Page 2 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 5, 1989
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A crowd of about 10,000 East German refugees stand outside the West German embassy in Prague. They are waiting to board buses
bound for West Germany.
East Germans attempt final exodus
PRAGUE, Czechoslovakia (AP)
- East Germans jammed Western
embassies, swam rivers and lined
railroad tracks in at least four Soviet
Bloc nations yesterday in a desperate
bid to catch what could be the last
freedom trains to the West.
The flood of would-be East Ger-
man emigres in Czechoslovakia,
Poland, Bulgaria and East Germany'
came as the beleaguered government
in East Berlin said it would allow
one more exodus of disillusioned cit-
The agreement covered an esti-
mated 11,000 weary refugees who
had converged on the West German
kEmbassy in Prague, but there were
reports thousands of others through-
out the East bloc were hoping to
In Prague, the first of 15 trains
began carrying East Germans to the
West late yesterday. Cheering and
waving, whistling derisively, ec-
static refugees hurled their now-
worthless East German money from
A crowd of Czechoslovaks ap-
plauded as the first group left the
embassy area to board buses to the
train station. Helmeted riot police ar-
rived and pushed the onlookers back,
stifling the cheers.
Two East Germans who boarded
the first train said they had arrived in
Prague after illegally crossing the
heavily guarded East German-+
They said they were part of a
group of six people who managed to
sneak across but were spotted by
Czechoslovak guards who opened
fire. In the confusion, the two
escaped but the other four have been
unheard of since.
In Communist East Berlin, po-
lice scuffled yesterday with 50 East
Germans attempting to gain entry to
the U.S. Embassy, witnesses said.
Earlier, officials said,18 East Ger-
mans entered the embassy seeking
passage to the West. Witnesses re-
ported about 100 East German police
scuffled with the would-be refugees
in front of the embassy. There were
no reports of injuries. Witnesses said
police also cleared the area of 200
In Washington, White House
spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said of
the situation at the U.S. Embassy:
"We're talking to the East Germans
about it and trying to get them to
help resolve the problem through
their emigration policies."
East Germany, hoping to end the
embarrassing exodus of its young,
skilled citizens before the Commu-
nist nation celebrates its 40th an-
niversary this weekend, closed its
border Tuesday with ally Czechoslo-
vakia to keep its people home.
"We knew it was our last
chance," one East German refugee
said about fleeing to Prague.
Compiled from Associated Press and staff reports
Possible Mich. waste sites named
LANSING - Two counties in the Lower Peninsula and an Upper
Peninsula county were identified yesterday as possible homes for a low-
level radioactive waste dump.
James Cleary, commissioner of the Michigan Low-Level Radioactive
Waste Authority, said the areas were in St. Clair and Lenawee counties, in
the Lower Peninsula, and Ontonagon County in the Upper Peninsula.
Cleary said the three areas were selected from three percent of the state
that wasn't excluded from the site search under environmental criteria.
Three candidate sites, which may be within one or more of the areas
announced yesterday, are to be selected for the disposal site by January.
Then, it will take 12 to 18 months to pick a final disposal site which
would be in operation by 1995 and accept waste from Michigan, Indiana,
Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
GOP seeks campaign reform
LANSING - A growing wave of political action committee money
controls part of the Legislature's agenda and the fund raising system must
be changed to end deepening public cynicism, GOP lawmakers said
To change it, the lawmakers unveiled a bill aimed at shifting the focus
of fund raising from PACs to individuals.
The measure would restrict PAC fund-raising season to the final nine
months of general election years, forcing candidates to rely on individual
contributions for 15 months out of every two years.
It also would require legislators to report speaking fees of more than
House Minority Leader Paul Hillegonds, sponsor of the House version
of the measure, said the bill is designed to break the influence that single-
issue groups can wield in the Legislature.
Sen. Dan Degrow (R-Port Huron) said PACs gained their influence in
part because lawmakers became lazy about fund raising.
House repeals catastrophic
health insurance program
WASHINGTON - The House bowed to an avalanche of protest yes-
terday by voting to repeal the catastrophic health insurance program en-
acted just a year ago as the first major expansion of Medicare.
