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September 11, 2012 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-09-11

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6 - Tuesday, September 11, 201,-

2

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

6 - Tuesday, September 11, 201 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Chicago teachers strike in
bitter contract dispute

Visitors to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum look at one of two reflecting pools at the World Trade
Center, on Thursday.
Debate surrounds annual
cost of Sept.11-memorial

Union in nation's
third largest
district strike for
1st time in 25 years
CHICAGO (AP) - For the
first time in a quarter century,
Chicago teachers walked out of
the classroom .Monday,. taking
a bitter contract dispute over
evaluations and job security to
the streets of the nation's third-
largest city - and to a national
audience - less than a week after
most schools opened for fall.
The walkout forced hun-
dreds of thousands of parents to
scramble for a place to send idle
children and created an unwel-
come political distraction for
Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In a year
when labor unions have been
losing ground nationwide, the
implications were sure to extend{
far beyond Chicago, particularly
for districts engaged in similar
debates.
The two sides resumed negoti-
ations Mondaybut failed to reach
a settlement, meaning the strike
will extend into at least a second
day. Chicago School Board Presi-
dent David Vitale told reporters
that board and union negotia-
tors did not even get around to
bargaining on the two biggest
issues.
"This is a long-termbattle that
everyone's going to watch," said

Eric Hanuskek, a senior fellow
in education at the Hoover Insti-
tution of Stanford University.
"Other teachers unions in the
United States are wondering if
they should follow suit."
The union had vowed to strike
Monday Ifiere was.no agree-
ment on a new contract, even
though the district had offered
a 16 percent raise over four years
and the two sides had essentially
agreedon a longer school day.
With an average annual salary
of $76,000, Chicago teachers are
among the highest-paid in the
nation, according to the National
Council on Teacher Quality.
But negotiators were still
divided on job security mea-
sures and a system for evaluat-
ing teachers that hinged in part
on students' standardized test
scores.
The strike in a district where
the vast majority of students are
poor and minority put Chicago
at the epicenter of a struggle
between big cities and teachers
unionsforcontrol of schools.
Emanuel,whohassoughtmajor
reforms while also confronting
the district's $700 million budget
shortfall, acknowledged his own
fight with the union, even as he
urged a quick resolution.
"Don't take it out on the kids
of Chicago if you have a problem
with me," he told reporters Mon-
day.
As negotiators resumed talks,
thousands of teachers and their

supporters took over several
downtown streets during the
Monday evening rush. Police
secured several blocks around
district headquarters as the
crowds marched and chanted.
The protesters planned to rally
through the evening at an event
that resembled a family street
fair. Balloons, American flags and
homemade signs hung above the
crowd.
Teacher Kimberly Crawford-
said she was most concerned
about issues such as class size and
the lack of air conditioning.
"It's not just about the raise,"
she said. "I've worked without a
raise for two years."
The strike quickly became
part of the presidential cam-
paign. Republican candidate Mitt
Romney said teachers were turn-
ing their backs on students and
Obama was siding with the strik-
ing teachers in his hometown.
Obama's top spokesman said
the president has not taken sides
but is urging both the sides to
settle quickly.
Emanuel, who just agreed to
take a larger role in fundrais-
ing for Obama's re-election, dis-
missed Romney's comments as
"lip service."
But one labor expert said that
a major strike unfolding in the
shadow of the November elec-
tion could only hurt a president
who desperately needs the votes
of workers, includingteachers, in
battleground states.

Projec
total
a year
NEW Y(
over balanc
the memor
enormous
a memori
ground ze
ened on th
11th anni'
faced que
the projecr
lion-a-year
and an ag
way for th
tion was re
The nur
the $7001
cost of th
ber 11 Met
report Sun
ed Press n
a year wou
rity, more
ating bud
National M
monument
USS Arizo
Harbor.
Mayorl
who leads1
profit four
the museu

t expected to Monday called the memorial's
,~. operating cost a necessity for
$60 mil o security and other costs unique
to hosting millions of visitors a
in operating year on the reborn site of two
costs terror attacks, in 1993 and 2001.
Some congressional Demo-
crats underscored their efforts
ORK (AP) - A debate to help get federal money to
cing the need to honor cover some of the operat-
y of Sept.11 with the ing cost, while a Republican
costs of running senator reiterated his opposi-
al and museum at tion. Even some victims' fam-
ro has been reawak- ily members are divided over
1e eve of the attacks' whether the annual price tag
versary, as officials represents the price of paying
stions Monday over tribute to the nearly 3,000 lives
t's expected $60 mil- lost or the cost of unnecessary
r operating budget grandeur.
reement paving the At ground zero, several visi-
.e mnuseum's corrple- tsars Monday to the menrorial
ached. plada were surprised but not
nber comes on top of put off by the $60 million-a-
million construction year figure.
e National Septem- "Really?" said Pat Lee, a
morial & Museum. A Walmart manager from Atlan-
day by The Associat- ta. But, she said, "I don't think
oted that $12 million the money is too much. Because
rld be spent on secu- it's important to keep alive the
than the entire oper- memory of what happened."
gets of Gettysburg The memorial, the center-
dilitary Park and the piece of the rebuilt World Trade
that includes the Center site, includes a serene,
na Memorial at Pearl solemn memorial plaza, where
waterfalls fill the fallen towers'
Michael Bloomberg, footprints, and a mostly under-
the board of the non- ground museum that is to house
adation that controls such artifacts as the staircase
m and memorial, on workers used to escape the

