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Israel, Palestinian talks improve
■ Clinton calls for com
promise; Arafat and Barak
meet to plan next move.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President
Clinton tried Thursday to pick up the
pace of slow-moving talks between
Israel and the Palestinians, telling the
two sides “no one can get everything”
in an accord.
Calling for compromise as he sat
down with Yasser Arafat in the Oval
Office, Clinton said he would be dis
appointed if a settlement were not
reached. “We have the leaders who can
do it,” he said, offering again to do
whatever he could to resolve their dif
Arafat agreed there would be diffi
culties along the way, but he said nego
tiations would deal with them. He
declined to say whether he was willing
to accept less than all his demands.
With evident satisfaction, Arafat
said he had reached agreement with
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak for
Israel to transfer another 6.1 percent of
the West Bank to the Palestinian
“Within two weeks, we will
receive the 6 percent,” Arafat said.
“This is something Prime Minister
Barak and I agreed to 24 or 48 hours
Arafat and Barak met outside Tel
Aviv on Monday to implement Israel’s
commitment to turn over the territory
under a U.S.-brokered agreement
between the two leaders in September.
It was not clear from Arafat’s
remark whether the two sides had
resolved exactly what land Israel
After the meeting with Clinton, the
Palestinian leader said he had asked
for Clinton’s help to assure successful
negotiations; “It was a very fruitful
and productive and important meet
ing,” Arafat said.
With Clinton’s support, Barak and
Arafat last year set Feb. 13 as the dead
line for resolving their disputes over
Palestinian statehood aspirations and
the future of Jerusalem, at least to the
extent that Israel and the Palestinian
Authority could complete a frame
A final settlement, which also
would deal with refugees and other
issues, is due in the fall.
Clinton is trying to juggle slow
moving negotiations on the Israeli
Palestinian front with sidetracked
peace talks between Israel and Syria.
State Department spokesman
James P. Rubin said Syrian officials
would come to Washington next week,
to be followed by Israeli experts, in an
effort to deal with some of die nagging
issues on that track.
Direct Israel-Syria talks were set
to resume Wednesday at
Shepherdstown, W.Va., but they were
suspended indefinitely. Secretary of
State Madeleine Albright and other
U.S. officials have said each side
wanted its demands given immediate
Clinton said Wednesday he would
take on the task of nudging Syria and
Israel along, and that neither side was
giving up despite the suspension of
In Damascus, Syria’s state-run
newspapers urged Washington to push
Israel harder to spell out its intentions
on returning the Golan Heights.
Arafat had lunch Thursday with
Albright in her home before heading
^ It was a very
to the White House.
The Palestinian leader told
reporters the discussion with Albright
was “warm, positive and beautiful,” a
description echoed by the secretary.
Neither gave any clue to the substance
of their meeting.
Arafat is seeking the 60 percent of
the West Bank that Israel still controls,
wants to establish a state and be given
part of Jerusalem as its capital.
Barak and his ruling Labor Party
seem to agree with having a
Palestinian state on their country’s
border but have dealt ambiguously
with its scope and Jerusalem.
German party accountant commits suicide
■ Parliament member’s
death unrelated to scandal,
party officials say.
BERLIN (AP) - The senior
accountant in parliament for the scan
dal-plagued Christian Democrats
committed suicide Thursday, stun
ning lawmakers as new questions
arose about the financial dealings of
the party that has dominated postwar
Party officials sought to quell
speculation that the death was linked
to the scandal, saying a suicide note
had been found citing “personal
Berlin prosecutors, however, said
they were conducting a preliminary
investigation into possible breach of
trust based on the note. The Berlin
B.Z. tabloid reported the note refers
to Wolfgang Huellen’s concerns that
an upcoming audit would reveal he
had diverted money from official
Huellen’s suicide - disclosed
hours after lawmakers sparred in par
liament over the affair - compounded
the sense of despair consuming the
conservatives since their former
leader, ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl,
admitted last month that he managed
secret accounts in the 1990s.
A parliamentary committee
issued a summons Thursday for Kohl
to testify in its investigation into
whether the $1 million he acknowl
edges having taken - or millions
more in other allegedly illicit funds
uncovered since - were tied to politi
Kohl has repeatedly denied such
charges, but his refusal to reveal the
source of the cash has kept alive sus
picions of bribery.
The tiny Alpine tax haven of
Liechtenstein said Thursday it has
frozen bank accounts in connection
with a Swiss investigation into
alleged payoffs in the 1992 sale of the
Leuna oil refinery in former East
Germany to France’s Elf-Aquitaine.
Norbert Marxer, head of
Liechtenstein’s legal service,
declined to give details.
But a Berlin daily, the Berliner
Zeitung, reported the accounts were
linked to Dieter Holzer, a business
man living in Monaco, who is sus
pected of having funneled the alleged
payoffs to Kohl’s Christian
Holzer denied in Die Welt news
paper donating money to any German
Social Democratic Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder, who ended
Kohl’s 16 years in office in 1998, sat
quietly during Thursday’s parliament
debate while other lawmakers from
his center-left coalition accused the
Christian Democrats of money laun
Peter Struck, floor leader of the
governing Social Democrats, accused
Kohl - who did not attend - of hin
dering efforts to clear up the scandal
with his stubborn refusal to identify
“Do your country one last service
and cleanse it of the suspicion that
shady figures influenced German
policy for years,” Struck said, declar
ing the Christian Democrats “morally
Kohl, who was humiliated into
resigning this week as honorary party
chairman, said on national television
last month that the money he accept
ed came from “patriotic” donors
wanting to help build up the party in
the former communist eastern states.
