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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 13, 1998)
■ Several nations join
in defiance of Dr. Seed’s
vow to clone a human.
PARIS (AP) - Less than a week
after an American scientist
announced he would clone a child,
19 European nations signed a treaty
Monday that said cloning people
violated human dignity and was a
misuse of science.
Britain and Germany, however,
balked at signing the measure that
- London considers too strict and
Bonn too mild
Although Monday’s signing was
planned months ago, it clearly took
on a greater significance with the
announcement last week by Chicago
physicist Richard Seed that he will
clone a child within two years.
“This is a horror story that the
states present here... will use every
effort to prevent,” said Jean
Boucauris, Greece’s director for
The signing by 19 members of
the Council of Europe - in a room
filled with professors, philosophers
and doctors as well as diplomats -
came the same day French President
Jacques Chirac called for an interna
tional ban on human cloning, and
two days after President Clinton
urged Congress to do the same.
The July 1997 presentation of
Dolly the sheep, the world’s first
cloned mammal, set off an interna
tional outcry over the implications
for human biology.
Many U.S. and international
leaders renewed their condemnation
after Seed said that he planned to
begin working on human cloning
using a newly developed technique.
Some physicians questioned
whether Seed, who is not a doctor,
had the expertise to successfully
complete such an experiment
Seed, unaffiliated with any insti
tution, said he would move his enter
prise to Tijuana, Mexico, if Congress
bans human cloning in the United
The treaty says that cloning is
“contrary to human dignity and thus
constitutes a misuse of biology and
medicine.” Signatory nations agreed
to enact laws that outlaw human
cloning, but the protocol itself makes
no mention of sanctions against
those that do not carry it out
Medical ethicists praised the
treaty for. drawing attention to an
issue for which, they say, the vast sci
entific complications are dwarfed by
the moral questions.
The countries that signed were
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France,
Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia,
Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova,
Norway, Portugal, Romania, San
Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden
Computer simulation provides key
LONDON (AP) - The Mercedes
in which Princess Diana was killed
was traveling at 60 mph - twice as
slow as reported earlier - when it
crashed, a leading British accident
All four occupants of the car
would have survived if Paris’ Pont de
l’Alma traffic tunnel had been
equipped with crash barriers, accord
ing to Professor Murray Mackay, a
professor of transport safety at the
University of Birmingham.
In a program to be broadcast
Tuesday on Britain’s Channel 4,
Mackay said his conclusions were
drawn from the French police investi
gation, as well as a visit to the tunnel.
The program includes a computer
simulation of the Aug. 31 accident
that killed Diana, her companion
Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul,
who was found to be legally drunk.
Only bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones
“Newspapers have talked ol
speeds of 120 mph, but looking at the
damage tells a very different story,”
Mackay said. “It suggests an impacl
with the pillar of about 60 mph.”
“This was a severe but a surviv
able accident, and what we now need
to consider is why three people died.
If the Mercedes had hit the post al
120 mph, die whole of the passengei
compartment would have been
destroyed,” he said.
The 36-year-old princess had the
best chance of survival because she was
sitting in the rear right seat which would
have suffered the least force when the
car hit the pillar and spun, Mackay said.
Health care spending stablizing
WASHINGTON (AP) - Health
care costs have topped $1 trillion in a
single year for the first time, but the
government says annual spending
increases are slowing.
American spending on health
care averaged $3,759 per person in
1996, up 4.4 percent or $126 from
1995, according to a Department of
Health and Human Services report
That’s the lowest growth rate
since die annual tally ofhealth spend
ing trends - tracking public and pri
vate spending on everything from
medical research to Band-Aids - was
first compiled in 1960.
And although the total hit a
record $1,035 trillion, that is the
same 13.6 percent share of the
nation’s booming economy medical
expenses have taken since 1993.
“This report shows significant
national progress in slowing the
growth of health care spending,” said
Secretary of Health and Human
Services Donna Shalala.
Low inflation, more people in
managed care and new government
spending curbs all have contributed
to slower expansion of the nation’s
health care bills, after an average
yearly growth of 11 percent through
out the ’80s, the report said.
In 1996, almost 88 percent ol
America’s health care dollars bought
personal health care services and
Court returns policeman’s job
Omaha must pay disabled officer damages, back pay
OMAHA (AP) - A policeman
who is blind in one eye hailed a U.S.
Supreme Court decision Monday that
lets him keep his job.
Withput comment, the Supreme
Court let stand rulings that required
the city to rehire Royce Doane with
nearly $51,000 in back pay and pen
sion benefits. Omaha also has been
ordered to pay Doane $50,000 in
damages for illegally discriminating
5 against him.
