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September 12, 2013 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-09-12

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 3A

NEWS BRIEFS
EAST LANSING, Mich.
Michigan State
uses drones to
help farmers
A drone has joined the vehicle
fleet at Michigan State University,
which is using the pilotless air-
plane to find ways to help farmers
increase their yields through bet-
ter use of fertilizer and water.
The National Science Founda-
tion is financing the research.
The East Lansingschoolsaysthe
information that the drone gathers
also will help reduce the environ-
mental effect of nitrate leaching
and nitrous oxide emissions.
The university says the drone
"measures how crops react to
stress, such as drought, nutrients
deficiency or pests." It says the
plane can document a field's status
"downto centimeters."
MULBERRY, Fla.
Florida pastor
arrested before
burning Qurans
A Florida pastor has been arrest-
ed beforehe could set fire to almost
3,000 Qurans.
Polk County sheriff's officials
say the Rev. Terry Jones and his
associate pastor were arrested
on unspecified felony charges in
the small central Florida town of
Mulberry on Wednesday. A news
conference is scheduled for later
Wednesday to announce specific
charges.
Media reports show he was
stopped in a pickup truck that was
towing a metal trailer filled with
Qurans soaked in kerosene. He
had said he planned to burn 2,998
Qurans - one for everyvictim who
diedinthe9/11attacks12years ago.
Jones is the pastor of a small
evangelical Christian church. His
congregation burned a Quran in
March 2011 and last year he pro-
moted an anti-Muslim film. His
actions have sparked violence in
the Middle East and Afghanistan.
BERLIN
Court orders
Muslim girl to join
co-ed swim class
A court in Germany has ruled
that a Muslim girl cannot be
excused from mixed-sex swim-
ming lessons on the grounds of
religious belief.
The 13-year-old girl fromFrank-
furt had argued that the sight of
bare-chested male pupils breached
her religious modesty.
She also claimed that accepting
the school's offer that she herself
could wear a full-body "burkini"
swimsuit in the poolwould expose
her to discrimination among her
peers.
But Germany's Federal Admin-
istrative Court ruled Wednesday
that it was reasonable to compro-
mise between the girl's religious
freedom and the state's duty to
educate its citizens.

BAGHDAD
Blasts at Shiite
mosque kill 35,
Iraq officials say
A suicide attacker staged a dou-
ble bombing near a Shiite mosque
in northern Baghdad as worship-
pers were leaving after evening
prayers on Wednesday, killing at
least 35 in the latest deadly episode
of violence to rock the country,
accordingto Iraqi authorities.
The blasts follow months of
heightened sectarian violence in
Iraq, intensifying fears the coun-
try is slipping back toward the
widespread bloodshed in the years
that followed the 2003 U.S.-led
invasion. The past several months
havebeenthe deadliestsince 2008,
when Iraq was pulling back from
thebrink ofsectariancivilwar.
Wednesday's explosions went
off as the heat of the day was eas-
ing after sunset and worshippers
and shoppers filled the streets. The
area targeted is known as Kasra,
a predominantly Shiite enclave in
a part of the city that is otherwise
largely Sunni.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Zimmerman probe
on hold until clear
evidence found

People gather to look at the site of a car bombing in Benghazi, Libya, Wednesday. A powerful car bomb exploded near
Libya's Foreign Ministry building in the heart of the eastern coastal city of Benghazi, security officials said, one year to
the date after an attack there killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
ibya's ministry hiet with
bomnb on 9/11 anniversary

Prime Minister
speaks out against
militia involved
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) - A
car bomb tore through a Libyan
Foreign Ministry building in
the eastern city of Benghazi on
Wednesday, a powerful remind-
er of lawlessness in the North
African nation on the anniversa-
ry of a deadly attack on the U.S.
consulate there as well as the
2001 terror attacks in the United
States.
Prime Minister Ali Zidan
issued a stern warning to mili-
tias blamed for much of the
violence that has plagued Libya
since the overthrow of dictator
Moammar Gadhafi two years
ago, proclaiming that "we will
not bow to anyone."
But the challenges are mount-
ing. The prime minister said that
armed men had just stormed a
post office in the capital, Tripoli,
takingemployees hostage.A wit-
ness at the scene, speaking on
condition of anonymity because

