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THE BG NEWS

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ESTABLISHED 1920 | A daily independent student press serving the campus and surrounding community Thursday, April 7, 2011

Volume 90, Issue 127

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Wendy’s collects first aid supplies, money for Japan By Brian Bohnert Reporter

Only a couple of weeks after Japan was devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Wendy’s restaurants in the greater Toledo area have joined forces with a local relief group to collect donations for the victims of the disaster. A community based, non-profit organizationknownasInternational Services of Hope & Impact With God Crusades Incorporated is leading the initiative, and local Wendy’s locations are serving as drop-off spots for visitors to donate to the cause. Wendy’s restaurants in Bowling Green, Fostoria, Holland, Maumee, Perrysburg, Rossford, Sylvania, Swanton and Toledo are all participating in the joint effort by collecting first-aid items and cash donations. As a “thank you” for the donations, Debbie Lisk, director of operations for the franchise, said visitors who donate to the relief effort will receive a $1 off coupon toward their next visit. Lori Kazmierczak, office manager of the ISOH/IMPACT location in Perrysburg, said her organization is working with Wendy’s and other businesses because outside help was needed. “In times of disaster, ISOH/ IMPACT works very closely with its network of partners to determine if outside assistance is needed and then to identify the specific needs of the victims,” Kazmierczak said. “In the case of Japan, we are collecting donations of bagged rice, cleaning supplies, first aid kits, over-thecounter medications, new sleeping bags, new tents and blankets.” Each participating location has

“We are collecting donations of bagged rice, cleaning supplies, first aid kits ...” Lori Kazmierczak | Manager

a bucket on top of the counter as part of a “Bucket Brigade.” Inside those buckets, customers are asked to donate common first aid items, over-the-counter medications and small articles of clothing such as socks or gloves. Chris Lewandowski, manager of the Rossford Wendy’s, said his bucket is already filling with a wide variety of useful first aid items. “My bucket’s already pretty full,” Lewandowski said. “We have from anything from tweezers and latex gloves to socks and hand warmers.” Cash donations are being accepted in small plastic boxes sitting in front of the cash registers. Lewandowski said the boxes are normally for customers to donate to the Dave Thomas Foundation but they are currently being used for the Japan collections. Jacob Lofton, manager of the Wooster Street location, said he is seeing positive results from customers giving to his restaurant. He said while there have not been many first aid donations to the location he has seen a lot of visitors giving money to the cause. “We’ve only had a few first aid items donated,” Lofton said. “But we have had a lot of people giving to the change box ... It is mostly change and cash donations that are given to

See WENDY’S | Page 2

A WALK THROUGH OPPRESSION

ANDREA FEHL | THE BG NEWS

ON THE LINE : Jeff Ouster, far right, stands in front of construction on The Oaks dining center with fellow members of the Local 886 Plasterer’s Union on Wednesday.

Local plasterer’s union pickets Oaks dining hall construction By Jason Henry City Editor

The Local 886 branch of the Plasterer’s Union will be picketing Shrader & Martinez’s construction of The Oaks dining center at McDonald Hall this week. “[Shrader & Martinez] are not using local people and not paying area wages and benefits,” said Dan Rauch, a Local 886 business agent. Chartwells, which is contracted for University dining, is also in charge of the construction of the two dining halls because of the contract. For the Oaks project, Chartwells hired Arizona-based Shrader & Martinez as the general contractor to oversee the project. Shrader & Martinez is then responsible for hiring subcontractors to complete specific jobs, such as plastering.

Rauch said most of the subcontractors working on the dining center are union members, except for Bredshall Plastering Inc., which is currently plastering the exterior shell of the building. The goal of the picket, Rauch said, is to notify the public of the issue. “We have a lot of local people out of work,” said Jeff Ousterhout, a Local 886 business agent. “We’re getting cut out of all that shell work.” The choice to use Bredshall Plastering Inc., based out of Wilmington, Ohio, was a budgetary one, said Mike Dobler of Shrader & Martinez. “Once a contractor can’t meet the bid amounts, we have to go with somebody who can,” Dobler said. All workers are paid prevailing wages, Dobler said. A prevailing

wage requires a subcontractor to pay its employees the same amount that a union worker would make. “They provide to us every week with what they call a certified payroll report,” he said. This report is notorized, signed and stamped to verify its authenticity. Dobler said the reports are submitted to the University. “Their signs read that the plastering company is paying their employees substandard wages; that’s untrue,” he said. “So unless they can come up with a legal reason to picket, it is an illegal picket.” All Ohio law is being followed by the contractor, said Dave Kielmeyer, senior director of communications for the University. “Bowling Green State University is confident that prevailing wage is being paid on all jobs currently going on campus,” Kielmeyer said.

Newly distributed BG1 Card appearance, features accepted by University students By James Bero Forum Editor

LAUREN POFF | THE BG NEWS

PRESENTATION: Saisha Gailliard goes through the Tunnel of Oppression and looks at how people are seen in society.

CAMPUS ‘Chivalry is not dead’

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity reaches out to outstanding women from the faculty and student body by giving awards at the “Evening of Roses” | Page 3

The University’s official distribution of the new BG1 Cards for students and faculty ended Wednesday afternoon in the Ballroom. If students and faculty were unable to pick up their new card, they will be available for pick up in the BG1 Card Services offices on the first floor of the Union. The BG1 Card still has all of the same features as the current cards, but now students will be able to link their PNC Bank account directly to their BG1 Card to also serve as a debit card. “The distribution of the cards is going very well,” said Jean Coffield, Manager of BG1 Card Services. Coffield said they have had excellent volunteers that have helped throughout the distribution process, and students and staff have not had to wait in line very long to receive their new card. In terms of student response

FORUM Keep working in final weeks As the final weeks of the semester approach, columnist Tyler Buchanan encourages students to not fall prey to spring fever and procrastination | Page 4

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY LAUREN POFF

BG1: The new BG1 Cards were given out this week at the Union to replace the current cards. The new cards will activated on May 9.

to the card, Coffield said that the response has been mostly good. “Most of the comments have been very favorable,” she said. Coffield said students like the ability to link their PNC Bank account to the BG1 Card. Johnson agreed with Coffield that students really like the ability to link their BG1 Card with their PNC Bank account.

SPORTS Women’s golf head to Kentucky

The BG women’s golf team will hit the links today in the EKU Lady Colonel Classic. The Falcons will use freshman Bailey Arnold as their number one golfer | Page 6

Johnson said there have been a few glitches where students may not have had their card printed when they arrived to pick it up. However, Johnson said they usually did not have to wait more than 10 minutes for a new card to be made.

