2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 5, 2002
Summit interrupted by protests
NEWS IN BRIEF
Karzai unveils new Afghan currency
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) -
Unfurling banners and shouting "Shame on
Bush," dozens of activists at the World Summit
heckled Secretary of State Colin Powell yester-
day as he defended America's record on the
environment and helping the developing world.
Thirteen activists were dragged from the room.
Boos from the rear of the summit's main hall
repeatedly interrupted Powell's five-minute
speech to an audience of 1,500 government
leaders and delegates.
"The American soul has always harbored a
deep desire to help people build better lives for
themselves and their children," Powell said.
"We have always understood that our own well-
being depends on the well-being of our fellow
inhabitants of this planet Earth."
The United States joined 190 other nations
on the summit's last day yesterday in adopting
an action plan aimed at improving the lives of
the poor and reversing the destruction of the
But Washington was widely accused in 10
days of tough negotiations of shirking past
commitments and trying to avoid new ones.
Government officials and activists have
strongly criticized the United States for reject-
ing the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which seeks to
reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other
gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. Many
countries view the accord as crucial for revers-
ing global warming, which has been blamed for
cataclysmic storms, floods and droughts.
President Bush has said the United States is
taking other actions to fight climate change,
but the international agreement's strictures
are inappropriate and too costly for the U.S.
President Hamid Karzai announced the issuing of a new currency yesterday,
designed to end the confusion from several forms of money now in circulation
and provide a symbol of Afghan renewal and unity.
On the same day, Afghanistan handed over 55 longtime Pakistani prisoners
who had fought on the side of the ousted Taliban regime to their government, say-
ing they no longer posed a danger here.
Rumors of the new currency had abounded in recent days, causing extreme
volatility at the money changers' stands around the country. Karzai's announce-
ment seemed aimed at averting panic among the public that their existing curren-
cy would become worthless.
In a nationally broadcast address, he assured Afghans that they would not lose
money during the introduction of the new bills.
AP PHOTO "In order to get rid of inflation, our economists and commercial consultants
decided to remove three zeros from the old afghanis," he said.
"Do not worry. No matter how much you have, you can freely exchange all
your old afghanis at the nearest bank in all parts of Afghanistan," he promised. "If
banks are crowded or not available, you can change your money with money
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell pauses to allow
protesters to quiet down during his remarks.
Two Palestinians exiled to Gaz
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Israel expelled
two Palestinians from the West Bank, driving them
blindfolded into the Gaza Strip and leaving them at a
deserted fig orchard yesterday - the first time Israel
has forced relatives of militants to leave their home
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat condemned the
court-sanctioned expulsions as a "crime against
humanity that violates all human and international
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan echoed Arafat's
"Such transfers are strictly prohibited by internation-
al humanitarian law and could have very serious politi-
cal and se
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curity implications," said Annan spokesman
the secretary-general has consistently con-
uicide bombings and upheld Israel's right to
elf, he wishes to stress that self-defense can-
measures that amount to collective punish-
The Washington Post
Walking is as good as running when
it comes to reducing a middle-aged
woman's risk of suffering a heart attack
or stroke, according to the results of a
large study sponsored by the federal
Brisk walking for about 2 1/2 hours
a week or an equivalent amount of
more strenuous exercise cut the risk of
heart disease and stroke by about one-
third, the researchers found after track-
ing about 74,000 women for six years.
The results suggest that the benefits
of exercise are within reach of virtually
every American woman and don't
require equipment, organized sports or
"No pain, no gain is an outdated
notion," said JoAnn Manson, chief of
preventive medicine at Brigham and
Women's Hospital in Boston and the
lead author of the study, which appears
in Thursday's New England Journal of
Medicine. "Exercise doesn't need to be
strenuous or uncomfortable - moder-
ate exercise will provide the lion's
share of the health benefit."
Gerald Fletcher of the American
Heart Association said the findings are
important because in effect they lower
the bar on a major public health hurdle
- the effort to reverse the epidemic of
inactivity inthe United States.
"Everybody needs to do something,"
said Fletcher, director of preventive
cardiology at the Mayo Clinic branch
in Jacksonville, Fla. "But a lot of peo-
ple don't want to because they believe
they have to exercise hard, have to
mess up their hair. But they can do
moderate exercise, and enjoy it to some
degree, and still get benefit."
