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University employee jailed for attempted poisoning

Robert Nathan Friedlander, a consultant for the university’s collections department, was arrested late Wednesday on charges of felony battery for allegedly attempting to poison his boss with liquid mercury fumes, according to an article Friday in the Miami Herald.

Albert O. Williams, the department’s associate director, was hospitalized for three days in April with an unexplained rash, fever, chills and swelling of the joints. Upon returning to his office on April 26, Williams noticed an odd substance on his office chair. Upon wiping the substance off with his hands, Williams’ skin turned red.

The university’s Dept. of Environmental Health and Safety later confirmed that there were high concentrations of mercury present in the office. Williams told Coral Gables police that Friedlander had been angered by a written reprimand Williams had given him for cursing.

Friedlander was also reportedly overheard saying, “That’s what happens when you put a black in a position of power,” according to police reports. Williams is black. Friedlander is white. Though Friedlander confessed, police are continuing to investigate whether or not another employee may have been involved in the poisoning plot.

ELSEWhere

UCLA economists discuss nationwide housing trends

Roberta Wolfson // Daily Bruin (UCLA)

(U-WIRE) LOS ANGELES – Though the housing market has entered a state of major cyclical decline nationwide, economists from the University of California-Los Angeles Anderson Forecast concluded in their quarterly prediction that the economy is not entering a recession, but conversely is entering a period of slow growth.

But David Shulman, senior economist for the UCLA Anderson Forecast, said there could still be problems in the future.

“While the U.S. economy appears to have seamlessly downshifted to a soft landing, we suspect that there will be turbulence ahead,” he said.

Shulman said that challenges the economy could face in the upcoming quarters include increasing inflation, sluggish growth and a rise in unemployment.

“We look at housing slumps with concern because when housing goes down, it is usually a warning sign that a recession will begin soon,” Leamer said.

But speakers at the Anderson Forecast conference said that the current housing slump may be an exception to this rule.

Because job loss is expected to be minimal, Anderson Forecast economists predicted that the economic slump will be shallow, but may take at least five years to overcome.

ETC.

Beginning Oct. 2, The New York Times will be distributed for free at the following locations – Stanford/Hecht dining hall, Mahoney/Pearson dining hall, Richter Library lobby, School of Communication courtyard, School of Business study room and the UC Information Desk.

October 3, 2006

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.