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Independent Counsel Act
on last leg, most predict
WASHINGTON (AP) -
Lawmakers from both parties saw
almost no chance Sunday for survival
of the Independent Counsel A ct, which
provided the framework for Kenneth
Starr’s investigation of President
Clinton, when it comes up for renewal
“This law needs to terminate. I
don’t want it to be amended. I want it to
be ended,” Sen. Mitch McConnell, R
Ky., said on CNN’s “Late Edition.”
The act passed in 1978 as the post
Watergate Congress sought a means to
ensure that politics did not interfere
when the president, his cabinet and
other senior officials are investigated
for wrongdoing. It expires June 30
unless Congress and the president
approve its reauthorization.
Attorney General Janet Reno, at
the urging of Republicans, has seven
times asked for the naming of an inde
pendent counsel to investigate admin
istration officials, most notably Starr
who has pursued President Clinton’s
connections to Whitewater,
Travelgate, the FBI files and finally his
affair with Monica Lewinsky, which
led to Clinton’s impeachment.
Democrats contend that Starr
abused the almost unlimited powers
the act gives an independent counsel,
while Republicans have joined
Democrats in protesting the amount of
Starr has spent more than $40 mil
lion over more than four years investi
gating the president. Another indepen
dent counsel, Donald Smaltz, took
four years and $ 17 million looking into
corruption charges against former
Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, who
Republicans also are unhappy
about past independent counsel activi
ties during GOP administrations and
about Reno’s decisions not to seek
independent counsels for possible
Democratic campaign fund-raising
“One thing we can do in this
Congress is not extend the life of the
independent counsel statute. It was a
post-Watergate liberal notion, and it
was a disaster,” said Sen. Daniel
Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., on NBC’s
“Meet the Press.”
“It’s either going to be rewritten
significantly, or it will be allowed to
lapse. In all likelihood the latter,”
agreed Sen. Don Nickles of
Oklahoma, Republican whip in the
Senate, on ABC’s “This Week.”
White House Chief of Staff John
Podesta, also on NBC, said that while
the White House has taken no final
position, “It’s virtually hopeless to try
to fix it, I think, without some major,
The American Bar Association,
which helped craft the Independent
Counsel Act two decades ago, last
week voted 384-49 to end its support
for the law.
“It was designed to remove politics
from the investigation of public offi
cials,” said Philip Anderson, who
heads the 400,000-member group.
“The majority of Americans would say
that politics has not been removed.”
Congress is likely to hold hearings
on the future of the act in the coming
weeks, but McConnell said in the end
lawmakers could kill it just by failing
to act on its renewal.
He noted that the country handled
its two biggest scandals, Teapot Dome
in the 1920s and Watergate in the
1970s, without an independent coun
sel. “I think the existing system can
handle scandal quite well,” he said.
This law needs to
terminate. I don’t
want it to be
amended. I want it
to be ended.”
Sen. Mitch McConnell
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Majority of Americans agree
with decision to acquit
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A majority
of Americans think the Senate was right
to acquit President Clinton of impeach
ment charges and believe Republicans
pursued the matter for political reasons,
according to a Los Angeles Times poll
Sixty-five percent of those surveyed
after Friday’s vote supported the acquit
tal, while 30 percent thought Clinton
should have been removed from office.
■ United Kingdom
Gadhafi may seek acquittal
of Pan Am bombing suspects
LONDON (AP) - Pressured to send
two suspects in the 1988 bombing of a
Pan Am jetliner to face trial before
Scottish judges, Libya’s Col. Moammar
Gadhafi may be heading for a double
victory: an end to U.N. sanctions and an
acquittal of the suspects.
Legal experts believe it will be
tough to prove that the men actually
built and planted the radio bomb that
blew up Flight 103 over Lockerbie,
Scotland. A total of 270 people, includ
ing 198 Americans, were killed.
