The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 13, 1992, Page 2, Image 2

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    I ^11 4~^"431 Cl” Associated Press
JL ^1 f f X2iL WC/ L Edited by Roger Price
WASHINGTON — Long after
communism is forgotten, its legacy
will linger in the poisoned bodies and
environment of the vast region it once
“No other great industrial civiliza
tion so systematically and so long
poisoned its land, air, water and
people,” write the authors of»“Eco
cide in the USSR,” a book detailing
the environmental degradation of the
Soviet Union.
Among the findings:
• In 1990, the life expectancy of
Moscow residents was 10 years be
low what it was in 1970.
• Nearly three-fourths of surface
water in the former Soviet Union is
classified as polluted and one-third of
that total is untreated.
• The Soviet government banned
use of the pesticide DDT in 1970, two
years before the United States acted.
But use of DDT in Soviet agriculture
continued secretly until the late 1980s.
• Because of the intense use of
pesticides in rice growing areas of the
Caucasus “in some farming villages
of that district cancer is the only cause
of death.”
Co-authors Murray Feshbach, a
Georgetown University demographer
recognized as the leading Western
authority on Soviet demographics, and
journalist Alfred Friendly Jr. describe
a health care system beset by ill
trained doctors and shortages of such
basic materials as aspirin and dispos
able hypodermic needles.
“Two out of five young graduates
of medical schools entered service
unable to read an electrocardiogram,”
wrote Feshbach and Friendly. They
also noted that in a group of 400
pediatricians in Kazakhstan half
“proved completely ignorant about
the properties of 16 widely used drugs.”
Even well trained physicians must
cope with shortages beyond the com
prehension of their American counter
“A few physicians were forced on
occasion to substitute safety razors
for scalpels in performing appcndec
Life expectancy at birth KEY
(Number of years on average at birth)
USSR United States [J^ Air pollution
Time Total pop. Time Total pop.
period (millions) Males Females period (millions) Males Females l*r Water pollution
1958-1959 60.6 64.4 71.7 1958-1959 69.9 66 8 73.2 __
1970-1971 69.4 64.5 73.5 1970-1971 71.1 67.4 75.0 ^Groundwater
1900-1981 67.7 62 3 72.5 1980-1981 74.2 70.4 77.8 depletion or
1984-1985 68.1 62.9 72.7 1984*1985 74.7 71.2 78.2 contamination
1988 69 5 64.8 73.6 1988 74.9 71.5 78.3
Births, deaths, natural population growth and infant mortality in the USSR
In thousands Rate per 1,000 of population
Number of R*»o of deaths prior
Number Number deaths (under Natural Natural to one year of age
Year of births of deaths one year of age) pop. growth Births Deaths pop. growth per 1,000 live births
1950 4,805 3 1,745.0 394.6 3,060.3 26.7 9.7 17.0 80.7
1960 5,341.0 1.528 6 187.7 3,812.4 24.9 7.1 17.8 35.3
1970 4,225 6 1,996.3 103.3 2,229.3 17.4 8.2 9.2 24.7
1980 4,851.4 2,743.8 131.9 2,107.6 18.3 10.3 8.0 27.3
1985 5,374.4 2,947.0 139.8 2,427.3 19.4 10 6 8 8 26 0
1989 5,062.2 2.874 5 116.3 2,187.7 17.6 10 0 7 6 22.7
Source: Ecocide in the USSR, M. Feshbach and A. Friendly, Jr. AP
tomies,” they wrote. “Fear of infec
tion from unsterilized needles and
unsafe vaccines has driven parents to
pul off immunizing their children.
One result was a 1990 outbreak in
Moscow of more than 700 cases of
diphtheria, a disease that strikes one
or two Americans at most a year.”
Soviet farming techniques were
strikingly inefficient and to make up
for it, wrote the authors, “Soviets
resorted to the massive but untutored
use of toxic agricultural chemicals.
They even spread tons of DDT long
after other nations banned it, so much
for so long that 25 million acres of
cropland arc still overloaded with the
No environmental disaster in the
Soviet Union received the worldwide
attention of the explosion and fire at
the Chernobyl nuclear power station
April 26, 1986.
The Russian government still claims
that only 32 people have died as a
result of the nuclear accident at Cher
nobyl. Feshbach thinks the number is
in the thousands and the ultimate loll
won’t be known for decades.
Gadhafi set
to release
2 suspects
in bombing
TRIPOLI, Libya — Libyan leader
Moammar Gadhafi has agreed, with
some reservations, to accept the U.N.
resolution demanding that two bomb
ing suspects be turned over to the
West for trial, a spokesman for Egypt’s
president said Sunday.
Mohammed Abdel-Moneim told
The Associated Press of the condi
tional acceptance after Gadhafi met
with President Hosni Mubarak on
defusing the accelerating crisis.
The U.N. resolution calls for inter
national sanctions to be imposed on
Wednesday unless Libya surrenders
the suspects in the 1988 bombing of
Pan Am Flight 103.
Egypt’s official Middle East News
Agency reported that Mubarak had
said Gadhafi accepted the resolution.
But Abdel-Moneim contradicted that
“The president said the Libyans
have reservations on the resolution,”
Abdel-Moneim said. “The president
said the Libyans accepted the resolu
tion with reservations.”
