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January 17, 1996 - Image 2

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2 -The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 17, 1996
Yeltsin fires one of
last reform backers

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The Washington Post
MOSCOW - Continuing the purge
of almost all top Kremlin advocates of
reform, President Boris Yeltsin yester-
day accepted the resignation of First
Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly
Chubais, the driving force behind
Russia's ambitious economic changes
and the architect of its colossal
privatization program.
Chubais, a 40-year-old economist
who ranked below only Yeltsin and
Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin
in the government pecking order, made
it clear that his .resignation had been
forced by Yeltsin's "rather negative
evaluation" of his performance.
"I proceed from the belief that if the
president considers my work as unsat-
isfactory I should not remain in the
job," he said.
A key member of Yeltsin's team since
1991, Chubais was almost the last re-
maining pro-Western democrat in the
upper reaches of the Russian govern-
ment. His departure signifies a stun-
ning reversal from the early days of
Yeltsin's presidency, when Moscow's
commitment to building a functioning
market economy seemed unshakable.
His resignation a month after the vic-
tory of Communists and nationalists in
elections follows closely on the heels of
the removal of two other leading advo-

cates of change at the top level of the
Russian government: foreign minister
Andrei Kozyrev, who was dismissed last
week after three years under fire from
Communists and nationalists for pursu-
ingtoopro-Westernapolicy; andYeltsin's
chief of staff, Sergei Filatov, who was
transferred over the weekend to the No.2
position on the commission to oversee
this June's presidential election.
Yeltsin's allies and enemies alike
saw the dismissal of Chubais as driven
by the president's effort to distance
himself from the country's unpopular
economic transformation and reposi-
tion himself as a traditional nationalist
before the presidential campaign be-
gins this spring. Although he has not
announced his intentions, Yeltsin has
given every indication that he plans to
run for a second term.
Chubais had been roundly criticized
for having conceived what is viewed
here as a deeply flawed privatization
program. It has been variously skewered
as a giveaway of precious state resources
and a sweetheart deal for former indus-
trial "red managers" and other insiders
who have grabbed valuable assets for a
fraction of their real value.
"He's clearly become a political li-
ability, and the president doesn't want
political liabilities around," a Western
economist in Moscow said.

Maine senator leaves Congress
WASHINGTON - Sen. William Cohen (R-Maine), a
prominent Republican moderate, announced yesterday he
will not seek a fourth term next year, describing the budget
stalemate as a "crystallizing" factor in his decision.
Cohen is the 13th senator who will not seek re-election in
1996 - a record, according to the Senate Historical Office.
The previous record of 11 was set in 1896.
Cohen's departure threatens to further erode the shrinking
ranks of moderate Republicans in the Senate and to enhance the
ideological polarization of the parties in a legislative body that
relies heavily on bipartisan cooperation to function effectively.
Cohen's announcement to a gathering at the City Council Cohen
chambers in Bangor, came as a surprise to colleagues, who
thought they had seen the last of the huge wave of retirements for next year. While
there had been a brief spate of speculation that he might not run last year, Coher
had been raising money and acting like a candidate for re-election.
In his statement, Cohen said he wanted to pursue "a variety of new challenges'
outside the Senate, including international trade and promotion of foreign mars
for Maine industries.

wounded comrade after fighting yesterday In Chechnya.

Russian soldiers help a

White House, GOP
resume budget talks
WASHINGTON - White House
and Republican congressional leaders
will end a one-week break in budget
talks and resume negotiations today
amid bleak forecasts about chances
the two sides will resolve their deep
differences on eliminating the deficit
in seven years.
White House Chief of Staff Leon
Panetta said he was pessimistic about
achieving a budget agreement and that
the two sides "are reaching the point
where neither side is going to give."
Senate Republicans warned there
would be little to discuss unless Presi-
dent Clinton offered new compromises
on spending and taxes.
"The ball is in the administration's
court," said a Senate Republican aide.
"if they want to move ahead toward a
balanced budget agreement, then they
can lay something on the table."
House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-
Ga.) confirmed he will attend the ses-
sion at the White House, but noted that
Republicans have "had no indication of
any movement on their part so far." The

