The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 27, 1994 - 7
400,000 flee outbreak of pneumonic plague in industrial Indian city
0 officials in nearby state
also report 31. cases of
SURAT, India (AP) - Authorities listed
no plague deaths in this industrial city yester-
day for the first time in six days, but they
reported a disturbing development: an out-
break of plague in a neighboring state.
Soldiers searched shantytowns for more
plague victims and guarded Surat's main hos-
pital to stop infectious patients from fleeing.
Officials said 56 new plague cases were re-
corded in the city.
Since pneumonic plague was first reported
in Surat last Tuesday, at least 51 people have
died, more than 450 have been hospitalized
and an estimated 400,000 have fled the city.
Unofficial death tolls run as high as 300.
South of Surat, officials in Maharashtra
state reported 31 cases of bubonic plague -
a less deadly form of the disease that ravaged
14th century Europe and Asia as "the Black
"This development makes us worried"
Ramanand Tewari, Maharashtra's health sec-
retary, said of the outbreak in the city of Beed.
An outbreak of bubonic plague in villages
around Beed last month infected 93 people
but caused no deaths.
In Surat, a port in western Gujarat state,
doctors into slums where most plague cases
were reported. The troops helped search for
plague sufferers being kept home by their
families and watched for looting of medicine
being distributed by health officials.
City workers cleaned up piles of garbage,
dead cows and rats left in the slums by mon-
The plague is spread by fleas that have
bitten infected animals and by bacteria ejected
into the air by the coughing of infected people.
Soldiers with automatic weapons stood
guard at the Civil Hospital to keep patients
from leaving before being cured by antibiot-
ics. At least 60 people fled before the federal
government sent in 800 soldiers Sunday.
Doctors described the fugitive patients as
"time bombs" who could quickly spread the
disease from one mud hut to another in the
many shantytowns on the banks of the filthy
With nearly one-fifth of the population
having fled the city, Indian officials fear the
plague may be spread to other regions. A few
patients with pneumonic plague symptoms were
being examined in hospitals in Maharashtra
state and in New Delhi, the federal capital.
Although plague can be cured with antibi-
otics, the 600 million people who live in rural
India often have little access to doctors or
medicine, and many die of curable diseases.
Officials declared Surat a disaster zone and
rushed in millions of capsules of antibiotics.
"No deaths in 24 hours, that is since 5 p.m.
on Sunday until 5 p.m. today," said Kundan
Lal, a city administrator.
Lal also told The Associated Press that
two patients from neighboring villages died at
the hospital Sunday. They were the first plague
victims from outside the city.
In a dispute at Civil Hospital, many doc-
tors and nurses reportedly staged a brief strike
Sunday night because of a clash with city
officials over the building's cleanliness.
The city government also reportedly sus-
pended at least six hospital employees Sun-
day because they refused to report to work
since the plague broke out.
blue-gray fatigues accompanied
*Panel suggests new
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal commission will
propose that Congress change immigration laws to make
families who bring relatives to the United States legally
responsible for supporting them. The plan follows an explo-
sion in the number of immigrants receiving welfare benefits.
Authorized by Congress in 1990 to examine immigra-
tion policies and their impact on society and the environ-
ment, the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform will
issue its first report to lawmakers on Friday.
According to the commission's executive director, Su-
san Martin, the nine-member advisory panel headed by
former Rep. Barbara Jordan wrestled for days with the
complex and politically explosive issues surrounding wel-
fare and immigrants.
In a series of unanimous decisions, the commission will
recommend to Congress that illegal immigrants be barred
from most public aid, aside from immunizations, emer-
gency medical care, school lunches and child nutrition
The commission also believes there should be no broad
ban on welfare benefits to legal immigrants, as some law-
makers have proposed, but that the families who bring their
relatives to the United States must be held responsible for
"We can't lift the safety net for legal, permanent resi-
dents," Martin said in an interview. "But at the same time,
families have to take more responsibility."
Most legal immigrants are the spouses, children, parents or
siblings of U.S. citizens and long-term, permanent residents.