See BG1 | Page 2

PEOPLE ON THE STREET What do you think of the new BG1 card? HILLARI BOWLING Freshman, Pre-Pharmacy

“Effective because they connect to your PNC account.” | Page 4

VISIT BGVIEWS.COM: NEWS, SPORTS, UPDATES, MULTIMEDIA AND FORUMS FOR YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE


FROM THE FRONT PAGE

2 Thursday, April 7, 2011

WENDY’S

BLOTTER TUES., APRIL 5 11:20 A.M.

A complainant reported a small duffel bag stolen, which contained a Comrex broadcast transmitter valued at $1,000, two radio broadcast style headsets valued at $250 each and power cords and phone lines worth $75, all of which are University property. He said they were taken from the trunk of his unlocked vehicle while it was parked within the 700 block of N. Enterprise St. 12:50 P.M.

Jody K. Wolfe, 44, of Bowling Green, was arrested for shoplifting after taking French onion chip dip and two bags of Combos valued at $8.48 within the 400 block of E. Wooster St. 1:47 P.M.

Germanie Patterson, of Burtonsville, Md., was cited for assault and criminal damaging at Bromfield Hall. 8:27 P.M.

A complainant reported a few dozen nails were painted black to blend with the blacktop and placed with the points up in a driveway within the 200 block of State Ave. 11:56 P.M.

Andrew Jones, of Granville, Ohio, was cited for possession of marijuana in Lot 1.

WED., APRIL 6 12:07 A.M.

Michael A. Barrientes, 18, of Bishop, Texas, was arrested on an active warrant through the Nueces County Sheriff in Texas within the 700 block of E. Napoleon Rd. 2:03 A.M.

Drew V. Benedick, 25, of Bowling Green, was arrested for criminal trespassing, littering in public and disorderly conduct while intoxicated at City Tap.

ONLINE: Go to bgviews.com for the complete blotter list.

ed when franchise owners made the decision to help and then contacted owners From Page 1 of the other area franchises. “Becky Williams of Pertoria, the front.” Physical donations are Inc., a local Wendy’s frannot the only way people can chisee with a benevolent give. Kazmierczak said both heart, has worked with Wendy’s and ISOH/IMPACT ISOH/IMPACT on other have started a text-to-donate relief efforts in the past,” initiative as a way to expand Kazmierczak said. “Becky the opportunities people contacted the other area have to donate. She said Wendy’s franchisees and anyone interested in the text they accepted her invitation campaign can use their cell to join in the effort.” Pertoria, Inc. owns six phone and text “giveten isoh” to 20222. For every text mes- Wendy’s locations, including sage sent to the number, a the Bowling Green locations. All of them are participating $10 donation will be made. Kazmierczak said the in the collection for Japan. Lisk said this is not the first Wendy’s involvement start-

time Wendy’s has worked with ISOH/IMPACT to help victims of tragedies like the one in Japan. She said Wendy’s helped the organization in 2010 after the massive earthquake in Haiti. “We are always looking for opportunities to step up and help those in need,” Lisk said. “It was just another disaster and therefore another opportunity to mobilize our crew to do something about it.” WhiletheWendy’sreliefdrive will end April 17, Kazmierczak said ISOH/IMPACT will continue to accept donations for this and future disasters at their Perrysburg location.

STATE BRIEFS

WWW.BGNEWS.COM

BG1 From Page 1 “I definitely think they are really excited about the new backgrounds,” said Haley Johnson, a student worker in the BG1 Card Services office. Though a number of students may be pleased with the new cards, not all shared the same view. “The appearance of the card is a little tacky, but it shows a lot of BG spirit,” said junior Lisa Subtireleo. Subtireleo said she was not a PNC Bank customer, and the new BG1 Card

Haley Johnson | Student feature would not influence her to switch her bank to PNC. Coffield said on Tuesday that many students and faculty had already shown up to pick up their cards, but there was still quite a large number left. She hoped that by the last pick up day that things would begin to pick up.

BG NEWS WIRE SOURCES

Ohio Senate OKs ban on abortion of viable fetuses

Historian says Ohio still carries political clout

Group: college’s policy violates free speech

Man pleads in attack on Ohio homeless man

Legislature OKs snow day increase for Ohio schools

COLUMBUS (AP) — The Ohio Senate has approved a bill that would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy if a physician determines the fetus would be able to survive outside the womb. The bill passed the chamber 24-8 and now goes to the Ohio House for review. The measure has the support of Ohio Right to Life, unlike the so-called “heartbeat” bill that would ban abortions after the first detectable heartbeat, often as early as six weeks. Both bills are among a number that would place restrictions on abortions in Ohio. Another requires judges who waive parental consent to collect more definitive evidence that minors understand the impacts before having an abortion. Another assures Ohio opts out of coverage for abortion-related services available through the federal health care overhaul.

COLUMBUS — A Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian says Ohio still carries political clout despite its loss of two congressional seats as a result of the last Census. Author Doris Kearns Goodwin told reporters Wednesday that she believes the traditional swing state would continue to play a pivotal role in the 2012 presidential race. No Republican has ever won the White House without carrying Ohio. She said the next GOP presidential nominee will have to do three things to win: excite the base, unify the party and appeal to independent voters. She says that won’t be easy given the strong tea party movement. Goodwin was in Columbus to take part in an event series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Ohio Statehouse. She’s the author of “Team of Rivals,” among other works. — Ann Sanner (AP)

CINCINNATI — A civil rights group has said a southwest Ohio college violated a student’s right to free speech by barring her from passing out literature on abortion, cancer and birth control on campus. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education said Wednesday that it sent a letter to the president of Sinclair Community College in Dayton in February asking for a change in the school policy. The group said the college’s counsel replied in a letter last month pointing out a section of school policy banning distribution of literature in classrooms and other working areas of campus. Sinclair general counsel Lauren Ross said Wednesday that the student distributed the fliers in a classroom. The civil rights group said the student did not disrupt class and the college’s policy should be changed. — Lisa Cornwell (AP)

CINCINNATI — An Ohio man has pleaded no contest to felonious assault charges in the beating of a homeless man sleeping under a Cincinnati bridge. A court official said 25-year-old Michael Hesson, of Hamilton, pleaded Wednesday in a Cincinnati courtroom in John Johnson’s beating last April. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but is handled much like a guilty plea in court. Three soldiers also were charged in Johnson’s attack. Two, from Fort Bragg, N.C., have cases pending. The third, from Fort Knox, Ky., has pleaded no contest to felonious assault. Prosecutors said Johnson was hit with a baseball bat and pipe and suffered a facial fracture. Hesson also pleaded no contest to having a weapon under disability, stemming from his girlfriend’s fatal shooting in January. — Lisa Cornwell (AP)

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio schools would see a two-day increase in snow days under a bill being sent to Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik). He’s expected to sign it. The state Senate on Wednesday voted 32-1 to strip changes they had made to the legislation. It was a procedural move that allowed the bill to then go to Kasich. The vote came a day after House Democrats had balked at certain Senate revisions — including a requirement that school districts provide transportation to students of charter schools during make-up days. That’s no longer in the bill. The legislation would give schools two more calamity days beyond the three they’re currently allowed each year. Harsh winter weather quickly pushed schools beyond that limit this season.

