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November 04, 1998 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-11-04

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NATION/WORLD

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 4, 1998 - 7

Grie f, mud flood
entral America
i-n Mitch's wake
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) Honduras, Guatemala and Nicarag
- Grieving crowds jammed morgues prevented the arabica beans preferred1
and hospitals in search of missing loved American coffee-drinkers from reachi
ones in the Honduran capital yesterday, port.
while others throughout the country It was the second straight day t
waited to be rescued from rooftops and coffee prices had surged. Analysts a
islands surrounded with floodwaters left speculated that the rains spawnedl
by Hurricane Mitch. Mitch damaged coffee trees and h
Meanwhile, the one-time hurricane, wiped out several million 32-pound ba
which killed more than 7,000 people, re- of beans.
ormed as a tropical storm in the Gulf of Although deaths related to Hurrica
Mexico yesterday, though its 45 mph Mitch were reported from Nicaragua
winds were a shadow of the 180 mph southern Mexico, the greatest loss
monster of last week. were in Honduras, where an estimal
Weather forecasters said the storm, 5,000 people died.
moving to the northeast, could strike the Honduran Communications Minis
Yucatan Peninsula and then Florida later Tomas Lozano said yesterday that I mi
in the week with heavy rains - but not lion had to flee their homes in this nati
with anything approaching hurricane- of 6 million people. Countless m
force winds. lacked clean water, food and medicine
Here in the Honduran capital, the "But we are dealing with prelimin
came out yesterday after a week of official figures,"he said. "And the nun
torrential rains and churning winds but ber of victims will be greater when d
authorities feared the scope of the disas- waters fall and the country returns1
ter caused by one of the worst Atlantic normal."
tropical storms ever could widen. Most of the deaths in Nicarag
In Honduras occurred when t
alone, 11,000 people crater lake of t
were still reported we Casitas Volcano co
missing and feared L olapsed, sending
dead. Amid reports wall of mud a
of increasing hunger debris onto seven
} ng the sur- villages below.
W ors, officials va WIe, Mayor Felic'
raced to deliver food b5 ' r when Zeledon of near
and water to sur- waters fall Posoltega said 1,9
vivors. bodies had be
Damage to vital recovered by yest
coffee and banana day, thoup
crops that sustain the - Tomas Lozano President Arnol
Central American Honduran Aleman's offi
economies also was Communications Minister reported 1,338 dea
extensive. Chiquita Battered hum
t rnds International Inc. said its region- bodies were found yesterday half-buri
a banana farms and operations suffered in the mud and entangled in sugar ca
an estimated $50 million in losses. stalks, rotting because villagers hadn
Company officials in Cincinnati said gasoline to burn them.
their biggest worry was the plight of U.S. and local helicopters flew em
stricken employees. gency missions throughout the dayi
"Our first priority is literally to save Nicaragua and Honduras to reach peop
lives," said Chiquita President Steve trapped by the floods.
Warshaw. "We have had several thou- In the Honduran capita
sand people stranded on rooftops." Tegucigalpa, people tried to find mis
In New York, coffee and sugar ing relatives at hospitals and morgues.
s rose sharply yesterday as dam- Oscar Triminio, spokesperson for t
droads and washed-out bridges in Tegucigalpa fire department, said mo

Israel balks at land-
for-security accord
Wants Palestinians to round up ifigitives first

gua
by
ing
hat
lso
by
had
ags
ane
to
ses
ted
ter
nil-
on
ore
ie.
ary
Im-
he
to

AP PHOTO
Nicaraguan President Arnoldo Aleman surveys the damage wrought by Hurricane
Mitch in El Trapichon, Nicaragua.

