The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 25, 1998 - 7
. , '.
Reno concludes: Gore didn't lie
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein roads in one of his offices in Baghdad on
Monday. U.S. actions depend on Iraq cooperation with U.N. Inspectors.
U.: Its for Iraq
WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General Janet
Reno concluded yesterday there is "clear and convinc-
ing evidence" Vice President Al Gore did not lie to
campaign finance investigators and she declined to
order further investigation by an independent counsel.
"The evidence fails to provide any reasonable basis
for a conclusion that the Vice President may have
lied," Reno advised a special court. "There are no rea-
sonable grounds to believe that further investigation is
warranted" into an allegation that Gore lied to Justice
Department investigators last year about how a
Democratic media fund was financed.
It was the second time in a year that Reno refused
to have an outside prosecutor examine Gore over his
telephone fund-raising or what he said about it. For
Gore, it removed a potential obstacle to his ambition
to run for president in 2000.
White House spokesperson Joe Lockhart said
President Clinton "believes the vice president has
LONDON (AP) - Surrounded by pageantry,
Queen Elizabeth II opened a new session of
Parliament yesterday with a starkly untraditional
announcement: The government plans to strip
unelected aristocrats of their 600-year-old birthright to
vote in the House of Lords.
Rows of lords in ermine-collared scarlet robes
broke with another tradition after the announcement,
when instead of listening to the monarch in silence
they let out muted growls.
Elected lawmakers of the House of Commons who
clustered behind the Lords chamber also violated the
tradition with occasional cheers.
The move is part of a legislative program for the
coming year that the queen, reading out a speech
written by Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labor gov-
ernment, described as focusing "upon the modern-
ization of the country."
Well, a bit of modernization.
With Her Majesty's assent, for example, the Lord
Chancellor - the country's chief judicial officer -
turned his back on the queen and walked away after
handing her the government's speech, instead of shuf-
fling backward. And a handful of quaintly named offi-
cials, such as Silver Stick in Waiting and Maltravers
Herald Extraordinary, were absent.
But much of the elaborate show was right on track.
The queen rode from Buckingham Palace with her
husband, Prince Philip, in a horse-drawn carriage
escorted by a cavalry regiment in scarlet gold tunics
astride magnificent horses.
An official called Black Rod, in knee breeches and
stockings, summoned the commoners to the chamber
to hear the queen. And even though the Lord
Chancellor thought it all right to turn his back, others
inched backward ahead of the queen.
The legislative program she read out - the second
always acted within the letter and the spirit of the law."
Gore spokesperson Christopher Lehane said, "The
vice president is pleased."
Republicans were not.
"Once again, the Attorney General has failed to fol-
low the law," said Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.). "For the
past two years, the attorney general has made it clear
she is committed to protecting the president" Burton
faulted her for rejecting the advice of FBI Director
Louis Freeh to order an independent counsel, which
Freeh has been advocating for more than a year.
Steve Forbes, a would-be Republican presidential
candidate in 2000, said, "This raises the question of
Ms. Reno's fitness to remain in office." Sen. Arlen
Specter (R-Pa.) suggested asking a court to order
Reno to turn the case over to a counsel.
"We need to take these matters out of the hands ofthe
attorney general, who appears to be acting politically
and not in accordance with the act," agreed Senate
Judiciary Committee Chairperson Orrin Hatch (R-
Utah). "Personally, I think it is going to take legislation."
Reno vowed her 120-member campaign finance
task force would continue the investigation that has
already charged .4 people, including prominent
Democratic donors and fund raisers.
"Today's determination does not mean that our
work has ended," Reno said in a statement. "We will
continue to vigorously investigate all allegations of
Indeed, she is in the midst of 90-day preliminary
inquiries about President Clinton and his former
deputy White House chief of staff, Harold Ickes. She
must decide within two weeks whether independent
counsels are needed to continue those probes.
Officials say no counsel is likely to be named in the
Clinton matter, which involves whether he and aides
illegally financed issue advertisements during his
1996 re-election campaign.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
Clinton administration now seems
willing to play a waiting game with
Even as the aircraft carrier USS
Enterprise and five escort ships
Sjoined the U.S. naval fleet in Persian
Gulf waters, President Clinton and
his senior advisers were not even
threatening Saddam Hussein with
the kind of blistering rhetoric that
led up to Clinton's decision nearly
fwo weeks ago to launch airstrikes.
He called off the attack at the last
minute after the Iraqi leader
promised U.N. Secretary-General
Kofi Annan he would permit unfet-
tered searches. Saddam had prohib-
ited field searches on Aug. 5 and
halted all monitoring on Oct. 31.
Clinton set five tough criteria for
judging Iraq's promise to comply and
indicated defiance of any of them
~could prompt a U.S. attack. One was
-that Iraq must turn over to the U.N.
Special Commission, or UNSCOM,
all documents bearing on the produc-
tion of nuclear, chemical and biologi-
cal weapons and missiles that could
be used to deliver them.
Clinton has now taken a cautious
approach, waiting for more "facts"
and saying the United States should
not "overreact," while Defense
Secretary William Cohen was
sounding only mildly hawkish.
"I don't believe Iraq should be in
the position of declaring unilaterally
that documents are irrelevant to the
needs and requests of the UNSCOM
inspectors" he said at a joint news
conference with German Defense
Minister Rudolf Scharping.
