The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 26, 2001, Page 2, Image 2

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    ■ - 5, •• ~ • r .I
Bush strikes back with humor at party I
WASHINGTON — President
Bush struck back with humor at
anybody who might suggest he is
dumb, lazy, inarticulate and,
worst of all, a puppet president
allowing Vice President Dick
Cheney to make all the important
“To those people I say
Bush said, casting a deadpan nod
in Cheney’s direction. “Dick,
what do I say?”
His audience roared with
laughter, perhaps because it
included many of the people who
liiel perceptions and mispercep
tions about the nation’s 43rd
president Bush was the featured
speaker Saturday night at the
spring dinner of the Gridiron
Club, a 116-year-old institution
that gathers Washington’s media
and political elite for a night of
satire and civility.
The political press corps pro
duced die usual musical parodies
poking fun at the White House,
Congress, the Supreme Court
and itself, drawing tongue-in
cheek “responses" from Sen. Joe
Lieberman of Connecticut for the
Democrats and Attorney General
John Ashcroft lor the
But the president stole the
show with a self-deprecating
reply to those who say he is not
quite up to the Job.
“Those stories about my
intellectual capacity do get under
my skin. You know, for a while I .
even thought my staff believed
it,” he said. “There on my sched
ule first thing every morning it
said, ‘Intelligence briefing.’”
Bush claimed it got so bad
that he turned to Democratic
powerbroker Robert Strauss for
advice. “He said, ‘Just remember,
Mr. President You can fool some
of the people all of the time.
Those are the people you need to
concentrate on.’”
The president showed he is
smart enough to map the human
genome, as a habit ai}d an act of
practicality. “I hope to eventually
clone another Dick Cheney,”
Bush said. "Then I won't have to
do anything!"
And on it went. One after
another, Bush mentioned a per
ceived shortcoming, then con
fronted it with humor.
Recalling his "youthful indis
cretions," the president said the
straight-laced Ashcroft "is not the
kind of guy I hung out with in col
He admitted to suffering foot
in-mouth disease, quoting one
wag who said, “George Bush’s lips
are where words go to die.”
Lieberman, Gore’s running
mate, suggested he has not got
ten over .the loss. Turning to
Cheney, Lieberman said, “Mr.
vah... vah... vah... vah. For some
reason, I’m still having trouble
putting that title (of vice presi
dent) before Dick Cheney’s
"Maybe I should just address
you the way President Bush does
... ‘Good evening, sir.’"
Even Ashcroft poked fun of
Bush, saying that a 24-7 shift at
the White House means "24
hours a week, seven months a
Ashcroft is not the kind who
would question his boss’ smarts -
unless, of course, he was looking
for a laugh in the name of civility
and satire. Thus, the attorney
general let it slip that Bush
ordered his Cabinet recently to
“travel to all 54 states."
Russia blames
rebels for blast
ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia — Police posted
sketches of six suspects in markets and stores and
set up a hotline for tips on Sunday as they tried to
resolve a string of bombings that killed at least 21
people and injured ntore than 100 in southern
Three bomb-laden Russian cars exploded
almost simultaneously Saturday in three towns
near the breakaway republic of Chechnya in the
worst act of terror to hit die region in months.
Russian officials blame Chechen rebels for die
blasts but have offered no hard evidence. Rebel
leaders have denied responsibility for the attacks.
“The composite drawings of the suspects were
made and have been posted near markets and
shops in the Northern Caucasus,” said CoL Viktor
%Shkareda, a spokesman for the regional
Emergency Situations Ministry.
The sketches were also broadcast on Russian
television Sunday and police set up special tele
phone numbers to call if the suspects were spot
ted. Officials did not say whether the suspects
were thought to have planted the bombs or were
just wanted in connection with the blasts.
The worst blast hit Saturday morning near a
bustling farmer’s market in the city ofMineralnye
Vody. The bomb, detonated by remote control,
killed 19 people, according to Col. Alexander
Lemeshev, duty officer for the Emergency
Situations Ministry in the northern Caucasus.
