The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, December 11, 1992, Page 2, Image 2

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    Sxx*. News digest
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Clinton begins Cabinet picks with Bentsen for treasury
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — President-elect
Clinton began building his new administration
Thursday by selecting Texas Sen. Lloyd Benlsen
for treasury secretary, and a cadre of other
experienced hands from Wall Street and Con
gress for remaining top economic jobs.
Announcing his first Cabinet selections 37
days after his election, Clinton said to “stay
tuned” for more major appointments, with his
health, housing and environmental picks among
those that could come yet this week.
Propelled into office on a pledge to restore
the nation’s economic vitality, Clinton prom
ised to “work my heart out” with his new
economic team. He announced five appoint
ments in all, selecting faces familiar to the
Washington scene and reassuring to the busi
ness community.
Besides Bentsen, who chairs the Senate
Finance Committee, they are:
•Rep. Leon Panetta, chairman of the House
New selections are skilled, seasoned, Clinton says
Budget Committee, who will be director of
Office of Management and Budget.
• Robert Rubin, co-chairman of Goldman,
Sachs & Co., to be assistant to the president for
economic policy and coordinate a new Na
tional Economic Council.
• Roger Altman, a Wall Street investment
banker, who will serve as Bentsen’s top deputy.
• Economist Alice Rivlin, former director
of the Congressional Budget Office, who will
be Panctta’s deputy.
The five nominees offer what Clinton hopes
will be the right mix of economic philosophy
and practical skill to fill in the details of his
economic proposals, and get them enacted.
Rivlin and Panetta are known as strong advo
cates for cutting the federal deficit.
“These people arc seasoned, skilled, incred
ibly able and ready to work for the American
people,” Clinton said of his first appointees,
who appeared with him at a news conference in
Arkansas’ Old Statehousc.Hc was questioned
on other topics as well, and said atone point that
he would ask his attorney general to review
whether a special prosecutor should be ap
pointed to investigate potential criminal wrong
doing in the Bush administration’s prosecution
of a $5.5 billion loan scheme to Iraq.
Clinton’s appointments came on a day that
brought yet more encouraging news about the
health of the economy. The government re
ported that new claims for jobless benefits
dropped in November and so did wholesale
Clinton continued to caution that the
economy may not yet be out of recession and
that the nation needs a long-term strategy to
correct underlying weaknesses.
“We did not get into the situation which has
led most Americans to work harder for lower
wages than they were making 10 years ago
overnight,and we’re notgoing to get out of that
overnight,” he said.
Bcntsen said the new administration was
inheriting “twin deficits. In effect, what we’re
talking about is lagging investment and unbal
anced budgets, and we’re determined to cut
both down to si/e in order to spur this economic
Clinton has settled on University of Wiscon
sin Chancellor Donna Shalala to lead the De
partment of Health and Human Services and
Carol Browner to lead the Environmental Pro
tection Agency, sources close to the situation
Jobless benefit
claims decline;
inflation steady
WASHINGTON — The number
of Americans filing new claims for
jobless benefits fell to a three-year
low in late November while inflation
on the wholesale level remained well
under control, the government reported
“It’s a nice little holiday gift/*
Robert G. Dcderick, an economist at
the Northern Trust Co. in Chicago,
said of the reports.
The Labor Department said first
time applications for unemployment
insurance fell 38,000 to 324,000, dur
ing the week ended Nov. 28. It was the
lowest since 323,000c laim s were filed
the week of Sept. 23,1989.
The decline was widespread; 41
states and territories reported de
creases, and only 12 recorded in
creases. A work week shortened by
the Thanksgiving holiday may have
caused some of the big decline, the
government said.
The department said wholesale
prices, held to moderate gains this
year, actually fell 0.2 percent in No
vember. It was the first decline since
the Producer Price Index fell by a
similar amount last January.
Excluding the volatile energy and
food components, prices inched up a
tiny 0.1 percent. For the year so far,
wholesale prices have risen at an an
nual rate of just 1.4 percent.
Despite the effect of the Thanks
giving holiday on layoffs, analysts
said the overall employment trend
continues to improve.
It was the 10th straight week that
new jobless claims have remained
below 400,000, which many analysts
interpret to mean the unemployment
situation gradually is improving.
