The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 30, 2001, Page 2, Image 2

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    News Digest
Page 2 Daily Nebraskan Friday, March 30,2001
— __
Sen. Clinton sparks ethics debate
■The former first lady's acceptance of
gifts has led to the proposal ofarnle that
would prevent such cases in the future.
WASHINGTON—TOe chairman of the
Senate Rules Committee is proposing sena
tors-elect abide by Senate ethics laws rather
than wait until they are sworn in, a rule that
might have stopped New York Sen. Hillary
Rodham Clinton from accepting some gifts
as first lady. She supports the change, a
spokesman said.
Sen. Mitch McConneflfe measure would
make senators subject to Senate rules -
including a $50 limit on gifts - as soon as
they are certified the election winner.
Currently, senators come under the rules
only after they are sworn in, some two
months latec
Also Thursday, Sen. Clinton agreed to
co-sponsor legislation that would change
the presidential pardon system, a measure
inspired by her husband’s actions just
before leaving office.
The Clintons were criticized earlier this
year when they left die White House with
$190,027 worth of furniture and other gifts.
It is not known whether any of those gifts
arrived in November and December, while
she was a senator-elect
Some of the gifts were returned after
questions arose over whether the items
were intended as personal gifts or donations
to the White House:
AMcConneU aide said Thursday that the
Kentucky Republican made his proposal
without any particular lawmaker in mind.
Clinton spokesman Jim Kennedy said die
supported the idea.
McConnell quietly signaled his inten
tion to change the rule last week as the
Senate began debating campaign finance
reform legislation. His spokesman Robert
Steurer said it was now unlikely McConnell
would push the change as part of the ongo
ing campaign finance debate but could seek
the change at a later date.
A change in Senate rules requires
approval from two-thirds of the members.
“We think it’s a great idea,” said Gary
Ruskin, executive director of the
Congressional Accountability Project, a
Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group
that has called for stricter Senate ethics
The former first lady also faced criticism
for the $8 million memoir deal she signed as
a senator-elect. Even if the McConnell pro
vision had been in place, it would not have
applied to her book dead because Senate
rules exempt royalties from the chamber’s
ban on outside income.
The pardons bill by Sen. Arien Specter,
R-Pa., would require those pressing for pres
idential pardons and commutations to reg
ister as lobbyists. The bill also would require
disclosure for those who donate more than
$5,000 to presidential libraries.
Clinton’s spokesman said she believed
Specter’s measure was a “common sense
disclosure bin” and decided to support it
Specter’s legislation comes after con
gressional hearings into former President
Clinton’s last-minute decision to grant a
pardon to fugitive financier Marc Rich.
Rich’s ex-wife, songwriter and socialite
Denise Rich, contributed at least $109,000
to Sen. Clinton’s Senate bid. She also gave
$450,000 to former President Clinton’s
library foundation, prompting critics to
question whether there was a money-for
Sen. Clinton also became embroiled in
the pardon controversy when it was
revealed that her brother, Hugh, was paid
more than $400,000 for lobbying to secure a
pardon and a commutation. He later agreed
to return the money.
Senate votes
to protect
money ban
WASHINGTON—The Senate voted Thursday
to protect a soft money ban at the heart of cam
paign finance legislation from court rulings affect
ing other provisions, handing a major victory to
supporters of the bill
In a57-43 vote, the Senate defeated an amend
ment providing that all the major sections of the
bill would be nullified if the Supreme Court struck
down any one section over First Amendment free
speech rights.
Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Russ Feingold,
D-Wis., pleaded with their colleagues to defeat die
“This vote on this amendment will decide
whether this terribly unfortunate
*7- . . and corrupting system continues
I ms IS or not,- said Feingold. “This is the
the Soft soft money vote, this is where the
Senate takes a stand, this is the
money tegt
VOte, this The vote cleared the path to
ic wharo final passage of the bill, possibly as
is wnere early as Thursday nigit
the The outcome was undecided
Senate unhl the last moment, with some
, Democrats joining Republicans in
taKeS a arguing that the “non-severability”
Stand, clause was necessary to maintain
^ the delicate balance in political
inis IS me 1^owei between parties and inter
test” est groups.