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel
said yesterday it will not carry out
the land-for-security peace agree-
ment until it gets assurances that the
Palestinian Authority will arrest 30
Palestinian fugitives, raising ques-
tions about whether the accord
could be implemented.
The Palestinians said the United
States was satisfied with their anti-
terror plan and accused Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of
seizing a pretext to avoid handing
over West Bank land.
The peace accord, signed Oct. 23
in Maryland, was to have taken
effect Monday but was delayed at
the request of Netanyahu. Under
the agreement, the first installment
of an Israeli troop pullback from 13
percent of the West Bank is due on
Nov. 16.
U.S. envoy Dennis Ross was to
arrive tomorrow to oversee imple-
mentation of the program that is to
be carried out over 12 weeks.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat
said it was up to the Americans to
break the latest impasse.
"Netanyahu wants to break the
time line," Erekat told The
Associated Press. He said the
United States "must interfere."
The new recriminations made it
clear that any good will generated
by the new peace accord has
already evaporated. With suspicions
running high, the United States will
likely have to step in as referee
repeatedly in the coming weeks.
The latest crisis began yesterday
morning, three hours before the
Israeli Cabinet was to start a two-
day debate on the peace agreement.
Ratification had been expected
today.
Netanyahu announced he would.
not convene the ministers because
the Palestinians have not submitted
a complete blueprint for fighting

terrorism to the Americans, as
promised.
Netanyahu would not say what
information was missing, but
Defense Minister Yitzhak
Mordechai later said Israel was
holding out for a list of 30 wanted
Palestinians the Palestinian
Authority has promised to arrest as
part of the peace agreement.
Israel also wants a timetable for
the arrests, Mordechai said.
Israel has said it cannot begin
implementing the agreement until it
has been approved by the Cabinet
and by parliament, which is to vote
on the accord Nov. 12.
The Palestinians reacted angrily
to the latest delay, and negotiator
Hassan Asfour criticized
Netanyahu.
"Instead of playing these sorry
political games, he should just
stand up and say ... I won't imple-
ment what I have signed," Asfour

ua
he
he
,ol-
a
nd
.ral
ita
by
50
en
rer-
gh
do
ce
ad.
an
ed
ne
no
er-
in
ple
:al,
ss-
he
re

than 30 bodies had been pulled from the
Choluteca River since Monday.
Lozano said many people remain
trapped on rooftops by floodwaters a
week after Hurricane Mitch began pum-
meling the Atlantic coast. The storm
destroyed almost all of the highways,
dozens of bridges and 70 percent of the
national agriculture.
That made it difficult to transport
food and impossible to move gasoline to
fuel relief efforts, said Col. Alfredo San
Martin, Air Force chief of staff.
"We now have fuel to operate, but in
five or seven days, the supplies will run
out," he said.
U.S. military helicopters yesterday
ferried Honduran officials on inspection
tours of the refineries and transportation
routes.
"If we don't get fuel into the city, it
will be utter chaos," said Lt. Col.
Ricardo Aguilar of the U.S. Air Force.
In Guatemala, struck by Mitch over
the weekend, President Alvaro Arzu
reported yesterday that 157 people had
died, 100,000 homes were damaged and
30 highways were blocked.
El Salvador's National Emergency
Committee reported 222 deaths, 135
missing and 50,000 driven from their

homes by the flooding.
And Mexican authorities said rem-
nants of Mitch killed at least five people
in the southern state of Chiapas.
At the United Nations, U.N. ambas-
sadors from five nations appealed for
international help yesterday to feed
and clothe the survivors and bury the
dead.
Rebuilding the hardest-hit countries
- Honduras and Nicaragua - will take
many years and billions of dollars. But
with victims still clinging to trees and
rooftops, the ambassadors said the
region's top priority is emergency assis-
tance.
Honduran Ambassador Hugo Noe-
Pino - flanked by envoys from
Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and
Costa Rica - said the killer storm had
put the country's development efforts
back by at least 30 years.
In Washington, D.C., a Pentagon
spokesperson said more than two dozen
military aircraft have been sent into the
region to assist with air surveillance and
rescue missions.
At least 500 U.S. military men and
women have also been dispatched to
provide help, spokesman Capt. Michael
Doubleday said.