“This could have been s ettled for
zero money,” said Doane. “(City offi
cials) continued to appeal and spent
the public’s money. They basically
threw the public’s money down the
Doane worked as an Omaha
policeman from 1.973 to 1904. In
1975, he lost vision in one. eye
because of glaucoma, but with glass
es his overall vision was corrected to
In 1984, Doane was given an eye
examination and was told thereafter
that his police career was over. He
took a 911 communications job, but
he sought to be rehired as a police
officer several times.
He sued in 1992, invoking the
Americans with Disabilities Act of
1990. The law bars discrimination
against qualified people on the basis
of an impairment that substantially
impacts a major life activity.
City officials refused to make
Doane a policeman because they
thought his lack of vision from both
eyes would constitute a danger to
him, his fellow officers and the pub
They specifically noted his limit
ed peripheral vision.
A federal trial jury ruled that die
city had Violated the law and awarded
Doane $50,000 in damages. A judge
awarded back pay and pension bene
fits as well* and ordered him reinstat
ed by telling the city to allow Doane
to enter police-recruit training.
The city appealed, but the 8th
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also
ruled for Doane, 53, who returned to
work as a police officer in June.
The appeals court noted that
medical experts testified that Doane
has learned to work with environ
mental clues to develop his own
sense of depth perception and has
kept in good physical condition.
The appeals court also rejected
the city’s argument that Doane has
adapted so well he should not be
deemed to be disabled.
“Doane’s vision impairment
stems not merely from overall poor
eyesight but from total blindness in
one eye,” the appeals court said. He
therefore is “a person with a disabili
ty entitled to the ADA’s protection.”
In the appeal acted on Monday,
Omaha argued that the lower courts
relied too much on Doane’s past ser
vice as a policeman without requir
ing him “to prove that he could per
form safely in the future.”
Doane urged the justices to reject
the appeal, calling it a “frivolous
composite of misrepresentations of
fact and law.”
“Hallelujah!” Doane said after
hearing of the Supreme Court’s deci
Iraq reinstates block
on U.S.-led inspections
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraq
will block U.N. weapons inspections
led by an American Gulf War veteran
jt says is a spy, the government
vowed Monday, setting the stage for
a new confrontation with the United
In New York, U.N. chief weapons
inspector Richard Butler said the
monitoring teams - including the
one led by ex-Marine Capt. Scott
Ritter - would go ahead with their
work as planned Tuesday,
Iraq has criticized Ritter, claim
ing he is an intelligence agent for the
United States. Ritter denies the
An Iraqi government spokesman
said the presence of too many
Americans on the teams was pro
longing the inspections program and
delaying the lifting of U.N. sanctions
on Iraq, the official Iraqi News
The agency’s statement came
after Ritter and a team of U.N.
inspectors reportedly visited a hospi
tal and a prison in Baghdad. It said
the ban on Ritter would begin Jan.
Other U.N. inspection teams will
be allowed to continue their work,
said Iraq’s U.N. ambassador, Nizar
Butler, in a letter to the Security
Council, cited numerous U.N. decla
rations affirming that Iraq has no
right to dictate the composition of
the inspection teams.
“I propose to instruct the chief
inspector (in Baghdad) to seek to
proceed with his business tomorrow,
13 January, and if possible, until the
planned program of inspections is
completed,” Butler said.
The inspectors are trying to veri
fy that Iraq has destroyed its
weapons of mass destruction, a con
dition that must be met before the
United Nations will lift trade sanc
tions imposed on Iraq after its 1990
invasion of Kuwait.
In Washington, President Clinton
said the United States has had “noth
ing whatsoever” to do with choosing
members of the U.N. teams.
“Certainly Saddam Hussein
shouldn’t be able to pick and choose
who does this work,” Clinton said.
“That’s for the United Nations to
He said he expects the U.N.
Security Council to take strong
action if the inspectors “are denied
their right to do their job.”
The American ambassador to die
United Nations, Bill Richardson,
said the Iraqi move would be dis
cussed at a Security Council meeting
for control of
OMAHA (AP) - A
comatose 2-year-old lies at
the center of a bitter battle
over whether the state can
take away the parental rights
of her mom and dad and
remove her from life support. A
A hearing is scheduled
Feb. 2-3 in Douglas County
Juvenile Court to determine “
whether Ronald Davis and
Rhonda Renshaw should lose
their parental rights to'
Tabatha Renshaw, who is in
• temporary custody of the
state. The girl suffered severe
brain injuries in January 1996
when she was 25 days old.
Douglas County Juvenile
Court Judge Douglas .
Johnson last month sided
with the Nebraska Health and
Human Services System and t\
declined a plan to reunite the
baby with her parents.
The parents have faced a
criminal investigation over
Tabatha’s injuries but have
not been charged. They have
said they did not hurt the girl
and have opposed the state’s
attempts to remove life sup
. port from Tabatha.
.. .. -....
m Editor: Paula Lavigue
“ Managing Editor: nwiffflim
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Associate News Editor: Ted Taylor
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