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November 03, 1999 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-03

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Recovery of intact
bodies not likely in
£gyptAir 990 crash

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 3, 1999 -11
AIDS drug sets off
debate in S. Africa

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) - Relatives sobbed,
screamed and fainted yesterday as crash investigators
warned them there was little hope of finding intact
bodies in the debris of EgyptAir Flight 990.
"Everybody was screaming and crying, because
they weren't expecting to hear something like that,"
said George Arian, of Jersey City, N.J., who has been
helping victims' families at a Newport hotel.
Arian said one relative was taken away in an ambu-
ance after the briefing, which was closed to reporters.
All 217 people aboard the Cairo-bound flight were
killed when the Boeing 767 plummeted mysteriously
into the sea a half-hour after leaving New York early
Sunday morning.
The Navy said its vessel Mohwak located what
appeared to be the pingers for both of the plane's
"black boxes" yesterday afternoon.
The flight data and cockpit voice recorders could
provide key clues for hundreds of investigators who are
trying to determine why the plane fell from 33,000 feet
without a distress call or any other hint of trouble.
WCoast Guard Capt. Russell Webster said worsening
weather, with seas of "8 to 10 feet and building,"
forced the Mohawk and companion vessel Whiting to
leave the debris field and head for shelter in Newport.
The bad weather was expected to last two days.
Also reaching Newport was the USS Grapple, a
sonar-equipped salvage ship carrying about 30 divers
Who will try to retrieve the black boxes and other
debris from the 270-foot waters off Nantucket Island,
Navy spokesperson David Sanders said the Grapple

will dock for at least 36 hours to load additional sup-
plies, then head to a major debris field that has been
located by sonar.
By yesterday afternoon, more than 150 relatives had
arrived in Newport, where the search for wreckage and
human remains was being coordinated. About 70 of the
relatives flew in from Egypt, accompanied by 39
Egyptian aviation and government officials.
"I wish it had been me who had been sacrificed,"
EgyptAir chair Mohammed Fahim Rayan said before
boarding the flight frbm Cairo.
The investigation is looking into all possibilities:
human error, mechanical failure and sabotage. About
600 FBI agents have joined in the investigation.
Egyptian officials confirmed yesterday that 33
Egyptian military officers, including two brigadier
generals, were on the plane, returning home after
undergoing training in the United States. The officers'
ranks had been kept off the passenger list for security
reasons. Egyptian military officials have been key tar-
gets of attacks by Islamic fundamentalists.
The victims also included 106 Americans, many of
them retirees embarking on tours to Egypt.
According to Arian, National Transportation Safety
Board officials told relatives that identifying victims
could be extremely difficult because of the small
pieces being retrieved. Only one body has been recov-
ered, and even that one was not intact.
"Everybody here from the Egyptian families
expected to see his loved one, his brother, his sister, as
a body that they could identify easily," Arian said.
"The news was a shock to all of them."

(AP) - President Thabo Mbeki's claim
that a widely used AIDS drug is danger-
ous has set off an uproar, producing baf-
flement and shock among physicians and
advocates who say AZT is safe.
The drug is the mainstay of efforts
around the world to prevent HIV-infect-
ed mothers from passing the AIDS
virus to their babies during birth.
Mbeki said in Parliament last week
that AZT is toxic and was being chal-
lenged by court cases in the United
States, Britain and South Africa - a
claim the manufacturer, Glaxo
Wellcome PLC, has hotly denied.
The issue is critical in a nation with
one of the world's worst AIDS prob-
lems, where 3.6 million people, or 8
percent of the population, are estimated
to be HIV positive. The controversy
threatens to set back efforts to fight the
In his speech last Thursday, Mbeki
spoke of a "large volume of scientific
evidence alleging that, among other
things, the toxicity of this drug is such
that it is in fact a danger to health."

Mbeki said that it would be "irre-
sponsible" not to heed the "dire warn-
ings" of researchers about the safety of
AZT, which is one of the world's oldest
and best-known AIDS drugs. Reputable
scientists have issued no such warn-
ings, and it was unclear what he was
referring to.
Yesterday, the government promised
to investigate the safety of AZT. Mbeki
said he has asked the health minister,
Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, to oversee
the inquiry.
Tshabalala-Msimang told the South
African Broadcasting Corp. that AZT
would not be barred from the market
but she was deciding how to investigate
the matter "so that we really have con-
crete information in our hands."
The drug has been approved by regu-
lators in South Africa and around the
world, and is commonly used in combi-
nation with other drugs to control the
AIDS virus or prevent infection among
health care workers exposed to it. Many
studies have shown that AZT cuts in
half the risk that women will infect
their babies during delivery.

Women pray for the victims of EgyptAir Flight 990
during a memorial service in Cedar Grove, NJ. yesterday.
This makes it impossible for families to follow tra-
ditional Islamic rites, which call for a ritual washing
and shrouding of the body and a quick burial, usually
within two days.
A morgue was set up in a gymnasium, and a team
including forensic pathologists, dental experts, X-ray
technicians, forensic anthropologists and the FBI dis-
aster squad was assembled to identify the remains. The
investigators may also have to use DNA.
Outside the Newport hotel where the relatives are
staying, a tearful Sayed Gabr of Los Angeles held a
photo of his 54-year-old sister, Fatima, as she turned to
wave before boarding the doomed plane in Los
"I came here hoping I get my sister out of the water.
I'd like to take her back home - I'd like to bury her
body back to Egypt," he said.

