The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 06, 1997, Page 2, Image 2

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    Report Number of extremist groups up 6 percent in 1996
MONTGOMERY, Ala.—At least 858 extremist groups were active in
the United States last year, a 6-percent increase over 1995, says a group
that studies hate crime activity.
Klanwatch, a branch of the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty
Law Center, released a study this week titled “Two Years After: The
Patriot Movement Since Oklahoma City.”
The study found that so-called Patriot Groups, including 380 armed
militias, exist in all 50 states and have improved their intelligence
gathering networks and the ability to share information through a so
phisticated communication network.
At least 101 openly espouse white supremacist or anti-Semitic mes
sages, the report said.
The report said more than one-third of the arrests made for extrem
ist activity in 1996 were related to explosives, indicating the pervasive
effect the Oklahoma City bombing has had on extremist groups.
Republicans renew fight over partial-birth abortion
WASHINGTON — Emboldened by the admitted lie of a key abortion
rights supporter, congressional Republicans renewed the push Wednes
day for legislation banning a certain late-term abortion procedure.
A principal GOP leader in the anti-abortion movement should “have
a chance to get it right” now that activist Ron Fitzsimmons says that
he lied, said President Clinton, who vetoed the bill last year.
Abortion rights supporters pledged to keep fighting the bill.
“The facts have not changed; they’ve just been discovered by the
media and now the general public,” said Rep. Charles Canady, R-Fla.,
the prime House sponsor. “And the outrage about partial-birth abor
tion which began as a strong current is now at flood stage.”
Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abor
tion Providers in Alexandria, Va., said last week he lied in 1995 when
he said just a few hundred of the abortions were performed annually—
and then only to save the mother’s life or abort deformed fetuses.
Four more dead found in flooded Kentucky town
FALMOUTH, Ky. — After the flood waters that covered this town to
its rooftops finally receded, the first people to go back in Wednesday
found everything covered in a coffee-colored muck, including the bod
ies of four more victims.
The corpses were found as emergency personnel and dog teams
went into the town’s muddied buildings, many of them swept off their
foundations and one of them dropped by the river in the middle of
Main Street. The bodies found on Wednesday brought the number of
flood-related deaths in Kentucky to 18.
Authorities were bringing in a refrigerated truck to serve as a morgue.
Swiss plan Holocaust fund
$5 billion is pledged to
compensate for victims’
assets left in the
country’s banks.
GENEVA (AP) — Switzerland
will set up a $5 billion fund to aid vic
tims of the Holocaust and any other
genocide or disaster, financing it by
selling tons of gold over the next de
President Arnold Roller’s surprise
announcement Wednesday to a special
session of Parliament was welcomed
by Jewish groups and others who have
been pressing Switzerland to compen
sate for assets left in Swiss banks by
people killed in the Holocaust.
U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato said
the move was “the first significant
acknowledgement from individuals in
responsible positions in Switzerland
that massive wrongdoing occurred.”
This fund is much larger in size
and scope than others proposed by
Swiss officials. The foundation would
be in addition to a humanitarian fund
set up by Swiss banks and to ongoing
private fund-raising efforts.
Hans Meyer, chairman of the Swiss
National Bank, said the sale would
take place gradually over 10 years to
keep it from affecting the world price
of gold,^
Half the money would be used for
victims in Switzerland and the rest in
other countries. Roller said he thought
the foundation could be inaugurated
by next year.
Switzerland has been under intense
international pressure to pay compen
sation to the heirs of Nazi victims for
assets they claim were never returned
by Swiss banks.
A 1962 payment of 9.5 million
Swiss francs (now about $7 million)
by Swiss banks to Jewish charities fell
far short of what actually was there,
Jewish organizations claimed.
Several investigations are under
way to determine the amounts unac
counted for and to re-examine
Switzerland’s role as an island of neu
trality in a continent controlled by
Nazis and fascists in World War II.
Meyer and Koller, meanwhile, an
nounced that the central bank, which
has been accused of laundering plun
dered gold for the Nazis during World
War II, would contribute $71 million
to the humanitarian fund.
The bank’s contribution doubles
the amount given by the three largest
Swiss commercial banks for the fund,
intended to aid poverty stricken vic
tims of the Holocaust. A further con
tribution is expected from other Swiss
businesses, ^ j ^
Edgar F. Bronfman, president of
the World Jewish Congress, called the
Swiss decision “a victory for the Jew- L
ish and Swiss peoples.”
Armed revolt erupts in Albania
SARANDA, Albania (AP) —
Government jets bombed a southern
town Wednesday. Anti-government
militants commandeered tanks and
fired off anti-aircraft guns as weeks
of unrest erupted into an armed revolt
in southern Albania.
It was unclear if anyone was hurt.
The two sides fired at each other
across a river east of Vlora, the city at
the center of the conflict. Albania’s
foreign minister, meanwhile, ac
knowledged that the situation in
Vlora, Saranda and Delvina was “out
of control.”
Wednesday’s bombing and a ma
jor security operation launched by the
government reflected President Sali
Berisha’s determination to quickly end
the growing insurrection.
In Rome, Italian Foreign Minister
Lamberto Dini said his Albanian
counterpart, Tritan Shehu, told him
the insurgents had captured three
tanks and many other weapons and
aim to seize Tirana, the capital.
Southerners warned the govern
ment not to provoke them.
“If they move into Saranda, Alba
nia will see the worst bloodshed ever,”
said one armed protested, Ilias Sideris.
Two months of protests by Alba
nians who lost savings in shady in
vestment schemes have culminated in
the rebellion. It has exposed a deep
north-south divide in this impover
ished Balkan nation between Berisha’s
supporters in the north and those who
back the opposition Socialists in the
south. Overall, southern Albanians are
wealthier — and therefore lost much
more than northerners in the schemes.
In Saranda, 100 miles south of
Tirana, the mood was defiant after the
“This is it! We are now at war,”
yelled Ardian Sinanis, as he squeezed
Off a burst from the AK-47 assault rifle
strapped around his chest. “We will
either live or die for Albania!”
AP/Wm. J. Castello
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