The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, December 04, 1997, Page 2, Image 2

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    New mad cow warnings prompt UK bans
LONDON (AP) — Just in time for the holi
day season, Britain announced a ban
Wednesday on rib roasts, T-bone steaks and all
other beef on the bone after new warnings about
mad cow disease.
Restaurants now must rethink their menus,
and butchers will have to disappoint customers
who like a nice rib roast for holiday dinner par
ties. There will be no beef bones for soup stocks,
and man’s best friend will wag his tail in vain.
“Christmas is coming and we usually sell a
lot of ribs of beef,” said butcher Joseph Steele,
whose shop in a quaint byway of Hampstead,
north London, caters to a well-heeled clientele.
“I would say 40 percent like rib of beef, sir
loin on the bone, T-bone,” Steele said. “It will be
a big disappointment to them.”
The government opted for the ban after its
scientific advisers reported a risk that material
contaminated with bovine spongiform
encephalopathy - mad cow disease - could
reach the human food chain through bone mar
In announcing the ban to the House of
Commons, Agriculture Minister Jack
Cunningham called the danger of infection
“very, very small” and said 95 percent of beef is
eaten off the bone.
He said the ban would take effect in a week.
Like many British butchers, Steele weath
ered the original mad cow scare in March 1996,
when the government announced a suspected
link between mad cow disease and a new strain
of Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease, a brain-wasting
disease that has killed at least 20 people in
The European Union barred British exports
after that, and Britain has been working with the
EU to try to get a gradual resumption of exports.
“The first scare really hit us hard,” Steele
said, adding that he’s less worried about
Wednesday’s ban.
“They’ve got over the initial shock. We have
quite a sensible clientele,” he said.
But farmers fear public confidence in beef
will be further eroded. The National Farmers’
Union called the news “another body blow” for
those who have lost their entire export market
and seen a drop in domestic sales brought on by
customers’ fears.
“The announcement is bound to spread
uncertainty in the mind of the housewife, who is
already confused as to whether to buy beef,”
said David Hill, who has 400 cattle on his farm
in Devon county, southwest England.
“We are not making any money now. How
are we going to cope?” said Richard Barter,
another Devon cattleman.
British beef prices have fallen markedly
since the initial ban and, more recently, the
strong British pound has forced prices lower.
Concern about infected meat had centered
earlier on the spinal cords and brains of cattle,
and Britain’s previous conservative government
tightened slaughterhouse procedures.
Cunningham told the House of Commons
Wednesday’s move was an essential “precau
tionary measure,” but said the risk was small,
with only six cattle among the 2.2 million
slaughtered this year thought likely to pose any
hazard at all.
Cutting meat away from the bone reduces
contact with nerve tissue near the spinal cord,
which could be infected.
So rib roast lovers will have to give up their
passion for now. And even those who thought
they’d play it safe this Christmas by concentrat
ing on dessert could be out of luck, if the
Vegetarian Society has its way.
The group wants the ban extended to
gelatin, which is made from bone marrow and
used to make sweets, yogurts and puddings.
A ban that does not include gelatin, the .
group said, was “farcical and illogical.”
Matt Haney/DN
German gold looted
during World War II
LONDON (AP) — Less than 20
percent of the looted Nazi gold received
by four officially neutral countries dur
ing World War II has since been
returned, according to a U.S. report
released Wednesday.
The report accuses Portugal, Spain,
Sweden and Turkey of hanging onto all
but a fraction of their Nazi gold - and
said Argentina was also suspected of
acquiring looted gold that it kept.
For the last 18 months, Switzerland
has been under attack for hiding its role
as the key neutral country in Nazi gold
dealings, but has recently won praise
from Washington for its investigations
into its past.
On Monday the Swiss reported that
Germany stole $475 million worth of
gold from central banks during the war,
$132.8 million from occupied Austria
and Czechoslovakia, and $146 million
from Jews and other individuals.
The U.S. report, presented to a 41
nation conference on Nazi gold, gave
figures for the first time on the “recalci
trance” of several other neutral coun
tries, including Turkey, which has never
repaid a penny of the millions of dollars
in looted gold it bought from Germany.
In a separate revelation about the
origin of looted Nazi gold, a newly dis
covered document showed the Western
allies had determined that between 50
and 60 tons of gold had been stolen •
from individual victims of the
Holocaust. -
Of the 337 tons of plundered gold
Allies recovered, all but 5.5 tons was
returned to government central banks.
Yet none went to the people who lost it.
According to the document, the
Allied commission that assessed claims
for looted gold determined that gold
belonging to “private persons” was
claimed by several nations: 35.5 tons by
the Dutch; 13 tons by Austria; 6.4 tons
by Belgium; and smaller amounts by
other occupied countries.
The document did not state that the
50 to 60 tons of stolen gold were actual
ly recovered by the Allies’ Tripartite
Gold Commission.
But the World Jewish Congress,
which discovered the gold commission
document about two months ago in the
U.S. National Archives, said it showed
the commission was aware that a signif
icant portion of gold in banks was “non
monetary,” or from individuals.
