2- The Michigan Daily - September 20, 1995
Serbs complying with U.N. resolution
The Washington Post
- As a media event, it was something
of a strain for the rebel Serbs. A clutch
of reporters lined up on one side of a
country highway in Serb-held territory
six miles north of Sarajevo while on the
other a convoy of Serb trucks rolled by
ferrying mortars, artillery and cannons.
The direction was the problem for the
Serbs. Their trucks were heading north,
away from the Bosnian capital, forced
to pull out of useful range for their
weapons. "We don't. respect the agree-
ment that is causing this," said an of-
ficer who identified himself only as
"the Captain," adding, "but we do what
our command says."
The parade, under the eye of U.N.
monitors, formed part of the apparent
Serb compliance with orders to with-
draw artillery 12 miles from the center
of Sarajevo, the capital that is divided
between the besieging Serb force and,
on the defense, troops loyal to the Mus-
lim-led Bosnian government.
Underan agreement signed last week
by the Serb military commander, Gen.
Ratko Mladic, and brokered by U.S.
Assistant Secretary of State Richard
Holbrooke, the Serbs must complete
the pullback by tonight. Otherwise,
NATO jets may resumeabombing cam-
paign that until its suspension damaged
Serb antiaircraft missile sites, ammuni-
tion dumps, radio relay stations and
bridges in their eastern Bosnian strong-
"You go up the road and you'll see
bridges and houses destroyed by the
pilots," the Captain said in a complain-
ing tone. "So we want that to stop."
The number of weapons the Serbs are
House Republicans drop plan to change
Medicare benefits for business retirees
WASHINGTON - Facing strong complaints from the business community,
House Republican leaders have reportedly dropped a plan allowing workers to
remain in their company health plans after they turn 65, using their Medicare
allowances to pay for it.
Businesses feared a future Congress might convert a voluntary, government-
subsidized program into a mandatory one in which employers would foot the bill.
"We have expressed serious concerns about it," R. Bruce Josten, director of
member policy forthe U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said yesterday. "There is a fear
that future Congresses would make it mandatory. There is no guarantee that the
government would keep pace with health care inflation in making reimbursements
Workers 65 and older enrolled in a corporate health plan could stay in the plan
after retiring. The federal government would give the amount spent for an average
Medicare beneficiary to the business for each worker in corporate coverage.
But in a federal financial crisis, the government might cut its annual payment,
forcing a financial burden on corporations to cover the cost of retiree medical care,
said James Klein, head of the Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans.
Bosnian Serb soldiers rest outside of Sarajevo yesterday afternoon.
supposed to remove has become a se-
cret. Before the air raids stopped a week
ago, the United Nations said it was
about 300, but these days U.N. officials
here are mum - to keep the Serbs
guessing, they say. On the other hand, it
keeps pressure off the United Nations
and NATO if somehow the number
withdrawn turns out to be lower.
About a dozen trucks transported 50
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weapons. They had gathered to begin
the convoy on this damp day in the
farming town of Semizovac. The only
sign of damage from the war was two
burned-out, roofless houses close by.
Twenty 82mm mortars were visible
on the dozen trucks. Othertrucks
dragged eight anti-tank cannons. An-
other foureach pulled awheeled 122mm
mortar tube. Two others towed a pair of
large artillery pieces. Two Soviet-style
T-55 tanks rolled by. Some trucks were
"I am satisfied that they are cooperat-
ing," said Col. Pierre Briere, who was
overseeing the retreat for the United
"After they are away 12 miles, I don't
care where they go."
The retreat seemed a blow to the
Captain's morale. The Serbs had long
thrived on a self-image of invincibility,
and even if this is but an inconvenience
to their war plans, it is an inconve-
nience forced on them.
"They are trying to leave the local
population defenseless," the Captain"
said as truck engines warmed up.
From within the uniformly green ve-
hicles, soldiers gave the Serb a three-
fingered hand signal that stands for
their motto: "Only Unity Can Save the
According to the Captain, disunity
was precisely the reason for this un-
seemly retreat. He blamed the exodus
on Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic, who helped negotiate the
withdrawal with Holbrooke and Mladic.
