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September 17, 1977 - Image 5

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Michigan Daily, 1977-09-17

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The Michigan Daily-Saturday, September 17, 1977-Page 5

Official cites little evidence
PBB caused girl's death

By CHRIS PARKS
LANSING (UPI) - A state public
health official said yesterday there is
no hard evidence to support a
Michigan farmer's suspicion that the
heart condition which took the life of
his two - year - old daughter was
caused by PBB CONTAMINATION.

But the official, Dr. Kenneth
Wilcox, stopped short of saying there
is positively no connection, adding
health officials will keep an open
mind on the matter.
CHRISTINA Booms, who may have
been exposed to PBB during her
mother's pregnancy, died Sept. 6 at

AID FOR PREGNANT WORKERS:
Senate passes benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate
voted yesterday to require employ-
ers to include pregnancy benefits in
any workers' disability plans they
offer.
The legislation, if enacted by the
House, would overcome the effects of
a controversial Supreme Court rul-
ing. The bill is being championed by
various women's groups.
THE SENATE vote was 75 to 11. A
similar measure currently is await-
ing floor action in the House.
Employers who offer disability
benefits also would have to offer
them to cover pregnancies and
pregnancy-related disabilities under
the proposed amendment to the 1964
Civil Rights Act.
Before approving 'the bill, the
Senate on a 44-41 vote rejected an
amendment by Sen. Thomas Eagle-
ton (D-Mo.), that would have prohib-
ited abortions from being considered
a pregnancy-related medical ex-
pense that could be covered by such
plans.
EAGLETON SAID he feared that
even though, the bill does not spell out
that abortions would have to be
covered in such plans, "I fear that
the bill's language. . . could be con-
strued to mean that all employers
would be forced to pay out disability
benefits for abortions."

The bill would legislatively over-
turn the effects of a December 1976
Supreme Court ruling that held
company disability plans do not have
to provide pregnancy or child-birth
benefits.
It would amend the 1964 Civil
Rights Act to prohibit sex discrimin-
ation in disability plans on the basis
of pregnancy.
SEN. HARRISON Williams, (D-
N.J.), the prime sponsor of the bill,
said the legislation would offer
important protection to the 36 million
women in the nation's labor force.
Women workers would be guaran-
teed maternity leave and re-employ-
ment rights under the bill as long as
they work for employers who have
disability programs covering other
medical disabilities.
In its decision, the Supreme Court
said that plans not offering pregnan-
cy benefits do not, of themselves,
discriminate against women.
The court upheld 6 to 3 a disability
plan by the General Electric Co.
which failed to provide benefits for
pregnant women. The court's major-
ity said that even. though only women
become pregnant, failing to offer
pregnancy benefits is not sex dis-
crimination.

Children's'Hospital in Detroit after
undergoing open heart surgery to
correct a congenital heart condition.
Despite the official skepticism
about the possible PBB tie-in, Chris-
tina's mother said she knows of at
least one other instance in which a
woman exposed to PBB gave birth to
a child with a heart problem.
Raymond Booms, a dairy farmer
from Moorestown near Houghton-
Lake, said his observation of the
effects of low level PBB contamina-
tion on his own animals make him
suspicious of the possible role of the
chemical in his daughter's death.
"I'VE HAD too many calves born
that were deformed to be able to
say definitely that PBB did not have
anything to do with this," he said. "I
can't help but wonder myself wheth-
er there are more babies having
problems like this."
The Booms family is participating
in a long-term study being conducted
by the= health department on the
effects of PBB. The Booms said
Christina was found to have 0.2 parts
per million of the chemical in her
system.
system.
Wilcox, chief of the health depart-
ment's bureau of disease control and
laboratory services, said that long-
term study and other probes have yet
to turn up evidence that PBB and
congenital h e a r t problems are
linked.
"To date, in terms of either animal
studies or anything we know about
people, there is no evidence now" of a
connection, he said, adding "birth
certificate records for the state don't
indicate any increase" in heart
disease.
Wilcox said, however, he would
"hate to say there is no link be-
cause we do have an open mind."