of security concerns, told The
Associated Press that the attack-
ers were seeking to cut off mail
to the southern city of Sabha in
retaliation for a rival tribe from
Sabha cutting off the water sup-
ply to Tripoli for a week, forcing
hospitals and homes to rely on
wells and large tanks.
Other groups have shut down
oil fields to protest corruption
or demand regional autonomy,
causing the country to lose out
on millions of dollars a day in
potential revenue.
The Benghazi blast caused no
deaths or serious injuries, but
destroyed the Foreign Ministry
branch building in an attack rich
in symbolism. The building once
housed the U.S. Consulate under
the rule of King Idris, who was
overthrown in 1969 in a blood-
less coup led by Gadhafi.
The bombing took place about
6 a.m., well before anybody was
due to arrive at the Foreign Min-
istry for work and at a time when
the nearby streets were nearly
empty.
The explosion blew out a side
wall of the building, leaving

desks, filing cabinets and com-
puters strewn across the con-
crete rubble. It also damaged the
Benghazi branch of the Libyan
Central Bank.
Pictures circulated on Face-
book showed men carrying dead
doves, with one person com-
menting that "the dog who did
this will be punished for the
guilt of killing doves." Another
photo shows black smoke smol-
dering out of the charred For-
eign Ministry building, along
with wrecked cars and burned
palm trees. A green tarp was
later placed over part of the
building.
The blast also rocked Beng-
hazi's main boulevard, Gamal
Abdel-Nasser, which runs
through the city from north to
south. Several pedestrians were
slightly wounded.
Mohammed el-Ubaidi, head
of the Foreign Ministry branch
in Benghazi, told Libyan televi-
sion that the car carried 60 kilo-
grams (132 pounds) of explosives
and was blown up by remote
control.
No group immediately

Alleged dispute
occured after wife
filed for divorce
LAKE MARY, Fla. (AP) -
The investigation of a domestic
dispute between George Zim-
merman and his estranged wife
is on hold because there is no
clear evidence to charge any-
one and neither side wants to
press the case, a police spokes-
man said Wednesday.
That could change if new
evidence surfaces or techni-
cians are able to extract video
that recorded the dispute from
Shellie Zimmerman's smashed
iPad, said Officer Zach Hudson.
Law enforcement analysts are
having difficulty obtaining the
video because the iPad is in bad
shape, he said.
"We have concluded the-
investigation with what we
have to work with right now,"
Hudson said.
The dispute took place Mon-
day, just days after Shellie Zim-
merman filed divorce papers.
In the papers, Zimmerman, 26,
said she had separated from
her husband a month after he
was acquitted in the 2012 fatal
shooting death of unarmed
black teen Trayvon Martin.
A police report on the dis-
pute released Wednesday shed
some light on how it started.
Shellie Zimmerman, accom-
panied by her father and a
friend, was removing some
belongings from the couple's
house when George Zimmer-
man, who still lives there,
arrived and began taking pho-
tos of her, the report said. The
house is owned by Shellie Zim-
merman's parents.
George Zimmerman record-
ed the items she removed from
the house and also the belong-
ings she had placed in her
father's truck, the report said.
Zimmerman said his wife
was "taking property that was
not agreed upon and he began
taking pictures and recording
the items," the report said.
Shellie Zimmerman then took
her iPad and started record-
ing her husband taking photos*
of her, authorities said. George
Zimmerman went in the house
and locked the front door.
What happened next is in
dispute.
Shellie Zimmerman told
investigators she heard her
father screaming from the
garage. Her father, David Dean,
told her that Zimmerman had
hit him in the face, the report
said. She said her husband then
smashed her iPad.
During a 911 call, she also
told police that George Zim-
merman was threatening her
and her father with a gun.

Later, however, she said she
had not seen a gun. Police said
they found no gun, but that
Shellie Zimmerman's father
"did have a swollen red mark
on the bridge of his nose."
At a news conference late
Wednesday, Shellie Zimmer-
man was with her attorney,
Kelly Sims, but didn't answer
any questions about what hap-
pened. Sims cited the on-going
divorce proceedings and proba-
tion as the reason. Sims defend-
ed his client's initial assertions
that her husband was armed.
Sims said Shellie Zimmerman
found packaging for a new hol-
ster in the trash that day and has
alwaysknownhimtocarryagun.
"Bottom line, Shellie had
every reason to believe there
was a gun," Sims said.
Sims said his client is hoping
to move on as soon as possible.
"The only thing Shellie
wants out of the end of this
relationship is for it to end with
a whimper and not a bang,"
Sims said.
In the report George Zim-
merman told investigators that
his wife had told him she was
done pickingup her belongings.
He said he locked the front
door and went to the garage to
close it when Shellie Zimmer-
man's father confronted him,
according to the report.
Shellie Zimmerman's father
threw down his glasses and
charged his son-in-law, accord-
ing to George Zimmerman's
account. Shellie Zimmerman
at some point hit her husband
with her iPad, George Zimmer-
man told investigators.
Police officers asked George
Zimmerman to remove his
shirt so they could see if there
were marks on his back. "There
were no signs of trauma, red-
ness or marks of any kind in
the area where he said he was
struck," the report said.
As many as seven people
were at the house - friends of
the Zimmermans - and they
all have been questioned by
investigators, Hudson said.
The friends said they didn't
see what happened and footage
from the house's surveillance
cameras was inconclusive,
Hudson added.
Both sides are refusing to
press charges, but Florida law
allows police officers to arrest
someone for domestic violence
without the consent of the vic-
tim.
Investigators are hoping
video from the iPad will allow
them to determine if charges
should be filed.
Hudson told a news con-
ference Wednesday that law
enforcement analysts are hav-
ing difficulty extracting the
video because the iPad is in bad
shape.

