The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 15, 1998 - 7A
WASHINGTON (AP) - White
House and House Judiciary Committee
lawyers will meet next week for the
first time to discuss the impeachment
inquiry into President Clinton's con-
duct. The session next Tuesday will be
held as the committee's chair considers
trimming back the allegations.
Paul McNulty, a spokesperson for the
committee, said yesterday the panel's
lawyers would invite White House
counsel Charles Ruff "to provide us
with exculpatory information."
The meeting also would cover how
the House and the White House could
"work together to expedite the process,"
Meanwhile, the White House and
Democrats in Congress called attention
to a National Public Radio report on a
potential conflict of interest involving
Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr.
At issue was whether Starr should
have disclosed to the Justice Department
tions he had "Unlike the
- as a pri-
vate attorney chairman Hy
in .1994 -
with Paula remained co
nal lawyers his views oni
Lon the issue
of presiden- matter."
ty. Judiciary Committee Re
reporter, "We might have to reduce"
allegations against Clinton if the
inquiry is to meet Hyde's self-imposed
deadline of Dec. 31.
Republicans postponed yesterday the
only impeachment-related hearing
scheduled prior to the election, an Oct.
22 subcommittee session at which
scholars were to testify on historical
standards for removal from office.
Since the House has remained in ses-
sion longer than expected this year,
lawmakers did not want to interrupt
their campaigns to return for the hear-
ing, GOP officials said.
Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) ranking
Democrat on the Constitution subcom-
mittee, said if Republicans really want
to streamline the inquiry, they would
hold the hearing on schedule. Then, he
said, the Judiciary Committee could
determine standards for impeachment
and decide whether the allegations meet
A decorative Halloween witch finds herself face first against a tree in Middlefield, Ohio, Tuesday. Halloween is just a little
more than two weeks away.
Juuwlaly vvilflill clu rncE
office said he "did not mislead" Reno
because there was nothing secretive
about his contacts. Starr noted that for-.
metr Jones lawyer Gil Davis mentioned
the conversations on a national televi-
sion show last January.
Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) the com-
mittee's chair, said he may reduce the
number of allegations against Clinton
in order to finish the panel's work by
the end of the year and recommend
whether or not the House should begin
impeachment proceedings. Democrats
suggested Hyde was reacting to public
As Hyde was declaring his intention
to "streamline" the inquiry, a new poll
*indicated a majority of Americans disap-
prove of the way Republicans are han-
dling the impeachment investigation.
In remarks that an aide insisted were
unrelated to poll numbers, Hyde told a
In a writ-
Ocrats, ten state-
as said the com-
ta t M "focus on the
-Paul McNulty o a t h,
s Spokesperson obstruction
of justice and
s tampering." Chief committee
igator David Schippers has pre-
15 "substantial and credible"
ds for impeachment, four more
ed whether he was giving lesser
t to Schippers' allegation that
rn "may have been part of a con-
y with Ms. Lewinsky," Hyde said,
dn't make that judgment now."
le, who also mentioned in vester-
edition of The Washington Post
>ssibility of reducing the number
arges, emphasized his voluntary
ie won't be met "without cooper-
from the White House and com-
Nulty, a spokesperson for
ary Committee Republicans,
Unlike the Democrats, chairman
has remained consistent in his
on his matter"
Los Angeles Times
AKPABUYO, Nigeria - Margaret Bassey Ene currently
has one mission in life: gaining weight.
The Nigerian teen-ager has spent every day since early
June in a "fattening room" specially set aside in her father's
mud-and-thatch house. Most of her waking hours are spent
eating bowl after bowl of rice, yams, plantains, beans and
"gari," a porridgelike mixture of dried cassava and water.
After two more months of starchy diet and forced inactivi-
ty, Margaret will be ready to re-enter society bearing the tra-
ditional mark of female beauty among her Efik people: fat.
In contrast to many Western cultures where thin is in,
many culture-conscious people in the Efik and other com-
munities in Nigeria's southeastern Cross River state hail a
woman's rotundity as a sign of good health, prosperity and
The fattening room is at the center of a centuries-old rite of
passage from maidenhood to womanhood. The months spent
in pursuit of poundage are supplemented by daily visits from
elderly matrons who impart tips on how to be a successful
wife and mother. Nowadays, though, girls who are not yet
marriage-bound do a tour in the rooms purely as a coming-
of-age ceremony. And sometimes, nursing mothers return to
the rooms to put on more weight.
"The fattening room is like a kind of school where the girl
is taught about motherhood," said Sylvester Odev, director of
the Cultural Center Board in Calabar, capital of Cross River
state. "Your daily routine is to sleep, eat and grow fat."
Like many traditional African customs, the fattening room
is facing relentless pressure from Western influences. Health
campaigns linking excess fat to heart disease and other ill-
nesses are changing the eating habits of many Nigerians, and
urban dwellers are opting out of the time-consuming process.
Effiong Okon Etim, an Efik village chief in the district of
Akpabuyo, said some families cannot afford to constantly
feed a daughter for more than a few months. That compares
with a stay of up to two years, as was common earlier this
century, he said.
But the practice continues partly because "people might
laugh at you because you didn't have money to allow youi
child to pass through the rite of passage," Etim said. What's
more, many believe an unfattened girl will be sickly orunable
to bear children.
Etim put his two daughters in a fattening room togethei
when they were 12 and 15 years old, but some girls undergc
the process as early as age 7, after undergoing the controver-
sial practice of genital excision.
