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November 06, 1996 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-06

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 6, 1996


Surgeons: Full recovery for Yeltsin

MOSCOW (AP) - Boris Yeltsin's
heart bypass surgery was pronounced a
success yesterday and surgeons predict-
ed a full recovery, easing anxiety that
has hobbled Russia for months. Yeltsin
could take back his powers and the
nuclear button in two days, but may not
go back to his office until the new year.
The operation lasted seven hours and
involved five bypasses. Yeltsin regained
consciousness about five hours later,
was heavily sedated and was still on a
respirator to guard against postopera-
tive complications. Doctors said they
couldn't predict when he could leave
the hospital.
Hundreds of thousands of Russians
took to the streets yesterday, showing
that President Boris Yeltsin faces more

troubles even if he fully recovers from
heart bypass surgery.
Teachers, factory workers, miners
and members of the military - the
backbone of the nation in Soviet days,
but now the stragglers in Russia's race
for wealth - organized a nationwide
day of protest against the government's
failure to pay their wages virtually since
the day Yeltsin was re-elected four
months ago.
"Maybe when he (Yeltsin) gets over
this operation, he will be in a better
position to feel our pain and do some-
thing about it," said Eduard A.
Polyakov, a union activist. By coinci-
dence, Yeltsin's surgery occurred the
same day as the protests, which had
been scheduled two weeks earlier.

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Interior Ministry figures showed that
nearly 320,000 people took part in
protests held in
dozens of cities
Dr. Renat
Akchurin, leader
of the 12-man sur-
gical team thatk
conducted the
coronary artery
bypass operation,
would not specify
the number of Yeltsin
bypasses, saying
only it "significantly exceeded" the
three or four doctors initially had spec-
ulated might be necessary.
Dr. George Noon of Houston, who
was among the consultants who flew to
Moscow to observe the surgery, said
early today that Yeltsin had five bypasses.
Doctors said Yeltsin's blood circula-
tion had been improved significantly.
Yeltsin's long illness has left Russia
with a part-time leader at best and
spawned power struggles among presi-
dential wannabes. Financial markets
trembled at rumors about his health and
the government, by many accounts, was
near paralysis.
Dr. Yevgeny Chazov, head of the
Moscow Cardiological Center where
the operation was performed, said there
were no complications during the
surgery. Dr. Michael DeBakey, the
American heart surgery pioneer who is
a consultant on the case and who
trained Akchurin, declared it a success.
"I would predict the president to be
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able to return to his office and perform
his duty in perfectly normal fashion,"
said DeBakey, who watched the opera-
tion on a monitor outside the operating
room with a team of American and
German consultants.
It could be a day or two before
Yeltsin, 65, is well enough to reclaim
the presidential powers, including con-
trol over Russia's immense nuclear
arsenal, that he handed off to Prime
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin before
the surgery.
"He is going to decide that for him-
self," a weary Akchurin told reporters.
"Most probably it will happen tomor-
row or the day after."
President Clinton's spokesperson,
Mike McCurry, said Chernomyrdin
called Clinton yesterday to report that
the operation "had gone well and
President Yeltsin is doing well."
Clinton expressed "the very best
wishes of the American people to
President Yeltsin," McCurry said.
Akchurin said Yeltsin would likely
remain on a respirator overnight tomin-
imize the chance of complications. The
president's postoperative treatment
depends on how soon Yeltsin is breath-
ing on his own, he said.
A presidential spokesperson said
Yeltsin regained consciousness but was
heavily sedated.
Yeltsin was on a heart-lung machine
for 68 minutes during surgery,
Akchurin said.
The president's illness has tested the
frankness of the Kremlin, a hulking
fortress that for centuries has hoarded
information about Russia's leaders with
an implacable zeal.
Yeltsin concealed a heart attack right
before he was re-elected in July, then
waited until September to tell the nation
he needed surgery. That burst of open-
ness, however, was followed by a pauci-
ty of information that proved a breeding
ground for ugly rumors and the naked
ambition of would-be successors.
Throughout it all, Yeltsin and his men
insisted that the president was still in
charge - an assertion the president's
foes openly mocked.
For ordinary people, the most direct
result of the convoluted political drama
was a government cash crisis triggered
in part by the uncertainty of a presiden-
tial election followed by a grave presi-
dential illness.

