The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 3A
* NEWS BRIEFS
rate drops across
much of Michigan
The state says seasonally unad-
justed unemployment rates have
decreased in 14 of Michigan's 17
major labor markets.
The figures for November
were released yesterday. Rates
declined everywhere except the
Upper Peninsula and parts of the
northern Lower Peninsula.
The unemployment increases
were seasonal and reflect the end
of the fall tourism season.
The statewide unadjusted job-
less rate was 8.4 percent, down
from 9.2 percent in October.
Rates range from a low of 5.2
percent in the Ann Arbor regioneto
a highof10.6 percentin the north-
east part of the Lower Peninsula.
explosives in bag
A soldier charged with try-
ing to bring explosives on an air-
plane in Texas told investigators
" he used them in Afghanistan but
didn't realize any were in a bag
he brought back to the U.S. and
apparently carried on a flight
from North Carolina to Texas.
Trey Scott Atwater, of Hope
Mills, N.C., was arrested Saturday
while trying to go through secu-
rity at an airport in Texas where
he was planning to fly back home.
Authorities say the 30-year-old
had a carry-on bag containing
C4, a powerful explosive used in
Iraq and Afghanistan to blow the
hinges off doors or destroy unex-
According to court documents,
Atwater told the FBI he is a demo-
litions expert who returned from
his third deployment to Afghani-
stan in April. He said his Army
special forces team always carried
at least two blocks of C4, but he
didn't know any explosives were
in his bag when he returned to his
post at Fort Bragg, N.C.
accused of slave-
Nearly 300 employers in South
America's biggestcountry submit
workers to slave-like conditions,
Brazil's Labor Ministry said yes-
The ministry said in a state-
mentthat its "dirtylist" increased
by 52 and now has a total of 294
employers, from bigto small.
Until they stop the practice, the
companies won't be able to obtain
credit from government and pri-
Their products also will be
boycotted by companies thathave
signed the National Slave Labor
Eradication Pact, which accord-
ing to local media represents 25
percent of Brazil's Gross Domes-
Coalition forces to
pull $30B in gear
As the pace of the drawdown
of U.S. troops from Afghanistan
picks up in 2012, military plan-
ners are trying to figure out how
to ship huge quantities of alli-
ance vehicles, weapons and other
equipment out of the mountain-
ous, landlocked country.
The operation requires the
removal of $30 billion worth of
state-of-the-art military gear by
the end of 2014, when U.S. and
other coalition troops are to end
their combat role, a senior U.S.
official said yesterday.
Most of the American equip-
ment will be shipped to military
depots in the United States for
refurbishment and then redistrib-
uted to bases around the country.
Some assets will go to bases in
Europe, primarily Germany, or in
Asian nations like South Korea.
Daily wire reports
New York Police Commisioner Raymond Kelly, left, talks to the media in New York yesterday.
Suspect confesses to attacking
Islamic Center on New Year's Day
Mlan receives hate Islamic center. glass at a nearby home, setting
Authorities believe Lengend the curtains on fire and badly
crime charges for was kicked out of the conve- damaging it. Three children
nience store on Dec.27 for trying and at least two adults were
arson in New York to steal a glass Starbucks Frap- inside. The official said the man
puccino bottle and milk. Four targeted that house because he
NEW YORK (AP) - A man of the five firebombs thrown at believed it to be the home of
who confessed to a string of New the various locations were made a drug dealer. Authorities say
Year's Day arson attacks at an from glass Starbucks bottles, he had the right street but the
Islamic cultural center and four police Commissioner Raymond wrong address and didn't know
other sites where he had person- Kelly said yesterday. The fifth the family inside.
al grievances was arrested on a likely was made from a beer About half an hour later, the
hate crime charge, police said. bottle. Islamic center, the Imam Al-
Ray Lazier Lengend was Witnesses reported the man Khoei Foundation, was hit with
arrested yesterday on charges made threats as he was escorted two Molotov cocktails made
including one count of arson as a out of the store, Kelly said. from Frappuccino bottles, one
hate crime, four counts of arson "When they were pushing at the entrance where about 80
and five counts of criminal pos- him out of the store, he said worshippers were dining and
session of a weapon, police said. words to the effect that, 'We're one near a sign for the center's
He was tracked through a stolen going to get even. We're going to grade school. Glass shards were
car with Virginia license plates get back at you,"' Kelly said. found at the scene.
believed to be at the scene of at No one was injured in any of Around 9:15 p.m., a home-
least two of the attacks Sunday the attacks, which wrought little owner in Elmont, just east of
evening on a convenience store, or no damage at most of the sites. the city, reported a possible
three homes and the cultural The law enforcement official, firebomb. He heard glass shat-
center, police said. who spoke to The Associated tering, smelled gasoline and
Lengend was in custody yes- Press on the condition of ano- found a broken glass bottle on
terday night and couldn't be nymity because the investiga- his porch. The official said the
reached for comment. There was tion was ongoing, said that the home belonged to a relative of
no information on whether he man bought five Frappuccinos, the suspect and they didn't get
had a lawyer. which cost about $2 each, and along.
