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October 06, 1999 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-06

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 6, 1999


Lan i1nk to jo1n
GazaWs Bank
JERUSALEM (AP) - Ayman September under which Israel must
Lubedeh hasn't been home to the Gaza hand over I I percent of the West Bank
Strip to see his parents and siblings in to Palestinian rule and release 350 secu-
six years. rity prisoners, in exchange for
Lubedeh, 29, lives with his wife and Palestinian security measures.
son in the West Bank, where he works Israel's Prisons Authority said
at a hospital in Ramallah. Israel has Tuesday it was set to release the second
refused to let him cross its territory to group of prisoners -- a total of 151
get to Gaza, citing security concerns, inmates - by Thursday, a day ahead of
and Lubedeh has had to make do with schedule.
frequent phone calls home. His family The safe passage gives the
even missed his wedding two years Palestinians, especially the I million
ago. residents of fenced-in Gaza, greater
That will soon change after Israel and freedom of movement.
the Palestinians agreed yesterday to Until now, permits to travel through
establish a land link between the West Israel were difficult to obtain and were
Bank and Gaza. usually valid for only a few days.
The 28-mile route through Israel will Large groups of people were ineligi-
enable Palestinians for the first time to ble, including young single men and
travel relatively freely between the two those once held on suspicion of anti-
areas they control, boosting prospects Israeli activity.
for eventual statehood. Under the new arrangement, every-
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators one is eligible in principle, though
signed an agreement yesterday on how Israel reserves the right to turn down
to operate the so-called safe passage applicants.
that is to open next week. Despite last- Former Palestinian security
minute disputes and delays - the detainees, who in the past would have
route was to have opened last week - been unable to make the trip, can now
both sides said the agreement helped travel twice a week in special buses,
improve relations after three years of under Israeli police escort.
deadlock. - Palestinians will also be allowed to
"Viewed from the experience of use their own cars for the first time.
these talks, I see that we can rapidly get The route, extending from the West
back to business, and resume the spirit Bank village of Tarkoumiya to Gaza's
of mutual trust," Israeli negotiator Erez Crossing, will be open every day
Shlomo Ben-Ami said. '"This is exact- from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Palestinians will
ly what Chairman Arafat told me yes- apply for permits to the Palestinian
terday." Authority, which will present the names
The land route is part of the latest to Israel for final approval. The permits
interim peace accord reached in are valid for a year, a Palestinian offi-

Clinton approves pay hike for military
WASHINGTON - President Clinton signed a $289 billion defense bill
yesterday that includes a pay raise and other incentives the Pentagon hopes
will attract more recruits and keep today's troops in uniform longer.
"We owe you the tools you need to do the job and the quality of life you
and your families deserve," Clinton told a couple hundred service membei
at a brief ceremony on the steps of the Pentagon overlooking the Potorw
He said the pay package, including a 4.8 percent across-the-board raise
effective Jan. I and a change in pay scales effective next July, represents the
biggest increase in compensation in a generation.
"The excellence of our military is the direct product of the excellence of
our men and women in uniform," he said. "This bill invests in that excel-
Clinton was joined in the ceremony by Defense Secretary William Cohen
and the uniformed service chiefs and civilian service secretaries.
"This bill says that the dedication and sacrifices of our soldiers, sailors,
airmen and Marines, frequently deployed far from home and family
defense of our security interests around the world, are understood and app
ciated," said Army Gen. Henry Shelton, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Israeli Minister of Internal Security Shlomo Ben-Ami (left) and Palestinian Authority
Minister of Civil Affairs Jamil Tarifi shake hands after signing an agreement
yesterday that will create a land link between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

cial said.
During the talks on the safe passage
agreement, the Palestinians raised con-
cerns that Israel would seize wanted
Palestinians along the route.
Israel assured the Palestinians that
while it would not compromise on its
sovereignty, it would not try to trap
Palestinians, said Palestinian negotiator
Jamil Tarifi.
But Lubedeh, who works as a hospi-
tal nurse in the West Bank town of
Ramallah, said he wanted to see how

others fared before he applied for a
travel permit.
Lubedeh last visited his parents and
six brothers and sisters in Gaza in 1993
and then had difficulties getting a return
permit to the West Bank.
Since then, Israel has denied him
travel permits, apparently because he
was detained several times during
1987-1993 uprising against Israeli
Lubedeh said he fears he could get
held up in Gaza again.

High Court looks at
campaign finance
WASHINGTON - The future of
campaign finance reform appeared to
be in some doubt yesterday, as the
Supreme Court's five conservative jus-
tices questioned whether government-
mandated contribution limits violate
the First Amendment rights of candi-
dates and their supporters.
For an hour yesterday, the justices
heard competing lawyers argue about
whether Missouri can set a $1,075 per
year limit on how much candidates
receive from individual contributors.
But the dispute quickly turned into a
larger debate over the role of money in
politics. Does democracy demand that
all citizens have a roughly equal voice
and that the wealthy do not have undue
influence ?
Or instead, does the Constitution's
guarantee of freedom of speech
demand that the government step aside
and leave individuals free to support
candidates as generously as they

All nine justices joined in the debate
and, judging from their comments, they
seemed closely split.
The four liberal-leaning justices took
up the side of contribution limits.
"A big megaphone can drown out the
smaller ones," Justice Stephen Bre
Short-term rates
remain unchanged
WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve
officials, focusing more on the nation's
very low inflation than on its continuing
strong economic growth, decided yes-
terday to leave short-term interest rates
But the central bank's policymak4
group, the Federal Open Market
Committee, signaled its concern about
the possible inflationary consequences
of strong growth with a statement that
the FOMC is leaning toward a possible
rate increase in the future.
But, in the statement, the FOMC
also "emphasized that such a (stance)
did not signify a commitment to near-
term action."

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22 exposed to
radiation in S. Korea
SEOUL, South Korea -
Radioactive water leaked inside a
South Korean nuclear power plant dur-
ing repair work, exposing 22 workers to
small amounts of radiation, the govern-
ment said yesterday.
About 12 gallons of so-called "heavy
water" was leaked during the accident
Monday evening at a nuclear plant in
Wolsung, 190 miles. southeast of the
capital Seoul, the Science and
Technology Ministry said in a statement.
It said the radioactive water was con-
tained inside the plant and did not
escape into the environment.
The mishap followed neighboring
Japan's worst nuclear accident, in
which at least 49 people were exposed
to radiation last week. The town of
Tokaimura was temporarily closed
down amid heightened fears about the
safety of Japan's nuclear plants.
Those exposed to radiation in the
Wolsung accident were employees of the

state Korea Electric Power Corp., which
runs three nuclear reactors in Wolsung.
The Canadian-designed reactors use
heavy water to generate electricity.
Heavy water behaves like ordip
water, but it contains a heavier verse
of hydrogen. It is not naturally radioac-
tive, but as it circulates in pipes it can
pick up traces of radioactive metals,
Faster U.N. control
sought in E. Timor
General Kofi Annan asked the U.N.
Security Council to accelerate the ha*
over of authority in East Timor from an
Australian-led force to a U.N. peacekeep-
ing mission, which could result in hun-
dreds of millions of dollars in added costs
for the United States.
The cost of the about 8,000 troops now
patrolling East Timor is being paid by the
countries that contributed them, with
Australia bearing the largest burden and
the United States a relatively small one.
- Compiled from Daily wire repo*

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