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CAMPUS

Thursday, April 7, 2011 3

University alumus discusses his upcoming project for sports media By Ryan Satkowiak Assistant Sports Editor

LAUREN POFF | THE BG NEWS

ROSE: Dr. Shannon Cochran receives the Outstanding Adviser Award at Alpha Phi Alpha’s “Evening of Roses,” where women faculty and students were recognized.

Fraternity honors influential women at “Evening of Roses” By Danae King Reporter

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. brought attention to outstanding women at the University Wednesday night by hosting an event titled “Evening of Roses.” The event took place in Olscamp from 7 to 9 p.m. and it was the first year for what the fraternity hopes to make an annual event. “We give out certificates and an actual yellow rose for each woman who’s being recognized, and we give a brief biography on why we’re awarding her and what she’s done,” said Eddie Hackler, senior and chair of the event. Hackler said the fraternity had a few overall goals for the event. “Our goal is to let people know that chivalry is not dead,” Hackler said. “Also, one of our goals is just to let the women in our community know that we do appreciate them for the things they’re doing and it’s not going unrecognized, or it’s not being slipped under the rug. We want to empower women through this and hopefully inspire more women to get more involved and do more things through the community as well.” The evening began with a dance selection by Jazzmine Hill and then dinner, which was provided by University

Dining Services. Anyone was welcome to observe the event, but the women who were recognized were invited and encouraged to bring guests. During dinner, guests were treated to a musical selection followed by a performance by a praise and worship team. “It was fun,” sophomore Rebecca Shakespeare said. “I think it’s really nice that they did this and asked the women that are a part of a lot of organizations, spend a lot of time, keep their grades up and are good influences.” Shakespeare performed with four other women as the praise and worship team, and they sang a Christian melody titled “Israel.” After the performance, awards were presented to the faculty, staff and administration recipients. Seven faculty and administration awards were given out, including one to Shannon Cochran,aUniversityinstructor in the Department of Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies. Cochran was given an award for outstanding adviser. “I thought it was wonderful,” Cochran said. “I’m honored to be selected.” After the faculty and administration awards, Ashley Strother performed an inspirational poem, and the awards and recognitions were presented to student recipients.

Six women were presented with awards for students, and senior Brittany Reynolds was presented with the student involvement award. “It really motivates you to keep up the work,” Reynolds said. Reynolds said when she found out she was being awarded, she felt overwhelmed, but said she was enjoying herself. After the student awards, University student Lauren Allah performed “Listen” by Beyonce and received a standing ovation. Hackler said the hardest part of the event was choosing what women to honor. “We were thinking of women that we all knew had some type of an impact on either us personally or people that we know in our community, so whether it be advisors, or presidents of organizations ... that’s how we went about choosing the women,” Hackler said. Not all of the women the fraternity chose to be honored were able to make an appearance at the event, Hackler said. Hackler said he thought the event went very well, and the fraternity hopes to do it again next year, with even more women being honored. “Our fraternity is big on chivalry ... we wanted to have a tangible example of what that means to us,” Hackler said.

Once a prominent member of sports media, Richard Maxwell is now doing his part to help prepare a select group of University students for the changing face of media in sports. A 1970 graduate of the University, Maxwell was back on campus Wednesday LAUREN POFF | THE BG NEWS speaking in Olscamp Hall. MEDIA: Richard A. Maxwell, who is well known and respected in the sports Maxwell was promoting a communication industry and is a graduate of the University, spoke in Olscamp about new project on sports media the Richard A. Maxwell project. — the Richard A. Maxwell Project — headlined by a Max” by people involved with establish contacts that he plans one week class to be offered its development, will provide a to bring to the University to talk in November 2011 to juniors forum for students to develop as a part of the project. and seniors in the fields of the craft of sports writing and “We’ve thought about bringCommunications, Journalism broadcasting, among other ing in a lot of people, and it and Public Relations or things. It will also provide a really won’t be a problem find“vital center for scholars” inter- ing people of substance to Telecommunications. “The class is going to be on ested in sports media, accord- bring in,” Maxwell said. “We the changing face in sports ing to Jacquelyn Cuneen, pro- don’t just want to bring in a media in regards to the NFL,” fessor of Human Movement, big name, but people who can Maxwell said. “It will not Sport and Leisure studies. provide substance … and we only encompass manage“It will have an impact have a long list of them.” ment style, but also the new on our faculty, our staff and However, his discussions technology avenues that are most importantly our stu- with many of the people have being used to communicate in dents, who will be directly been “very preliminary,” due to today’s world.” involved with the project’s the current labor negotiations that the league is undergoing. Joe Horrigan, the activities,” Cuneen said. “It was very evident that this Vice President for The Maxwell project will Communications/Exhibits at also launch a “world wide web” wasn’t the time to go down the Pro Football Hall of Fame, to be maintained and operated that road with them, since believes that the class being by select students, and an advi- they have much more imporoffered in the fall will be a great sory board will be formed, con- tant things to talk about,” opportunity for students who sisting of University students Maxwell said. are looking to get into the field and faculty, as well as faculty Maxwell also said that the of sports media. new media revolution toward from other programs. “You’re talking about the After graduating from the emphasis on the Internet is premiere sports league in the University, Maxwell worked in unique compared to other country, taught by someone public relations for eight years changes in types of media who was there through the with the Denver Broncos and that he experienced during evolution and growth of the the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his time with the league. NFL for a 36-year period,” he before being promoted to the “[With the league] you’re said. “That’s like going to the NFL’s Director of Information trying to control the media Vatican and getting a tour for the NFC in 1978. and stay out in front of it as from the pope.” Maxwell’s work with the best as you can, and that’s a The project, called “The league has allowed him to challenge,” he said.

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FORUM

“We have a lot of local people out of work. We’re getting cut out of all that shell work .”

—Jeff Ousterhout, local 886 business agent on the hiring of Chartwells construction workers [see story, pg. 1]. Thursday, April 7, 2011

PEOPLE ON THE STREET

What do you think of the new BG1 Card?

“They are pretty and our pictures look better.”

“Cool, because of the design that spices it up.”

CHANEL PATTERSON,

RACHEL HAYNES, Sophomore, Intervention Specialist

Freshman, Criminal Justice

4

“Cool, because you can tie it to your PNC account.”

“Weird because of the tiny picture.. Don’t know why they exist.”

CHELSEY BUERKLE,

SHAYNA NOONEN,

Sophomore,

VISIT US AT BGVIEWS.COM Have your own take on today’s People On The Street? Or a suggestion for a question? Give us your feedback at bgviews.com.

Sophomore,

Middle Childhood Education.

