2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 24, 1996
Los Angeles Times
HUSSEIN KOT, Afghanistan -
Pushed back to within 15 miles of the
Afghan capital's heart, the Taliban yes-
terday showered their foes with artillery
shells, rockets and tank rounds in a
stubborn bid to bar the route to Kabul,
the Islamic militia's greatest prize.
On this barren, dun-colored moon-
scape north of Kabul, Taliban gunners
fired throughout the morning on troops
loyal to Ahmed Shah Masoud, the oust-
ed Afghan government's defense chief,
and into hamlets of mud-brick homes
where the inhabitants have revolted
against the Talibs' severe version of
Sharia, or Islamic law.
"The people of these villages are
with them," admitted Mullah Faisal
Mohammed, 24, one of the Taliban's
;tmior commanders, as he swept his
hand across the horizon, where explod-
ing shells sent up plumes of smoke and
"But we are not afraid of them, since
new fighters from other provinces are
coming to join us."
As the guns thundered, hundreds of
residents of Hussein Kot and other rural
villages fled south to Kabul on foot or
in lurching, overloaded trucks.
On a parallel road to the east, Taliban
artillery men, tank gunners and crews
of multiple-barrel mounted rocket bat-
teries poured a hail of steel and shrap-
nel onto Masoud's positions around the
strategic Bagram air base, which had
fallen to the former government's
Despite a string of recent battlefield
setbacks, Amir Khan Muttaqi, the
Taliban's information minister,
declared at a news conference in
Kabul yesterday that the army of
Muslim purists will never quit the cap-
The failure of the Taliban's main for-
eign backer, Pakistan, to broker an end
Two Taliban fighters clean the barrels of th
kilometers north of Kabul yesterday.
to the latest round of fighting presages
continuing armed strife in a country
where more than 1 million people have1
already perished in 17 years of warfare.
Masoud, who may have fewer than
5,000 men, now appears to be too weak
to storm the capital, while the Taliban'sI
northward momentum has been broken
The strategy of the cagey Masoud,
probably the most famous of the mou-
jahedeen leaders to have fought the
1979-89 Soviet occupation of
Afghanistan, appears to be to bleed the
Taliban by drawing as many of their
fighters into combat as possible while
encircling Kabul and cutting some of its
main road links.
As well as blocking the main high-
way leading north from Kabul to the
Amu Darya river and the former
Central Asian republics of the Soviet
Union, Masoud's forces were also
reported to have taken some of the high
ground east of the capital yesterday.
This would let them bombard the main
land artery linking Kabul and Pakistan
via the Khyber Pass.
The ultimate intentions of the third
player in Afghan's bloody power politics,
the Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid
Dostum, are the X factor in the equation
that will determine Afghanistan's future.
Dostum, a former general in the
Communist regime ousted in 1992,
elr multiple rocket launch
her about 15
signed a defense alliance this month
with Masoud and has apparently sup-
plied him with ammunition, fuel and
artillery cover in the latter's campaign
against the Taliban.
But Dostum's well-equipped militia,
believed to number up to 30,000 men,
appears to have played no major part to
date in the battles against the Taliban;
Dostum is being ardently wooed by the
Islamic fundamentalists as a potential
The Taliban, a die-hard Muslim mili-
tia that arose two years ago in mosque
schools along the Afghan-Pakistani bor-
der, rolled into Kabul on Sept. 27, putting
forces loyal to Masoud and President
Burhanuddin Rabbani to flight.
Within days, the Talibs, mainly mem-
bers of Afghanistan's dominant Pushtun
ethnic group, were masters of three-
quarters of the country.
It was their high-water mark. In
fighting that followed as they drove
north of Kabul toward the snow-dusted
Hindu Kush mountains, the Taliban
may have lost 1,500 of their most expe-
rienced fighters and commanders.
Masoud attacked his enemies on the
road to the Salang Tunnel, 60 miles
north of Kabul, and split them into
small pockets. Informed sources in
Kabul said hundreds of Talibs were
killed, wounded and captured; at least
17 armored vehicles were abandoned.
on fire at
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - For years,
Kathy Change tried to bring attention to
her message of world peace by dressing
in tight T-shirts and thong bikinis, wav-
ing flags and playing music around the
University of Pennsylvania campus.
No one seemed to listen.
On Tuesday, the students couldn't
help but notice.
On that day, the 46-year-old Change
calmly walked to a large metallic peace
symbol in the heart of the campus,
doused herself with gasoline and set
herself on fire.
The suicide, carried out in front of
50 people, was meticulously planned as
a final, last-gasp attempt to draw atten-
tion to her beliefs.
"My real intention is to spark a dis-
cussion of how we can peacefully
transform our world," Change wrote in
a statement she delivered beforehand.
"I offer myself as an alarm against
Armageddon and a torch for liberty."
Students who for years had walked
by her with indifference or vague
unease as she ranted on couldn't stop
talking yesterday about her spectacular
suicide. They remembered little of her
"It's a tragedy," said Justin Piergross,
22, as he sat a few feet from the shiny
peace sculpture. "I think a lot of people
just didn't give her any respect because
she was a bit different."
