The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 01, 2000, Page 2, Image 2
News Diaest Concorde crash details reported THE ASSOCIATED PRESS PARIS - The first word that something had gone terribly wrong with the Concorde cafne from die control tower wheiyjie plane was in die air, according toa preliminary report made public Thursday by investigators prob ing the fiery crash. “Concorde zero... 4590, You have flames. You have flames behind you,” the control tower said. It was 4:43 p.m. on July 25. Air France flight 4590, a sleek super sonic Concorde, had just lifted its needle nose toward the heavens after roaring down the runway at breathtaking speed. Seven seconds after the mes sage from the control tower at Charles de Gaulle airport, the chief navigator confirmed, “Breakdown eng... breakdown engine two.” “Cut engine two,” he said, four seconds later. The aircraft tried to gain speed for an emergency landing. But pilot Christian Marty could be heard saying: “Too late.” The chilling seconds - during which a vacation jaunt to America by a group of German tourists was transformed into a tragedy - were resurrected in five minutes of cockpit conversation posted on the Internet on Thursday. They were part of a highly technical 75-page preliminary report by France's Accident and Inquiry Office, the investigators probing the crash. All 109 passengers and crew died when the Concorde, spew ing flames, dove into a hotel near the airport. Four people were killed on the ground It was the first crash in the Concorde’s 24 years of commer cial flying history. The Concorde’s airworthiness certification was withdrawn by France and Britain - the only countries which oper ate the 12 remaining planes - in early August The Accident and Inquiry Office has said it believed a tire blowout was at the origin of a“cat astrophic chain of events” that sent the Concorde plummeting to die ground, its left wing afire. Tyler Hicks/Newsmakers Liaison In control: Security gunmen work to contain the crowd as they wait for Abdikassim Salad Hassan, the new Somali president, Wednesday ata stadium in Mogadishu, Somaiia.Tensof thousands of supporters crowded into the stadium to see the new presi dent but when the crowd became too con gested, Hassan's speech had to be cut short Several people were seri ously injured as the crowd rushed to leave the stadium. Tire death toll may grow by 26 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON - Federal authorities said Thursday that 26 more U.S. traffic deaths - for a total of 88 - are under investiga tion in connection with recalled Firestone tires. Meanwhile, authorities in Venezuela recommended crimi nal prosecution of Ford Motor Co. and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. for deaths there. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received more than 1,400 com plaints, including reports of 88 deaths and more than 250 injuries, since opening its investi gation into Firestone tires that reportedly lose their tread, some times while traveling at highway speeds. NHTSA spokesman Rae Tyson said the death toll included 77 fatalities reported directly to the agency and 11 reported by Bridgestone/Firestone. Previously the agency said it was looking into 62 deaths from accidents that could have been the result of blowouts, tread sepa ration and other problems with the tires. The agency was poised to upgrade the probe, an official said, from a preliminary investi gation in which the agency asked the companies for paperwork of an engineering analysis, during which government engineers studied parts to see if they were defective. Bridgestone/Firestone is recalling 6.5 million of the ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT tires in the United States, but NHTSA is still determining if the recall includes all defective tires. Congress is holding a hearing next week, and Ford CEO Jac Nasser announced Thursday at a news conference that he would testify, reversing his earlier deci sion. Nasser also expressed sym pathy to those affected by prob lems with the tires, often found on Ford vehicles. “At this point it's a very diffi cult situation, I would say, for everyone,” Nasser said. “I would like you to know that I’m sorry that these defective tires are on our vehicles, and I’m depressed about the resulting anxiety, injuries and deaths." Nasser said the problem “was a tire issue, not a vehicle issue.” The Venezuelan consumer protection agency, known as Indecu, issued a report Thursday to the country’s attorney general 7 would like you to know that I’m sorry that these defec tive tires are on our vehicles, and I’m depressed about the resulting anxiety, injuries and deaths." Jac Nasser Ford CEO alleging Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone sup pressed information about defects in Firestone’s Wilderness tires. As complaints about the tires mounted, die companies held a secret meeting in early 1999 where they agreed to change the tire design ratherthan issue a recall, IndecuPjesident Samuel Ruh said. Ford eventually recalled tires in some foreign countries in August 1999, and in Venezuela last May. The delay, the report said, could have resulted in “many consumers of their products los ing their lives or the lives of their loved ones.” Chief Indecu investigator Jorge Dominguez said "approxi mately 46 deaths” in Venezuela could be linked to accidents involving Ford Explorers and Firestone tires. “We believe that all people who suffered should be compen sated for the human and material damages,” the report said. Nasser insisted Ford did not cover up the problem. “I want to just emphasize the accusation from the