Woman’s studies, Ethnic Studies and Spanish

Don’t give in yet, prepare for the Facebook could home stretch until summer break damage more than you think TYLER BUCHANAN COLUMNIST

April is finally here. The home stretch is upon us. Withstanding bits of rainy and otherwise uninspirational weather, the days become longer, brighter. Unfortunately, something’s got to give. With this uplifting spirit comes a natural decline in motivation for, as we all remember since the first grade, school. Summer taunts us, crawling slowly towards us as the student body begins its collective countdown. Four

weeks, or 28 more days, just 39 or so classes more, maybe just a few thousand more minutes of class-time. Hey, creativity counts. It seems no matter how hard we try, our minds begin to shift towards our desire for summer. If nothing else, we wish it were possible to fast forward through finals week. Each year, we meet the little death that awaits students. It is left to us to resist the temptation to shut down, or to let our minds and work fall victim to the allusion of summer. In the study corners of the Union, on the long walks to and from class, and in page after relentless page, we can see the light at the end

of the tunnel. The symphony music plays, the books are sold and we make our way back home for sweet, beautiful respite. Beyond that, we prepare ourselves in anticipation for the following year. Most of us (by now, I hope) have signed up for at least a few of their fall classes. Elections for a new student government are underway. We look toward new buildings, professors, and classes. A new semester will bring forth a fresh set of activities and friends, and inversely new stresses to overcome. Oh, and a new football season too (thankfully). However, it is not yet time to think too intensely

at the summer and semester ahead. The year is almost over, but there is still a lot to work for. A plethora of sports charge into April and May for their spring seasons. A few more projects, a bit more assignments and a tad more lectures, leading to the week which shall not be named. We may be close, but we just aren’t there yet. Enjoy the weather, but keep trudging to class. Resist the students’ little death. In the end, we’ll thank ourselves for the trouble.

Respond to Tyler at thenews@bgnews.com

Media culture is to blame for making pregnant teens famous Staff Editorial, The Daily Targum (Rutgers University) College News Network

Teen pregnancy is no fun. Unless, of course, you land on a reality show, like what happened to the delightfully dysfunctional girls of MTV’s “16 and Pregnant.” Or, you could end up like Bristol Palin, making $262,500 off her participation in programs raising awareness about teenage pregnancy in 2009. On first glance, Palin’s willingness to parlay her baby into a moneymaking scheme seems sort of weird, especially considering that she’s the daughter of Sarah Palin, one of America’s favorite “family values” icons. But, being mad at Palin would be mis-

guided, because she merely took advantage of what was offered her. The real problem here is the system already in place, which allows someone like Palin to make six figures off her teenage pregnancy. We’re talking about both the political climate and the entertainment market. Palin is part of a political family and a rather right-wing political family at that. As such, her teenage pregnancy came as a bit of an embarrassment for her abstinence-only, down-home common senseloving mother. Here was Sarah Palin, traveling across the country as the champion of “traditional family values” — a vague, catch-all term whose flaws would need an editorial of their own to

point out — and her unmarried, teenage daughter turns out to be with child. Rather than admit that maybe, just maybe, there was a flaw in the Palin family ethos, Sarah played the role of supportive mother and Bristol began her own “don’t-be-like-me” campaign. Bristol Palin’s involvement in teenage pregnancy awareness programs seems, from this viewpoint, to be less sincere and more politically motivated. But it isn’t just the political climate which seems to have given Palin the chance to cash in on having a child out of wedlock — it is also the American public’s love of watching people make mistakes. As the daughter of a vice presidential candidate,

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The surface area of the average adult human lung is equal to a tennis court!

us when I say it is quite troublesome to see people are posting absurd status updates on Facebook regarding what kind of cereal they just ate, or that “Suzie just got a new phone and needs your numbers!” Though these updates are generally harmless (unless you suffer physical pain from reading such nonsense, in which case I am truly sorry), many students don’t realize what they are posting online not only makes others worry about their mental health, but it can also get them killed, unemployed and leave them friendless. Posting your address online along with your phone number and exact date of birth is just as bad as posting your Social Security number, the way I see it. It’s now easier than ever for predators to find us, so be careful what information you provide. Sometimes our last names are enough to locate our place of employment or even where we live. Google yourself and see what you find. From an employer’s view, do you think this person seems worthy of hire or is he/she just a plain hot mess? Would you befriend yourself or would you track yourself down and shake yourself silly for appearing so ridiculous? Was it necessary to post that picture of yourself when you were “totally slizzered, man” during the party last Saturday night? I think we’re all guilty of a similar incident. The Huffington Post offers plenty of stories on the topic of being “fired over Facebook,” including a Swiss woman who called in sick because she needed to spend time away from the computer and spent her time at home surfing Facebook. Needless to say, her employ-

ment was terminated. A New England Patriots cheerleader was fired over a racy party photo on Facebook. An English juror held a poll online asking her Facebook friends to weigh in on the case she was assigned to. The list goes on. We all want to be accepted among our peers. In order to accomplish this very important task, we need to learn what is on the minds of others our age and feed off the latest social trends. Facebook seems to be the most straightforward way to find out what is going on around us, keep up on the most exciting inanimate objects to take pictures of or which lowest-calorie drink to pick up at Jamba Juice. Let’s get real — our view of what matters in friendship has become distorted thanks to the virtual world of Facebook. On any given day, a girl I went to high school with is posting about how her ex-boyfriend is taking her back and a co-worker wants recommendations on alcoholic beverages to enjoy that night. When I let this new information sink in, my opinion of these people may change for better or worse regardless of the relationship I may have with them in person. The same goes for the way others think of me. The power of Facebook is greater than we think when it comes to keeping our friends close. My recommendation to you is to stop and think about what you’re posting on Facebook. You can blame the privacy policy terms all you want, but you put your information out there in the first place and are really the only one to blame. Remember, no one wants to be killed, unemployed or friendless. Happy Facebooking!

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Palin would have ended up as a minor celebrity no matter what. However, her pregnancy landed her in tabloids across the country, and people ate it up. That’s why the “16 and Pregnant” comparison is so salient: Palin, just like MTV, cashed in on what the people want to hear and see. It is as simple as that. We disagree with Palin making money off of her child in this way. For whatever reason, it does not sit well with us. However, Palin cannot really shoulder the blame. Let’s be honest: Most people, faced with the same chance to make money, would take it. Instead of shaming Palin, we should maybe be shaming ourselves. Why did we decide to eat it up?

Social Networking causes some to lose jobs By Haley Ostrowski, “Our view of The Daily Titan (California State University, what matters in Fullerton) College News Network friendship has I think I speak for most of gotten distorted.”

