The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 27.0°F | A Few Clouds

Briefs (right)

Bush Gets Cool Reception
At Americas Summit

By Elisabeth Bumiller and Larry Rohter

President Bush arrived in this beach resort city on Thursday night for a gathering of Western Hemisphere leaders after one of the worst weeks of his presidency, only to be greeted by strong anti-American sentiment and taunts from Venezuela’s populist president, Hugo Chavez.

Chavez, who has repeatedly accused the Bush administration of trying to assassinate him and invade his oil-rich country, is using the international summit meeting here to protest the administration’s free trade message and to attempt a showdown with Bush, the man the Venezuelan government calls “Mr. Danger.”

Air Force One landed shortly after 8 p.m. on a rainy spring evening, and Bush went immediately to his hotel, the Sheraton Mar del Plata, on a bluff overlooking the South Atlantic.

Bush and Chavez are expected to see each other in a group session at the opening on Friday of the Summit of the Americas, a two-day, 34-nation gathering. The meeting is officially to focus on creating jobs and promoting democracy. But Chavez said this week that his main goal at the meeting was the “final burial” of the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas accord, which already is stalled.

The White House strategy is to ignore Chavez as much as possible. “President Chavez has been pretty vocal about how he sees the summit and what he hopes to achieve at the summit,” Thomas A. Shannon, the assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, told reporters on Air Force One on Thursday while it headed for Argentina. “I mean, he’s going to behave the way he wants to behave.”

Donation Aims to Aid
Tufts University and Fight Poverty

By Karen W. Arenson

Pierre M. Omidyar, the founder of eBay, and his wife, Pamela, gave $100 million to Tufts University this week, with some unusual strings attached.

The gift, the largest Tufts has ever received, must be invested in organizations that make small loans to poor people in developing countries, a field known as microfinance. Further, Tufts may use only half the income from the investments for itself; the rest must be reinvested in microfinance.

“This is not the kind of thing that normally happens with a university,” said Omidyar, 38, a Tufts graduate and trustee with more than $10 billion in assets.

Omidyar had three goals in mind: He wanted to help the university, help poor people around the world and further the development of microfinancing.

Tufts was willing to oblige.

“Partnering with the Omidyars is a strategic fit for Tufts on many levels,” said Lawrence S. Bacow, the university’s president, who announced the gift Thursday night.

Bacow said he liked the way it allowed the university “to do well by doing good” and “to make a difference in the world.”

At a time when universities are competing for maximum investment returns — Yale earned 22 percent in the last fiscal year — the approach required by this donation is rare.