Seventy victims remained hospitalized
Sunday, with eight in critical condition, Shkareda
At about the same time of the Mineralnye Vody
blast, two Interior Ministry inspectors were killed
in a car bomb explosion on a highway near the vil
lage of Adyge-Khabl in the Karachayevo
Cherkessia region. 4
The third car bomb was detonated near the
entrance to a.traffic police office in the nearby
town ofYessentuld in the Stavropol region, injur
ing 13 people, police said. Miheralnye Vody,
Yessentuki and Adyge-Khabl are located within
100 miles of Chechnya to the northwest
“It was a carefully planned act of Chechen
rebels,” Russia’s Federal Security Service said in a
statement Saturday. “It is an effort by the rebel
* leaders to distract Russian security forces from the
operation in Chechnya.”
But rebel Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov
released a statement Sunday denying any role in
the explosions.
“We are not fighting with civilians; we conduct
a guerrilla war with the (Russian) occupants,*
Maskhadov’s statement said. “We have nothing to
do with the criminal structures of Russia and do
not fight with women, old men, children and civil
C Editor Sarah Baker
|H Mooofioi Editor Bradley Davis
mw Associate Nows Editor Kimberly Sweet
^ Assljomoot Editor Jill Zeman
■fli opinion Editor Jake Giazeski
Sports Editor Matthew Hansen
Asststoot Sports Editor David Diehl
m Arts Editor Samuel McKewon
W Copy Desk Chief: Danell McCoy
ahem Copy Desk Chief: Jeff Bloom
Art Director Melanie FaJk
■JMkm - Art Director Delan Lonowskl
O Photo Chief: Scott McClurg
Desifo Coordinator Bradley Davis
Z—-f Web Editor Gregg Stems
Assistant Web Editor Tanner Graham
General Managor Daniel Shattil
IX Pnhilcatlont Board Russell Willbanks
i Chairman: (402) 484-7226
•J2 Profoetlsnal Advisor Don Walton
r? (402)473-7248
Advortfsing Manager Nick Partsch
, (402)472-2589
Assistant Ad Manager Nicole Woita
Classified Ad Managor Nikki Bruner
Clrcalotioa Manager. ImtiyazKhan
Fax number (402) 472-1761
m—i-t uej- hi.l. J-ii —«
wonu wwe mo. www.oaiiyneo.coin
The Daiy Nebraskan (USPS144-080) is published by
the UNL Publications Boards Nebnsla Union. 1400 R St,
Lincoln, NE 6^88-0448, Monday tfwough Friday duing the
academic year, weekly during the summer sessions.Tlie
pubfic has access to the Pubtcations Board.
Readers are encouraged to submd story ideas and
comments to the Daly Nebraskan by calng (402) 472-2588.
Subscriptions are $60 for one year,
rename &eno address changes to the Daily
Nebraskan, 20 Nebraska Union, 1400 R SI, Lincoln N£
6858W448. Periodical postage paid at Lincoln, NE.
David Sflverman/liewsmaters
A wounded Palestinian is euacnated to a waiting ambulance during violent dashes with brad! troops gnawing an army roadblock on the outskirts of the
West Bank Palestinian town of Nablus Sunday. At least 20 Palestinians were injured during dashes that enipted when hundreds of demonstrators began
stoning Israel troops manning the roadblock who responded with uoleys of rubber-coated metal billets.
Partvs araue on use of untaooed reserves
■ Democrats accuse Bush of using
California's energy problems as an
excuse to drill for oil.
WASHINGTON—The Bush admin
istration wiD not go “begging die OPEC
countries or anybody else” to increase
oil production as long as the United
States has untapped reserves that could
ease an energy pinch, Energy Secretary
Spencer Abraham said Sunday.
Making the case for oil drilling in
Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,
Abraham said no one should be sur
prised that the Organization of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries recently
chose to cut output to keep prices high.
