2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 10, 1998 NATION/X ORLD
Yeltsin struggles to stabilize Russia
MOSCOW (AP) - Russia spent another day without
a fully functioning government yesterday, its economy
unraveling while President Boris Yeltsin pondered the
next move in his political chess game with parliament.
Yeltsin apparently was considering alternatives to
acting Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, includ-
ing a Communist whose nomination undoubtedly
would sail through the leftist-dominated parliament.
But there were signs that Yeltsin might insist on
Chernomyrdin after all.
The political stalemate is exacerbating Russia's eco-
nomic collapse, which was reflected yesterday by ris-
ing prices and a spread of emergency measures, such
as price controls, in some regions of the country.
Surprisingly, however, the country's tattered curren-
cy, the ruble, bounced back a bit. Rubles, which were
selling at about 20 to the U.S. dollar Tuesday, rose in
street sales to as strong as 10 to the dollar, although
rates varied widely. The official rate was 15.77 rubles
to the dollar.
Foreign currency dealers said the improved rate
suggested that people had exhausted their ruble supply
in panic buying and had begun to exchange more of
their dollar savings for rubles. Many Russians keep
their savings in U.S. dollars.
The lack of rubles sent the currency's value up.
"I've been trying in the last few days to buy more,"
said 25-year-old Dmitry, a police officer who would-
n't give his last name. "But I can't change my money
at a bank because there aren't any rubles."
Stores in Moscow were restocking shelves and peo-
ple seemed less worried about food shortages.
"I'm buying but I haven't been in panic," said
Tatyana Shishkova, a retired teacher. "We see people
hoarding, but we don't do it. There's no reason for it.
You can't buy for your entire life."
Yeltsin spent the day at his country house outside
Moscow, meeting with top aides and deciding if he
would agree to a compromise candidate for prime
There was speculation in the Duma, the lower
chamber of parliament, that Yeltsin was considering
Yuri Maslyukov, a Soviet-era economic official and a
member of the Communist Party.M aslyukov has
worked with Yeltsin before, resigning last week as
trade and industry minister.
Communist and centrist leaders praised Maslyukov,
saying they would back him for prime minister.
Maslyukov met yesterday with Yeltsin's chief of staff,
Valentin Yumashev, but there were no details on what
they discussed, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.
Maslyukov's spokesperson said he hadn't been
offered any government post yet, according to
Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, whose name has
been mentioned prominently as a potential prime min-
ister, met with Chernomyrdin and Yeltsin's chief of
staff, and predicted afterward that Chernomyrdin
would be nominated a third time, ITAR-Tass reported.
The Duma twice has rejected Chernomyrdin's nom-
ination as prime minister. If it rejects Yeltsin's nominee
a third time, Yeltsin would be forced by law to dissolve
parliament and call new elections.
Method to select baby's sex successful
FAIRFAX. Va. - Fertility researchers say they are successftlly helping prospec-
tive parents fulfill their dreams in selecting whether to have a baby Michelle or a
The technique involves identifying and separating sperm cells that carry the Y
chromosome, which produces males, from those that carry the X chromosorn
which produces females without the presence of t Y chromosone. W
Dr. Edward Fugger of the Genetics & IVF Institute said today that sperm cells
can be segregated by the amount of DNA they contain before being used to fertil-
ize an egg through artificial insemination.
The institute's research is published in the September edition of the journal
TheY-chromosome sperm has about 2.8 percent less genetic material than sperm
with the X chromosome.
Researchers were able to sift sperm to produce samples in which 85 percent of
the cells had an X chromosome. If they targeted Y-bearing sperm, the result was a
sperm sample in which 65 percent of the cells contained a Y chromosome, The
New York Times reported yesterday.
The institute said 29 women who wanted to have girls became pregnant. So far, ni
of those women have given birth to I healthy baby girls. including two sets of twins.
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for corporations, governments, financial institutions, and private clients.
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Continued from Page1A
tist at Harvard's John F. Kennedy
school of government. Because the
book, "The Shape of the River," was
just being released, no one was avail-
able who could comment critically on
its methods or conclusions.
The book had more information on
black students than on other minorities
because fewer data were available on
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Illegal alien numbers
growing in prisons
KEY WEST, Fla.- INS detainees
represent the fastest-growing seg-
ment of the nation's jail population.
While the increase in federal and
state inmates slowed in 1997 - to
5.2 percent from a decade average of
7 percent - the number in INS cus-
tody soared by 42 percent over the
The Clinton administration is push-
ing for congressional extension of a
policy that has given local INS direc-
tors some flexibility to release nonvio-
lent offenders marked for deportation.
Without that discretionary authority,
due to expire next month, INS officials
say the detained population could
"There's no possible way we can
detain all of these people -nor should
we," INS Commissioner Doris
Meissner said recently.
The looming crisis has INS officials
scrambling. The $700 million now bud-
geted annually for detention and depor-
tation soon will have to be doubled if
the population continues to grow at
current rates, officials say.
To help alleviate the pressure, the
INS is trying to convince the U.S.
Bureau of Prisons to take custody of
its "lifer" detainees, now numberO
touches benefit plan
WASHINGTON - Wall Street's
roller coaster ride is causing new worries
about the idea of putting Social Security
dollars into the stock market.
Supporters say they still think the
nation's retirement system would be
fit from putting some money in stoc
But they're now cautioning that such
privatization can't guarantee a comfort-
able old age for everyone.
"We shouldn't get carried away with
the idea that ... we're going to make
every worker an instant millionaire; Sen.
Phil Gramm (R-Texas) said yesterday.
Meanwhile, opponents who believe
privatizing Social Security is too risky
are saying, "I told you so."
AROUND THE ;<
Swissair faces $50M
lawsuit for crash
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia - While the
leaders of Canada and Switzerland
joined in mourning the victims of
Swissair Flight il1, lawyers on
Wednesday filed a $50 million lawsuit
over the crash, blaming technical defects
in the aircraft.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court
in New York on behalf of former boxing
champion Jake LaMotta, whose son,
Joseph, was among the 229 people killed
in the Sept. 2 crash in the Atlantic off
The suit claims the MD-I 1 air-
craft had wiring problems that
should have been corrected. The suit
named Swissair: its partner, Delta
Airlines; McDonnell Douglas,
which manufactured the aircraft, and
Boeing Co., which now owns
The suit is likely to be followed by
many others as lawyers try to hold the
airlines and aerospace companies liable
for the as-yet-unexplained crash that
happened 16 minutes after the pilots
reported smoke in the cockpit. The trou-
ble started about an hour into a New
The litigation contrasted sharply
the mood in Indian Harbor, Nova Scotia,
where the largest of a series of memorial
services was held at an elementary
school sports field.
U.S. envoy to restart
peace talks in Israel
JERUSALEM - Chief U.S. Mic
East envoy Dennis Ross arrived in
Israel yesterday, kicking off
Washington's first big push in four
months to break the impasse in the
Middle East peace process.
There was little expectation of a
breakthrough in the negotiations, which
have been frozen for 18 months. On the
eve of Ross' arrival, the Israelis actively
played down his chances for success, and
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was
quoted in Israeli newspapers as bran
Ross "an Israeli collaborator." *
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