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December 05, 2011 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-12-05

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0 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, December 5, 2011 - 3A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, December 5, 2011 - 3A

NEWS BRIEFS
DETROIT
Police investigate
disappearance of
girl in carjacking
Detroit's police chief says
investigators are questioning the
truth of a story that a 2-year-old
girl was kidnapped during a car-
jacking.
Chief Ralph Godbee issued a
statement yesterday saying police
are interested in "allaying some of
the fears of the public" about the
"apparent randomness" of Bianca
Jones' disappearance.
Thirty-two-year-old ex-con-
vict Dandre Lane told police Fri-
day that a man forced him from
his car and drove off with his
daughter Bianca strapped into a
seat. The car was found later with
a child seat and no sign of the girl.
On Saturday, Godbee said
Lane was in custody on unrelated
charges.
NEW YORK
Trump selected as
moderator of GOP
debate in Iowa
Real estate mogul Donald
Trump will moderate a Republi-
can presidential debate in Iowa
a week before the state holds the
first in the nation caucuses.
The conservative website
Newsmax will host the debate,
scheduled for December 27 in Des
Moines. All the GOP contenders
have been invited to participate.
Trump announced he would
not seek the Republican nomina-
tion himself after toyingwith a bid
last spring. The host of "Celebrity
Apprentice" has remained visible
in the GOP contest, hosting many
of the candidates for meetings at
Trump Tower in New York City.,
Former House Speaker Newt Gin-
grich is set to visit Trump Monday.
Trump has also been a strong
critic of President Barack Obama
and drew considerable publicity
when he questioned the validity
of Obama's birth certificate.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia
Report: Allowing
women to drive
promotes sex
A report given to a high-level
advisory group in Saudi Ara-
bia claims that allowing women
in the kingdom to drive could
encourage premarital sex, a rights
activist said Saturday.
The ultraconservative stance
suggests increasing pressure on
King Abdullah to retain the king-
dom's male-only driving rules
despite international criticism.
Rights activist Waleed Abu
Alkhair said the document by a
well-known academic was sent
to the all-male Shura Council,
which advises the monarchy. The
report by Kamal Subhi claims
that allowing women to drive will
threaten the country's traditions

of virgin brides, he said. The sug-
gestion is that driving will allow
greater mixing of genders and
could promote sex.
Saudi women have staged sev-
eral protests defying the driving
ban. The king has already prom-
ised some reforms, including
allowing women to vote in munic-
ipal elections in 2015.
BERLIN
Two WWII bombs
safely defused in
evacuated city
Firefighters say a massive
British World War II-era bomb
that triggered the evacuation
of half of Germany's western
city of Koblenz was successfully
defused.
Koblenz firefighter spokesman
Heiko Breitbarth said yesterday
experts were able to defuse the
1.8 ton bomb and a 275-pound U.S.
bomb that had been discovered
last month in the Rhine river.
He says the evacuation order
still remains in place because a
smaller smoke grenade found
nearby will be brought to a con-
* trolled explosion.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Egyptian election
results worrisome
for Israeli leaders

MUZAFFARSALMAN/AP
A pro-Syrian regime protester breaks stones with his head to symbolize breakingsanctions against Syria during a protest
against the sanctions by Arab and European nations, in Damascus, Syria, on Friday.

Syria violence si
U.N. calls for pr

U.N. official: Syrian
conflicts constitute
a 'civil war'
BEIRUT (AP) - The United
Nations' human rights chief
called on the international com-
munity to protect Syrian civil-
ians Friday as violence surged
across the country, with hours
of intense shooting that sent
stray bullets whizzing across
the border.
The new bloodshed came as
activists reported a grim mile-
stone in the 8-month-old revolt:
November was the deadliest
month of the uprising, with at
least 950 people killed in gun-
battles, raids and other violence
as protesters demand the ouster

of President Bashar Assad.
The U.N. estimates more
than 4,000 people have been
killed since the uprising began
in the middle of March, inspired
by the Arab Spring revolutions
sweeping the Middle East.
"In light of the manifest fail-
ure of the Syrian authorities
to protect their citizens, the
international community needs
to take urgent and effective
measures to protect the Syrian
people," Navi Pillay, the U.N.
High Commissioner for Human
Rights, told an emergency
meeting of the U.N. Human
Rights Council in Geneva.
Pillay on Thursday charac-
terized the conflict in Syria as
a civil war.
International intervention,
such as the NATO action in

irges as
)tection
Libya that helped topple Moam-
mar Gadhafi, is all butout of the
question in Syria. But the Euro-
pean Union, the Arab League,
Turkey and others have piled
on sanctions aimed at crippling
the regime once and for all.
The EU's latest sanctions,
which were announced Thurs-
day, target 12 people and 11
companies with travel bans and
asset freezes. They add to a long
list of regime figures previously
sanctioned by the EU, including
Assad himself and high-rank-
ing security officials.
The identities of those on
the new list were made pub-
lic Friday in the EU's official
journal.
They include the ministers
of finance and the economy, as
well as army officers.

