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September 05, 2012 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 -- 9A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - 9A

U.S., Israel in close talks over
easing tensions with Iran

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Tuesday during her visit to Beijing.
C1inton seeks Chinese
accord on S. China Sea

Americans hope to
resolve land disuptes
BEIJING (AP) - U.S. Secre-
tary of State Hillary Rodham
Clinton sat down Wednesday
with Chinese President Hu Jintao
to press Beijing to agree to peace-
fully resolve territorial disputes
with its smaller neighbors over
the South China Sea. But as she
began her meetings here, China
questioned the stated neutrality
of the United States.
At the start of the talks with
Hu, Clinton said the U.S.-China
relationship is strong. "We are
able to explore areas of agree-
ment and disagreement in a very
open manner, which I think dem-
onstrates the maturity of the
relationship and the chance to
take it further in the future," she
said.
There was no immediate com-
ment on the talks, but a sched-
uled meeting with Vice President
Xi Jinping for later Wednesday
morning had been canceled by
China "for unexpected schedul-
ing reasons," said a senior State
Department official, speaking on
condition of anonymity.
Xi, who takes over as China's
top leader later this year, also had
a meeting canceled with the visit-
ing prime minister of Singapore,
Lee Hsien Loong. No reasons for

the cancellations have been given.
Clinton met late Tuesday with
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang
Jiechi after arriving in China
from Indonesia, where she urged
Southeast Asian nations to pres-
ent a unified front in dealing with
China in attempts to ease rising
tensions in the South China Sea.
The U.S. wants China and
the other claimants to adopt a
binding code of conduct for the
region, along with a process to
resolve maritime disputes with-
out coercion, intimidation or the
use of force. Clinton wants the
Chinese to drop their insistence
on settling conflicting claims
with individual nations and
instead embrace a multilateral
mechanism that will give the
smaller members of the Associa-
tion of South East Asian Nations
greater clout in negotiations.
She urged all parties to make
"meaningful progress" by a
November summit of East Asian
leaders that President Barack
Obama plans to attend in Cambo-
dia.
In Jakarta, Indonesia's capital,
Clinton offered strong U.S. sup-
port for a regionally endorsed
plan to ease rising tensions by
implementing the code of con-
duct. Jakarta is the headquarters
of ASEAN, and Clinton pressed
the group to insist that China

agree to deal with them as a bloc.
The stance puts the U.S.
squarely at odds with China,
which has become more aggres-
sive in pressing its territorial
claims with its smaller neigh-
bors and wants the disputes to
be resolved with each country,
giving it greater leverage.
Clinton made her case in
Jakarta on Tuesday in meetings
with Indonesian President Susilo
BambangYudhoyono and ASEAN
secretary general Surin Pitsuwan.
Indonesia has played a leading
role in putting the six-point plan
together after ASEAN was unable
to reach consensus on the matter
in July.
Clinton said the U.S. is
"encouraged" by the plan but
wants it acted on - particularly
implementation and enforce-
ment of the code of conduct,
which has languished since a
preliminary framework for it
was first agreed upon in 2002.
"The United States does not
take a position on competing ter-
ritorial claims ... but we believe
the nations of the region should
work collaboratively to resolve
disputes without coercion, with-
out intimidation and certainly
without the use of force," Clin-
ton told reporters at a news con-
ference with Indonesian Foreign
Minister Marty Natalegawa.

Americans hope to
dissuade possible
military strike
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli
officials said Tuesday they are
in close discussions with the
United States over how to deal
with the Iranian nuclear pro-
gram, seeking to ease tensions
that have emerged between the
two allies over a possible Israeli
military strike against Iran.
The dialogue, in which Israel
is looking for President Barack
Obama to take a tough public
position against Iran, suggests
the odds of an Israeli attack in the
near termhave beenreduced.
Israel, convinced that Iran
isn't taking seriously U.S. vows
to block it from acquiring nuclear
weapons, believes that time to
stop the Iranians is quickly run-
ning out. A series of warnings by
Israeli officials in recent weeks
has raised concerns that Israel
could soon stage a unilateral mili-
tary strike. In response, senior
American officials have made'
clear they oppose any Israeli mili-
tary action at the current time,
After tense exchanges with
the Americans, Israeli political
and defense officials said Tues-
day that the sides are now work-
ing closely together in hopes of
getting their positions in sync.
Clearer American assurances on
whatpressure itispreparedtouse
against Iran, including possible
military action, would reduce the
need for Israel to act alone, the
officials said, speaking on condi-
tion, of anonymity because they
were discussing a security matter.
There was no immediate
American comment Tuesday, as
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu huddled with his
security cabinet for a daylong
briefing by military intelligence
on Iran's nuclear program.
Netanyahu has criticized the
international community for
failing to curb Iran's nuclear
program. In recent days, he has

