The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, May 08, 1989, Page 2, Image 2

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    News Digest
By the
Associated Press
Edited by Victoria Ayotte
Panama opposition charges election fraud
Panamanians voted for a new presi
dent Sunday in an election studded
with charges of fraud and U.S. inter
ference and seen as a referendum on
the dc facto rule of Gen. Manuel
Antonio Noriega.
The election pitted Carlos Duquc,
hand-picked by Noriega, against
Guillermo Endara, the candidate of
an opposition coalition.
Polls closed at 5 p.m. (6 p.m.
EDT.) Voters had lined up at some
polling stations at 5 a m., two hours
before the scheduled opening time.
At one booth, more than 100 of 348
registered voters were in line by 8
a.m. The government promised offi
cial results within 24 hours.
“You don’t stand in line for hours
unless you hope you’re going to have
an honest election,’’ said Rep. Law
rence Coughlin, R-Pa., after inspect
ing polling places in Colon, 50 miles
north of Panama City.
Coughlin was among an uninvited
Kof 13 U.S. observers sent by
lent Bush. They, like other
international observers, including
former President Jimmy Carter, said
they saw no signs of fraud at the
“Everything went according to
the law,” said Rafael Martinez, an
electoral official in the northern town
of Margarita where many members
of the Panamanian Defense Forces
The opposition, which claimed a
hefty lead in polls, kept up its drum
beat of fraud charges. Even before the
polls closed, it was calling for a pro
test march Monday.
Opposition leaders accused the
government of making arrangements
tor its supporters to vote “early and
often” and said they feared the elec
tion would be stolen as votes were
tallied at the Election Tribunal.
They pointed out that the 15,000
members of Noriega’s Defense
Forecs were allowed to jump to the
front of voting queues and they could
vote at any booth, making multiple
voting possible.
‘We will look for a
dignified exit for
the general.’
The government contends the
opposition has joined forces with the
United States in an effort to abrogate
the 1977 Panama Canal treaties,
which call for the United States to
give the canal to Panama on Dee. 31,
As proof, Duquc pointed io dam
aging U.S. economic sanctions, U.S.
drug charges against Noriega, and
reports that the United States pro
vided the opposition with $ 10 million
in campaign assistance.
The opposition denys the govern
ment charges, and says Noriega must
be cased out as commander of the
Panamanian Defense Forces if de
mocracy is to progress in Panama.
“We will look for a dignified exit
for the general,’ ’ Endara told a crowd
of chanting supporters after he voted
Duquc and acting president Man
uel Solis Palma received a mixture of
boos and cheers when they voted.
Endara, 52, and Duquc, 59, are
both businessmen. A new president
takes office Sept. 1.
Opposition vice-presidential can
didate Ricardo Arias Calderon issued
a statement saying he had “not the
slightest doubt that there will be
fraud.” He was one of the leaders
calling for a protest march Monday'
Arias Calderon repeated accusa
tions that the electoral register in
eluded 100,000 duplicate names and
that out of a sampling of 3,000 recent
deaths, the names of 27 percent of the
dead were still on the register
Several voters told reporters they
had checked to make sure dead or
absent relatives were stricken from
the voting list.
“That’s two less votes they can
steal,” said Lilia Shaw after making
sure officials crossed off the names of
her brother and father, both out of the
Her husband Roberto shrugged
and said, “It won’t make any differ
Former President Carter visited 20
booths and said, “The only problem I
have seen is with the number of
people voting,” referring to the long
Violence in Beirut leaves 17 dead
BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Syrian and
Christian gunners blasted residential
districts of Beirut on Sunday in sav
age artillery duels that killed at least
17 people as the Arab League tried to
revive a collapsed truce.
A police spokesman said 80
people were wounded in a seven-hour
bombardment that left the streets
blanketed with debris.
The spokesman, who cannot be
named under standing regulations,
said about 15,000 shells and rockets
were unleashed on the divided capital
and surrounding areas.
Fires burned out of control in both
Moslem and Christian sectors. Hun
dreds of charred cars smoldered in
parking lots and severed power
cables dangled from twisted poles or
shell-pocked apartment buildings.
