The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 05, 2001, Page 2, Image 2

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    News Digest
Bush strict about annual spending strays
■The President will veto any
spending that deviates from his
proposed 4 percent increase.
WASHINGTON — President
Bush will veto any annual spend
ing bill that costs more than he
wants, „Vice President Dick
Cheney said Sunday, warning
Republicans not to stray from the
administration’s budget priorities.
Only days ago, budget writers
in the House and Senate ques
tioned whether they could stay
within the budget levels Bush has
proposed - a 4 percent increase
for discretionary programs, which
constitute everything the govern
ment does, except automatically
paid benefits like Medicaid.
“If, in fact, bills come down
with items in it that he thinks are
inappropriate or excessive in
terms of the total amount, I don’t
think he will be bashful about
using his veto,” Cheney said on
CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “I think
we ll come to something very
close to what the president has
The vice president wras
responding to a question about
comments by the Senate Budget
Committee chairman,
Republican Pete Domenici of New
Mexico, who said the 4 percent
increase would be “very hard to
live on” and that Congress has dif
ferent spending priorities than the
In the House, committee
chairmen have raised the possibil
ity of higher spending on agricul
ture and science, for example.
In the past three years, discre
tionary spending has increased by
an average of more than 6 percent
annually. Last year, it grew by 8.5
percent, which Cheney said was
“As soon as the surplus
arrived. Congress and the prior
administration started spending
money in a rather profligate fash
ion,” said Cheney, dismissing the
notion that the Bush administra
tion is trying to starve the govern
Under Bush’s plan, the $635
billion discretionary budget for
fiscal 2001 would rise to $661 bil
lion in 2002. Increases would
come in education, defense,
health research and embassy
security, while cuts would hit at
least 10 federal agencies, includ
ing the departments of Interior
and Transportation.
Democrats complain that
Bush's overall budget plan - which
features a $1.6 trillion, 10-year tax
cut and $2 trillion in debt reduc
tion - is unfair to the middle class
and poor. They say the tax cut is
weighted toward the rich and that
Bush has understated the cost by
$1 trillion, an underestimate they
say threatens education and other
priorities. Democrats prefer a
$750 billion tax cut
Republicans last week pushed
the Bush tax cut through the
House Ways and Means
Committee on a party-line 23-15
vote. Democrats also contend the
Bush plan relies on questionable
budgetary and surplus projec
tions a decade into the future.
“It is impossible for us to fore
cast what’s going to happen 10
years from now and make a deci
sion today as to what we are going
to do," Rep. Charlie Rangel, D
N.Y., the top Democrat on Ways
and Means Committee, told
CNN’s “Late Edition.”
Treasury Secretary Paul
O’Neill said the Bush administra
tion was not claiming to be able to
predict the future, but that the
existence of a huge surplus today
proved that taxes were too high.
Yaniv Sofef/Newsmakers
Israeli medical personnel evacuate an injured woman to a hospital after a suicide bombing in the central
Israeli town of Netanya. At least three Israelis were killed and dozens more wounded when a suspected
Palestinian militant blew himself up in the middle of the town's main road.
Isreals safety efforts
do not stop militants
NETANYA, Israel—A Palestinian sui
cide bomber blew himself up and killed
three Israelis at a bustling intersection
Sunday, the second lethal explosion in four
days as militant Islamic groups vowed more
attacks against Israel’s incoming govern
With Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon
preparing to assume power, possibly this
week, the bombings have shown that Israel
remains vulnerable despite sealing off
Palestinian areas in a bid to keep out mili
Sharon, a former general who says he
will restore security to Israel after five
months of fighting, said "the terror attack is
a very serious one that shows that the
Palestinian Authority is not taking the nec
essary steps” to halt violence.
“We know very well that the most loyal
forces of (Palestinian leader Yasser) Arafat
are involved in attacks,” Sharon said. He did
not directly link Arafat loyalists to Sunday’s
The Palestinian attacker detonated the
bomb just before 9 a.m. at a comer in the
coastal resort town of Netanya. The force
hurled a car into the air, shattered shop win
dows and crumpled street stalls in the cen
tral market area. The Israeli dead included
an 85-year-old man, his niece and another
woman, Israeli officials said.
“It was horrible, just horrible,” said
William Weiss, a municipal worker. “There
were hands, legs, flesh and a head thrown
around. It turned out that was apparently
the terrorist’s head.”