If immigrants cannot show they have financial resources
or a job in the United States, their sponsors must be able to
support them and are required to sign a non-binding affida-
vit of support.
Martin said commissioners believe these affidavits must
be made legally binding on the sponsors, with exceptions in
cases of unexpected illness, injuries, a death in the family or
the loss of a job.
"The decision to bring someone into country shouldn't
be made lightly," Martin said. "It must also be clear to
people what the expectations are."
The commission also will ask Congress to strengthen
immigration laws to keep people out of the country when it
is clear they will apply for welfare within first five years of
their arrival. Congress should also make it easier to deport
immigrants with long spells on welfare.
"We should not admit people likely to become a public
charge," Martin said. "It should be the extraordinary event,
not the routine one."
A TOUCH OF GREEN
U.S. repatriates 221
Haitian boat people
Los Angeles Times
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -
With glum resignation, vague hope
and lingering fear, 221 Haitian boat
people came home yesterday after-
noon, filing off the U.S. Coast Guard
cutter Northland at a Port-au-Prince
harbor now teeming with U.S. com-
bat forces in a ceremony U.S. offi-
cials called the first concrete demon-
stration of why America intervened
militarily in Haiti.
Clad mostly in T-shirts and shorts
or soiled dresses, their belongings
tied up in plastic garbage bags. the
men, women and children who fled
Haiti's horrors of poverty and vio-
lence in rickety boats just months
before were the first Haitians to vol-
untarily return from amakeshift camp
at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba since
thousands of U.S. forces entered Haiti
a week ago.
"This is, in effect, a reverse flow
of what we had a couple weeks ago,"
said U.S. Ambassador William Lacey
Swing, who stood by the Coast Guard
cutter's gangplank with the U.S.
Forces commander, Lt. Gen. Hugh
Shelton, to welcome the boat people
Arresting the tidal wave of Hai-
tian refuge seekers that had filled the
Caribbean with a precarious armada
bound for U.S. shores was high among
the reasons President Clinton used to
justify a costly military intervention
that already has left 11 Haitians dead.
On the surface, yesterday's cer-
emony appeared to confirm how the
U.S. presence and the promised return
tide can end the U.S.-bound exodus.
In reality, the group of voluntary
repatriates, plucked from the sea just
months ago by Coast Guard patrols,
were part of a weeks-old program to
convince the 14,000 Haitians still at
the U.S. Naval base in Guantanamo
Bay, that it is better to come home
than to live in limbo. And already,
U.S. officials said, 5,783 Haitians have
done so voluntarily on Coast Guard
vessels since July 25.
But timing was everything on yes-
terday. Ambassador Swing said the
group's arrival - the first under the
watchful guard of dozens of U.S. sol-
diers in full battle gear - was a dem-
onstration that security in the country
has improved sufficiently to entice
the rest back in what he predicted will
be a rapidly escalating program.
Formost of the refugees, the home-
coming from a painful journey that
ended where it had begun was clouded
Ameica split on
WASHINGTON - Americans
are sharply divided over President
Clinton's handling of the Haiti crisis
and an overwhelming majoritydoubt
that the administration has a clear
idea of what to do in that troubled
Caribbean nation, according to anew
Washington Post-ABC News Poll.
The survey found that 45 percent
of those interviewed said they ap-
proved of the way Clinton is han-
dling the situation in Haiti - up
from 36 percent last month- while
47 percent disapproved, unchanged
from August. One out of four re-
that the administration "has a clear
policy" on what to do in Haiti, while
66 percent said he does not.
The survey found no evidence
that Clinton's actions in Haiti have
affected his overall popularity. In the
latest poll, 44 percent of those inter-
viewed said they approved of the
way Clinton was handling his job as
president while 51 percent disagreed,
unchanged from a month ago.
However, these survey results
should be interpreted cautiously.
They represent the public's first re-
action to Clinton's decision to send
troops into Haiti to restorePresident
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and those
impressions could change quickly
and dramatically in response to new
A total of 1,004 randomly se-
lected adults were interviewed
Wednesday through Sunday. Mar-
gin of sampling error is ± 3 percent-
with uncertainty. None had abandoned
the dream of reaching American soil
someday, but most said they agreed to
return largely because they were re-
signed to the impossibility of ever
reaching it from Guantanamo Bay.
