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January 05, 2012 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-01-05

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1 9 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, January 5, 2012 - 3A

* The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, January 5, 2012 - 3A

ACLU to challenge
healthcare law
The American Civil Liberties
Union announced yesterday that
it will file a lawsuit to challenge a
new Michigan law that bans pub-
lic health insurance for domestic
partners of some government
The ACLU said it would discuss
the case at a news conference last
Thursday in Detroit. Republican
Gov. Rick Snyder signed the law
on Dec.22.
The ban mostly affects local
governments and public schools
and applies to health insurance
and other benefits for unmarried
partners of the employees, same
sex or not. The ACLU has called
the law "mean-spirited and cruel."
Sheriff asks DOJ
for proof of racial
profiling claims
An Arizona sheriff whose office
* has been accused of a wide range
of civil rights violations condi-
tionally agreed yesterday to take
part in discussions with federal
officials about ways to correct the
alleged violations.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe
Arpaio said that his office first
needs the U.S. Justice Department
to provide facts to back up its alle-
gations that his office racially pro-
files Latinos, bases immigration
enforcement on racially charged
citizen complaints and punishes
Hispanic jail inmates for speaking
"I have a suspicion that politics
might be involved in this, but we
want to resolve (the case)," Arpaio
Cuba criticizes
Twitter for rumor
of Castro's death
State media yesterday accused
the social networking site Twit-
ter of helping spread a rumor that
former Cuban leader Fidel Castro
had died, and criticized anti-Cas-
tro expatriates it dubbed "necro-
philiac counterrevolutionaries"
for jumping on the story.
An article on the state-run
Cubadebate Web site accused
Twitter of allowing an account
holder with the sign-on "Naroh"
to start the rumor on Monday
from an Italian server, possi-
bly after it was taken over by a
"robot." It says the account was
then quickly deactivated.
It said Twitter then helped
spread the disinformation by
allowing the hash tag "fidelcas-
tro" to become a trending topic.
It briefly became the fourth most
popular in the world as it drew
many more people to the subject.
The site also accused Twitter of
censoring subjects in the past that

were in favor of the Cuban govern-
Swiss central bank
defends president
amid controversy
Switzerland's central bank
sought yesterday to quash criti-
cism of its president by releasing
an independent auditors' report
which concluded that currency
deals from his private account
were "delicate" but did not break
the bank's internal guidelines.
The Swiss National Bank pub-
lished the report by auditors
PricewaterhouseCoopers amid
growing pressure on bank chief
Philipp Hildebrand to reveal
details of the deals that saw his
family earn 75,000 Swiss francs
($83,000) from dollar currency
swaps at a time when his central
bank was acting to depress the
value of the Swiss franc.
The central bank also released
its previously secret guidelines
for senior officials and said Hil-
debrand would hold a news con-
ference Thursday.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Romney lands McCain
endorsement as race
shifts to New Hampshire

An Egyptian anti- Mubarak protester carrying a photo of his son, reacts as he demonstrates outside a courtroom in
Cairo, Egypt, yesterday.
Egyptian prosecutors claim
Mubarak instigated killings

Santorum hopes
to appeal to
conservative voters
Mitt Romney eagerly pocketed an
endorsement from two-time New
Hampshire primary winner John
McCain yesterday and bid to con-
vert a single-digit victory in Iowa
into a Republican presidentialcam-
paign juggernaut. Unimpressed,
Newt Gingrich ridiculed the for-
mer Massachusetts governor as a
liberal turned moderate now mas-
queradingas aconservative.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick
Santorum sought to rally conser-
vatives to his side after coming
achingly close to victory in Iowa,
saying he "hoped to surprise a
few people just like we did" in the
campaign's first contest.
"This is a wide-open race still,"
added former Utah Gov. Jon
Huntsman, who skipped the Iowa
caucuses in hopes of making his
mark in next Tuesday's first-in-
the-nation primary.
Romney is the odds-on favor-
ite to win the New Hampshire
primary, though, and it is unclear
how much campaign cash any of
his rivals has available to try to
slow or even stop his momentum.
Additionally, in a measure of his
establishment support, the former
governor announced he would
campaign with South Carolina
Gov. Nikki Haley on Thursday, as
he was joined by McCain in New
"The time has arrived for
Republicans to choose a presi-
dential nominee, a new standard
bearer who has the ability and

determination to defeat President
Obama," said McCain, the 2008
Republican presidential nominee,
and a man with a demonstrated
appeal to the state's independent
Already, the Republican field of
challengers was dwindling.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bach-
mann ended her campaign after a
dreary 5 percent showing in Iowa,
the state where she was born.
After suggesting he, too, might
withdraw, Texas Gov. Rick Perry
decided otherwise. "Here we
come, South Carolina!!!" he tweet-
ed. That primary is Jan. 21, and
will mark the first balloting in the
South as well as in a state that is
part ofthe Republican Party's con-
servative, political base nationally.
Iowa, for months ground zero
in the Republican race, yielded an
almost impossibly close finish.
Romney emerged with an
eight-vote victory over Santorum,
whose grass-roots campaigning
produced a late surge that fell just
shy of victory. Texas Rep. Ron
Paul finished third, followed by
Gingrich, Perry and Bachmann.
A survey of Iowa caucus-goers
highlighted the internal divisions
in the GOP as it sets out to find a
challenger for President Barack
Obama in the general election
Romney, who campaigned as
the man best positioned to defeat
Obama, was the favorite by far
amongcaucus-goers who said that
goal was their priority. Paul was
preferred by those who said what
mattered most was backing a true
conservative. Santorum ran par-
ticularly well among those who
said they were looking for a candi-
date with strong moral character.