Venezuelan government official that Ford Venezuela lied is completely unfounded,” he said. "We did not lie to the Venezuelan govern ment” The Indecu report indicated that the Firestone tires and the Ford Explorer design made a “deadly combination.” Indecu said Ford should offer to replace its suspension system on Explorers and Bridgestone/Firestone should expand its recall. * Ruh said a conviction for involuntary manslaughter in product liability cases could result in jail terms of three to eight years under Venezuelan law. The attorney general will decide whether to bring criminal charges, he said. Weather TODAY Partly cloudy high 89, low 71 TOMORROW Partly cloudy high 93, low 70 SUNDAY Partly cloudy high 91, low 68 Questions? Comments? Ask for the appropriate section editor at (402)472-2588 ore-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ' Editor Managing Editor News Editor New Editor Opinion Editor Sports Editor Arts Editor Copy Desk Co-Chief: Copy Desk Co-Chief: Photo Chief: Art Director in Chief: Editor Assistant Web Editor General Manager Publications Board Chairman: Professional Adviser Design Web I jjfHk Profession! * Advertising Manager nt Ad Manager ' Ad Manager rculation Manager Sarah Baker Bradley Davis Dane Stickney Kimberly Sweet Samuel McKewon Matthew Hansen Josh Nichols Lindsay Young Danell McCoy Heather Glenboski Melanie Falk Andrew Broer Gregg Stearns Tanner Graham Dan Shattil Russell Willbanks, (402) 436-7226 Don Walton, (402) 473-7248 Nick Partsch, (402)472-2589 Nicole Woita Nikki Bruner Imtiyaz Khan Fax Number: (402) 472-1761 'orld Wide Web: www.dailyneb.com The Daily Nebraskan (USPS144-080) Wished by the UNL Publications Board, 20 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St., Lincoln, NE 68588-0448, y through Friday during the academic year;%eekly during the summer sessions. The public has access to the PuWications Board, ers are encouraged to submit story and comments to the Daily Nebraskan By calling (402) 472-2588. Subscriptions are $60 for one year, stmaster: Send address changes to Daily Nebraskan, 20 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St., Lincoln, NE 68588-0448. iodical postage paid at Lincoln, NE. ALL MATERIAL COPYRIGHT 2000 DAILY NEBRASKAN Plans to let Serbs vote criticized THE ASSOCIATED PRESS PRISTINA, Yugoslavia - Caught between the United States and European powers, Kosovo's chief U.N. administrator consult ed with Western diplomats Thursday on President Slobodan Milosevic’s surprise plans to allow Kosovo Serbs to vote in Yugoslav elections. Milosevic’s plans added a new element of volatility to already high political tensions and securi ty concerns in the province. Washington opposes includ ing Kosovo in the Sept. 24 elec tions, while European govern ments are not as adamant, point ing out that Kosovo formally remains part ofYugoslavia, even if presently run by NATO and the United Nations, said the officials,' speaking on condition of anonymity. The officials did not specify why the Americans were opposed, but security concerns were one possible reason. The province remains a violent place more than a year after Milosevic’s forces pulled out and NATO and the United Nations moved in, with politically and ethnically motivated killings a daily occur rence. Any plans to include the province in the Yugoslav parlia mentary and presidential elec tions is a sure recipe for violence against Serbs and voting facilities. Additionally, the move by Milosevic could be an attempt to gain popularity by showing Serbs outside the province that Kosovo remains part of their republic, which makes up Yugoslavia along with Montenegro. Many Serbs blame the Yugoslav president for losing Kosovo to the United Nations and NATO. Putin rips media, tycoons ■ The Russian president blames the downsizing of the country's military on the power of business leaders; critics say he is only trying to deflect criticism. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MOSCOW - In a rare public display of anger, President Vladimir Putin accused business tycoons and independent media of ruining the country’s military and sought to distance himself from the legacy of his predecessors. Putin’s remarks, made at last week’s closed meeting with relatives of 118 sea men who died when the nuclear subma rine Kursk sank, were his strongest criti cism yet of the so-called oligarchs - the magnates who acquired their fortunes thanks in part to close links with the Kremlin during Boris Yeltsin’s rule. “They have embezzled enough, bought up the media, and are now manip ulating public opinion,” Putin said, according to a transcript of an audio tape published by the Vlast weekly. The maga zine belongs to the most politically aggres sive of all Russia’s tycoons: Boris Berezovsky. Putin’s government has been harshly criticized in Russia and abroad for its ini tial reluctance to accept foreign aid, which was offered immediately after the Kursk exploded and sank in the Barents Sea on Aug. 12. Russia’s own rescue efforts were bungled by the lack of deep-sea divers, but the authorities agreed to invite British and Norwegian rescue teams only after a four day delay. Facing tears and angry shouts at the Aug. 22 meeting at the Vidyayevo subma rine base, Putin defended himself and the military, saying the authorities had done all they could. He quickly blamed the fail ure of the salvage efforts on the economic turmoil that resulted from the chaotic reforms of his predecessors - Mikhail Gorbachev and Yeltsin. “I'm ready to account for the 100 days that I have been president. As for the previ ous 15 years, I’m ready to sit on the same bench with you and pose