To 21-year-old Kate Saliba, a Penn
junior, the almost daily performances
were like a "show." "People would be
sitting by the library and just cringe,"
"What was she against? Everything,"
said Kyle Bartlett, a graduate student
from Little Rock, Ark. "Destruction of
the rain forest. Government with a cap-
Throughout yesterday morning, peo-
ple made their way across the College
Green and paused before a shrine of
sunflowers, purple lilies, burning can-
dles and colored beads left at the 15-
foot-high peace sign along with a bal-
loon with the message: "In memory of
one who lived and died in pain"
Change was something of a mystery.
About the only thing anyone knew
about her is that she listed an address in
the city's depressed Powelton section in
West Philadelphia and that police said
she was from Springfield, Ohio.
It wasn't clear how she supported
herself or whether she had any family,
though in a radio interview she once
said that her father was an engineer and
her grandfather a Harvard professor.
.,*'* I N .
INS corruption let
WASHINGTON - The
Immigration and Naturalization
Service has failed to go after thousands
of illegal aliens who fraudulently
obtained immigration documents from
corrupt officials and used them to
acquire a variety of federal benefits, an
internal Justice Department investiga-
tion has found.
In a report completed in September
and released yesterday by a congres-
sional committee, the Justice
Department's inspector general said
the INS has "made little effort to
locate or deport aliens" who obtained
documents fraudulently and has not
acted to prevent them from receiving
Among these benefits, the report
said, were permanent resident status,
welfare payments, employment autho-
rization, the ability to bring in relatives
as legal immigrants and even natural-
ization as U.S. citizens.
The INS responded that it "concurs
in part" and is developing a system to
correct fraudulent entries in INS data-
bases. INS officials said the system
would be implemented within months.
may prefer Kooli
WASHINGTON - Scientists for
tobacco giant Philip Morris discussed a
competitor's Kool brand in terms of its
alleged popularity with marijuana users
because of its high nicotine content,
newly uncovered documents show.
Anti-tobacco lawyers released the
memo yesterday, filed as part .
Mississippi's lawsuit against the toba -
co industry. Philip Morris promptly
released two additional documents
filed with the court suggesting that
higher-ranking scientists had rejected
the marijuana discussions.
"Although more people talk about
'taste,' it is likely that greater numbers
smoke for the narcotic value that comes
from the nicotine,' Philip Morris scien-
tist Al Udow wrote in 1972.
Biases may cause high blood pressure
Racial discrimination, along with a person's strategy for coping with it, may be an
important cause of high blood pressure in American blacks, a new study suggests.
Furthermore, what constitutes an "unhealthful" response to racism may differ
depending on a person's sex or social class. Keeping anger and resentment bottled
up may raise a black working-class woman's blood pressure. Talking about it may
do the same thing for a working-class man.
These observations come from a provocative new study of blood pressure
blacks and whites under the age of 30. Published today in the American Journal of
Public Health, it's one of the few that has tried to probe the possible connection
between racism and hypertension.
High blood pressure is far more common in blacks than in whites, and is also
more common in people of lower socioeconomic status. About 37 percent of black
men over the age of 20 have hypertension, compared to 25 percent of white men.
About 31 percent of black women have the potentially life-threatening disease,
compared to 18 percent of white women.
Various theories have been offered as an explanation for those findings, but none
is proved. Diet, stress and lifestyle may increase the risk for working-class people.
Diet and genetic predilection are possible reasons for the racial disparity of hi*
11 N D '4" * :: k", J L. D
October 24, 7 p.m.
University of Michigan
Chemistry Bldg., Km. 1200
For more information contact the SEP:
Visit the SEP Web page
all denomint "onlc
all faiths welcome
all sexual orientations welcome
all people welcome
at Canterbury House
Blue house past the Frieze Bldg.
721 E. Huron
A lecture by David North
National Secretary, Socialist Equality Party
leader hope to end
MANAGUA, Nicaragua -
Conservative business executive
Arnoldo Aleman, the unofficial winner
in Sunday's presidential election, is
fond of telling the story of how his
archenemies, the leftist Sandinistas,
turned him toward politics.
As Aleman's wife lay dying of cancer
in 1989, the Sandinista government
placed him under house arrest. When
she started hemorrhaging, Aleman was
not allowed to accompany her to the
hospital. The Marxist Sandinista gov-
ernment, fighting a war against U.S.-
backed Contra guerrillas, also confis-
cated five of his farms.
"That is what made me a politician,
Aleman said in an interview last week.
"The Sandinistas made me a politician."
Aleman, 50, a heavyset lawyer who
gives speeches like an old-time pop-
ulist, promises to end the legacy of the
He defeated former President Daniel
Ortega, a leader of the Sandinistas, who
had run Nicaragua from 1979, when
they overthrew the right-wing Somoza
dictatorship, to 1990, when President
Violeta Chamorro won office in
China unveils new
BEIJING - In the battle for the
hearts and minds of China's children,
the government is playing a new 'toon.
Donald and Mickey are out; home-
grown cartoons with Communist val.
A new campaign promotes cartoons
with Chinese characters and themes.
Among them: tales of Confucius, the
life of a revered poet, and the fable of a
sports hero who soars through obedi-
ence and teamwork.
In today's market-driven China, it
also makes business sense to go after
what a state-run newspaper called "the
unchecked spread of foreign comics."
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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