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March 02, 1988 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-02

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, March 2, 1988- Page 5

Reagan adds Panama to list of
countries with drug problems

Reagan administration yesterday
added Panama to the list of countries
ineligible for aid because of its poor
anti-drug efforts, and said 1988 would
be a boom year for cocaine produc-
tion in Peru and Colombia because
of ineffective crop-killing programs.
In its annual report on the
international drug situation, the State
Department found major faults with
drug programs in Mexico and
Colombia, but stopped short of
placing them among countries that
have suffered aid cutbacks.
The administration, citing na-
tional security considerations, also
declined to list Lebanon, Paraguay
and Laos among nations not doing
enough to stop drugs.
Laos was kept off the list out of
concern that a condemnation would
harm U.S. efforts to win Laotian
help in accounting for more than 500
U.S. troops listed as missing there
after the Vietnam War, said Ann
Wrobleski, assistant secretary of state
for international narcotics matters.

Under a law designed to help
Congress decide who deserves U.S.
assistance, resident Reagan is required
to certify each year that countries are
taking proper steps to stop drug pro-
duction and trafficking.
Ms. Wrobleski told a news con-
ference that Panama was denied certi-
fication this year because its military
chief and de-facto leader, Gen.
Namuel Antonio Noriega, was in-
dicted on drug conspiracy charges by
a U.S. grand jury.
"Panama has been a drug traffick-
ers' and money launderers' haven,"
she said.
Panama will not lose U.S. aid as
a result of Tuesday's action because
its assistance from the United States
already has been cut, Wrobleski said,
however, that the decision gives the
president the option of taking further
steps, such as increasing tariffs on
Panamanian goods and withdrawing
certain customs rights that make it
easier for Panama to sell products in
the United States.

No decisions on such steps have
been made, but the administration
will watch events in Panama over the
next few weeks to see if improve-
ments are made, she said.
On Capitol Hill, Sen. Alfonse
D'Amato (R-N.Y.) said he would in-
troduce legislation Wednesday
imposing a trade embargo on
And at a White House conference
on drugs, a group of lawmakers said
the administration has failed to stop
the heavy influx of illicit drugs into
the United States.
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.)
chided administration officials, in-
cluding President Reagan, for claim-
ing the battle against drugs was
being won.
"If we are winning the war on
drugs, I wish the commanders would
go out and tell it to the troops in the
field," Rangel told the White House
Conference on a Drug-Free America.

-Associated Press
DeLores Brown, of Traverse City, demonstrates in front of the State Capital in Lansing. Brown and 40 other
mental health workers protested the state's decision to close the Traverse City National Psychiatric Hospital
where they are employed, by October 1989.
Proeterwat TraseGity
men v~n ves tal hospital to stay open

-Associated rress
The Pontiac Division of General Motors Corp. announced yesterday that production of the Pontiac Fiero will
be discontinued at the end of the 1988 model year. The action will idle more than 1,100 workers.
Pontiac drops Fiero car production
PONTIAC (AP) - Pontiac will Pontiac Division General Manager before last fall. But Losh refused to
drop its sporty two-seat Fiero and Michael Losh said. speculate on whether the plant might
close the General Motors Corp. plant "We led the world into this reopen.
that makes the mid-engine car some- (market) segment and we may lead a Last year, GM recalled the entire
time this summer, idling more than piece of the world out of it," he said 1984 production run of the cars be-
1,100 workers, Pontiac officials said in announcing that the car would be cause of frequent engine fires, but
yesterday. discontinued because of poor sales. Losh and industry analysts said they,
-"We have seen a switch away GM said it is idling the plant in- believed the market played a bigger'
from the high volumes of people definitely, since its contract with the role than the fires in the car's death.
who were willing to buy two-seat United Auto Workers forbids plant Union and city officials said they
cars with limited luggage capacity," closing s that were not announced were surprised by the decision.

LANSING (AP) - About 40
mental health workers demonstrated
yesterday at the Capitol in an effort
to keep the 103-year-old Traverse
City Regional Psychiatric Hospital
Carrying signs reading "Protect
the Mentally Ill," the demonstrators
said they hoped to win legislative
support to block the state Depart-
ment of Mental Health's decision to
close the 140-bed facility.
Following the protest, the
demonstrators jammed a Senate Ap-
propriations subcommittee meeting
to press lawmakers to continue full
funding for the hospital. The de-
partment wants to close the facility
by October 1989.
Dept. of Mental Health Director
Thomas Watkins said afterward that
he wasn't swayed by the emotional
testimony, which included pleas
from two former patients to keep the
hospital open.
"I believe the decision we made is
the correct one," he said. Sen.
Robert Geake (R-Northville), chair
of the subcommittee, agreed.
"It's my opinion it would be in
the best interest of the total system
to phase out this hospital and move

the money to the community mental
health system," Geake said, caution-
ing that he was speaking only for
"I'm in favor of reduction the
number of people we have locked up
in hospitals," he said.
Watkins said the Traverse City
hospital has a $12.9 million budget.
If it's closed, patients would be
transferred to other facilities and the
money used for community-based
treatment, he said.

The demonstration was organizelI
by the American Federation of State,
County, and Municipal Employees,
(AFSCME), the union which repre-f
sents about 150 of the hospital's
workers. Most of the 285 employees
who are affected by the decision face:
layoffs if it is closed.
"Blanchard says yes to MichiganI
but no to mental health," read a sign:
carried by Glee Kellum, a registered
nurse at the lhospital.


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