The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 28, 1997, Page 2, Image 2

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    I . •
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , AP/Amy Kranz
ATLANTA (AP) - AIDS deaths fell
13 percent in die first half of 1996,
the first significant drop since the epi
demic began in 1981, die government
said Thursday.
Officials credited better treatment
and programs.
“This is one of the first bright spots
we have seen in this epidemic,” said
Christopher Portelli, executive direc
tor of the National Lesbian and Gay
Health Association in Washington.
“But we hope it is seen as a call to
arms rather than a chance to relax and
breathe a sigh of relief.”
The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention said about 22,000
people died of AIDS in the first six
months of 19%, down from the 24,900
deaths in the same period a year ear
There was more good news Thurs
day: While the number of people di
agnosed with AIDS continues to grow,
the growth rate is slowing. In 1995,
about 62,200 people were diagnosed,
an increase of less than 2 percent over
the 61,200 new cases in 1994.
What’s still unclear is the impact
of a new class of drugs called protease
inhibitors. The AIDS death rate lev
eled off in 1995, before those medi
cines became widely available.
Not all doctors are sure that AIDS
is making an about-face, however.
“In my view, this decline is unfor
tunately only a lull,” said Dr. Irvin S.Y.
Chen, director of the AIDS Institute
at UCLA. “Not all patients are re
sponding as effectively as the major
ity of patients. There are some patients
for whom the drugs are not effective.”
Portelli said, “We are concerned
that people will misinterpret this news.
We would hope to see more money and
support for better access to medical
services. New drugs are not all we
Culture war underway
in French city’s library
MARIGNANE, France (AP) —
The citizens of Marignane always
have been proud of their town library.
A “temple of culture,” the town’s his
tory bode calls it.
But lately, visitors to the periodi
cals section wanting to read Libera
tion, a major newspaper with a leftist
attitude, have had to go across the
street to the newspaper kiosk.
Marignane is National Front ter
The leader of the far-right party,
Jean-Marie Le Pen, has made head
lines worldwide for his war on immi
gration, which he blames for high
unemployment and crime.
But herein southern France, where
the Front controls four city halls,
people are talking about a different
kind of war. A quieter one, but one
many say is equally dangerous.
It is being waged in libraries, the
aters and festivals, and it is creating a
climate of anger, vengeance and some
times fear.
“We have a choice: Censor our
selves, or lose our jobs,” said a librar
ian in one of the cities, who refused to
be further identified for fear of being
Marignane, a town of 32,000 near
Marseille, was one of three captured
We have a choice:
Censor ourselves, or
lose our jobs.”
a French librarian
by the Front in June 1995 municipal
elections, along with Orange to the
north and Toulon to the south. This
month, nearby Vitrolles joined them.
A book by a National Front sup
porter with a preface by Le Pen was
on display recently in Marignane’s
airy, spacious library.
In periodicals, the plastic slot for
Liberation, one of France’s five most
widely read papers, was empty.
“Subscription interrupted on Sept.
4,1996,” a label said. The same was
written under slots for two other popu
lar leftist publications. Three extreme
right publications had been added.
In a reader’s request log, someone
had asked when the newspapers would
return. “That is not up to us,” said the
handwritten response, directing the
reader to the mayor’s office.
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God may already be a winner
TAMPA, Fla. — American Family Publishers found God in Sumter
County. And He may be very, very rich.
A sweepstakes notice arrived at the Bushnell Assembly of God ear
lier this month announcing God, of Bushnell, Fla., was a finalist for
the $11 million top prize.
“I always thought he lived here, but I didn’t actually know,” said
Bill Brack, pastor of the church about 60 miles north of Tampa. “Now
I do. He’s got a P.O. box here.”
“God, we’ve been searching for you,” American Family wrote in
the letter, as first reported by the local weekly newspaper, the Sumter
County Times. _
If God were to win, the letter stated, “What an incredible fortune
there would be for God! Could you imagine the looks you’d get from
your neighbors? But don’t just sit there, God.”
Brack said a youth pastor collected the mail that day and pointed
out the addressee. “I read it in church a couple of weeks ago and every
one got a kick out of it,” he said. “It is funny and everybody seemed to
enjoy it. It lifted everybody’s heart.”
Army soldier
found guilty in j
ra ‘stkiflings
white former paratrooper faces the \
death penalty after being convicted
Thursday in a racial killing that set '
off a nationwide outcry over extrem- j
ists in the military.
James N. Burmeister, 21, was ,
found guilty of two counts of first-de- \
gree murder and conspiracy in the l
shootings of Jackie Burden and
Michael James on Dec. 7,1995.
Jurors were to hear more evidence
Friday before recommending the death
penalty or life in prison.
The victims’ mothers split on
whether Burmeister should be ex
“He has the heart of cold steel and
God help him,” said Lillie G. James,
who said she didn’t wish to see
Burmeister get the death penalty.
Mary Lou Burden, however, reused
her arms in victory outside the court
house and said she hoped the jury sen
tences her daughter’s killer to death.
“I’m so happy ... I can’t talk, I’m
so happy,” she said.
Civil rights advocates also ap
plauded the verdict.
“Today a jury affirmed the right of
people of every background, race and
religion to walk the streets of America
without fear,” said Abraham H.
Foxman, national director of the Anti
Defamation League.
Burmeister showed no emotion as
the guilty verdicts were read, but his
mother, Kathy, sobbed in the row of
seats behind him.
Prosecutors contended that
Burmeister killed the couple on a dirt
road near downtown Fayetteville for
no other reason than to earn a spider
web tattoo, a sign among racist
skinheads at nearby Fort Bragg that
the wearer had killed a black person.
“The animal who took the lives of
these two people executed them in as
coldblooded a manner as is possible,”
prosecutor Ed Grannis told the jury
during closing arguments Tuesday.
The slaying prompted an
Armywide investigation that found
little evidence of extremist activity in
the service.
However, the probe did turn up 22
soldiers at Fort Bragg, all white men
including Burmeister and the two
other soldiers charged in the killings,
with ties or sympathies toward extrem
ist groups.
The three accused soldiers were
kicked out of the Army, where they
had been in the elite 82nd Airborne
i Questions? Comments? Ask for the
appropriate section editor at472-2588
or e-mail
Editor DougKouma
Managing Editor Paula Lavigne
Associate Joshua Gillin
News Editors: Chad Lorenz
Night Editor Anne Hjersman
Opinion Editor Anthony Nguyen
APWlre Editor: JohnFulwkJer
Copy Desk Chief: Julie Sobczyk
Sports Editor Trevor Parks
A&E Editor Jeff Randall
Photo Director Scott Bruhn
Web Editor. Michelle Collins
Night News Bryce Glenn
Editors: Leanne Sorensen
Rebecca Stone
Amy Taylor
Art Director Aaron Steckelberg
General Manager DanShattil
FAX NUMBER: 472-1761
The Daily Nebraskan (USPS 144
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Board, Nebraska Union 34,1400 R St,
Lincoln, NE 685884)448, Monday through
Friday during the academic year; weekly
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