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■ Boy’s relatives say his
father is unfit, but elder
Gonzalez and White House
dispute the claim.
WASHINGTON (AP) - With a dead
line looming and legal options narrowing,
relatives of Elian Gonzalez on Sunday
argued that the boy’s fattier is unfit as they
battled to retain custody of the 6-year-old.
The White House responded that there
is no evidence of the sort, and the father’s
lawyer said the “outrageous” allegations
were a sign the Miami relatives are getting
“There is no doubt this father loves his
boy very, very much,” said Gregory Craig,
who represents Juan Miguel Gonzalez.
Three of the relatives’ attorneys,
appearing separately on three Sunday talk
shows, suggested that the fattier is not fit to
raise Elian. Attorney Manny Diaz said the
legal team has submitted evidence to feder
al court and to the government, although he
declined to detail it Sunday.
“One of the lawyers on our team met
with the attorney general at the beginning
of this process and raised those types of
concerns,” Diaz said on ABC’s “This
But Craig said the family is just now
raising the issue after months of allowing
that Gonzalez was a loving man.
“It’s outrageous that at this point in this
discussion... they’re raising these kinds of
questions,” he said on CNN’s “Late
The family’s arguments, backed up by
members of Congress who want Elian to
remain in the United States, come as the
Justice Department insists that the relatives
agree to surrender Elian if they lose their
pending court case.
The Justice Department has given the
relatives until Tuesday to sign such a prom
ise and has threatened to revoke the boy’s
permission to be in this country if they do
not agree. That deadline has been extended
Family members want to preserve their
option to keep up the legal fight even if
they lose their case in federal court, which
enforces immigration lajwr'fhey also want a
family court, which cqpiders a child’s best
^ A child belongs
with his natural
parent unless that
parent’s unfit. We
have no indication
that Elian s father
is an unfit parent.”
lawyer for Juan Miguel Gonzalez
interests, to hear the case.
The Miami relatives have said they will
surrender the boy if Immigration and
Naturalization Service officers show up at
their door and demand him. Federal offi
cials hope to avoid that.
All sides professed that the boy’s wel
fare is their primary interest. Diaz said
turning Elian over to his father would cause
“further irreversible trauma;.”
But John Podesta, the White House
chief of staff, stressed that the Clinton
administration believes Elian should be
with his father, who wants him back in
“A child belongs with his natural par
ent unless that parent’s unfit,” he said on
CBS’s “Face the Nation:” “We have no
indication that Elian’s father is an unfit par
Still, attorney Linda Osberg-Braun
continued to push that theory. She said that
the father told Elian on the phone that his
mother was alive and waiting for him in
Cuba when, in fact, his mother died in the
effort to reach the United States. In
November, Elian was left clinging to an
inner tube until he was rescued.
Osberg-Braun speculated that Elian’s
father was under the influence of the
Cuban government when he misled his
“That’s cruel, and we understand that
that’s because of the forces in Cuba coach
ing him and coercing him to say these hor
rible things to his son,” she said on CBS.
“That needs to be discussed. It needs to be
talks fail to reach
CHICAGO (AP) - Talks between the federal government and
Microsoft broke down Saturday as a judge, trying to mediate a set
tlement in the antitrust lawsuit against die software giant, said he
was ending his effort
\kast week, the judge hearing the case in Washington post
poned his ruling to give the two sides more time to talk.
Federal appeals court Judge Richard Posner in Chicago said
since accepting the task, he had tried to find a common ground
that might enable the two sides to settle their differences.
“After more than four months, it is apparent that the disagree
ments among die parties concerning the likely course, outcome
and consequences of continued litigation, as well as the implica
tions and ramifications of alternative terms of setdement, are too
deep-seated to be bridged,” Posner said in a statement.
Posner said he won’t make any comment on the merits of the
litigation, or on the negotiating positions of the parties involved.
“It’s unfortunate that a settlement wasn’t possible,” Microsoft
Chairman Bill Gates said in a conference call.
“Microsoft certainly went the extra mile.”
Gates said the Microsoft mediation team had devoted more
than 3,000 hours to the settlement effort over the four months of
talks and that the company had offered “significant concessions.”
But Gates reiterated that he believes the company has a strong
iegal case and dismissed suggestions that the breakdown of talks
represented a “corporate death penalty” for Microsoft.
“We are long-term players in the judicial process,” said Bill
Neukom, Microsoft executive vice president and general counsel.
In Washington, Joel I. Klein, the assistant attorney general in
charge of the Justice Department antitrust division, said in a state
ment: “We would have preferred an effective settlement to contin
ued litigation. But settlement for settlement’s sake would be point
Klein said if the ruling goes against Microsoft, the Justice
Department “will seek a remedy that prevents Microsoft from
using its monopoly in the future to stifle competition.”
At issue is a lawsuit filed by the federal government and 19
states alleging that Microsoft repeatedly engaged in illegal anti
competitive behavior by using monopoly power.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson in Washington,
D.C. agreed with nearly all the allegations in an initial finding in
November. He said the company’s aggressive use of its monopoly
status stifled innovation and hurt consumers by limiting choices.