AP Photo
Ships ahoy!
Courageous, (left), the U.S. entry in the America's Cup race, leads its Australian opponent yesterday in the
waters off Newport, R.I.

Biko death sparks protest

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa
(AP) - Protests by blacks and anti-
government whites mounted here
and abroad yesterday over the death
in police custody of black leader
Steve Biko. A major black nationalist
group called for a weekend of
memorial services.'
At the Colored University of the
Western Cape, site of one of several
student protest meetings yesterday,
white journalists were ordered out as
students shouted, "Those white pigs
must leave, they are the same people
who murdered Biko." "Colored" is
the South African term for mixed-
race.
SIMILAR protests were staged,
planned or banned on the campuses
of South Africa's major white Eng-
lish-language universities and segre-
gated black universities. There has
been no reaction at Afrikaans-lan-
g u a g e .universities, tr'aditionally
more conservative.
The Black People's Convention, a
leading black activist group, sched-
uled Sunday memorial services that
are expected to attract thousands of
blacks in the segregated townships
around the major cities of Johannes-
burg, Pretoria and Durban and
elsewhere.

Biko, 30, who was widely regarded
as founder of the "black conscious-
ness" movement here, died Monday
night, three weeks after being picked
up by security police under sweeping
laws that allow indefinite detention
without trial.
HE WAS the 21st person to die in
police custody in South Africa in the
past 18 months.
Prisons Minister James Kruger
said Biko4ied after a week-long
hunger strike, but critics of the
white - minority government were
skeptical. Kruger first said that Biko
refused food or drink for a week, but
he said later he was fed intravenous-
ly before he died. The results of an
autopsy are not to be made public
until next week. It was performed by
state pathologists as doctors appoint-
ed by Biko's family stood by.
Kruger so far has resisted calls
from churchmen, white opposition
parties, black political groups and
the English-language press for a
special judicial inquiry.
OPPOSITION parliament member
Graham McIntosh, 30, and his wife
began an eight-day fast yesterday,
saying they would take only fluids.

"As a man the same age as Steve
Biko I want to prove that I will not be
dead after eight days without food,"
McIntosh said.
Editor Donald Woods of the East
London Daily Dispatch, the country's
most outspoken liberal white journal-
ist, told a protest meeting of 1,000 at
Johannesburg's white Witwaters-
rand University yesterday that Biko
would not kill himself by starvation.
"WE ALWAYS thought there was a
possibility that if he (Biko) was de-
tained he might not come out alive,"
Woods said. He challenged Kruger to
"tell the truth now" and prove all
possible was done to prevent the
death, or resign.
Calls for Kruger's resignation also
have come from opposition members
of parliament.
Canon Burgess Carr, general sec-
retary of the Kenya-based All Africa
Conference of Churches, said in a
message to the South African Council
of Churches that Biko's death "will
most certainly harden .black anger
and make reconciliation between
blacks and whites in South Africa
virtually impossible."