attacks.
The plaza opened last year
and has drawn 4.5 million visi-
tors. The museum was to have
been finished by Tuesday, but
progress stopped amid a con-
struction costs fight between
the memorial foundation and
the Port Authority of New York
and New Jersey, the agency
that owns the trade center site.
The Port Authority claimed
the memorial foundation owed
it $300 million for infrastruc-
ture and revised project costs;
the foundation argued it was
owed money because of project
delays.
The parties involved in the
dispute said Monday they had
reached ran agreement. Their
memorandum of understand-
ing addresses issues including
coordination of the site and gen-
eral financial terms but doesn't
go into detail on specific levels
of financing. The agreement
outlines that the memorial will
have six months' operating
expenses on hand as net work-
ing capital and that it will give
the Port Authority a security;
deposit equal to six months' util-
ity expenses, but it doesn't say
what those figures are.
Even so, it remains unclear
how the foundation will cover
the costs of running the muse-
um, once it does open.

Al- Qaeda's No. 2leader killed
by missile in airstrike inYemen

Death of al-Shirhri
breakthrough in
U.S. efforts to halt
terror network
SANAA, Yemen (AP) - An
airstrike killed al-Qaeda's No.
2 leader in Yemen along with
six others traveling with him
in one car on Monday, U.S. and
Yemeni officials said,-7'maoaj
breakthrough for U.S.-backed
efforts to cripple the group in

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the impoverished Arab nation.
Saeed al-Shihri, a Saudi
national who fought in Afghan-
istan and spent six years in the
U.S. military prison at Guanta-
namo Bay, was killed by a mis-
sile after leaving a house in the
southern province of Hadra-
mawt, according to Yemeni
military officials. They said the
missile was believed to have
been fired by a U.S.-operated,
unmanned drone aircraft.
~~Two"seOr' U.S. officials
confirmed al-Shihri's death
but could not confirm any U.S.
involvement in the airstrike.
The U.S. doesn't usually com-
menfon such-attacks although
it has used drones in the past
to go after al-Qaida members
in Yemen, which is considered
a crucial battleground with the
terror network.
Yemeni military officials
said that a local forensics team
had identified al-Shihri's body
with the help .of U.S. forensics
experts on the ground. The U.S.
and Yemeni military officials
spoke on condition of anonym-
ity because they weren't autho-
rized to release the information
to the media.
Late Monday, after specula-
-tion surfaced that the attack
was carried by a U.S. drone,
Yemen's Defense Ministry
issued a statement saying al-
Shihri and six companions
were -killed during an opera-
tion by Yemeni armed forces
in Wadi Hadramawt, but it did
not elaborate on how they were
killed.
Yemeni military officials said
they had believed the United
States was behind the operation
because their own army does
not the capacity to carry out pre-
cise aerial attacks and because
Yemeni intelligence gathering
capabilities on al-Shihri's move-
ments were limited.
A brief Defense Minis-
try statement sent to Yeme-
ni reporters on their mobile
phones earlier in the day only
said that an attack had targeted
the militants. It did not specify
who carried out the attack or
when ittook place.
Al-Shihri's death is a major
blow to al-Qaida's Yemen
branch, which is seen as the
world's most active, plan-
ning and carrying out attacks
against targets on and outside
U.S. territory. The nation sits
--on"the-southern-tip of-the Ara-
bian Peninsula and is on the
doorstep of Saudi Arabia and
fellow oil-producing nations of
the Gulf and lies on strategic
searoutes leading to the Suez
Canal.

The group formally known
as Al-Qaida in the Arabian Pen-
insula took advantage of the
political vacuum during unrest
inspired by the Arab Spring last
year to take control of large
swaths of land in the south.
But the Yemeni military has
launched a broad U.S-hacked
offensive and driven the mili-
tants from several towns.
After leaving Guantanamo in
2007, al-Shihri, who is believed
-to be in his late 30s, went
through Saudi Arabia's famous
"rehabilitation" institutes, an
indoctrination program that
is designed to replace what
-authorities in Saudi Arabia see
as militant ideology with reli-
gious moderation.
But he headed south to
Yemen upon release and
became deputy to Nasser al-
Wahishi, the leader of Al-Qaida
in the Arabian Peninsula. Al-
Wahishi is a Yemeni who once
served as Osama bin Laden's
personal aide in Afghanistan.
Al-Qaida in Yemen has been
linked to several attempted
attacks on U.S. targets, includ-
ing the foiled Christmas Day
2009 bombing of an airliner
over Detroit and explosives-
laden parcels intercepted
aboard cargo flights last year.
Last year, a high-profile U.S.
drone strike killed U.S.-born
Anwar al-Awlaki, who had been
linked to the planning and exe-
cution of several attacks target-
ing U.S. and Western interests,
including the attempt to down a
Detroit-bound airliner in 2009
and the plot to bomb cargo
planes in 2010.
Unlike other al-Qaida
branches, the network's mili-
tants in Yemen have gone
beyond the concept of plant-
ing sleeper cells and actively
sought to gain a territorial foot-
hold in lawless areas, mainly
in the south of Yemen, before
they were pushed back by U.S.-
backed Yemeni government
forces after months of inter-
mittent battles. The fighting
has killed hundreds of Yemeni
soldiers.
The Yemen-based militants
have struck Western targets
in the area twice in the past 12
years. In 2000, they bombed
the USS Cole destroyer in Aden
harbor, killing 17 sailors. Two
years later, they struck a French
oil tanker, also off Yemen.
U.S. drone strikes have
intensified in Yemen in recent
months, killing several key al-
Qaida operatives, including
Samir Khan, an al-Qaida pro-
pagandist whowas killed in a
drone strike last year.

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