The department on Friday said the
jobless rate fell to 7.2 percent in No
vember from 7.4 percent a month
earlier and the recent peak of 7.8
percent last June. And 105,000 new
jobs were created last month.
Troops fire on Somalis, kill 2
MOGADISHU, Somalia —
Troops opened fire on a truckload
of Somalis who barreled through a
French checkpoint Thursday night,
killing two and injuring seven in
the first bloodshed of the U.S.-led
military mission in Somalia.
The shooting came nearly two
days after American and French
soldiers took control of Somalia’s
capital to protect food shipments.
The two main Somali warlords
agreed Thursday to their first meet
ing since they began fighting two
years ago.
The shooting episode foreshad
owed the unpredictable situation
U.S. troops may face as they de
ploy in Somalia’s interior. On Sat
urday, Marines are to escort the
first land convoy in a month to the
strife-tom city of Baidoa, 125 miles
to the northwest.
CARE International said Thurs
day night that its five-member staff
in Baidoa had barricaded them
selves inside their compound in
anticipation of an armed attack by
clansmen. The staff were an Ameri
can, two Britons and two Austra
CARE’s manager in Mogadishu,
Rhodri Wynn-Popc, asked Ameri
can troops to provide air cover for
the town Thursday night.
Army troops from Fort Drum,
N.Y., were scheduled to begin ar
riving over the weekend in Baidoa,
then split off and seize three other
centers of the starvation zone —
Belet Wen, Oddur and Gailassi.
Fresh Marines were expected in
Mogadishu by Friday.
On Nov. 11, a 34-truck relief
convoy to Baidoa was ambushed,
resulting in heavy casualties, Only
one truck made it through. Since
then, truck convoys have not ven
tured out of Mogadishu.
Fifty to 60 deaths arc reported
each day in Baidoa. Regular airlifts
have done little for the hundreds of
thousands of people encamped
around the town because the bat
tling clans and looters have pre
vented agencies from distributing
food and medicine.
Even worse is Bardcra, about 50
miles south of Baidoa, Unlike
Baidoa, Bardcra has neither camps
nor sanitation. Heavy seasonal rains
have limited food flights into
Bardera’s muddy airstrip.
Relief officials reported Thurs
day that a large convoy of Somali
“technicals” was spotted headed
west from the Baidoa area toward
the Ethiopian border.
Alarmed by sporadic gunfire
near the U.S. Embassy compound
in Mogadishu, Marines on Thurs
day raided several buildings in pur
suit of snipers.
With Cobra attack helicopters
hovering, Marines burst into a villa
a half mile from the embassy and
seized two anti-aircraft guns, two
surface-to-air missiles and 10,000
rounds of rifle ammunition, ac
cording to an NBC reporter.
At the Pentagon, Ll. Gen. Mar
tin Brandtner said the truck that
plowed through the roadblock
manned by French Legionnaires
had been a “technical” mounted
with a gun, but there was no further
word on who was in it.
The injured Somalis were air- J
lifted to the USS Tripoli for treat- I
ment, Brandtner said. Two of the
Somalis suffered bullet wounds and
five were hurt when the vehicle
slammed into a cement wall after it
was shot.
Parents fight Queens school official over gay lessons
NEW YORK — The chief of the
nation’s largest school system is
locked in a bitter dispute with some
parents over whether first-graders
should be taught to respect gay people.
Schools Chancellor Joseph
Fernandez suspended a neighborhood
school board last week for refusing to
accept the “Children of the Rainbow”
curriculum, which contains a section
on how to leach respect for homo
sexual parents.
The city’s Board of Education dealt
him a setback Wednesday night by
voting to reinstate the nine-member
elected board in District 24, a largely
Roman Catholic section in Queens.
It affirmed Fernandez’s authority
to supersede the board if the two sides
cannot come to terms on an alterna
tive curriculum.
Teaching respect for homosexual parents
at center of dispute about new curriculum
Fernandez set a Friday evening
deadline for the school board to meet
with him and his staff. If the board
doesn’t respond, he will appoint three
trustees to assume all responsibilities
for the development of a multicultural
What has particularly angered
some parents in the district arc two
books on a suggested reading list for
teachers—“Daddy’s Room mate” and
“Heather Has Two Mommies.”
