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October 04, 2012 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-10-04

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 3A

Water union
demands amnesty
The union for striking Detroit
Water and Sewerage Department
' workers says it will continue
the walkout until the city gives
amnesty to 34 workers threat-
ened with firing.
The union struck Sunday to
protest Detroit's plan to downsize
the department and eliminate
most of the jobs in the depart-
ment over several years.
On Monday, department
Director Sue McCormick wrote
to 34 strikers that they're being
suspended and face firing
because they "engaged in gross
misconduct that endangered pub-
lic health and safety."
Ore. pot measure
struggles as Wash.,
Colo. gain support
As marijuana legalization
efforts in Colorado and Wash-
ington pick up steam, a similar
push in Oregon seems to be going
up in smoke.
More than $4 million has
flowed to Washington and close
to a million in Colorado.
Yet in Oregon - a state with
one of the nation's highest rates
of pot use and a reputation for
pushing the boundaries on mari-
juana laws - organizers are
looking at a bank account with
just $1,800.
Marijuana activists who have
ploughed big bucks into cam-
paigns in the other two states
complain the Oregon measure is
poorly written and doesn't poll
well. It didn't qualify for the bal-
lot until July, severely limiting
the time available to sway voters.
Rare meningitis
cases at 26 in 5
states, 4 deaths
An outbreak of a rare and
deadly form of meningitis has
now sickened 26 people in five
states who received steroid
injections mostly for back pain,
health officials said Wednesday.
Four people have died, and more
cases are expected.
Eighteen of the cases of fun-
gal meningitis are in Tennessee
where a Nashville clinic received
the largest shipment of the ste-
roid suspected in the outbreak.
The drug was made by a specialty
pharmacy in Massachusetts that
issued a recall last week. Investi-
gators, though, say they are still'
trying to confirm the source of
the infections.
Three cases have been report-
ed in Virginia, two in Maryland,
two in Florida and one in North
Carolina. Two of the deaths
were in Tennessee; Virginia and
Maryland had one each, the Cen-
ters for Disease Control and Pre-

s Human rights
activist arrested
Serbia's police on Wednesday
banned a Gay Pride march in
Belgrade, citing security con-
cerns but also complying with a
request from Serbia's Christian
Orthodox church.
Police said they were banning
the march planned for Saturday
because they feared a repeat of
the violence in 2010, when right-
winggroups attacked aGay Pride
event in Belgrade. That triggered
day-long clashes with the police
which left more than 100 people
Last year's gay pride march
also was banned by authorities.
The current ban was
announced after Patriarch Irinej,
the head of Serbia's Christian
Orthodox church, urged the gov-
ernment to prevent Saturday's
march. In a statement, he said
such a "parade of shame" would
cast a "moral shadow" on Serbia
- a conservative Balkan country
whose gay population has faced
threats and harassment.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

U.S. increases
ops in N. Africa

Forces placed
in American

to i

Supporters of opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles cheer during a campaign rally in Venezuela.
Fears abound ahead of
close Venezuelan election

Violence could
erupt if either
candidate loses
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP)
- Venezuelan voters Luis Gus-
tavo Marin and Dunia Nessi are
on opposite sides of the politi-
cal spectrum, but as Sunday's
election draws closer they both
fear what will happen if their
candidate loses.
Marin, the security chief for
a judge and a firm supporter of
President Hugo Chavez, worries
that opposition candidate Hen-
rique Capriles will launch a vio-
lent purge of Chavez supporters
if he wins. If the president
prevails, Nessi, a 62-year-old
accountant, believes violent
crime that has run rampant
under Chavez will spiral even
further out of control.
"There is absolutely no secu-
rity," Nessi said. "If he wins I'll
either have to stay and live with
the tension or I can pack two
suitcases, throw four things
into them and leave."
Fear of every stripe, in fact,
permeates the intensely polar-
ized campaign, with many
votes to be decided based not
on the candidates' promises but
rather on what worries people
most. Capriles has intentionally
avoided stoking voter fears.
"There will be neither hate,
nor revenge, nor payback" if he
is elected, Capriles told a rally
Wednesday in Maracaibo, the
country's second city:
But Chavez has taken an
opposite tack by continuously
warning of chaos and the dis-
mantling of the generous wel-