Saudi Arabian diplomats told U.N.
officials Friday in New York that Libya
- under U.N. sanctions for refusing to
extradite the suspects - has agreed to
bring Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and
Lamen Khalifa Fhimah to The
Netherlands, where a Scottish panel of
judges will sit in a special court.
Kosovo peace talks extended
to allow time to consider plan
PARIS (AP) - Despite a conclusion
that “nothing has really been solved,”
the United States and five other nations
gave rival Serbs and ethnic Albanians
another week to consider their plan for
ending yearlong conflict in Kosovo.
Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright, intervening directly, brought
the two sides together Sunday, face-to
face, for the first time. She reported
afterward that the Albanians, at least,
thought the plan that would give them
self-rule but not independence was a
Edict against Rushdie
declared valid and in effect
TEHRAN (AP) - On the 10th
anniversary of the edict against British
writer Salman Rushdie, an Iranian
foundation that has put a price on his
head said Sunday that it remained valid
and would be carried out.
“The idea of Rushdie’s annihilation
is still very much alive and seeks only
the right moment,” Ayatollah Hassan
Saneii said in a statement published in
the hard-line Jomhuri Islami daily.
Saneii’s Khordad Foundation, a
semi-official charity organization, has
offered a $2.8 million reward to anyone
who kills Rushdie, the author of “The
please, peeve some
VALENTINE from page 1
“The consensus is Valentine s Day
sucks,” said Tara Doescher, a UNL
sophomore psychology and English
Doescher and her roommate,
Megan Piepho, a UNL junior fine arts
major, said high school popularity con
tests made them dislike the holiday.
Piepho said her South Sioux City
high school would call out names over
the intercom on Valentine’s Day. The
girls who heard their names would
return from the office with flowers
delivered to the school.
Doescher said her Smith Residence
Hall front desk reminded her of this.
“I think everyone’s dream is to go
down to the front desk and see flowers
and a card with your name on it,” she
Mary Swoboda, a clinical social
worker at the University Health Center,
said Valentine’s Day can be depressing.
“It’s a time of year where you can
feel worse by comparison,” she said.
Swoboda said students should
focus on the friendships they already
have and try not to have pity parties.
Ruben Parra, a fourth-year UNL
graduate student in chemistry, said his
home country of Colombia’s “Day of
Love and Friendship,” celebrated in
September, emphasized friendships as
well as romantic love.
Parra said he liked Colombia’s “El
Dia de Amor y Amistad” better than the
U.S. holiday because he and his friends
exchanged candy and T-shirts and did
n’t have to worry as much about finding
a romantic relationship.
Michael and Lisa Moore were
happy to celebrate a traditional
Valentine’s Day this year.
The couple, who married less than
a month ago, spent the day eating a spe
cial meal and attending the Lied Center
for Performing Arts’ “Romantic
Lisa Moore said she wanted to give
her husband, a senior biological sys
tems engineering major, a surprise din
ner of a “tropical chicken medley.”
Moore, who graduated last May
with a communication studies degree,
said she and her husband would
remember this year’s Valentine’s Day.
“It’s our first being married, and
we’re doing a lot of memorable things.”
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ALL MATERIAL COPYRIGHT 1999
THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
Relief among acquittal reactions
ACQUITTAL from page 1
Jack Lehman, a senior account
ing major, said he watched Friday’s
vote on television. Earlier in the
investigation, Lehman said, he was
concerned acquittal would set a bad
precedent and encourage miscon
duct by future presidents.
“At first, I thought if Clinton
could do these things, then it would
be hard to ever convict another pres
ident,” he said.
Lehman said he was now con
vinced impeachment was a partisan
process, and the fate of future presi
dents would depend above all on the
makeup and political mood of the
Lehman said he was unsure how
he would have voted if he were a
member of the Senate. He said he did
not follow the investigation closely
and lost interest as it progressed.
Joslen Wigert, a junior business
administration major, said she was
disappointed by Clinton’s acquittal.
She worried the verdict would mean
the president was above the law.
“I thought for the leader of this
nation to have gotten off this easily
would not be good,” she said.
