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April 01, 1997 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-04-01

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

2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 1, 1997
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SThe Washington Post
DENVER - Amid extraordinarily
tight security and a huge news media
presence, the trial of Oklahoma City
bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh
opened here yesterday with aggressive
questioning of prospective jurors that
quickly underscored the difficulty of
selecting an unbiased panel.
Almost two years after a massive

bomb sheared off the front of the Alfred
P Murrah Federal Building, killing 168
people, U.S. District Judge Richard
Matsch, federal prosecutors and attor-
neys for McVeigh began the tedious
process of selecting 12 jurors and six
alternates. Only six potential jurors were
questioned yesterday, and several of
them already appeared to pose problems
for one side or the other in a case that has
drawn enormous pretrial publicity.

Matsch last year ordered the case
moved here, saying that the defendants
- McVeigh and Terry Nichols, who
will be tried later - could not get a get
fair trial in Oklahoma because they had
been "demonized." Ironically, the first
of 350 prospective jurors questioned
yesterday was a white man in his forties
who was working in Tulsa the day of the
blast and who, as a former engineer,
was intimately familiar with the type of

explosive the government alleges was
used in the April 19, 1995, bombing.
Under questioning from attorneys, the
potential juror, identified only as No.
853, said he watched the "wall-to-wall,
ceiling-to-floor" news reports of the
bombing, and had actually visited the site
of the blast before the Murrah building
was demolished. "It was very moving
and very sad," said the man, now a self-
employed investment adviser in Denver.

Cable forced to carry local channels
WASHINGTON - The government can force cable television systems to carr
local broadcast stations, the Supreme Court said yesterday in a decision that couk
serve as a stay of execution for small, independent channels.
The 5-4 ruling rejected cable companies' argument that a 1992 federal "must carry'
law violates free-speech rights by forcing them to carry stations they prefer to drop.
The justices said the measure is a lawful effort to preserve broadcast televi
and ensure public access to information from a variety of sources.
More than 60 percent of American households subscribe to cable TV The deci.
sion means those customers will continue to receive local broadcast stations oT
their cable systems.
"Broadcast television is an important source of information to man)
Americans," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court. "For decades now it has
been an essential part of the national discourse on subjects across the whole broa
spectrum of speech, thought and expression."
"Congress has an independent interest in preserving a multiplicity of broadcast.
ers to ensure that all households have access to information and entertainment or
an equal footing with those who subscribe to cable," he said.
There is heavy competition for space on cable systems because many newA
networks have been created in recent years.

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Los Angeles Times

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WASHINGTON - Amid growing
tension in the Middle East, Jordan's
King Hussein is to meet President
Clinton and other top U.S. officials
today as part of desperate efforts to pre-
vent the region's peace process from
further unraveling.
Hussein has maintained warmer rela-
tions with new Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu than' any Arab
leader. But he is expected to warn the
administration that other Arab leaders
are reaching a point where they feel
forced to freeze the peace process and
halt direct dealings that some have ten-
tatively begun with Israel, according to
Jordanian officials.
"The King is deeply disturbed by the
policies and actions of the (Netanyahu)
government which he does not consider
conducive to peace," said a senior
member of his entourage.
This weekend, Arab League foreign
ministers recommended that the
group's 22 members stop trade and
other contacts aimed at normalizing
relations with Israel. Palestinian leader
Yasser Arafat had appealed to the
league to make the recommendation in
response to a plan by the Netanyahu
government to build a housing project
for Jews in east Jerusalem.
Groundbreaking for the housing pro-

ject and a terrorist bombing on March
21 at a Tel Aviv cafe have combined to
thwart the Israeli-Palestinian peace
Hussein, who in 1994 became the
third Arab leader to sign a peace accord
with Israel, also is expected to relay
growing Arab concern that Netanyahu
may not accept the land-for-peace
premise of the 1993 Oslo accord that
set in motion serious negotiations
between Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
And without land, the Arabs will be
unable to support the current peace
Yesterday, Clinton and Secretary of
State Madeleine Albright were briefed
on the Middle East situation by U.S.
mediator Dennis Ross, who met last
week with Arafat in Morocco and
Netanyahu in Israel. White House
spokesperson Mike McCurry described
Ross' report to Clinton as "a sober
Hussein, along -with his warnings
about overall Middle East situation, is
expected to press for U.S. help on his
domestic front. The Jordanian leader
feels increasingly exposed at home both
because of his ongoing dealings with
Netanyahu and his decision last year,
made under U.S. pressure, to take a
tougher stance against Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein.

Spending growth
frazzles Wall Street
WASHINGTON - A government
report showing Americans earning and
spending at a robust pace wrenched an
already-frazzled Wall Street yesterday.
Stocks plunged for a second session on
fears of more interest-rate increases
from a Federal Reserve intent on keep-
ing the economy from overheating.
Americans' personal incomes surged
0.9 percent in February, the largest gain
in eight months and more than double
January's 0.4 percent advance, the
Commerce Department said.
Spending growth - 0.3 percent -
was relatively modest but came after a
large 1 percent increase in January, the
best in 11 months.
Economists said February's broad-
based income gain - with advances in
every category except farm income -
will help provide consumers with the
wherewithal for strong spending
through midyear. About four-fifths of
the advance came in wages and salaries
of private-sector jobs.

"People spend that money; the)
don't save it," said economist Sandre
Shaber of the WEFA Group ir
Eddystone, Pa. "More jobs and morc
paychecks certainly equal growth ir
spending in-the months ahead."
That kind of thinking jarred the
market into the second day of its w 1
two-session point drop since 1987.
Scientists create
new chromosomes
Scientists in Ohio have created the
first artificial human chromosomes, ar
achievement that may someday allow
doctors to alter people's genetic inhsp-
tance or cure diseases by slip
genetic "cassettes" directly into peo-
ple's cells.
The artificial chromosomes,
made in the laboratory from a blend
of natural and synthetic human
DNA, are miniature versions ol
human chromosomes - the
corkscrew-shaped structures inside
cells that carry all the genes
required for life.

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Netanyahu: Peace
talks could resume
ZURIF, West Bank - Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said
yesterday that peace talks with the
Palestinians could resume soon, his
most optimistic comments since two
weeks of violent protests in the West
Bank and a suicide bombing in Israel.
Peace talks stalled this month after
the Palestinians became angered by a
series of decisions by Netanyahu - a
smaller-than-hoped-for West Bank
pullout and the construction of a new
Jewish neighborhood in disputed east
Jerusalem, the sector Palestinians
claim as a future capital.
"We seek to make progress on peace
assuming that we have partners in
peace ... and that will be seen in the
next few days," Netanyahu said. "Then
we can proceed to negotiate peace." .
His comments, which came amid
signs that the West Bank protests were
losing steam, were an apparent depar-
ture from his harsh rhetoric against
Yasser Arafat. There was no immedi-

ate reaction from the Palestinian
leader, who has refused to meet with
Netanyahu throughout the recent cri-
Scores of Palestinians have 1n
wounded and one killed in the West
Bank riots, which Israel says have been
largely orchestrated by Arafat's Fatah
Two bombs explode
in Gaza Strip
JERUSALEM -Two bombs explod-
ed near Jewish settlements in the
Strip early this morning, wounding sev-
eral Palestinians, police said.
One of the blasts was first thought to
have exploded next to a school bus leav-
ing the Jewish settlement of Nezarim,
but a Jewish settler leader said the bus
had been delayed.
Police said the second blast near the
Kfar Darom settlement occurred when a
cart loaded with explosives went off near
an Israeli bus.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.

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