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November 11, 2013 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, November 11, 2013 - 3A

project captures
A Michigan State University
researcher is testing a system
that harnesses nanotechnology to
attack two problems at once - an
excess of phosphorus in wastewa-
ter discharge and a loomingshort-
age of the fertilizer ingredient.
Associate professor Steven Saf-
ferman is developing a nano-filter
system designed to capture phos-
phorus from wastewater for re-
use in fertilizer.
"It's so great to see something
come to fruition that can really
help the environment, as well as
provide a renewable resource that
was not renewable in the past," he
said in a statement.
Safferman is testing phospho-
rus filtration at a subdivision in
Dimondale, near the East Lansing
NYPD: Robbery
* attempt led to ice-
rink shooting
A teenager opened fired at a
crowded Manhattan ice-skating
rink, leaving two people wounded
" and blood splattered across the
ice, after attempting to rob one of
the victims of his coat, police said
Sunday as they took the 16-year-
old teen into custody for question-
The violence late Saturday at
the Bryant Park rink sent skaters
stampeding in all directions to
safety. Authorities said a 14-year-
old boy was struck in the back and
a 20-year-old man was hit in the
arm as the shooter opened fire in
hattan, behind the main building
of the New York Public Library.
Neither injury was believed to be
Authorities said the shooter
had approached the 20-year-old
man at the Bryant Park rink and
demanded his coat. The man
refused to hand it over, and the
shooter left. Police say the shooter
then returned and started firing.
Worker killed by
wildcat at Oregon
sanctuary named
The employee killed this week-
end by a wildcat at an Oregon ani-
mal sanctuary was described as
an experienced worker who was
comfortable with the animals she
cared for.
Renee Radziwon, 36, of Port-
land, died in the Saturday night
attack, Deputy Mark Nikolai of
the Clackamas County Sheriff's
Office said in a news release Sun-
day. No details of the attack or
type of animal were released. The
sanctuary is located in the suburb
of Sherwood, outside Portland.
"Her relationship with the

cats was amazing," Jim Caliva, a
WildCat Haven Sanctuary board
member, told The Oregonian. "She
knew exactly what she was doing,
but apparently there was a mis-
take. I don't know what it could
Satellite likely to
hit Earth in unpop-
ulated area
The European Space Agency
says that one of its research sat-
ellites that ran out of fuel will
most likely crash to Earth into the
ocean or polar regions.
The agency said Sunday
the crash is expected to occur
between 1830 GMT Sunday and
0030 GMT on Monday.
It says "with a very high prob-
ability, a re-entry over Europe can
be excluded."
Spokeswoman Jocelyne Lan-
deau said the satellite, GOCE, will
mostly disintegrate as it comes
down and "we will have only a
few pieces which could be 90 kilo-
grams at the most."
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Second round of sequester
poses danger to research


of seq
and is
the U
4.3 pe
ally s
cuts f
sity fi
Sue C
the se
the U
for re
and se
the s
ing th
now i
of th
eral s
and A

