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U.S. votes to
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON -Hie Senate voted Wednesday
to release $582 million in dues owed the United
Nations as part of a deal pushed by Foreign
Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms to
reduce the United States’ share of U.N. operating
and peacekeeping costs.
Helms, R-N.C., a longtime critic of financial
support for the United Nations, gave his blessings
to the funding.
“U.N. member states have come a long way on
reforms and fairer assessment scales,” Helms said.
Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., ranking Democrat
on the Foreign Relations Committee, praised the
conservative Helms for his tenacity in linking U.S.
payments to U.N. reforms.
“Just as only Nixon could go to China, only
Helms could fix die U.N.,” Biden said.
The 99-0 roll call, the Senate’s first legislative
vote of the new Congress, sends the bill to the
House. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, did not vote.
At U.N. headquarters in New York, spokesman
Fred Eckhard said: “The Senate Foreign Relations
Committee has kept faith with the United Nations
by voting to free up this money, and now the
Senate has endorsed their vote.”
“The countries that contribute troops to U.N.
peacekeeping operations, to whom we owe all of
this money, join us in waiting for final approval by
the House,” Eckhard said.
Helms and Biden crafted legislation in 1999
under which the United States would pay $926
million in U.N. dues if the organization stream
lined its bureaucracy and reduced America's share
of U.N. operating and peacekeeping costs.
In December 1999, the United States paid the
first $100 million of that amount that was needed
to stave off suspension of U.S. voting rights in the
U.N. General Assembly. The third portion of $244
million would be paid next year if the United
Nations follows through on the agreement,
including implementing budgetary improve
ments at the World Health Organization,
International Labor Organization and other U.N.
Last December, in the first financial overhaul
of the regular U.N. budget in 28 years, the General
Assembly agreed that the U.S. share of the operat
ing budget would drop from 25 percent to 22 per
cent and its share of the peacekeeping budget
would be reduced gradually from 31 percent to
26.5 percent in 2003.
Key to reaching the deal was a one-time gift of
$34 million offered by American media tycoon Ted
Huner to cover the shortfall in the main U.N.
budget created by the reduced U.S. contribution
Helms said the peacekeeping share was still
above the 25 percent cap set by Congress in 1994,
but the deal would save United States about $170
million a year. The Senate vote Wednesday was
necessary because the Helms-Biden language of
1999 also conditioned release of funds to the 25
In Foreign Relations Committee debate on the
legislation Wednesday, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.,
urged Congress to consider lifting that 1994 cap so
the United States will not build up more debt in
Man fires on White House
■ Secret service agents found the
former IRS employee after they heard
gunshots near the South Lawn.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON - A middle-aged
accountant with a history of mental ill
ness fired several shots outside the
White House on Wednesday, then was
shot by the Secret Service in a tense,
noontime standoff that sent tourists
running for cover.
The midday drama unfolded just
outside the fence at the edge of the
South Lawn, 200 yards from the build
ing where President Bush was inside
The man, identified by law enforce
ment sources as Robert W. Pickett, 47,
from Evansville, Ind., had been fired by
the Internal Revenue Service in the
mid-1980s. Neighbors said Pickett kept
to himself and resented the IRS.
In court records, Pickett had
acknowledged suffering from mental
illness and trying to commit suicide
after his dismissal
President Bush, exercising in the
White House residence, was alerted by
Secret Service agents “but understood
that he was not in any danger,”
spokesman Ari Fleischer said.
First lady Laura Bush was in Texas.
Vice President Dick Cheney was work
ing in his White House office.
The shooting was the latest in a
string of security scares that have
brought tighter protection for the first
family. In 1995, then-President Clinton
ordered Pennsylvania Avenue closed in
front of the White House following the
Oklahoma City bombing. Earlier that
year, a man was shot on the White
House lawn after scaling a fence with
an unloaded gun.
The latest incident, shortly before
noon on a sunny day, triggered a tight
security clamp down. Tourists were
evacuated from White House rooms,
and police in riot gear took up positions
around the executive mansion and
beyond its gates.
Dan Halpert, a tourist from Queens,
N.Y., was on the National Mall nearby
when officers told him to get down and
“We were all running away. It was
scary,” said Halpert, 24.
The confrontation occurred on E
Street where tourists gather along the
White House fence to snap photos of
the executive mansion and hope for a
glimpse of Bush jogging on the track
encircling the South Lawn. There is an
unobstructed view from the fence to
the mansion about 200yards away.
Secret Service officers on routine
patrol in a car “heard shots fired and
proceeded to surround a subject who
was wielding a weapon, a gun,”
A 10-minute standoff ensued in
which witnesses said they heard offi
were fired near the South Lawn of the
A Secret Service agent walks with his gun drawn after shots
White House on Wednesday.
cers try to persuade the man to put the
“He was waving it in die air - it was
pointed at the White House at one point
- and pointing it in all directions,” said
Park Mice spokesman Rob MacLean.
