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September 18, 2000 - Image 7

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-18

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N ATION ! O RLD - The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 18, 2000 - 7A
Barak proposes religious reforms

1

JERUSALEM (AP) - His peace
plans stalled and his political future
in doubt, Prime Minister Ehud
Barak has proposed far-reaching
reforms that challenge the pre-emi-
nence of Jewish religious law in
areas of daily life.
He says Sabbath travel is on the way
and the Cabinet has taken the first
steps to removing citizens' religion
from identity cards.
The proposals have been dismissed
by some as a political expediency;
still, they have taken opponents and
proponents by surprise and have
launched a searing debate about the
nation's character.
"Our society is in a very deep crisis,"
Rabbi Michael Melchior, the govern-

some of the changes, said yesterday.
The process has already begun. His
Cabinet has ordered the dismantling of
the Religions Ministry and has
launched the legal process that would
remove religion from people's identity
cards.
Barak has said his ultimate aim is
the country's first constitution -
something avoided for 52 years pre-
cisely because of the rifts Barak's pre-
decessors feared it would engender.
Last week, Barak pledged public
transport on Sabbath within two
months, saying it would end discrimi-
nation against families who cannot
afford cars and miss out on weekend
pleasure outings.
Yesterday, he signed the first orders

flagship airline carrier, and said Sab-
bath flights were inevitable.
Other changes - ending the
monopoly on marriage and divorce
now enjoyed by the rabbinical estab-
lishment, introducing Sabbath shop-
ping and forcing religious schools to
include secular civics classes - must
wait for parliament to reconvene on
Oct. 29.
Barak may not have the numbers.
After he proposed far-reaching con-
cessions to the Palestinians at the

coalition partners withdrew, saying
they could not abide a government
willing to share Jerusalem with the
Palestinians.
That left Barak with a minority gov-
ernment -- but one free of religious
influence and able to pursue constitu-
tional changes that secular activists
have wanted for years.
Some wondered whether Barak -
faced with an opposition that may now
have the numbers to force him into
early elections - was sincere, or if he

"Our society is in a very deep crisis."
-- Rabbi Michael Melchior
Israeli government minister

1

i

ment minister charged with drafting that would privatize El Al, Israel's July's Camp David talks, two religious was already campaigning.
Cross-border railway to link Koreas

I

MICHAEL HYNES/Daily
Bubba and Angel swim in their new home in the West Quad Residence Hall
room of LSA freshman Rachael Burkons and Stephanie Rupp.

FISH
Continued from Page IA
howl kits that include stones, land-
ape, fish food, a net and water
treatment. These kits and their gold-
en occupants were given out at
Splash, a program put on during
Welcome Week, Festifall, and dur-
ing "Fish Days" on the Diag.
Many students, whose fish have
survived, believe having fish in
their residence hall room has been
a positive experience.
"I get a sense of fulfillment
*om keeping him alive," Morris
said of her fish, Saul.
Some students are finding ways
to personalize the homes of their
new pets.
"We're from California and
we're waiting for our parents to
send us some seashells from back
home," LSA freshman Camille
Clarendon said.
Other students decided not to
*ke advantage of the new fish
policy because they felt having
the life of another organism in
their hands was too much for

them to handle. "I don't want the
responsibility. I have too many
already," LSA freshman James
Wahls said.
Although many other schools
allow "underwater breathing ani-
mals" such as turtles and sala-
manders, the University does not
plan to follow suit in the near
future.
"(W )e have not made plans to
ask for other animals to be
allowed. I am of the opinion that
we may need to wait a year to see
the impact of fish in the halls
before moving forward to ask for
other types of pets," Jason Taylor,
Residence Halls Association pres-
ident, said in a written statement.
During the giveaways UAC
handed out more fishbowls than
goldfish. The UAC office will
soon have a tank with fish avail-
able for students to pick up.
Information about when more
"Fish Days" will occur or when
students will be able to pick up a
fish at the UAC office is available
on UAC's Website at
{'31. uniLch.eClu/uaC.