Police scoured the streets for evidence
while volunteer Jewish Orthodox men
picked up pieces of flesh on the bloodied
street to ensure a proper Jewish burial for
the dead Israelis.
Israel has been hit by multiple bomb
ings since the Israeli-Palestinian fighting
began in September, contributing to a gen
eral sense of vulnerability. A taxi van bomb
ing Thursday in northern Israel killed an
Israeli man and wounded nine others,
including the bomber.
No one claimed responsibility for the
latest blast, but the two leading Islamic mil
itant groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, both
have said they would carry out attacks to
undermine Sharon’s government
“Resistance will continue until we push
the occupiers out of our land,” said
Mahmoud Zahar, a spokesman for Hamas
in the Gaza Strip.
Israel has sought to prevent Palestinian
militants from entering Israel by imposing a
blanket closure on all Palestinians in the
West Bank and Gaza Strip. The measure has
strangled the Palestinian economy, kept
120,000 Palestinians from commuting daily
to their jobs in Israel and heightened ten
sions between the sides.
The closure has not halted Palestinian
attacks, but Israel says opening the borders
would make it easier for Palestinians to slip
into Israel.
Police said they requested help from the
army in foiling attacks. Israel’s Channel Two
Television reported the police had asked for
several hundred soldiers to be deployed
either in Israeli cities or along areas thatbor
der the West Bank and Gaza.
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, named defense
minister in Sharon's government, said he
would attempt to develop a plan to “rout
terrorism.” He said he would also seek to
reduce “to a minimum the collective puni
tive measures against the Palestinian popu
lation,” a reference to the closure.
Sunday is a work day in Israel, and the
Netanya street comer was crowded during
the morning rush hour. About 50 people
were injured, apparently including those
suffering from shock, Israeli officials said.
Mostly sunny
high 41, low 18
Partly cloudy
high 43, low 25
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Napster ordered to
use screening system
| ■ After numerous hearings in
court, Napster is forced to begin
blocking illegally pirated songs.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Copyright
music flowed freely on the
Napster tune-swapping service
Sunday afternoon as users waited
to see if the company would fulfill
a promise to block pirated songs
sometime over the weekend
using a new screening system.
All the top-10 songs listed on
the Billboard Hot 100 list were
available on servers, including the
No. 1 “Stutter” by Joe featuring
Mystikal. Songs by longtime
Napster foe Metallica also showed
up in searches.
The company will not com
ment on the screening plan until
it begins, spokeswoman Karen
DeMarco said Sunday She would
not say when that would be.
With the service facing immi
nent change, usage was soaring.
More than 11,100 people shared a
total of 2.2 million files Sunday
afternoon on just one of dozens of
servers used by Napster.
“I am kind of watching it and
trying to get my last efforts in -
quickly’,” said Thor Nelson, a user
from Sl Paul, Minn.
During a federal court hearing
Friday, Napster attorney David
Boies said the service would
deploy the screening system over
the weekend. He did not provide a
specific time.
On its Web site, Napster said
the process of screening out file
names, song titles and artists
won’t be easy.
“It has involved a significant
investment of time and
resources,” a statement said.
“However, we believe it is superior
to shutting the service down and
disbanding the community dur
ing the transition period to the
new membership-based service.”
The software to be installed
on Napster’s servers will block
access to 1 million music files,
Boies said. He and other Napster
officials did not say whether that
number represented distinct
songs or spelling variations on a
smaller list
Napster’s plan is a preemptive
move against an injunction
sought by the major record labels,
which argue copyright holders
and artists are not compensated
for music traded on the service.
Napster has argued that its com
puters do not store actual song
files but rather direct people to
other users’ hard drives where the
music can be downloaded.
In July, U.S. District Judge
Marilyn Hall Patel granted the
industry’s request for a prelimi
nary injunction and ordered
Napster to shut down for facilitat
ing infringement
But last month the 9th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals stayed
the order pending its decision in
the case. By Friday, all parties were
back in court to discuss the case
when Napster changed its tune
and announced plans to start
blocking songs.
Spy arrested for
alerting Soviets
WASHINGTON —Accused spy Robert Hanssen
may have alerted Moscow tq a secret tunnel built
under the Soviet Embassy in Washington, according
to a published report.
Hanssen, a 25-year FBI veteran and counterintel
ligence expert who was arrested last month and
charged with spying for Moscow since 1985, “com
prQmised an entire technical program of enormous
value, expense and importance to the United States
government,” according to an FBI affidavit filed in the
Hanssen case.
