4ATION/X OIRLIDThe Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 16, 1999 - 9A
Balancing federal budget would cut popular programs
The Baltimore Sun
WASHINGTON - Congress is beginning to
get a close look at the price of keeping the fed-
eral budget in balance - it would mean squeez-
ing everybody's favorite programs - and all
signs are that the lawmakers won't pay it.
s for the much-heralded budget surplus:
orget about it.
Would-be budget-cutters are unnerved by dire
scenarios: Scientific research canceled.
Homeless AIDS patients left on the streets. Poor
children turned away from Head Start programs.
Emergency heating aid to the elderly denied.
The space program ground to a halt.
Wailing from the House floor last week about
these potential consequences of complying with
the ever-tightening spending ceilings came from
Republicans and Democrats alike. It left little
doubt that Congress will break those ceilings.
"The balance we had to strike was very, very
fragile, very, very difficult," said Rep. James
Walsh (R-N.Y.), who crafted a spending mea-
sure that gave a little extra for veterans' health
care but slashed millions from housing, space
and science programs. "We are literally borrow-
ing from Peter to pay Paul here."
Walsh won House passage of his measure by
promising to fight for more money than the ceil-
ings would allow in budget negotiations with the
Senate and the White House.
"Had we had more money," he said, "I would
have done things differently."
Republican congressional leaders have gone
through elaborate contortions to try to stretch
the budget ceilings.
A $14 billion surplus that the Congressional
Budget Office projected in July for next year has
already been allocated to various spending pro-
grams. As House spending bills now stand, the
CBO reports that the bills would produce a
deficit of Sl3 billion.
Yet House leaders have so little left in the pot
to spend that they would have to cut SI16 billion
from the largest of the 13 spending bills - the
one that pays for programs run by the vast
departments of health and human services, edu-
cation and labor.
If those cuts were applied across the board, all
programs in those departments would have to be
cut by about one-third, said Rep. David Obey of
Wisconsin, the senior Democrat on the House
"If we put a bill on the floor like that, no one
would vote for it," explained Elizabeth Morra, a
spokesperson for the House Appropriations
Dedicated penny-pinchers say the warnings of
Draconian cuts have been exaggerated by law-
makers hooked on the political high of deliver-
ing popular programs to constituents.
FCC allows satellite to cell
phone hookups to call 911
Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ and
S&P 500 Composite for Week 918-9/15
DJIA Close Change
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - A new way of linking satellites and
cell phones in an emergency -- or perhaps only to indulge in
a little dining pleasure - got a big boost yesterday from the
Federal Communications Commission.
By a 5-0 vote, the commission allowed the introduction of
*1 phones that use Global Positioning System satellites to
flash their location to 911 operators automatically.
Promoters of the link say it has two-way applications, and
people who buy the new phones also will be able to get such
services as directions when they are lost, or how to find food
and lodging in a strange town - practically anywhere.
Some 70,000 callers a day use their cell phones to reach
911, but many of them don't know exactly where they are
calling from. Three years ago, the FCC set a 2001 deadline'
for cell phone-service providers to devise a system that would
allow 911 operators to automatically pinpoint callers' loca-
s, as is the case with calls from conventional phones.
,An unforeseen consequence of the FCC decision was to
favor a technology then considered cutting edge, but which is
now being challenged.
The FCC effectively confined companies to a network
solution that relied on equipment deployed on cell towers to
triangulate a signal's location, dependent on handsets that had
no capability to use the Global Positioning System, or GPS,
to signal their location.
Yesterday's action will allow competition between the net-
work solution and one based on satellite technology. FCC
i*air Bill Kennard said the decision will help save lives, get-
ting aid to callers more quickly. It will also allow the agency
to remain neutral and let the market determine which tech-'
nology is preferable.
"Today's action will hasten the day when victims of car
accidents and those stranded in hurricanes can get help soon-
er," Kennard said.
An FCC official, who asked not to be named, said there are
pros and cons to both systems.
The original network solution would accommodate all 70
million cell phones now on the market, and could be in place
more quickly. However, the official said it would be costly to
install in low call-volume areas, such as the countryside.