Jewish groups have argued that
Jews and other victims of the Nazis
were shortchanged when the commis
sion distributed die gold
- — -■—-———i
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NE 68588-0448. Periodical postage paid at Lincoln, NE.
U.S. refuses to sign treaty
■ The Anti-personnel
land mine pact has been
endorsed by 125 nations.
OTTAWA (AP) - Goaded into
action by a global grass-ro^Js
alliance, 125 nations began signing a
treaty Wednesday to ban anti-per
sonnel land mines - a treaty the
United States has refused to endorse.
As mine victims in wheelchairs
and jubilant activists looked on, Kofi
Annan, the secretary-general of the
United Nations, praised the treaty as
“a historic victory for the weak and
vulnerable of the world.”
Also attending the ceremonies
were observers from major holdout
nations - such as the United States -
which now face increased pressure
to support the treaty.
When activists began campaign
ing for such a ban seven years ago,
some people felt this achievement
was out of reach. Those who didn’t
were filled with elation Wednesday.
“Here we have 125 governments
recognizing that the tide of history
has changed,” said Jody Williams,
who shared this year’s Nobel Peace
Prize with her anti-landmine coali
tion. “It’s a new definition of super
power. It is not one, it is everybody.
We are the superpower.”
Williams shared the podium at
the ceremony with Annan and
Canadian Prime Minister Jean
Chretien. Canada - which was the
first nation to sign Wednesday -
played a. pivotal role ip persuading
other, nations tQ fprjq an unprece
dented alliance with non-govern
mental agencies in pushing for a ban.
“It is an alliance that has shamed
the world and enlightened it,” Annan
said. “It has, for once, made the
international community a living,
thriving reality.”
With so many countries lined up
to sign, the ceremony was scheduled
to continue through Thursday while
delegates held round table discus
sions on the next steps - notably rais
ing funds to aid mine victims and
clear away the estimated 100 million
mines scattered round the world.
“Let us swear to the hundreds of
thousands who have been murdered
by land mines that we will not turn
back,” said Chretien, whose govern
ment pledged $70 million over five
years. “This slaughter must end.”
The treaty requires signatories to
destroy their stockpiles of mines
within four years and remove
deployed mines within 10 years.
Major holdouts refusing to sign
include the United States, Russia,
China, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Libya,
India, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel, North
Korea, South Korea and Vietnam.
Many of these countries sent
observers who participated in dis
cussions about niine clearance and
other technical issues.
.. ‘‘Xye’retpartof 'this.process,”
Ambassador Kari Inderfurth, the
chief U.S. observer, said, in an inter
view. “The United States is in a very
special position, and other countries
understand that.”
The United States has said it
could sign the treaty only if exemp
tions were made to protect its troops
in Korea and allow continued use of
its anti-tank munitions. Inderfurth
said Clinton has asked U.S. defense
officials to address both these prob
lems with a tentative goal of signing
the treaty in 10 years.
He estimated the world spends
about $200 million a year on clear
ing mines, and said they should be
spending five times that to get the
job done effectively.
U.S. supporters of the ban
expressed dismay that their country
was not part of Wednesday’s celebra
“I’m extraordinarily disappoint
ed the United States is not signing,”
said U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, a
Democrat from Vermont.
Reno must face her 2nd decision
; . ' : v~ . f
Fate of an independent council lies in her hands
political fund-raising controversy
still holds peril for key players.
Attorney General Janet Reno faces a
second decision this month on
whether to seek an independent coun
sel to investigate President Clinton
while her task forces plan to begin
indicting fund raisers.
In addition, Interior Secretary
Bruce Babbitt awaits a decision from
Reno, due by Feb. 11, in an American
Indian casino case that senior offi
cials called the most difficult to
resolve without requesting appoint
ment of an independent counsel.
In that matter, Babbitt’s sworn
testimony to the Senate is directly
contradicted by a lawyer, who was a
close friend.
While Republicans continued to
boil over Reno’s rejection of an out
side prosecutor for telephone fund
raising by Clinton and Vice President
A1 Gore, the 120 lawyers and FBI
agents on the Justice Department task
force plowed ahead Wednesday on a
broad front.
They were using grand juries here
and in Los Angeles, according to peo
ple involved in the case. Investigators
were examining a host of question
able financial transactions, a coterie
of fund raisers, possible foreign pay
ments and Democratic party fund
raising practices. At least two
Republicans also were under scrutiny.
Reno warned that the telephone
decision exonerated no one from this
broader investigation.
Officials anticipate indicting two
Democratic fund raisers this month
or next on charges of concealing the
identity of the real donors, hoping to
pressure them or others into provid
ing evidence against others.
Two Democratic fund-raisers,
former Little Rock restaurateur and
longtime Clinton friend Yah Lin
“Charlie” Trie and immigration con
sultant Maria Hsia, have been linked
in congressional testimony to
schemes to launder contributions -
through straw donors.Xawyers fof
both denied the allegations.
Others under investigation
include: former Commerce
Department aide and Democratic
party fund raiser John Huang, West
Coast entrepreneur Johnny Chung;
Thai business consultant Pauline
Kanchanalak and Indonesian entre
preneur Ted Sioengt.