The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 26, 1996, Page 2, Image 2

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    1 " ' ' '' ' ' r' 1 ' 1 ' " .- - ■ ■..r r - 1 h—i—imihi———i» —' ■ nn im in—mmmmmmm—mmmmmmmm
li ne plane's co-pnot
said the suspects were
not the hijackers; the.
culprits died in the
MORONI, Comoros Islands (AP)
— Two men held for hijacking an
Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed,
killing more than 120 people, may have
been innocent passengers and could be
released, the government said Monday.
The two were arrested at a hospital
Saturday but government spokesman
Dgouma Ibrahim said when the sus
pects were shown to the plane’s co-pi
lot, he told police they weren’t the hi
Ibrahim said the men could be set
free as early as Tuesday if authorities
determine the flight officer, Yonas
Mekuria, is correct.
If the two arrested men are deter
mined not to have been Ethiopian hi
jackers as was previously thought, and
instead were passengers from Congo
and Djibouti, it would mean all three
hijackers died in Saturday’s crash just
off the Comoros Islands, Ibrahim
Early Monday, recovery workers
dragged a large section of die wreck
age of the hijacked jet out of the azure
waters of this beach resort.
Ethiopian Airlines said today that
four of the 52 people pulled alive from
the wreckage have died, raising the
death toll to 127. The survivors include
the pilot.
Flight 961, which left the Ethiopian
capital of Addis Ababa en route to the
Ivory Coast, crash-landed in the Indian
Ocean on Saturday. It was one of
history’s deadliest air hijackings.
The motive behind the hijacking
remains unclear.
The two men were arrested at the
central Moroni hospital, where survi
vors of the crash were initially taken.
They remained in police custody Mon
A third hijacker died in the crash,
and officials have identified his body,
Ibrahim said. His identity has not been
The remains of some of the victims
could be seen in the section of fuse
lage pulled onto the beach. Workers
wore masks to fend off the smell in the
tropical heat Recovered bodies were
zipped into dark bags and hauled to a
makeshift morgue set up in a former
meat warehouse. -
Police said 101 bodies had been
recovered by late Monday.
Survivors have been flown to hos
pitals across the region, including 25
who were taken to Nairobi, Kenya.
Ethiopian Airlines did not specify
where the four who had died had been
The three hijackers who stormed
into the cockpit soon after the plane
took off had demanded they be taken
to Australia and refused to allow the
pilot to stop to refuel.
As the Boeing 767’s fuel tanks
-m r\
The first bump was really gentle. Then
the second one was really hard. The third
one was even harder, like a 70-mph auto
accident. The last one was like an earth
Frank Huddle
Passenger, the U.S. consul-general in Bombay
emptied, the pilot, Capt. Leul Abate,
pleaded with the hijackers to let him
land the jet safely at an airport in
Moroni, capital of the Comoros Islands
east of Mozambique.
“He wanted to go there, but they
wouldn’t let him,” the co-pilot Mekuria
told The Associated Press from his
hospital bed, where he was being
i. 1
treated for cuts and bruises.
“I guess they understood it,” he said
of the fuel shortage. “But they didn’t
give a damn.”
Armed with an ax, a fire extin
guisher and a device they claimed was
a bomb, they had pushed past flight
attendants and into the cockpit, beat
ing the co-pilot and forcing him out.
One crewman rescued alter plane crash
{ ARCATA, Calif. (AP) — After
turning up nothing by Sunday night, the
Coast Guard and Air Force called off
their searches indefinitely for eight
crewmen and wreckage still missing
from a military plane that crashed at
Only one survivor from the Air
Force Reserve plane has been pulled
from the chilly Pacific Ocean waters,
and two bodies have been recovered.
Two Coast Guard cutters kept
watch on debris, including a wing sec
Crews were* expected to salvage it
Monday, Petty Officer Lars Hollis said.
Earlier, officials said they didn’t
expect to find any survivors.
