Reward offered in CMU noose case

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich.

Police are trying to find out who hung four nooses in a classroom on the Central Michigan University campus.

A student discovered the hangman’s nooses in the Engineering and Technology Building on Monday. Campus Police Chief Stan Dinius says the nooses were made from “flexible compressed gas lines” that are used for laboratory work.

President Michael Rao and other CMU leaders issued a statement calling on the university and Mount Pleasant communities “to join us in our denouncement of this reprehensible act.”

Police are questioning students and faculty about whether they noticed suspicious activity in the building. A $500 reward is being offered for information in the incident.

SEOUL, South Korea

North, South Korea agree to run cross-border trains

North and South Korea agreed yesterday to launch cross-border rail service for the first time in more than half a century, the latest sign of improving relations between the two sides.

The rail’s Dec. 11 opening will also mark one of the first tangible results of a summit last month between South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang.

The service, which will be limited to freight transport, will have trains running along a 16-mile track across the heavily armed frontier to a joint industrial complex in the North’s border city of Kaesong.

KHULNA, Bangladesh

Cyclone kills 41 on Bangladesh coast

A cyclone packing 150 mph winds slammed Bangladesh’s southeast coast late yesterday, killing at least 41 people and forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes, officials said.

Cyclone Sidr leveled numerous homes as it sent driving rains and high waves across the lowland coastal areas before weakening to a tropical storm by this morning, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department.

Local government officials across the region said that at least 41 people had been killed, mainly from collapsing homes and falling debris, and 650,000 people had been evacuated.

WASHINGTON

Gates vows cuts if Congress doesn’t pass war funds

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday that unless Congress passes funding for the Iraq war within days, he will direct the Army and Marine Corps to begin developing plans to lay off employees and terminate contracts early next year.

Gates, who met with members of Congress on Wednesday, said that he does not have the money or the flexibility to move funding around to adequately cover the costs of the continuing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“There is a misperception that this department can continue funding our troops in the field for an indefinite period of time through accounting maneuvers, that we can shuffle money around the department. This is a serious misconception,” Gates told reporters at the Pentagon.

As a result, he said that he is faced with the undesirable task of preparing to cease operations at Army bases by mid-February, and lay off about 100,000 Defense Department employees and an equal number of civilian contractors.

Compiled from Daily wire reports

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