8 -The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 18, 1998
Russia ready to
E Some foreign countries business here have laid off as many
foreignas 75 percent of their employees in
,expected to pull all the past month. Some companies are
Investments out of likely to pull out altogether, said an
official of the American Chamber of
:troubled nation Commerce in Russia.
Los Angeles Times "In some ways, the (American)
MOSCOW -- A top official in business community feels like it
Russia's new government said yester- was hit by a neutron bomb and
day the country will reverse its deci- we've all been irradiated, which
sion to freeze foreign debt payments means that in 30 days, 60 days, 90
-and is ready to negotiate a new pay- days, some of us are going to die,"
ment plan with foreign lenders. chamber president Scott Blacklin
"Russia is ready for a dialogue, told a news conference.
and in this connection the govern- "And the rest of us will recover,
-ment would not like foreign partners but will have to lay around and
to take tough measures against us," throw up for a while."
said Deputy Prime Minister President Boris Yeltsin, who has
Alexander Shokhin. kept a low profile during much of
"We call on banks to refrain from the crisis, briefly appeared before
seizing Russian banks' assets television cameras and said it will
abroad." take another week to fill the remain-
Shokhin's conciliatory remarks ing vacancies in the 30-member
came exactly a month after former Cabinet.
Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko One key post that is still empty is
announced that Russia would deval- the minister of finance.
ue the ruble and impose a 90-day Apparently trying to counter per-
moratorium on paying foreign sistent rumors that he is ill, Yeltsin
debts. got out of his limousine on the way
The move sent the ruble plummet- from the Kremlin to his country
ing and brought down Kiriyenko's estate and visited a store on a busy
government. commercial street.
The new prime minister, Yevgeny The president spent about 15 min-
Primakov, took over a week ago and utes inside talking to customers and
continued to assemble his Cabinet and clerks about the variety of goods and
formulate an economic recovery plan prices.
yesterday. He was apparently satisfied on both
But the Russian economy kept on counts, although the same could not be
reeling, said for regular shoppers.
The ruble fell to 14.6 to the dollar "The shelves here are visual aids
at the official rate. And the shat- for a pensioner studying virtual
tered stock market fell 12.16 per- nutrition," an elderly woman at the
cent to hit an all-time low of 51.7 on store told NTV television later in
the Russian Trading System index. the day. "There is nothing afford-
The index peaked at more than 570 able here, even to many of those
last October. who have jobs."
Some foreign companies doing The government's decision to try
BOSTON (AP) - Prosecutors took
the extraordinary step yesterday of charg-
ing an MIT fraternity -- the organiza-
tion, not its members- with manslaugh-
ter in the case of a student who drank
himself to death at a party a year ago.
Tne c ase against the MIT chapter of
Phi Gamma Delta is believed to be the
first in the nation in which a fraternity
has been charged with homicide, District
Attorcy Ralph Martin said.
The fraternity was indicted on
charges of manslaughter and hazing in
the death of Scott Krueger, an 18-year-
old student who fell into a coma last
September after a drinking binge at the
Mass Achusetts Institute of Technology
frat he was pledging in Boston's Fenway
No individual fraternity members
will face charges, not even those who
bought the alcohol.
Manslaughter normally is punishable
by a $1,000 fine and 1 11/2 years in jail,
and hazing caries a $3,000 fine and 1 1/2
years behind bars. But because there is no
way to put an organization behind bars,
the most the fraternity faces is a fine.
"My office determined that the
indictments should be aimed at the fra-
ternity that promoted and orchestrated
the activities that ultimately led to Scott
Krueger's death, not at the people who
were sent on a purchasing errand,"
Officers at the Phi Gamma Delta
national headquarters in Lexington,
Ky., were not available for comment, a
'Ihe fraternity chapter was shut down
after Krueecr's death. le was found in a
coma Sept. 27 in the basement room
where he was living and died two days
In other cases around the country
involving fraternity drinking deaths, indi-
viduals have been charged with honii-
cide. But the fraternities themselves have
usually faced charges involving only
Krueger's parents, Bob and Darle e
Krueger, said the indictment puts the
responsibility on those who should pay
for their son's death: the organization that
sanctioned the partying.
The couple said they may also so
MIT as well as the fraternity. Darlene
Krueger accused the school of leading
the couple to believe that on-campus
housing was provided for all freshmen.
She said many freshmen end up in frater-
nities days after their arrival on campus.
"We entrusted MIT with our son and
they failed us miserably," she said.
"If such a death could occur at ML.
it could happen anywhere," sa
Rosalind Williams, MIT's dean of stu-
dents and undergraduate education.
"Dangerous drinking is a problem that
needs to be addressed on many fronts
and by all concerned."
MIT recently announced that all
freshmen starting in 2001 will be required
to live in campus residence halls.
In August, a Sigma Alpha Epsilon
chapter at Louisiana State University in
Baton Rouge pleaded no contest to
chasing alcohol for underage drin4W
and agreed to pay $22,600 in a plea bar-
gain over the drinking death of a 20-year-
After a first-year student at Frostburg
State University in Cumberland, Md.,
drank himself to death at a fraternity
party, eight people were fined $1,000
each and placed on five years' probation
last November for selling alcohol without
Russian citizens withdraw their savings from banks around the country during the
nation's grave economic crisis. Russian officials announced yesterday that they
would begin an effort to repay the nation's foreign debts.
to repay foreigners who invested in
government bonds, known as GKOs,
is an important step in restoring
Russia's international credibility --
and in potentially obtaining more
"The method Russia used in mid-
August to try to solve its financial
problems does not conform to
international pr actice," Shokhin
"However, a return to the situa-
tion as it was before Aug. 17 will
not be on the agenda."
