The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 08, 1999, Page 2, Image 2

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    Wednesday, September 8,1999-*_ Page 2
12 accept Clinton clemency deal
WASHINGTON (AP) — Twelve of 14 jailed
Puerto Rican nationalists agreed Tuesday to a politi
cally sensitive clemency deal offered by President
Clinton but opposed by his wife, prospective Senate
candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The Puerto Ricans, jailed on weapons and sedi
tion convictions, are members of pro-independence
guerrilla groups that carried out a wave of bombings
in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s.
The nearly month-old offer is conditioned on
statements from each independence activist that they
will not engage in violence if released. The activists
had until Friday to take or leave the deal.
Two imprisoned activists are expected to reject
the clemency offer, the White House said. Two others,
who are not in jail, have another week to respond. If
they agree to the White House terms, their fines will
be reduced.
At a news conference in San Juan, activist leader
Luis Nieves Falcon confirmed that 11 members of
the Armed Forces of National Liberation and one
leader of the Macheteros separatist group had accept
ed the three-week-old offer.
“The conditions are terrible,” said Deadina Ortiz,
mother of New York City art teacher Elizam Escobar,
who has been in jail in Oklahoma for 19 years.
“Clinton’s crazy. How can somebody say, for exam
pie, that two sisters can’t see each other just because
of their beliefs? However, I think it’s enough. It’s
already a lot. And it’s time for him to come home to
The Armed Forces of National Liberation,
known by its Spanish initials FALN, carried out more
than 100 bombings in the United States between
1974 and 1983. ^
The bombings killed six and wounded dozens.
The imprisoned nationalists were not convicted in
any of die bombings but were found guilty of sedi
tious conspiracy and possession of weapons and
The clemency offer has divided the first family
and brought criticism from both Republicans and
“I think there have been many who have sought to
inject politics, and many who have thought to inject a
motive here, and all I can say is that they’re wrong,”
said Joe Lockhart, Clinton’s press secretary, at his
daily briefing for reporters.
Hillary Clinton, a potential candidate for a Senate
seat from New York, has urged the president to
rescind the proposal.
“It’s been three weeks, and their silence speaks
volumes,” the first lady said over the weekend.
Some Democrats, including the senator Hillary
* ~r ■
I think there have been many
who have sought to inject
politics, and many who have
thought to inject a motive
here, and all I can say is
thqt they re wrong ”
Joe Lockhart
Clinton’s press secretary
Clinton would replace, Democrat Daniel Patrick
Moynihan, have called the clemency deal a bad idea.
Now that Mrs. Clinton has spoken out, Democrats
who cheered the clemency deal are calling her a turn
coat. /
“I am disappointed. I am angry,” said Rep. Jose
Serrano, D-N.Y. “And frankly, I view her and her can
didacy differently after reading reports of her com
ments and actions. I would be a hypocrite if I did not”
Gore sets campaign
sights on health care
President A1 Gore promised Tuesday
to ensure that all children have access
to affordable health care by 2005,
offering a wide-ranging package of
reforms aimed at bringing as many as
15 million uninsured Americans into
the health care system.
Yet the Democratic presidential
candidate stressed that, if he captured
the White House, he would pursue the
same incremental approach to chang
ing health care that President Clinton
adopted after his attempt to revamp the
system failed to win congressional
approval in 1994.
“We have all learned that we can
not overhaul the system in one fell
swoop,” Gore said at Children’s
Hospital. “Experience has taught us
that there is a way to keep what is right,
while fixing what is wrong with
American health care.”
The unveiling of Gore’s health care
proposals - and Texas Gov. George W.
Bush’s announcement of his education
program last week - moves the cam
paign for the White House to a new
stage as the candidates begin offering
specifics on their agendas.
. Gore did not mention Bush in his
remarks, but one reference clearly was
aimed at the Republican presidential
“In some states - Texas brings to
mind - one-quarter of all children are
still out in the cold,” Gore said.
With his proposal, the vice presi
dent staked out different ground than
that of his Democratic rival - former
Sen. Bill Bradley, who has said he will
propose something approaching uni
versal coverage - and Republicans and
health industry advocates, who fear
imposing too many mandates on pri
vate health care firms will raise costs.
While portions of his package
were new, Gore borrowed heavily
from initiatives promoted by Clinton
and, in a few cases, by Republicans.
Gore did not estimate the cost of '
his proposals. Spokesman Chris
Lehane said that would come “in the
near future,” and said he did not antici
pate a tax increase would be needed to
finance them.
According to Gore, 43 million
Americans lack health care coverage,
and the number has grown by about 1
million a year this decade. Some 11
million children are uninsured.
To cover them, Gore would
expand the Children’s Health
Insurance Program, which helps states
provide coverage to children in work
ing families. Currently, states can use
the federal CHIP money to cover chil
dren in families that earn up to 200
percent of the poverty level. Gore
would raise that cap to 250 percent.
Gore would allow families that do
not qualify for the program, and do not
receive health benefits through their
jobs, to buy into the program.
Gore would give financial bonuses
to states that meet enrollment targets
for CHIP and Medicaid, programs he
said are not fully utilized.
