NATION/WORLD The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 24, 1998-9
Iraq accuses Butler of fabrication
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraq accused the chief
U.N. weapons inspector yesterday of fabricating a new
crisis over its weapons programs.
Deputy Foreign Minister Riyadh al-Qaisi said
Richard Butler's request for weapons-related docu-
ments takes Iraq back to "square one" in its effort to
end crippling sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security
Council after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.
"Why is it that now Mr. Butler is requesting all
over again the same requests that were made in the
past?" al-Qaisi asked.
"All we have, we gave. All we don't have, we stat-
ed we don't have" he told a news conference.
Butler asked last week for documents on Iraq's
arms program and information on its biological
weapons program - the field U.N. inspectors say they
have the most questions about. Iraq has balked at the
request, calling it an attempt to reignite a crisis.
"What do we see? No light at the end of the tunnel.
What we see is the light of a locomotive coming head
on at Iraq'" al-Qaisi said.
His comments were the latest in a dispute that has
raised again the specter of an attack on Iraq, days after
Iraq narrowly averted airstrikes by allowing U.N.
weapons experts to resume their inspections.
In Washington, Defense Secretary William Cohen
said that the United States could still attack Iraq if it
did not fully cooperate with the inspectors.
There are about 24,000 U.S. troops, about 210 air-
craft and one aircraft carrier still in the Persian Gulf
Iraq reversed its two-week ban on the work of U.N.
inspectors on Nov. 14 when faced with imminent
airstrikes by U.S. and British forces.
The inspectors returned last week and, with the
cooperation of the Iraqi government, they have since
made daily visits to sites that could be used to build
weapons of mass destruction.
Inspectors must certify that Iraq has eliminated its
nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, long-range
missiles and the programs to build them before the
Security Council can lift the sanctions, which have
caused widespread malnutrition, hunger and poverty
in the once-prosperous Arab country.
Al-Qaisi insisted that since inspections began in
1991, Iraq has provided all the documents inspectors
need. Others that Butler requested were destroyed or
irrelevant, he said.
The inspectors repeatedly have accused Iraq of try-
ing to mislead weapons teams. They checked nine
sites yesterday, including a surprise visit to a cigarette
and tobacco company in Baghdad that is not under
long-term surveillance, the Iraqi News Agency report-
Earlier yesterday, U.N. envoy Prakash Shah
returned to Baghdad, saying only that he would hold
talks with Iraqi officials.
In London, Iraqi opposition groups gathered at the
invitation of the British government. The groups
planned to meet here today with U.S. Assistant
Secretary of State Martin Indyk, who held talks last
week with Ahmed Chalabi, the head of Iraqi National
Congress, an opposition umbrella group.
Riven by ethnic, religious and political differences,
Iraqi opposition groups have posed littl. threat to the
government. But the United States has turned to them
in recent months with promises of political and finan-
cial support in hopes of overthrowing Saddam.
At the United Nations yesterday, Iraqi Ambassador
Nizar Hamdoon delivered a letter to the Security
Council from Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz reit-
erating Iraq's position.
Britain's ambassador to the United Nations,
Jeremy Greenstock, said Iraq was not fulfilling its
"What this boils down to is less that full compli-
ance, which is what they promised eight days ago,'
Iraq's official media continued to focus on the dis-
pute with Butler. Al-Thawra, the newspa aer of the rul-
ing party, said Butler viewed Iraq's decision to resume
inspections "as a personal victory, which he believes
will enable him to take revenge."
"Butler sees Iraq not only as a personal opponent
but as an enemy that needs to be harmed and crushed,"
Another newspaper, Babil, warned tlat the United
States may attack Iraq within three weeks.
In the streets, the renewed prospect of a military
strike seemed to generate little anxiety.
"The Iraqi people are becoming accustomed to
such things, and they don't have any fear of it," said
Salem Fadil, a 35-year-old vendor selling soap in
Baghdad's bustling Shorja market.
Another shopkeeper, Salman Ali, called the crisis
Iraqi guard waves to weapons inspectors as their vehicles approach the U.N.
adquarters in Baghdad yesterday.
Okeep up $4 billion
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
planned marriage of America Online
0 nd Netscape would create a single
oternet company with remarkable
reach across the high-tech world -
and influence to challenge giant
Microsoft's dominance in key areas.
America Online Inc., the world's
largest Internet provider with more
than 14 million subscribers, con-
firmed yesterday it is negotiating an
all-stock deal to buy Netscape
Communications Corp., whose
"Netcenter" Website is among the
*our most popular on the Internet
with more than 20 million visitors
The AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo!
sites are the other three most popular.