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Police arrest two suspects in Ariz. teen’s death

Mo. senators offer to allow vote on jobless bill

Carter: Trip to N. Korea to focus on nuclear weapons

Teen in Pa. immigrant death gets 4 1/2 years

Residents allowed back near Colorado wildfire

Gay student sues ex-Mich. official over stalking

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Two 18-year-olds from a Phoenix suburb have been arrested in the dragging death of a 16-year-old girl. Police in Glendale arrested Lino Chavez and Jose Solis Apodaca in the investigation of the death of Independence High School student Anita Munoz (MOON’-yohz). Court paperwork says Chavez was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder. The court ordered him held on $500,000 bond. Apodaca is being held without bond. He faces charges of first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and trafficking in stolen property. It was not immediately clear whether the men had lawyers. Police said the pair are suspected of robbing Munoz of her laptop on March 30. Detectives said that after a struggle, the girl either fell or was pushed from the men’s vehicle in Glendale. She died from her injuries on Tuesday.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Several Missouri state senators who have been blocking a vote on extending federally-funded jobless benefits said they will only relent if the governor agrees to the elimination of $300 million in federal stimulus spending. The condition is a change from earlier Wednesday, when a senator leading the filibuster said he would allow a vote on the unemployment bill and instead try to block up to $400 million of stimulus spending. The senators later said at a news conference that they want Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon to share responsibility for rejecting federal money — even though they could do so on their own. Nixon did not directly respond to the Republican offer but said he will keep working with Senate leadership. About 10,000 Missouri residents lost eligibility for extended jobless benefits Saturday because of the filibuster. —David A. Lieb (AP)

ATLANTA — Former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday he plans to focus an upcoming trip to North Korea on trying to revive nuclear disarmament talks with the reclusive nation while seeking ways to help with the country’s humanitarian woes. Carter would not say when the trip was scheduled and the Atlanta-based Carter Center declined to comment on the plans. But U.S. government officials who were briefed on the details have said he could make the journey as early as this month. Carter said he would “try to induce the North Koreans to give up their nuclear weapons� and help the country work out a peace treaty with South Korea and the United States. But the trip will also have a humanitarian angle. — Greg Bluestein (AP)

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania teenager who testified against two others convicted of federal charges in the fatal beating of an illegal immigrant will spend 4 1/2 years in prison. Nineteen-year-old Colin Walsh was ordered Wednesday to report to federal prison on May 6. Outside the federal courthouse in Wilkes-Barre, Walsh told the Pottsville Republican and Herald he would become “a better person.� Walsh pleaded guilty to a civil rights violation in the 2008 beating death of 25-year-old Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah. He also testified against two other teens at a pair of trials. Brandon Piekarsky and Derrick Donchak were acquitted of the most serious state charges against them by an all-white jury before being convicted of civil rights violations in a federal trial. Both were sentenced to nine years in prison.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Cooler, wetter weather is helping crews fighting a northern Colorado wildfire, a day after winds caused a flare-up that prompted the evacuation of 20 houses as a precaution. Authorities said residents are being allowed back to their homes Wednesday in the Larimer County foothills because of the improved conditions. Firefighters were continuing to build fire lines around the blaze, which has burned 5 square miles and destroyed about 15 homes. So far the blaze — a larger fire and nearby smaller one — is about 15 percent contained. Gov. John Hickenlooper planned to visit the fire’s command post Wednesday afternoon. It’s still dry in southern Colorado. Fire warnings are in place across the state’s southeastern plains and in lower elevations of the mountains in the south.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The openly gay student assembly president at the University of Michigan has sued a former assistant state attorney general on charges of stalking and causing emotional distress. The Detroit Free Press and AnnArbor.com reported Wednesday that Chris Armstrong filed the suit against Andrew Shirvell on Friday in Washtenaw County Circuit Court. Armstrong’s attorney Deborah Gordon said in the complaint that Shirvell displayed a “bizarre personal obsession� with Armstrong through critical blog and Facebook posts in which he claimed Armstrong was pushing a “radical homosexual agenda.� Shirvell told The Associated Press Wednesday he had no comment. Armstrong is asking for more than $25,000 in damages. Shirvell was fired by the state in December after being accused of harassing Armstrong. He is a 2002 University of Michigan graduate.

Obama addresses oil dependency Trial of NYC suspect in President Obama forsees little short-term help for high gas prices Harvard shooting begins there’s little he can do to lower gas prices over the short term. “I’m just going to be honest with you. There’s not much we FAIRLESS HILLS, Pa. — Pitching can do next week or two weeks the promise of energy indepen- from now,� the president told dence, President Barack Obama workers at a wind turbine plant. Obama said he wants to move cautioned Wednesday that it’s going to be tough to transition toward “a future where America from America’s oil-dependent is less dependent on foreign oil, economy and acknowledged more reliant on clean energy By Darlene Superville The Associated Press

Suspect posed as Harvard student, allegedly shot drug dealer in dorm By Denise Lavoie The Associated Press

WOBURN, Mass. — A New York City man masqueraded as a student to make a local drug dealer feel comfortable, then shot the man in a Harvard dorm when he refused to hand over $5,000 worth of marijuana during a robbery, a Massachusetts prosecutor said Wednesday. As the murder trial of Jabrai Jordan Copney began Wednesday, prosecutors and Copney’s defense lawyer made it clear that the case hinges largely on stories told

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by Copney’s co-defendants — two men who allegedly participated in the robbery and Copney’s ex-girlfriend, who was a Harvard student at the time of the shooting. Prosecutors said Copney shot Justin Cosby, 21, of Cambridge, in May 2009, during an attempted robbery in the basement of Harvard’s Kirkland House dorm. But Copney’s lawyer, John Amabile, called the co-defendants “liars,� and said they had made up “phony baloney� stories so they could cut deals with prosecutors and avoid

long prison sentences. Assistant District Attorney Daniel Bennett said Copney, a songwriter and musician, spent a lot of time at Harvard visiting his girlfriend, Brittany Smith. While there, he also smoked marijuana with another Harvard student, Smith’s friend, Chanequa Campbell, Bennett said. Bennett said Campbell also sold drugs. Through Campbell, Copney learned about Cosby, Bennett said. Cosby lived a few blocks from the Ivy League campus but was not a student there.

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produced by workers like you.� But the president said it won’t happen overnight and if any politician said it’s easy, “they’re not telling the truth.� “Gas prices? They’re going to still fluctuate until we can start making these broader changes, and that’s going to take a couple of years to have serious effect,� Obama said.