“We have officially changed the
nature of the mission from a search
and-rescue mission to a search-and
recovery mission,” said Air Force Re
serve Col. Gene Garton, vice wing
commander of the 304th Rescue
Squadron in Portland, Ore.
Coast Guard and Air Force aircraft
flew over the site of Friday’s crash off
the northern California coast, and two
Coast Guard cutters and a Navy frig
ate crutscdtjse areasoarehing and pick?
ing up floating wreckage.
The crashed plane, a four-engine
HC-130 from the Oregon unit, was fly
ing a training mission when the crew
reported engine problems and total
electronic failure.
Two hours after the distress call, a
Coast Guard helicopter located the
crash site 40 miles off Point
Under the light of a full moon,
Tech. Sgt. Robert Vogel of Albany,
Ore., was spotted wearing a survival
suit and clinging to a floating seat cush
ion in the 52-degree water,
r:--Vogel was in fair condition Sunday
at ahospital in Areata, where Air Force
investigators went to interview him. He
suffered injuries to his hip, ankle and
Vogel recalled the loud sounds of
the helicopter heading to rescue him.
“It was very noisy,” Vogel told The
Oregonian. “But it was the sweetest
sound I’ve ever heard.”
To his professors at Oregon State
University, where he is a senior in en
gineering, Vogel said, “I won’t be tak
ing midterms on Wednesday.”
He had a poignant message to the
men with whom he flew: “They were a
fantastic crew,” Vogel said. “I wish they
were here.”
Vogel, a radioman on the aircraft,
may have survived because the plane
broke apart around him. Garton said
the radioman’s seat would be against a
major bulkhead at the rear of the flight
deck. Also stationed on the flight deck
are the pilot, co-pilot, navigator and
flight engineer.
All 11 of those aboard the plane
were from Oregon or southwestern
At the Portland Air Base, where the
squadron was based, a critical incident
stress team met Sunday to plan assis
tance for the victims’ families and fel
low reservists.
£ raud found at hospitals
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Federal authori
ties say they have found Medicare overcharges
at 4,660 hospitals nationwide, and they expect
the government to collect $120 million in pen
The U.S. Justice Department already has
reached settlements with nearly 1,000 hospitals,
resulting inpayments of $22 million, according
to U.S. Attorney David Barasch, who oversees
the investigation from Harrisburg.
The Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday said the
settlements have been conducted secretly under
a “gentlemen’s agreement” to avoid publicity
for the hospitals.
Barasch adamantly denied that allegation,
saying he has granted 60 interviews about Medi
care fraud since theproject began two years ago.
He noted each single settlement is relatively
“In the last three years, I haven’t issued a
single press release on a civil case,” he said.
“For the most part, these are very small claims,
claims of $20,000 to $25,000.”
Last week, he said, he issued a news release
that cited the overall figures and noted the task
force has recovered $20 million during the fis
cal year.
The Inquirer quoted Mary Catherine Frye,
the lead prosecutor m the fraud unit, as saying
press releases ((would take away the incentive
for the hospitals to deal with us amicably.”
Health-care advocates and watchdog groups
worry that the government is quietly settling the
cases, the newspaper said.
i . .. • •
“It would seem to me that the public has more
to gain from a fuH airing of the fraud at hand
than they do from Jusiice Department officials
not having the discomfort of having an antago
nistic relationship with the hospitals,” said
Danielle Bryan, executive director of the Project
on Government Oversight, a Washington-based
watchdog group.
