The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 15, 2001, Page 2, Image 2

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News Digest
kills eight
in attack
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
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
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
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
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
L ^ Assistant Ad Manager Nicole Woita
Classified Ad Manager Nikki Bruner
Circulation Manager Imtiyaz Khan
Fax number (402) 472-1761
World Wide Web:
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
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Ask for fee appropriate soction editor at
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Crash may lead to charges
■ Gvilians were at control positions
in the USS Greeneville's collision with
a Japanese boat that killed nine.
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
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
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
The disclosure that civilians were at
two control positions on the submarine
drew sharp criticism from some
“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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Louis D. Boccardi, president and chief executive
officer of The Associated Press, questioned whether
Congress was overstepping First Amendment
“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
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
■ California
Rod the Vote to award Jesse
Jackson for service
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
■ 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
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
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.