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September 17, 1997 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-17

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Cli~nton lobbi~es for f'ast-track legisato


WASHINGTON (AP) - Plunging into a difficult
fight, President Clinton was confronted with a string
of Democratic complaints yesterday about legislation
he ,wants to promote future trade deals. Organized
labor joined in the attack with a costly ad campaign.
Republican response to the legislation was more
Congressional aides, speaking on condition of
anonymity, said several House Democrats used a
closed-door meeting with Clinton to detail their
unhappiness with the measure, a case made forcefully
afterwards by the party's leader, Rep. Dick Gephardt
"With the president's bill we are compromising the
basic goals of growth, opportunity, the dignity of
work, environmental quality and democracy,"
Gephardt said at a news conference. "This fast track

would put us on the wrong track"
In brief remarks before departing the White House,
Clinton said 12 million jobs are supported by exports.
"America must choose whether to compete or retreat,"
he said. "I believe that the only way we can continue
to grow and create good jobs in the future is to
embrace global growth and expand American
The legislation would give Clinton the ability to
negotiate international trade accords subject to a "yes-
or-no" vote in Congress, and without possibility of
amendment - a procedure known as "fast-track."
Clinton and other presidents have had such authority
over the years, but it has lapsed.
In a concession to majority Republicans, the adminis-
tration's proposal does not contain the provisions many
Democrats had sought to bar other countries from

exploiting their workers or sacrificing environmental
protection to gain advantage over American firms.
Instead, Clinton pledged to use his executive
authority to negotiate side agreements covering labor
and the environment - as he did in the 1993 North
American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico.
Still, given the splits within the two parties, the
prospect was for a struggle as difficult as the one
before the enactment of NAFTA four years ago.
"It will be a tough job in getting the votes," House
Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) told reporters
during the day, stressing his insistence that Clinton
submit a bill without the labor provisions sought by
Democrats. "The president will have to participate in
that very fully, as we will on our side of the aisle.' He
suggested Clinton will have to round up more than 50
Democratic votes if the measure is to pass.

Immunity requests delay hearings
WASHINGTON -The House committee investigating campaign finance abusx
es abruptly canceled this week's scheduled hearings yesterday after three prospec-
tive witnesses refused to testify unless the panel granted them immunity from
criminal prosecution.
Investigators scheduled the hearings after interviewing the witnesses during the
last month without lawyers present, but the witnesses backed out once they obta d
legal advice. Asking for immunity before the witnesses testified was "a no-brai,"
said Charles Stephens, a Sacramento attorney representing two of the witnesses.
The cancellation was an unexpected setback for Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), who
chairs the Government Reform and Oversight Committee. House Democrats and
the Clinton White House have repeatedly questioned Burton's credibility and
expertise to lead the investigative panel.
Burton did not respond to interview requests yesterday, issuing a short statement
saying only that the hearing was "postponed," and that he and ranking minority mem-
ber Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), were discussing the possible grants of immunity.
Waxman criticized the committee's leadership again yesterday. "It's been quite
bizarre," he said, adding that Republicans "seem to be making one misstep.akr
another.... I have thought for some time" that the committee was disorgan
"and these recent events have done nothing to dissuade me"


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Los Angeles Times
As health experts warn of the
growing danger of antibiotic resis-
tance, a new study suggests that doc-
tors are partly to blame:.They encour-
age resistant bugs to flourish by treat-
ing many people who have colds and
other viral respiratory ailments with
antimicrobial drugs that are virtually
In their survey of some 29,000
patient visits to about 1,500 physi-
cians nationwide, medical
researchers based at the University of
Colorado found that just more than
half the patients with a cold or an
upper respiratory tract infection, and
61 percent with bronchitis, received
an antibiotic prescription.
The great majority of such respirato-
ry infections are caused by viruses,
which the antibiotics do not kill, as
opposed to bacteria, which are suscep-
tible to the drugs.
Overall, the researchers found that
doctors inappropriately issued at least
12 million antibiotic prescriptions for
those ailments in 1992, amounting to
21 percent of all antibiotics pre-
"We were surprised that one in
five antibiotics were prescribed for
conditions that they don't even help,"
said the study's lead author, Dr.
Ralph Gonzales. He said additional
data collected last year suggests a
pattern similar to that found in the
study, which appears in today's
Journal of the American Medical
Because the research draws on such
a broad sampling of physicians and
patients, researchers say that it offers
the most complete picture yet of how
routine medical care can contribute to
what the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention calls the "emerging
global problem of antimicrobial resis-
Increasingly, researchers warn, dead-
ly infections that standard drugs once
vanquished require greater vigilance
and new weapons. Although some 99
percent of the streptococcal bacteria
that cause pneumonia were susceptible
to penicillin in 1980, recent surveys of
day care centers have found that up to
29 percent of pneumococcal infections
among children had some resistance to
the drug.
Doctors overprescribe antibiotics for
many reasons, according to
researchers. Patients with colds or
other respiratory ailments expect and
even demand such drugs. Physicians
acquiesce because they feel too rushed
to explain why an antibiotic might not
be called for, according to focus group
studies involving doctors. And doctors
cannot always initially determine if a
respiratory infection is bacterial or
"The problem is that sometimes a
doctor may not know what (the infec-
tion) is,' said Dr. John Zaia, an infec-
tious disease specialist at City of Hope
National Medical Center in Duarte. He
said that a busy general practitioner
might be inclined to treat every patient
aggressively as a worst-case scenario.
"The dilemma is that in the long run
you do a disservice to the population at