deral cuts slash Office of Research that reviews
and analyzes the success of
unding by 5.1 research proposals - said the
sequester has already negative-
'rcent, increase ly affected the amount of grant
money researchers receive
from federal sources.
By BEN ATLAS Most of the Medical School's
federal grant money comes
Daily Staff Reporter from the National Institutes of
Health, and a typical NIH proj-
e University's research com- ect award lasts between three
yhas begunto feeltheeffects and five years. A project is con-
uestration - the across-the- sidered "competitive" when
cuts in federal discretionary initial funding is sought, and
ingthat began last March - then is considered an existing
bracing for what the second project after its first year, when
ofcutsmaymean. funding for the remaining
erall research spending for three to four years is promised.
niversity's 2013 fiscal year, According to Offhaus, NIH
ended in June, increasedby budget cuts have resulted in a
rcent to $1.33 billion. Feder- 5.5-percent budget reduction
ponsored research, which for all existing projects, as well
nts for roughly 62 percent of as a reduction in the awarding
1funding,roseby2.8percent. of competitive grants.
ose numbers,however,don't The effect is that NIH-
letely reflect the 5.1-percent funded researchers on exist-
rom federal sequestration, ing projects will not receive as
the federal and Univer- much money as they were once
scal years do not align. The promised, and newer projects
ster, which took place from that might have been funded in
h through the end of the years past may not get off the
al fiscal year in September, ground. According to the NIH
fully be reflected until the website, more than 80 per-
'rsity's 2014 fiscal year. cent of its budget is allocated
iversity President Mary to researchers at more than
oleman said last week that 2,500 universities and research
equester's effects pose "a institutions nationwide. In the
danger." Stephen Forrest, 2013 federal fiscal year, the
Jniversity's vice president NIH awarded an estimated
search, whose office over- 640 fewer competitive research
campus-wide research grants compared to 2012.
ty, shared this sentiment. "We're not getting as much
st said the awarding of done in the shorter amount
s was very competitive of time because there's not as
elective to begin with, and much funding to do it," Offhaus
equester "has made com- said. "(The sequester) slows
on much more fierce." down the pace of science when
pile Forrest acknowledged you can't get as much done."
research and innovation Both Offhaus and Forrest said
broadly have suffered as a they have heard from research
of the sequester, captur- investigators that have been
e extent of its effects right forced to cut staff from their
s difficult, since the Uni- labs due to reductions in fund-
y's research offices are ing. While these layoffs are by
tralized and distributed no means widespread, theyhave
s different offices and posed a challenge for certain
tments on campus. areas. Forrest also noted that a
e Medical School's decline in research funding has
rch expenditures topped widespread economic effects:
million in 2013, and school Not only will hiring in labs be
als attribute 75 percent reduced, but there is also less
ose expenditures to fed- money to purchase lab materi-
ources. Heather Offhaus, als, supplies and equipment, and
tor of the Grant Review reduced purchasing could chal-
nalysis Office - an office lenge local economic growth.
n the Medical School Forrest's office has made

a point not to cut back on the
graduate student population
and to protectgraduate students
and research faculty who rely
on government money, but such
efforts will be difficult to sus-
tain should the sequester con-
tinue for several budget cycles.
Engineering Prof. Anna Ste-
fanopoulou, the director of the
Automotive Research Center,
said the sequester has not only
reduced the center's funding,
but also created a lot of uncer-
tainty. She said the center,
which is funded solely by the
Department of Defense and
focuses on modeling and simu-
lating ground vehicle technol-
ogy, may experience a talent
drain with reduced funding.
"If we don't know exactly
what our funding is, we cannot
compete and recruit our best stu-
dents," she said.
In anticipation of contin-
ued decline in federal funding
brought on by the second round
of sequestration, Forrest said his
office has been concentrating
on diversifying their research
portfolio. Fiscal year 2013 saw
a 14-percent growth in industry
funding, chiefly coming from
the health care, automotive and
electronics industries. Howev-
er, Forrest added that industry
still comprises only 8 percent of
research funding, and could not
be relied upon to fill the gap left
by the federal government.
"There is no real substitute -
and there never has been - in
this country for federal support
in research," Forrest said, noting
that even industry funding relies
on federal support. "Every sig-
nificant advance in technology
in the postwar era has had its ori-
gin in federal funding, from inte-
grated circuits to the Internet."
If anything, many in the
research community say their
options for scientific exploration
are more constrained - a chal-
lenge for a university that prides
itself on being one of the top
research institutions inthe nation.
"Don't get me wrong, it's not
like everything's stopping and
coming to a grinding halt," off-
haus said. "You just don't know
what opportunities your miss-
ing, and we won't know maybe
for years and years that had
we had a solution faster, (if) it
would've been a good thing."