On Tuesday, Jackson postponed his verdict in the case to give
both sides more time to hammer out details of a possible out-of
" Jackson has encouraged the parties to make a deal, attorneys
have said. A statement from the state attorneys general said they
regretted that mediation talks didn’t work out.
“The states, together with the Department of Justice, exerted
their best efforts to make this process succeed,” the statement said.
Both sides have reason to reach a settlement. For Microsoft, a
harsh ruling could be used against the company in dozens of class
A action lawsuits it faces from both rivals and clients.
Windy , Mostly sunny
high 47, low 26 high 53, low 35
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ALL MATERIAL COPYRIGHT 1999
THE DAILY NEBRASKAN .
, Volcano leaves survivors
worried about future
DATE, Japan (AP) - Every April
after the snow melts, Katsumi Miki has
gone out on his tractor to till his veg
etable farm on the slopes of Mount
But this spring, he’s sitting in sweat
pants and slippers in a cramped emer
gency shelter, surrounded by hundreds
of others who fled the eruption of the
volcano on whose slopes they make
Although 2,200 people were
allowed to return to their homes Sunday
for the first time since Usu exploded
back to life last week, the lives of more
than 15,000 others in this scenic comer
of northern Japan remain on hold.
And like Miki, most aren’t as wor
ried about their lives as they are worried
about their livelihoods.
“It’s been five days since I came
here, and I have no idea how my crops
are doing,” Miki said. “I don’t care if I
die, I just want to go check on the farm.”
After days of seismic rumbling,
Mount Usu coughed up gas and debris
two miles into the sky Friday for the
fust time in 22 years.
., More eruptions opened several new
craters, and on the edge of Abuta, a
town o f 13,000 that was evacuated
before the eruptions began, plumes of
smoke continued to swell into the sky
In the cluttered shelter where Miki
was staying, children ran in and out of
the entryway, announcements blared
over a loudspeaker and drying laundry
hung on every available surface.
The facilities were clean and basic
needs were met, but many seem wea
ried by the tight quarters. Still, it was the
future, rather than the present, that was
With rich soil, hot springs and natu
ral beauty, the area at Usu’s feet, home
to about 51,000 people, is a paradise for
farmers, fishermen and hoteliers.
While some have been escorted
back home by authorities to quickly
feed livestock and pets, people worry
about what will happen to farms while
the farmers are away.
The latest volcanic activity has also
changed the shape of the land itself. It
created cones of ash 35 feet high and
cut craters and fissures into the earth. In
the last eruption, in 1978, the mountain
drastically changed its shape - from a
jagged point to a squat and rugged.
lump- -v’;, •
Japan’s prime minister hos
TOKYO (AP) - Japanese
Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi was
hospitalized Sunday after com
plaining of fatigue and underwent
tests, officials said, adding that he
was alert and had not been taken to
the hospital in an ambulance.
Details of the 62-year-old
leader’s condition were not imme
NHK, Japan’s state-run TV
network, reported that Obuchi has
a chronic heart condition, though it
was unknown if that was related to
Neighbors of slain cult
KANUNGU, Uganda (AP) -
Thousands of townspeople gath
ered on a hilltop soccer field
Sunday to mourn the mass murder
of neighbors they barely knew.
Dignitaries joined the residents
of Kanungu and nearby villages to
deplore the deaths of924 members
of a reclusive doomsday sect who
authorities say were murdered by
A March 17 blaze inside the
chapel of the sect’s secretive com
pound in Kanungu burned 530 sect
Authorities initially termed the
deaths a mass suicide, but the dis
covery of the bodies of six slain
men in a compound latrine soon
shifted that assessment to murder.
■ South Carolina
March protests Confederate
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -
More than 600 people set out
Sunday on a five-day, 120-mile
protest march to Columbia to urge
state lawmakers to move the
Confederate flag from the state
“Take it down!” chanted some
marchers. “The people of South
Carolina - white and African
American - want the flag to come
down,” said Charleston Mayor
Joseph P. Riley Jr., who had the
idea for the march. 9
“The purpose is to say the peo
ple of South Carolina are in step,
and we want the Legislature to get
in step with the people of South
Account of Beatles’ music
career to be published soon
LONDON tAP) -Thirty years
after they split up, the three surviv
ing Beatles have written a book
setting the record straight about
the “Fab Four,” Sir Paul
McCartney’s spokesman said
McCartney, George Harrison
and Ringo Starr have spent six
years writing the 360-page
“Beatles Anthology,” to be pub
lished in Britain and the United
States in the fall.
The book will provide the
frankest account of how the band
ruled the pop world in the 1960s.
“We’re talking a huge volume
of work, it’s encyclopedic - it
weighs something like two kilos
(4.4 pounds),” said Geoff Baker,
“It goes across the board,
everything is in there. It is about
the Beatles as a band, the music,
but it deals with everything else -
. .the tours, the drugs, the disputes ”
' Baker said. “This book answers all
the questions.” 4
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