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January 21, 2000 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-01-21

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NATION/WORLD

The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 21, 2000 5

* Clinton meets
with Arafat to
accelerate talks
WASHINGTON (AP) -President Clinton tried yesterday
to pick up the pace of slow-moving talks between Isral and
the Palestinians, telling the two sidcs "no one can get every-
thing" in an accord.
Calling Jor compromise as he sat down with Yasser Arafat
in the White House Oval Office, Clintoa: said he would be
disappointed if a settlement was not reached. "We have the
leaders who can do it," he said, offering again to do whatev-
er he could to resolve their differences.
Arafat agreed there would be difficulties "along the way,"
but he said negotiations would deal with them. He declined
to say whether he was willing to accept less than 100 percent
of his demands.
White House spokesperson Joe Lockhart, underscoring
deep differences, said, "It's obvious how difficult the chal-
lenge is they face." If Israel and the Palestinians need more
time, he said, "we will work with them on that."
With Clinton's support, Prime Minister Ehud Barak and
Arafat last year set Feb. 13 as the deadline for resolving their
disputes over Palestinian statehood aspirations and the future
of Jerusalem, at least to the extent that Israel and the
Palestinian Authority could complete a framework accord.
A final settlement, which also would deal with refugees
and other knotty issues, is due in the fall.
As Secretary of State Madeleine Albright lunched with
Arafat at her home in the capital's Georgetown neighbor-
hood, State Department spokesperson James Rubin said, "We
do regard it as a formidable challenge."
. Clinton, meanwhile, is trying to juggle slow-moving nego-
tiations on the Israeli-Palestinian front with sidetracked
peace talks between Israel and Syria.
Rubin said Syrian officials would come here next week, to
be followed by Israeli experts, in an effort to deal with some
of the nagging issues on that track.
Direct Israel-Syria talks had been due to resume
Wednesday at Shepherdstown, W.Va. But they were sus-
pended indefinitely, with Albright and other US. offi-
cials saying each side wanted its demands given immedi-
ate priority.
Clinton said Wednesday he would take on the task ofnudg-
ing Syria and Israel along, and that neither side was giving up
despite the suspension of talks.
In Damascus, Syria's state-run newspapers urged
Washington to push Israel harder to spell out its intentions on
returning the Golan Heights.
The administration must become "a more active definer
and interpreter of the broad terms that the Israelis have
already accepted in previous rounds of talks," said the
English-language Syria Times.
And Al-Baath, the newspaper of Syria's ruling Baath party,
called the border issue a "substantial difference ... that can-
not be bypassed."
"The American co-sponsor should not be evenhanded on a
basic issue on which the establishment of peace or the con-
tinuation of the state of war heavily depends," it said in an
editorial.
Arafat met first with Albright alongside a roaring fire in
her seventh floor office and then went off to her home
*through snowy streets in a motorcade to continue the talks
before calling on Clinton.

Melting Moments

Helms unleashes at
U.N. security council

Los Angeles Times
UNITED NATIONS - Sen. Jesse Helms, one
of the United Nations' severest critics, told the
Security Council exactly what he thought of the
United Nations and its place in the world in a
speech yesterday that he admitted was not in "the
elegant and rarefied language of the diplomatic
trade."
The North Carolina Republican, who has called
the U.N. community "dysfunctional" and "cryba-
bies" in the past, said he came to extend a "hand
of friendship." But that genial gesture quickly
turned to finger-pointing as he launched into an
extended criticism of the organization.
Helms declared the U.N. peacekeeping mission
in Bosnia-Herzegovina "a disaster," efforts to dis-
arm Iraq "a failure" and warned that the United
States would withdraw from the body if it didn't
serve America's interests well.
Helms is the first U.S. senator ever to address
the 15-member council, a meeting arranged by
U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke to repair
rocky U.S.-U.N. relations. After years of refusing
to pay its U.N. dues in an effort to force reform,
Congress late last year allocated $926 million of
the-$1.6 billion the United Nations says it is
owed.
Helms sought to sweeten his speech with a little
North Carolina charm, joking, "I hope you have a
translator here who can speak Southern." But the

message was clear: that he regards the United
Nations as a tool to serve U.S. interests, not the
other way around.
Sitting at the head of a horseshoe-shaped table
in the Security Council chamber, Helms said he
resents the United States being labeled a "dead-
beat" nation.
Washington may have withheld its dues, Helms
said, but in 1999 alone, the United States con-
tributed more than $10 billion in military and
other support of
U.N. operations and peacekeeping efforts
around the world.
"Now, I grant you, the money we spend on the
U.N. is not charity," he said. "To the contrary, it is
an investment - an investment from which the
American people rightly expect a return. They
expect a reformed U.N. that works more efficiet-
ly and which respects the sovereignty of the
United States of America."
As ambassadors from around the world watched
with faces fixed in diplomatic inscrutability,
Helms emphasized that the United Nations-
"some of whose members are totalitarian dictator-
ships" - has no power over American national
interests.
"A United Nations that seeks to impose its pre-
sumed authority on the American people without
their consent begs for confrontation and, I want to
be candid with you, eventual U.S. withdrawal."