“They have decided to put their own
interests first, and I think that’s some
thing the American people need to rec
ognize," Abraham told “Fox News on
Sunday.” “We are not going to take the
approach of begging the OPEC coun
tries or anybody else with respect to oil
Abraham’s comments come amid
concern about power shortages and
blackouts in California, as well as the
possibility of soaring electricity and
gasoline prices across the country this
Democrats argue there are other
ways to improve the country’s energy
efficiency than drilling in the Arctic
refuge and that fuel should not come at
the expense of the environment
Some Democrats say President
Bush, a Texas oil man, is wrongly using
the California energy crisis to make his
argument when the state is suffering a
shortage of electricity, not oil
During the presidential campaign,
Bush repeatedly talked of pressuring
OPEC to keep oil production reason
able. He suggested his administration
would be able to sway OPEC nations
better than President Clinton's was.
Some Republicans described Clinton’s
approach as embarrassing “tin-cup
Abraham said die Bush administra
tion would make the argument to OPEC
leaders that die supply and demand of
die market should determine price, not
cartel manipulations. Beyond that, the
United States would not supplicate.
“Wfe should not expect OPEC to nec
essarily just do what the United States
considers in its best interests. And I
think that just argues for us to develop
more energy resources here at home,”
Abraham said
Development of Alaskan reserves is
a critical element of Bush’s energy strat
The refuge could hold as much as 16
billion barrels of oil, larger than reserves
in neighboring Prudhoe Bay, although
the oil would not be available for a
Bush has acknowledged that open
ing the Arctic refuge to drilling may be a
hard sell in Congress. Senate Democrats
have pledged to block legislation that
would lift the refuge’s protection.
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said the
refuge should remain pristine and that it
was “completely fraudulent” for
Republicans to suggest that America’s
dependency on oil was going to be
solved by drilling in the refiige.
He also said Republicans were
wrongly holding California up as an
example of why die nation should drill.
“In California, only 1 percent of the
entire electricity grid of California
comes from oiL They’re trying to sell the
notion that this is going to address
California. It doesn’t address California.”
English army buries diseased-animal remains
LONDON—As Britain struggled to
keep up with the disposal of slaugh
tered livestock, the army started dig
ging huge pits at an old air base on
Sunday for the mass burial of up to
500,000 carcasses from the foot-and
mouth epidemic.
Earthmovers scooped out huge
trenches at an abandoned airfield at
Great Orton in Cumbria County, north
west England, with more than 190 cases
- the region wbrst hit by the highly
infectious disease.
Brigadier Alex Birtwistle, who is
leading the operation, said the army
was licensed to bury up to half a million
animals in the mass grave.
“We have about 500,000 sheep to
High 43, low 25
Mostly cloudy
High 50, low 32
take out of farms live and bring to be
slaughtered in the most humane way. It
is an apocalyptic task,” Birtwistle said.
The government has said Britain
would slaughter nearly all livestock on
farms adjacent to foot-and-mouth
infection sites in an effort to contain the
The Ministry of Agriculture,
Fisheries and Food on Sunday con
firmed 27 new cases of the disease,
including more than a dozen in
Cumbria, bringing the total to 597.
Some scientists believe this could spiral
to 4,000 by June.
In the Netherlands, government
officials confirmed a new case of foot
and-mouth disease Sunday at a farm in
the northeastern town of Oene in the
province of Gelderland, bringing the
number of infected farms in that coun
try to five.
Dutch health officials today will
begin vaccinating animals at farms
where foot-and-mouth is suspected,
after receiving approval from the
European Union on Friday.
France last week reported its sec
ond case of the disease and Argentina
has identified 55 cases, while Ireland
has one case of the disease, which
strikes cloven-hoofed animals like
sheep, pigs and cows.
Britain's Environment Agency,
which approved the Cumbria site, said
it had investigated more than 180 areas
to find acceptable places for such large
scale culling. The main problem in
Cumbria was to avoid polluting
groundwater, which provides water
supplies in large areas.