Layout Editor: Nancy Zywiec
Night Nmro Editors: BryceGlenn
Jennifer MHke
Aaaoc. News Editors: Haula Lavigne Antone Oseka
Jeff Randall Art Director: Aaron Steckelberg ,
Opinion Editor: Anne Hjersman Oeneral Manager: Dan Shattil
. AP Whs Editor: Kelly Johnson dvertialng Manager: Amy Struthers
' Copy Desk Chief: Julie Sobczyk Aset Advertising Manager Tracy Welshans
Sports Edttor: Mitch Sherman Classified Ad Manager: Tiffiny Clifton
AAE Edttor Joshua GHBn PubHcalions Board
Night Edttor: Beth Narans Chatman: Travis Brandt
Photo Director Tanna Kinnaman Professional Adviser: Don Walton
Wsb Edttor: Michele Coffns
FAX NUMBER: 472-1761
The Daily Nebraskan (USPS 144-080) is published by Die UNL Publications Board. Nebraska
Union 34.1400 R St.. Lincoln, NE 68588-0448, Monday through Friday duringjhe academic year; weekly
during summer sessions.
Readers are encouraged to submit story ideas and comments to the Daily Nebraskan by calling
472-2588. The public has access to the Publications Board.
Subscription price is $55 for one year.
Postmaster; Send address changes to the Daily Nebraskan, Nebraska Union 34, 1400 R St.,
Lincoln, NE 68588-0448. Second-class postage paid at Lincoln, Neb.
j - . , - . . - '
Mutated cells linked to skin cancer
Sunlight turns on problem-causing cells, study shows
WASHINGTON (AP) — Skin patches
chronically exposed to sunlight have up to
10 times more cancer-causing gene mutations
than does skin that is normally protected from
the sun, a new study shows.
Douglas Brash, a professor at the Yale
University School of Medicine and lead au
thor of the study, said the findings provided
new evidence that sunlight can turn on a can
cer-causing mechanism in normal, healthy
“We are all sitting here with precancer
ous cells in our skin,” Brash said.
A report on the study is to be published
today in the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Science.
Using skin taken from patients who had
cosmetic surgery, the researchers looked for
cells that contained a mutated form of a gene
called p53. This mutation has been linked in
earlier studies to basal cell and squamous cell
skin cancer. These types of skin cancers are
easily controlled if treated early, Brash said.
The researchers found that about 4 per
cent of the outer skin cells contained mutated
p53 genes.
Brash said they found that the p53 cells
tended to form in patches instead of being
randomly distributed.
Also, he said, patches of cells with the
p53 mutated gene tended to be denser in ar
eas that were chronically exposed to the sun
light. The cell patches with the mutated genes
averaged about 20 per square inch in sun
protected skin, but up to 200 per square inch
in the sun-exposed skin.
Brash said the study suggested that ultra
violet radiation from the sun not only caused
the p53 gene mutations, but that continued
exposure caused the mutated cells to more
readily spread by making copies of them
The researchers found, however, that
when sun-damaged skin was protected from
sunlight, the number of p53 mutated cells
tended to go down, suggesting that the body
was somehow eliminating those cells.
“Ifyou stay out of the sun, these cells tend
to go away,” he said. “We don’t know ex
actly how this happens,” Brash said, but he
said it could be some self-protection mecha
nism the body uses.
The fact that skin protected from sunlight
also has the mutated p53 gene may explain
why some people get skin cancer on parts of
the body not exposed to the sun, said Darrell
Rigel, an associate professor of dermatology
atNew York University. He said animal stud
ies have suggested that sun exposure can
cause a systemic reaction that might trigger
skin cancer even in shaded sun.
First Lady wants role in welfare reform
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Republi
cans scoffed Monday at Hillary Rodham
Clinton’s suggestion that she might take a lead
role on welfare reform in her husband’s second
term. The White House played down the idea
of the first lady taking a strong policy role.
“If Hillary Clinton does as well with welfare
reform as she did with health care reform, we
have no problem,” House Majority Whip Tom
DeLay of Texas said with a wide grin while at
tending a Republican gathering in Michigan.
it was during the election campaign that
President Clinton first raised the prospect of his
wife getting involved in welfare policy. This
week, in an interview with Time magazine, Mrs.
Clinton said she intended to “speak out about
welfare reform and write about it?
“If there’s a formal role, that would make
sense in terms of reporting to the president, kind
of like I did on the Gulf War disease. Go out,
listen to the people, maybe write him some
memoranda,” she said.