Mubarak did not reveal the reser
vations, Abdel-Moneim said.
And Diego Arria, Venezuela’s U.N.
ambassador, who was president of
Security Council when sanction reso
lution was passed last month, said no
modifications can be made to the
“No conditions are possible... There
is no room for compromise,” he said.
So far, Libya has agreed only to
turn over the two men to a neutral
country, an offer which is rejected by
the West.
Also Sunday, the official JANA
news agency distributed a statement
saying Libya would cut all interna
tional travel and communication links
Tuesday as a sign of mourning for a
1986 U.S. air strike that killed 41
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi
apparently chose to observe the air
raid anniversary a day early to avoid
Entertaining foreign dignitaries costs taxpayers millions
WASHINGTON — A few days
before allied forces launched a ground
war against Iraq, Secretary of De
fense Dick Cheney was the host at a
reception for Saudi Arabian and other
VIPs in the desert kingdom. The
February 1991 party cost U.S. tax
payers $8,000.
Closer to home, there was a black
tie dinner in Washington for Czecho
slovakia’s defense minister in June
1991. The tab: $9,900.
I '
State Department buc
In both cases, the money came
from a $1.4 million annual entertain
ment fund allocated by Congress to
the Defense Department. The 13 other
Cabinet departments each have their
own allowance, from millions to a
mere $2,000 a year.
On the high end is the State De
partment. U.S. embassies around the
world share $4.8 million to hold din
Igeted $4.8 million, Del
ners and receptions. Secretary of State
James A. Baker III and other top
diplomats have an additional enter
tainment budget, but department
spokeswoman Shayna Steinger was
unable to provide the amount.
At the other end, the Interior De
partment spends about SS a head on
lunches for volunteers.
Foreign dignitaries arc the leading
ense gets $1.4 million
beneficiaries of this publicly funded
largess: They gel the most lavish
entertainment and more of the gifts,
such as paperweights and pens em
blazoned with a department’s official
The funds are at every Cabinet
secretary’s disposal, along with the
other perquisites — including chauf
Radicals face defeat in Iran,
backers of Rafsanjani triumph
TEHRAN, Iran — The govern
ment predicted Sunday that back
ers of President Hashemi Rafsanjani
would win a landslide victory in
parliamentary elections, bolstering
his drive to liberalize the economy
and mend ties with the West.
The early results from Friday’s
election appeared to be a sharp set
back for more radical followers of
the late Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini, who have dominated
the 270-seat parliament, or Majlis.
Iran’s official news media said
SS of the 123 candidates who won
enough votes to capture a seat
outright were members of the
Society of Combatant Clergymen,
whose leader is Rafsanjani.
The other 68 decided races were
- • -♦ -
in remote areas and the affiliation
of the winners was not immedi
ately clear.
But the fact that the govern
ment-run news agency was pre
dicting victory early indicated
confidence that the measures
Rafsanjani look before the vole to
eliminate as many radical critics as
possible proved successful.
A week before the election, the
Council of Guardians, a 12-man
review panel of religious and civil
ian legal experts, eliminated one
third of the 3,000 candidates.
About 13.5 million votes had
been counted in 189 districts as of
Sunday, with final results from all
196 districts expected within two
days, the Islamic Republic News
Agency said.
Marx leaves mark on Hazara
HAZARD — I hlS town Ot 78
people located 40 miles west of Grand
Island was once a place you whizzed
past on Highway 2.
That anonymity has changed. A
song called “Hazard," written and
performed by pop singer Richard Marx,
has given the town a lot of notoriety.
Residents have received calls about
the song from disc jockeys in other
Midwestern stales.
"I guess it’s about lime we put
Hazard on the map," said Mike Long,
Hazard mayor.
The song tells of the mysterious
death of a woman named Mary and
the town outcast who is accused of
her murder. The story is fictional.
Paul Freundlich, Marx’s publicity
agent in New York, has noticed the
"It has piqued the curiosity of lis
teners and people who view the vid
eos," he said. ‘^1 think it’s interesting
that people are slopping at the Hazard
sign and taking pictures of it. That
kina of interest is out of tne orai
The song is No. 12 on this week’s
Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 chart,
which makes it Marx’s 1 llh top 15
single, Freundlich said.
Marx has made two versions of the
“Hazard” video, which give clues as
to who is responsible for Mary’s death.
The black-and-white videos are shot
in a moody, slow-motion style.
Marx has said he chose Hazard
because the setting fell like it should
be in Nebraska. He asked Chambers
of Commerce to fax him all the town,
village and city names in the state.
Long said Marx has been invited
to Hazard Days in August, which will
include a tractor pull, barbecue, horse
shoe throwing and a street dance.
“We faxed him an invitation, but
we haven’t heard back from him yet,”
Long said.
Most Hazard residents think it’s
kind of funny the town has received
so much recognition over this song.
feur-driven cars, private dining rooms
and chefs and, for some, government
jets used for personal travel.
Cheney’s social activities accounted
for $202,600 of the $1.1 million that
the Defense Department spent in fis
cal 1991, according to Pentagon
spokesman Glenn Flood. The remain
ing $897,400 was spent by the deputy
defense secretary, the undersecretar
ies and the other officials within
Cheney’s office.