SPORTS

Thursday, April 7, 2011

6

Falcons drop third straight game, fall 7-3 to Oakland By Paul Barney Sports Editor

execute those three phases, and when we do we’re a very competitive club.” Pitching and defense hurt the In baseball, all it takes is one inning to change the outcome Falcons in the top of the fourth inning when designated hitof a game. Oakland University proved that ter Mike Carson took the first Wednesday when it snapped an 0- pitch he saw off BG starter Matt 2 deficit in the top of the fourth Malewitz and put it over the inning and scored five runs on its left field fence. The solo shot way to a 7-3 non-conference win sparked a rally that featured two Falcon errors. over BG at Steller Field. After Todd Dunham reached “We didn’t play very well,” said BG coach Danny Schmitz. “The first on a throwing error by three phases of pitching, hitting Falcons’ shortstop Jon Berti, and defense didn’t fare too well See LOSS | Page 7 today and those are the things we need to key on. We need to

Another ninth-inning rally comes up short for BG By Paul Barney Sports Editor

BYRON MACK | THE BG NEWS

CONTACT: Ryan Schlater makes contact with a pitch during Wednesday’s 7-3 loss to Oakland. Schlater went 1-for-5 at the plate with an RBI.

“Jon Berti hit that ball pretty good, unfortunately today the wind was blowing in.”

Baseball is a game of inches, and Jon Berti needed a few more to hit a game-tying grand slam in the bottom of the ninth of Wednesday’s 7-3 loss to Danny Schmitz | BG coach Oakland University. With two outs and the bases loaded, Berti stepped up to the plate Golden Grizzlies’ pitcher Russell and hit a shot to left field that found Luxton, but the wind brought the the glove of Todd Dunham on the See NOTES | Page 7 warning track. Berti made solid contact against

Reds walk their way to perfect 4-0 record to start season By Joe Kay The Associated Press

CINCINNATI — The National League’s most potent offense has learned how to score by doing nothing. The Cincinnati Reds got off to their best start in 21 years by showing patience at the plate. Reds batters walked 18 times during their 4-0 start, leaving them among the league leaders in that category. It’s a notable change. Last season, the Reds overpowered teams with an offense that led the league in batting average, homers and slugging percentage. They ranked only 10th in walks, preferring to take their bases several at a time. That reputation may be part of the change. Pitchers are being careful with the defending NL Central champs so far. “When people know you can hit, most of the time they’re not just going to come at you,” manager Dusty Baker said Wednesday, before a game against Houston. “It’s up to you.” Jonny Gomes is the best example of the turnaround. Last season, the free-swinging outfielder walked only 39 times. After four games, he leads the league with seven walks. During an 8-2 win over the Astros on Tuesday night, Gomes drew a pair of walks with the bases loaded, laying off close pitches. “If you taught every kid to hit in the big leagues, I think all you’d have to say is swing at strikes and take balls and you’ll be successful,” Gomes said. “That’s what we’re doing. I don’t think it’s any more than that. And we could go the other way: When we’re slumping, what’s going on? Well, swinging at

“When people know you can hit, most of the time they’re not just going to come at you. It’s up to you.” Dusty Baker | Reds’ manager balls and taking strikes. “Basically, it’s that simple.” Simple in theory, not so easy in practice. Look at the Astros. Houston batted only .215 and drew only five walks while dropping its first four games against Philadelphia and Cincinnati. Astros starter J.A. Happ walked five in the first two innings on Tuesday night, matching his offense’s total for the entire season. No surprise that the Astros were the NL’s only winless team four games in. Manager Brad Mills lamented his lineup’s lack of good at-bats in the series opener, when Houston managed only five hits. “We put a lot of weight on quality at-bats, and with quality atbats, you’re going to get more walks,” Mills said. By contrast, the Reds drew 18 walks — none intentional — while scoring 7, 4, 12 and 8 runs in their first four games. They’re batting .338 with eight homers in those four games. National League MVP Joey Votto is second on the team with four walks. Eight different Reds have drawn a walk, an indication it’s more than Gomes and Votto. Eleven players

See REDS | Page 7

BG NEWS FILE PHOTO

CHIT CHAT: BG women’s golf coach Stephanie Young (left) talks with Marisa Glew at the Falcon Invitational last spring.

BG travels to Kentucky to compete in EKU Lady Colonel Classic By Ryan Satkowiak Assistant Sports Editor

After falling to Ohio University last week in the Spring Challenge Cup, the BG women’s golf team will refocus its attention on stroke play today as it heads to Eastern Kentucky University for the Lady Colonel Classic. For today’s round, the Falcons will use Bailey Arnold as the team’s No. 1 golfer, with Kelsey Benson, Lauren Glew and Amy

Ruthenberg rounding coach practice indoors while preparing for Stephanie Young’s lineup. The the tournament. Young feels that while not being able team will also bring Marisa Glew to get outdoor practice can present as an individual. “I think that, coming off of our obstacles to the team, they have to just match play event, we’re looking focus on improving their game since to build some momentum even the weather is out of their control. “Our ability to practice outside though the score of that last meet wasn’t what we wanted,” Young said. has been inconsistent; it’s uncon“We were able to play outside and trollable but it’s a fact,” Young said. compete, so we’re looking to take “I think that we’ve maximized our positives from that.” See GOLF | Page 7 With the weather not cooperating this week, the team was forced to

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Sophomore hockey players Jordan SamuelsThomas is leaving the BG hockey program. Falcons’ coach Chris Bergeron is unsure on whether or not Samuels-Thomas is transferring or going pro.

The BG tennis team returns to play on the road this weekend when it travels to Michigan and Chicago for matches against Western Michigan and UIC.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011 7

GOLF From Page 6

THE BG NEWS SUDOKU

opportunities to get outside, but it’s something that will be a challenge for us to try to overcome.” The tournament will be the first competitive stroke play match for the Falcons since the Rio Verde Invitational, in March. The tournament will also only be the Falcons’ third competitive outing since October, something Young feels can present a challenge to the team. “Right now the biggest thing that we need to focus on is getting the players accustomed to competitive situations,” Young said. “Every shot or every decision that they make in practice is under the gun, or feeling like it’s counting towards something.” However, Young feels the team’s simulation of competitive situations in practice has thus far been successful. “We’ve been able to play every day this week in a competitive format, but the real key is to start developing consistency when we get outside,” Young said. ON THE GREEN: Jen Blanchard putts the ball at the Falcon Invitational last spring.

