2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 12, 1995
11t1' OON 'OA3i
Simpson backs out of his interview with NBC
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Just hours
before air time, O.J. Simpson backed out
of last night's live TV interview after he
andhislawyershad second thoughtsabout
the no-holds-barred format NBC had de-
m'nanded, the network said.
"NBC News had a clear understand-
ing as of yesterday morning with Mr.
Simpson and his lawyers that there
would be no conditions attached to this
interview," NBC anchorman Tom
Brokaw said in a special live report.
"But Mr. Simpson's lawyers over-
night prevailed upon him not to partici-
'pate, they said, because of the civil suit
thathe faces from the families ofNicole
Brown (Simpson) and Ron Goldman."
The hour-long, commercial-free
"Dateline NBC" interview would have
been conducted by Brokaw
and Katie Couric. It would
have been Simpson's first
extensive interview since he
was acquitted last week. Tensy
of millions of viewers were
expected to tune in.
Anything Simpson said on
television could have been
used against him in the wrong-
ful-death lawsuits brought by
the victims' families. Cochran
In an interview on CBS
radio station WBBM in Chicago,
Brokaw was asked if he and Couric
would have been barred from talking
about the murders.
"It came down to that,"
Brokaw said with a laugh.
"They did say, 'Well, are you
going to get into timelines?'
And we said, 'That's how
we're going to begin."'
Simpson's lawyers didnot
immediately return calls for
Thecancellation was seen as
a setback for Simpson, eagerto
counter widespread public out-
rage over his acquittal.
"Now, it's a public relations disas-
ter," said legal analyst Stan Goldman
said, "as if he needed any more public
NBC's announcement Monday that
it would broadcast the interview had
prompted a storm ofprotestfrom groups
and individuals inside and outside the
network who criticized NBC for giving
a forum to Simpson, who did not take
the stand in his murder trial.
NBC was inundated with thousands of
calls, mostly negative, about the inter-
view, spokeswoman Lynn Gardner said.
Gloria Allred, the lawyer for Ms.
Simpson's family, quoted Ms.
Simpson's sister Tanya Brown as say-
ing after Simpson canceled: "It makes
* NAWONAL REPORT *...
Investigators comb train wreck for clues
HYDER, Ariz. - Under a blistering
desert sun, dozens of federal investiga-
tors got down on their hands and knees .
yesterday in a painstaking search for
clues along bent tracks and beneath .. .
Amtrak cars toppled in the deadly derail-
ment of a passenger train.
"We're looking at tracks, at bolts, at
cracks, at pry marks... we're looking for
evidence," FBI spokesman Jack Callahan Y
said during a news conference at the
remote crash site, about 60 miles south of Phoenix.
It was there that someone pried loose a rail and sent Amtrak's 12-car Sunset
Limited plummeting into a rock-strewn gorge early Monday.
Investigators yesterday continued the meticulous task of unearthing whatever
evidence they could find in and around the crash site.
Two of the train's cars that had been left standing on the tracks were towed away
on Tuesday. That left two locomotives, two coach cars, a partially derailed
baggage/mail car and an overturned employee dorm car at track level.
Black & Tan
Continued from Page 1A
percent of black voters agree with the
verdict, as opposed to 29 percent of
But Hawthorne stressed that the is-
sue need not be racially divisive. "We
shouldn't let different thoughts divide
us. There can be unity in the midst of
The forum was directed by questions
regarding people's personal reactions
to the verdict, as well as to race rela-
tions in general. Although much of the
discussion related to the specifics ofthe
case, the conversation quickly turned to
race relations at the University, and in
society as a whole.
Marcus Hood, an Eastern Michigan
University student, said the media por-
tray blacks who are accused of
commiting crimes differently than
"Blacks are made to look savage.
They are described in animalistic terms
like 'he savagely beat her,"'Hood said.
"When whites commit crimes,people
are always trying to smooth things out.
Like Susan Smith. She killed her kids
and they said she did it because she was
molested as a child."
