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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 13, 2000)
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -
Turkey’s government put on hold
Wednesday the execution of
Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah
The move was aimed to
enhance Turkey’s prospects for
joining the European Union.
The decision, which came after
coalition leaders met for eight
hours, came in response to a
request from the European Court of
Human Rights to review Ocalan’s
The rebel leader was sentenced
to death in June by a Turkish court.
Italian Premier Massimo
D’Alema expressed “great satisfac
tion” with Turkey’s decision, saying
“the choice confirms the evolution
of Turkish politics towards Europe
and its democratic principles.”
A Rome city official said the
coliseum would be lit up in the
coming days to mark the decision.
Still, Prime Minister Bulent
Ecevit warned that the execution
was only delayed, not canceled.
“If the rebel organization and
its supporters attempt to use this
process against the high interests of
the state, then the process of delay
ing will be halted and the process of
execution will be started immedi
ately,” Ecevit said.
Ecevit’s warning was an appar
ent attempt to appease the far-right
National Action Party.
The party has pressed for
Ocalan’s hanging. Some 37,000
people, mostly Kurds, have died in
the fighting since 1984.
“The leaders made a very
wrong decision,” said Mehdi
Keskin, a lawyer for Turks who lost
family in the fighting. “They have
made the martyrs’ families’ con
But Ecevit said Ocalan’s death
sentence cannot be overruled.
He also made clear that Turkey
would not wait long. Review of the
case in the European court could
take up to two years.
Reno’s order criticized
■ Strong opposition from
Gov. Jeb Bush, Gonzalez
relatives comes after attor
ney general’s office
WASHINGTON (AP) - Any chal
lenge to the government’s decision to
return Elian Gonzalez to his Cuban
father must come in federal court, said
Attorney General Janet Reno
Wednesday. She brushed aside a
Florida court ruling.
Reno postponed the federal gov
ernment’s Friday deadline for turning
Gonzalez over for return to Cuba. She
wanted to give the 6-year-old boy’s
Florida relatives time to challenge the
But initial reaction from family
lawyers appeared to spurn Reno’s sug
gestion that they argue the case in fed
“We have a (Florida) court order
that says the boy stays for now,” Jose
Garcia-Pedrosa, one of the family’s
attorneys, told WTVJ-TV in Miami.
“We have a subpoena (from a U.S.
House committee) that requires him to
appear in February. The boy isn’t
“I think the attorney general
should re-think her position very, very,
very quickly,” Garcia-Pedrosa said.
Reno did not give a new deadline
or say what steps the federal govern
ment might take next to enforce its
decision if the Florida relatives refuse
to seek a federal court ruling. Federal
officials have said they have no plans
to send Immigration and
Naturalization Service agents to seize
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said the
boy’s future could best be decided in
state court, and he was disappointed
by Reno’s decision.
“I just think it’s not a cut-and-dried
issue, and I think the tie should go to
Elian, not Cuba,” Bush said.
Sen. Connie Mack, R-Fla., said he
was pleased the deadline had been
pushed back. He said when Congress
returns in two weeks, he would push
for quick action on his bill to give
Elian immediate U.S. citizenship.
Leaders of Cuban-American
groups doubted federal agents would
try to take the boy but said other steps
also could trigger more protests in
Miami’s streets. Cuban-American
groups have protested against return
ing the boy to Fidel Castro’s Cuba.
“We trust that they will not do
that,” said Ramon Saul Sanchez, head
of Democracy Movement.
Sanchez called Reno’s decision
disappointing and said more protests
will occur if the boy’s great-uncle, who
is seeking custody, doesn’t get his day
Elian’s mother, stepfather and oth
ers died when their boat capsized as
they fled Cuba. He survived along
with two adults.
Reno wrote to lawyers for the
Florida relatives. She said a Florida
court’s Monday ruling that the boy
must remain in the United States until
a March 6 hearing “has no force or
effect” on the Immigration and
Naturalization Service’s decision in
Meanwhile, a Miami television
news crew filmed Elian on Tuesday as
he made a comment about his senti
ments while playing outside with a
friend. But an airplane was passing
overhead, and the boy’s words, spoken
in Spanish, were in dispute.
It was unclear whether he said he
wanted to stay in Miami or go home to
Cuba. A family spokesman, Armando
Gutierrez, said he didn’t know what
the boy said.
Lawyers for the family visited
Reno here last week to press their
argument that she overrule the INS
decision. Weighing their arguments,
Reno wrote, “I am not currently aware
of any basis for reversing ... (that)
Bus crash kills 42 in Brazil
SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) - A bus
carrying Argentine tourists crashed
head-on into another bus, tipped over
and burst into flames Wednesday in
southeastern Brazil. The crash killed at
least 42 people and injured another 40,
The accident happened in the early
morning hours on a fog-shrouded
mountain highway near the town of
Pouso Redondo, 340 miles southwest of
Sao Paulo in the state of Santa Catarina.
“The crash was so strong that the
Argentine bus exploded into a ball of
fire after falling over on one of its sides,”
said Federal Highway Police ofc. Ivan
Forty-one people were killed at the
scene, including four children, Flores
said. One passenger died at the hospital.
Flores said earlier reports that another
20 tourists were burned to death proved
to be untrue.
“It is highly unlikely that we will
find other bodies under the wreckage,”
The bus carrying the Argentine
tourists was apparently speeding down a
hill when it smashed into the other bus,
which was on a regular inter-city route,
he said. He did not know how many pas
sengers were on the Argentine bus.