LOSS

extra outs and it turned into a crooked number,” Schmitz said. “It went from a 2-1 lead From Page 6 to where we lost the lead.” The Golden Grizzlies Dunham reached second on a fielder’s choice and tacked on another run in later came around to score the sixth in unlikely fashon an RBI single by Tim ion, when Jarrad scored Ryan. D.J. Jarrad added from third on a sacrifice fly another RBI single, which to first base. Jeremy Shay pulled starter Malewitz, couldn’t throw out Jarrad who allowed five runs at home after hauling in (two unearned) on six hits a catch in foul territory down the right field line. in 3.1 innings. BG scored its final run of Malewitz was relieved by Ben Singer who, after the game in the bottom half throwing an attempted of the seventh when freshpick off to second in cen- man Logan Walker came ter field, allowed Ryan and home after finishing a perJarrad to score a couple fect 3-for-3 at the plate. The Falcons struggled unearned runs. “We gave them a couple as a team at the plate,

NOTES

a 13-11 losing effort. Two days later, the Falcons trailed the Eagles From Page 6 5-2 in the ninth and scored two more, but again the ball back. “Jon Berti hit that ball comeback bid fell short, pretty good, unfortunately with a final score of 5-4. “The guys don’t quit,” today the wind was blowing in,” said BG coach Schmitz said after his Danny Schmitz. “If the team’s third ninth-inning wind is blowing out that’s a rally fell short. “Even grand slam and we got the though we didn’t play game tied because he put a extremely well we were still in the ballgame. I give good swing on that ball.” The comeback effort the guys credit for that.” didn’t come as a surprise Tough stretch to Schmitz, who has seen his team make noise in the The Falcons’ game against ninth inning in three of its Oakland was their fifth last five games. in six days and their third Friday against Eastern straight loss. Michigan, BG was down 13After a three-game 5 before scoring six runs in weekend series w ith the bottom of the ninth in EMU, BG lost on the road

however, striking out six time and leaving nine runners on base. Jeff Gorecki earned the win on the mound after allowing just a hit in three innings, while striking out three. He came in relief of Brady Adamek, who allowed two runs (one unearned) on three hits in three innings. Malewitz got the loss as BG used six pitchers, including Chris Miller, Levi Fisher, Ross Gerdeman and Dan Parsons, who each pitched one inning. The Falcons resume practice today and will look to improve on the three phases. “We just need to get the

SUDOKU To play: Complete the grid so that every row, column and every 3 x 3 box contains the digits 1 to 9. There is no guessing or math involved. Just use logic to solve

BG NEWS FILE PHOTO

“We gave them a couple extra outs and it turned into a crooked number. It went from a 2-1 lead to where we lost the lead.” Danny Schmitz | Coach thoughts on the positive side here,” Schmitz said. The loss dropped BG to 9-15 overall while remaining 3-3 in the MidAmerican Conference.

to Western Michigan on Tuesday before falling to the Golden Grizzlies. “That’s the way it is, it’s not unusual for us to play every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Schmitz said. “It did give some guys that haven’t had an opportunity a chance to get in the past couple of days and see some playing time, and I think that’s important for those guys.”

games were non-conference games, BG looks to use those games to prepare itself for conference. “That’s one thing about the midweek games, that’s what they are. They’re midweek games, they’re not conference games and the most important thing is getting ourselves ready for conference,” Schmitz said. That’s what we have to do, we just have to come out with a good attitude. We just play them one at a time Back in the MAC and Friday’s the next most important game.” The Fa lcons w ill return to Mid-American Conference play Friday when they begin a threegame series against Ball State in Muncie, Ind. Even though the last two

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REDS

“I think we’re pretty stacked. We’ve got From Page 6 dangerous hitters are batting .333 or better. “I think we’re pretty stacked,” Gomes said. “We’ve one through eight, got dangerous hitters one so taking your through eight, so taking your walks is fine. We’ve seen that. walks is fine.” I don’t think we’re relying on the middle of our lineup. Just take your walks, we can do damage one through eight.” Being selective early in the count has forced opposing starters to throw a lot of pitches and work themselves into a corner. Three of the first four opposing starters failed to last five innings because of high pitch counts. “You get walks by not swinging at pitches out of

Jonny Gomes | Reds’ outfielder the zone,” Baker said. “It’s like fishing and throwing some bait out there. “It’s hard to catch the big bass if you don’t have the proper bait presentation. Those are the guys who hit .300. It’s easy to catch the little fish because the first batch of bait you throw out there, they bite on it.”

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SPORTS

8 Thursday, April 7, 2011

Take me out to the ballgame

WWW.BGNEWS.COM

Falcons drop third straight game with loss to Oakland at Steller Field Photos by Byron Mack | The BG News

BOYS OF SPRING: Members of the Falcons take in Wednesday’s game from the dugout.

STEAL: Oakland’s Todd Dunham slides safely into second base as BG shortstop Jon Berti applies the tag.

EYE ON THE BALL: Franks Berry watches as a pitch crosses home plate. Berry went 1-for-4 at the plate with an RBI against OU.

� � � � �� ���

DELIVERY: BG’s Ben Singer delivers a pitch against Oakland. Singer gave up two hits, no runs in 1.2 innings pitched.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011 9

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WORLD BRIEFS

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Gates in Baghdad for talks with Iraqi officials

Somalia to push insurgents from capital in a year

DNA test IDs 103rd stolen baby in Argentina

Unpaid electric bill leaves holy site in the dark

Afghan officials: 2-3 men suspected in UN attack

Rio’s ‘Operation Easter’ to check size of eggs

BAGHDAD — On his first visit to Iraq this year, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived Wednesday for two days of talks with senior government officials on the looming final withdrawal of American troops from a country still suffering from frequent insurgent violence eight years after the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime. Gates’ meetings Thursday were to include a session with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has publicly insisted Iraq can handle its security without U.S. troops beyond 2011. The bulk of the remaining 47,000 U.S. troops are to begin going home in late summer or early fall, officials have said. Gates has said in congressional testimony that it might be preferable to keep U.S. troops in the role of training Iraqi forces and providing security for an enlarging U.S. Embassy presence, but he also has said the U.S. will pull out completely on schedule at year’s end unless the Iraqis request an extension. — Robert Burns (AP)

MOGADISHU, Somalia— Somali government forces and African Union peacekeepers can take back control of the country’s ruined capital from Islamist insurgents within a year, the Somali prime minister said Wednesday. “We just need one year. Our forces are advancing in the city,” Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed told The Associated Press. The Somali transitional government, which is backed by about 9,000 African Union troops, now controls about half of the capital city, although attacks are frequent and sporadic gunfire can be heard throughout the day. Islamist insurgent group al-Shabab controls the other half and much of south-central Somalia. The State Department says some leaders of al-Shabab have links to al-Qaida. —Katharine Houreld (AP)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — An Argentine human rights group says DNA evidence has identified the 103rd young person who was stolen at birth during the country’s dictatorship in the late 1970s. The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo said the young woman was born in 1976 to Cecilia Beatriz Barral, who was nine months pregnant when kidnapped with her partner, Ricardo Horacio Klotzman. The couple were militants in the Revolutionary Workers Party, prime targets for elimination after Argentina’s military coup. A court forced the woman to take a DNA test against her will and released the results to the involved parties Tuesday. The Grandmothers announced the results Wednesday. The Grandmothers said the woman’s half-sister has never stopped looking for her.

