The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 15, 2001, Page 2, Image 2
'T News Digest Palestinian kills eight in attack THE ASSOCIATED PRESS AZUR, Israel - A Palestinian driver upset about weeks of Mideast violence rammed his bus into a packed bus stop on Wednesday, killing seven Israeli soldiers and a civilian in the deadliest Palestinian attack in four years. The hit-and-run raised fears violence was spin ning out of control when prospects for a resumption of peace talks appeared remote. The attack shook Israel at a time of political transition and accelerated efforts by Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon and his defeated predecessor, Ehud Barak, to form a joint government Sharon said he would take all necessary steps to restore security once he took office. In a first move ordered by Barak, Israel sealed the West Bank and Gaza Strip by air, land and sea and confined Palestinians to their communities. Angry Israeli and Palestinian leaders Mamed each other. Israel’s deputy defense minister, Ephraim Sneh, said Israelis and Palestinians may face a full blown guerrilla war in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Already, 400people have been killed in five months of gunbattles, stone-throwing clashes and shooting amhushp*; Wednesday's attack, the deadliest in Israel since July 1997, took place shortly before 8 a.m., while dozens of Israeli soldiers and civilians crowded a bus stop in Azur, just south ofltel Aviv. Without warning, Khalil Abu Olbeh, a 35-year-old driver from Gaza City, crashed his bus into the group : at high speed. "The bus was moving slowly and suddenly it speeded up and drove into the soldiers,” said Ayelet Cohen-Natan, a witness. “One of them was thrown up into a tree and fell to the ground.” Abu Olbeh sped away, leading police on a high speed chase that ended 22 miles later when an officer wounded him with a shot to the chest, prompting him to crash into a truck. The impact ripped off the front of the bus and trapped the assailant At the scene of the attack, backpacks and jackets were strewn across the sidewalk. A soldier's boot lay on tbe asphalt Blanket-covered bodies were lined up along the curb, each marked with a number. White-gloved ultra-Orthodox volunteers from a burial society picked through remains, collecting body parts and placing them in plastic bags to comply with a Jewish religious requirement corpses be as complete as possiMe at buriaL Among the dead were seven young soldiers, including OfirMagidish, 20, and David Elouz, 21, boy hood friends from Kiryat Malachi, a town south ofTel Aviv The two had missed the regular bus to their army base and were waiting for another Also killed was 21 year-old JulieWrinet an immigrant from Paris. - In a call to Israel radio, the Islamic militant group Hamas claimed responsibility. The Popular Front for the liberation of Palestine also claimed responsibility in an announcement from a speaker truck that drove through Gaza City after nightfall. Abu Olbeh’s relatives said he had no ties to any Palestinian faction but was distraught over the large number of Palestinian casualties in clashes with Israel t The father of five had been driving Palestinian laborers from Gaza to jobs in Israel for the past five years as an employee of the Israeli bus company Egged. TODAY TOMORROW Partly cloudy Partly cloudy high 28, low 18 high 33, low 12 Editor Sarah Baker fVt Managing Editor Bradley Davis Associate Neva Editor Kimberly Sweet Sr Assignment Editor JilIZeman Opinion Editor JakeGlazeski Sports Editor Matthew Hansen Assistant Sports Editor David Diehl Arts Editor Samuel McKewon 2“ Copy Desk Chief: Danell McCoy mb Cojw Desk Chief: Jeff Bloom Art Director Melanie Falk Art Director Delan Lonowski O Photo Chief: Scott McClurg Design Coordinator Bradley Davis Z Web Editor Gregg Stems Assistant Web Editor Tanner Graham ^ General Manager Daniel Shattii Publications Board Russell Willbanks i Chairman: (402)436-7226 Professional Advisor Don Walton r? (402) 473-7248 Advertising Manager Nick Partsch (402)472-2589 L ^ Assistant Ad Manager Nicole Woita Classified Ad Manager Nikki Bruner Circulation Manager Imtiyaz Khan Fax number (402) 472-1761 World Wide Web: www.dailyneb.com The Daily Nebraskan (USPS144-080) is published by the UNL Publications Board,20 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St, Lincoln, NE 68588-0448, Monday through Friday during the academic year weekly during the summer sessions.The public has access to the Publications Board. Readers are encouraged to submit story ideas and comments to the Daly Nebraskan by Ceding (402) 472-2588. Subscriptions rue $60 for one year. Postmaster Send address changes to the Daily Nebraskan, 20 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St, Lincoln NE 68588-0448. Periodical postage paid at Lincoln, NE. ALL MATERIAL COPYRIGHT 2001 THE DAILY NEBRASKAN OMsttons? Comments? Ask for fee appropriate soction editor at (402) 472-25M or o-mail ln9uRl.edu. Crash may lead to charges ■ Gvilians were at control positions in the USS Greeneville's collision with a Japanese boat that killed nine. