The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 04, 1998, Page 2, Image 2

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    14,1998 "T"
229 die in plane crash
■ 36 bodies found,
officials are still working
to recover the wreckage.
PEGGY’S COVE, Nova Scotia
(AP) - A Swissair pilot reported
smoke in the cockpit, dumped tons
of fuel and was preparing for an
emergency landing before his jet
liner crashed into the ocean off of
Nova Scotia, killing all 229 people
aboard, including 137 Americans.
Minutes before the crash, the
passengers had been told to put on
their lifejackets and get ready for an
emergency landing, a top Swissair
official said.
Flight 111 from New York to
Geneva plunged into the Atlantic on
Wednesday night after leaving
Kennedy International Airport at
8:17 pjn. It carried 215 passengers
- including two infants and 14 crew
By Thursday morning, 36 bod
ies had beat found.
The McDonnell Douglas MD
11 reported problems at 33,000
feet, then descended to roughly
8,000 feet before disappearing from
radar about 30 miles south of
Halifax International Airport,
Philippe Bruggisser, chief execu
tive officer of Swissair’s parent
group, said in Zurich.
The 137 Americans he reported
killed - 136 passengers and one
The pilot asked Canadian air
traffic controllers whether he
should be diverted to Logan
International Airport in Boston.
The controllers told him he was 190
miles from Logan and 40 miles
from Halifax, so he continued on to
Halifax, the source said.
Bruggisser said Zimmermann
and co-pilot Stefan Low, 36, both of
Switzerland, had flown the same jet
in the last few days and had report
ed no problems earlier.
The White House and the FBI
said there was nothing to indicate
that terrorism was involved.
President Clinton, who was visiting
Northern Ireland Thursday, was
being regularly briefed.
On the ground, people reported
hearing sputtering noises from an
aircraft passing overhead and then a
thundering crash.
“The motors were still going,
but it was the worst-sounding deep
groan that I’ve ever heard,” Claudia
Zinck-Gilroy said.
Wreckage from the crash spread
out over six miles. Fishermen help
ing with the rescue effort said the
smell of fuel was overwhelming.
Bodies were being taken to a tem
porary morgue at the Canadian
Forces Base Shearwater, 30 miles to
die east.
“Divers were using sonar to try
to locate the black box, which gives
technical data on the flioht ” Rears ,
said, "adding that the debris was in
water, that variedfrom 70 to 150
feet deep”
Searchers had located a chunk
of die plane's fuselage under about
100 feet of water.
Swissair said die passenger list
will not be released until family
members are notified. But in addi
tion to the Americans, it said 41
Swiss nationals and 30 French citi
zens were killed,
Dr. Jonathan Mann, a former
professor at die Harvard School of
Public Health and a pioneer in the
fight against AIDS, was among the
dead, along with his wife, according
to the World Health Organization.
The United Nations said seven
U.N. workers returning to head
quarters in Geneva were on board.
At the airports in New York and
Geneva, grief counselors were on
hand for relatives of the crash vic
tims. A special lounge was setup in
the Delta Air Lines terminal at
Kennedy Airport. I
Swissair was flying relatives
from Zurich to Halifax on a flight
: memp®t^wreme largest sm
< *£je group aboard the plane., ^
' A number of bodies were recov
ered wearing life vests, according to
Bruggisser and other Swissair offi
It took about 16 minutes from
the time the crew first reported
smoke in the cockpit to when die
plane disappeared from radar,
according to Roy Bears, an investi
gator with the Canadian
Transportation Safety Board.
The plane was only seven to 10
minutes away from reaching
Halifax When it crashed at 9:20
said in
• ii0L” ~' ~~ * - ~
Pilot Urs Zimmermann, 50,
apparently had to decide whether to
try to make Halifax or head back to
Shortly after the Swissair jet
was switched from the Federal
Aviation Administration radar in
Nashua, N.H., to the Canadian sys
tem in Moncton/New Brunswick,
the pilot radioed that he had a prob
lem, an aviation source in Boston
told The Associated Press.
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ality |i
Senators asked FBI Director Louis
Freeh on Thursday to consider the
legality of assassinating Osama bin
Laden and other suspected terrorist
leaders, but Sen. Bob Kerrey, D
Neb., warned against such acts, a
Referring to terrorist leaders,
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.,
asked Freeh, “What is present law
with respect to their takedown?”
Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., said,
“I would very much like a legal
memorandum from the FBI stating
whether or not the prohibition
against assassination of heads of
state applies to organized crime
units and/or terrorist units.”
Freeh said that while the prohi
bition against killing heads of state
ic rloar ho ix/qc nnsnra aknnt tka
executive order prohibiting U.S.
involvement in assassinations origi
nated in the 1970s.
“I just want to know what the
law is,” Biden said.
Feinstein said arrest of terrorists
is the best option but said that other
“robust” strategies should be con
“We have to think in a different
way than we thought before,”
Feinstein said. “It’s a very dicey
thing to get into a situation where
you’re going to have licensed hit
squads. At the same time we need to
find ways to be proactive.”
“It’s a bad idea,” Kerrey, vice
chairman of the Senate Intelligence
Committee, said of assassination.
“We are the most open society on
earth. We are the most forward
It’s a very dicey
' thing to get into a
situation where
you ’re going to have
licensed hit squads.”
