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March 10, 1998 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-03-10

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 10, 1998

MSA
Continued from Page 1
She maintained that in reality, there are
no party politics in MSA.
"The whole point of MSA is team-
work," Chopp said. "Parties give you a
sense of that. In MSA you want to work
asa cohesive unit. Yet we do not block-
vote. The party system is there for when
you're running. Once in MSA, there are
no parties."
All the representatives agreed the

major role of parties is to provide sup-
port, whether it be financial or informa-
tional. Many independents find them-
selves in a money crunch, but most
were confident their campaigning
would carry them to victory.
"The financial part is a problem,"
said Justin Dombrowski, an LSA
first-year student running indepen-
dently for a seat on the assembly.
"All I can work on right now is per-
sonal relations. I'll be putting in a
few more hours."

OVER 40,000 SERVED
DAILY.
THE MICHIGAN DAILY.

NATION
Slowly bu
Hong Koi
through r
Los Angeles Times
HONG KONG - Piece by piece,
law by law, the elements that made
Hong Kong independent and unique
before its restoration to Chinese rule
last July are being eroded, say observers
here and abroad.
The hand-over eight months ago
went smoothly, without riots or tanks or
drastic upheaval. Since then, however,
the 6.3 million people who live in Hong
Kong have been subject to a takeover in
slow motion.
The changes are subtle, incremental
and technical, and not immediately felt
by the man on the street. But the results
are nonetheless striking - and will
redefine citizens' basic rights and free-
dom of expression.
"It is like cooking a frog over a gen-
tle fire," says Law Yuk-kai, the director
of Human Rights Monitor in Hong
Kong, which reports to the United
Nations on the territory's compliance
with international human rights agree-
ments. "If you raise the temperature lit-
tle by little, the frog won't know it's
being cooked until it's too late.'
In recent days, events have refocused
attention on how Hong Kong is evolv-
ing under Chinese rule.
In a move that critics say whittles
away gains in human rights protections,
late last month the appointed legislature
repealed recent additions to the territo-
ry's Bill of Rights.
The amendments, which had been
passed by Hong Kong's elected legisla-
ture days before the body was replaced
with the appointed one, guaranteed that
the government would protect its peo-
ple against violations by governments
or private individuals. The amendments
broadened Hong Kong's existing Bill of
Rights and brought the territory's laws
in line with international human rights
covenants.
The new Legislative Council said the
amendments were confusing and that
individuals were protected adequately
by other Hong Kong laws. Debate in
the legislature revealed that business;
owners feared complaints against them
by individuals under the amendment.
But analysts say that the act is part of;

[/WORLD
surely,
goes
eforms,
a trend to tighten controls on society. "It
is very clear that the government means
to be a lot harsher on basic rights and
freedoms," says Margaret Ng, a lawyer
and former legislator. "Where civil lib-
erties are concerned, they are taking a
very tough line"
The repeal had long been expected;
one of the first acts of the appointed
legislature after it took power July 1 had
been to freeze many of the last-minute
laws passed by its predecessor.
Government supporters say that
Hong Kong is in good shape if detrac-
tors can only point to shades of change
and policy shifts as mass protests and
crackdowns are occurring in neighbor-
ing countries. But human rights advo-
cates warn that the very subtlety of the
rollbacks makes them all the more
insidious.
"If we weren't here to make a fuss"
says Law of Human Rights Monitor,
"people may not have even noticed. The
government is trying to slip things by."
Longtime defenders of Hong Kong's
freedoms have taken it upon themselves
to ensure that people are paying atten-
tion. In one case that began even before
the hand-over, former legislator Emily
Lau decided to test Hong Kong's priva-
cy law after it came into effect in late
1996.
The outspoken politician, who often
criticizes the government and is consid-
ered "subversive" by China, requested
her personal files from the Hong Kong
branch of the New China News Agency,
which acted as China's de facto embassy
here before the hand-over. Under the law,
agencies that compile information on
individuals are required to allow them to
see their files within 40 days of the
request and to correct any errors found.
After 10 months of silence, Lau
received a one-sentence reply from the
agency saying it didn't have a file on her.
The territory's Privacy Commission
recommended that the New China
News Agency be prosecuted, but
Justice Secretary Elsie Leung
announced last week that the case
would be dropped. She offered no
explanation beyond protecting the
agency's privacy.

AROUND THE NATION

Court refuses afinative action case
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court, increasingly skeptical of efforts
to give minorities special help without proof of discrimination, refused yes-
terday to revive a Florida county's affirmative-action program for awarding
construction contracts.
The court, without comment, turned away Dade County's argument that dir
crimination in the local construction industry is severe enough to justify an effoW
to aid black-owned companies.
The court also declined to hear an appeal by a minority contractors' group that
sought to reinstate portions of similar programs in Dade County for companies
owned by Hispanics and women. Yesterday's actions were not decisions and there-
fore set no national precedent.
The justices have strictly limited affirmative-action programs in state and local
public works projects since 1989, saying such efforts must be narrowly tailored to
remedy the effects of past discrimination.
A lawyer for the minority contractors' group said that people should not give up
on trying to meet that strict legal standard.
"We know there is discrimination and that it's unfortunately alive and well," sa4
Thomas Pepe, who represents the Allied Minority Contractors Association. "It's
just that it's very difficult to prove discrimination."