tion i
his s
ing l-
that 1
of co
of a
es vo
a het
11 say

usted president, be held before the end of June,
but they are yet to announce an
x police officers exact date for the vote and for
formally handing over power to
Ce death penalty a civilian administration.
.f ctd Activists have been pointing
to what they see as mounting
signs of a confluence of interests
IRO (AP) - The prosecu- between the Brotherhood and
n the Hosni Mubarak trial the ruling generals. They fear
yesterday it has concluded their understanding could lead
Egypt's ousted president, to shelving reforms for greater
ecurity chief and six top democracy they hoped for after
e officers were the "actual Mubarak's fall.
gators" of the killing of Activists accuse the Broth-
than 800 protesters dur- erhood of opportunism and a
ast year's popular uprising determination to seize power.
brought down his regime. The group initially stayed out
ubarak and his seven co- of the anti-Mubarak uprising,
idants are facing charges though its disciplined follow-
mplicity in the killings and ers later lent considerable street
I face the death penalty if muscle to protesters' street
icted. battles against security forces
ednesday's hearing coin- and Mubarak loyalists. It has
I with the second day of since largely stayed out of anti-
g in the third and final military demonstrations, argu-
d of parliamentary elec- ing that it was relying on the
that began on Nov. 28. democratic process, rather than
before the final round, protests.
sists led by the Muslim The Mubarak trial brings out
herhood, Egypt's largest conflicting visions. Reformers
cal group, were assured and the victims' families clam-
majority in the new legisla- or for a full measure of justice,
They are likely to bolster while many others want the tur-
gains in the final round, bulence to end so that Egypt's
many of the nine provinc- battered economy can move
ting have been traditional toward stability.
nist strongholds. On Wednesday, chief pros-
e elections, the fairest and ecutor Mustafa Suleiman said
t in decades, have attracted the defendants clearly autho-
avy turnout. Final results rized the use of live ammuni-
due to be announced Jan. tion and a shoot-to-kill policy
against peaceful protesters. He
e military officers who also complained that the pros-
taken over from Mubarak ecution had to launch its own
he stepped down on Feb. probe after security authori-
'presidential elections will ties ignored the prosecution's

requests for help in the inquiry.
Prosecutors interviewed hun-
dreds of witnesses, physicians
and police officers to build its
Suleiman said the decision
to use live ammunition was
taken on Jan. 27 last year, just
before the most violent day of
the 18-day uprising that forced
Mubarak to step down on Feb.
Dubbed the "Friday of Rage,"
Jan.28 also saw the deployment
of army troops in Cairo and
across much of the nation, as
well as the yet to be explained
disappearance of security forc-
es. The objective, he said, was to
kill enough protesters to force
the rest to disperse.
Another prosecutor, Mustafa
Khater, told the court that spe-
cial police forces armed with
automatic rifles targeted the
heads, chests and eyes of pro-
The prosecution also showed
video of the violence taken
by TV stations. They showed
police officers loading up their
weapons with live ammuni-
tion and police and fire engine
trucks chasing protesters and
running them over. One video
showed a police officer perched
on top of a police car and killing
a protester with a gunshot to
the head.
"The defendants before you
in the cage are the actual insti-
gators and are the ones who
gave police officers the order to
shoot," said Suleiman. He also
said that the prosecution has
evidence that the regime used
"thugs" against the protesters.

Last defendant in Iraq
war case will go on trial

Mexican drug cartel kingpin pleads
guilty to racketeering, other charges

U.S. troc
War is
this we
after hi:
The k
19, 2005
the war
ther tail
tion whi
point af
of prisot
at Abu G
anger it
of the
main re
try's de
be subje
ended in
be the d.
from M
leader o
in grena