"So we will continue to follow it,
but much depends upon the level and
degree of cooperation on the part of
the Iraqis' Cohen said.
State Department spokesperson
James Rubin said it was clear that the
Iraqis wanted "to dodge their obliga-
tions" to provide the documents. But,
he said, documents were only part of
"a broad spectrum of activities" on
which Iraq must cooperate.
"It includes allowing the inspec-
tors to go where they need to go,"
Rubin said, adding U.N. inspectors
had been allowed to go about their
work for a seventh straight day with-
out any problems.
Whether Clinton reverts to force
could depend on whether Iraq
throws roadblocks in the path of
U.N. inspectors in a way that is so
outrageous that France and Russia
would support the United States.
That kind of comprehensive test
could take weeks to develop as
Richard Butler, head of the U.N.
weapons commission, and his fellow
inspectors go about their searches in
a deliberate way.
"We're waiting, we are expecting
the Iraqis to cooperate," Peter
Burleigh, the acting U.S. representa-
tive to the United Nations, said
Monday. "They have said they are
Britain's Queen Elizabeth 11 addresses the house of Parliament yesterday. Ending six centuries of tradition, the
queen announced the Labor Party plans to strip hereditary peers of their right to vote in the legislature.
since Labor swept the long-ruling Conservative Party
from office 19 months ago - also included a shake-
up of welfare benefits designed to make things
tougher for the work-shy, a reform of legal funding
and greater protection for rape victims.
But one item promises to provoke the most debate.
"A bill will be introduced to remove the right of
hereditary peers to sit and vote in the House of Lords;'
the queen intoned. "It will be the first stage of a
process of reform to make the House of Lords more
democratic and representative."
The House of Lords, which revises and examines
government legislation, is composed of lords who
inherited their titles, and life peers, who are award-
The elected House of Commons has the power to
pass legislation even if the House of Lords rejects it,
but the nobles can stretch out the process, stalling bills
Critics charge that Blair is wrong to remove the
often independent-minded blue bloods before setting
up a new arrangement. A commission is due to report
within two years on a new version of the chamber.
"He wants to create a House of Cronies, behold-
en to him alone," Conservative Party leader
William Hague jeered at Blair in the Commons
Some blue bloods prepared for a filibuster in the
chamber, which could delay the legislation for up
to a year.
"It is exceedingly easy to bung up the system," said
the Earl of Onslow, whose family motto is "Quick
"I am happy to go to this sort of extent and length
to make sure that what comes after me is better and
can act as a check," he said.
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DAHANIEH, Gaza Strip (AP) -
Thousands of Palestinians watched
with glee yesterday as the first
Palestine Airlines flight touched
down at their. new Gaza International
Airport - a concrete sign for
Palestinians that their homeland was
one step closer to statehood.
As crew members waved the
Palestinian flag from the pilot's window
of the Fokker 50, the emotional crowd
began a spontaneous celebration of
dance and song set to last for days.
"The meaning of the airport is free-
dom and the feeling that you are a citi-
zen in a country," Shaban Khalil, a man
from Gaza City, said jubilantly.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat
smiled broadly and flashed a victory
sign on the tarmac as he greeted each of
the seven planes that landed yesterday.
"This is a preparation for the declara-
tion of the Palestinian state," he said.
Built with $75 million in contribu-
tions mainly from Japan, Gaza
International has one 2-mile-long run-
way -- long enough to accommodate
all but the biggest jumbo jets.
The one passenger terminal for
arrivals and departures resembles an
Arabian desert palace with arches and
multi-colored Moroccan tiles and
includes a VIP lounge.
In the first weeks, airport operations
will have to rely on some improvisa-
tion. Major pieces of equipment,
including those for the control tower,
are still at the Israeli port of Ashdod.
Yesterday's planes were guided in by a
portable control panel installed in a van.
Israel, which feared a solely
Palestinian-run airport would mean
enemies could land at its doorstep or
smuggle weapons to the Palestinians;
held up the opening for two years over
Under the airport agreement negoti-
ated during last month's U.S.-spon-
sored Middle East summit in
Maryland, Israel will continue to con-
trol the airspace and can shut down the
airport at any time.
With a full-time but discreet moni-
toring presence there, Israel will pre-
approve all flight schedules and passen-
ger lists, although no Israeli will sit in
the control tower or operate any area of
The pilot of Yasser Arafat's personal plane holds a Palestinian flag after landing his
plane for the first time in Gaza's newly opened International airport yesterday.
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NEW YORK (AP) - America Online Inc., the
computer online service that naysayers once said
would surely be crushed by Microsoft or the Internet,
emerged as a newly formidable competitor yesterday
with its deal to buy Netscape Communications Corp.
The $4.21 billion merger could fundamentally alter
the balance of power on the Internet.
While AOL is already the world's largest Internet
access and online service provider, the deal gives
the company important advantages in its battle
with Microsoft Corn. to dominate the main
market and not, as the government claims, a monopo-
list trying to crush its rivals.
The merger also is a vindication for Steve Case, the
boyish-looking chair of AOL.
Just a few years ago, AOL was ridiculed for sup-
plying its own proprietary online entertainment and
information to subscribers at a time when people
could get a far wider choice on the Internet. Last
year, a surge in usage across AOL's network triggered
Desnite the nroblems. Case stuck to AOL's strate-
MWe do recognize
Microsoft is a major
competitori r s
-- Steve Case
America Online Chair
information Reared toward businesses.
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