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G-0 O NATION WORLD
Jewish families settle among Arabs
The families moved in just days
after Secretary of State Madeleine
Aibright leaves the region
The Washington Post
JERUSALEM - Protected by scores of heavily
armed police, three Jewish families settled into an
Arab neighborhood of East Jerusalem yesterday, stir-
ring outrage among Palestinians who see their pres-
ence as a betrayal of the Oslo peace accords. The
move sparked fears of a new crisis in Palestinian-
Israeli relations just days after the departure of
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
The Israeli Jews moved into homes purchased from
Arabs by Irving Moskowitz, a wealthy Miami devel-
oper who plans to build a Jewish housing complex on
the hilltop known as Ras Amoud, which is situated
between Jerusalem's Old City and the massive Jewish
burial site on the Mount of Olives.
The controversy over the new arrivals, whose neigh-
bors greeted them late Sunday night with curses and
showers of stones, erupted just as some had dared hope
that relations between Israel and the Palestinians might
finally be on the mend. Amid signs that the Palestinian
Authority, with Albright's prodding, has begun to coop-
erate with Israel on security matters, the Jewish state
yesterday eased travel restrictions on Palestinians stem-
ming from suicide bombings in Jerusalem in July and
earlier this month that killed 20 victims.
Citing national security, Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu has said publicly that he will not allow
Moskowitz to proceed with the new development, a
pledge he reiterated yesterday. But Israeli officials
said Netanyahu has no legal authority to evict the new
tenants from homes purchased legally by Moskowitz
from willing Arab sellers.
Palestinian officials cited that declaration as evi-
dence that Netanyahu has sanctioned the settlers'
arrival in an effort to preempt Palestinian claims to
East Jerusalem as a future capital. Several yesterday
described it as yet another step in the process
Netanyahu began in March when he authorized con-
struction of a massive Jewish housing development on
an East Jerusalem hilltop known to Jews as Har Homa
and to Arabs as Abu Gheneim.
Under the 1993 Oslo accords - the peace accord
between Israel and the Palestine Liberation
Organization - discussions on the future of
Jerusalem and the final shape of Palestinian self-gov-
ernment are supposed to be reserved for so-called
final status talks that have yet to get underway.
"It's a way to dictate sovereignty," Ahmed Tibi, an
East Jerusalem resident and close adviser to Palestinian
leader Yasser Arafat, said in an interview yesterday. "If
it is just an issue of real estate or housing and
Netanyahu believes in the principle of reciprocity,
would he give permission to a businessman from the
Islamic Jihad to buy a building in Tel Aviv? ... He
should take a decision now to evacuate these people on
the basis of keeping order, or bloodshed will result."
A developer and retired physician who lost scores
of relatives in the Holocaust, Moskowitz acquired the
land from Arab owners and plans to build 70 homes
for Jews and a shopping complex on the site. He has
the backing of Jerusalem's right-wing mayor,
Ehud Olmert, and other senior Likud party fig-
ures, including Infrastructure Minister Ariel
Sharon, who told an audience here Sunday night
that he favors the development because it would
rule out the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian
capital in the city.
In July, Jerusalem's city government approved the
plan, which then was challenged by two left-wing
members of the city council.
AROUND THE NA
Weld gives up fight for nomination
WASHINGTON - William Weld gave up his battle to be
ambassador to Mexico yesterday with a scathing attack on
Washington politics and a defiant declaration that he wouldn't
"go on bended knee" before Jesse Helms or anyone else. 4
"Washington sure is a funny town," Weld said during a
White House news conference in which he criticized a Senate
system in which a conservative fellow Republican could block
even a hearing on his nomination.
"I can go back to New England, where no one has to
approach the government on bended knee to ask it to do its
duty," said Weld, who resigned as governor of Massachusetts in Weld
July to pursue the Mexico City post. "I've had enough of
Washington for the next little while."
President Clinton accepted Weld's withdrawal during a meeting in the Oval
Office and didn't try to talk him out of it, White House officials said. Instead, the
president scored the rejection of Weld without a hearing.
"At a time when we have been making strides towards a bipartisan foreign li-
cy, the treatment that my nominee received reflected the divisiveness that dwoAmC
well serve the American people," Clinton said in a statement.
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - President
Clinton yesterday took an unprece-
dented step to curb Medicare fraud,
placing an immediate moratorium on
all new home health care companies
seeking to provide services until the
government creates better ways to pro-
tect itself against "scam and rip-off
The moratorium represents the first
time in its history that Medicare, the
vast government insurance program for
the elderly and disabled, has stopped
admitting an entire segment of the
nation's health care industry. It erects a
sudden dam in what has become by far
the fastest-growing part of Medicare,
with nearly 100 new companies sign-
ing up each month.