Viacom acquires
CBS in merger
■ Viacom is reuniting
with the network after a
split in the ’70s.
NEW YORK (AP) — Viacom
Inc. is buying CBS Corp. in the rich
est media merger in history — a
$35.89 billion deal that combines
the owner of hip properties like
MTV and VH1 with the venerable
network that brought you “60
Minutes” and “Murder, She Wrote.”
The merger announced Tuesday
vaults Viacom into the major
leagues of media conglomerates
alongside Time Warner Inc. and the
Walt Disney Co. with a major stable
of properties across TV, ^movies,
radio and outdoor advertising.
The new company will be called
Viacom, but the CBS name — long
associated with broadcast veterans
like Walter Cronkite and Edward R.
Murrow — will continue to identify
the TV network.
In a way, the deal was not so
much a merger as a reunion. Viacom
was originally split off from CBS in
the early 1970s by federal rules, now
repealed, that prohibited networks
from owning their own shows.
Viacom chairman Sumner
Redstone, who will lead the new
company as its chairman and CEO,
called CBS and Viacom “siblings,”
saying at a New York news confer
ence that the merger “seems almost
dictated by destiny.”
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Shares of both companies,
which have been run up over the past
week on speculation that a deal was
in the works, shot up even more after
the.announcement of the merger
Tuesday morning.
Even though Viacom is buying
CBS’s shares, CBS management
will have a major role in the new
company. CBS president Mel
Karmazin, 56, will be president and
chief operating officer, becoming
heir apparent to Redstone, who is
The new Viacom will own the
CBS networks which was the top
rated network last season, as well as
the Paramount movie and TV studio,
MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, and the
Simon & Schuster publishing
house. . V
Viacom is gainingmajor adver
tising outlets with CBS thafit can
use to promote its movies, cable pro
gramming and TV shows. CBS,
through its Infinity subsidiary, is
one of the largest radio companies in
the nation, and it also has a huge
array of outdoor advertising proper
For CBS, the deal provides
access to top TV studios for pro
gramming and international expo
sure through Viacom’s overseas
cable operations.
The deal would be the latest
transformation of CBS, which was
founded in 1927 and became known
as the “Tiffany Network” under the
leadership of William Paley. Paley’s
successor, Laurence Tisch, sold
CBS to Westinghouse Electric Corp.
in 1995. Westinghouse then shed its
industrial businesses and took the
CBS name.
The deal had its roots in talks
between the two companies about
combining their TV stations. Many
media companies have been talking
about such deals since a ruling last
month by the Federal
Communications Commission to
allow companies to own more than
one TV station in the same city.
The CBS-Viacom merger would
be the biggest in the media business
since Walt Disney’s purchase of
Capital Cities/ABC for a then
record $ 19 billion in 1996.
says gas
gu up this winter
several years of modest costs, heating
bills are expected to take a jump this
winter because of higher oil and natur
al gas prices and increased demand, the
Energy Department said Tuesday.
Consumers got used to unusually
low heating costs during the last two
winters because of depressed oil prices
and mild weather.
Residential heating oil on average
could be 30 percent higher than last
winter and residential natural gas
prices about 17 percent higher, the
agency projected.
■ Washington
Reno offers Waco inquiry
to Republican Sen. Danforth
Attorney General Janet Reno has
offered Republican former Sen. John
Danforth the job of heading an inde
pendent inquiry into the govern
ment’s use of force at the fiery end of
the Branch Davidian standoff in
Waco, Texas, government sources
said Tuesday.
The sources, who spoke only on
condition of anonymity, told The
Associated Press that the Justice
Department was in final negotiations
over the details of the independent
inquiry and an announcement could
come as early as Wednesday.
Danforth, 63, would bring solid
Republican credentials as well as a
background in law enforcement.
Before entering the Senate, he served
as attorney general in Missouri for
eight years. He retired from the
Senate in 1995.
■ Indonesia
East Timor police fire
at U.N. regional office
DILI, Indonesia (AP) —
Indonesian police opened fire at a
regional U.N. office in East Timor
today, reportedly sending occupants
ducking to the floor hours after the
government imposed martial law and
promised to return normalcy to the
terror-ridden province.
East Timor’s spiritual leader,,
Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Belo,
a winner of the 1996 Nobel Peace
Prize, fled the territory on an evacua
tion flight from the town of Baucau
to Darwin, Australia, U.N. officials
The bishop was one of tens of
thousands of people fleeing the
vicious backlash of burning, shoot
ing and killings unleashed by oppo
nents of last week’s landslide referen
dum for independence.
The Indonesian government
declared martial law Tuesday.
. i
■ Greece
Earthquake rocks Greece;
at least 32 dead, 100 missing
ATHENS, Greece (AP) —
Rescue teams and stunned residents
used everything from cranes to gar
den tools Tuesday to dig for those
pinned under wreckage from the
strongest earthquake to hit Athens in
nearly a century — a 10-second
shudder that claimed at least 32 lives
and left close to 100 missing.
The scenes of desperate searches
and survivors too frightened to return
indoors were sadly familiar — last
month’s monstrous quake in neigh
boring Turkey had moved many
Greeks to put aside their historical
enmity with Turks and mobilize aid.