'"

Under fire, Lott
changes his tune
WASHINGTON - Under fire from
some Republicans, Senate Majority
Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) yesterday
played down his recent suggestion that
independent counsel Kenneth Starr
quickly wrap up his probe of President
Clinton and sought instead to blame
Clinton for any delays.
Lott drew criticism over the weekend
from House Speaker Newt Gingrich
(R-Ga.) and some other GOP leaders
for saying Friday during taping of a
television interview that it is time for
Starr to "show his cards" and that
Congress might consider censuring
Clinton if there is not enough evidence
for impeachment.
But by yesterday, Lott and his GOP
critics were back in step, with Lott
praising Starr for "doing a great job
under very difficult circumstances"
and urging Clinton to stop
"stonewalling" and tell "the whole
truth" about allegations that he had an
affair with former White House intern

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Monica Lewinsky and lied about it.
"So while I encourage Mr. Starr to
continue his work and try to complete
that work, I today call on the president
to come forward, tell the American
people what has happened," he said.
"What is the truth? What is the whc
truth?"
FDR statue with
wheelchair requested
WASHINGTON - The govern-
ment should honor Franklin D.
Roosevelt anew, this time with a
statue in the wheelchair he used for
all his years in office, represent.
tives of the disabled said yesterday.
Armed with a new law requiring
that the Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Memorial near the Potomac River
recognize the president's disability,
witnesses made their wishes known
at a public hearing called by the
National Park Service.
The park service will attempt to
reach a consensus on just how the law
should be carried out.

U

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PRESENTING A CONFERENCE
ON WOMEN'S ISSUES:

AROUND THEWORLD

Friday, March 13 Sunday, March 15

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* call 763-4652
stop by the Michigan League
ramming Office, 911 N. University

APPLICATION
Continued from Page 1
ball team's Rose Bowl victory and
National Championship title.
Some applicants and University
officials speculate that this might
account in part for the increase in
applications.
"It seems like when people see a
good thing, they want to be a part of a
good thing," Palnau said.
But Baker said other factors also may
have accounted for the increased num-
ber of applicants.
"There was a strong suggestion that
the University is an outstanding choice
for students who are thinking of going
on to graduate school," Baker said.
She added that for students who plan to
continue their education beyond the
undergraduate level, a good public univer-
sity like the University of Michigan might
be a better buy than a private university.
"It's such a wonderful school and it
can be such a bargain for someone who
lives in-state," said Leslie Salba, a high
school senior at North Farmington
High School, who was accepted to the
University.

Baker also said the number of high
school students applying to higher edu-
cation institutions nationwide may be
up this year.
In a study conducted by the
National Association for College
Admission Counseling, admission
counselors announced an overall
increase in first-year college appli-
cations for the 1997 school year, a
14-percent increase from the previ-
ous year.
Some officials said this trend may
have carried over to the 1998 incoming
class of first-year students throughout
the country.
Of the 20,671 applications the
University recorded as of March 2,
about 51 percent of applicants were
male, whereas 48 percent were
female.
The ratio of in-state to out-of-state
applicants was almost 2 to 1.
Baker said an increase in under-
graduate applicants does not mean
the overall size of the incoming
class will increase. It may mean
that a smaller percentage of appli-
cants will be admitted to the
University.
BILL
Continued from Page 1
Having such legislation would have
also made Martin discuss his actions
because the University could have
brought a lawsuit against him, Profit
said.
"The University was without any
legal means to make him talk" Profit
said.
State Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith
(D-Salem Twp.) said the bill pro-
vides a penalty for interference, and
she does not anticipate much oppo-
sition to it in the Senate when it
arrives there if it passes through the
House.
"There's no reason it will not go
through quickly," Smith said.
Pon't get .-
carried #
e4'
away
wit~h

Suharto receives
emergency powers
JAKARTA, Indonesia - President
Suharto was handed sweeping emer-
gency powers yesterday that give him
dictatorial authority over all national
issues, from the economic crisis to
social unrest.
Details of the decree adopted by the
People's Consultative Assembly were
not immediately disclosed, but sources
said earlier that it was likely to include
the rights to dissolve the assembly,
abolish political organizations, name a
presidential successor and arrest peo-
ple without trial.
"It empowers the president to take
over all state authority if the president
thinks the state is in jeopardy," Arbi
Sanit, a University of Indonesia politi-
cal scientist, told the Jakarta Post.
Suharto who has ruled for 32
years and is scheduled to receive the
assembly's endorsement today for
another five-year term, asked for
the powers last August, well before
Indonesia fell victim to a financial
crisis that is threatening to bring the

country's economy to a grinding
standstill.
Although human rights officials and
some academics expressed conce
Suharto supporters pointed out th
similar decrees have been in force dur-
ing his entire reign, except since 1993.
Bus crash in Nigeria
kills 30 passengers
LAGOS, Nigeria - A commuter
bus exploded after colliding with an
oncoming car, killing 30 people *
northern Nigeria, a Lagos newspaper
reported yesterday.
The explosion in the village of Awe
Gber was apparently fueled by several
gallons of gasoline being carried by
passengers on the bus, the newspaper
said, citing a police report. It did not
say when the accident took place.
Nigeria is in the midst of a fuel
shortage that has stranded thousands of
commuters and prompted many people
to travel long distances to purch4
fuel.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.

.:

From a democratic
Iety, you have many choices.
y ways to express yourselF and
belieFs. many ways to make a
ge. you can join a militia. you can erect
ed wire Fence around your property. you can decline to
can get a bumper'sticker. call your local d.j. and vent.
can enroll in the Graduate

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