Although Clinton was attempt
ing to conceal private sexual behav
ior, his deceit was a matter of public
concern, Wigert said.
Ay^a Ariyoruk, a junior interna
tional affairs major from Turkey, said
she was confused by the scandal and
thought it could have been handled
“Generally I don’t see too much
trouble with the effect of his private
life on his public life,” she said.
Clinton’s scandal has made the
president the butt of jokes around the
world, touching on everything from
his cigars to his taste in women,
Ariyoruk said with a laugh.
“I think he represents the social
decline and degeneration in the
United States,” she said.
Tim Rye, a senior biology major,
said he thought Clinton’s acquittal
was the best outcome for the coun
Rye said he would have voted to
acquit the president. The House
managers’ charges, particularly
obstruction of justice, may have war
ranted Clinton’s removal, but Rye
said he did not believe the managers
proved their case.
But he said the allegations
against Clinton were serious enough
to warrant the impeachment inquiry.
“It was justifiable to find out if
there was any wrongdoing,” he said.
Rye blamed Clinton for not pre
venting the crisis by telling the truth
to the American public and the grand
jury in the Paula Jones sexual harass
Christa Vieyra. a freshman busi
ness administration major, and Tracy
O’Donnell, a freshman general stud
ies major, were somewhat ambiva
lent about the Clinton verdict.
O’Donnell said she would have
voted to convict Clinton, while
Vieyra was unsure how she would
The president was guilty as
charged and should not be above the
law, O’Donnell said. Yet she said she
was uncomfortable with public
probing into politicians’ private
“In a way it wasn’t anyone’s busi
ness,” she said. “But even if you are
the president, what he did was
Vieyra said Clinton’s actions
were not just a private matter.
Because of Clinton’s status as the
nation’s leader, the public had a right
to know about his private misbehav
ior, she said especially when he
attempted to conceal it in a legal pro
Asked how the Clinton
Lewinsky scandal had affected their
perception of American politics,
O’Donnell and Vieyra exclaimed
simultaneously, “I hate politics!”
Report projects demand for teachers to rise
1 hALhLhjKo irom page 1
hear about the possibility of a teaching
“Three years ago, we didn’t see it at
all,” O’Hanlon said. “Now we are
experiencing it first-hand.”
O’Hanlon said he believed the
main reason for the possible shortage
was early teacher retirement plans.
“It’s enviable,” O’Hanlon said.
“Ultimately it comes down to the law
of supply and demand.”
Under the early retirement plan,
which has been called the “rule of 85,”
full retirement pensions are granted to
employees whose age and years of ser
vice total 85. Employees must be at
least 55 years old to be eligible.
The plan was passed last year by
the Legislature. Because of the plan,
more than 4,000 teachers could retire
by 2008, leaving the state with 4,163
unfilled teaching positions, Britten
Savage said that to help retain
teachers, the state should consider
eliminating the plan.
But State Education
Commissioner Doug Christensen
defended the retirement plan, saying it
allows schools to deal with cost issues
while giving a break to teachers.
“When I saw teachers who spend
30 to 35 years teaching, their last few
years were miserable,” Christensen
said. “They hung on until age 55 so
they didn’t get a retirement penalty,
and they leave teaching bitter.”
Britten said the report did not
account for teachers that Nebraska
potentially could gain, or for possible
increases or decreases in student
enrollment over the next four to nine
“These factors may increase sup
ply. They may decrease supply. I don’t
know,” Britten said.
O’Hanlon said over the past 10
years, the number of teaching certifi
cates granted by HNL has decreased.
In 1997-98, 329 teachers graduat
ed from UNL. compared with 486 in
the 1987-88 school year.
O’Hanlon said the college has
developed extensive recmiting plans
and has redesigned its transfer level
programs to encourage more students
to seek a teaching degree.
“People aren’t dumb. They want to
go where the jobs are.” he said. “But I
think for the next two to three years, we
have our work cut out for us.”
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