called for the world to set a clear
"red line" for the Iranians. His
comments were seen as veiled
criticism of President Barack
Obama.
Israel has not publicly defined
its own red lines, which might
include a deadline for Iran to
open its facilities to U.N. inspec-
tors or a determination that Iran
has definitively begun enrich-
ing uranium to a weapons-grade
level.
Israel believes Iran is trying
to develop nuclear weapons, a
charge the Iranians deny. The
U.S. has said it doesn't know
what Iran's ultimate plans are
for its nuclear program.
White House press secretary
Jay Carney on Sunday played
down any differences, saying
"there is absolutely no daylight
between the United States and
Israel when it comes to the neces-
sity of preventing Iran from
acquiring a nuclear weapon."
"The best way to ensure that
Iran does not acquire a nuclear
weapon is through a diplomat-
ic process that results in Iran
finally agreeing to, in a com-
pletely verifiable way, give up its
nuclear weapons ambitions and
abide by its international obliga-
tions. But that window will not
remain open indefinitely," Car-
ney said. He emphasized that
Obama "has insisted that all
options ... remain on the table."
A U.N. report last week show-
ing continued progress in the
Iranian nuclear program rein-
forced the Israeli view that
negotiations and economic
sanctions are not persuading
Iran to change its behavior.
The U.N. report found that
Iran has moved more of its
uranium enrichment activi-
ties into fortified bunkers deep
underground and impervious
to air attack. Enrichment is a
key activity in building a bomb,
though it has other uses as well.
Israel views a nuclear-armed
Iran as a mortal threat, citingIra-
nian calls for Israel's destruction,
Iran's development of missiles

capable of striking the Jewish
state, and Iranian support for hos-
tile Arab militantgroups.
Israel's timeline for military
action is shorter than that of
the United States, which has far
more powerful bunker-busting
bombs at its disposal.
Feeling so vulnerable, Israel
needs strong assurances from its
key ally, said Dore Gold, a former
Israeli ambassador to the United
Nations and confidant of Netan-
yahu.
"We have to hear something
a lot more concrete, a lot more
public from the U.S., which is
the leader of free world. What
is it going to do?" Gold told the
Army Radio station.
Israeli officials said they are
discussing the possibility of
tightened economic sanctions on
Iran. They also want Obama to
make a strong public statement of
American unwillingness to toler-
ate a nuclear Iran, perhaps at the
U.N. General Assembly later this
month or even sooner.
"What we'd(like to see is Presi-
dent Obama saying something
in the next few days or weeks,
something serious," said one offi-
cial.
"It could be (a declaration) of
red lines, or some forceful state-
ment," he said. "The point is not
to convince Israel, but to con-
vince the Iranians, that we, the
United States, mean business. We
will tighten sanctions. There's a
military option. ... The Iranians
have to understand unequivo-
cally that the Americans are seri-
ous about preventing them from
acquiring nuclearweapons."
Obama has repeatedly said
he would not allow Iran to gain
nuclear weapons and has said
the U.S. would be prepared to use
force as a last resort.
But many Israelis are skepti-
cal. Obama is also believed to be
unwilling to launch a risky mili-
tary operation in the run-up to
presidential elections. An attack
could send global oil prices sky-
rocketing and endanger U.S.
troops in the region.

Judge: Undocumented Florida
students can't be charged more

Regardless of
immigration status,
Fla. residents can
pay in-state tuition
MIAMI (AP) - Students at
Florida's public colleges and
universities cannot be charged
higher out-Qf-state tuition sim-
ply because their parents are in
the U.S. illegally, a federal judge
ruled.
U.S. District Judge K. Michael
Moore determined the policy
violates the equal protection
clause of the Constitution by
forcing those students to unfair-
ly pay three times as much as
Florida residents. Children
born in this country are citizens
whether or not their parents
have legal immigration status.
"The state regulations deny
a, benefit and create unique
obstacles to attain public post-
secondary public education for
U.S. citizen children who would
otherwise qualify for in-state
tuition," Moore wrote.
The ruling Friday came in a
lawsuit filed by the Montgom-
ery, Ala.-based Southern Pov-
erty Law Center on behalf of
several Florida students who
were denied in-state tuition
because they could not prove
their parents are in this coun-
try legally. The center's deputy
legal director, Jerri Katzerman,
said Tuesday that Moore's rul-
ing could give thousands of
students greater access to an
education.
"He has said in no uncertain
terms that these youngsters are
citizens and they have been dis-
criminated against," she said.
State education officials said
lawyers were reviewing the rul-
ing and no decision had been
made on a possible appeal. There
are 28 public two-year colleg-