on-again, off-again talks were sus
pended Jan. 9, after repeated meetings
failed to yield a major breakthrough.
Both sides are concerned with the ap-
proaching Jan. 26 expiration of a tempo.
rary funding measure that covers activi-
ties within nine Cabinet agencies.
Clinton lawyers deie
Whitewater cover-up
WASHINGTON - Deputy White
House Counsel Bruce Lindsey :and
former presidential lawyers Neil
Eggleston and William Kennedy, ap-
peared yesterday before the Senate
Whitewater Committee to explain notes
taken by Kennedy in 1993 containing,
such phrases as "vacuum ... Rose Lu
files," a reference to the former L.~
Rock, Ark., firm in which Kennedy and
first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton were
Kennedy rejected suggestions from the
Republican-controlled panel that this n6o=
tation meant the lawyers had discussed
destroying or hiding law firm records
relating to Madison Guaranty Savings &
Loan, for which Mrs. Clinton had per-
formed legal work.i,

High court to consider reverse discrimination

Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The Supreme
Court cleared the way yesterday for
white men to challenge government
affirmative action "goals" in court, even
when they cannot show they have been
hurt by them.
The court's action, in a California
case, will probably widen the legal at-
tack on public programs that steer con-
tracts, jobs or other benefits to racial
minorities or women.
In the past, the court had maintained
that a plaintiff must have suffered a true
loss, such as losing a contract or a job,
to have the "standing" to bring a lawsuit
challenging a government program as
But the justices have relaxed that
"standing" rule recently in affirmative
action cases.
In July, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of
appeals in San Francisco relied on the
new approach to revive a white
architect's challenge to a state utility
directive, which has steered $1.1 bil-
lion a year in business to companies
owned by blacks, Latinos, Asians, Na-
tive Americans or women.
White men have a right to challenge
a state policy that "effectively encour-
ages, if not compels, (utility compa-
nies) to adopt discriminatory pro-
grams" that favor minorities and
women, wrote Chief Judge J. Clifford
Wallace of San Diego for a 2-1 major-
Lawyers for the state Public Utility
Commission appealed. Supported by
California's giant utilities, the
commission's attorneys said the rul-
ing puts the entire program in jeop-
ardy. They argued their affirmative-
action effort should be upheld be-

In other news

Yesterday, the Supreme Court considered many important cases:

9 The Court refused to give federal
copyright protection to the menu of
a computer program, the part that
guides a user through an
The justices split 4-4, and left In
place the lower-court decision in
the case, which applies only to the
far Northeastern part of the country.
The dispute between Lotus
Development Corp. and Borland
International arrived at the high
court after a protracted five-year
legal battle
B The Court limited the damages
that can be won by the families of
people killed over water in
international air disasters. In a 9-0
ruling, the Court said a mother
whose daughter died when Soviet
fighters shot down a Korean Air
Lines 747 in 1983 cannot win
money for her "loss of society."
The law allows damages only for
financial losses, the Court said in
Zicherman vs. KAL., 94-1361.
Damages in international air crashes
are already limited by the Warsaw
cause it simply "establishes volun-
tary goals, not quotas, set-asides or
They also insistedthearchitect's law-
suit should be thrown out because he
cannot show he lost a contract because
of the state's program.
But yesterday, the high court rejected

The Court let stand a ruling that
awdrded patents for developing AZT,
the main drug used in treating AIDS
patients, to the Burroughs Wellcome
Co. The decision, in Barr Labs vs.
Burroughs, 94-1527, was a setback
for generic drug-makers who said
they should be allowed to sell the
drug because scientists at the
government's National Institute of
Health helped put the Burrough's
discovery into use.
A federal patent court disagreed,
ruling that inventors need not show
how their discoveries can be used.
The Court refused to hear a free-
speech challenge to the
government's procedure for fining
broadcasters who air indecent
programs. The Federal
Communications Commission can
fine a station up to $25,000 for
violating its policy on Indecency, and
it can take years for a broadcast to
contest the fine in court. But the
justices have been unwilling to
reconsider the issue of indecency in
broadcasting. (Action for Children's
TV vs. FCC, 95-620)
the state agency's appeal in PUC vs.
Bras, 95-767, and cleared the way for
the architect to seek a federal court
order striking down the state policy as
The case now goes before U.S. Dis-
trict Judge William Orrick in San Fran-
cisco for trial.

