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The Michigan Daily- michigandaily.com

Friday, January 25, 2013 - 3

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, January 25, 2013 - 3

NEWS BRIEFS
DETROIT
Soccer player
at Northern
Michigan drowns
A Northern Michigan Univer-
sity women's soccer player who
drowned during a team workout
in a campus pool had epilepsy
and may have had a seizure as
recently as last summer, accord-
ing to newly released investiga-
tive reports that detail the frantic
attempt to revive her.
The medical examiner's office
ruled Arianna "Anna" Alioto's
death an accidental drowning,
and didn't mention her epilepsy
or suggest that any health condi-
tion may have contributed to her
drowning.
The newly released reports,
which The Associated Press
obtained through Freedom of
Information act requests, don't
contradict the medical examiner's
findings, but they do show that the
18-year-old freshman midfielder
needed medication to keep epilep-
tic seizures at bay.
SALT LAKE CITY
Freezing rain ices
roads, paralyzing
transportation
A rare freezing rain caused
major havoc in Salt Lake City
Thursday, creating sheets of ice
on roads, sidewalks and airport
runways.
The Salt Lake City Internation-
al Airport was closed for about
three hours, delaying hundreds
of passengers. The closure came
after a Frontier Airlines plane
landing from Denver slid on a
patch of ice while on the runway.
Nobody was injured.
Morning commutes were
brought to a crawl by the icy con-
ditions, which caused dozens of
accidents that closed lanes. Utah
Highway Patrol called in off-
duty officers to deal with all the
accidents.
"CAIRO
Conflicts arise
on eve of uprising
anniversary
Egyptian security forces fired
tear gas and protesters hurled
stones and Molotov cocktails in a
day-long demonstration on Thurs-
day, raising fears of a violent anni-
versary of the 2011 uprising that
toppled long-time authoritarian
President Hosni Mubarak.
Youth activists and opposition
groups have called for large ral-
lies on the anniversary Friday
in Cairo's Tahrir Square and in
front of the president palace in
the upscale suburb, Heliopolis.
The protests, which left doz-
ens injured, began before dawn
in central Cairo when protest-
ers tried to tear down a cement
wall built to prevent them from
reaching the parliament and
the Cabinet building. The street
clashes continued after darkness

fell on the Egyptian capital.
BEIRUT
Syrian jets bomb
rebel areas, killing
at least 13 people
Syrian warplanes bombed
rebel areas near Damascus on
Thursday as President Bashar
Assad's troops battled opposition
fighters for control of the road
linking the capital to the coun-
try's largest airport.
Assad's forces are trying drive
out rebels who have established
enclaves in the suburbs. While
the government has lost control
of large swaths of territory in the
country's north and east, includ-
ing parts of the northern city
of Aleppo, the capital remains
tightly secured.
Conditions in the city have
worsened howeverwith prices for
basic goods rising and fuel in short
supply. U.S. officials said Thurs-
day they believe Assad's sister and
.mother have left the country, sug-
gesting that hardship has reached
even the leadership's families.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Steven Senne/AP
State Rep. Frank Ferri (D-Warwick) center left, and his partner Tony Caparco, far left, greet Wendy Baker and her
partner Judy McDonnell both of Providence, R.I., in the gallery of the House Chamber at the Statehouse.
Rhod Islandoe approves gay
marriage bill after debate

Vote overcomes
Catholic opposition
to legislation
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP)
- The Rhode Island House of
Representatives on Thursday
overwhelmingly passed legisla-
tion to allow gays and lesbians
to marry in the only New Eng-
land state where they can't.
The House voted 51-19 after
an often emotional debate that
touched on civil rights, reli-
gion and the nature of mar-
riage. The bill now moves to
the Senate, where both sup-
porters and opponents of gay
marriage say it is difficult to
predict the bill's fate.
"This has been a long jour-
ney," said House Speaker
Gordon Fox, who is gay and
supported same-sex legisla-
tion when it was first intro-
duced in 1997. "Today is a great
day. Today ... we stand for
equality, we stand for justice."