es - most of which also offer
a limited number of four-year
degrees - and 11 public four-
year universities in Florida.
At the state's flagship Univer-
sity of Florida, in-state tuition
costs about $205 per credit
hour. For those paying out-of-
state tuition, the price balloons
to $947 per hour, according to
the State University System of
Florida.
Children of illegal immi-
grants have won similar battles
in other states.
Last month in New Jersey, a
state appeals court ruled that
an American-born student
whose parents could not prove
legal status was wrongly denied
financial aid. The American
Civil Liberties Union said that
,ruling could affect thousands
of New Jersey students seeking
state assistance to attend col-
lege.
In California, a challenge was
resolved in favor of the students.
Similarly, the Colorado attor-
ney general issued an opinion
in 2007 determining that legal
state residents were eligible for
in-state tuition even if their par-
ents were residing in the coun-
try illegally.
The Florida policy, which has
been in effect for several years,
applies to students under age 24
who are also claimed as depen-
dents by parents. According to
a Florida International Univer-
sity law professor's analysis of
U.S Census figures, nearly 9,000
children of illegal immigrant
parents are enrolled in Florida
public colleges and universities
in a given year.
It wasn't immediately clear
Tuesday how many current stu-
dents might have their residency
status and tuition costs changed
because of the ruling.
Attorneys for the state argued
mainly that classifying children

of illegal immigrants as eli-
gible for in-state tuition would
cost financially-strapped col-
leges and universities millions
of dollars each year. That argu-
ment, however, assumed Florida
would be forced to offer in-state
tuition to all students who lived
out of state.
"This is simply incorrect,"
Moore wrote, adding that his
ruling "would not prevent the
-state from continuing to distin-
guish between in-state residents
and out-of-state non-residents."
Moore also noted that undoc-
umented parents help pay for
education through state sales
and other taxes just as do par-
ents who are U.S. citizens.
State Rep. Hazelle Rogers, a
Lauderhill Democrat who spon-
sored legislation to scrap the
policy, said the ruling comes as
welcome news.
"The bottom line is simple: a
U.S. citizen should be treated
like a U.S. citizen no matter who
their parents are," Rogers said.
New pathways to work and
education have recently been
opened at the federal level for
young people who are in the U.S.
illegally.
Earlier this year, President
Barack Obama's administration
expanded the rights of more
than 1 million young illegal
immigrants by giving them work
permits even though they would
not obtain legal residency here
or a path to citizenship.
The immigrants must prove
they arrived in the United States
before they turned 16, are 30 or
younger,.have been living in the
country at least five years and
are in school or graduated or
served in the military. They can-
not have been convicted of cer-
tain crimes or otherwise pose a
safety threat.
"I have ruined their inno-
cence," he said quietly.'

A Somali soldier holds his weapon Tuesday in the port of El-Ma'an afterforces ousted al-Shababfighters from the area.
Somalis flee after Kenyan attack

Stronghold of
al-Qaida-linked
terrorist groupr
shelled
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP)
- Hundreds of residents have
fled the southern Somali port
of Kismayo after the Kenyan
navy shelled the town ahead of
an expected ground operation
to capture it, officials and resi-
dents said Tuesday.
Kismayo is the main remain-
ing stronghold of the al-Qaida-
linked militants of al-Shabab.
The group, considered terror-
ists by the United States and
others, is waging an insurgency
against the U.N.-backed Somali
government, which is being bol-
stered by African Union troops
including Kenyan forces.
Residents say the militants
have ordered them not leave
Kismayo, but the prospect of
being caught in a war between
the militants and the Kenyan
forces is outweighing whatever
brutal punishment they could
get for disobeying.
Kenyan military spokesman
Col. Cyrus Oguna said seven
people believed to be members

of al-Shabab were killed in
shelling Saturday and Monday
that targeted an arms cache,
a mounted gun .position and a
militant roadblock
Oguna said Kenyan ground
troops were moving closer to
Kismayo - they are now just
90 kilometers (56 miles) away
- in preparation for a military
assault.
Afrah Hussein, an elder in
Kismayo, said hundreds of resi-
dents have fled.
"There was a gradual flood
in recent days, but today more
than 200 people left," he said
Tuesday. "People are being
forced to stay in the town but it
seems they are paying no heed
to that because of their fears of
war."
Another resident agreed.
"We are fleeing because com-
bat ships are coming in sight
of the town and troops are on
the way," said Mohamed Ali,
who was heading to the town of
Barawe to the east. "We don't
want to get caught between
warring sides - it's a confusing
and scary situation out there."
Muhummed Ghelle, another
Kismayo elder, said "everyone
is sneaking away for his safety
- people started to leave here a
week ago."

Those fleeing have mostly
streamed into Jilib, a town
north of Kismayo, but some
have traveled to Merca, an east-
ern town recently seized by
government troops, Ghelle said.
Kenyan commanders had
earlier vowed to take Kismayo
by August but officials said the
plan was bogged dowis by the
need to take care of people in
the towns already liberated
from al-Shabab.
Last week, Kenyan troops
took over the town of Miido,
north of Kismayo.
The Ugandan military forms
the bulk of the African Union
forces in Somalia. Ugandan
and Burundian forces pushed
al-Shabab out of Mogadishu,
the capital, about a year ago.
Kenya and Burundi have also
dispatched troops to fight al-
Shabab, which neighboring
countries view as a regional
threat.
Somalia has not had a fully
functioning government since
clan-based warlords toppled
dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in
1991, but slow progress is being
made. A new constitution has
come into force, a new parlia-
ment and speaker were recently
chosen and they are to vote in a
new president by Sept. 10.

I

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