fare state he built if he is voted
out of office.
Tensions were only height-
ened when two members of
a Capriles caravan were shot
dead Saturday in the western
state of Barinas. The victims'
relatives blamed Chavez sup-
porters and said the attack was
unprovoked. Both Capriles and
Chavez called for non-violence
in the wake of the killings,
even as the president continued
using heated rhetoric.
For the first time facing
such a formidable challenger,
Chavez has painted a dire pic-
ture of a Venezuela returning
to its stratified past when it was
ruled by greedy elites, which
Chavez says Capriles repre-
"I believe that this is true,
if the Venezuelan bourgeoisie
tries to apply this package Ven-
ezuela could see a civil war,"
Chavez said last month at a
rally in Charallave in central
Chavez repeats almost daily
that his opponent would take
away benefits funded in part
by nearly $1 trillion in income
from petroleum exports over
the past decade, no matter that
Capriles has pledged to leave
the programs alone. Free medi-
cal care, subsidized food and
other entitlements have helped
lift tens of thousands of people
out of poverty, government fig-
ures show.
"They would take away
health care, food, pensions,"
Chavez told supporters Tues-
day at a rally in the western city
of Barquisimeto.
The president's supporters,
known as Chavistas, say they

also fear that Capriles will
launch a witch hunt if he wins.
"We saw the model of gov-
ernment they are going to apply
on April 11, 2002," Marin said,
referring to a failed attempt
to overthrow Chavez that the
military thwarted. In the hours
shortly after the coup, inter-
im President Pedro Carmona
Estanga famously dissolved
Congress and disbanded the
Supreme Court.
For their part, Chavez critics
point to what they say is a coor-
dinated attempt to shut them up
and force them to back the presi-
Some government workers
have said they worry about los-
ing their jobs if they support
Capriles. Fears of retribution
for not backing Chavez first
emerged in 2004 when a ruling
party deputy released a list of
some 2 million people who had
supported a referendum against
the president. Many complained
then that state employees on
the list were fired. The national
government employs at least 2.4
million people.
Adding to those fears, some
suspect their ballots won't
be kept secret, despite assur-
ances to the contrary from the
Chavez-dominated National
Electoral Council. The govern-
ment did not invite interna-
tional electoral observers, so
the Capriles camp has mounted
its own parallel organization of
vote talliers and says it will have
volunteers at every polling sta-
tion feeding a central tally kept
by the opposition.
Despite such concerns, voter
turnout Sunday is expected to
top 75 percent.

embassies in this
Africa spec
WASHINGTON (AP) - Small cers
teams of special operations estal
forces arrived at American local
embassies throughout North offic
Africa in the months before mil- limit
itants launched the fiery attack ation
that killed the U.S. ambassador Afri
in Libya. The soldiers' mission: TI
Set up a network that could and
quickly strike a terrorist target decli
or rescue a hostage. "T
But the teams had yet to do stag
much counterterrorism work in tary
Libya, though the White House Pent
signed off a year ago on the Littl
plan to build the new military the I
task force in the region and the can
advance teams had been there forc
for six months, according to Fo
three U.S. counterterror offi- Com
cials and a former intelligence Tim
official. All spoke only on con- miss
dition of anonymity because coun
they were not authorized to to s
discuss the strategy publicly. troo
The counterterror effort cond
indicates that the adminis- TI
tration has been worried for take;
some time about a growing desti
threat posed by al-Qaida and - ki
its offshoots in North Africa. an e
But officials say the military to co
organization was too new to U.S.
respond to the attack in Beng- activ
hazi, where the administration anti-
now believes armed al-Qaida- larg
linked militants surrounded spec
the lightly guarded U.S. com- dron
pound, set it on fire and killed acco
Ambassador Chris Stevens and trati
three other Americans. whe
Republicans have questioned get b
whether the Obama admin- mig
istration has been hiding key U.S.
information or hasn't known chie
what happened in the imme- com
diate aftermath of the attack. Es
They are using those questions grou
in the final weeks before the a mil
U.S. elections as an opportu- ble f
nity to assail President Barack othe
Obama on foreign policy, an the r
area where he has held clear inclu
leads in opinion polls since the wor
killing of Osama bin Laden in ing
2011. their
On Tuesday, leaders of a and'
congressional committee said A
requests for added security adm
at the consulate in Benghazi othe
were repeatedly denied, despite unit:
a string of less deadly terror perp
attacks on the consulate in sulat
recent months. Those included Ba
an explosion that blew a hole ers
in the security perimeter and not r
another incident in which an "C
explosive device was tossed fast
over the consulate fence. Sec- thre
retary of State Hillary Rodham Com
Clinton told Congress in a letter Rog
ai gard