Thursday's vote posed the
most significant challenge
yet for gay marriage in Rhode
Island. While the five other
New England states already
allow gay couples to marry,
attempts have fallen flat in this
heavily Catholic state.
"I wanted to be here to see it,"
said 70-year-old Warwick resi-
dent Ken Fish, who is gay. Fish
showed up at the Statehouse
hours early to ensure he had a
seat in the crowded viewing gal-
lery. "Go back 10 years, even five
years, and I wasn't sure we'd
ever get here. We're not done
yet, but this is a big one."
Nine states and the District
of Columbia now allow gay and
lesbian couples to marry.
Gay marriage opponents vow
to press their case in the Sen-
ate, where Senate President
Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport,
remains opposed to the legisla-
tion. Chris Plante, director of
the state chapter of the National
Institute for Marriage, said he
believes state leaders who sup-

port gay marriage aren't reflect-
ing public sentiment.
"Rhode Islanders care about
marriage, and they don't want
to see it redefined," he said.
Some opponents have sug-
gested placing gay marriage on
the ballot as a referendum, but
the idea is a nonstarter with Fox
and independent Gov. Lincoln
Chafee, agaymarriage supporter.
A handful of lawmakers rose
during the debate to criticize
gay marriage as a dangerous
social experiment. Rep. Arthur
Corvese, D-North Providence,
warned lawmakers that same-
sex marriage was an "irrevo-
cable societal game-changer"
that would redefine "the fun-
damental building block of our
community" and could lead to
the legalization of polygamy or
plural marriages.
"Truth must not be sacrificed
on the altar of political correct-
ness," he said. "Is this the vision
you want for Rhode Island's
future? Is this the future you
want for America?"

Sex abuse claims made
against LA teacher.
Third grade conducted during the police
investigation, and 20 female stu-
teacher and dents were found to have been
victimized, Los Angeles police
principal removed Capt. Fabian Lizsarraga said.
Another victim was a female
teacher who complained. that
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Just Pimentel had inappropriately
weeks after the arrest of a third- touched her, police said.
grade teacher accused of sexu- The alleged abuse occurred in
ally abusing nearly two dozen Pimentel's fourth-grade class-
students engulfed Los Angeles room during school hours and
school officials in a scandal last in some cases was witnessed
year, word surfaced that chil- by other students, Lizarraga
dren were being fondled by a said. The sexual abuse involved
fourth-grade teacher at another fondling over and underneath
school. clothing, he said.
Havingbeen jolted by the first The Pimentel case may have
case, Los Angeles Unified School been the first in the district that
District officials moved swiftly, fell under the new policy, district
The fourth-grade teacher, Rob- Superintendent John Deasy said.
ert Pimentel, was pulled from "It was very close to the first,
his classroom, the state teacher if not the first," he said. "I don't
credentialing commission was know if it was a direct result (of
notified, and parents were alert- the Miramonte case). There was
ed. When it became clear that a potentially serious problem
years-old allegations against there and we acted and did what
Pimentel hadn't been thorough- we did."
ly investigated, the principal at Lizarraga added that although
his school was also removed. there was a spike in parent com-
While it took nearly a year to plaints after the Miramonte
bring charges against Pimentel, case, there wasn't any tie to the
the reaction by the school dis- Pimentel case. .
trict shows how recent reforms "These were some really alert
put in place have reshaped how parents knowing their kids and
the school system deals with noticing subtle changes in their
sexual abuse by teachers. personalities," Lizarraga said.
Those reforms came after the The accusations against
February 2012 'arrest of Mira- Pimentel, 57, span eight months,
monte Elementary School third- dating back to September 2011.
grade teacher Mark Berndt, who is He was arrested Wednesday and
accused of blindfolding pupils and charged with 15 felony counts.
feeding them his semen in a tast- When the investigation
ing game. The district has since against him began in March,
mandated that parents be noti- the district was already reeling
fied within 72 hours of a report from Berndt's February 2012
of a suspected abuser, and that arrest. Berndt has pleaded not
each case be reviewed by sev- guilty to 23 counts of lewd acts
eral human resources staffers to and is awaiting trial. More than
ensure it is reported to the Com- 225 parents and students are
mission on Teacher Credentialing. involved in various claims for
District officials have also damages against the district
vowed to investigate molesta- regarding that case.
tion claims and move quickly to In a separate case, a jury in
remove suspected teachers from December ordered the district to
classrooms while investigations pay a boy molested by an elemen-
are ongoing. tary school teacher $6.9 million
Police were contacted in March - among the largest awards in
by the parents of five students at the history of the school system.
GeorgeDe La Torre Jr. Elemen- The jury found the district liable
tarySchoolwho said Pimentelhad for the repeated molestation of
touched their children inappropri- the 10-year-old student in 2008
ately. District officials immediate- and 2009 byteacher Forrest Sto-
ly removed him from campus and bbe at Queen Anne Elementary
notifications were sent out. School in the city's mid-Wilshire
More than 70 interviews were district.
Mali rebel group splits
France continues aid

