The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, May 03, 1990, Page 2, Image 2

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JL t W ^ A_^ 121V^ Sr Edited by Brandon Loomis
Lithuania’s president agrees to com promise proposal
MOSCOW - Lithuania’s president
said Wednesday his Baltic republic
would consider suspending tempo
rarily some of the pro-independence
laws that drove the Kremlin to im
pose an economic embargo two weeks
President Vytautas Landsbcrgis
agreed to the step in a letter to French
and West German leaders who last
week proposed that such a compro
mise would help start negotiations
between the republic and Moscow.
“Everything is negotiable which
does not question the matter of re
stored independence of the Lithuanian
slate on March 11,1990,” Landsber
gis said in his letter to French Presi
dent Francois Mitterrand and West
German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
The letter was read to Lithuania’s
parliament, the Supreme Council,
which gave its approval without a
vote, said Aidas Palubinskas, a spokes
man for the parliament.
‘‘Putting our confidence in France
and the Federal Republic of Germany,
as well as in other Western democra
cies, and in their support of Lithu
anian democracy, we arc asking you
to transmit to the Soviet authorities
our consent to consider a temporary
suspension of the effects of the deci
sions taken by the sovereign parlia
ment of the Lithuanian Republic that
could trouble the Soviet authorities,’
Landsbcrgis wrote.
The idea behind the proposal from
France and West Germany was that if
Lithuania temporarily suspended those
laws, the Soviet Union, in return,
might case its pressure on the repub
lic and also agree to talks on seces
Palubinskas stressed that the pro
posal from Kohl and Mitterrand did
not ask for rescinding the declaration
itself, but urged the suspension of
laws passed to implement the inde
pendence declaration.
Lithuania declared independence
on March 11, trying to restore the
freedom itenjoyed before 1940, when
the Soviet Union forcibly annexed it
along with Latvia and Estonia. It has
since passed laws designed to back
the independence drive, including
ending conscription of Lithuanians
into the Soviet army, issuing identity
cards for non-Lithuanians and seiz
ing Communist Party property.
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
has declared the independence decla
ration invalid and rejected negotia
tions with the republic, saying such
talks arc reserved for foreign"coun
tries. He demanded that Lithuania
rescind those pro-independence laws.
Gorbachev imposed a partial eco
nomic blockade, cutting supplies of
fuel and other commodities to Lithu
ania. As of Wednesday night, no re
sumption of any of the fuel supplies
has been reported.
The republic of 3.8 million people
has been struggling economically ever
since the embargo was imposed.
-■ -a *
US. test scores continue to decline
WASHINGTON - Despite bally
hooed efforts at education rctorm,
student achievement is continuing a
decline that began three years ago,
the government said Wednesday in a
controversial report.
Education Secretary Lauro Cavazos
said the annual statc-by-state perform
ance chart, popularly called the wall
chart, “makes it clear that, as a na
tion, we are still not seriously com
mitted to improving education for all
The chart has been criticized as
promoting flawed data and making
unfair state comparisons. Timothy
Dyer, executive director of the Na
tional Association of Secondary School
Principals, said American “young
people arc simply too complex to
hang on a wall.”
The chart, he said, “has as much
to offer educational improvement as
the Edscl offered the automotive
Cavazos, however, defended ihe
“It is the only national measure
ment of educational performance,”
he said. “It’s the best that we have.
Until we develop other measures, we
will have to rely on the wall chart.”
Officials say the White House
argued for abandoning the 7-ycar-old
practice this year because President
Bush and the nation’s governors had
worked to develop national educa
tion goals and still are devising more
accurate forms of assessment.
The report found that the average
American College Testing Program
examination scores declined nation
ally by 0.2 of a point, to 18.6, from
1988 to 1989, while the average
Scholastic Aptitude Test scores de
clined by one point, to 903, during the
same period.
A perfect ACT score is 36; a per
fect SAT score is 1,600.
The test scores arc used by col
leges and universities as one standard
of admission. States administer either
the ACT or SAT, not both.
Nebraska was among five states
with declining ACT scores.
The report also found that the na
tional high school graduation rate
declined from 71.7 percent to 71.1
percent from 1987 to 1988; the per
centage of public high school gradu
ates who received a qualifying score
on advanced placementcxaminations
declined from 8.8 percent to 8.6 per
cent between 1988 and 1989.