Many predicted that the Simpson
verdict will lead to further discourse on
Tiffany Mitchell, an LSA first-year
student who is black, recounted the
reluctance of white students on her hall
to discuss the case after the verdict
came out. "People are wearing masks,"
said Mitchell. "They try to be good
people," pretending that no prejudice
exists, "but underneath, everybody's
In his closing remarks, Hawthorne
said, "I hope something has been
said to enlighten you and to in-
crease your understanding of each
other. Improved race relations be-
gins with you as individuals. Let's
pray things improve, not just on our
campus, but in our city, in our na-
tion and in our world."
genes that make
plnts grow faster
Discovery of several obscure genes
that can be engineered to put plants on
"fast-forward" - making them grow
more flowerssandbloom sooner than
normal -was announced yesterday by
geneticists in California.
The discoveries, reported in thejour-
nal Nature, mean that it is possible to
greatly speed up breeding experiments,
creating new varieties of important
plants in months and years, rather than
decades and centuries. The work may
also lead to ways to make food plants
"This allows acceleration of breed-
ing programs," said geneticist Detlef
Weigel, at the Salk Institute in the San
Diego community of La Jolla. His ex-
periments show that aspen trees, which
normally flower after they are 8 years
old, can be made to bloom afterthey are
6 months old.
Aspen trees "normally flower for the
first time when they are about 30 feet
tall," Weigel said.
The experiments at Salk were done
by taking a growth control gene, called
Leafy, from a small, weedy plant ofthe
mustard family, Arabidopsis thaliana,
and putting it into aspen trees. The gene
was also altered, hooked up to a genetic
"on~'signal that makes it work full time
in its new host.
FCC urged to adopt
children's TV rules
WASHINGTON -- Accusing the
television industry of evading the in-
tent of congressional legislation, a key
lawmaker urged the Federal Communi-
cations Commission yesterday to r.'e-
quire broadcasters to air three hours a
week of educational programming,or
Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), ranking
minority member of the House tele-
communications subcommittee, saidthe
television industry's response to cpn-
gressional legislation designed to im-
prove children's programming has been
"pathetic." Children's television, he
said, is "the video equivalent, of
Twinkies: Kids like it, but it lacks any
intellectual nutritional benefit."
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AROUND THE WORLD
exected with Arafat,
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Held
105 days in a Palestinianjail, a leader of
the Islamic militant group Hamas re-
calls beatings with electric wire that
fractured bones in his elbow, hand and
Despite the brutal treatment he and
other militants say they endured at the
hands offellow Palestinians, Mahmoud
Zahhar says reconciliation with Yasser
Arafat's Palestinian Authority has never
"The imprisonment, beatings, that is
all behind us," Zahhar, who was re-
leased Sunday, told The Associated
Press, caressing his new beard, black
and speckled with white hair, and look-
ing healthy despite having lost 25
pounds in jail.
His captors held him in solitary con-
finement for 50 days. They humiliated
him by shaving off his hair and beard.
Yet he holds no evident bitterness.
"Now we are looking forward to a
new era in the relationship between
Hamas and the Palestinian Authority,"
Officials in Arafat's government have
confirmed that a draft agreement has
been reached with Hamas. A key provi-
sion: a pledge by Hamas to stop suicide
attacks being launched against Israel
from inside areas under Palestinian con-
trol in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank
and to halt attacks against Israelis in-
side autonomy zones.
accord in Chechnya
MOSCOW -- In another sign of
deepening tension in the breakaway
region of Chechnya, rebel leaders yes-
terday suspended a 2-month-old mili-
tary accord with Russia and demanded
that international observers and U.N.
troops be brought in before they will
return to the bargaining table.
Meanwhile, the Organization for Se-
curity and Cooperation in Europe re-
duced the size of its mission in Grozny,
which had been the site of negotiations
between Russia and the rebels.,The
mission has been the target of recent
threats and a grenade attack.
The Chechen rebels' announcement
came two days after Russia said it-sus-
pended participation in the talks, fol-
lowing a bomb attack that gravely
wounded its military commander inthe
region, Lt. Gen. Anatoly Romanov,
killed three people and wounded 15
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