The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, May 02, 1991, Page 2, Image 2

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    News Digest Btex~
Cholera kills in South America
Food being inspected
‘v WASHINGTON - Government and
industry inspectors are testing tons of
imported fruits, vegetables and fish
for possible contamination by the
cholera that has killed thousands in
South America.
So far, no cholera has been found
on food brought in from the region
and officials said Wednesday they
see no threat to American consumers.
The focus is on fresh and frozen
fish and shellfish that may have been
pulled from cholera-infested waters
off Peru and Ecuador, and produce
that may have been washed in con
taminated water.
The food can be purified if it’s
rinsed with a chlorine solution, which
U.S. officials said packers in South
America routinely use.
“If someone got sick from food we
imported, you can imagine the flap
that would cause,” said Joseph Mad
den, acting director of the office of
microbiology at the Food and Drug
Less than 6 percent of the produce
consumed in the United States is
imported from the countries where
cholera has broken out.
After months of testing samples of
every produce shipment from Peru,
where the epidemic is the worst, FDA
officials said they were satisfied that
fruits and vegetables from that coun
try posed no threat.
But samples are still being tested
from every shipment of Peruvian
seafood, which is more vulnerable to
the disease, said Linda Wisniowski,
FDA consumer safety officer. Last
year, Peru shipped about 32 million
pounds of seafood to the United States.
The cholera epidemic broke out in
Peru in January and soon swept to
Ecuador. More than 1,300 people have
died from the disease.
* . • —:-*r I—— " 1 f
Research satellite problems
delay Discovery experiments
Discovery’s astronauts encountered
trouble Wednesday after a “Star
Wars” research satellite was re
leased and got stuck in the wrong
position, delaying a critical experi
Twice commands were sent to,
the satellite to correct its align
ment, and twice the spacecraft
moved the wrong way. NASA
blamed one error on ground opera
tors and said it was mystified by
the other.
The third attempt succeeded,
and the seven astronauts quickly
got ready to observe engine ex
haust plumes of the shuttle. The
crew also planned to observe the
plume of smaller steering firing
' h
jets as part of a missile-detecting
experiment for the Pentagon.
The first observation of a ma
neuvering engine bum was resched
uled for Wednesday even ing, when
two other bums were also planned.
Two other bums are scheduled for
“I do not anticipate this is going
tocost us any plume bums,” NASA
flight director Bob Castle said.
The satellite trouble began a
few hours after the crew success
fully released the $94 million space
craft 161 miles above Earth. De
ployment had been delayed a day
so the crew could make more ob
servations of the aurora, or atmos
pheric light, with an instrument
running low on coolant.
The astronauts turned on a sen
sor to protect the satellite’s instru
ments from the sun. Suddenly,
without notice, the spacecraft’s
position six miles ahead of Discov
ery changed drastically, apparently
because the sensor detected a bright
object, Castle said.
Ground controllers devised a
series of computer commands for
the astronauts to send to the 4,200
pound spacecraft to fix its align
ment, but it contained errors. A
second set of commands also con
tained errors.
“We’re really not sure what
happened when we computed it”
the second time, Castle said.
Bangladesh toll reaches25,000
MANPURA, Bangladesh - As many
as 25,000 people may have died in a
devastating cyclone that rampaged
across the southeastern coast of this
impoverished nation, a news agency
reported Wednesday.
The government said it knew of
only about 3,000 deaths in Tuesday’s
eight-hour storm, but acknowledged
—its reports were incomplete due to
severe communications problems.
Many of the affected islands were
still under water.
United News of Bangladesh, quot
ing radio reports received in Dhaka,
said 25,000 people died. Tens of thou
sands of people were missing, the
news agency said.
The government began an opera
tion to provide essentials to the mil
lions of survivors, officials said. At
least 12 helicopters dispatched from
Dhaka flew in and out of the affected
area, dropping packets of food, bottles
of water and clothing, they said.
— Relief Secretary Hashimuddin
Ahmed said the government could
confirm only 2,977 deaths from the
storm, which at its height included
wind-whipped 20-foot waves sweep
ing over the low-lying coastal islands.
Most of the loll was gathered from
officials on the mainland, he said.
An official with the Red Crescent,
the Muslim equivalent of the Red
Cross, also said the death toll could
be as high as 25,000.
“Based on the reports from our
officials, it’s possible so many people
have died,” said the official, who
asked his name not be used.
State InformationrMinistcr Nurul
Huda said he was not in a position to
deny the news agency’s report, but
that the government would maintain
its toll for now.
Ahmed, the relief official, said at
least 10 million people, about one
tenth the country s population, uvea
in the area that bore the brunt of the
storm. Many of them were rendered
homeless, their mud an# straw huts
blown away by winds that reached up
to 145 mph, he said.
Communications to much of the
area remained cut off Wednesday, 36
hours after the storm subsided.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister
Khaleda Zia said the damage from
the cyclone was about SI billion.
Ahmed said Bangladesh’s salt
manufacturing industry and shrimp
farms were almost totally devastated.
Editor Eric Planner
472- 1766
Professional Adviser Don Walton
473- 7301
The Daily Nebraskan(USPS 144-080) is
published by the UNL Publications Board, Ne
braska Union 34, 1400 R St., Lincoln, NE,
Monday through Friday during the academic
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information, contact BiH Vobejda, 436-9993
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Daily Nebraskan, Nebraska Union 34,1400 R
St.,Lincoln, NE 68586-0448 Second class
postage paid at Lincoln, NE.
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