funds for cathedral areas not
used for religious purposes. The
funds can also go toward prepar-
ing for future emergencies.
Coast Guard ends
BP oil spill cleanup
* The Coast Guard has approved
a pian to end cleanup along the
Gulf Coast from the BP oil spill,
a move officials said opens a new
phase of work for BP - restoring
areas damaged by the largest off-
shore spill in U.S. history.
According to the document
obtained by The Associated Press
yesterday, the plan "provides the
mechanisms for ceasing active
In it, the Coast Guard spells
out protocol for ending the clean-
up. It has been going on since
April 20, 2010, when the Deep-
water Horizon exploded off the
Coast Guard spokeswoman Lt.
Suzanne Kerver says the shore-
line plan outlines "the standard
She said about 10 percent of
the Gulf Coast fouled by the BP
spill remains to be cleaned.
U.N. asked to pay
for damages of
A human rights group said
yesterday it has filed claims with
the United Nations seeking dam-
ages on behalf of more than 5,000
Haitian cholera victims and their
The claims filed by the Boston-
based Institute for Justice and
Democracy in Haiti argue that the
U.N; and its peacekeeping force
are liable for hundreds of millions
of dollars for failing to adequately
They cite a range of studies
that indicate the infected sol-
diers caused the outbreak when
untreated waste from a U.N. base
was dumped into a tributary of
Haiti's most important river.
Daily wire reports
says he won't
drop out of race
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusoni waves to journalists as he leaves the Quirinale, Presidential palace, after meeting with
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, in Rome, yesterday.
Berlusconi to resig as
Italian prime minister
Demands for achieved the feat of becoming
his nation's longest-serving pre-
economic reform mier.
The media baron dominated
provoke possible Italian politics. for nearly two
.sg .in decades. He served as premier
three times over the past 17 years
- a charismatic if polarizing fig-
ROME (AP) - Silvio Berlusco- ure who sold Italians a dream of
ni survived sexscandals and cor- prosperity with his own person-
ruption trials. Tawdry accounts al story of transformation from
of sexy "bunga bunga" parties cruise-ship crooner to Italy's
turned him into an international richest man. He also owns AC
laughing stock. Prosecutors pur- Milan, one of Italy's famous soc-
sued him over a mind-boggling cer clubs.
array ofsuspected improprieties. But in his last years in power,
Every time he seemed fin- he became almost a grotesque
ished, the perma-tanned pre- caricature of the charming bil-
mier managed to miraculously lionaire who cast a spell over his
bounce back. nation.
But he just couldn't beat the The hair transplants and plas-
markets. tic surgery became all too obvi-
Berlusconi announced yester- ous. His reputation as a seducer
day he would resign after parlia- gave way to allegations of trysts
ment passes economic reforms with prostitutes and underage
demanded by the European girls. He embarrassed Italy with
Union. He acted in the face of jaw-dropping gaffes at interna-
a relentless investor attack on tional summits.
Italy's government bonds and Accusations grew that he was
crumbling support in parlia- in politics not for Italy's sake but
ment, almost certainly ending for his own - to boost his busi-
a political career in which he ness interests and change laws
to shield himself from prosecu-
As pressure for his resignation
grew, he remained defiant, label-
ing opponents "communists" to,
be kept at bay and prosecutors
as "terrorists" defying the will of
the people who elected him.
Even as his allies were defect-
ing, he anointed himself Italy's
savior at the close of the Group
of 20 summit in Cannes, France,
"I feel a duty to continue these
things," he said. "This is a great
duty and sacrifice for me. Here,
at the Cannes summit, I looked
around and I don't see anyone in
Italy who is up to representing
our country. I asked myself, you
could represent Italy if I weren't
But he had only so many polit-
ical lives. The magnetic smile,
the confident wisecracking, the
perennial optimism were no lon-
When Italy became the new
focus of the eurozone debt crisis,
the financial markets delivered
their verdict: Berlusconi him-
self was the problem.
jain questions as well, when one of his two origi-
nal accusers gave an interview
utation of one of to The New York Times and was
identified publicly by news orga-
his accusers nizations including The Associat-
ed Press as Karen Kraushaar, now
OTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - a spokeswoman in the Treasury
r rising pressure from fellow Department's office of inspector
blicans, presidential hopeful general for tax administration.
an Cain sought to muddy the When asked about Kraushaar,
ation of one accuser, force- Cain said he recalled her accu-
lenied any and all allegations sation of sexual harassment but
ual impropriety and vowed insisted "it was found to be base-
day the growing controver- less."
'uld not drive him from the Kraushaar and her lawyer,
or the White House. Joel Bennett, did not respond to
n't gonna , happen," he questions from The Associated
red. Press. But Bennett has told other
in flashed defiance one day news organizations that he hopes
a woman publicly accused to arrange a news conference in
indidate of groping her more which all of Cain's accusers will
a decade ago, adding her appear.
to three other accusers with An upstart in the presidential
tions that presidential rival race, Cain shot to the top of opin-
Romney called "particularly ion polls and emerged in recent
bing." weeks as Romney's main oppo-
taking at a news conference, nent, with tea party activists and
vowed, "we'll get through otherconservatives flockingto the
as he sought to steady a cam- former pizza company executive's
that has made him the lead- tell-it-like-it-is style and outsider
an unofficial race to emerge image.
mney's principal conserva- But, since Oct. 30, he's been
val. dogged by accusations from
one point he said he would women that he acted inappro-
illing to take a lie detector priately toward them while he
but then appeared to hedge headed the National Restaurant
iswer seconds later. Association in the 1990s. And
e Georgia businessman in recent days, the women have
n the midst of his second started to step forward publicly.