Dianne Feinstein
California senator
An executive order, approved by
President Ford in the mid-1970s and
affirmed by President Reagan in
1981, states: “No person employed
by or acting on behalf of the United
States government shall engage in,
nr rnnsnire tn f»noaup in assassins.
legality of assassinating others and
would study the question.
There was no doubt in the
Judiciary Committee hearing who
the senators had in mind: bin Laden,
the alleged mastermind of the Aug.
7 bombings of U.S. embassies in
Kenya and Tanzania that killed
more than 250 people, including a
dozen Americans.
After the hearing, lawmakers
stopped short of advocating an
assassination attempt on the exiled
Saudi: multimillionaire and funda
mentalist Muslim. But even public
discussion of assassination repre
sents a sharp change on Capitol
Hill, where the pressure for the
deployed on earth. And as a result of
those things, our leaders and our cit
izens are at risk of retaliation.”
“Retaliation for the US. cruise
missile strikes on targets in Sudan
and Afghanistan on Aug. 20 is
already in the planning,” said Freeh.
“We can predict with some cer
tainty that we will see a reaction by
bin Laden and his organization,”
Freeh said. The potential targets are
not limited to embassies overseas.
“We’ve identified people in the
United States or people who have
transited the United States who are
associated with him.” Freeh said bin
Laden poses “about as serious and
imminent a threat as I can imagine.”
tion.” Ford issued the order after
extensive hearings that exposed
CIA assassination plots.
"Hie prohibition is not limited
to assassination against heads of
state,” said Steve Aftergood of the
Federation of American Scientists,
a Washington-based watchdog
group that follows intelligence mat
The legalities of killing a specif
ic person in a military strike are less
clew. , .. .
“I don’t think the prohibition
applies if you're undertaking a mili
tary action,” said Sen. Arlen
Specter, R-Pa.
■ Hillary Clinton speaks
about children dealing
with problems of violence.
BELFAST, Northern Ireland
(AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton
opened a playground for Northern
Ireland’s youngest generation
Thursday and said students here and
in the United States are learning dif
ficult lessons about violence.
“In America, we have many chil
dren who, like children of Northern
Ireland, also have seen friends and
relatives gunned down, because of
gang wars or drug problems,” Clinton
said, standing next to Cherie Blair,
wife of British Prime Minister Tony
Speaking to Protestant and
Catholic students seated in die grassy
field, Clinton said, “So they, too,
need to learn from what has been
done here in Northern Ireland in
dealing with the problems of vio
Clinton and Blair embraced each
other amid the crowd of children
from a Catholic elementary school
and from a state school whose stu
dents are predominantly Protestant
The new playground along the
River Lagan in Belfast’s largely afiflu
ent south side will be used to bring
different school groups together.
Since arriving Wednesday ahead
of her husband, Clinton hasn’t com
mented on personal strains caused by
die Monica Lewinsky scandal - a fact
noted on a front-page headline of a
newspaper President Clinton was
handed at the airport today when he
Hillary Clinton and Cherie Blau
later sat in the front row of Belfast’s
downtown Waterfront Hall as their
husbands addressed a gathering that
included Northern Ireland’s new
cross-community Assembly and
senior politicians from all sides.
Former altar boy sues archdiocese
He says church was aware of priests sexual tendencies
OMAHA (AP) - A former altar
boy at St. Richard Catholic Church
has sued the Omaha Archdiocese and
Daniel Herek, a priest convicted last
week of fondling the boy.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday
in Douglas County District Court on
behalf of an adult male referred to as
John Doe.
The complaint accuses the
church of negligence.
“Despite the fact that the archdio
cese officials knew that Herek had
exhibited dangerous pedophile traits,
they did not remove him from con
tact with minor boys,” attorney
Harold Zabin wrote. The lawsuit
seeks unspecified damages.
“The archdiocese did not warn
the staff or church leadership or par
ents ... of his pedophilic tendencies
and alcoholism abuse,” the suit
Archdiocese officials have said
they received no complaints about
Herek that raised alarm or warranted
removing him from contact with
children. The Rev. Michael Gutgsell,
chancellor of die archdiocese, said
Wednesday he had not seen the law
suit and could not comment
Herek’s attorney, Steven Lefler,
declined to comment.
Herek pleaded no contest Aug. 28
to charges he sexually assaulted a
then 14-year-old boy from St.
Richard and manufactured and pos
sessed child pornography. He is wait
ing to be sentenced.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday
alleges that after gaining the trust of
John Doe, Herek sexually assaulted,
molested and exploited him many
times between 1992 and 1997.
The lawsuit states Herek engaged
boys in sexual contact or tried to do
so at nine churches. At some of the
churches, the lawsuit states, the
priest gave boys alcohol.
The lawsuit states the archdio
cese knew Herek possessed porno
graphic magazines and was seen in
the presence of partially clothed
young boys. The archdiocese also
knew, according to the lawsuit, that
Herek had fondled boys and had an
alcohol problem.
Herek has been a priest in the
archdiocese for 26 years, serving in j
11 parishes in Omaha and the 1
Nebraska communities of Coleridge, |
Belden and Beemer. He served the <
St. Richard parish for five years.
On Tuesday, Omaha Archbishop 1
Elden Curtiss said Herek will never |
again serve as a priest.