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January 21, 1999 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-01-21

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2A -R Th "-iga Daily --Thursday, January 21, 1999

NATION/WORLD

AP PHOTO
Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan testifies before a House Ways and Means Committee on the 18.monthold global finan-
cial crisis in Washington yesterday.
Gref-ft&%enspan warns investorsa

WASHINGTON (AP) - A week
q after Wall Street shrugged off a new
. ')out of global turbulence, this one com-
ing from Brazil, Federal Reserve Chair
Alan Greenspan issued a fresh warning
to the high-flying stock market. But
investors barely flinched.
Greenspan told lawmakers yesterday
that he saw three primary threats to the
U.S. economy - a mushrooming trade
deficit caused by spreading recessions
overseas, a potentially inflationary
shortage of workers and an unsustain-
ably high stock market.
Wall Street's recent performance
"will have difficulty in being sustained"
given a slowdown in corporate profit
growth. he told the House Ways and
Means Committee. In fact, the market's
quick rebound after a scare this fall
from the collapse of the Russian econo-
my was of an "unusual nature," the cen-
tral bank chairperson said.
The Dow Jones industrial average

fell 54 points from the previous day's
close upon the release of Greenspan's
remarks, his first comprehensive
assessment of economic conditions in
three months. But it soon recovered and
was up as much as 125 points before
closing at 9,336 for a loss of 19 points.
"The markets aren't listening," said
economist Mark Zandi of Regional
Financial Associates in West Chester,
Pa. "They're running to the beat of their
own drummer."
Meanwhile, Greenspan, an influential
voice Congress often turns to on eco-
nomic matters, said he supported
President Clinton's proposal to put 62
percent of the government's budget sur-
pluses into the Social Security trust fund.
But he said he opposed Clinton's plan
to have a government board direct
about a quarter of those savings --
more than $600 billion over 15 years --
into stock investments. It's not feasible
to completely insulate such a board

from political influence, he said.
Republicans on the committee
sought his endorsement of an across-
the-board 10 percent tax cut. Greenspan
said he preferred using surpluses to
reduce the $5.5 trillion national debt.
But, he said, a tax cut was far preferable
to a spending increase and an across-
the-board cut was a relatively simple
way to do it.
Greenspan's testimony on the econo-
my suggested the central bank has no
immediate plans to cut interest rates and
could even be taken as justification for a
rate increase later in the year, Zandi said.
Fed policy-makers cut rates three
times in the space of seven weeks this
fall, cushioning the financial system
against spillover from Russia.
Greenspan said he and his colleagues
were concerned about the likely impact
of the turmoil on U.S. economic activi-
ty but "were not attempting to prop up
equity prices" at a specific level.

China
targets
Internet
dissent
Two-year prison
sentence imposed on
Chinese entrepreneur
SHANGHAI, China (AP) - China
extended its crackdown on dissent into
cyberspace for the first time yesterday,
sentencing a software entrepreneur to
two years in prison for giving e-mail
addresses to dissidents abroad.
Lin Hai was convicted of subversion
in a case that highlighted China's con-
flicting efforts to promote Internet use
for business and education at the same
time it is stamping out political activity.
Subversion is among Chinas most
serious crimes and is normally used
against political dissidents.
"The conviction of Mr. Lin is no
more than a brutal act of suppression of
dissent, and China will certainly be
severely criticized," said Albert Ho,
secretary-general of the Hong Kong
Alliance for the Promotion of the
Democratic Movement in China.
Lin, who owns a Shanghai software
company, was arrested last March after
he gave e-mail addresses of 30,000
Chinese computer users to "VIP
Reference," a pro-democracy journal
published on the Internet by Chinese
dissidents in the United States.
Reporters were not allowed in court,
but a spokesperson for the Shanghai
High-Level People's Court who gave
his name as Mr. Zhou confirmed the
verdict and sentence.
A threejudge panel of the
Shanghai Intermediate People's
Court said Lin deserved to be "pun-
f ished harshly' according to a copy of
the verdict obtained by the Hong
Kong-based Information Center of
Human Rights and Democratic
Movement in China.
Lin was fined $1,200 and "the tools
of his crime" were ordered confiscated:
two desktop computers, one laptop
computer, a modem and a telephone.
Lin's wife, Xu Hong, attended the
half-hour sentencing but was not
allowed to talk to her husband, and he
did not speak. She and other specta-
tors were barred from his four-hour
trial on Dec. 4.
"This is the first time I've seen him
since he was arrested," Xu said. She
said she would not know whether her
husband would appeal until he dis-
cussed the verdict with his lawyer.
China is trying to stop the flow of
pro-democracy material from abroad,
aided by the rapid spread of Internet
use.
There are about 1.5 million regis-
tered Internet users in China, a number
that could grow to 5 million by 2002.
The government is encouraging com-
panies to create Chinese-language con-
tent, and is promoting a low-cost
domestic network.
China polices Internet use closely.
Service providers are required to regis-
ter users, while barriers have been
installed to block sites deemed subver-
sive or pornographic.
Lin's case appears to be unrelated
to a crackdown that began in
November on pro-democracy activists
trying to set up China's first opposi-

tion party.