Blazing pine trees lit up the night
sky as Christian artillery positions
began the exchange by firing 155mm
howitzers at Syrian and Druse posi
tions across Beirut and neighboring
The Syrians responded with
rocket fire at Christian east Beirut,
the city’s port, the Christian harbors
of Jounich and Byblos, and a cluster
of deserted summer resorts in Leba
non’s central mountains.
The 17 deaths and 80 woundings
increased the overall toll to 295 killed
and 1,091 wounded since the latest
round of fighting in Lebanon’s 14
ycar-old civil war broke out March 8.
The fighting pits army com
mander Gen. Michel Aoun’s 20,(XX)
mainly Christian soldiers against an
alliance of Syrian troops and 7,0(X)
militiamen of Druse warlord Waljd
Jumblatt’s Progressive Socialist
The Christians resumed shelling
Saturday night after nine days of
unanswered Syrian attacks on the
Christian sector’s coast. Those at
tacks were in defiance of an April 28
cease-fire called by the Arab League.
Aoun told the U.S., British and
French ambassadors on Saturday
night that he would respond to the
Syrian fire, a spokesman for his head
quarters said, and an hour later the
Christian firing began.
When the shelling slackened at
dawn, tens of thousands of dazed
residents emerged from underground
bunkers to assess damage, buy food
and watcr/and hurry back to the shel
Among those inspecting the dam
age was acting Prime Minister Salim
Hoss, who heads a mostly Moslem
Cabinet competing with Aoun's
Christian Cabinet.
“No words arc enough to describe
this horror, ’ ’ Hoss told reporters as he
toured the battered Iwo-slory prime
ministry. “I repeal my plea for a total
cessation of hostilities out of mercy
for the innocent population.”
The Arab League announced from
Damascus that an envoy and the
commander of the observer force
would be sent to Beirut this week to
hasten talks on the crisis and try to
implement a stable cease-fire.
Companion: Cultist ordered his death
MEXICO CITY - The leader of a
drug-smuggling cull lhal killed 15
people ordered his own killing when
police closed in on him, his arrested
campanion said Sunday.
Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo was
shot to death Saturday in a gunbaltlc
with Mexico City police.
Sara Aldrcte, 24, a former honors
student at Texas Southmost College
in Brownsville, told reporters Con
stanzo ordered Alvaro de Leon Val
dez to kill him and his lop assistant,
Martin Quintana Rodriguez, after
police appeared outside the Mexico
City apartment building where they
were staying.
Aldrcte, described as the “witch”
of the cult, de Leon Valdez and three
others arrested after the shootout
were presented to reporters on Sun
day at the Mexico City Attorney
General’s office. They stood behind a
3-by-6-foot table bearing confiscated
cult items and black clothing.
“He went crazy, crazy” when
police came, said the bearded de
Leon Valdez, who has collar-length
blond hair and was wearing a dirty
white shirt.
“He grabbed a bundle of money
and threw it and began shooting out
the window,” he said.44He said eve
rything, everything was lost.”
De Leon Valdez said Constanzo
hit him in the face when he resisted
killing Constanzo.
“He ordered him to kill him be
cause it was the end and he wanted to
die with Martin,” Aldrcte said. She
referred to Constanzo, 26, as El Pa
drino, or the godfather.
She said she did not know about
the killings of the 15 people whose
bodies were found on the Santa Elena
Ranch until she saw stories on televi
sion. The ranch is outside Matamo
ros, along the U.S. border.
De Leon Valdez, 22, said he had
taken part in the killing of Mark Kil
roy, a former Texas college student,
and of some of the others on the
ranch. But he and Aldrcte indicated
Constanzo did most of the killings.
Aldrcte said she regretted the
deaths carried out by the cult.
“If I had known it was like this, I
wouldn’t have been in it,” she said.
Constanzo and Aldrcte, missing
since the lirst 12 bodies were uncov
ered on the ranch April 11, were
among 11 people indicted in the
United States on a four-count drug
They arc being held in Mexico on
charges of homicide, criminal asso
ciation, wounding a police agent in
the arrest, and damage to property,
Assistant Attorney General Abraham
Polo Uscanga said.
The bodies of Constanzo and
Quintana were found slumped to
gether inside a tiny closet in the -
Mexico City apartment. Their shirts r
were smeared with blood.
Palestinians, Israelis continue fighting Sunday
JERUSALEM — Soldiers
wounded 10 Palestinians on Sunday
during clashes in the occupied territo
ries, despite widespread curfews
aimed at preventing a repeat of the
heavy violence a day earlier.