*Attacks on Chechen rebels continue

T.,.r v.- dg
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0 Troops surround capital
as refugees remain
blocked at borders
GROZNY, Russia (AP) - Russia
oops surrounded Chechnya's second-
argest city yesterday and claimed key
gains around the capital, pressing ahead
despite sharpening international criticism.
The continued pounding of the rebel
republic came as thousands of refugees
were blocked at a key border crossing
for another day. Russia closed the
Ingushetia crossing last week and yes-
terday allowed just 300 people across.
Russian troops and local police scuf-
ned briefly at the Ingushetia crossing
sterday when police demanded that
refugees be let out of Chechnya,
according to eyewitnesses.
"The Russian military is just mock-
ing civilians, what they do is an act of
Continued from Page 1.
resolution, presented by the assembly's
&ace and Justice Commission calling
r a tuition freeze. The resolution
failed 7-23-1.
LSA sophomore Erika Dowdell, who
was a co-sponsor of the resolution, said it
was unfortunate that the resolution failed.
"This body is the official representa-
tive voice on campus," Dowdell said.
"Representatives on this body declined
to make the most basic objection to
high tuition."
PJC Chair Jessica Curtin, who also
, onsored the resolution, said it is nec-
sary for the resolution to be extreme,
instead of calling for a tuition cap that
MSA has supported in the past.

lawlessness," Ingushetia President
Ruslan Aushev told reporters.
Since Russia began bombing
Chechnya on Sept. 5, saying it aimed to
wipe out Islamic militants, some
200,000 people have fled to neighbor-
ing Russian republics.
The humanitarian crisis plus the
severe damage wreaked on Chechnya by
Russian bombs and artillery are increas-
ingly worrying and angering the West.
President Clinton met Russian Prime
Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday in
Oslo, Norway, told him there was no
military solution to Chechnya and
urged him to seek a political solution.
Russia has consistently rejected calls
for negotiations, saying the militants
must be eliminated first.
Yesterday, Russian troops surrounded
Gudermes, Chechnya's second-largest
city, toward which they have been slow-
ly advancing for weeks, the news

agency Interfax cited Gen. Gennady
Troshev as saying.
Russian troops claimed they had
seized full control of the Tersky and
Bragunsky ridges, two strategic heights
that rise hundreds of feet overlooking
the capital Grozny from the north, the
ITAR-Tass news agency said, citing
regional commander Col. Gen. Viktor
Russian warplanes also pounded the
town of Argun, about midway between
Grozny and Gudermes, and hit several
southern villages, Chechen officials
Bombing in Grozny destroyed an
arms depot, while rocket attacks killed
50 militants in a convoy, the Russian
headquarters claimed.
Kazantsev was quoted as saying the
ridges were taken with practically no
losses, but the military is widely
believed to give misleading casualty

The respected Soldiers' Mothers
Committee said yesterday that a recent
inspection tour of the region indicated
Russian troop losses were more than
four times higher than the 133 deaths
officially acknowledged.
Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov
has said more than 3,600 Chechens
have died in the fighting, mostly civil-
ians. Russia says it is targeting only
rebel positions and that it is does not
intend to hurt civilians.
Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said
from Oslo that pressure from
Washington or anywhere else would not
persuade Russia to stop its campaign
against the militants.
"The campaign of pressure on Russia
wasn't successful earlier and doesn't
have any chance of success now,"
Ivanov said after a meeting with U.S.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.


£ T

Rises By,


"I feel we should be making up for
some of the losses in the last two
decades" Curtin said.
In response to arguments that a
tuition freeze would result in lack of
funding for other student programs,
LSA sophomore Kym Stewart said that
this does not matter if students cannot
even afford to pay tuition.
"Some people come here or a couple
years, and can't afford to stay. We
should be more concerned about stu-
dents who can't come here in the first
place," Stewart said.
MSA Rep. Peter Handler said the
resolution would be ineffective and
contradict past MSA resolutions.
"In the past, we've passed resolutions
supporting ethnic studies and GEO,
which would call for higher wages. It

Student Union Bookstore * Nov 1-3 11-4 PM
Grad Fair " Nov 4th 12-6 PM, Nov 5th 10-6 PM

seems hypocritical and unintelligent to
support these and then ask them to sup-
port a tuition freeze," he said.
MSA Rep. Jen Seamon, a Nursing
senior, took an informal survey of her
constituency before the meeting
because "it was too serious of an issue
to come into this meeting with only my
own voice and not that of my con-
"I received 22 responses between this
morning and right before I left for the
meeting. Out of these, only two sup-
ported the tuition freeze. An over-
whelming number mentioned
(Michigan State University's) program
for tuition not to rise above infla-
tion, and the technology and
resources which would be limited
because of this," Seamon said.


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