A law enforcement official was given three for free the night And shortly after 10 p.m., two
said the man, a 40-year-old who of the attacks. The man later was bottles were thrown at a house
lives in Queens and is of Guya- seen on video at a gas station a that police said was used as a
nese descent, hurled crude fire- few hours before the first bomb Hindu temple for worship ser-
bombs at the Islamic cultural was tossed, apparently filling up vices. The bottle didn't explode
center in part because he wasn't bottles with gasoline, the official but caused a small fire on the
allowed to use its bathrooms. said. Paper was used as a wick lawn. The official said the man
Police spokesman Paul for at least one of the bombs. targeted the home because he
Browne said Lengend made The first hit was at 8 p.m., believed someone with whom
statements implicating himself when a bottle was thrown at a he once had a fight lived there.
in the attacks and had personal counter at the corner store. The Detectives working with sur-
grievances with each targeted bomb did not explode, but gaso- veillance footage from a few of
location. Crude firebombs were line leaked out and a small fire the attacks and witness descrip-
tossed into a convenience store, started. tions of the attacker located the
two homes in Queens, a home in Ten minutes later, a beer vehicle at about 11:45 p.m. and
nearby Nassau County and the bottle smashed through the staked it out.
From Page 1A
the economic issues (like Romney
is.)," he said.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) fin-
ished third with 21.5 percent of
the vote. Former Speaker of the
House Newt Gingrich (R-Geor-
gia) finished fourth, with 13 per-
cent, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry
finished fifth with 10 percent of
the vote. Rep. Michele Bachmann
(R-Minn.) finished sixth with 5
percent of the vote.
Paul, Gingrich and Bachmann
vowed to continue their cam-
paigns in New Hampshire, but
Perry said he would return to
Texas to reconsider his options.
Koziara predicted that Gin-
grich would continue to slide,
particularly as Santorum emerges
as the "anti-Romney." Despite the
third-place finish, Koziara said
the results showed Paul would
not be a major contender, add-
ing the caucuses also confirmed
Romney's status as a frontrunner.
Political Science Prof. Vincent
Hutchings said this year's cau-
cuses were unique because vot-
ers in Iowa seemed to focus on
the differences between the can-
didates themselves, rather than
their specific policies.
"Part of the reason that we
have the Iowa caucus is that it's a
sufficiently small state that peo-
ple can get to 'know' their candi-
dates and be familiar with their
positions and make a considered
judgment about which one is the
preferable nominee," Hutchings
said. "But I don't really think
that's what's happening ... if one
would consider policy to be a
priority in making these judg-
Political Science Prof. Ken
Kollman said a close result like
last night's finish between Rom-
ney and Santorum muddles the
nomination process heading into
the New Hampshire primary.
"We could be in for a long sea-
son here," Kollman said.
Hutchings agreed that a cau-
cus victory alone will not likely
determine the election chances.
"I don't think the other states
are thinking, 'Oh, let's see, Iowa
made this decision. We respect
the decision of Iowa, so I guess
we'll make a comparable deci-
sion,' Hutchings said.
Koziara said a strong showing
in Iowa would boost Romney's
chances in Michigan. Though
Koziara said Romney will likely
win the Michigan primary since
his father, George Romney, was
governor in the 1960s, finishing
well in Iowa would aid Romney's
"I think he's going to win the
Michigan primary regardless,"
Koziara said. "What I think it
does do, though, is give him the
boost in Michigan when it comes
to fundraising. And that's really
what the early winning is about."
LSA senior Amanda Caldwell,
chair of the University's chapter
of the College Democrats, said
she was encouraged by the caucus
polls because they showed a lack
of unity within the Republican
Caldwell said she was not con-
cerned about Obama's potential
Republican challengers because
the Republican Party has become
too conservative to appeal to
"The fact that the Republican
party has moved so far to the
right as the primary campaigns
continue on, I think that's going
to be really difficult for them to
overcome in the general elec-
tions," she said.
- Daily News Editors Adam
Rubenfire and Rayza Goldsmith
reported from Des Moines and
Daily Staff Reporter Andrew
Schulman reported from Ann
Arbor. The Associated Press
also contributed to this report.
Her Majesty's murder
mystery grips the U.K.
Taliban opens office in Qatar
to begin talks with the U.S.
Move marks first
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP)
- The Taliban announced
Tuesday that they will open an
office in the Persian Gulf nation
of Qatar to hold talks with the
United States, an unprecedent-
ed step toward a peace process
that might lead to a winding
down of the 10-year war in
Although U.S. and Taliban
representatives have met secret-
ly several times over the past
year in Europe and the Persian
Gulf, this is the first time the
Islamist insurgent group has
publicly expressed willingness
for substantive negotiations.