That program referred to the tunnel, The New
York Times reported Sunday, also citing sources as
saying it was unclear whether the operation pro
duced any useful intelligence. The tunnel’s existence
had not been known publicly.
The tunnel operation, estimated to have cost sev
eral hundred million dollars, was run by the FBI and
the National Security Agency as part of a sophisticat
ed eavesdropping operation to track Soviet Union -
and later Russian - facilities and personnel in the
United States, the Times reported. One-time CIA offi
cial Vincent Cannistraro said Sunday that the damage
to national security could be considerable.
"I think the real fallout from this is going to be
looking at how the Soviets used their knowledge of
this to feed false information into the American sys
tem. That’s going to be the subject of a long damage
assessment,” Cannistraro said.
The embassy complex was built in the 1970s and
1980s, but not fully occupied because of a dispute
with the United States over claims that U.S. Embassy
buildings in Moscow had been bugged. The complex
wras not fully occupied until after the collapse of the
Soviet Union in 1991.
The U.S. government arrested CIA officer Aldrich
Ames in 1994, and wiien he was not able to explain a
series of damaging intelligence losses, it is believed
the investigation intensified and led to Hanssen.
Cannistraro said the building of the tunnel “ has to
be seen not in a vacuum but part of the clandestine
efforts that went on between the Soviet Union and
U.S. with each using tunneling. It’s spy versus spy.”
The Associated Press
■ Thailand
Bomb on airplane may have
been assassination attempt
BANGKOK. Thailand —
The blast that gutted a Thai
Airways airplane minutes
before Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra was to board came
from beneath his assigned
seat, his security adviser said
Thaksin said it could have
been an inside job to assassi
nate him.
The Boeing 737-400 blew
up and burned on the tarmac
Friday, 35 minutes before its
scheduled departure from the
domestic terminal at Bangkok
International Airport.
One crew member prepar
ing for the 70-minute flight to
Chiang Mai was killed, and
seven airline workers were
injured. None of the 149 listed
passengers, including Thaksin,
had boarded.
■ California
Cost Guard seizes cocaine
from Mexican fishing boat
SAN DIEGO — U.S. author
ities unloaded 8.8 tons of
cocaine on Sunday that they
said was smuggled on a rusty
fishing boat from Mexico. It
was the government’s fourth
largest such seizure ever.
The Coast Guard said a
Navy destroyer with a Coast
Guard law enforcement unit
on board seized the boat Feb.
24 about 250 miles west of
Acapulco. They towed the boat
to San Diego.
The seizure, which the
Coast Guard said was the gov
ernment’s fourth-largest,
capped what the agency called
one of its most productive
weeks of anti-drug patrols.
In six days, the Coast Guard
- from Miami to the
Caribbean, and in the Pacific
from Mexico to Washington
state - seized 28,845 pounds of
cocaine, about what it cap
tured in all of 1996.
■ California
'Dumb & Dumber* writers to
script original'Stooges* movie
LOS ANGELES — Peter and
Bobby Farrelly think there’s
just something about The
Three Stooges.
The sibling writer-directors
behind “There’s Something
About Mary” and “Dumb &
Dumber” said Friday they
planned to make a movie
based on the slapstick charac
ters of Larry, Moe and Curly.
The film won’t be a remake
of any particular Stooges story
but will be an original idea
cooked up by the brothers,
Warner Bros. Studios said.
Shaggy-haired Larry Fine,
belligerent Moe Howard and
his skinhead brother, Jerome
‘Curly’ Howard, are the best
known performers of the Three
Stooges comedy act, which
went from vaudeville stages to
Hollywood in the 1930s.
■ Great Britain
IRA bombs BBC, retaliates
against peace accord
LONDON — Raising the
specter of a campaign of
attacks by opponents of the
peace process in Northern
Ireland, a powerful bomb
blamed by police on IRA dissi
dents went off early Sunday
outside the British
Broadcasting Corp.’s television
center. One man was hurt.
Britain was on high alert
against new attacks following
the blast, which Prime
Minister Tony Blair denounced
as a “cowardly act." He said it
would not deter peace efforts
in Northern Ireland.
“There are those outside
the peace process who are set
on trying to turn the clock back
to the days before the Good
Friday Agreement,” Blair said
through a spokesman, refer
ring to the province’s 1998
peace accord. “We will not
allow them to take our focus
from working with all parties
to move the process on."