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON-The admiral inves tigating the U.S. submarine collision with a fishing boat is considering a line of inquiry that could lead to criminal charges against the sub's captain or members of his crew, Navy officials said Wednesday. The officials also said they could not rule out the possibility civilians aboard the USS Greeneville, including two at control positions, were a distraction to the crew and contributed to the sinking of the Japanese fishing vessel off the coast of Hawaii. Nine people aboard that boat are missing and feared dead. The Navy officials said no evidence of such a distraction had turned up yet, but investigators would examine the possibility. In seeking to determine how the accident happened, the Navy is consid ering an inquiry that could result in charges against the nuclear-powered submarine's captain or members of his crew, according to the officials, who dis cussed the matter on condition they not be identified. A decision on how to direct the investigation is being weighed by Rear Adm. Charles Griffiths Jr., who as com mander of Submarine Group Nine based at Bangor, Wash., is in charge of ballistic-missile submarines assigned to the Pacific Fleet. He was dispatched to Hawaii shortly after the accident The captain of the submarine, Cmdr. Scott Waddle, of Austin, Texas, has been relieved of duty pending the outcome of the investigation. The Greeneville is an attack submarine and does not carry nuclear missiles. The Navy might choose a more-for mal-than-usual approach to its inquiry because of the likelihood civilian deaths resulted from the collision, officials said. Nine Japanese are still listed as missing, but Navy officials believe it is likely they were either trapped inside the ship or otherwise drowned. The ship is lying on the seabed at a depth of1,800feet Regardless of the for mat of Griffiths’ investigation, his find ings will be forwarded to the Navy chain of command for a decision on what, if any, charges to pursue against the sub’s captain or crewmembers. In addition to the Navy inquiry, the National Transportation Safety Board is doing its own investigation because civilian maritime traffic was involved. One issue to be considered is whether the presence of civilians in the control room or elsewhere on the sub marine could have interfered with the crew’s normal procedures, officials said. The Navy often takes civilians - civic and business leaders, politicians, jour nalists and others - aboard ships and submarines for orientation rides meant to demonstrate the Navy’s capabilities. This normally would not interfere with operations, although conditions aboard a submarine are more crowded than aboard a surface ship. It was not until Tuesday, four days after the accident, that the Navy dis closed that two civilians were seated at control positions on the sub at the time it soared to the surface, in a drill meant to simulate an emergency ascent, and rammed into the fishing boat On Wednesday, the Navy main tained its refusal to disclose the identi ties of the civilians, said to number 15 or 16, citing their right to privacy. Ithas said they are civic and business officials and asked the Navy not to reveal their names. The disclosure that civilians were at two control positions on the submarine drew sharp criticism from some Japanese. “A civilian wouldn’t know what to do,” Ryoichi Miya, first mate of the Ehime Maru, the boat the submarine hit, said Tuesday. “It’s absolutely unfor givable if a civilian was operating it” Alyssa Banta/Newsmakers GUARDING GIFTS: Security guards and civil pofice stand guard in front of several card shops Wednesday in Bombay,Imfia. Hindu right-wing politician Bal Thackeray asked Ms Shiv Sena party workers to stage demonstrations and dkruptVhleiitinet Day celebrations following a call fora legal ban on thefestivities. El Salvador quake victims in shock ■Relief is underway,but lack of essential supplies has hindered doctors'efforts. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SAN VICENTE, El Salvador - Overwhelmed doctors worked on patients in the back of pickup trucks with IV lines strung from bamboo poles Wednesday after this country’s second major earthquake in a month killed at least 255 people. The streets were crowded with funeral processions, the coffins sometimes decorated with bougainvilleas plucked from the trees for want of anything more formal Hundreds of stunned sur vivors were sprawled on bloody mattresses, or on the ground, at an overcrowded hospital here. Some screamed in fear overnight at the repeated jolts of after shocks. The National Emergency Committee said there are at least 2,261 injured, 12,303 houses destroyed and 83,435 people who suffered property damage. The Tuesday morning quake had a magnitude of 6.6. The quake hit before authorities had finished accounting for hundreds missing from a Jan. 13 quake that killed at least 844 Salvadorans. That quake had a magnitude of 7.6. Rescuers were trying to reach the slopes of the Chichontepec Volcano, where 39 people were rumored to have been buried Tuesday. The mountain looms over San Vicente, about 30 miles east of the capital, San Salvador. Associated Press journalists flew over the volcano Wednesday and saw landslides over all parts of it Thousands of peasants who work coffee farms live there. Officials said the death toll could increase due to the numer ous landslides that had blocked highways and prevented access to some communities. The San Gertmdis Hospital in this town of40,000 looked like a bizarre campsite, its walls cracked and administrative offices destroyed. So doctors improvised, mov ing the hospital outside and examining quake victims in the beds of pickups. Men and women with bruises and broken limbs lay on bloodstained mattresses or the ground as repeated aftershocks trembled beneath them. “It's really thundering badly underground,” said Sandra Melendez, an ant crawling across her blood-caked face. “We are in God’s hands.” The Salvadoran Red Cross said the country has depleted its blood reserves and urgently needs donors. “We need beds, medicines, all the help that can be sent to help these people,” said Dr. Napoleon Vigil of San Gertmdis Hospital. In San Salvador, the maternity hospital was evacuated to make way for quake victims. President Francisco Flores, visibly shaken after visiting the damaged region, said: “The impact on these towns is heavier than what took place Ian. 13.” Flores, who himself was forced into temporary offices by the first quake, governs a nation in which nearly one in five homes has been damaged or destroyed. Media fixes election flub THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON - The nation’s top TV executives said Wednesday they have made changes, including self-limits on calling elections, to restore viewer con fidence after the networks’ miscall of the Florida presidential race. The media representatives, speaking to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, agreed with many lawmakers that establishment of a uni form poll-closing time would remove concerns that calling elections in Eastern states might influence voters in the West where polls were still open. Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., the committee chair man, said he called the hearing to examine flaws in the statistical models used by the networks that he said favored the Democrats. But he said he saw “no evidence of intentional bias.” Those testifying included the news heads of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox, The Associated Press and Voter News Service. VNS is the consortium formed by the networks and AP in 1993 to do exit polling and actual irnfo rniintc Some of the news chiefs said while no credible evidence existed that early calls affected voters, they would no longer make projections until all the polls in a state were closed They urged Congress to enact legislation being sponsored byTauzin and Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., to make poll closing times uniform around the nation. Louis D. Boccardi, president and chief executive officer of The Associated Press, questioned whether Congress was overstepping First Amendment bounds. “To put it more plainly, we believe that such an official government inquiry into essentially editorial matters is inconsistent with the First Amendment values that are fundamental to our society,” he said. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., agreed: “It would be terribly wrong of the U.S. Congress to trample on the First Amendment rights of the media in order to solve a short-term problem.” Democrats on the panel said the hearing should not deflect attention from a larger issue of fixing an election system they said disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of voters. The Associated Press ■ California Combs: Jennifer Lopez says no more to'Puffy'love LOS ANGELES - Valentine's Day was a heartbreaker for Sean “Puffy” Combs, who confirmed his breakup with singer-actress Jennifer Lopez. “Mr. Combs confirmed that he and his love Jennifer Lopez have in fact broken up,” his publi cist Nathalie Moar said Wednesday. A breakup has been rumored for weeks. The performers have spent considerable time apart because she's promoting an album and he’s been on trial in New York on weapons and bribery charges stemming from a 1999 nightclub shooting. "Mr. Combs is confirming this today as he wanted to put all the rumors surrounding their rela tionship to rest. At this difficult time, we ask that you respect his privacy," Moar said Lopez spokesman Alan Nierob said he couldn't reach the singer, who was in Australia pro moting her album “J.Lo.” Combs produced four tracks on the album. ■ California Rod the Vote to award Jesse Jackson for service LOS ANGELES - The Rev. Jesse Jackson will receive an award from Rock the Vote honor ing his work for social and politi cal causes. Jackson will appear at Tuesday's awards ceremony at the House of Blues, and his son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., will present him with the Rock the Nation Award, said publicist Elizabeth Chanley. The award recognizes Jackson’s work with the Rainbow Coalition, Operation Breadbasket, Operation PUSH and other initiatives. The announcement comes about three weeks after Jackson disclosed he was the father of a 20-month-old illegitimate child. Jackson said at the time he would step out of public life, but a few days later he stepped back in, resuming public appearances and criticisms of the Bush admin istration. ■ Colombia Hikeis'murders most likely caused by guerrillas BOGOTA - The nine young men and women hiked through ancient ruins, rugged peaks and valleys and to the foothills of a snowcapped volcano. There, in the breathtaking Colombian Andes, they were shot execution style - most with one bullet to the head. On Wednesday, their bodies were being shipped back to their homes as this South American nation struggled to make sense of the latest massacre of innocents in a land rife with war. The decomposing bodies of the six men and three women were pulled out of a ravine Tuesday near southwest Colombia's Purace National Park. Officials would not speculate on who killed the hikers or why. But police and military authori ties noted the country’s largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, is active in the area where the killings took place. The hikers set out on Feb. 2 by bus from the capital, Bogota, to Huila state for a weeklong hike through a wilderness area rich in pre-Columbian archaeological sites and home to the 15,800-foot Purace volcano. When relatives had not heard from the trekkers for several days, they got worried and called authorities. ■ California Death of woman leads to trial to determine penalty for dog SAN FRANCISCO-Though a couple claims one of their mastiff Canary Island dogs played no role in the mauling death of a woman, others described frightening encounters with the animal The testimony came TUesday during a public hearing that a police sergeant will use to decide whether the dog, Hera, should be put to death. A decision is expect ed within two weeks. Dianne Wipple, 33, was attacked by the dogs near her apartment door on Jan. 26.