In addition, AOL would acquire
Netscape's pioneering Navigator
browser software, which was intro-
duced in 1994 and helped popularize
the Internet. The software is now
used by millions of people to view
*nformation on the Web.
In a side deal under considera-
tion, Sun Microsystems Inc. would
take control of Netscape's business-
level "server" software and, in return,
AOL would buy Sun's powerful
"Sun is dying to get into the soft-
ware business, so owning Netscape's
software business would increase
their ability to get into that market,"
said Stan Dohlberg, a consultant at
*orrester Research Inc.
Netscape, which separately con-
firmed the negotiations, said its
shareholders would receive .45
shares of AOL stock for each of the
99.5 million outstanding shares of
AOL traded most of yesterday in
the high-$80s, making the deal worth
between $3.8 billion and $4 billion,
although the price briefly peaked at
$91.63, its highest ever.
The companies have been negoti-
ating for at least two weeks, and talks
continued yesterday. Both AOL and
Netscape cautioned in statements
that "there can be no assurance that
an agreement will be reached or a
The alliance would pose dramatic
new competition for industry giant
Microsoft, whose own business tac-
tics against Netscape are so aggres-
sive that the federal government is
suing it for alleged antitrust viola-
Microsoft's Internet software
competes directly against Netscape's,
and its Microsoft Network online
service is a rival to AOL, although
MSN has been far less successful.
Sun competes against Microsoft
in several areas, from rival operating
systems to its Java technology that
runs programs on many types of
computers, not just those using
All three companies share a gen-
eral disdain toward Microsoft - all
are testifying, for example, on behalf
of the government at Microsoft's
Netscape Communications Corporation President Jim Barksdale testifies on
Capitol Hill before the Senate Judiciary Committee in March. America Online
inc. confirmed yesterday it is negotiating to buy Netscape.
antitrust trial in Washington.
"The major driver of this has been
the personal connections between the
principals in this deal, who have a
common mission to be successful but
also a common secondary goal to
win at Microsoft's expense," said
Frank Gens, chief analyst for
International Data Corp.
AOL agreed in March 1996 to
incorporate Microsoft's Internet
Explorer browser, not Netscape's,
into the software for its 14 million
subscribers. In exchange, Microsoft
included AOL's software within its
dominant Windows operating sys-
Analysts were divided on whether
AOL might jeopardize its placement
within Windows by distributing
Netscape's software to its customers.
That move could restore Netscape's
share of the browser market to its
highest levels since Microsoft began
its full-court competition.
"It seems to me pretty clear, if
this deal happens, that AOL cus-
tomers will be seeing a very strong
marketing of the Netscape browser to
them;' said Gens. "... If Netscape
and AOL get together, AOL and
Microsoft's friendship will be cold
and somewhat short-lived."
As Microsoft's antitrust trial
entered its sixth week, the company
was quick to claim that the AOL-
Netscape proposal proves the gov-
ernment's case is moot, given the fact
that Microsoft may soon have a new
in. case alleging theft
The Washington Post been a sideshow in the Whitewater
SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Susan case and impeachment het rings - but
McDougal, the reluctant witness and one filled with titillating details about
enigmatic partner of the Clintons in how the wealthy Metas spent their
the failed Whitewater development, money jetting plumbers from
was acquitted yesterday of unrelated California to Italian villas and throw-
charges that she fleeced famed musi- ing around hundreds of thousands of
cal conductor Zubin Mehta and his dollars for koi ponds, wedding gaze-
wife, Nancy, of $50,000 in a credit bos and dinners for their cog.
card and check fraud scheme. In interviews after their verdicts, the
As McDougal beamed a broad smile jurors described McDougal as a sym-
and her eyes brimmed with tears of pathetic and mostly credible defendant
relief, the jury pronounced her not who they felt suffered at the hands of
guilty of nine counts of grand theft, overreaching Los Angeles prosecutors,
forgery and failure to file state income wasting their time and taxpayers'
tax returns. The ver- money.
diets ended a 10- Several jurors
week trial that shed questioned why this
as much light on the "T e whle matter ever went to
wild shopping £ trial, and described
sprees and exorbi- Cease fell apart. L.A.Deputy
tant spending of Los - Rufus Gifford District Attorney
Angeles' rich and Jury Foreman Jeffrey Semow's
famous as on case as weak, dis-
McDougal's sloppy jointed and without
accounting practices solid fondation.
when she worked as a personal assis- "The whole case fell apart," said
tant and bookkeeper for the Mehtas in jury foreman Rufus Gifford, a young
the early 1990s. actor. "It didn't make any sense."