e than six years them with gunfire shortly after a
roadside bomb hit a Marine con-
r, Haditha case voy. One Marine was killed and
two others were wounded.
set to end His lawyer, Neal Puckett, said
Wuterich, 31, is confident the all-
DIEGO (AP) - The last military jury will acquit him.
nt in the biggest and Wuterich has said he regret-
st criminal case against ted the loss of civilian lives but
ops to arise from the Iraq believed he was operating within
expected to stand trial military combat rules when he
ek, more than six years ordered his men to attack after
s squad killed 24 Iraqis, the roadside bomb exploded.
ig unarmed women and Marines inthe unithave saidthey
1. were under gunfire at the time.
illings in Hadithaon Nov. Wuterich declined to be inter-
, are considered among viewed before the trial.
's defining moments, fur- "He's ready to go to trial and
nting America's reputa- put this behind him and move on
en it was already at a low with his life, whatever that holds
ter the release of photos for him," Puckett said.
ner abuse by U.S. soldiers Military prosecutors declined
,hraib prison. to comment.
case continues to fuel Jury selection will take place
n Iraq because not one Thursday and opening argu-
eight Marines initially ments are slated for Friday
has been convicted - a before the military jury at Camp
'ason behind the coun- Pendleton, north of San Diego,
mands that U.S. troops after years of delays.
ct to its laws if its forces The late U.S. Rep. John
d there after the war Murtha, a former Marine and
December. decorated Vietnam War veteran,
demands turned out to compared the killings to the 1968
eal-breaker that led to the My Lai massacre, when Ameri-
wal of all American forces. can servicemen killed as many
Sgt. Frank Wuterich, as 504 Vietnamese villagers.
eriden, Conn., was the Marines, including Wuterich,
f the Marine squad that filed lawsuits alleging that the
several homes, by tossing comments damaged their repu-
ades and then peppering tations.

Felix could face
up to 25 years in
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Mexi-
can drug kingpin Benjamin
Arellano Felix pleaded guilty
yesterday to racketeering and
conspiracy to launder money,
avoiding the spectacle of a trial
for the leader of a cartel that
once smuggled hundreds of
tons of cocaine and marijuana
into the United States and dis-
solved bodies of its rivals in
vats of lye.
Under an agreement with
federal prosecutors, Arellano
Felix, 58, can be sentenced
to no more than 25 years in
prison - a lighter punishment
than ordered for lower-ranking
members of his once-mighty,
Tijuana-based cartel.
Prosecutors agreed to dis-
miss other charges that could
have brought 140 years in pris-
on if he was convicted.
The half-hour hearing was an
anticlimactic finish to the U.S.
government's pursuit of one of
the world's most powerful drug
bosses during the 1990s. His
cartel, with its iron-tight grip
on the drug trade along Cali-
fornia's border with Mexico,
was portrayed in the Steven
Soderbergh film "Traffic" but
has struggled in recent years as
other cartels have become more
ruthless than ever.
Laura Duffy, the U.S. attor-
ney in San Diego who built

much of her career on the case,
said Arellano Felix will likely
spend the rest of his life in U.S.
prison but did not elaborate on
the reasoning for the plea deal.
"Today's guilty plea marks
the end of his reign of murder,
mayhem and corruption, and
his historic admission of guilt
sends a clear message to the
Mexican cartel leaders operat-
ing today: The United States
will spare no effort to investi-
gate, extradite and prosecute
you for your criminal activi-
ties," Duffy said.
Arellano Felix stood atten-
tively in court, acknowledging
his guilt as U.S. District Judge
Larry Burns recited parts of
a 17-page plea agreement. He
told the judge that he has been
suffering migraine headaches
almost daily but that the prob-
lem didn't impair his judgment
to accept the plea agreement.
Anthony Colombo Jr., Arel-
lano Felix's attorney, said his
client could be released from
U.S. prison in 20 years if cred-
ited for time served in this
country and good behavior,
assuming he gets the maxi-
mum 25-year sentence. As a
Mexican citizen, he would then
be deported to Mexico, where
he still has nine years left on a
sentence for related crimes.
Colombo said the govern-
ment may have agreed to the
deal to avoid having to bargain
with 21 potential government
witnesses for reduced sen-
tences in exchange for their
testimony. They also may have

wanted to avoid a lengthy trial.
"They have to consider years
and years of litigation, plus the
expense, is avoided by this res-
olution," Colombo told report-
John Kirby, a former fed-
eral prosecutor who co-wrote
the 2003 indictment against
Arellano Felix, said the case
rested entirely on cooperating
witnesses, instead of wiretaps
or physical evidence. He said
those cases weaken over time
as witnesses die, get into more
trouble or change their minds
about testifying.
"This kind of case is based
solely on witness testimony,
and it slowly disintegrates,"
Kirby said. "Maybe from the
time when we put it together
and now, it's not such a great
case anymore."
The cost of a trial was
unlikely to have influenced
prosecutors, Kirby said.
"The government doesn't
care about the expense, the
government cares about win-
ning," he said.
Francisco Javier Arellano
Felix, a younger brother who
led the cartel after Benjamin
was arrested in Mexico in
2002, was sentenced in San
Diego to life in prison in 2007,
a year after he was captured
by U.S. authorities in interna-
tional waters off Mexico's Baja
California coast. Jesus Labra
Aviles, a lieutenant under Ben-
jamin Arellano Felix, was sen-
tenced in San Diego to 40 years
in prison in 2010.

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