Two killed, nearly
two dozen injured
in Texas shooting
"Celebratory" with 16 suffering gunshot
s at wounds and four others vary-
shots at girl s 18th ing injuries such as a fracture
birthday party and twisted ankles in the panic
birhda patyto fee.
catalyst to shooting The two people killed, one an
18-year-old male and the other
a 16-year-old female, were stu-
HOUSTON (AP) - Celebra- dents at Cypress Springs High
tory gunshots fired at a girl's School, Garcia said.
18th birthday party triggered He chastised the party orga-
more gunfire that left two nizers, who advertised the
people dead, two critically event on social media, saying
injured and nearly two-doz- "you have no control on who to
en injured in a chaotic scene expect at your door."
where people jumped from Authorities are searching for
second-floor windows to two gunmen, he said, one who's
escape the shooting at a sub- about 17 years old and the other
urban Houston home, authori- believed to be about 22.
ties said Sunday. "It's a horrible combination
Harris County Sheriff Adri- of immaturity, access to a fire-
an Garcia said the gathering arm, and the inability to con-
Saturday night was openly trol one's self," he said.
promoted using multiple social Garcia said party organiz-
media sites, drew more than ers arranged to have people
100 people, most of them 17- searched as they entered the
to 19-year-olds, and became a home. "Anytime you have to
"birthday party gone wild." factor in a bouncer and being
He said it appears partygo- searched at the door, you have
ers were dancing in the home already taken a turn for the
when someone armed with a worse," he said.
pistol shot into the air in cel- Sheriff's spokesman Thom-
ebration. In the ensuing confu- as Gilliland said earlier that
sion, another person who was deputies were confronted
armed began firing into the with "mass chaos" when they
crowd, Garcia said. Young peo- responded to the call in the
ple then streamed into the nar- residential neighborhood about
row street to avoid the burst of 25 miles northwest of Houston,
gunshots that followed shortly adding that "kids were literally
before 11 p.m. Saturday. everywhere." He said witness-
Partygoer Shaniqua Brown es reported partygoers jumping
- who said she heard about from the second floor in their
the party through Instagram, a scramble to flee.
photo-sharing app and website Mariah Boulden said the
- told The Associated Press it gathering was her birthday
"was not rowdy at all." She said party. Boulden, who lives at
she first heard gunshots in the the residence, said her brother
house and they continued out- and others were patting down
side as people fled and sought people as they entered the
cover. home. Two men refused to be
Authorities have given vary- searched and walked away, she
ing accounts of the number of said, then apparently hopped
people injured, but they clari- a neighbor's fence and entered
fied Sunday that 20 were hurt, through a back gate.
Talks with Iran shift
to UN envoy afer
unsucessful round

Hamas government hires first
ever female spokesperson

Almodallal is part
of push to present
friendlier face to the
West, women
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP)
- The Hamas government of the
Gaza Strip has for the first time
appointed a woman to represent
it to the world.
The hiring of Isra Almodallal
as a spokeswoman for the terri-
tory's conservative Islamist rul-
ers is part of a long-running push
by the group, which has at times
sought to curb women's free-
doms, to present a newer friend-
lier face both to its own citizens
and internationally.
Almodallal, a 23-year-old who
speaks fluent British-accented
English, has assumed a post nor-
mally held by tough-talking men
who voice Hamas' bitter opposi-
tion to Israel. She will be respon-
sible for the Gaza government's
communications with the inter-
national media.
"We are looking forward to
having a different and unique
language," said Almodallal in
an interview in her Gaza City
office, on her firstweek in the job.
"We will make the issues more
The change in policy began six
months ago when a new head of
the government media depart-
ment, Ihab Ghussein, took over.
He hired younger media people,
started a new official govern-
ment website, began rampant
use of social media and started
conducting seminars and work-
Ghussein said he appointed

Almodallal in an effort "to be
more open to the West." He said
many women were among the
dozens of applicants considered
for the position.
"Women are partners in our
society," Ghussein said.
Almodallal, a divorced mother
of a four-year-old girl, does not
have her roots in the Hamas
movement. Unlike many other
Hamas officials, her office does
not bear a photo of Gaza's Prime
Minister Ismail Haniyeh. She
keeps a book on American his-
tory there, alongside the Quran.
She was raised in Gaza and
spent five years in Britain as a
teenager, studying at Grange
Technology College, a high
school in Bradford in the U.K.
Upon returning to Gaza, she
studied journalism at the Islamic
University, and worked as a TV
reporter for a local station and an
English-language satellite chan-
nel, which she said taught her
how to present herself on cam-
Her appointment is the lat-
est step by Hamas to manage its
"Hamas, as any other govern-
ment in the world, want others
to listen and believe in them,"
said Moean Hassan, a lecturer
in media at Gaza's Palestine Uni-
Since the group overran the
territory in 2007, it has cautious-
ly attempted to enforce its deeply
conservative version of Islam
and has at times placed some
restrictions on women's behav-
ior. But it has refrained from
passingsweepinglIslamic legisla-
tion, apparently fearing a public
backlash, despite criticisms form
ultraconservatives who say it is