Inspired by Obama, global leaders
to focus on climate change issues

World Economic
Forum attendees
discuss new
political tactics
DAVOS, Switzerland (AP)-
Hurricanes, floods, droughts
and a newly climate-conscious
Barack Obama are helping
boost efforts around the world
to fight climate change.
Top political and finan-
cial leaders at the World Eco-
nomic Forum in Davos say
recent natural disasters, along
with Obama's inauguration
announcement this week that
he's making the battle against
rising temperatures a pillar of
his second term, could rev up
the glacially slow climate pact
negotiations and revive fund-
raising for global action to cool
the planet.
"Unless we take action on
climate change, future genera-
tions will be roasted, toasted,
fried and grilled," Internation-
al Monetary Fund Managing
Director Christine Lagarde told
participants at Davos.
The U.N.'s climate chief,
Christiana Figueras, told The
Associated Press in an inter-
view- Thursday that Obama's.
emphasis on climate "definitely
is a political boost." She said
Hurricane Sandy and drought
in the Midwest last year helped
push climate change back onto
the U.S. political debate.
"We also need to see clearly,
much more engagement from
the United States, we need to
a confirmation from the new
leadership in China that they
remain on course and are will-
ing to engage further. From the
Europeans, we need to see that
they also remain on course,"
Figueras said. "And then all of
the emerging economies, in
addition to China, need to begin
to explore the opportunities
that they have."
The U.N. climate talks, now
two decades in the making,
have so far failed to reduce car-
bon dioxide and other green-

house gas emissions that most
scientists say are warming the
Earth.
Participants at the Davos
forum - which identifies
extreme weather as one of the
top three risks to the global.
economy - called for global
action.
Until now, rich and poor
countries have accused U.S.
leaders of hampering the global
fight against climate change,
which scientists say is caus-
ing a rise in temperatures and
sea levels, threatening island
nations and other low-lying
areas, and shifting weather
patterns to produce more
droughts, floods and devastat-
ing storms.
Figueras, the daughter of a
former Costa Rican president,
and Costa Rican President
Laura Chinchilla both said
their country could serve as an
example.
"Costa Rica is already pro-
ducing 90 percent of the energy
we are consuming from renew-
able sources," Chinchilla told
AP. "We are encouraging the
policies of many different com-
panies - many are already
adopting the right policies. For
example, in the agricultural
sector, we already have coffee
which is certified carbon-neu-
tral coffee."
European Union Climate
Commissioner Connie Hede-
gaard called the battle against
global warming the greatest
economic challenge of this cen-
tury.
Several CEOs of major banks
and businesses said there
have been robust discussions
at Davos on potential private
financing for "green" technolo-
gies to produce cleaner sources
of energy.
So far, nations have ponied
up about $30 billion toward the
$100 billion a year goal by 2020
set at Copenhagen's U.N. cli-
mate talks in 2009.
A U.N. climate conference in
Doha, Qatar, agreed in Decem-
ber to extend the Kyoto Pro-
tocol, a treaty that limits the
greenhouse gas output of some