Pakistani Taliban, army exchange
prisoners with peace talks hopes

Exchange included
six militants,
two soldiers
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pak-
istan (AP) - The Pakistani Tal-
iban and the army exchanged
prisoners Wednesday as a
confidence building measure
ahead of possible peace talks,
intelligence officials and mili-
tant commanders said.
The exchange included six
militants and two paramilitary
Frontier Corps soldiers, the
officials and commanders said.
It occurred in the Shawal area
of the South Waziristan tribal
region. The militants were sub-
sequently taken to neighboring
North Waziristan, the coun-
try's main Taliban sanctuary.
Militants fired in the air with
joy when their colleagues were
freed, the intelligence officials
said.
The two officials and two
Taliban commanders spoke
on condition of anonymity
because they were not autho-
rized to talk to journalists.
Pakistan's military pub-
lic affairs office denied the
exchange occurred. But the
intelligence officials and Tali-
ban commanders provided the
names of the militants who
were freed and said the two
paramilitary soldiers released
were kidnapped by the Taliban
in southwest Baluchistan prov-
ince in March 2012.
The release occurred only
days after Pakistan's main
political parties endorsed
peace negotiations with the
Taliban and their allies Mon-
day as the best way to end a
decade-long insurgency that
has killed thousands of people.
The exchange was meant to
build confidence between the
government and the militants
before formal peace talks, one of
the Taliban commanders said.
Senior Taliban leaders are
currently discussing whether
to take the government up on
its offer to hold negotiations,

said the commander and one of
his colleagues.
The Taliban said they were
open to talks at the end of last
year but withdrew that offer
in May after the group's dep-
uty leader was killed in a U.S.
drone strike.
Pakistani Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif campaigned on a
platform of holding peace talks
and has maintained that line
since he took office in June.
He scored a victory when his
stance was endorsed by other
parties on Monday - a decision
that was generally welcomed
by the Taliban.
But there are plenty of skep-
tics who doubt negotiations
actually will bring lasting
peace. The government has
struck various peace deals
with the Taliban in the past,
but all have fallen apart. Crit-
ics say the agreements sim-
ply gave the militants time to
regroup and continue their
fight against the state.
"Not only is the path well
worn, it is also a path that has
on every previous occasion
been attempted and led to fail-
ure, mutual recrimination and
renewed bloodshed," an edito-
rial published Wednesday in The
Express Tribune newspaper said.
The editorial also point-
ed out that it's unclear with
whom exactly the government
would negotiate. Analysts say
there are more than 100 mili-
tant groups operating in Paki-
stan's tribal region along the
Afghan border with varying
levels of allegiance.
"Then there is the question
of just what is on the table,
what is up for negotiation,"
the editorial said. "No itera-
tion of the Taliban either his-
torically or in recent years has
wanted anything other than
the dismantling of the demo-
cratic process, the dissolution
of legislatures at the federal
and provincial levels, and the
imposition of their own nar-
row interpretation of religion."
It's also unclear what kind
of negotiated peace Pakistan's

army, considered the country's
most powerful institution,
would accept after losing hun-
dreds of its soldiers in combat
with the Taliban.
A peace deal could worry the
United States if it gives more
breathing room to Afghan mili-
tants in Pakistan who carry out
cross-border attacks against
American troops in Afghanistan.
The Afghan and Pakistani
Taliban are allies but have
aimed their guns at different
targets. The Afghan Taliban
have fought coalition forces in
Afghanistan, while the Paki-
stani Taliban have taken on the
government at home.

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