The satellite solution is less extensive, and has been shown
to provide a more accurate location in early testing, said the
official. But effectiveness can be hampered if satellite visi-
bility is obscured by tall buildings or other obstacles. The
GPS option would also require people to get new handsets,
but estimates are that a quarter of all cell phones are replaced
every year anyway.
The FCC set a schedule yesterday so service providers who
choose the GPS option do not lag far behind. They would
have to begin offering the new handsets in 2001, and 95 per-
cent of their customers would have to have them by October
Mike Amarosa, a spokesperson for Pennsylvania-based
TruePosition Inc., which makes the network system, said his
company welcomes the competition. "We can deal with the
phones that are out there today and we would be able to deal
with (GPS) phones as well," Amarosa said.
Highlights from the week: Despite the NASDAQ setting a new closing high Friday, these three indexes
had a below-average week. Many investors had been waiting for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report to
be released, which shows key inflation data. The report was released yesterday below analysts expectations,.
but did not boost stocks. The CPI overall rose 0.3 percent, and just 0.1 percent at the core, which excludes
food and energy. Many economists predicted an overall hike of 0.3 percent, but a 0.2 percent increase at
the core. Typically, the market would have responded favorably to this news because it shows that inflation
is somewhat in check, but traders are still worried about the Federal Reserve's meeting on October 5, when
the Fed will decide whether to raise interest rates.
Whatisthe.nu l "The DJIA represents 30 stocks traded on the New York Stock
Exchange (NYSE) and are all major factors in their respective industries. These stocks are widely held by
individuals and institutional investors. Many financial advisers think of it as a good indicator in telling
whether the NYSE is doing well or poorly.
What is the NASDAO Composite? The NASDAQ is the fastest growing stock market in the U.S. due to
it being a screen-based stock market, compared to a trading floor market like the NYSE. It also has almost
all of the technological stocks available for trading, which has proved to be a very volatile industry in the
What is the S&P 500? The S&P 500 is a market value weighted index composed of 400 industri-
al stocks, 20 transportation, 40 financial, and 40 utility. It is a far broader measure than the DJIA
because it takes into account 500 different stocks traded on the two main exchanges (NYSE and
NASDAQ-AMEX) compared to the DJIA's 30 all traded on the NYSE.
- Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter Kevin Magnasonfrom wire reports.
LUSAKA, Zambia (AP) - AIDS,
not war, has turned Africa into a
"killing field" and will wipe out
enough adults to create 13 million
hans in the next 18 months, the
ted Nations children's agency said
Such cataclysmic statements at the
I Ith international AIDS in Africa con-
ference were aimed at prodding
African governments - which spend
more on defense than on health - to
act against the scourge of the continent.
Africa is home to two-thirds of the
world's 31 million HIV-infected peo-
ple. Last year, AIDS killed 2 million
icans, outstripping deaths from
ed conflicts on the continent 10-1,
said the children's fund, called
In 15 years, AIDS has killed I1 mil-
lion Africans, more than 80 percent of
the world's AIDS deaths.
"By any measure, the HIV-AIDS
pandemic is the most terrible unde-
clared war in the world, with the whole
of sub-Saharan Africa a killing field,"
ICEF executive director Carol
lamy said the conterence's third
Ninety percent of the world's AIDS
orphans live in Africa, and most suffer
"alarmingly higher rates of malnutri-
tion, stunting and illiteracy," UNICEF
said. They often die of neglect and are
victimized by the stigma surrounding
The number of child-headed house-
holds is rising sharply, the UNICEF
n many southern African nations up
to 25 percent of adults are infected with
the AIDS virus -. the highest preva-
lence in the world. In Zambia alone,
90,000 AIDS orphans have been left to
fend for themselves on the streets.
Bellamy said decades of gains for
child survival and development are
being wiped out by the disease.
Lack of AIDS education is part of
*oproblem, the group said.
More than a quarter of adolescent
women south of the Sahara - the
group most at risk from infection with
the HIV virus that causes AIDS -
were unaware of any effective way of
avoiding the disease, research has
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