trying to curtail the furor At least two women who
unding his unorthodox worked at the restaurant asso-
aign. There were signs his ciation the same time as Cain filed
cal trouble was far from sexual harassment complaints
ess than two months before with the trade group and received
eadoff contests of the GOP financial settlements.
nation fight. One of them was Kraushaar.
mney joined other GOP After her name was revealed by
nents in urging Cain to several news sites yesterday, The
er the allegations. Promi- AP chose to publish it after inde-
Republicans pressed for a pendently confirming she was one
ccounting. And there were of his accusers.
ing indications of unease in Kraushaar and her attorney
rvative circles. previously had attempted to keep
there is a pattern then it's her name out of the public discus-
t of his character and then, sion, but they issued an anony-
t is going to matter," Tony mous statement last week that
ns, head of the conservative confirmed she had complained of
ly Research Center, said in an sexual harassment and received
riew. a financial payout from the trade
other name confronted Cain, group.
calling Israeli prime
minister a liar'/Y
French prime journalists, including one from
The Associated Press, over-
minister's heard the conversation but did
not initially report it because
comment made to Sarkozy's office had asked the
journalists not to turn on the
President Obama headsets until the news con-
ference began. The comments
PARIS (AP) - The French were deemed private under
president's overheard remark French media traditions.
to President Barack Obama French journalists rarely
that Israel's prime minister report on public figures' pri-
is a "liar" laid bare escalat- vate lives, for example, and
ing international frustration when they report behind-the-
at deadlocked peace efforts - scenes conversations involv-
and left all three world leaders ing top politicians, they almost
looking blemished. never cite the source of the
Obama, heard through an information.
interpreter, responded, "I have However, a French website
to work with him every day." that analyzes media coverage
Some Israelis felt French of current affairs, Arret sur
President Nicolas Sarkozy images, on Tuesday reported
uttered out loud what many fragments of the Sarkozy-
think in private about Israeli Obama conversation.
Prime Minister Benjamin Sarkozy's office would not
Netanyahu. Others were comment yesterday on the
shocked, and embarrassed. remarks, or on France's rela-
Fragments of a conversation tions with Israel. The White
between Sarkozy and Obama House and Netanyahu's
were overheard by reporters spokesman also said they had
last week at the Group of 20 no comment.
summit in southern France, In the remarks Thursday in
via headsets that were to be Cannes, Sarkozy said: "Netan-
used for simultaneous transla- yahu, I can't stand him. He's a
tion of an upcoming news con- liar."
ference. Obama, whose remarks
Sarkozy's remarks were were heard via a French trans-
especially harsh for a man who lation, was not heard objecting
has labored to improve French to Sarkozy's characterization
relations with Israel while also of Netanyahu. According to
using France's traditional ties the French interpreter, Obama
to Arab countries to encour- responded, "You are sick of
age peace talks - and whose him, but I have to work with
maternal grandfather was him every day."
Jewish. Through the interpreter,
It's an awkward moment for Obama was heard asking Sar-
Obama, who was already seen kozy to help persuade the Pal-
as cool to Netanyahu but is estinians to stop their efforts
Israel's main international ally. to gain U.N. recognition of a
Several French-speaking Palestinian state.
Libyan Nadia Seif visits the interrogation wing of Moammar Gadhafi's intelligence service at the Abu Salim prison complex,
in Tripoli yesterday. Seif says she was held there for seven months in the late 1990s, mistreated and twice raped by a guard.
victimlns seek fair trials
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -
Moammar Gadhafi's intelligence
service killed Nadia Seif's hus-
band for plotting to assassinate
the dictator, seized her villa,
then held her for seven months
in a tiny cell where she says she
was raped twice by a guard.
The 59-year-old and others
brutalized by Gadhafi's regime
now demand that their tormen-
tors be put on trial, but swift
justice seems unlikely. Libya has
just emerged from a traumatic
civil war that piled new griev-
ances onto the old ones of nearly
42 years of Gadhafi rule. Tens
of thousands have been killed,
wounded and displaced in eight
months of fighting that ended
with the tyrant's capture and
death in late October.
Many claims will likely have
to be settled through media-
tion and compensation, rather
than the courts, to help wounds
heal quickly and allow for a new
beginning, said Jamal Bennour, a
prominent Libyan judge.
"The priority is reconciliation,"
said Bennour, part of a team that
is drafting the rules for a "Recon-
ciliation Commission" that is to
hear complaints by victims of the
Gadhafi regime and the civil war.
Victims can also demand trials,he
said, but acknowledged that Lib-
ya's justice system will first have
to be built from scratch.
Seif, the ex-prisoner, said
she fears many of the guilty
will not be punished, including
those who had minor roles in
the regime. "The big guys, with-
out the small guys they can do
nothing," she said of those who
imprisoned her. "We don't care
about money, but we want our
Her story provided a glimpse
of widespread human rights
violations by the regime, which
employed brutal tactics to quash
dissent. Revolutionary forces
have also been accused of abuses
against former Gadhafi support-
ers, raising the prospect of diffi-
cult road ahead for those trying to
rebuild the country and unite its 6
Seif and her husband
Mohammed had once been
among the beneficiaries of the
Gadhafi regime. Her husband
worked for the intelligence ser-
vice and the couple lived with
sons Mohammed and Mukhtar
in a six-room villa in Tripoli's
upscale Andalus neighbor-
hood. Seif, a confident woman
who once worked as an English
translator, said her husband
eventually resigned, disgusted
by his work, and opened a fur-
niture store in Andalus.
In 1996, he and others were
arrested on suspicion they had
plotted to overthrow Gadhafi, Seif