New Isalamic
gov't may position
Egypt as a threat in
Middle East
JERUSALEM (AP) - For Israe-
lis, the Islamist election surge in
Egypt is depressing confirmation
of a deeply primal fear: An inhos-
pitable region is becoming more
hostile still.
This sentiment has been
accompanied by a bittersweet
sense that Israel was dismissed as
alarmist when it warned months
ago that the Arab Spring - widely
perceived as the doing of liberals
yearning to be free - could lead to
Islamist governments.
Speaking for most people here,
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud
Barak called the emerging result
of the first round of parliamentary
voting in Egypt "very, very dis-
turbing" and expressed concern
about the fate of the landmark
1979 Egyptian Israeli peace treaty.
"We are very concerned," added
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz,
who has long warned that Egypt
could potentially pose a threat.
Speaking to The Associated Press
yesterday, Steinitz expressed hope
that Egypt "will not shift to some
kind of Islamic tyranny."
Experts here, as elsewhere,
point out that political Islam
comes in varying shades of green:
The Muslim Brotherhood in
Egypt has about a 10 percent lead
over the more radical Salafists and
appears far less eager to impose a
devout lifestyle or seek conflict.
But most Israelis appear to
have little patience for such dis-
tinctions. There is a sense that
moderate Islamists are pulling off
something of a con, lulling oppo-
nents into complacency, project-
ing a seemingly benign piety to

exploit a naive public's hunger for
clean government after years of
corrupt, despotic rule. And there
is a long memory of Iran, once
friendly to Israel, where secu-
lar forces including the military
helped depose the Shah in 1979
only to swiftly be steamrolled by
fundamentalists.
"Theseupheavals are abadthing
for the modern world, for Israel,"
said Yitzhak Sklar, a 50-year-old
Jerusalem resident. "There is
something in their religion that
pushes them to extremism. Their
religion calls for murdering anyone
who opposes them."
Smadar Perry, Arab affairs
writer for Israel's top selling
Yediot Ahronot daily, bemoaned
Islam's "coming out of the closet"
in Egypt, symbolized by the "dis-
appearance of jeans-clad young-
sters in favor of (those with)
long beards and eyes ablaze with
fanaticism." Islamist rule in Egypt
under any stripe would be "a ter-
rifying problem," she wrote.
Some of the fears - for exam-
ple, that an Islamist-led govern-
ment in Egypt would mold itself in
Iran's image - may be overblown.
Iran's clerical rule is unique in
the Middle East, and the Muslim
Brotherhood stresses the idea of a
theocracy has no place in its ideol-
ogy. Instead, it says it's committed
to an Egypt that is civil, democrat-
ic, modern and constitutional.
Israeli concerns about political
Islam can be traced to its long-
standing battle against Hezbol-
lah guerrillas in Lebanon and
more recently to 2006, when the
Islamist Hamas group swept Pal-
estinian legislative elections.
The Hamas victory triggered
a process that ultimately left the
militant group, considered a ter-
rorist organization by much of the
world for its suicide bombing cam-
paigns and other violent acts, in
control of the Gaza Strip.

State could step in
to run city of Detroit

Mayor Bing insists
city is capable of
reducing its deficit
DETROIT (AP) - The idea
is extreme, even in a city accus-
tomed to fighting for survival:
Should the state of Michigan
step in to run Detroit?
The governor has taken steps
in that direction, proposing an
unprecedented move that could
give an appointed manager vir-
tually unchecked power to gut
union contracts, cut employee'
health insurance and slash ser-
vices. But city leaders bristle at
the notion. Said the mayor: "This
is our city. Detroit needs to be
run by Detroiters."
If it happens, Detroit would
be the largest American city ever
taken over by a state. Michigan
has seized control of smaller
struggling cities, but until now
Detroit was always off-limits.
That changed this week,
when Republican Gov. Rick
Snyder's administration said it
would begin a review of Detroit's
precarious finances. If the gov-
ernor concludes that the city's
economic situation constitutes
an emergency, he could dispatch
a manager who could push the
mayor and city council to the
sidelines.
It's not clear how everyday
services like trash pickup and
bus routes would be affected;
but the fixer's mission would be
clear: Do whatever it takes to
stop the bleeding.
Democratic Mayor Dave Bing
says Detroit doesn't need the
help. He insists the city is reduc-
ing a $150 million budget deficit
and easing cash-flow problems
on its own.
"We know what needs to be
done, and we stand ready to do
it," an indignant Bingsaid.
The financial review starts
Tuesday and may last up to 90
days, meaning a takeover could
be under way by the end of Feb-
ruary.
The same fate has befallen
other cities.
Atlantic City agreed in 2010

to let New Jersey take over its
finances in an arrangement that
allowed the city to spread a $9.5
million deficit over five years,
sparing homeowners and busi-
nesses a significant property
tax increase.
In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom
Corbett signed a law in October
enabling a takeover of Harris-
burg.
New York City had a brush
with bankruptcy in the mid-
1970s, but the rescue package
put together by then-Gov. Hugh
Carey stopped short of a full
state takeover.
"It terms of a city, I think
Detroit stands alone," said
Michael LaFaive, director
of fiscal policy at Michigan's
Mackinac Center for Public
Policy, anonpartisangroup that
espouses free markets.
An emergency financial
manager would have the power
to privatize utility depart-
ments, as well as the bus system
and other agencies. A manager
also could sell off city-owned
parking lots and even Belle Isle,
Detroit's popular island park,
LaFaive said.
That person could even cut
the pay of the mayor and city
council members.
In a 2001 report, LaFaive
wrote about Detroit's bur-
geoning fiscal problems and
recommended privatization,
contracting out services and
ways to generate revenue.
"I think they knew what the
recommendations were, but
their hands were tied a bit by
recalcitrant employee unions,"
LaFaive said. "Those kinds of
bold reforms would be difficult
to get over with the city council
or voters, in general."
Last month, Bing declared
the city government "broken"
and said the public's checkbook
would be short by $45 mil-
lion next year unless Detroit
starts saving money fast. In an
attempt to ward off an emer-
gency manager, he proposed
laying off 1,000 employees - 9
percent of the workforce - and
negotiating 10 percent pay cuts
with unions.

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