But some critics, noting that no
one has come forward to back his ver
sion, have suggested that there are no
donors, and the money came from
Just a few hours after the debate
ended, parliament suspended a regu
lar session while Christian
Democrats were informed of the
death of Huellen, who was the senior
accountant for the party’s parliamen
tary group since 1984. He was found
hanged in his Berlin apartment.
Huellen, 49, had not been pub
licly implicated in the scandal.
However, government legislators
have raised questions about the legal
ity of a $570,000 cash transfer from
the parliamentary group to the party
headquarters in 1997.
The Christian Democrats have
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THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
crash a deliberate act
NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP)
- Weeks after the last pile of debris from
EgyptAir 990 was pulled from the sea,
investigators say they are more con
vinced than ever of their original theory:
The jet was crashed deliberately.
The examination of the shattered
Boeing 767, some 70 percent of which
was recovered from the ocean floor, has
revealed no signs of a mechanical fail
ure that would have caused the plane to
plummet 40 minutes into its 11 -hour
flight, according to three officials close
to the investigation who spoke on con
dition of anonymity.
“Everything leads everyone to
believe that the plane was mechanically
sound, and it was doing what it was sup
posed to,” one government official told
The Associated Press.
The National Transportation Safety
Board has said there are no plans to
reconstruct the aircraft.
“I think they’re fairly convinced
they know what happened based on the
radar data, flight data and voice data,”
said Barry Schiff, a TWA pilot for 34
years who instructed trainees on the
Investigators have said the cockpit
voice recorder contained some utter
ance, perhaps aprayer, before the plane
went into its fatal plunge. But Schiff
said the flight and radar data alone make
it clear someone forced the aircraft
down Oct. 31 off the Massachusetts
island of Nantucket, killing all 217.
The NTSB’s working theory
remains that the plane was sent into a
nose dive by relief co-pilot Gamil El
Batouty, who took control of the aircraft
shortly after takeoff from New York’s
Kennedy Airport, according to two offi
cials close to the investigation.
The FBI has been involved from the
start and has uncovered no evidence of
terrorism or conspiracy, according to
one of the federal officials.
EgyptAir and El-Batouty’s family
have angrily rejected the theory of an
“If the pilots were American, would
they dare to say the same things?” El
Batouty’s nephew, Walid El-Batouty,
told The Associated Press in an inter
view last week in Egypt. “We’ve been
shattered, humiliated and accused.”
Id and Nation
Bradley admits number
of heart-related episodes
MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa
(AP) - Democratic presidential can
didate Bill Bradley said Thursday he
has suffered four irregular heartbeat
episodes since he first disclosed his
non-life threatening condition more
than a month ago.
Bradley, who did not say when
the episodes occurred, said he would
make them public only if they
required him to seek a doctor’s opin
“It has no affect on the race,”
Bradley said at an impromptu news
conference where aides permitted
only a few questions. He said the
episodes are regular and predictable.
The disclosure came just days
before the first voting of the presi
dential year with Bradley competing
in the Iowa caucuses against Vice
President A1 Gore, who is the front
Package bomb explodes
in woman’s house
EVERETT, Mass. (AP) - A
package bomb exploded in a house in
this Boston suburb Thursday, killing
The package was left at the house
around 12:30 p.m., and it exploded
after the victim brought it upstairs,
said Middlesex District Attorney
Martha Coakley. She wouldn’t say
whether it was delivered by a mail
“We are pursuing leads in the
case,” Coakley said. “We have no
reason to believe it is a random
Nearby residents were evacuated
while agents from the FBI and the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms investigated the scene.
State police detonated the trunk of
the woman’s car to make sure there
wasn’t a bomb in it.
Cuban boy’s grandmothers
to travel to United States
tody fight over Elian Gonzalez took a
new turn Thursday as the grandmoth
ers of the 6-year-old obtained visas to
travel to the United States to make
their case that the boy should be
returned to his father in Cuba.
The U.S. diplomatic mission in
Cuba issued visas to the two women
Thursday afternoon as a group from
the National Council of Churches
was flying to Havana from New York
to meet with them and with Cuban
They were expected to fly to New
York today, apparently escorted by
the church group and Democratic
Rep. Charles Rangel of New York.
to distribute Nixon tapes
WASHINGTON (AP) - Hear
Richard Nixon like you’ve never
heard him before.
The National Archives begins
distributing cassettes of the presi
dent’s once-secret tapes today - at
$18 a pop. Warning: The government
has determined that these tapes con
tain language some people might
For years, Americans have read
transcripts of the Nixon tapes - salty
language and all.
Besides a few bootleg tapes ille
gally broadcast years ago and snip
pets of recordings played in court, the
Nixon tapes have not been publicly
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