Jane Brown, director of operations
at the Agriculture Ministry, said as soon
as die Cumbrian pit was ready “we will
use it to bury some of the bodies that
have already been slaughtered on
forms that we haven't been able to dis- -
pose of
% “Then we will begin bringing live
sheep here from around the edges of
the very infected areas around Penrith,’’
for slaughter and burial, she explained
The Environment Agency was
assessing the suitability of a second
area for slaughtering and burying
sheep, Brown said
The aim was to catch up with the
backlog of carcasses and to begin creat
ing the “firebreak” Prime Minister Tony
Blair has described to prevent the dis
ease from spreading further.
Another large cull was scheduled
for Tuesday in Anglesey, Wales. About
40,000 livestock within a 50-square
mile area of southwest Anglesey were
scheduled to be slaughtered
The Associated Press
■ Switzerland
Parliament votes to legalize
abortions until 12th week
LUGANO —Years after, most
of Europe legalized abortion, die
Swiss parliament voted Friday to
permit women to end pregnancy
until the 12th week.
A key political party, however;
immediately announced it would
force a national referendum on
the issue, delaying for years a
decision on when - or whether -
the law will take effect
Closing its spring session
Friday, the National Council -
parliament’s larger chamber -
opted by 107 to 69 votes to legalize
abortion without obliging
women first to seek neutral advice
at a state-approvecLcenter. The
other house, the Council ofStates,
approved the proposal22-20.
\ Nonetheless, an alliance of
women’s organizations who had
lobbied hard for the legislation
welcomed the approval of the law.
WWF to buy WCW, end
professional wrestling rivalry
ATLANTA — The World
Wrestling Federation is buying
die ailing World Championship
Wrestling business from AOL
Time Warner Inc., ending an
intense rivalry that has inflamed
professional wrestling fans for
nearly 20 years.
WCW, a division of AOL’s
Rimer Broadcasting System Inc.
unit, had been planning to stop
production after tonight, but the
deal announced Friday gives it
new life. Stamford, Conn.-based
WWF, whose Monday show is the
top-rated program on cable TV,
said it would produce new WCW
“Thisisasmart business deci
sion and a good investment for
us," said Linda McMahon, chief
executive of World Wrestling
Federation Entertainment Inc.
“We're grabbing it because it is
simply that kind of opportunity."
■ Oklahoma
Murderers make pact;
only one commits suicide
EDMOND—One of two con
victed murderers who held an
elderly couple hostage in their
home was found dead inside the
house Saturday, authorities said.
Oklahoma County Sheriff
John Whetsel said William B.
Davis may have killed himself.
The other inmate, Douglas E.
Gray, emerged from the home
and surrendered, Whetsel said.
Hostage Gilbert lltepker, 73,
walked out of his home and was
reunited with his wife, Mildred,
72, who had been released earlier
in the evening, police spokes
woman Qynda Chu said.
Whetsel said the men appar
ently made a pact to kill them
selves if they were cornered, but
Gray changed his mind.
■ Egypt
Archaeologists find 11 mum
mies in Western Desert
CAIRO — Archaeologists
have found II mummies in
Egypt's Western Desert, including
one of a child entombed with his
parents and wearing a mask that
shows him in tears.
The mummies are about
1,800 years old, Egypt's Supreme
Council of Antiquities said in a
statement They are in good con
dition and were found near
Bahariya Oasis, 215 miles south
west of Cairo.
"The most beautiful one is
that of a 3-year-old child lying
next to the mummies of his father
and mother It has a mask with the
drawing of a child who appears to
be crying,” die head of die coun
cil, Gabballah Ali Gabballah, said
in the statement
Gabballah said archaeologists
also found the tombs of the par
ents of the mayor of Bahariya dur
ing the period of Pharaoh
Ahmose II, who ruled from 570 to
526 BG
Because of a reporting and
editing error, the NU Athletic
Department's budget shortfall
was overstated in Friday’s Daily
The Athletic Department
ended up about $250,000 in the
red last fiscal year.