The study doesn't discount the pos-
sibility that women who engage in very
high levels of exercise - training for
marathons or triathlons, for example-
don't see even bigger gains in cardio-
"That is highly plausible," Manson
said. She said the study, despite its
size, had too few endurance athletes to
address the question.
What it does suggest, however, is
that there's a threshold of benefit that is
fairly easy to reach. The biggest health
gain, Manson said, comes when a per-
son moves from a sedentary lifestyle to
one that includes moderate, regular
The research is part of the federal
government's massive Women's Health
Initiative, which is studying numerous
health questions important to women
Earlier this summer, the initiative
announced that women randomly
assigned to take pills containing estro-
gen and progesterone had higher rates
of cancer and heart disease than
women assigned to take placebo
pills-a finding expected to have pro-
found effects on the popularity of hor-
mone replacement therapy.
The exercise part of the study was
Spurely observational; it did not involve
assigning women to do one thing or
another. The participants, between ages
50 and 79 when the study began in the
mid-1990s, filled out detailed ques-
tionnaires about their activity.
Politician wrongly used funds for campaign
The speaker of parliament was convicted yesterday and sentenced to three years
in prison for stealing $4.5 million intended for the poor and using the money in a
Akbar Tandjung's conviction marked one of the few times that an official has
been found guilty of such a crime in Indonesia, which is widely viewed as one of
the most corrupt countries.
Tandjung, who serves as leader of the former ruling Golkar Party, denied steal-
ing any funds and said he would appeal. He remains free and continues to hold his
"If someone is convicted that doesn't mean that his political career is gone," he
said. "I never committed a crime."
Critics complained that the three-year prison term was too light. Prosecutors
had asked for the minimum sentence of four years provided by law. He could have
faced 20 years in prison.
But the five-judge panel choose instead to impose an even lower sentence, cit-
ing mitigating circumstances, including the return of the money this year by a co-
LAMAT FALLS, Ore.
Man charged with
rape, murder of nun
An itinerant laborer accused of rap-
ing two nuns and then strangling one of
them with her rosary beads was ordered
held without bail yesterday on 14
charges, including aggravated murder.
Maximiliano Esparza sat with an
interpreter in the courtroom during the
hearing. His court-appointed lawyer,
Duane McCabe, did not enter a plea.
Esparza also is charged with rape,
sodomy, sexual abuse and assault.'
The 32-year-old man allegedly
arrived in Klamath Falls last week by
train. Late Saturday, he left the town's
only strip club and attacked two nuns as
they walked along a canal bike path,
authorities said. Both were wearing
their blue habits when they were
Sister Helen Lynn Chaska, 53, died.
The second nun was treated at a hospital
and released. Both are members of the
Immaculate Heart of Mary in Bellevue,
Wash., an orthodox Catholic order.
Justice Dept. request
not linked to fiing
Steven Hatfill's firing from
Louisiana State University came
after the Justice Department ordered
the school not to use him on projects
funded by grants from the agency,
which has called Hatfill a "person of
interest" in the anthrax attacks.
Hatfill's supervisor, Steven Guil-
lot, received an e-mail Aug. 1 direct-
ing him to "immediately cease and
desist" from using Hatfill on the
projects, LSU spokesman Gene
Sands said yesterday.
The next day, Hatfill was placed
on administrative leave as director
of LSU's National Center for Bio-
medical.Research and Training. The
center receives much of its money
from the Justice Department.
LSU contends the decision to put Hat-
fill on administrative leave and later, fire
him, was not connected to the e-mail.
Americans believe owning a home is
the best investment they can make,
although blacks and Hispanics still face
obstacles to homeownership, says a sur-
vey by mortgage giant Fannie Mae.
With interest rates at record low levels
and a volatile stock market, 70 percent of
those responding said they consider buy-
ing a home to be a safe and smart invest-
ment. Only 38 percent said an IRA or
401(k) retirement plan was a "safe
investment with a lot of potential."
Fannie Mae's latest annual housing
survey, released yesterday, showed a
hefty 78 percent of respondents saying
that now is a good or very good time to
buy a home.
Despite the recent recession, many
Americans have seen their net worth
increase because of a rise in their
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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