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September 06, 1996 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

8- The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 6, 1996

NATION/WORLD

Rumors about Yeltsin true;
president heads for surgery

MOSCOW (AP) - Ending months
of speculation, Boris Yeltsin acknowl-
edged yesterday that the rumors are
true: He has serious health problems
and will undergo heart surgery later this
month.
The president's announcement,
which he made in a nationally broadcast
TV interview, strengthens suspicions he
is too ill to govern effectively. That
would leave Russia's government in the

- "more passive work," as the presi-
dent put it.
"I have never been satisfied by pas-
sive work and I will not be satisfied by
it now," he said. "Therefore, it is better
for me to have an operation and fully
recover, as they promise, than engage in
passive work."
The president said doctors were
preparing him for the operation,
which probably would take place at

care of rivals who
may jockey for
position while he
is incapacitated,
adding to insta-
bility in a country
still struggling to
adjust to new
political and eco-
nomic realities;
The public
acknowledge-
ment also came
as a surprise to
Russians, who
long have seen
the medical prob-
lems of leaders

wIwant us to
h ave a society of
truth. We should
not conceal what
has been
concealed before.
- Boris Yeltsin
Russian president

the end of
September.
A p p e a r i n g
weary, Yeltsin
wore a sweater
and sat in an
armchair set in
what appeared
to be a country
home. His face
was puffy and
pale. He spoke
slowly, at times
g e s t u r i n g
slightly with
his hands.
He ended the
interview with

Russian television.
Aides have said Yeltsin was recover-
ing from fatigue brought on by his re-
election campaign and was vacationing
at a hunting lodge north of Moscow. As
recently as Wednesday, his chief of
staff, Anatoly Chubais, said the presi-
dent was fine.
Yeltsin did not reveal the nature of
the heart surgery, but he is known to
suffer from myocardial ischemia, a
shortage of oxygen to the heart
because of narrowed arteries. That
makes it likely he will have bypass
surgery.
Yeltsin said he would not go abroad
for the surgery, as had been rumored.
"Our cardiological center is able to
do such operations. I think that the pres-
ident should have operations at home,"
he said.
The Cardiac Research Center, on the
outskirts of Moscow near the Kremlin
Hospital, is Russia's leading cardiac
center. It is headed by Dr. Yevgeny
Chazov, who kept the ailing Soviet
leader Leonid Brezhnev alive for years
and once headed the Kremlin health
service.
Dr. Harold Lipman, a British doctor
who formerly worked in Moscow and is
the chief medical advisor to Britain's
Foreign Office, gave the Cardiac
Research Center high marks, noting it
had 10 to 12 years' experience in coro-
nary artery bypass grafts.
"Their facilities are probably not sig-
nificantly different from Western
Europe and Northern America. Not as
advanced, but probably adequate," he
said Thursday.
If Yeltsin undergoes bypass surgery,

minimized or blatantly covered up.
"I want us to have a society of truth.
We should not conceal what has been
concealed before," Yeltsin said in the
interview.
The 65-year-old president then
closed his eyes and said medical tests
showed he was suffering from heart dis-
ease. The head of the presidential press
service, Igor Ignatyev, said the tests
were done last month.
The doctors gave Yeltsin two choices:
an operation or a more subdued routine

a wry smile, saying he counted on
Russians to support him.
The Russian president, who suffered
two bouts of heart trouble in 1995 and
spent weeks recuperating, has been vir-
tually out of public sight since June
when he disappeared in the middle of a
rigorous presidential campaign.
After that, his only public appearance
was his Aug. 9 inauguration. During the
brief ceremony, he appeared frail and
stiff. Since then, he had been seen only
in short, carefully edited clips on

AP PHOTO
Russian President Boris Yeltsin drinks a cup of tea yesterday during an interview
in which he announced he will undergo heart surgery, ending months of specula-
tion.

he might be incapacitated for a long
time. In Russia, bypass surgery usual-
ly requires about a month-long hospi-
tal stay and two months of rehabilita-

tion, according to Dr. Ivan Rykunov,
head of the cardiac surgery research
lab at the Russian Academy of
Sciences.

,.., .., . v

®
.

China -
blocks
access to
websites
Los Angeles Times
BEIJING - In the most sweeping
example on record of government
Internet censorship, China has blocked
access to hundreds of politically sensi-
tive web sites including those of human
rights groups, foreign media outlets,
Tibetan independence networks and
Taiwanese and Hong Kong democratic
political organizations.
Although the government declined
to comment officially on the blocks it
imposed this week, which also affected
many sexually oriented web sites, the
crackdown appeared to be part of an
ongoing campaign against "spiritual
pollution" by the Beijing regime.
Western diplomats described the
action as the latest effort by the
Chinese leadership to control the fr4e
flow of information.
"It's another example of China tak-
ing a step backward in the Information
Age," said one Beijing-based diplomat.
Three years ago, the government
banned private ownership of satellite
dishes, killing what then was a boom-
ing market. In January, Beijing
imposed orders that foreign-owned
economic news services be distributed
through the official New China New
Agency, which would have ultimat
control over their content.
After Internet use began to spread in
China last year, primarily among uni-
versity students, the government sig-
naled that a crackdown on the World
Wide Web was in the works. Previously
independent net-servers were required
last spring to register with the govern-
ment and sig pledges to limit politi-
cally and sexually sensitive materials.*
Web experts in America say China
designed its Internet communications
system to pass through a few key
"choke-points," making censorship
relatively easy. Internet information,
unlike a regular phone call, tends to
be transferred in packets of informa-
tion over specialized computers
called routers. These routers can be
programmed not to accept informa-
tion from certain Web addresses or to
only accept certain pre-approve
sites.
Customized programs could also be
added to filter out any sites, for exam-
ple, that use such key words as "sex" or
"dissident" or "rights"
Although a reasonably competent
programmer could get around such bar-
riers by connecting directly to an
American service provider, for exam-
ple, such methods are costly and cum
bersome and therefore out of reach fb
most Chinese users.
The U.S. Embassy in Beijing began
receiving reports of the crackdown last
week. Callers complained that when
they attempted access to some sites,
they received computer messages of
"no response" or "server time out."
Although other governments -
notably those of Germany, Singapore
and Vietnam - have tried to restrict
Internet access, no other governme*
action has been as sweeping nor a
politically selective as this one.
For example, access was blocked to
several U.S.-based net sites catering to

Chinese overseas and domestic univer-
sity students, including the popular
China News Digest and Independent
Federation of Chinese Students and
Scholars web sites. But access to
China Scholars Abroad, a pro-govern-
ment site sponsored by the Stai
Education Commission, remained
open yesterday.
Over the past year, the Chinese stu-
dent sites, available in Chinese and
English, have provided a lively forum
for open debate on issues of human
rights, democracy and corruption in
government.
Nearly all sites with little or no
political content, including weather
data home pages and science and tec9
nology sites, remained available.
Likewise, most foreign government
sponsored sites, including the U.S.
Information Agency and American
Institute in Taiwan, remained open.
But the popular Voice of America site
was blocked.
Cut off by the censorship were web
sites for several leading American
newspapers, including the Los
Angeles Times, The Wall Stre
Journal, The New York Times and The
Washington Post. The Cable News
Network site also was blocked. But
the site of the newspaper USA Today
remained open.

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