Pentagon says U.S.
needs missile shield
WASHINGTON - Pentagon offi-
cials, in a major shift, said yesterday
they now believe that the threat of a mis-
sile attack from a rogue nation warrants
the building of a controversial national
missile shield.
After years of deliberation, top defense
officials said they are prepared to deploy
a system that would blow up an incoming
missile with another, provided they can
overcome technical problems that have
plagued their long research effort.
In light of those stubborn technical
hurdles, however, they announced they
were delaying the target date of deploy-
ment from 2003 to 2005.
"We affirm that there is a threat, and
the threat is growing, and it will pose a
danger not only to our troops, but also
to Americans here at home," said
Defense Secretary William Cohen,
who set aside $6.6 billion for deploy-
ment of the system in the department's
long-term, six-year budget.
Beginning with President Reagan's
"Star Wars" program of the 1980s,

missile defense programs have cost
$40 billion without successfully
demonstrating that a missile can
track and destroy an incoming mis-
sile. The Clinton administration has
continued planning and research on
the effort, without making any bind-
ing commitments.
Meat mnspections
don't meet standards
WASHINGTON - A food inspection
program in the nation's meat and poultry
plants is so loosely regulated that meat is
sometimes spotted with chipped paint,
shards of metal and even maggots, feder-
al inspectors alleged yesterday.
The National Joint Council of Food
Inspection Locals, the union represent-
ing inspectors, said the govern 's
new Hazard Analysis Critical CooI
Point program too often lets the meat
industry regulate itself and forces inspec-
tors to sit on the sidelines.
"That's like saying you should yank
the referees from the football fie'ld," said
Tom Devine, legal director for
Government Accountability Project, a
law firm for government whistleblowers.

AROUND THE NATION

Fiber diet may not lower cancer risk
Contradicting years of dietary wisdom, a large new study found no evi-
dence that eating lots of high-fiber foods such as bran, beans and whole
wheat bread does anything to lower the risk of colon cancer.
Don't put down that apple yet: Previous studies have found that a diet rich
in fruits, vegetables and whole grains has other health benefits, including
reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and certain types of
diabetes.
The study will be published in today's New England Journal of Medicine.
It tracked the colon and rectal health of 88,757 women who participated in the
Harvard-based Nurses Health Study over 16 years.
It is one of the biggest cancer studies of its kind ever undertaken.
From 1980 to 1996, 787 of the women developed cancer of the colon or the rectum.
The risk was the same, regardless of how much fiber they ate. The
researchers said they believe the findings apply to men as well.
Charles Fuchs and his colleagues at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute,
Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School said they were
astounded to find that women who ate low-fiber foods were no more likely
to develop colon cancer than those who-stuck to bran muffins and broccoli.

ci7

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NATO positions
forces near Kosovo
BRUSSELS, Belgium - NATO
ambassadors dispatched frigates,
destroyers and planes closer to
Yugoslavia yesterday after hard-line
Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic rebuffed their demands to
halt the fighting in Kosovo.
Still, they sought a diplomatic solu-
tion to defuse the crisis - a position
underlined by U.S. Secretary of
Defense William Cohen, who warned
separatists in Kosovo not to expect
NATO to do their bidding on the battle-
field.
"We don't intend to be an air force
for" the Kosovo Liberation Army,
Cohen told a news conference in
Washington, urging both sides to stop
violating last October's cease-fire
agreement.
Meanwhile, new fighting erupted
yesterday in northern Kosovo between
Serb police and ethnic Albanians fight-
ing to secede from Yugoslavia, killing
at least two rebels and leaving a Serb
mother and her two children injured.

Milosevic staved off NATO airstrikes
last October with a last-minute promise
to reduce Serb forces in Kosovo, but he
is not listening to the West this time.
"We were not surprised, but we were
disappointed by the very stubbom d
obdurate reaction we encounteren
Belgrade, Gen. Wesley Clark, the allied
commander in Europe, said yesterday.
Blair plans changes
in lordship system
LONDON - Prime Minister Tony
Blair's Labor government unveiled
plans yesterday to do away with the
centuries-old right of British aristoh
to sit in the upper house of Parliam t.
Under the reform bill, titled mem-
bers of the House of Lords - the
dukes, earls, viscounts and barons
known as hereditary peers - would
lose their seats on the red leather
benches of the gilded chamber.
Queen Elizabeth Ii's husband, Prince
Philip, and Prince Charles would be
among those no longer entitled to a
place in the Palace of Westminster.
- Compiled fom Daily wire .ep*

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