said.
The United
side with thel
Rubin, the
spokesperson,
"the necessaryx
on time."
Mohammed

States appeared to
Palestinians. James
State Department
said Monday that
plans were provided

Dahlan, the

Palestinian security chief in the
Gaza Strip, said he discussed the
anti-terror plan with Israeli security
officials who also considered it suf-
ficient.
Israeli commentator Emanuel
Rosen said the arrest of the 30 fugi-
tives is a fringe issue and that
Netanyahu apparently used it to
hold up the accord temporarily
because he wanted to show Cabinet
hard-liners he is standing tough
against the Palestinians.
Cabinet approval is not assured.
At least six of 18 ministers are
undecided and three are opposed to
the plan.

Schroeder has wasted little time

The Washington Post
-BERLIN - During his election campaign, Gerhard
iroeder unabashedly stole a page from Bill
nton's book and vowed he would focus like a laser
beam on the economy. Even after he ousted Helmut
Kohl in September's elections, the new German chan-
cellor declared his government would stand or fall on
its record in creating jobs.
But since his election, Schroeder has wasted little
time in embarking on an extensive series of foreign
trips with the ostensible goal of reassuring his foreign
counterparts that he plans no radical departures from
the Kohl era.
After visiting Paris and Washington within days of
h election, Schroeder traveled this week to Britain to
rt with Prime Minister Tony Blair on his first offi-
cial trip as chancellor. Later this week, he will go to
the Netherlands and Poland, to be followed by a work-
ing visit to Moscow and an appearance at a Baltic
regional conference.
The hectic itinerary for a Social Democratic politi-
cian with little background or interest in foreign
affairs was conceived by Schroeder's advisers as a
way to demonstrate his desire to sustain friendly ties
with Germany's main allies and its nine immediate
n hbors. Senior officials acknowledge the whirl-
wind tour also was designed to quell any anxieties
abroad about Schroeder after 16 years of a Kohl-led

Germany.
Schroeder's lack of previous involvement in world
affairs, foreign diplomats say, is compounded by the
inexperience of his foreign minister, Joschka Fischer,
leader of the environmentalist Greens party, the Social
Democrats' coalition partner. "The learning curve of
these two fellows could be long and slow," a senior
U.S. official said. "It will be very different than the
days of Kohl, Schmidt and Brandt" He was referring
to Kohl's predecessors as chancellor, Helmut Schmidt
and Willy Brandt.
Recognizing that Germany's allies may be worried
by the Greens' pacifist and anti-nuclear roots, Fischer
has decided to build up trust with his new peers. He
plans to meet this week in Washington with Secretary
of State Madeleine Albright, then travel to New York
to see U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Fischer passed his baptism of fire by managing to
skirt a potential dispute with London and Paris over
whether Germany will accord upgraded status to
Britain that could rival its close partnership with
France. "Whether you talk of an axis with France or a
triangle with Britain, this smacks of 19th-Century
nationalism that has no place in today's Europe,"
Fischer said.
A former taxi driver and self-described street revo-
lutionary, Fischer insists he will conduct foreign poli-
cy based on German and European interests, not the

.., this smacks of 19th-
Century nationalism that
has no place in today's
Europe
- Joschka Fischer
German foreign minister
political ideals of the Greens. He has retained
Wolfgang Ischinger and Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz,
two senior diplomats, as his top counselors and plans
to appoint Karsten Voigt, a Social Democrat respect-
ed for his expertise in security issues, as Germany's
next ambassador to the United States.
Schroeder and Fischer say they would prefer to see
Germany channel its influence through multilateral
institutions, such as NATO and the European Union.
But after only a week in office, some new accents sug-
gest that a government run by the Social Democrats
and Greens is likely to make significant course cor-
rections in key foreign and security policies.
During a trip to London last week, Fischer empha-
sized that he intends to make human rights more of a
trademark in Germany's foreign policy.

AP PHOTO
Palestinians accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of using
their delay in arresting fugitives as a pretext to hold onto West Bank lands.

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