The five-year-old case provided a Asked if it should have been presented
resounding vindication for McDougal, at all, Gifford said no.
who has often portrayed herself as a Another juror, colleg professor
martyr of overzealous prosecutors here Nancy Nieman, said, "I lon't know
in California and in Washington. how this got through te system."
"It's over!" McDougal yipped after Asked if she thought Starr's office had
the verdicts, anything to do with encoiraging the
But not exactly. For her part in the Los Angeles prosecutors to pursue the
Whitewater escapades, McDougal was case, as McDougal hat claimed,
found guilty of fraud and conspiracy Nieman said, "In retrospect, you do
charges. She was sentenced to two have to ask yourself that question."
years in prison, but was released early McDougal moved to Los Angeles in
because of chronic back pain. In addi- the late 1980s with her boyfriend,
tion, she has served 18 months for Harris, who worked briefly for the
refusing to answer questions put to her Mehtas before McDougal took over,
by independent counsel Kenneth serving as a glorified go-f r and later
Starr's prosecutors, accusing them of as bookkeeper for the family's
being biased and out to do whatever accounts and Nancy Metas side busi-
they could to destroy the Clintons. ness renting a handful of exclusive Los
McDougal still faces criminal con- Angeles homes to actors and others.
tempt charges for refusing to answer The prosecution contended that
questions about the Clintons before the McDougal was a wily con artist who,
Whitewater grand jury. "There is a after her life as a relatively well-to-do
God," shouted her longtime finance, Pat wife and partner of the novl-deceased
Harris, in the crowded hallway afteryes- James McDougal back in Arkansas,
terday's verdicts. "Tell Ken Starr we're could not readjust to living within
coming home (to Arkansas) and this more modest means in Los Angeles.
time we're fighting back." As a result, they alleged, ste began to
"Everything that's happened to me dip into the Mehtas' money, forging
in recent years has been about Bill checks and using the Mettas' credit
Clinton," McDougal said later. "They cards to buy herself and F arris plush
want me to say things against Bill and vacations and luxury items.
Hillary Clinton. People say to me: Are But as much as anything, the trial
you scared of Ken Starr? He better be hinged on the unusual relationship
scared of me because I'm on my way between Nancy Mehta and Susan
back" The fraud and embezzlement McDougal, who were, by al accounts,
case that ended yesterday has largely extremely close until their alling out.
Virginia wants warranty on high school grads
'I e Washington Post
Local school systems in Virginia would issue a
rfanty" on their high school graduates and
se to pay the cost of remedial classes that the
stodents had to take as college first-year students,
sisder a plan being developed by state higher educa-
The proposal reflects state officials' growing frus-
tration at the large numbers of college students who
re having to learn basic skills they should have mas-
tred in high school. One-fourth of Virginia public
fhschool graduates at the state's public colleges
e at least one remedial class in reading, writing or
-ath during their freshman year.
a remedial courses are costing about $40mil-
I a year, state officials estimate-roughly $15 mil-
lion of it borne by the college students and their par-
ents and the rest covered by state taxpayers.
Shifting those costs to local school districts would
create a powerful incentive to do a better job of
KNOW OF NEWS
preparing students for college-level work, advocates
of the warranty plan say.
"This is rather a rifle shot ... to raise the profile of
the issue and to communicate to the K-12 institutions
that they have responsibility for the outcome of their
students;' said William Allen, executive director of
the State Council of Higher Education, which is
preparing the proposal.
But many school officials are wary of the idea,
saying the high enrollment in remedial courses is
partly because more students are attending college. If
colleges don't want to provide such classes, they
need to be more selective in their admissions, local
Across the country, the issue of college remedial
classes is stirring debate, with educators and politi-
cians viewing the courses as an acute symptom of lax
academic standards. College officials complain of
being forced to dumb down their curriculum, and
they worry that too few of their students are taking
the rigorous courses they will need to be successful
in their careers.
Some states, such as Colorado, Georgia and South
Carolina, have eliminated remedial courses at four-
year colleges. Other states are putting limits on fund-
ing of the courses or are capping enrollment
So far, no state has adopted a plan to charge local
school systems for the cost of the classes, although
there have been proposals to do so in several states,
including Texas, New Jersey and Montana.
Members of Virginia's higher education council
have asked their staff to present a warranty plan by
January. An early draft of the proposal recommends
that the warranty initially cover students who gradu-
ate from high school with an advanced studies diplo-
ma and a grade-point average of at least 2.5.
Rather than mandate the warranty program, which
would require action by the state legislature, council
officials say they envision persuading a few school
districts to offer the guarantee voluntarily.
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