At another point, the man placed the
gun in his mouth, MacLean said.
Pickett was shot in the right knee by
a member of the Secret Service's
Emergency Response Team when he
“raised the gun again and started aim
ing it at people,” a Secret Service source
said, talking on condition of anonymi
A five-shot, .38-caliber handgun
and shell casings were recovered at the
scene, a Secret Service official said.
Pickett was taken to George
Washington University Hospital, five
blocks away, where he was in stable
condition and undergoing surgery and
Dr. Yolanda Haywood, associate
professor of emergency medicine, said
he was silent and unusually calm for
someone with a bullet wound.
In Evansville, Secret Service agents
searched Pickett’s home, looking for
firearms, threatening letters or other
evidence. Before entering, officers from
the Evansville police bomb squad
scouted outside for booby traps or
Pickett had no criminal record and
was not listed in Secret Service files as a
potential threat to the president,
authorities said. He lived alone in a
modest, two-story house that had been
owned by his parents before their
“I don't recall that there were ever
any cars coming in to visit or any peo
ple associating with him. He was really
always by himself,” said Marwan Wafa
of Racine, Wis., who lived across the
street from Pickett for seven years
before moving last summer.
high 34, low 20
high 22, low 7
Editor Sarah Baker
Managing Editor Bradley Davis
Associate News Editor Kimberly Sweet
Assignment Editor JilIZeman
Opinion Editor JakeGlazeski
Sports Editor Matthew Hansen
Assistant Sports Editor David Diehl
Arts Editor Samuel McKewon
Copy Desk Chief: Darnell McCoy
Copy Desk Chief: Jeff Bloom
Art Director Melanie Falk
Art Director: Delan Lonowski
Photo Chief: Scott McClurg
Design Coordinator Bradley Davis
Design Coordinator Samuel McKewon
Web Editor Gregg Stems
Assistant Web Editor Tanner Graham
General Manager Daniel Shattil
Publications Board Russell Willbanks
Professional Advisor Don Walton
Advertising Manager NickPartsch
Assistant Ad Manager: Nicole Woita
Classified Ad Manager Nikki Bruner
Circulation Managor. Imtiyaz Khan
Fax number (402) 472-1761
wono wide weo. www.oanyfieo.com
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THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
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trip to holy shrine
■Supporters try to portray
new Israeli leader as pragmatic
and willing to make peace.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
JERUSALEM - Ariel Sharon,
flush from an election victory
seen as a mandate to veto more
concessions to the Palestinians,
pledged in a symbolic pilgrimage
to Judaism's Western Wall on
Wednesday that Jerusalem will
remain in Israeli hands forever.
Sharon’s promise, delivered
the day after his decisive win over
incumbent Prime Minister Ehud
Barak, ran directly counter to a
key Palestinian demand for con
trol over Jerusalem’s walled Old
City and its holy shrines.
However, Sharon aides were
quick to portray Israel's new
leader as a pragmatist the
Palestinians will be able to do
business with. "Sharon wants to
bring peace,” said an adviser,
Raanan Gissin. “I certainly
believe the Arabs... know they
may not get everything they
want, but it will be a real agree
Sharon aides suggested
Wednesday that - contrary to
reports during the campaign - he
would be willing to carry out ter
ritorial concessions in the West
Bank and even dismantle some
Reuven Rivlin, a lawmaker
from Sharon’s Likud Party, told
Israel TV this would involve “unit
ing” some islands of Palestinian
autonomy in the West Bank,
which could involve the disman
tling of some isolated Jewish set
Palestinian officials said they
were ready to hear Sharon’s
Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat told Sharon in a congratu
latory message that his hands
“remain stretched out in peace,”
according to Sharon’s advisers.
Arafat advisers said they were
unaware of such a message, but
that they expected the leaders to
make direct contact soon.
Palestinians said they would
not contemplate any Israeli pro
posals that fall short of Barak’s
most recent offer - a Palestinian
state in virtually all of the West
Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as
parts of Jerusalem. Sharon has
ruled out such concessions, and
said he wouldn’t begin talks until
After a four-hour meeting in
Gaza, Arafat’s Cabinet issued a
statement calling on Israel to
resume peace negotiations from
the point at which they left off,
and calling for international
supervision of renewed peace
talks. “Only peace can guarantee
security for Israelis and
Palestinians,” the statement said.
Arafat, meanwhile, came
under pressure to ostracize
Sharon, widely reviled among
Palestinians as a ruthless oppres
Arafat’s Fatah movement,
which has led a bloody insur
gency against Israel, demanded
that he not resume peace talks as
long as Sharon is in power. “The
uprising and resistance are our
strategic choice,” Fatah said in a
leaflet distributed Wednesday.
