Russia, Belarus move
The Michigan Daily -- Thursday, April 3, 1997 - 9A
MOSCOW (AP) - Russia and
Belarus signed a treaty yesterday meant
bring their people, economies and
ies closer together, in a first step
toward reintegration by two former
President Boris Yeltsin, who signed
the accord with his Belarusian counter-
part Alexander Lukashenko, stressed
the two Slavic nations will remain sov-
ereign and separate.
."We'll not transform our community
into a unified state for now, but a union
of two states," Yeltsin said at the signing
remony in a gilded Kremlin hall.
No other ex-Soviet republics have
shown a real desire for reunification
since the Soviet Union collapsed in
1991, creating 15 separate states.
Although Russian hard-liners hailed
the treaty as a step toward the revival of
a mighty state, Belarusian opponents
expressed fear their country of 10 mil-
lion people would lose its independence
to much larger Russia.
*Critics also argued that integrating
the two struggling countries will only
create more problems for both.
About 5,000 opponents of the accord
tried to march to the Russian Embassy
in the Belarusian capital, Minsk. Riot
police confronted them, clubbing and
hitting the marchers when the protesters
threw stones at them.
The clash was the worst violence in
Belarus in months. Russian news
broadcasts showed policemen beating
women with truncheons and an officer
swinging his boot to hit an injured pro-
tester who was lying on the pavement.
Opposition and human rights
activists said about 200 people were
beaten and detained. The government
confirmed 70 people were detained and
three policemen were injured, but
declined to provide more information.
In Moscow, small groups of oppo-
nents staged protests, warning against
any alliance with Lukashenko, an
authoritarian leader nostalgic for the old
Soviet Union. He has proposed - and
Moscow has rejected - a full merger.
Under yesterday's treaty, the two
countries plan to coordinate economic
reforms and military activities, create
joint energy and transportation systems
and possibly introduce a common cur-
rency. A Supreme Council, including
top leaders from both countries, is to
outline joint policies.
Although the treaty calls for consulta-
tions on a wide variety of policies, it pro-
poses little action. Russia and Belarus
have removed customs barriers but other-
wise have done little toward integration
since forming a "community" a year ago.
The Russian news media and liberal
politicians say that Belarus, which has
yet to reform its Soviet-era economy,
could drag cash-strapped Russia down.
Lukashenko responded angrily to
that yesterday, saying, "It will never be
true that our small country will be a
heavy burden to Russia."
Neither government presented the
treaty to the public before the signing
ceremony, and critics say its secrecy
was also cause for concern.
Police officers beat a demonstrator whose head Is covered with a nationalist flag In Minsk, Belarus yesterday. Police officers
in full riot gear confronted about 5,000 demonstrators protesting the reintegration treaty signed yesterday.
Study links heart disease, swelling
BOSTON (AP) - Inflammation that
smolders for years inside the arteries,
perhaps as a result of an infection,
appears to be a powerful trigger of heart
attacks and strokes and may even be as
bad as too much cholesterol.
A new study found that after several
years of this low-level inflammation,
men are three times as likely to suffer
heart attacks and twice as likely to have
strokes. The inflammation is so subtle
that it shows up only on blood tests, and
seemingly normal levels may be haz-
Earlier studies have found signs of
this inflammation at the time of a heart
attack. The new work is the first to
show that it simmers away while men
are still outwardly healthy, apparently
contributing insidiously to clogged
Why this micro-inflammation, as
doctors call it, happens is still a mys-
tery. However, a leading theory is that
chronic infection with common germs
might be the cause.
If so, the study raises the possibility
that antibiotics and vaccines, along with
stronger anti-inflammatory drugs,
might someday be added to the medi-
cines routinely used to treat heart dis-
The new research also helps explain
why aspirin is so good for the heart. For
years, experts thought aspirin's main
benefit was its interference with blood
clotting. But the new study suggests it
also works by fighting inflammation
inside the blood vessels.
Heart attacks strike when fatty
deposits build up in the arteries. When
one of the deposits, called plaque, sud-
denly breaks open, blood clots form and
choke off the supply of blood to the
While too much cholesterol in the
bloodstream clearly is a major underly-
ing cause of heart trouble, doctors have
long suspected that other factors must
also be at play.
"The ability of doctors to predict who
is at risk of cardiovascular disease has
come a long way. But about half of
those who get heart attacks or strokes
have normal cholesterol levels," noted
Dr. Paul Ridker of Brigham and
Women's Hospital in Boston.