Studies show breast
cancer drug benefits
WASHINGTON - The lifesaving
benefit of taking tamoxifen to treat
early breast cancer lasts for at least a
decade, but only if the drug is used for
five years and no longer, two studies
The studies, being published today in
the Journal of the National Cancer
Institute, found that women who took
tamoxifen for five years after early
breast cancer surgery had about an 18-
percent better chan'ce of surviving with-
out relapse than patients who did not
take the drug.
One study showed that taking the
drug for longer than five years con-
ferred no survival advantage and could
risk other disorders.
Experts praised the studies as provid-
ing important new insight into how to
treat breast cancer at its earliest stages.
"These studies are extremely valu-
able," Dr. Sandra Swain said, a cancer
specialist at the Comprehensive Breast
Center in Washington. She said the
findings now leave little question about

the value of tamoxifen.
"In clinics all over the world, every-
one will be using tamoxifen for five
years now for sure," she said. "That is
of major significance."
State sued for 0
license plate denial
OAKLAND, Calif. - The state
Department of Motor Vehicles has been
hit with a $5 million discrimination law-
suit for refusing to give a man with AIDS
a license plate reading "HIV POS."
"I expected to encounter some big-
otry, but I didn't expect it at the s
DMV," said Kevin Dimmick, who sup
on Friday in federal court.
Dimmick, leader of a support group
for HIV-positive heterosexuals, was
denied the personalized plate because it
"would be offensive to a significant
number of Californians and insensitive
to many people with HIV," said DMV
spokesman Evan Nossoff.
Last year, the department withdrew a
plate reading "H IV NEG" after rece
ing complaints.

Miss. goveor injured in car accident
JACKSON, Miss. - Gov. Kirk Fordice was seriously injured yesterday when he
flipped his car on an interstate and was pulled from the burning wreckage.
"The fire was right there around him," said William Lowe, a truck driver who
helped pull the governor from the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
He said the 62-year-old Fordice was unconscious. Rescuers had to break into to
vehicle, puncture the inflated air bag and cut through the seat belt to pull him free.
Fordice was alone in the car.
Doctors said his injuries did not appear life-threatening, but he suffered fractured
ribs, a collapsed left lung, cuts on his left shoulder and a nearly severed left ear.
Fordice regained consciousness by the time he arrived at Grenada Lake Medical
Center, about 15 miles south of the accident site in northern Mississippi. He was
taken to a Jackson hospital 100 miles to the south.
Fordice, a Republican, was elected to a second term last year. He was en route
to Jackson for a GOP election night gathering.
Lowe said truckers offered fire extinguishers to put out the fire while Fordice
was being freed.
"After we got him out and laid him on a bank, he was moaning and groaning
He was fighting us and wanting to get up," Lowe said. "We had to fight him the
whole time until the ambulance got there.'

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Zairian rebel says
goal is to liberate
GOMA, Zaire -To hear rebel chief-
tain Andre Ngandu Kissasse tell it, the
civil war boiling in eastern Zaire is not
about ethnic Hutus or Tutsis, or about
regional secession or even about more
than 1 million fleeing refugees.
"Our objective is to liberate our
country," Kissasse, a rebel military
commander, explained here yesterday
in a dingy villa-turned-rebel headquar-
ters. "We want to liberate Kinshasa."
Kinshasa, Zaire's capital, is about
1,200 miles to the west through dense
rain forests with few roads. And the
guerrilla force holding this jittery bor-
der city appeared to consist mostly of
roving bands of armed men, some
clearly drunk, and child-soldiers, some
barely taller than their assault rifles.
The rebels have set up a base in a
beer warehouse, and their control of
Goma appeared tenuous at best.
Gunshots occasionally echoed in the
steamy afternoon heat as four guerrillas
looted cases of whiskey and beer from
the now-pillaged Nyeri Hotel.

More than 1 million Rwandan
refugees fled during the rebel offensive.
Most of them are believed to have
moved deeper into Zaire.
Bhutto under vr"
house arrest
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -With only
her three children and her mother at her
side, Benazir Bhutto remained under vir-
tual house arrest yesterday after being
dismissed as Pakistan's prime minister
by President Farooq Leghari.
Soldiers with assault rifles patrol
the gates outside Bhutto's home, barring
her.former ministers from visiting her.
"She wants to meet with her party
people, her central committee, the
press, but she can't," complained a
political ally, Aftab Sherpao.
Bhutto also was deprived of counsel
from her husband, Asif Ali Zardari A
central figure in many allegations of cor-
ruption, Zardari reportedly was arrested
earlier in the day along with other me
bers of Bhutto's Pakistan People's Pa.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.

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