Bill Honig, California superinten
dent of public instruction, said the
chart “causes more mischief than
benefit” because much of the data is
a rehash of statistics already made
Keith Geiger, president of the
National Education Association, said
the chart “only continues to confuse
and frustrate the public.”
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Former hostage embarrassed,
angry others still held captive
WIESBADEN, West Germany - Former
U.S. hostage Frank Reed revealed Wednesday
he was held for months w ith two other Ameri
can captives in Lebanon and said he was angry
and embarrassed that they have not been freed.
Reed, who was released Monday after 42
months in captivity, said he also was held with
two British hostages. Reed was flown Tuesday
to Wiesbaden for a battery of medical exams
and questioning at the U.S. Air Force hospital.
“1 have not seen Tom and Terry fora while
and I don’t know where they are,” Reed said,
referring to Terry Anderson, The Associated
Press chief Middle East correspondent, and
Thomas Sutherland, an American educator.
“For God’s sake, it’s nearly the sixth year
for these men. I’m absolutely embarrassed I’m
out before they are.”
Reed, in his first comments to reporters
since arriving in Wiesbaden, said he spent * ‘ the
good part of two years w'ith Tom and Terry.”
Anderson, the longest-held Western hos
tage in Lebanon, was kidnapped on March 16,
1985. Sutherland was seized June 9, ld85.
‘ ‘1 fell you, I ’ m very, very angry that Ander
son .. Tom and Terry ... are not fra;,” Reed
said from the hospital balcony.
Reed, pale and dressed in his blue hospital
bathrobe, said he last saw' Sutherland in Febru
ary 1989. Sutherland turns 59 on Thursday,
marking his fifth birthday in captivity.
Reed, 57, also said he spent three years in
the intermittent company of Briton John
McCarthy and Brian Keenan, a dual Anglo
Irish citizen. He said he saw them just before
his release and they were “well and alive.”
1 have been with John and Brian since last
October, Reed said. “I’ve spent almost three
years eiihci with John and Brian or having
them somewhere in the house with me.”
McCarthy, .33, a journalist for the London
based Worldwide Television News Agency
was kidnapped April 17, 1986. Keenan, 3#
latcr>PCared Whi,C wa,kmg 10 work six days
Those were the only people I knew” in
ctiptivity, Reed said of the four hostages.
I he founder of a private school in Beirut
Reed was the second American hostage freed
in nine days. Robert Polhill, freed April 22
went through the same medical tests and de
I bnefing last week.
I A special State Department team questioned
Reed for a second day Wednesday, seeking
clues about the 16 remaining Westerners held
hostage by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon. Six
of the captives arc American.
President Bush thanked Syria and Iran lor
aiding holh hostages’ release but has said he
will make no deals for hostages. Both Syria and
Iran hope to establish closer ties with the West.
But on Wednesday, Iran’s spiritual leader
Ayatollah All Khamenei ruled out negotiations
with the United States to end 11 years of
hostility between the nations. It was not known
what the anti-American stance meant lor the
possibility of any further hostage releases.
Reed, who lost 60 pounds in his 3 1/2 years
of captivity said he initially had been angry
with the U.S. administration that hostages were
still being held.
“But I don’t think lam now,’’ he said. On
the basis of information I have received . . . it
appears to me perhaps we are on the right track
to getting these people out.”
The boisterous, lanky Reed was cheered by
dozens of journalists as he appeared on the
balcony for what was supposed to be a no
questions photo opportunity.
Standing on the balcony with his wile and
their 9-year-old son, Tarek, Reed smiled and
affectionately tousled his child’s hair, saying it
was ‘‘justgreat” lobe reunited with his family.
Reed said he was “feeling good hut tired.
‘‘I’d like to stay another week or two, bu
they want me out of hereon Friday, he joked.
Asked what he wanted to do when he gcs
back to his home in Massachusetts, Reed said.
“Hide,” but then rethought the question, anc
said: “I’d like to have a big Maine lobste,
about three pounds.” H
Reed has taken advantage of his new-lou
freedom to telephone the kin of other hostag
to relay what he knows about their conditio •
Anderson’s sister, Peggy Say, sam
told her: ‘ ‘Terry was in reasonably good neaJ .
although he had been having physical pr
lems. ... He said Terry’s attitude was sun
feisty, as far as the guards go, and he
always screaming for something to read. ,
In London, a group pressing for releas'
McCarthy said Reed telephoned the hostag _
father to say both Keenan and McCarthy
well: “They have some minor health P*”,,
lems. They exeicise daily and read voraciously