The bus from the Argentine
province ofTucuman was headed to the
beach resort of Camboriu, about 60
miles east of the accident site, Flores
An Argentine air force plane was
being sent to Brazil to carry the bodies
back home, Argentina’s ambassador to
Brazil, Jorge Hugo Herreras Vegas, told
Release of Pinochet records ureed
LONDON (AP) - Pressure mount
ed on Britain’s top law enforcement
official Wednesday to release ailing
former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto
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THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
Pinochet’s medical records. The
records could set Pinochet free.
Pinochet has been detained for 15
months on charges of human rights
The human rights group Amnesty
International demanded that Home
Secretary Jack Straw release the
records, at least to Spain - as well as to
France, Switzerland and Belgium,
which also requested Pinochet’s extra
dition claiming their citizens suffered
abuses during his 1973-90 dictator
“Many victims of Pinochet’s
crimes and the families of those who
have been murdered will feel betrayed
if Pinochet is released on the basis of
medical evidence which is not going to
be disclosed,” said Geoffrey Bindman,
an Amnesty attorney.
Straw announced Tuesday that an
independent medical exam on Jan. 5 by
four physicians was “unequivocal and
unanimous” in finding the 84-year-old
general too ill to stand trial. The exam
opened the door for Pinochet to return
to Chile within weeks.
The panel’s findings were not dis
closed. Straw told the House of
Commons that criteria considered
included whether Pinochet would be
able to follow the proceedings, assist in
his own defense and give coherent tes
Pinochet suffered two minor
strokes in September. He also has dia
betes and arthritis and wears a pace
Straw gave the parties involved
seven days to submit arguments before
he issues a final ruling on extradition to
Spain, but he gave no timetable for his
He noted that Pinochet had been
asked to allow Spain and the other
countries involved to read copies of the
medical report, but that the general
“declined to do so.”
Prime Minister Tony Blair’s
Downing Street office issued a state
ment Wednesday saying Pinochet was
entitled to his privacy. In Washington,
White House spokesman Joe Lockhart
said: “This is a legal matter between
Chile and Spain.”
Pinochet’s opponents have a few
alternatives, all viewed as long shots -
appealing to the High Court; attempt
ing to launch a private prosecution; or
convincing Britain’s director of public
prosecutions to bring action.
But even if Pinochet returns to
Chile, he faces the prospect of prosecu
Chilean law has been amended
since the closing days of the Pinochet
regime, when the dictator passed a
wide-ranging law granting himself
immunity from prosecution, said
Pablo Cabrera, Chile’s ambassador in
Pinochet relinquished power in
1990 and became a senator for life.
Pinochet has been detained in
Britain since his Oct. 16,1998, arrest in
a London hospital on the Spanish war
rant. He is accused of using torture to
intimidate and silence political oppo
nents throughout his dictatorship.
Supreme Court: Officers can
stop people who flee police
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
Supreme Court on Wednesday gave
police broad authority to stop and
question people who run at the sight
of an officer.
The 5-4 ruling came short of giv
ing police a blanket right to stop any
one who runs after seeing the police.
But it said such flight may indicate a
crime is being committed and there
fore can help justify a police stop.
The decision was a boost for
police but worried some civil libertar
The court said police had enough
reason to stop a Chicago man who ran
after spotting officers in an area
known for narcotics trafficking.
Funding Israeli-Syrian peace
vital for U.S., Barak says
JERUSALEM (AP) - Prime
Minister Ehud Barak said Wednesday
that a framework for a peace treaty
with Syria could be reached within
two months - and that funding it is a
vital U.S. interest.
Barak was trying, in part, to per
suade a group of visiting U.S. sena
tors to approve billions of dollars in
U.S. taxpayers’ money for an Israeli
withdrawal from the Golan Heights,
the expected price of peace.
The senators spent Wednesday
afternoon flying over the strategic
plateau to try to get a feel for the cost.
Barak said that despite little
apparent progress in the latest round
of U.S.-sponsored peace talks with
Syria, he saw “cracks in the typical
Syrian rigidity” that made him opti
for working poor
WASHINGTON (AP) -
Reassuring himself that he’s not a
lame duck, President Clinton began
laying out the agenda of his final year
in office Wednesday. The agenda
includes a $21 billion expansion in
tax credits for the working poor and
more help for the nation’s neediest
“The great challenge for us today
is to make up our minds: What are we
going to do with this magic moment
of promise?” Clinton said.
Republicans reacted warily to
“I think the Clinton administra
tion spends money every day, it seems
like,” Republican presidential front
runner George W. Bush said. “If you
look at the newspapers and look at the
programs, there is always another
program, another initiative.”
The president spoke before the
Democratic Leadership Council, the
centrist political group he helped
■ United States
States fail to hire better
teachers, survey says
(AP) - The states deserve an
underachiever’s “C” for failing to
deliver on promises to put better
teachers in America’s classrooms,
said authors of a 50-state survey of
efforts to improve public schools.
Quality Counts 2000 found states
often undermine their own aims.
Quality Counts 2000 is Education
Week’s fourth annual state-by-state
look at public schooling in kinder
garten through 12th grade.
For instance, the survey released
Wednesday said 39 states require
basic literacy and math tests for
would-be teachers. Yet loopholes in
36 of those states allow some who fail
to be hired.
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