Thne cri pple
LONDON (AP) - Modern machin-
ery and human ingenuity provedI
little help yesterday to Victor the
weak-kneed giraffe, who struggled
without success to get back on his]
feet as this animal-loving nation
cheered him on.
The long-necked, one-ton denizen
of the Marwell Park Zoo in Winches-
ter, 66 miles southwest of here, was
found Thursday night s p r a w I e d
spread-eagle, unable to stand, on the
concrete floor of his cage.
RADIO AND television news bulle-
tins kept Britons up-to-the-minute
yesterday on efforts by firemen, zoo
workers and veterinarians to raise
him. Newspapers splashed the 18-
foot-tall Victor's picture across front
pages, and well-wishers bombarded
the zoo with messages and advice.
"He is still on the ground and we
have made him as comfortable as we
possibly can," a zoo spokesman said
Friday night. "At the moment his
general health is very good."
Reported John Knowles, owner of
the private zoo: "The telephone has
been constantly ringing with sugges-
tions about how to get him to his feet.
Several people have suggested a
crane."~
A ROYAL AIR Force crew even
offered to lift 15-year-old Victor up by
helicopter, Knowles said.
But he said the zoo turned down
such suggestions as too dangerous
for Victor - he might thrash around
or crack his ribs - and decided to put
its faith in the veterinarians.
Rescue workers, who at one stage-
tried airbags to lift him, got Victor as
far as his knees yesterday, but then
he collapsed back onto his stomach.
HE STAYED there even when the
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'OPEN LETTER:
TO SINGERS, INSTRUMENTALISTS
and all people who like musical theater.
Each year somedpeople pass up the opportunity to perform with us. Those *
who have delayed and then joined us hiave regretted waiting so long. The
personal enjoyment they received performing in our productions made
permanent members out of them.
What are we offering? The chance to perform in an opera or operetta
that combines great music and comedy, and to enjoy the company of people
who have a great deal of fun creating a spectacular show in Lydia 0
Mendelssohn Theater.
.But thct's notall.It's a chance to be involved in a'show that won't be
seen anywhere else. Because new English translations are welded to the
music of the world's greatest composers,,such as Strauss, Mozart, Offenbach,
Rossini and others to make each season's production a premiere.
This winter our show is Jacques Offenbach's masterpiece 'Orpheus in
the Underworld.' To produce it we need good lead singers and actors,"0
a large, active chorus, a skilled orchestra, principal dancers, and a crew
of set builders and costume sewers. But we don't require these people to
give up their jobs, homes, families or perhaps sanity. Ours is a group for
all to enjoy.'
We are holding an open meeting this Sunday, Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m. at
Art Worlds-213/2 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor. We'll talk about our show.
Then you'll be invited to sign up for whatever you like to do, including cost
auditions which will be held later in the week.
If you can't be there, or you would like more information, call 665-6074.
Don't miss this opportunity to take part in an exciting production with
what we like to think is Ann Arbor's friendliest and most enjoyable
theater organization.
Yours,
-THE COMIC OPERA GUILD

zoo put female giraffes in the cage in
the hope that gentlemanly instincts
would prevail.
Instead, Victor blinked his big,
long-lashed eyes and calmly looked
on as his would-be rescuers fussed
around him. Then he munched a

meal of leaves swilled down with
buckets of water.
"He looks reasonably happy,"
Knowles said. "He's eating and
taking notice of what is going on
around him, which is a good sign."

giraffe: A t~all story

Planned blackouts to save energy?

NEW YORK (AP) - Planned
neighborhood blackouts or govern-
ment-imposed restrictions on the use
of electricity are almost certain as
early as 1979, utility officials said
yesterday.
Government officials agreed that a
power shortage is coming, but said it
might not require such restrictions
quite that soon.
"THIS IS a critical situation," said
Larry Frech, a researcher for the
Edison Electric Institute, a utility
group that collects statistics on
electricity usage and reliability.
"Other energy matters are getting a
lot of attention, but this is going to be
one of the biggest problems."
The Edison Institute has been
warning for several months that
electricity reserves would fall below
the level considered prudent in the
near future. And this week, the
National Electric Reliability Council
- a group formed in 1968 by U.S.
power companies after the Northeast
blackout of 1965 - released the most
pessimistic report to date.
The council's report cites govern-
mental and environmental objections
to the locations and designs of power
plants, "lack of timely and adequate
ROCK1
TUIDT

rate relief" and confusion over which
fuel federal officials prefer for use by
power companies.
"THE CONTINUATION of these
restraints will surely result in forced
curtailments of electric power start-
ing as early as 1979 and increasing in
severity in the period beyond," the
report said.
The curtailments would include
blackouts rotated by neighborhood,
reduced voltage throughout a power
system and possibly government-
ordered conservation measures, the
council and federal officials said.
The council said the consequences
of the curtailments would be: "Ad-
verse chances in lifestyle of the

American people; an era of an
energy-limited economy for the Unit-
ed States; threats to the health and
welfare of all citizens."
NORTON SAVAGE, chief of power
supply and reporting for the Federal
Power Commission, said the FPC
agrees with the industry report.
"The only real difference between
us and them is that they see problems
beginning in 1979," Savage said. "We
don't see any problemsEuntil 1981.
And by 1986, if some nuclear generat-
ing units don't come into service as
planned, there will be much bigger
problems.

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