2 -The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 31, 2001
Anthrax scares disrupt capital
NEWS IN BRIEF
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Bioterrorism is being
felt across all three branches of government:
Supreme Court justices are camped out in borrowed
quarters; lawmakers are scattered around town; mail
to the White House and numerous other federal
offices is under quarantine.
"I can't think of anything that has disrupted
government as much since the Civil War," says
government professor James Thurber, sizing up
the effects of the anthrax attacks layered on top
. of the Sept. I1 plane crashes. "The terrorists
have succeeded much beyond their own expecta-
tions, I'm sure."
The interruptions ripple through government from
top to bottom and around the globe.
Up top, a few blocks from the marbled, velveted
and chandeliered chambers of the Supreme Court,
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist convened the
court in a more Spartan borrowed courtroom for the
second day yesterday, with no return from exile
scheduled. Vice President Dick Cheney was taken to
a secure location once again after the latest terrorist
Down below, more than 13,000 postal workers
were taking antibiotics to guard against the anthrax
infection that already has claimed the lives of two
mail handlers. Thousands of staffers for nearly 200
legislators are working from home or makeshift
quarters as two Capitol Hill office buildings remain
"It's been a tough month," said 22-year-old Patrick
Power, a staff assistant to Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.),
speaking for many.
Likewise, this from Postmaster General John Pot-
ter at a congressional hearing: "It's hard to believe all
that's transpired in the last 18 days."
Peres plans Israeli peace initiative
JERUSALEM (AP) - Foreign Min-
ister Shimon Peres is preparing a peace
initiative that reportedly calls for Israel
to dismantle its settlements in Gaza, a
move opposed by Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon, his partner in Israel's brittle
The independent plan could cause a
rift within a, government increasingly
divided over Israel's two-week incur-
sions into Palestinian-controlled
towns in the West Bank. Peres
acknowledged yesterday he was
preparing a plan but refused to elabo-
rate on its details.
Peres told reporters he would likely
meet with Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat over the weekend at an economic
conference in Spain, the first high-level
contact since the incursions were
launched. But he stressed the two
"Negotiations should be prepared
very carefully, otherwise it will create a
disappointment instead of a hope," he
Arafat, who was in Rome yesterday,
called for negotiations with Israel.
"I call on Sharon to go back to the
negotiating table," he said by phone
during an Italian TV show. "Let's go
back to implementing the accords,
let's go back to saving the peace
process with no conditions, no mili-
Peres repeated that Israel had no
intention of remaining in four West
Bank towns occupied after Palestinian
militants gunned down an ultranational-
ist Cabinet minister on Oct. 17, saying
Israel would retreat when security was
Israeli and Palestinian security offi-
cials, however, failed Monday to set a
new timetable for the pullout from the
areas Israel holds in Tulkarem, Qalqilya,
Ramallah and Jenin, with Israel
demanding the Palestinians arrest more
militants before it withdraws.
Under strong international pressure,
Israel left Bethlehem and Beit Jalla late
NEW YORK i
Consumer confidence drops sharply
Consumer confidence plunged in October to its lowest level in 7 1/2 years as the
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and anthrax fears sapped Americans' optimism about job
security and the economy.
The Conference Board said yesterday that its Consumer Confidence
Index had dropped to 85.5 from 97 in September, well below the 96 ana-
lysts had predicted.
"We obviously expected consumer confidence to be shaken, but not this badly,"
said Oscar Gonzalez, an economist at John Hancock Financial Services in Boston.
"This is a very worrisome report."
Stocks moved lower on the news. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down
148 points, or 1.6 percent, at 9,122, while the Nasdaq composite index ended 32
points, or 1.9 percent, lower at 1,667.
The index, based on a monthly survey of some 5,000 U.S. households,
is closely watched because consumer confidence drives consumer spend-
ing, which accounts for about two-thirds of the nation's economic activi-
The index compares results to its base year, 1985, when it stood at 100. The
October figure is the lowest since February 1994.
Red Cross ends Sept. 11 donation requests
The American Red Cross is halting its appeals for donations to a fund created
to help victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, its interim chief executive said
The Liberty Fund held $547 million in pledges as of Monday.
Contributions received after today will be deposited in the charity's Disaster
Relief Fund, a general account servicing all kinds of emergencies, unless donors
specify the money is for the Liberty Fund, said Harold Decker, the organization's
interim chief executive officer.
Liberty Fund money also will continue to be held separately from other funds,
Decker said, and will be spent on aid to victims' families and other relief efforts
arising from the attacks.
"That is the way the fund was set up. That is what donors expect," he told
During a weekend meeting of the Red Cross' governing board, Decker was
chosen to succeed Bernadine Healy, who resigned Friday, until a committee finds
a permanent replacement.
Herbert Boone Professor of Humanities and
Director, Hunanities Center
The Johns Hopkins University
"Roger Fry's Formalism"
Friday, November 2, 4:00 p.m,
Angell Hall Auditorium A, 435 South State Street
MICHAEL, F FD
Director, The Getty Researdh Institute
James B. Duke Professoof Literature and Romance Studies,
Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University
Saturday, November 3, 9:30 a.m.
Vandenberg Room, Michigan League
All events open to the public without charge
High court debates
Supreme Court justices, whose tastes
are said to run to opera and Cole Porter,
spent an hour yesterday discussing the
sex scenes in modern movies and
whether the government can ban depic-
tions that seem to show children having
Sitting in a borrowed courtroom for
a second day, the court considered a
free speech case with implications for
the future of high technology if not
Free speech advocates and pornogra-
phers challenged a 1996 law in which
Congress forbade any visual depiction
of what "appears to be" children in sex-
ually explicit situations or that is adver-
tised to convey the impression that
someone under 18 is involved.
Through computer wizardry, pornog-
raphers can create dirty movies about
children and adolescents that involve no
actual children. t
Time running out to
claim rebate checks
Nearly 300,000 rebate checks from
this summer's big tax cut went undeliv-
ered and time is running short for tax-
payers to claim them.
Charles Rossotti, the Internal Revenue
Service commissioner, said yesterday
that taxpayers who do not claim their
checks by Dec. 5 will have to wait for the
money until they file their 2001 income
tax returns next year. The checks cannot
go out after Dec. 31 and the IRS needs a
few weeks of processing time.
About 295,000 rebate checks worth
$95 million were returned to the IRS,
frequently because a taxpayer moved to
a new address or changed the last name,
often because of marriage. The undeliv-
ered checks are worth an average of
"All we need is a good address,"
Rossotti said. "As soon as we get the
correct address, we'll send the check on
counted by census
More than 170,000 people were in
homeless and emergency shelters on
one spring night lastyear, according to a
census survey. Critics scorned the analy-
sis as an incomplete picture of life on
the streets in America.
The Census Bureau report released
yesterday counted people in shelters on
March 27, 2000, the first day of a three-
day survey that also covered people vis-
iting soup kitchens and living on city
The bureau earlier this year
reported finding 280,527 homeless
people nationwide over all three days
of the survey. Yesterday's report said
that 170,706 of them were in shel-
New York and California had the
most people in shelters, together
totaling over 59,000. More than
27,000 people were counted in New
York City alone.
- Compiledfrom Daily wire reports.
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