Milosevic, the prime sponsor of the
Bosnian Serbs but recently a somewhat
reluctant ally, is seeking removal of
U.N. trade sanctions that have strangled
"The problem is, Milosevic is there,"
the Captain said, gesturing vaguely
northward toward Belgrade, "and we
are here. We have cemeteries full of
The Captain insisted that the Serbs
are largely victims of the Muslims.
Some curious and playful children
from nearby farmhouses served as
props for his presentation.
focuses on detective
LOS ANGELES - O.J. Simpson's
lawyers took aim at the lead detective's
truthfulness yesterday, using statements
from an FBI agent and mob figures to
suggest police set out to get Simpson as
soon as his ex-wife was found slain.
Detective Philip Vannatter returned
to the witness stand and insisted he did
not consider Simpson a suspect when
detectives entered his estate hours after
discovering the bodies ofNicole Brown
Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
"Mr. Simpson was no more of a sus-
pect at that point than you were, Mr.
Shapiro," Vannattersaidas attorney Rob-
ert Shapiro accused him of lying under
oath about his motives for invading
Simpson's property without a warrant.
"I went to the location to make a death
notification," Vannatter insisted.
The defense quickly called FBI agent
MichaelWacks, who acknowledged hear-
ing Vannatter discussing the case a few
months ago with a reputed mob figure
who was a witness in another case.
He said he heard Vannatter saying
something to the effect of, "Not going
up to the house to save victims," and
"that he was a suspect."
" I never said that .J. Simpson was
a suspect," Vannatter said.
House rejects bill to
sbrink parks system
WASHINGTON - The House of
Representatives rejected a proposal yes-
terday to begin shrinking the system of
national parks and recreation areas.
The measure would have established
a commission to recommend which
National Park Service properties should
be closed, turned over to state or local
authorities, or given to private compa-
nies. The purpose was to save money,
The 54 largest national parks, includ.
ing Yellowstone, Yosemite and
Sequoiah, would have been exempt.
But the list did include the Statue of
Liberty and the Washington Monument.
"This is a signal that the concept of
park-closing is dead," said Rep. Bill
Richardson (D-N.M.), who led the op-
position. "The American people want
to keep their parks."
N A R O U ND THE WORLD
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hijacks jet to Israel
JERUSALEM -Ina bizarre Middle
East hijacking, a disgruntled flight at-
tendant commandeered an Iranian air-
craft carrying more than 170 passen-
gers yesterday and landed at an Israeli
air force base as the plane was about to
run out of fuel.
No one was injured in the hijacking,
which began during takeoff from
Tehran. The armed steward, an uniden-
tified Iranian in his 30s, surrendered
about an hour after arriving at Ovda
Airforce Base in the Negev Desert, tell-
ing Israeli officials he had grown "tired
of life in Iran." He first said he wanted
asylum in the United States, but later
asked to stay inIsrael.
Although the flight attendant appar-
ently had no political motives, the hi-
-jacking immediately became politi-
On hearing the news, several Israeli
Parliament members pushed the gov-
ernment to hang on to the plane - and
possibly the passengers - to bargain
with Iran for information on the fate of
Israeli pilot Ron Arad, a military navi-
gator whose plane was shot down by
pro-Iranian guerrillas in Lebanon nine
Iran's news agency fueled the politi-
cal flames with a charge that the hijack-
ing was an Israeli plot and demanded
the return of the plane, passengers and
Five of the passengers asked for asy-
lum in Israel.
The passengers were to spend the
night at a base before an expected re-
kills 91 in Mexico
TOPOLOBAMPO, Mexico - Hur-
ricane Ismael hit Mexico's west coast
earlierthan expected, catching hundreds
of fishermen at sea. As searchers found
more bodies yesterday, the scope ofthe
season's most disastrous storm gradu-
ally became apparent.
At least91 people are confirmed dead
and officials say the toll could rise
higher. Thousands have been homeless
since the storm hit the coast Thursday,
destroying some 5,000 rickety houses.
"We will keep looking as long as
there might be survivors," said Adm.
Ruben Gomez Galvan, the commander
of the naval base here. "We are not
suspending the search. We are still find-
The hurricane stranded fishermen on
islands, sandbars or disabled fishing
boats. Of those stranded, about 150
have been found alive.
Fishermen said 30-foot waves over-
whelmed small, poorly equipped ves-
sels. Winds reached 80 mph with gusts
of 100 mph - and hit long before
-From Daily wire services
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