large" by laying the groundwork for

AIDS rate rising
among women
CHICAGO - The AIDS infection
rate is rising among women, especially
those living in the South, and transmis-
sion through sex with infected men has
outpaced intravenous drug use, federal
researchers say.
"Prevention efforts remain critical,"
the researchers said, particularly since
those women who are most at risk can be
difficult to educate because of their
poverty, substance abuse, alcoholism and
other problems.
From 1991 through 1995, the number
of women diagnosed with AIDS
increased by 63 percent versus 12.8 per-
cent for men.
By the end of 1995, 67,400 women
nationwide had been diagnosed as hav-
ing AIDS since the epidemic began, with
11,500of them being diagnosed in 1995.
The researchers did not immediately
have figures yesterday on the total nurn-
ber of men infected.
Throughout the 1980s and early
1990s, the disease was spread in women

primarily through sharing injection drug
needles. But by 1993, sex with infected
men had become the main culprit and
two years later had risen to 52 percent of
the cases nationwide, In the South, it-was
even worse --58 percent.
More up-to-date data is expected
released later this week showinge
trend continuing.
Vietnam Vet placed
at top of military :
WASHINGTON - In a swift voice
vote, the Senate confirmed Gen. He iry
Shelton yesterday as chair of the )i*!
Chiefs of Staff, putting the Green Befe
and decorated Vietnam War veterg
the top of the nation's military.
The confirmation came after Sen,
Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) removed a tem-
porary hold he placed to pressurtethe
Pentagon to reopen an investiggion
into the crash of a military transport
plane last year.
Shelton, a native of Speed, N.C., is
the first Green Beret to rise to, t e
nation's top military post.

.. . .*

Car bomb sets back
Belfast peace talks
BELFAST, Northern Ireland - A
powerful car bomb massively damaged
the heart of a country village in rural
Northern Ireland yesterday, and the
aftershocks dealt a stunning blow to
wheezing peace talks here.
The main Protestant political party,
itself boycotting the talks, immediately
demanded that Sinn Fein, the political
arm of the Irish Republican Army, be
expelled from the negotiations.
The IRA, whose continued cease-
fire is essential for Sinn Fein's presence
at the talks, denied responsibility for
the attack. Suspicion fell on a hard-line
IRA splinter group.
A parked blue van exploded just
after noon on market day in Markethill,
about 35 miles south of Belfast, where
the local five-man police force, alerted
by a phoned warning, was desperately
evacuating primary-school students,
shoppers, cattle traders and residents
from the town center.
Edward Graham, a senior police
officer, called it a "miracle" that there

were no serious injuries in the blast by
an estimated 400 pounds of expla$itsr
near the border with the Irish Republi;
Veterinarians said up to 400 dai
awaiting sale at the market might *e
to be destroyed.
29 children die after
truck overturns
CAIRO, Egypt - A truck carry-
ing up to 120 girls and boys to har,
vest cotton on a state-owned farm
overturned and toppled into a canal
yesterday, killing 29 of the yg
laborers as rescuers tried in vain -o
save them, police and hospital} offi-
cials said.
More than 50 children were injred,
two critically.
The accident, on a bumpy dirt road
75 miles north of Cairo, underscored
the sensitive issue of child labor in
Egypt, where according to some esti=
mates as many as 12 million children
are put to work, mainly in age
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.

1.1. I

- .'.



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