these questions to others.” The president’s statements appeared aimed at deflecting criticism rather than i signaling a new attack on the oligarchs or an attempt to sever his links with Yeltsin’s era. "Putin owes his election victory to YeltsinVteam,” said Yevgeny Volk, the director of the Heritage Foundation’s Moscow office. “His statement is no more than a public relations effort, an attempt to shift the blame.” Pressed with questions about the Russian Navy’s bungled rescue effort, Putin said the answer was in the pitiful state of the military, which is struggling to survive a drastic funding shortage. “As for rescue equipment, it has been ruined and there isn't a fig left,” he said. “There isn’t a fig left in the country.” He said the nation could no longer afford a huge army and should drastically cut the number of men and weapons in order to increase military wages and the army's combat effectiveness. Putin pointed at the tycoons as the cul prits for Russia’s economic and military decay, saying they had their media "lie” about the disaster in order to blackmail the government. “The people on television,... who for 10 years were destroying the army and the navy where people are now dying, are the first among the army’s defenders,” Putin said. “Then ^oal is to discredit and com pletely ruin the army and navy.” He wouldn’t name names, but he was clearly referring to both Berezovsky and Vladimir Gusinsky - the owners of Russia’s largest media empires. “They want to influence the mass audience in order to show the military and political leadership that we need them (the media), that we sire on their hook and must fear and obey them and let them fur ther rob the country, the army and the navy,” Putin said. Putin has previously sought to dis tance himself from the oligarchs, and the authorities earlier this year took action against some of the nation’s largest com panies, accusing them of tax evasion or illegal privatization. Gusinsky, whose media outlets have repeatedly criticized the Kremlin, spent several days in jail in June on charges of defrauding the state. The charges were later dropped — but the case had already provoked international concern about media freedom in Russia. World/Nation The Associated Press ■Cafifomia Groups oppose Philip Monis donations LOS ANGELES — The American Lung Association and other smoking opponents called on California community groups to reject donations from Philip Morris, accusing the tobacco company of using charity to deceive the public and curry favor with politicians. Health advocates and pri vate citizens said Wednesday that they were outraged by Philip Morris advertisements highlighting its philanthropy. Peggy Roberts, spokes woman for Phillip Morris, said the company wants to better inform people about its philan thropy, promote awareness of causes like domestic violence, and let people know that Philip , Morris, is more than just tobac co. Among the groups turning down the money were the Democratic National Convention's local host com mittee and the West San Gabriel Valley Boys & Girls Club, said Pat Etem, spokeswoman for L~A Link, an umbrella organization for anti-tobacco groups. ■Florida Shallow-water shark attack claims man's life ST. PETE BEACH.—A man swimming in shallow water in the Intracoastal Waterway was killed in a shark attack wit nessed by his wife. Thadeus Kubinski, 69, was dead by*the time emergency workers arrived following the rare shark sighting in the water way, St. Pete Beach Fire Chief Fred Golliner said. Kubinski’s son Edward said his mother, Anna, told him the couple went swimming in 5 feet of water about 10 feet off his dock in Boca Ciega Bay. Mrs. Kubinski, who was too distressed to speak with the media, noticed her husband struggling with a marine animal and leaped out of the water to seek help. She told another son, Richard, she saw a dorsal fin that was “just like the Jaws situ ation.” ■California FBI nabs suspect in phony press release case LOS ANGELES — A man suspected of putting out a bogus press release that sent a high-tech company’s stock plummeting last week has been arrested. The FBI said the man made nearly $250,000 on the scheme. The phony release, issued last Friday, said that the chief executive of Emulex, a Costa Mesa maker of fiber-optic equipment, had quit and that the company was restating its quarterly earnings from a profit to a loss. Emulex's stock plunged as much as 62 percent in the min utes after several financial news services ran stories based on the fake release. The stock eventually recov ered most of its ground after the company denied the reports. ■Washington/D.C Government reports drug use down second year in a row Teen-agers are continuing to shun illegal drugs, with reported use falling for a second year in a row, the government said Thursday. Though more young adults are reporting drug use, federal health officials and interest groups said a survey shows that anti-drug messages are nipping lifelong abuse in the bud. The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse was released by McCaffrey and Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala. In the survey, 9 percent of 12-to-17-year-olds questioned said they had used an illegal drug such as marijuana or hero in within the previous month. That is down from 9.9 percent who said they did so in 1998; and the 11.4 percent that did so in 1997. Shalala repeatedly stressed a deep downward trend from 1997 through 1999, billing it as "a statistically significant decline.” Use among young adults, 18-to-25-year-olds, continued its steady rise, according to the household survey of 67,000 people ages 12 and up.