onding to the accusations
she has set up a group
nvestigate the Benghazi
k, and it is to begin work
s of early September, the
ial operations teams still
isted only of liaison offi-
who were assigned to
blish relationships with
l governments and U.S.
ials in the region. Only
ted counterterrorism oper-
ns have been conducted in
ca so far.
he White House, the CIA
U.S. Africa Command all
ined to comment.
'here are no plans at this
e for unilateral U.S. mill-
operations" in the region,
agon spokesman George
esaid Tuesday, addingthat
focus was on helping Afri-
countries build their own
r the Special Operations
mand, spokesman Col.
Nye would not discuss "the
ions and or locations of its
terterrorist forces" except
ay that special operations
ps are in 75 countries daily
lucting missions.
he go-slow approach being
n by the Army's top clan-
ine counterterrorist unit
nown as Delta Force - is
ffort by the White House
tunter criticism from some
lawmakers, human rights
'ists and others that the
terror fight is shifting
ely to a secret war using
ial operations raids and
e strikes, with little public
untability. The adminis-
on has been taking its time
n setting up the new unitcto
uy-in from all players who
it be affected, such as the
ambassadors, CIA station
fs, regional U.S. military
manders and local leaders.
ventually, the Delta Force
p will form the backbone of
litary task force responsi-
or combating al-Qaida and
r terrorist groups across
egion with an arsenal that
ides drones. But first, it will
ktowin acceptancebyhelp-
North African nations build
own special operations
counterterror units.
nd nothing precludes the
inistration from using
r military or intelligence
s to retaliate against the
etrators of the Sept.51 con-
te attack in Benghazi.
at some congressional lead-
say the administration is
eacting quickly enough.
learly, they haven't moved
enough to battle the
at," said House Intelligence
mittee Chairman Mike
ers, R-Mich.

Police find, destroy about.
1,000 pot plants in Chicago

Officers chopped
down plants days
before harvest.
CHICAGO (AP) - In Chi-
cago, a bustling urban metrop-
olis where skyscrapers are as
likely to sprout up as anything
a farmer might plant, someone
decided there was just enough
room to grow something a little
more organic: Marijuana.
The plants grew even taller
than the tallest Chicago Bulls.
However, just days before the
crop on a chunk of land the
size of two football fields would
have been ready to harvest, a
police officer and county sher-
iff's deputy ina helicopter spot-
ted it as they headed back to
their hangar about three miles
On Wednesday, a day after
the discovery of the largest
marijuana farm anyone at the
police department can remem-
ber, officers became farmers
for a day as they began to chop
down about 1,500 marijuana
plants that police said could
have earned the growers as
much as $10 million.
No arrests had been made as
of Wednesday, and police were
still trying to determine who
owns the property that housed
the grow site on the city's far
South Side. But police said they
were hopeful that because of
the size of the operation, infor-

mants or others might pro-
vide tips about those involved,
including a man seen running
from the area as the helicopter
swooped low.
James O'Grady, the com-
mander of the department's
narcotics division, said they've
never seen anything like it
before, in part because Chica-
go's harsh winters mean grow-
ers have a lot less time to plant,
grow and harvest marijuana
than their counterparts in less
inclement places such as Cali-
fornia and Mexico. The bum-
per crop was likely planted in
spring, O'Grady said.
Add to that the urban sprawl:
there are few spots in Chicago
where such an operation could
go unnoticed because of all
the buildings, roads and resi-
dents. The growers took pains
to ensure their crop was largely
hidden by a canopy of trees and
surrounding vegetation.
"Somebody put a lot of
thought into it," O'Grady said.
"But they probably didn't antic-
ipate the helicopter."
Chicago Police Officer Stan
Kuprianczyk, a pilot, said
police helicopters flew "over it
all the time," to and from their
hangar, without spying the
grow site. Yet somehow, a num-
ber of factors came together to
allow Cook County Sheriff's
Deputy Edward Graney to spot
the plants.
"We had the right altitude,
the right angle, the right sun-

light, and I happened to be
glancing down," said Graney.
He said he initially spotted five
plants or so through the trees
before he asked Kuprianczyk to
circle around for a closer look.
"We just happened to be
right over a small hole in the
trees and we looked down,"
Kuprianczyk said.
They also happened to have
the right training, Graney
said, explaining that just a few
weeks earlier a much smaller
operation in suburban Chicago
prompted them to fly over and
videotape the scene so they
might be able to recognize mar-
ijuana if they ever saw it from
the air again.
So, by the time Graney spot-
ted the marijuana plants, which
are a much brighter shade of
green than the surrounding
vegetation, he had a pretty good
idea what he was looking at.
Superintendent Garry
McCarthy, whose officers are
more used to intercepting ship-
ments of marijuana grown
elsewhere or discovering
hydroponic growing operations
inside buildings, said the dis-
covery of the marijuana is sig-
nificant in a larger fight against
street violence.
Those involved with narcot-
ics, whether it is marijuana,
heroin or cocaine, purchase
firearms with their profits and
have shown they're willing to
use them to protect their busi-
ness, he said.

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