The theory is this: An infection
attracts disease-fighting white blood
cells, called monocytes, to the blood
vessel walls. These, in turn, release a
host of chemicals that can stimulate the
growth of smooth muscle cells and con-
tribute to the development of clogging
Ridkler and colleagues studied male
doctors who had taken part in a large
aspirin study that began in 1982. They
looked at levels of C-reactive protein, a
sign of inflammation, in 543 who went
on to suffer heart attacks, strokes or
vein clots after eight years of follow-up
and an equal number who stayed
The men were divided into four cate-
gories, depending on their levels of this
protein. Those in the top quarter had
twice the risk of stroke and three times
the risk of heart attacks of those in the
Civil War relics
The New York City Department of Cons
on the window of the New York bar Hog
-halt the .
Bar known for draw-
ing celebrities must
get cabaret permit
NEW YORK (AP) - Hey, Julia
Roberts - get down off that bar!
And Drew Barrymore - don't
shake your booty like that!
City officials have put a halt to
hoofing at Hogs & Heifers, a down-
town honky-tonk known for its col-
lection of celebrity bras donated, by
visitors like Roberts, Barrymore and
Those stars and other patrons have
been known to mount the Hogs &
Heifers bar in spontaneous bursts of
late-night dancing. But it turns out a
Prohibition-era ordinance requires a
cabaret license for such footloose
Last Thursday night, Hogs &
Heifer owner Allen Dell said, a dozen
police officers walked in, told him
that undercover cops had witnessed
dancing in the bar the previous week-
end, and shut him down.
"It's a sad world when they pad-
lock a guy for dancing" Dell said.
He went to court the next day
and got the bar reopened.
And despite signs inside and out
reading "No Dancing by Order of
New York City Department of
Consumer Affairs, Cabaret
Division," at least a dozen patrons
on a recent weeknight were bop-
ping to country music blaring
from the jukebox.
"Music is about dancing.- Music
Sumer Affairs placed a 'No Dancing' sign
gs and Helfers on Monday night.
is about therapy," said Helen
Glantz of London, gyrating with a
friend to D.A. Coe's "Never Even
Called My Name."
Shonna Keogan, a spokesperson
for the Department of Consumer
Affairs, said the city is simply enforc-
ing the law evenhandedly.
The ordinance is normally used
against bars whose unlicensed
activities annoy people living near-
by. Hogs & Heifers is in the city's
meat packing district, and Keogan
said she doesn't know whether
anyone complained, but "it would
be unfair of us to be giving pad-
locks to bars in residential areas
and not to Hogs & Heifers."
Dell said that he applied for a
cabaret license months ago and spent
$70,000 on sprinklers, lighting and
other code requirements but that the
city lost the paperwork.
Besides, Dell said, "The mayor
and his son were seen dancing on
television along with 50,000 other
people at Yankee Stadium, doing
the Macarena. Yankee Stadium
sells liquor. It doesn't have a
With the right to shake one's
rear end apparently imperiled, the
executive director of the New York
Civil Liberties Union said his
'group is on the case.
"If Drew Barrymore or Julia
Roberts or any woman in the city
of New York wants to get up on the
bar and wiggle, we don't recom-
mend that, but we might defend
that," Norman Siegel said.
The Baltimore Sun
GETTYSBURG, Penn. - Gray-
green mildew streaks the leather
flap of an Union Army cartridge
pouch; "red rot" crumbles another in
the steel storage drawer. Rust spots
pock muskets and swords, warning
of worse to come.
Out on Cemetery Ridge, where
Abraham Lincoln delivered the
Gettysburg Address a few months after
the battle, a monument to one of the
Union artillery units that pounded the
Confederate soldiers of Pickett's
Charge is eroded to a mere marble
knob, its inscription obliterated by acid
As park rangers at the Gettysburg
National Military Park brace for the
seasonal onset of more than 1.7 million
visitors, an important part of Civil War
heritage is disintegrating.
Some call it the Second Battle of
Gettysburg - and this time both sides
Park officials, led by
Superintendent John Latschar, say
they face overwhelming odds in
their struggle to preserve and pro-
tect this park, scene of the epic
three-day battle in July 1863, in
which 51,000 men were killed,
wounded or captured.
They say current funds are not
enough to stop the deterioration of
many of the 1,300 monuments and stat-
ues, and 400 cannon scattered about the
5,900-acre battlefield park, the largest
and most-visited of the nation's 24 Civil
And at a time when the National Park
Service faces a maintenance backlog of
nearly $6 billion at 374 parks, from
Yosemite to independence Hall, there's
little hope for significantly more money
any time soon.
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