Also Sunday, authorities found
the body of an Israeli paratrooper in a
shallow grave near the Gaza Strip,
not far from where he was last seen
seven weeks ago. Police claimed he
was killed by Palestinian guerrillas.
A search also was going on for
another Israeli soldier missing and
believed kidnapped.
Sunday’s violence followed per
month-old Palestinian uprising
against Israeli rule.
Arab reports said three Palestini
ans were killed and 135 wounded by
Israeli forces on Saturday, most dur
ing clashes in the Gaza Strip. The
Israeli army said its records showed
77 wounded and two dead.
The army imposed curfews in 20
towns or refugee camps in Gaza and
the West Bank to kccp450,000 Pales
tinians indoors on Sunday and pre
vent a recurrence of the bloodshed.
But clashes between troops and
Palestinians broke out in the Gaza
Strip, and Arab hospital officials said
seven people were wounded during
refugee camps. Three more Palestini
ans were shot and wounded by sol
diers in the occupied West Bank, they
In Tel Aviv, Brig. Gen. Ephraim
Lapid defended the army’s actions
during Saturday’s violence, claiming
they were provoked by Arab stone
throwers. Palestinians claimed the
violence was spurred by the presence
of soldiers outside a mosque in the
Nussciral refugee camp in the Ga/a
Saturday s clashes broke out when
soldiers opened fire to quell protests
on Eid a!-Fitr. a major Moslem holi
day and the end of the holy month of
John Bruce Daily Nebraskan
Contacts become disposable
contact lenses, those floppy pieces
of plastic that help people see with
out wearing eyeglasses, have
reached a popular American cul
ture benchmark. They’ve become
That could mean a lot of
changes involving the way people
view the little lenses that make
things clearer for 23 million
Hundreds of thousands of
people arc already wearing dispos
able lenses, even though up to now
they've been available only on a
limited basis. Eye doctors arc
Hocking to lectures about them,
and consumers arc wondering
what’s going on.
‘‘They’ve really captured the
interest of the American public,”
says Dr. Scott MacRac, an oph
thalmologist from Portland, Ore.,
who is also a consultant to the Food
and Drug Administration for oph
thalmic devices.
He speaks from experience. He
wears a disposable lens in his right
I don t think we’ve ever seen
anything, in my experience, that
gained this kind of acceptance,”
says Hal Johnson, president of
professional products at Bausch &
Lomb, the nation’s leading seller
of contact lenses. "We’re in high
gear. And I mean high gear.”
It hasn’t been loo long ago that
basketball games were stopped
while players scoured the floor for
a missing contact lens. Most
fjcoplc still coddle and clean their
lenses, treating them like tiny
They even buy insurance poli
cies to protect them from loss or
rsow, aiong come some lenses
that can be worn for a week or two
and tossed in the trash. If they hurt
your eye, just take them out and
pul in a new pair. No more expen
sive cleaning solutions. No more
lender-loving care.
Is “wear ‘cm and toss ‘cm” the
wave of the future?
Probably not, say officials at
Bausch & Lomb and other eye care
The main reason is that most of
the lenses available can only be
worn by patients who arc near
sighted. Another negative factor is
the cost - between $300 and $500
per year.
Editor Amy Edwards
„ _ 472-1766
Managing Editor Jans Hlrt
Assoc News Editors Brandon Loomis
Rvan Sloovin
Editorial Page Editor Lee Rood
rnn W,r®fdl,or Victoria Ayotte
Copy DesK Editor Deanne Nelson
a . . rSpoMs Editor Jeff A pel
Arts & Entertainment
Editor Lisa Donovan
Diversions Editor Joeth Zucco
Sower Editor Lee Rood
Supplements Editor Chris Carroll
Graphics Editor John Bruce
hoto Chief Eric Gregory
Night News Editors Eric Planner
Darcle Wiegert
Librarian Victoria Ayotte
Art Director Andy Manhart
General Manager Dan Shattll
Production Manager Katherine Pollcky
Advertising Manager Robert Bates
Sales Manager David Thiemann
Circulation Manager Eric Shanks
Publications Board
Chairman Tom Macy
Professional Adviser Don Walton
braska Union'Li !™niH?P? 144 080>13 published by theUNL Publications Board. Ne
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