The 17 weeks of fighting,
which began after Sharon’s visit
to a key Jerusalem shrine Sept 28,
have turned many Israelis against
the far-reaching compromises
Barak offered and contributed to
his political downfall
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON - Former President Clinton
and Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday
returned $28,000 worth of donated sofas, mgs and
other furnishings they took when he left office.
They acted because it was unclear whether the
gifts were meant for them or the White House col
“As a result of the questions being asked, the
property is being returned to government custody
until such time that the issues can be resolved,”
said Jim McDaniel, the National Park Service's liai
son to the White House. “It may well turn out that
that property is rightly the personal property of
the Clintons. I think those questions have yet to be
After they were criticized for taking $190,000
worth of china, flatware, mgs, televisions, sofas
and other gifts with them when they left, the
Clintons announced last week that they would pay
for $86,000, or nearly half the amount.
The latest decision to return about $28,000
other gifts brings to $114,000 the value of items the
Clintons have either decided to pay for, or return.
The Park Service and the White House
Curator’s Office took another look at the gift inven
tory after $28,000 worth of items the Clintons took
were discovered on a list of donations given to the
Park Service for the 1993 White House redecora
tion project. The Washington Post quoted three
donors this week as saying that the furnishings
they gave were intended for the White House, not
“As a result of questions about the status of cer
tain property donated to the White House during
the Clinton administration, the National Park
Service will accept the return of the property in
question and act as a custodian of such property,”
a statement released by the Park Service said.
The Clintons’ transition office had no immedi
A person familiar with the Clintons’ move out
of the White House, who spoke on condition of
anonymity, said: “They’ve been returned."
The Associated Press
■ Florida .
Mayor arrested for hitting
wire in head with teapot
MIAMI - Mayor Joe Carollo
was arrested Wednesday for
allegedly hitting his wife in the
head with a teapot
Maria Ledon Carollo, 42, suf
fered a golf ball-size lump and
bruise on the side of her head,
according to police. Carollo, 45,
was charged with battery and
jailed while he awaited a hearing
Carollo had two scratches on
his neck, but his wife was not
charged because he was the
aggressor, Lt Bill Schwartz said.
Schwartz said Carollo threw
a terra-cotta teapot at his wife.
The incident came three
months after Maria Carollo
announced that she was seeking
a divorce from her husband of
15 years. In court papers, she
said that there was "no hope for
a meaningful reconciliation.”
Police went to the couple’s
home after getting a 911 call
from one of die couple’s daugh
ters. The mayor refused to give a
statement to police.
Jay Rhodes, a spokesman for
the mayor, declined comment.
“It’s strictly a personal matter
and it’s business as usual here,”
Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off
with $1.4 billion science lab
CAPE CANAVERAL - Space
shuttle Atlantis blasted off
Wednesday with the most
expensive and pivotal piece of
the international space station:
a $1.4 billion science laboratory.
Atlantis and its crew of five
soared into a clear sky at 6:13
p.m., with a rising full moon in
the background and the setting
sun turning the exhaust trail a
beautiful gold and peach.
* "You got a good day to go fly,”
launch director Mike Leinbach
told the astronauts moments
before liftoff. “We wish you luck
and deliver the heart and soul of
the international space station.
And have fun.”
The future of the space sta
tion, Alpha, is riding on the 11
day mission, three weeks late
because of the need to inspect
wiring on the shuttle’s boosters.
NASAs Destiny laboratory is
the first of at least three research
modules planned for the sta
tion. It is so expensive that the
space agency could not afford to
build a backup. If the lab is dam
aged or destroyed in flight, the
space station will be set back for
Libyan agent's conviction for
Pan Am bombing appealed
AMSTERDAM - Lawyers on
Wednesday appealed the mur
der conviction of a Libyan intel
ligence agent sentenced to life
in prison for the 1988 bombing
of a Pan Am passenger jet that
killed 270 people.
The move had been antici
pated from the moment the rul
ing was handed down against
Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi
was convicted on Jan. 31 by a
special Scottish court in the
Netherlands for the bombing of
Judges in the nine-month
trial ruled that al-Megrahi had a
role in sending a bomb onto the
flight in an unaccompanied
suitcase from the
Mediterranean island of Malta.
Al-Megrahi's alleged accom
plice, Lamen Khalifa Fhimah,
was acquitted and returned to a
hero’s welcome in Libya.
Al-Megrahi’s lawyer now has
six weeks to submit a detailed
argument with documentation
on why the conviction should
be overturned. A judge would
then be appointed to decide
whether the case should go
before an appellate panel
■ Because of an editing
error, Andy Mixan’s name was
misspelled in a Wednesday
story on the first student gov
ernment debate. Mixan is run
ning for ASUN president under
the No Bull party.
■ Also because of an edit
ing error, the date of the ASUN
election was misstated in a
Wednesday staff editorial The
election will be held Feb. 28.
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