While officials hope to negotiate
a payment plan and undo some of
the damage done by the debt mora-
torium, plans to solve the govern-
ment's fiscal problems by printing
more rubles is likely to send the cur-
rency plunging even further, experts
Race panel finds 'white privilege'
& The Melody Makers
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Clinton is
receiving a report from his commission on race today
urging him to help educate Americans on "white priv-
ilege" and how it disenfranchises every group that
came here without it.
To lead the nation toward racial harmony, the com-
mission's report tells Clinton, he must confront the
"continuing existence of prejudice and privilege" that
has created a system that relegates to people of color
an inferior status to that of whites.
The commission said it decided an apology for
slavery was "much too narrow" to address black
Americans' experience with discrimination.
With its report, the president's advisory board on
race wraps up its yearlong investigation of race in
"It is, we believe, essential to recall the facts of
racial domination. ... We as a nation need to under-
stand that whites tend to benefit, either unknowingly
or consciously, from this country's history of white
privilege," the report said.
That said, they noted that racial attitudes among
whites have improved steadily over the past 40 years.
"It is fair to say that there is a deep-rooted national
consensus to the ideals of racial equality and integra-
tion, even if that consensus falters on the best means
to achieve those ideals," the report's final draft said.
Clinton was to receive the report today in a meet-
ing with the board, which will then be disbanded. The
president has said he might continue the board's work
through a permanent council, a step the board recom-
mended. He will use the report as a basis for his own
report on race in America.
Among proposals, the board:
Recommended that Clinton's "mend it, don't end
it" policy on affirmative action, which it supported, be
studied further. "This is an area clearly in flux," the board
said. "Leadership is needed to forge public consensus."
. U Flagged for study police misconduct involving
minorities, stereotyping in media, environmental justice,
federal employment, bilingual education, access to tech-
nology, conflicts between nonwhite ethnic groups.
Brought to Clinton's attention the practice of
racial profiling, in which police use race to identify
potential criminals. It is employed most often in traffic
stops, a crime known casually as "driving while black."
0 Urged Clinton to review the disparity in sen-
tences for crimes involving powdered cocaine and its
concentrated form, crack. 'the board said longer sen-
tences for crimes involving crack, largely involving
poor, black or Hispanic offenders, are "morally and
intellectually inde fensible."
Christopher Edley, a Harvard law professor advis-
ing Clinton, said the commission's work will be helpful.
"It addresses ... the kinds of dialogue and public
education efforts that will help create the moral fopn-
dation for policy changes," Edley said. "The presidrnt
sees this as an old and deep problem that no sirs
report or collection of policy-ideas will solve, but U
is an important step"
Clinton was receiving a separate report today from
the Council of Economic Advisers that lists social 4nd
economic indicators of various racial and ethic
groups. The race board suggested the report as a
means of measuring the impact of prejudice.
The second report showed that whites and Asians
enjoy greater advantages economically and have bet-
ter access to health care and education. It found that
the social and economic progress of blacks slo
between the mid-1970s and early 1990s, the econom--
ic status of Hispanics has declined in the past 25 years
and American Indians are the most disadvantaged th-
nic group by far.
The race board said white privilege manifests itselfin
small ways, among them being able to buy cars at lower
prices, escaping scrutiny for possible criminal behavior,
getting prompt service "while minorities and people of
color are often still refused service or made to wait."
House panel passes Internet decency bill.
WASHINGTON (AP) Renewing
efforts to curb Internet pornography, a
House panel cleared a bill yesterday
that would require operators of com-
mercial Websites to restrict young peo-
ple's access to "harmful" material.
Last year the Supreme court struck
down the 1996 Communications
Decency Act, Congress' attempt to limit
youth access, as too broad and likely to
keep such material from adults who
have a right to see it.
Rep. Mike Oxley, (R-Ohio) chief
sponsor of the bill, said the measure lim-
iting access by people under 17 can sur-
vive a court challenge because it is a
"more reasonable product" than the 1996
The House Commerce subcommittee
on telecommunications, trade and con-
sumer protection approved the bill by
voice vote and sent it to the full com-
mittee for further review.
The Senate passed a version spon-
sored by Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind) as part
of the 1999 spending bill for the depart-
ments of Commerce, Justice and State.
Oxley's House bill would require
operators of commercial adult Websites
to limit access by minors. Internet ser-
vice providers would escape liability for
adult-oriented material they do not pro-
duce, but they would be required to
inform consumers about devices avail-
able commercially to block children's
access to material "harmful to minors."
According to the bill, the phrase
means any communication, picture,
image, article, recording, writing or
other matter of any kind that an average
person applying contemporary commu-
nity standards would find is designed to
appeal to the "prurient interest."
Violators could face civil and crimi-
nal penalties. The bill said access to
such Web sites could be controlled by
"Ulimaely7s parents area the best
people to protect kids online."
Center for Democracy and Technology
requiring use of a credit card, debit
account or adult personal identification
number, among other methods.
Oxley said "common sense" and
more than 40 years of research into
child development have shown that
exposure to sexually explicit images
cause significant harm to children.
"It is our responsibility to protect
young people from the corrosive,
debasing effects of the voluminous
graphic adult content readily available
on the World Wide Web," he said.
Rep. Rick White (R-Wash) cautioned
against giving the public a false sense
of security that government can solve
the problem. "That will never be the
case;" he said.
Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif) said
pornographic Internet sites originating
outside of the United States would not
be covered by the bill. "Enacting a
criminal scheme that doesn't get at-the
problem is more government and less
relief than our parents and kids are epti-
tIed to," he said.
An Internet civil liberties organiza-
tion, the Center for Democracy
Technology, also weighed in with c-
cism that the bill as' constitutionally
flawed and ineffective.
"Ultimately, parents are the best peo-
ple to protect kids online," said Alan