As part of a broader effort to crack
down on fraud in the program, Clinton
also announced that all existing home
health companies will have to reapply
periodically to remain eligible for
Through the moratorium on new
companies and the new reviews of
existing ones, the president is respond-
ing to recent evidence that the govern-
ment is wasting billions of dollars on
home care, a part of the health care sys-
tem that has proliferated as elderly
patients have been released from hospi-
tals sooner and sicker than in the past.
About 4 million Medicare patients,
about 10 percent of all beneficiaries,
receive some type of care at home,
ranging from cancer treatments to help
in bathing and getting out of bed. Yet
federal investigators estimate that $4 of
every $10 that Medicare pays for such
services are unwarranted because of
accidental overbilling or outright fraud.
"These kind of practices amount to a
fraud tax on all the taxpayers of the
country," Clinton said yesterday.
Investigators and some legislators
have said the program has not been
careful enough to pay only legitimate
bills from companies that are qualified
to carry out the work. At a House sub-
committee hearing this summer, one
former home health executive, now
serving a federal prison sentence, testi-
fied that she had used employees
whose salaries had been paid by
Medicare to do work in real estate and
pharmacy businesses that she also
As part of the budget agreement
reached this summer, the president and
Congress agreed to better scrutinize
home health care providers. They
agreed that dompanies will have to post
surety bonds and keep a certain amount
of cash on hand - efforts to make sure
they are financially stable.
But, in the face of increasing pres-
sure to weed out abuse, Clinton went
beyond those provisions yesterday.
Air Force fighter jet
crashes in show
WASHINGTON - The Air Force,
celebrating its 50th anniversary, was
bruised by the spectacular loss of an F-
117A stealth fighter at a Maryland air
show and the mysterious disappearance
of one of its long-haul C-141 trans-
The crash of a Navy jet in the Persian
Gulf brought to 10 the number of ser-
vicemen presumed lost in U.S. military
air accidents in a two-day span.
Aviation experts say there was no
apparent connection between the three
weekend incidents given the disparate
type of aircraft and geographic separa-
But the coincidence of timing
came as the Air Force sought to her-
ald its successes in the kickoff of its
50th anniversary celebration yester-
Defense Secretary William Cohen
paid tribute to the pilot of the F-I 17 but
did not mention the other incidents as
he addressed the Air Force Association,
a booster club.
He said Maj. Bryan Knight dOis-
played "courage and competence" and
"helped divert a much larger disaster"
Sunday by steering his fighter jet away
from heavily populated areas outside
Cost of cigarettes
low in United States
In France, a pack of cigarettes costs
about $3.50 - most of that tobaccc
taxes. In England, cigarettes cost aboul
$5.25, with the tax exceeding $4:'
Comparisons with the United States
where cigarettes cost on average about
$1.90, have surfaced in the tobacc
tlement debate amid growina concerr
that the deal won't lift cigarette 'rices
enough to seriously discourage smoking
- particularly by price-conscious teens
As Congress and the White I4ous
consider whether to bulk up the 059.
billion accord, tobacco representatie
say the industry is near -its limit an
may be forced to back away if the price
of peace goes higher.
I AROUND TH E WORto
Sinn Fein party
enters peace talks
BELFAST, Northern Ireland -The
IRA-allied Sinn Fein party entered
Northern Ireland's peace talks for the
first time yesterday, frightening off all
five pro-British Protestant parties.
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, sur-
rounded by party comrades, passed
through gates that had been locked to
them when the talks on Northern
Ireland's political future began in June
"We do think that this could be the
beginning of the end of conflict on this
island, if the political will is there to
build agreement," Adams said. Sinn
Fein was admitted after the outlawed
IRA stopped its violent campaign
against British rule of Northern Ireland
eight weeks ago.
Ulster Unionist leader David
Trimble, whose party represents a crit-
ical third of Northern Ireland opinion,
boycotted the talks at Castle
Buildings, a drab office block within
the British administrative center in
As expected, the two most hard
line Protestant parties, Ian Paisley'
Democratic Unionists and BoB
McCartney's United Kingdon
Unionists, failed to show up y r
Two small but influential partie
linked to pro-British paramilitar:
gangs also refused to participate..
renewed peace taks
BEIRUT, Lebanon -On a visi
to Beirut under tight sec*y
Secretary of State Madelein
Albright said yesterday that sh
found "a willingness and desire" t
resume Mideast peace talks in Syria
Lebanon and Israel.
She urged Lebanese leadrs t
resume negotiations with Israel bu
said she recognized that thosd -talk
should be in line with Israel's talks wit
Syria, which dominates Lebanon's pol
- Compiledfrom Daily wire report
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