The 360-66 vote was a virtual mirror image of the 328-72 vote by
which the measure passed last year en route to signature into law by then-
After the repeal vote, the House immediately turned to consideration of
a plan that would restore a small part of the program. However, even that
modest attempt by architects of the original plan was defeated, 269-156.
Although the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act was enriched as it
rolled though Congress under a bipartisan head of steam last year, the ini-
tial push came from Reagan, who asked for a way to shield elderly and
disabled Medicare beneficiaries from the financial ruin of major illness.
High court urged to allow cities
to regulate 'adult' businesses
WASHINGTON- The Supreme Court was urged yesterday to
bolster communities' power to crack down on adult bookstores, X-rated
movie theaters and other sexually oriented businesses.
Several justices vigorously challenged claims that a Dallas licensing
ordinance violates the Constitution's free-speech guarantees, while they
seemed to react more warmly to arguments by a lawyer for Dallas
supporting the ordinance.
The ordinance, which took effect in June, requires sexually oriented
businesses to obtain a license issued by the city police chief, who has
broad discretion to deny one.
The court previously has empowered cities to use zoning laws to limit
the locations of sexually explicit businesses, requiring them to be
concentrated in one area or spread out. But a ruling in a Dallas case,
expected by July, could give communities enhanced control through
Dirty towels end official's career
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - President Saddam Hussein was so shocked
by the dirty bathroom and dirty towels in a district governor's office that
he fired him, an official announcement said yesterday.
" If the governor himself is not clean and tidy, how will we manage to
raise the standard of our people," Saddam was heard saying on television
earlier in the week while visiting the office of the governor of
Darbandikhan, 188 miles northeast of Baghdad.
He was shown at the time inspecting the private bathroom in the
office of the governor, Mustafa Fatah.
Television viewers heard Saddam angrily rebuking Fatah because the
facility and the towels were dirty and declaring that the government would
fire any governor who failed to look after his district's hygiene.
A decree issued yesterday by the ruling Revolutionary Command
Council confirmed Fatah's early retirement and demotion to a lower grade
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Lebanese hijacker sentenced to 30 years
WASHINGTON (AP) - A Le- on the Jordanian airliner were
banese hijacker convicted of com- "treated as friends" by the hijackers
mandeering a jetliner in Beirut in during a 30-hour ordeal over the
1985 with two Americans aboard
was sentenced yesterday to 30 years Mediterranean Sea that ended with
in prison. the 70 passengers and crew members
Fawaz Younis, grabbed by FBI being freed. The hijackers then blew
agents aboard a yacht in 1987 and up the aircraft.
brought to the United States to stand The judge ordered Younis to serve
trial, told U.S. District Court Judge 30 years for hostage taking, 20 years
Aubrey Robinson that "I am not a for aircraft piracy and five years for
member" of any terrorist group. conspiring to take criminal charges.
The sentences are to run concur-
Younis said the two Americans rently.
After the sentencing, Younis's at-
torney, Frank Carter, promised to
appeal the case on "20 different is-
sues." He said that the question of
U.S. jurisdiction is a critical one and
that "I don't think it (the hijacking)
had anything to do with Americans
Assistant U.S. attorney Ramsey
Johnson urged Robinson to impose
sentence of life imprisonment, but
the judge said he wouldn't because
no one was killed in the hijacking.
Jordanian sky marshals aboard the
plane were beaten, but there was tes-
timony at Younis's trial that he
ordered the violence stopped.
But the judge said a lengthy sen-
tence must be imposed because time
"will never wipe out in the minds"
of the passengers and crew the
"terror" they experienced.
Having spent the last two years
in custody, Younis will be eligible
for parole in eight years.
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Editor in Chief
Opinion Page Editors
Associate Opinion Editors
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Elizabeth Esch, Amy Harmon
Philip Cohen, Elizabeth Paige,
Associa Sports Editors
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Richard Eisen, Lory Knapp,
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News Staff: Karen Akerlof, Laura Cohn, Diane Cook, Laura Counts, Marion Davis, Noah Finkel, Tara Gruzen, Jennifer Hir, Ian
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Stick, Noelle Vance, Donna Woodwell.
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