2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 30, 2000
JERUSALEM (AP) - A senior Palestinian negotiator
said yesterday that he doubted a final peace accord with
Israel could be reached before Israel's new elections, ten-
tatively set for spring.
But other Palestinian officials indicated that Ehud
Barak appeared determined to speed up the process, say-
ing privately that the Israeli prime minister's envoys have
told them that he plans to resume talks in hopes of reach-
ing a peace deal before the election.
In a goodwill gesture, Israel yesterday resumed the
transfer of millions of dollars in tax refunds to the Pales-
tinian Authority. The money had been stopped as one of
several punitive steps by Israel during nine weeks of
fighting that have more than 280 people dead, the vast
Barak on Tuesday yielded to pressure from the hawkish
opposition to hold elections, after it became apparent that
he no longer commanded backing in parliament to block
The elections will probably take place in the spring,
two years ahead of schedule, though an exact date will
not be set before next week. Opposition leader Ariel
Sharon said he wanted to hold the vote before the Jewish
Passover holiday which begins April 7, while Cabinet
ministers close to Barak said mid-May was a likely date.
Barak was elected 18 months ago in a landslide, on a
pledge to negotiate peace agreements with the Palestini-
ans and Syria. Some forces pushing him out of office
appeared beyond his control, such as Israel's destabilizing
electoral system and deep divisions in Israel over conces-
sions to the Arabs.
However, some said Barak's downfall was largely his
own doing. "Barak is a tragic figure, a man of truth, of
pure intentions, serious-minded, but very inexperienced,"
wrote commentator Nahum Barnea in the Yediot Ahronot
ACROSS THE NATiON
Economy growth slowest in 4 years
WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rat
in the July-September period, the slowest pace in four years, according t
revised figures released yesterday by the Commerce Department.
An unusual decline in federal government purchases of goods and ser-
vices and smaller gains in business spending on new equipment and
inventories were the primary reasons for the drop from the second quar-
ter's 5.6 percent growth rate.
Commerce last month estimated third quarter growth at a 2.7 percent
rate, but more complete data recently available caused the downward revi-
However, as they had when the original figures were released, a number
of analysts said that the nation's economic situation remains solid, with
growth likely to pick up again to between a 3 percent and 4 percent rate in
the final three months of the year and continue in that range for some
"The headline was a lot weaker than underlying demand," said Bruce
Steinberg, chief economist for Merrill Lynch & Co. in New York. "Private
domestic demand grew at a 4.4 percent rate in the third quarter, far from
indicating any serious problems in the broad economy. We expect grt4
to rise north of 3 percent in the fourth quarter and in 2001."
Three Franciscan monks walk toward the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of
Bethlehem yesterday. The city has cancelled Christmas festivities due to fighting in the area.
Bethlehem forgoes pla ns
for Christmas celebrations
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) - Bethle-
hem's city fathers have called off ambitious plans
for Christmas 2000, saying a time of Palestinian-
Israeli conflict is no time for merrymaking.
The town of Jesus' birth will be dark and
deserted this Christmas - without festive street
lights, craft fairs and choirs in Manger Square.
In the past two months, seven Palestinians
from Bethlehem have died in rock-throwing
clashes and shoot outs with Israeli soldiers.
For most of that time, Israeli travel restrictions
have kept tourists and other non-Palestinians out
of biblical Bethlehem and other Palestinian
towns. These were tightened 10 days ago, to bar
all traffic into and out of Palestinian towns.
"In view of the very bad situation ve are liv-
ing in, it doesn't make sense that we celebrate
while there are still closures, and so many peo-
ple have been killed," said Tony Marcos, a
spokesman for the municipality.
"Celebrations for Christmas have been can-
celed," he said.
Festive street lights still hanging from last
year's celebrations, when thousands of visitors
crowded Manger Square, will remain unlit.
Musical concerts have been called off and the
Christmas craft fair will not go ahead as planned.
There is even debate over whether the giant
Christmas tree, usually brought iij from Norway
as the centerpiece of Manger Square, will be
decorated or left bare. One suggestion has been
to hang pictures of more than 200 Palestinians
killed in fighting on the branches of the Christ-
apyear are turnin
many doctors say
experence cnisses should begin, the p
CHICAGO (AP)- Mammography cost between S7.
centers are scaling back or even clos- diagnostic mamm
ing because of inadequate reimburse- when a problem
ment rates and malpractice fears at a cost well over S20(
time when more and more aging baby
boomers need annual breast exams.
It all adds up to a crisis taking Northwest
shape in mammography, experts mechanics
With access shrinking, women MINNEAPOL
often have to wait months to schedule Airlines said v
an annual breast cancer screening and alleged work
may decide to skip the exams alto- mechanics is beg
gether. Even women with suspicious as the carrier ent
lumps may have to wait several weeks period leading up
to get a mamntogram. The mechanics
That can delay the diagnosis of ued to deny any
breast cancer and result in tumors slowdown during
being detected at later, less treatable U.S. District Judge
stages, a panel of doctors said at the The judge, whoc
Radiology Society of North America's Mechanics Fraterr
annual meeting. Nov. 20 not to eng
Studies have shown that routine that disrupt the
mammograms can decrease the risk of schedule, contini
dying from breast cancer by as much restraining orderL
as 40 percent. About 1 million women when the hearing w
AROUND TmeHE WORLD
Teen Kosovo murder boy admitted sh
suspect dodges jail gun after provok
shunov died Marc
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia - A 15- But the boy, wh
year-old suspected of killing a Russ- tral town of Srbic
ian peacekeeper has escaped from to keep in custody.
U.N. custody for a fourth'}time, Once Hajrizi br
prompting officials to nickname him a breakout. That
"Houdini." from trying again.
The ethnic Albanian teen slipped
out of the U.N. detention center in oTT 1
Kosovo's capital late Tuesday. E looks
"He has escaped again," U.N. Mad Cow
spokesman Susan Manuel said,
comparing him to Harry Houdini, BRUSSELS. Bel
the legendary magician known for of mad cow disease
his ability to escape handcuffs and Europe, the Europe
sealed containers. a slate of new measL
Officials discovered he was miss- to eradicate the letha
ing early yesterday, according to ease and curb a publ
U.N. police spokesman Charlie The union's exe
Johnson. proposed an EU-w
Faton Hajrizi had been in custody products in fodder
- off and on - since being poultry for six moi
detained in late March for shooting and the testing of
a Russian peacekeeper. sands of older cattle.
Hajrizi's father told The Associ-
ated Press earlier this year that the - Conmpiledfinom
g 40, the age when
yy annual screening
5 and $150, while
is suspected, may
LIS - Northwest
esterday that an
inning to snowball
ers the busy travel
a hearing before
ordered the Airgraft
nal Association on
gage in any actions
ued his temporary
until next Monday,
ooting Pvt. Igor
the soldier's own
ing a fight. Kor-
o is from the cen-
a, has proven ha
oke his leg during
t didn't stop him
gium - ,With cask
cropping up acro
an Union proposed
;ures yesterday to try
al brain-wasting dis-
ic scare over beef.
ide ban on animal
for cows, pigs and
ths starting Jan. 1
hundreds of thou-
Dait wire repor*
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