As for how fat is fat enough, there is no set standard. But
the unwritten rule is the bigger the better, said Mkoyo Edet,
"Beauty is in the weight," said Edet, a woman in her 50s
who spent three months in a fattening room when she was 7.
"To be called a 'slim princess' is an abuse. The girl is fed con-
stantly whether she likes it or not."
In Margaret's family, there was never any question that she
would enter the fattening room.
"We inherited it from our forefathers; it is one of the heritages
we must continue," said Edet Essien Okon, Margaret's stepfa-
ther and a language and linguistics graduate of the University of
Calabar. "It's a good thing to do; it's an initiation rite."
WASHINGTON (AP) - Some
coastal residents could get at least a
few minutes warning of devastating
earthquake-generated waves - a
chance to head inland or seek higher
ground - by using a system newly
developed by Mexican scientists.
The great waves, called tsunami,
have claimed untold lives over the
years, including more than 2,000 vic-
tims this summer in the Pacific nation
of Papua New Guinea.
Hawaii, Mexico, South America and
Indonesia are among areas that have
been hit hard in the past.
The new system "may provide a
reliable tsunami warning very rapid-
ly," said Nikolai Shapiro of the
Universidad National Autonoma in
Indeed, warnings could occur as
quickly as five minutes after a
quake, compared withuthe 10 min-
utes to 20 minutes now necessary,
according to Shapiro's report in
today's edition of Geophysical
That could be a lifesaving differ-
ence in cases where a quake gener-
ated a tsunami near a populated
The university's scientists devised
a seismic ratio that can help deter-
mine whether a quake will produce
devastating waves. The system uses
data generated by relatively simple
and affordable seismograph sta-
Tsunami, once known as tidal
waves, result from earthquakes,
landslides or volcanoes that occur
beneath the ocean. They generate
deep waves spreading out in all
The waves may be little noticed at
sea, but when they near shore the
rising seafloor causes them to lift
up, sometimes to massive heights
that can sweep away entire coastal
When the waves must travel long
distances, the Pacific Tsunami Warning
Center in Hawaii can provide alerts.
But when they originate near shore
there is often little chance to warn peo-
ple. Even a brief.warning can give peo-
ple time to try to move inland or uphill
to a safer area.
Shapiro said, the warning can be
produced "with the data available
from a single broadband (sismo-
graph) station" and is thus econom-
ically and technically viable in
Eddie Bernard, a tsunami expert who
heads the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration's Pacific
Marine Environmental Laboratory in
Seattle, termed the study "a nice piece
of work." But he cautioned it is based
on only about 20 earthquakes over a
decade, too small a sample "to get too
In studying earthquakes that
occur off Mexico's west coast,
Shapiro and colleagues found that
those happening near a subduction
trench - where the plates that make
up the Earth's surface come togeth-
er - are more likely to cause tsuna-
mi than those that occur closer to
Kansas church to picket Shepard funeral
*By Kevin Darst
Rocky Mountain Collegian
(U-WIRE) FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Saying
he "abhors the strength of the homosexual lobby,"
a reverend from Westboro Baptist Church in
Topeka, Ks. announced he will lead members of
his congregation in a picket of Matthew Shepard's
funeral, which will be tomorrow in Casper, Wyo.
"We're going to inject some sanity into the
insane orgy of their homosexual lives," Rev. Fred
Phelps said from his Topeka office yesterday.
Shepard, a 21-year-old openly gay student at the
*University of Wyoming, died early Monday morn-
ing at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins after
being severely beaten and left to die outside of
Laramie last week.
His funeral is scheduled for tomorrow at
1:30 p.m. at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in
"We think there should be a little bit of God's
side, Phelps said. "Homosexuality damns the soul
and dooms the nation that tolerates it."
Homosexuality damns the soul and dooms the
nation that tolerates it," he said.
Phelps said he received seven death threats
from Wyoming yesterday, more than he has
received from anywhere except San Francisco.
He petitioned the United States Attorney
General and the Denver and Cheyenne, Wyo.
bureaus of the FBI for protection tomorrow, say-
ing they had a constitutional duty to protect him
and his group.
Phelps said Westboro members picket around
40 funerals of homosexuals a week and have
picketed nearly 15,000 since he started the
Terry Summers, executive director of the
Lambda Community Center, said he is appalled by
the Baptist Church's intentions.
"They have no respect for human life or peo-
ple," Summers said. "Matthew died because of
people like that."
Responding to Phelps' claim that the homosex-
ual lobby is too strong,
Summers said his organization is lobbying so
that hate crimes like this don't happen again.
Gary Hans, an outreach minister at Mountain
View Baptist Church in Casper, said he is opposed
to the picket.
"There's nothing scriptural about what they're
doing," Hans said. "There's a hurting family in
the background here, and they'll need a lot of
support. Bashing them isn't what the scripture
Joe Zenk, UW campus minister at St. Paul's
Newman's Center in Laramie, which led a can-
dlelight vigil for Shepard on Sunday, said he did-
n't see the need for Westboro Baptist to go to
"They're taking advantage of a situation they
aren't really a part of" Zenk said. "It saddens me.
The funeral should be a time to celebrate."
Shepard last week told police he was raped by
three men near Yellowstone National Park last
summer, but authorities determined he was
knocked out by a bartender turned off by his
advances, a newspaper reported yesterday.
-The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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-. I - _I - I
(How do you ever plan to be successful if you
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F I _____ _____a
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tilt ~' , e
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