In recent months, the idea
of a Taliban political office in
the Qatari capital of Doha has
become a central element in
U.S. efforts to draw the insur-
gents into such talks. The idea is
to give the Taliban more legiti-
macy to negotiate in a location
that presumably would at least
partly shield them from Paki-
Asked about the Taliban
announcement, White House
spokesman Jay Carney wel-
comed "any step ... of the
Afghan-led process toward
reconciliation." He noted that
"peace cannot come to Afghani-
stan without a political settle-
But negotiations could falter
President Hamid Karzai's gov-
ernment, which the Taliban
have dismissed as a puppet
regime. Karzai's inner circle
derailed last year's behind-the-
scenes talks, and the Afghan
leader only grudgingly agreed
to the idea of the Taliban's set-
ting up a liaison office in Qatar.
Another potential spoiler is
Pakistan, which houses most of
the Taliban leadership as well
as the Haqqani network, which
carries out major attacks in the
Afghan capital of Kabul. Paki-
stan believes it should have a say
in any talks involving neighbor-
ing Afghanistan, which it fears
will develop an alliance with its
Pakistan has rejected U.S.
requests to mount an offensive
against the Haqqani network,
and relations between the two
countries are at an all-time low
following a cross-border inci-
dent that resulted in NATO
airstrikes killing 24 Pakistani
As the United States begins
to draw down the nearly
100,000 forces it has in Afghan-
istan, President Barack Obama's
administration wants to use
its current extensive military
campaign and an acknowledged
but incomplete plan for a long-
term American presence in the
country as leverage to draw the
Taliban into talks with Karzai
The likelihood that the Tali-
ban will remain a potent fight-
ing force after most foreign
forces leave by the end of 2014
is driving the U.S. and NATO
to seek even an incomplete bar-
gain with the insurgents that
would keep them talking with
the Kabul government.
For the U.S., one goal of such
talks would be to identify cease-
fire zones that could be used as
a steppingstone toward a full
peace agreement that stops
The gradual process of hand-
ing over areas of the country to
Afghan security control would
ideally be marshaled toward
encouraging peace talks, by.
identifying areas where a cease-
fire could be tested, a senior
administration official told The
Associated Press last week.
Obama is hosting a NATO
summit in his hometown of
Chicago in May that will focus
on Afghanistan, and his admin-
istration would like some good
news to announce in an election
year. U.S. officials are always
careful to say that talks with
the Taliban are not a reward for
good behavior, but rather that
they serve American interests.
"You don't negotiate with
your friends," State Department
spokeswoman Victoria Nuland
"But this process will only be
successful if those Taliban are
prepared to renounce violence,
break ties with al-Qaida, sup-
port the Afghan constitution
in all of its elements, including
human rights for all citizens,
and particularly for women,"
Body found in
forest, natural death.
LONDON (AP) - A murder
mystery with elements of an
Agatha Christie whodunit is
unfolding at the vast country
estate where Queen Elizabeth II
and her family gathered in rural
splendor to celebrate Christmas
and New Year's.
British police said that a young
woman's body was found in the
forest at Sandringham and that
they are treating it as a murder
An autopsy was conducted
yesterday, but the precise cause
of death was not disclosed, and
investigators have yet to establish
the woman's identity.
The royal family is not impli-
cated in the crime in any way.
The body was discovered by
a dog walker on New Year's Day
three miles (5 kilometers) from
the queen's elegant country
home. Norfolk police said tests
showed the body had been there
one to four months.
Police said a forensic patholo-
gist found that it was highly
unlikely the death was of natu-
ral causes and that there was no
evidence of accidental injury.
Investigators hoped to use DNA
to identify the woman.
The queen and her husband,
Prince Philip, celebrated the hol-
idays at Sandringham with their
children and grandchildren. The
royal couple were still at San-
dringham on yesterday, along
with their youngest son, Prince
Edward, and his wife, Sophie.
Part of the nearly 31-square-
mile (8,000-hectare) estate is
open to the public, and the body
was fouind at Anier, a hamilet of
several dozen people. Situated
115 miles (185 kilometers) north-
east of London, Sandringham has
two stud farms and a fruit farm
and employs more than 100 peo-
ple full time.
Forensics investigators in
white gear were seen walking
through the woods yesterday in
an area cordoned off by police.
"We are at the very early stages
of the investigation and it could
be a complex inquiry," Detective
Chief Inspector Jes Fry said yes-
terday. "The body had been there
for some time."
Fry said authorities were
reports and unsolved cases
around the country to see if there
were any possible links.
The royal family owns vast
tracts of land throughout Brit-
ain, and it is not unprecedented
for serious crimes to be commit-
ted on property under their con-
In 2010, the body of a 46-year-
old woman was found on the
crown estate near Windsor
Castle. She had apparently been
killed by hammer blows to her
head. Her estranged husband
was convicted of manslaugh-
ter and sentenced to 26 years in
Last March, the body of an
American with a royal obsession
was found on an island in the
park opposite Buckingham Pal-
ace. Authorities said Robert James
Moore, who had sent ramblinglet-
ters and strange packages to the
queen, may have been dead for as
much as three years. The cause of
death was not determined.
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