IMJINGAK, South Korea (AP) - In the latest
sign of improving relations between North and South
Korea, workers began rebuilding a railway line
across the world's most heavily armed border today
to connect the two Korean capitals for the first time
in more than 50 years.
South Korea's president, Kim Dae-jung, presided
over the groundbreaking ceremony in Imjingak, a
village just south of the Demilitarized Zone that has
separated the two Koreas since the 1945 division of
the peninsula and the 1950-53 Korean War.
When completed next fall, the railway and a new
four-lane highway running alongside it will link the
capitals of the two Koreas.
After a historic summit between the two countries'
leaders, North and South agreed last month to recon-
nect the railway, which links Seoul to Pyongyang,
then continues on to Shinuiju, a city on the North's
border with China. The railway line was cut off
shortly before the Korean War started in 1950.
Pa. strip club

Until now, there has been no direct transportation
link between the two Koreas. A winding, blocked and
heavily guarded two-lane road exists at the truce vil-
lage of Panmunjom and serves as the sole contact
point between South Korea and the communist North.
Seoul has allotted SSO million to rebuild the 12-
mile stretch of railway on its side of the DMZ, and
thousands of soldiers will be used to clear land
mines inside the 2 1/2-mile-wide Demilitarized Zone
through which it passes.
North Korea is also expected to use soldiers to
rebuild the 5 miles of rail line on its side.
The Korean border, the world's most heavily forti-
fied, is lined with an estimated I million mines.
About 2 million troops are deployed in both sides.
Today, South Korea also started building a S91
million, four-lane highway alongside the railway that
will connect major expressways already in service in
both Koreas.
The railroad and highway should boost trade
off~'e r s I

between the two countries and give South Korea a link
to China and Russia's trans-Siberian railway, through
which Seoul hopes to deliver products to Europe.
The Koreas' cold relations have thawed signifi-
cantly since President Kim visited Pyongyang in
June to hold a historic summit with North Korean
leader Kim Jong 11. They are expected to hold anoth-
er summit in Seoul by next spring in another impor-
tant milestone in their relations.
South Korea's Defense Minister Cho Sung-tac and
Kim II Chul, minister for North Korea's People's
Army, will meet in Cheju island Sept. 25-26 to discuss
military cooperation in relinking the railroad, Seoul's
Ministry of Defense said yesterday. It will be the first
talks between the defense chiefs since the war.
Since the summit, the two sides have stopped pro-
paganda broadcasts and reopened border liaison
offices. Last week, their athletes marched together
behind a unification flag during the opening cere-
monies at the Sydney Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

nudity on the run

I-

DELMONT, Pa. (AP) - In a
country that offers everything from
drive-through burgers to drive-
through church services, a strip club
near Pittsburgh has something new
for those who can't stop in for lap
dances - drive-through nudity.
"When they leave, customers are
falling out laughing," said Nick
Fratangelo, owner of the Climax
Gentleman's Club in Salem Town-
ship on an isolated stretch of U.S.
Route 22, about 35 miles east of
Pittsburgh.

Motorists pull around to a window
at the back of the club, show proof
they are 18 or older and pay S5 per
minute. Then they pull up a few feet
to a second window and watch a
nude dancer for the amount of time
they paid for.
A 26-year-old stripper who would
identify herself only by her stage
name, Barbie, said most customers
pay for two to three minutes, but one
man paid S 100 for 20 minutes. "That
can be tough," she said. "After a
while, you run out of things to do."

LIA R GESTS ELE_____10N_

I

DEMOCRATS
Continued from Page IA
Despite the continually changing population of Uni-
v ity students, Ann Arbor mayoral candidate John
ije said students are just as important as everyone
else in the city. "You're residents of this city and I want
you to think of yourselves that way,"he said.
Hieftje said he wants students to get more
involved in the Ann Arbor community by appoint-
ing them to city boards and commissions.
Another theme permeating the course of the
evening was the candidates' desire to regain legislative
control from the Republicans. The GOP holds the
majority in both the state Legislature and Congress.

"This is the year we can stop losing," Rivers said.
"We can win it all and change the face of politics
for the next 10 years," she added, referring to the
redistricting that will take place at the hands of the
next batch of legislators.
Kolb urged students to vote for the Democratic
Supreme Court candidates by having everyone in
the room recite the candidates' names aloud. "Do
not vote for the incumbents; they are not voting for
you," he said.
Brater, a former Ann Arbor mayor and third-
term state representative, made a surprise visit to
the office for the event. "Your vote is very crucial,"
she told the students. "I'm very grateful to see all
the interest you are showing."

FESTIVAL
Continued from Page lA
music and a great chance to be outside," he said.
The seven-time Grammy-nominated Robert
Cray Band closed the festival yesterday evening
with hits from the group's latest album, "Take
Your Shoes Off."
Eastern Michigan University senior Clint
Trucks said he came to the festival for nostalgia.
"I came here to see the Robert Cray Band. I
grew up listening to the album "Strong Persuad-
er" which my mom played for me as a child,"
Trucks said. "I feel like I would be personally
insulting her if I didn't come."

tx ,'t. h'?, .
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,7 ,: 4

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