Court declines to
rule in airbag case
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - Ford Motor Co.
suffered a setback yesterday at the Su-
preme Court in a case that it said could
expose automakers to a flood of litiga-
tion over accidents involving cars with-
out airbags.
The Supreme Court let stand a lower
court ruling that would allow a New
Hampshire family to sue Ford for fail-
ing to install airbags in a 1988 Escort
car, even though there were no federal
rules specifically requiring air bags at
the time of the car's manufacture.
Rebecca Ann Tebbetts, whose fam-
ily is suing Ford on her behalf, died in
a May 1991 crash of that Escort in
Holderness, N.H.
At the time her Escort was made, fed-
eral law required the installation of"pas-
sive-restraint devices" - meaning that
autoimakers had the option to install air
bags. automatically closing seat belts, or
any other device that met an auto safety
performance standard. In 1991 the gov-
emment ordered theauto industrytophase
in airbags, and all new cars must be
equipped with them by the fall of 1997.
Iebbetts' car was equipped with an
automatically closing seatbelt. But her
faimily and lawyers contend she would
have survived the crash had the Escort
been equipped with a driver's-side airbag.
The lower court, the New Hampshire
Supreme Court, upheld the Tebbetts
faiily 'sclaiim that they had a right to
sue Ford for failing to install air bags,
citing Ford's Own rinrecords, which said
the bags were technologically feasible.
Ford argued it could not be held li-
able for failing to meet a federal re-
quirement that did not exist.
Ford's lawyers coitinued that line of
argument yesterday. They were sup-
ported by foreigi rivals, who said the
New Hampshire court's ruling and the
U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to inter-
vene subjects them and other manufac-
turers to double jeopardy.
"Our basic view is that there is pre-
emption here," that the presence of a
federal rule giving automakers the op-
tion of installing air bags protects the
industry from liability if companies in-
stall another federally sanctioned de-
vice, said PhilipA. Hutchinson Jr.,presi-
dent and chief executive of the Asso-
ciation of International Automobile
Manufacturers Inc.

China puts foreign
financial news under
tighter scrutiny
BEIJING - In an attempt to regulate
foreign news agencies that sell and dis-
tribute economic information on Chi-
nese financial markets, the government
yesterday issued a Cabinet edict requir-
ing foreign agencies operating in China
to conic under the supervision of the
official New China News Agency.
The Chinese government said the
move was made by China's ruling State
Council to"safeguard state sovereignty,
protect the legal rights and interests of
the Chinese economic information us-
ers and promote the healthy develop-
ment of the country's undertaking of
economic information."
While the precise effects of the edict
were not immediately clear, it prompted
protests from the Clinton administra-
tion, economists and news organiza-
tions whose operations could be di-
rectly affected, all raising the specter of
The State Department said the move
could "restrict the amount and type of
information about economic matters in

4AA A . .. >,. .


China." It called on China to reconsider
or suffer damage to its credibility on
economic issues and to its "overall eco-
nomic prospects." In Geneva, diplo-
mats said it threatened China's bid to
join the World Trade Organization,
Assassin says Rabits
death was accidental-
JERUSALEM - Yitzhak Rabi s
confessed assassin says he didn't want
to kill the Israeli prime minister, but
only to injure him.
"If I could have paralyzed hirp it
would also havebeen good," Yigal Anir
told a state commission investigog
Rabin's death, in testimony made pub-
lic yesterday.
Amir, who confessed to killing Rabin
to stop the Mideast peace process, said
he aimed for the prime minister's spine
and not his head.
The 25-year-old Jewish nationalist
shot Rabin twice at close range afterthe
prime minister appeared at a Nov. 4
peace rally in Tel Aviv. Rabin died
almost immediately. Amir'smurder al
is slated to begin Jan. 23 in Tel A.
- From Daily wire services


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