JERUSALEM — It’s a lesson that the rabbis who manage one of Israel’s most popular Jewish pilgrimage destinations have now learned the hard way: Even holy sites have to pay the electric bill. The tomb of Moses Maimonides, one of Judaism’s pre-eminent sages, has been plunged into darkness because of a debt to the electricity company totaling $11,500. Rabbi Israel Deri, one of the managers of the site in the Galilee city of Tiberias, admitted Wednesday that the bill “fell between the cracks.” As a result, the tomb — where people come to pray around the clock — is now closed to night visitors. “We accumulated a debt. We didn’t pay. And we’re working on it,” Deri said. Signs at the entrance announce that the site is closed at night “due to a power glitch.” —Daniel Estrin (AP)

KABUL, Afghanistan — Former insurgents who had renounced the Taliban and were in a reintegration program are suspected of taking an assault rifle from a Nepalese guard and opening fire during the anti-Quran-burning riot last week that left seven U.N. workers dead, Afghan officials said Wednesday. Parliamentarian Mohammad Akbari said government investigators have identified three men they believe were involved in the killing of three U.N. staff members and four Nepalese guards in the April 1 attack against the U.N. headquarters in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Four protesters also were killed. The men were arrested the day of the riot. It began as a peaceful demonstration, but after crowds stormed the building and set fires, some protesters seized weapons and started shooting. “They had one Kalashnikov which they took from a guard. They fired, according to witnesses,” said Akbari, who was part of the investigating team. “They have been recognized by witnesses.” —Patrick Quinn (AP)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Officials in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state are going to make sure the Easter Bunny isn’t short-changing children with the holiday’s hallmark chocolate eggs. Rio’s department of weights and measures launched “Operation Easter” on Wednesday to verify the size and weight of the multicolored eggs already lining supermarket shelves. The state-run Agencia Brasil said they will also also check the safety of toys inside the eggs. Investigators will collect eggs around the state. Department head Soraya Santos said the eggs will be stripped of their shiny wrappers and weighed in a lab to be sure customers aren’t being cheated. The toys inside will be checked against federal safety standards.

Haiti’s leader criticizes UN’s military efforts President claims peacekeeping missions lacked focus, were ineffective By Edith M. Lederer The Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS — Haiti’s outgoing president criticized the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday for being too slow to switch its peacekeeping mission in the Western hemisphere’s poorest country from military operations to development and peacebuilding. In his last address to the council, Rene Preval urged the U.N.’s most powerful body to consider the effectiveness of its interventions “that have practically led to 11 years of military presence in a country that has no war.” Speaking at the meeting attended by Colombia’s president, former U.S. president Bill Clinton and nine foreign ministers from Latin America and Spain, Preval said it was “sad to note” that in a quarter of a century “I’m the only president to finish two constitutional terms and was never jailed or exiled.” Preval urged the country’s newly elected president, pop star Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly, legislative leaders and the opposition to work in a spirit of peace and cooperation. But Preval focused mainly on the instability in Haiti due to the effects of “underdevelopment” and a culture of impunity dating back to the

dictatorship of the Duvaliers. The instability, he said, was compounded by deadly hurricanes and the devastating earthquake in January 2010, which according to the government killed 316,000 people and crippled much of the country’s economy. Since 1993, Preval said, the United Nations has had a series of peacekeeping missions in Haiti, “each time ... made necessary by instability created by the citizens themselves.” This was true most recently in 2004, when there was the possibility of clashes with heavily armed groups, he said. But he said when the danger of violent confrontation had passed, “peacekeeping operations did not quickly enough adapt to the new situation.” “Tanks, armed vehicles and soldiers should have given way to bulldozers, engineers, more police instructors” and experts on reforming the judicial and prison systems,” Preval said. When he was sworn in for a second term in May 2006, Preval said, “I emphasized this need — but I was unfortunately not heard.” Preval said he hoped the peacekeeping mission in Haiti would be reoriented, a view strongly backed by Colombia’s President Juan

Manuel Santos, whose country holds the council presidency. Santos said Colombia organized the council meeting because it wanted to renew efforts to stabilize and strengthen the rule of law in Haiti, given “the meager results achieved” so far. “We must all commit to a different vision for rebuilding Haiti,” Santos said. Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez criticized the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti for being too involved in Haitian affairs. “Haiti does not need an occupation army,” he said. “It is not, nor can it become, a United Nations protectorate.” Secretary-General Ban Kimoon said rule-of-law reform must be a top priority for Haiti’s next president, calling the judicial system “deeply dysfunctional” and prisons dangerously overcrowded. Haiti’s economy is also “on its knees” with public institutions barely able to deliver essential services and millions of Haitians still dependent on the assistance of nongovernmental organizations to meet their basic needs, he said. “As a result, citizens have lost confidence in the state and investors remain reluctant to do business in Haiti,” Ban said.

Gates tries to soothe Saudi residents rattled by unrest By Robert Burns The Associated Press

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Defense Secretary Robert Gates tried to smooth the worst rift in years with Arab ally and oil producer Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, reassuring the Saudi king that the U.S. remains a steady friend despite support for pro-democracy revolutions in the Middle East. The Saudi king, looking thin after months of medical treatment in the United States and elsewhere, welcomed Gates for what the Pentagon chief later said was a cordial and warm visit. The hospitality masked deep unease among Saudi Arabia’s aged leadership about what the political upheaval in the Middle East means for its hold on power, its role as the chief counterweight to a rising Iran, and its changed relationship with the United States. In a sign of the depth of the Obama administration’s concern about the political earthquake that has shaken the region, including the island of Bahrain off Saudi Arabia’s Persian Gulf coast, this was Gates’ third trip to the area in the past month.

“And we also have evidence that they are talking about what they can do to create problems elsewhere” Robert Gates | Defense Secretary He has echoed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s cautioning of authoritarian Arab governments on the risks of moving too slowly in response to peaceful protests for political freedom. Saudi Arabia views the threat of a nuclear strike from Iran as a far larger issue than the drive for political freedoms in Egypt and elsewhere. Although Gates said he and Saudi King Abdullah did not discuss the decision to send Saudi troops into Bahrain last month, the contest for influence in that majority-Shiite country was an important subtext to Gates’ visit. The U.S. is selling Saudi Arabia military hardware to upgrade the kingdom’s defenses against Iranian missiles. Gates said it’s already clear that Tehran is trying to exploit instability in Bahrain, the tiny island nation off the Saudi coast that hosts the

U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet. “And we also have evidence that they (the Iranians) are talking about what they can do to create problems elsewhere,” the Pentagon chief added. He did not elaborate. Other officials have said Iran is using money and political pressure in Bahrain and elsewhere to promote Shiite unrest, but the extent of this effort is unclear. The unrest in Bahrain, which erupted in February, has played out against the region’s deep rivalries between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. Protesters from Bahrain’s Shiite majority have demanded that the kingdom’s Sunni minority rulers grant them equal rights and a political voice. Saudi Arabia, a largely Sunni nation, has rushed to the aid of Bahrain, while other Gulf countries have accused predominantly Shiite Iran of meddling in Bahrain’s affairs by trying to stir Shiite unrest there.

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The BG News - April 7, 2011

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