rich countries, and agreed to
adopt a new global climate pact
by 2015. But hopes for stronger
U.S. leadership in the ongo-
ing U.N. climate talks were
dimmed when legislation to cap
emissions stalled in Congress.
"We're coming out of two
years of climate silence," said
Fred Krupp, president of the
U.S.-based Environmental
Defense Fund. "The impacts
of extreme weather are now
affecting everybody in the wal-
let."
Krupp said while no one is
going to invest in unprofitable
new technologies, a growing
number of clean-energy invest-
ments are highly profitable.
Nations also agreed at the
U.N. climate talks in Copen-
hagen to set a goal of limiting
global warming to 2 degrees
Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahren-
heit). But because of inaction,
Figueras said, the world is now"
on "somewhere between a 4
and 6 degree (Celsius) trajec-
tory."
"But the door is not closed,"
she .quickly added. "We have
the technology, we have the
capital. We have the possibil-
ity."
U.N. Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon says one of his top
hopes for 2013 is to reach a new
agreement on climate change.
"Slowly but steadily, we are
coming to realize the risks
of a carbon-based economy,"
he told the forum Thursday.
"Those supposedly longer-
term issues are actually silent
crises with us today: the death
of children from preventable
diseases; the melting of the
polar ice caps because of cli-
mate change. ... Let not our
inaction today lead to harsh
judgment tomorrow."
Prince Albert II of Monaco,
whose foundation focuses on
climate change and other envi-
ronmental issues, said Obama's
inauguration speech gave a
welcome lift toward collective
action.
"That can only be positive,
because we need to have the
U.S. on board," he told the AP.

Military offensive
in former colony
continues advance
SAN, Mali (AP) - Mali's rebel
movement showed new signs of
discord on Thursday in the wake
of punishing French air strikes,
with one wing of the Ansar Dine
group now pledging to negotiate
an end to the country's crisis and
possibly even fight against its for-
mer comrades-in-arms.
France's air and land cam-
paign that began two weeks ago
to save Mali's .embattled interim
government has shaken up the
military landscape and put the
international spotlight on the
former French colony. Mali's gov-
ernment was on a new political
defensive, urging its soldiers to
respect human rights after new
allegations that they had car-
ried out summary executions in
zones of battle against the radical
Islamists.
Three al-Qaida-linked extrem-
ist groups have controlled Mali's
vast northeast for months, capi-
talizing on chaos that followed
a coup d'etat in Mali's capital,
Bamako, in March. But in a new
sign of splintering, former Ansar
Dine leader Alghabass Ag Intal-
la told the Associated Press on
Thursday that he and his men
were breaking off from Ansar
Dine "so that we can be in control
of our own fate."
"We are neither AQIM or
MUJAO," he said of the other
groups, al-Qaida in the Islamic
Maghreb and the Movement for
the Unity and Jihad in West Afri-
ca, known by its French-language
acronym. "We are a group of peo-
ple from the north of Mali who
have a set of grievances that date
back at least 50 years."
The comments suggested that

at least some of Islamist fighters
are searching for, an exit in the
wake of the French airstrikes.
French radio RFI reported ear-
lier Thursday that Intalla's new
group will be called the Islamic
Movement for the Azawad, a
Tuareg term for northern Mali,
and his men are willing to fight
their former comrades-in-arms
in Ansar Dine.
"We are not terrorists. We are
ready to negotiate," Intalla told
the AP.
A French diplomatic official
said Francewas taking seriously
the claims of a split within Ansar
Dine - but needed proof, not just
words.
AQIM and MUJAO have been
classified as terror groups by the
U.N., and Ansar Dine has been
"clearly associated" with them -
even if some of its members have
raised doubts about how close
those ties are, the official said.
"The other groups that have
formed need to show which side
they're on ... and prove it on the
ground," said the official, who
was not authorized to discuss the
matter publicly. "Are they with
the terrorists, or not?"
"They could, for example, free
up territory themselves and no
longer say that the Malian army
is not welcome in the north - and
instead work with it," the official
said.
Late last year, Ansar Dine held
talks in neighboring Burkina Faso
with Malian government repre-
sentatives, and one of the sticking
points was a disagreement over
whether Malian law or Islamic
Shariah law would be applied.
Rebels have at times applied
their interpretation of Shariah
to carry out public executions,
amputations, and whippings
- for infractions ranging from
possessing cigarettes to women
going out without headscarves.

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