"I'm worried about just getting
home from here," said Ansell
Marcelus, 33, who was among agroup
of 36 people from the northern town
of Port-de-Paix who left together on
July 5 and returned together on yes-
"Port-de-Paix is still run by army
and the Macoutes, the terrorist army
that made us run away in the first
Art School junior Suni Hatcher works with University horticulturist Anne Kralik to replant
Hastas in the Art and Architecture courtyard yesterday.
Sen. Mitchell declares health-care reform dead for 1994
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Senate Ma-
jority Leader George J. Mitchell (D-
Maine) formally pronounced health
care reform dead for the year yester-
day, rendering a final, if somewhat
* anticlimactic, verdict reflecting a re-
ality that has been apparent for weeks.
Yet there was an undeniable poi-
gnancy to the moment as the retiring
majority leader, having forfeited a
chance to be on the Supreme Court so
he could fight for a bill he saw as the
crowning achievement of his legisla-
tive career, conceded: "The combina-
tion of the insurance industry on the
outside and a majority of Republicans
on the inside proved to be too much to
Though some of his allies had urged
him to continue to push for health
legislation, Mitchell said he feared that
the effort would jeopardize the re-
maining business before Congress -
most notably an international trade
agreement, which GOP leaders had
put "in the position of being hostage to
health care legislation."
President Clinton vowed to renew
his drive next year, despite the fact
that an expected surge in the number
of Republicans in Congress could
make it even more difficult. "This
journey is far, far from over," he said
in a statement.
Mitchell's decision effectively
dooms House efforts as well, since no
legislation can be passed without the
approval of both houses.
Clinton handed off the issue to
Congress a little more than a year ago,
offering as a starting point a 1,342-
page bill produced by a task force that
had been headed by first lady Hillary
Rodham Clinton. It has preoccupied
Capitol Hill ever since - to the ex-
clusion, many Democrats and Repub-
licans concede, of most other mean-
ingful accomplishments in the latter
half of the term that is scheduled to
end in two weeks.
It began as an effort to produce the
most important piece of legislation
since the Great Depression - one that
would revamp one-seventh of the U.S.
economy and provide health coverage
to the almost 40 million Americans
who now lack it. In the end, warring
factions were unable to agree even
upon a modest set of changes in insur-
ance industry practices that are almost
universally condemned. such as those
that make it impossible for people with
known illnesses to get coverage. °
ALL THE NEWS
Congressman calls for 'serious BE HAxRn!!!
personnel changes' at CIA
Sign on to the Daily's public confer. Type
confer. it.umich.eduat the Which Host?
prompt, then jou mich-daily
The Washington Post.
of the House intelligence committee
said yesterday that reform of the CIA
would be "illusory" unless "serious
personnel changes are made" follow-
ing criticism of the agency in the CIA
inspector general's report on the case
of confessed spy Aldrich H. Ames.
Rep. Dan Glickman (D-Kan.)
whose own committee staff has been
looking into the matter during the
agency's internal investigation, said
that CIA Director R. James Woolsey's
own leadership will be measured by
the steps he takes. "How much risk he
is willing to take," Glickman said of
the CIA director, "will determine how
serious he is."
Woolsey has been forced to step up
his schedule by several days for making
personnel decisions based on the in-
-.Ik wee . nH u . £ . nnt
and "now the challenge is will he
(Woolsey) do it." Recalling that the
director insisted in the weeks after
Ames's arrest last February that he
would await the IG report before mak-
ing any personnel decisions,
DeConcini said, "Maybe this report is
what he wanted to have before bring-
ing in new people."
Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) rank-
ing minority member of the Senate
panel, said yesterday decisions on who
gets fired or disciplined should not be
Woolsey's alone. "It's a burden that
falls on the director," Warner said, "but
I expect the president and his national
security adviser (Anthony Lake) will
review this case and the actions recom-
mended before it's final."
A White House spokesman said,
"We will be informed prior to any
announcement and we are confident
what is recommended (by Woolsey)