not implementing Islamic law
quickly enough.
Under Hamas, there has been
mounting social pressure on
women to cover up in the tradi-
tional Islamic dress of long robes
and headscarves. The Hamas
government has also banned
them from riding on the backs
of motorbikes and from smoking
water pipes, but these rules have
not always been enforced. Earlier
this year, the Hamas government
barred girls and women from
participatingin aU.N.-sponsored
marathon, prompting a U.N. aid
agency to cancel the race.
At the same time, women
are permitted to work, drive
and hold public office, with one
female minister and six female
deputy ministers serving in the
Hamas government. Some 20 per
cent of public servants working
for Hamas are women.
Almodallal asserts that
women in Gaza are finding their
way into politics, medicine, edu-
cation and media. "Every day,
women's footsteps can be seen
advancing more in society," she
Almodallal takes a slightly
different line than many Hamas
spokesmen. She refers to "Israel"
rather than the "Zionist entity."
And she does not consider her-
self a Hamas loyalist, saying she
would be equally willing to work
as spokeswoman for the rival
Palestinian government in the
West Bank.
But she does believe - in line
with the Hamas position - that
the Palestinians should con-
trol all of historic Palestine, or
the land between the Mediter-
ranean and the Jordan River,
including what is now Israel.

Kerry, Rouhami
seek solutions to
nuclear programs,
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - With
a first round of nuclear negotia-
tions with world powers end-
ing without agreement, Iranian
officials looked ahead Sunday
to parallel talks with the U.N.'s
nuclear chief amid reminders
that concessions by Tehran
have limits.
The overall message from
Iran closely mirrored the work-
in-progress tone of U.S. Secre-
tary of State John Kerry and
other powerful envoys, who
failed to seal a first-step accord
during overtime talks in Gene-
va but then quickly agreed to
try again next week.
The administration of Ira-
nian President Hassan Rou-
hani is emphasizing that the
talks are a work in progress.
He's mollifying hard-liners by
reasserting that Iran will keep
on with nuclear activities that
it insists are its right, but at the
same time is trying to quell any
hints of stalemate in the nego-
tiations. The impression that
the talks are sputtering could
embolden critics uneasy over
his government's historic out-
reach to the U.S and fast-track
effort to ease Western concerns
over Tehran's nuclear ambi-
The framework for a pos-
sible deal could see an easing
of U.S.-led economic sanctions
in exchange for curbs on Iran's
highest levels on uranium
enrichment. Among the com-
plications ahead, though, is
addressing French concerns
that the proposed limits on
Iran's ability to make nuclear
fuel don't go far enough and
alarm over a planned heavy

water reactor that produces
greater amounts of byproduct
plutonium, which can be used
in nuclear weapon production.
Iran insists it rejects nuclear
arms and only wants reactors
of energy and medical applica-
tions, such as isotopes for can-
cer treatment.
Rouhani said progress was
made during "serious" talks
in Geneva with the six-nation
group, the permanent U.N.
Security Council members plus
But he repeated that Iran
cannot be pushed to fully give
up uranium enrichment - a
comment that echoes past dec-
larations and appears aimed at
opponents of his nuclear dia-
logue with the West.
In related talks, U.N. nuclear
chief Yukiya Amano headed
to Tehran on Sunday for meet-
ings on the practical aspects
of expanding international
monitoring and gaining greater
access to nuclear sites. Attempts
have been stymied by nearly
two years of arguments over
what can be seen and who can
be interviewed by experts from
the U.N.'s International Atomic
Energy Agency.
Iran's new leadership has
promised more cooperation,
and Amano said "we aim to
build" on the offers. A positive
report from Amano could help
drive forward negotiations set
to resume Nov. 20 between Iran
and the six world powers.
Foreign Minister Moham-
mad Javad Zarif, in a posting
on his Facebook page Sunday,
said there are "some problems"
still to overcome with the six
powers, but called the latest
round "serious but respectful."
Abbas Araghchi, Iran's deputy
foreign minister and one of the
top nuclear negotiators, call the
Geneva rounds "very intensive
and difficult, but useful and

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