AP PHOTO
A Baltimore-Washington International Airport worker de-ices a jet parked at a
terminal gate yesterday in Linthicum, Md., after the state's first major
snowstorm of the winter shut down several of the airport's runways.

Candidates cross Iowa before caucuses

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A year
before the next presidential inauguration, a.
bickering band of White House candidates
crisscrossed the state yesterday to rally sup-
porters for their first' election test. The top
Republicans tangled over abortion in the
runup to Iowa's caucuses.
In a rare convergence of nearly the entire
presidential field, the Iowa air echoed with
incrimination after Republican front-runner
George W. Bush was asked what he would do
if a relative was raped and was considering
abortion.
"I would hope I would be able to evoke
enough sympathy in a rape case to help com-
fort her as a friend. It's up to her," said Bush,
who reiterated that he is opposed to abortion
except in case of rape, incest and when the
mother's life is in danger.
Four of his words - "It's up to her" -
were seized upon by rival Steve Forbes as
evidence that Bush is not committed to elim-
inating abortion. "I think it's part of a pattern
where he is not willing to truly fight for the
life issue. It's part of a pattern that demon-
strates, I think, that he's abandoned the

fight," Forbes said in a telephone interview
from his campaign bus.
On the Democratic side, Bill Bradley said
he is the only candidate willing to take "the
risk of leadership" on issues such as health
care reform. Vice President Al Gore, gaining
steam against Bradley, accused his sole rival
of showing disrespect to the caucus system.
On a personal note, the former New Jersey
senator confirmed that he has suffered four
irregular heartbeat episodes since the non-life
threatening condition was revealed more than
a month ago. Though he dismisses the condi-
tion as "just a nuisance," a presidential candi-
date doesn't want to be answering questions
about his health four days before an election.
The Iowa contest is raw grassroots politics:
About 10 percent of the state's 1.8 million
registered voters gather in living rooms,
schools, churches and even grain elevators to
announce their support of candidates in full
view of friends and neighbors.
Though technically designed to pick coun-
ty delegates in a process that ends with the
presidential conventions, the caucuses are an
early barometer of campaign organizations.

Momentum is gained and lost in Iowa.
The love affair is brief: Within hours of the
vote, the candidates and their entourages flee
Iowa to prepare for New Hampshire's prima-
ry eight days later.
"Iowa is the center of the political universe
right now," GOP consultant Scott Reed said.
Seven of the eight major Republican and
Democratic presidential candidates will
compete Monday, hoping for a jump start
down the road that ends with the Jan. 20,
2001 presidential inauguration. Arizona Sen.
John McCain bypassed the caucuses to focus
on New Hampshire, though he has a huge
stake in the Iowa results.
Bush has led Forbes by about 20 points in
most polls, a margin he may have to sustain
to claim momentum for his dead heat race
against McCain in New Hampshire.
Confident of his chances, Bush didn't
bother to mention McCain or Forbes in his
main speech. A question-and-answer session
prompted him to say that President Clinton's
impeachment left him "embarrassed for our
country."
Bush, however, said he doesn't discuss the

issue on the stump because "we're moving
forward."
Forbes needs to narrow Bush's lead in
polls to get a boost into New Hampshire, said
Reed and other analysts. Courting conserva-
tive voters, Forbes toured a center that coun-
sels against abortion. "On the issue of (abor-
tion), Governor Bush and Senator McCain
are pacifists," he said.
The conservative millionaire opposes
abortion, with the sole exception being when
the mother's life is at risk.
Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer said the
governor's response to the question about a
raped relative "is consistent with his long-
stated position. He is opposed to abortion
except in the case of rape, incest and the life
of the mother. He's pro-life."
With Forbes on the attack and reporters'
peppering him about abortion, Bush issued
what may be his clearest denunciation of the
Supreme Court ruling that legalized abor-
tion. "Roe v. Wade was a reach. (It) over-
stepped the constitutional bounds as far as
I'm concerned," said Bush, who appeared
irked at the intensity of abortion questions.

Power plant deaths create flap

I U

Los Angeles Times
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. - Dozens
of sea lions, seals and even threatened
turtles sucked into power plants along
Southern California's coast are dying
every year - and critics accuse the fed-
eral agency in charge of protecting
these creatures of doing little more than
recording the growing death toll.
Regional regulators have known for
decades about marine creatures being
drawn into power plants, yet little has
been done to enforce federal laws that
limit the death or even disturbance of
sea animals, records and interviews

show.
But officials from the National
Marine Fisheries Service, an agency of
the U.S. Department of Commerce, say
that the effects on burgeoning seal and
sea lion populations are negligible and
that their time and limited resources are
better spent fighting larger threats to
more sensitive species.
"Nowadays, everybody wants to pro-
tect every single animal whether it
needs protection or not" said Joe
Cordaro, a biologist at the service's
southwestern regional office in Long
Beach. "Common sensibility out there

is lacking. Enough animals still need
protection. We need to direct resources
and money to them."
Environmentalists challenge the
agency's philosophy, saying that its job
isn'i to interpret federal laws.
"They ought to just enforce the law
rather than playing God," said Mark
Massara, a Sierra Club attorney.
Although the problem is seen across
the nation, it is particularly acute in
Southern California, where several
power plants depend on ocean water to
cool the super-hot steam that powers
energy-generating turbines.

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