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November 04, 1998 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-11-04

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2 -- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 4, 1998

Comet may soc
harm satellites


4fr pow'r



[ . Y I~WYIY Y~rY

The Associated Press
Tiny chunks of material that con-
stantly boil off comet Tempel-Tuttle
may pose a hazard for hundreds of
space satellites when Earth passes
through the debris path in mid-
November, scientists report.
As Earth draws nearer to this rain
of Leonid meteors, efforts are
mounting to protect valuable satel-
lites that relay radio messages, scan
the ground and watch the stars.
There is concern that delicate
space instruments may be harmed,
although the amount of danger, if
any, is not known.
The Leonid meteors - leftovers
from the comet's gradual disintegra-
tion - come streaking down through
Earth's atmosphere once a year.
Viewed from the ground, the
Leonids sometimes put on a spectac-
ular display, a so-called meteor
storm, as Earth slips through the
comet's fine leftovers.
Astronomers suspect this year's
encounter may be the most intense in
33 years.
So space scientists are a little
worried some of the 600 spacecraft
now in Earth's orbit might get

bumped - hard.
The concern isn't so much about
physical damage from collisions
with space dust as about electronic
mischief, the researchers said.
Sudden contact with even very
tiny dust grains might generate elec-
tric pulses strong enough to disrupt
electronic equipment aboard a satel-
lite. It could, conceivably, be bad
enough to knock a satellite out of
On the ground there is little dan-
ger; the dust specks burn quickly
once they enter the air.
But satellites orbiting above
Earth's atmosphere are essentially
unshielded, and not much can be
done to make them less vulnerable.
Possible defense tactics include
turning the power down during the
meteor shower to avoid electrical
damage, and rotating the spacecraft
so vulnerable parts, such as solar
panels, present less surface to the
At present, there are about 600
active satellites in Earth's orbit,
many of them military, many civil-
ian, and each with its own set of vul-

Court frowns on wide police searches
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court justices were skeptical yesterday about giv-
ing police blanket authority to search people and their cars without consent after tick-
eting them for routine violations.
"It does seem an enormous amount of authority to put into the hands of the police,
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said. "We do have constitutional checks because we're
not always sure that the police will exercise good judgment."
"If somebody jaywalks, the police could search them?" Justice John Paul Stevens
"Correct" said Iowa Assistant Attorney General Bridget Chambers.
An Iowa man's lawyer argued that his rights were violated by a police search of his
car that turned up marijuana.
Patrick Knowles was stopped for speeding on March 6, 1996, in Newton, Iowa. An
officer gave him a speeding ticket and then searched Knowles and his car.
Knowles argued that the search violated the Constitution's Fourth Amendment
protection against unreasonable searches. Iowa courts allowed the marijuana to be
used as evidence, and Knowles was convicted and sentenced to 90 days in jail.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the case by July.
The justices ruled in 1973 that police can search people upon arrest, citing a ne
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w usarm suspects ana preserve evidence.
Report: CIA ignored
Contra drug sales
WASHINGTON - In September
1981, as the Reagan administration was
approving a covert CIA program to
finance anti-Sandinista exile organiza-
tion attempts to overthrow the
Nicaraguan government, "an asset" told
the agency that one of the major contra
rebel groups intended to sell drugs in the
United States to pay its bills.
The cable described for CIA head-
quarters a July 1981 drug delivery from
Honduras to Miami, including the
names of those involved, and called it
"an initial trial run" by members of the
Nicaraguan Revolutionary Democratic
Alliance. An earlier cable had said the
rebels felt they were "being forced to
stoop to criminal activities in order to
feed and clothe their cadre."
Although the cables were circulated
to the departments of State, Justice,
Treasury and Defense and all U.S. intel-
ligence agencies, the CIA neither fol-
lowed up nor attempted to corroborate
the allegations, according to a report by

the CIA's inspector general.
Nearly a decade after the end of the
Nicaraguan war the CIA report disclos-
es for the first time that the agency did
little or nothing to respond to hundreds
of drug allegations about contra offi-
cials, their contractors and individu*
2,000 forced from
homes by flooding
rain-swollen rivers on either side of town
flooded yesterday and forced more than
2,000 people from their homes and the
National Guard was sent in to prevent
By the end of the day, about 40 per-
cent of Arkansas City was expected t*
be flooded, said Jim Lazelle, assistant
civil defense director.
One man is presumed drowned in
the Arkansas River to the west after
telling a friend he was going for a swim,
Sheriff Bob Odell said. Near Newton,
Kan., a woman was swept to her death
when she drove her car onto a barricad-
ed road.


Developi nations
cool to increased role
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - A
U.S.-backed proposal urging the devel-
oping world to take a bigger role in
combating global warming has gotten a
cool reception at a U.N. climate sum-
Developing nations led by China
blocked efforts to discuss "voluntary"
quotas for poorer nations at the confer-
ence, the biggest since a landmark
global warming agreement was
reached last year.
The issue of how poorer nations par-
ticipate in stopping global warming is
one of the thorniest. Some nations balk
at the idea of reducing greenhouse
gases, saying the rise in emissions
results from efforts to sustain basic
human needs.
Spurred on by China, the 163 nations
decided by consensus Monday to block
the issue from even reaching the agen-
da as they kicked off their two-week

Debate on other issues was continu-
ing yesterday as the delegates soogt to
flesh out the 1997 treaty protocol
agreed to in Kyoto, Japan.
"To say the least, we are disappoint-
ed that it appears that countries will n4
have an opportunity to explore this
matter in any detail," U.S. negotiator
Melinda Kimble told the delegates.
Cousteau Society
inspired by trip
PARIS -- After a voyage to the
polluted Caspian Sea, the heir t
Jacques Cousteau's legacy said yes
terday he wants to clean up the land-
locked body, source of much of the
world's finest caviar.
"The work of Capt. Cousxeau
must not stop," said yachtsperson .ir
Peter Blake. "We must build on it
rather than diminish it because it will
be for the benefit of the world," he
told reporters at UNESCO headquar-
ters in Paris.
- Compiled from Daily wirerepo



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University of Michigan
Program in
& VideoStudies
James Gindin
Visiting Artisits
Richard Friedonberg
at the Michigan Theater
for a question & answer
and a screening of
his acclaimed film
A River Runs Through It
oa",jalm v~ieostuieson Wednesday



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