Thousands of letters have been
mailed to parents warning that the
curriculum meant first-graders would
be taught about the “homosexual
lifestyle, including oral and anal sex.”
“I’ll be the first one to pull my kids
out of the school” if the curriculum is
enforced, said Anna Saez, who heads
a parent association at Public School
“I wish it wasn’t in the school at
all,” said another parent, Betty
LoCiccro. “If it’s going to to have to
be, let it be in the junior high school.”
It’s the latest controversy involv
ing Fernandez, whose name has sur
faced as a potential education secre
tary in President-elect Clinton’s ad
As education chief in New York,
Fernandez hasn’t shied from contro
versy. He was a leader in paving the
way for AIDS education nationally
and forcondom distribution in schools.
The curriculum fight is his worst
crisis so far — parents have come
close to blows and security was tight
ened around the schools chief after
two death threats were delivered.
The city’s 32 school districts were
given the option of accepting the cur
riculum or coming up with an alterna
tive. The alternative had to include
tenets of a multicultural curriculum
policy adopted by the Board of Edu
cation in 1989. The “Rainbow” cur
riculum is designed to introduce chil
dren to positive images of women,
blacks, Hispanics and other groups.
NATO eyes intervention in hungry Sarajevo
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Hercegovina
— The hungry hung on the gates of
Sarajevo’s last functioning bakery
Thursday, but bread supplies were
running out nine days after the hu
manitarian airlift was suspended be
cause of fighting.
U.N. officials said their emergency
food stocks were almost gone.
In Brussels, diplomats said several
NATO nations were on the verge of
intervening militarily to stop the eth
nic war over Bosnia’s secession from
Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lub
bers made an impassioned plea Thurs
day for outside intervention.
“I don’t give a damn who takes the
lead,” he told his parliament. “I think
it’s downright scandalous that there’s
intervention in Somalia, but not in
Lubbers said his government would
“do our absolute utmost” to ensure
I don’t give a damn who takes the lead. I think it’s
downright scandalous that there’s intervention in
Somalia, but not in Yugoslavia.
— Lubbers
Dutch prime minister
--99 “
that Bosnia was high on the agenda of
the European Community summitthat
begins Friday.
“The basic food now is bread,”
said Huscin Ahmovic, assistant man
ager at the bakery. “Without it, it’s
Amira Pinjic, a typist, said she had
been living on bread and tea for 10
days. She got her last U.N. aid pack
agcon Nov.21.Itcontained twosmall
cans of meal, two of fish, 61/2 pounds
of flour, some hot chocolate and four
U.S. military combat meals.
“I feel very weak,” she said.
Sarajevo suffered through a fourth
straight wintry day without electricity
and water because fighting prevented
repairs to power lines.
Dwindling bread production has
heightened tensions at the bakery’s
gates, where people collect a daily
ration of a 6-inch chunk of bread. One
man who felt his slice was too small
Wednesday battered a bakery
employee’s head with an umbrella,
Ahmovic said.
Larry Hollingworth, the head of
the U.N. aid office in Sarajevo, said
there were no stocks of food left in
U.N. warehouses.
“Everything I’ve got, they’ve got.
It goes within minutes,” he said.
In Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, U.N.
spokesman Peter Kessler said relief
flights likely would not resume be
fore Tuesday. They were halted on
Dec. 1 after a U.S. plane was hit be
Fighting and Serb roadblocks also
have hindered truck convoys. One
U.N. convoy of 19 trucks with 221
tons of supplies reached Sarajevo on
Thursday. A tire of one truck was hit
by a sniper’s bullet on the way, Kessler
Diplomats said the defense minis
ters of NATO’s 16 nations discussed
the possibility of military interven
tion under U.N. auspices.
Editor Chris Hoplsnspsrgsr
472- 1766
Managing Editor Kris Karnopp
Assoc News Editors Adaana Lsnln
Assoc News Editor/ Wendy Navratll
Writing Coach
Editorial Page Editor Dionne Searcey
Advertising Manager Todd Sears
Senior Acct. Exec Jay Cruse
Classified Ad Manager Karen Jackson
Publications Board
Chairman Tom Massey
Professional Adviser Don Walton
473- 7301
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