If the courts approve only the
Sea. Rosa ban on contributions to political
rmtmmniA parties, said Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tfenn.,
re,T* author of the amendment, the
_u w s~ money “is going to all flow to the
area of least resistance, and that is
the special interest groups and that is die unions,
and that is the corporations.”
The vote came after nine days of debate during
which McCain and Feingold had successfully
managed to ward off other challenges to their bill,
which would ban the largely unregulated soft
money donations that unions and corporations
make to political parties. It also would restrict
some issue ads by private groups on radio and TV
60 days before an election.
President Bush, who has opposed the ban on
soft money, repeated Thursday that he was open
to signing^ good piece of legislation." He said the
McCain-Feingold measure "is a bill in progress, it
is a bill that continues to change, and IT1 take a
look at it when it makes my desk."
The Senate earlier on Thursday rejected by 72
28 another challenge to the bill. It would have
eliminated a provision restricting late-campaign
political broadcast advertising.
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Sol Strom Thurmond, (R-S.C) gets an escort Ron an unidentified man as he teams the White House on Wednesday in Washington, D.C Thurmond was
attemfing a meeting between President Bush and Repufafican leaden.
Palestinians ignore Israeli abuse
■Israelis continue to torture
Palesdnians,butHhsserArak insists
that the Palestinians hold their grouHi.
JERUSALEM — A defiant Yasser
Arafat on Thursday dismissed Israeli
helicopter raids and warned that the
Palestinian uprising would press ahead.
In renewed dashes, three Palestinians
were lolled.
After a week filled with suicide
bombings and airstrikes, Israeli soldiers
shot and killed two Palestinian rock
throwers, ages 13 and 17, near the Erez
crossing point from northern Gaza into
Israel. Eight other teen-agers were
A Palestinian policeman was killed
in a clash near the isolated Jewish settle
ment of Netzarim, south of Gaza City.
Also, one Palestinian was killed and
another wounded when Israeli forces
opened fire as they tried to enter Gaza
by climbing a border fence dividing a
refugee camp between Gaza and Egypt,
Palestinians said. The Israeli military
said it was checking the report
In Washington, President Bush,
referring to a string of bomb attacks and
shooting, called on the Palestinians to
"stop the violence. I can't make it any
more clear.” He also asked Israel to
show restraint and ease restrictions on
the Palestinians.
Returning from a two-day Arab
summit in Jordan, Arafat inspected the
ruins of his Force 17 guard headquar
ters in die West Bank city of Ramallah,
hit in a nighttime raid by Israeli helicop
ter gunships. Arafat said the Palestinian
uprising would continue despite Israeli
Palestinian radio stations reverted
to nationalistic songs and calls for a
popular uprising, a tone that had faded
after the first few weeks of the current
conflict which began Sept. 28 after Arid
Sharon, now Israel’s prime minister, vis
ited a disputed holy site in the Old Gty
of Jerusalem sacred to Muslims and
Jews and claimed by both sides.
Palestinians were defiant after the
Israeli helicopter assault die first mili
tary action ordered by Sharon since he
took office March 7.
Arafat said Israeli military measures
would not bend the will of his people.
He said the uprising would continue
“until we raise the Palestinian flag in
every mosque and church and on the
walls of Jerusalem."
Ahmed Qureia, speaker of the
Palestinian legislature, charged that
Israel was “waging a war against the
Palestinian people, against its institu
tions, against its security forces.”
In Israel, the mood was a mixture of
sorrow, shock and anger after a series of
Palestinian attacks this week in which a
baby and two teen-agers died.
Sharon, who says Arafat is responsi
ble for the violence, referred to a long
range campaign to end the bloodshed.
“Restoring security...
cannot be done overnight
or in one day.”
Ariel Sharon
Israel’s prime minister
Sharon appealed to his people to show
patience. "Restoring security... cannot
be done overnight or in one day," he
In Hebron, where a 10-month-old
Israeli girl was killed Monday by a gun
shot horn a Palestinian-controlled hill,
Jewish settlers clashed Thursday with
Palestinians and cursed their own sol
diers for trying to stop diem.
Rejecting Jewish law that requires
quick burial, and rebuffing an appeal
from Sharon, the parents of the dead
baby have refused to bury her until
Israel recaptures the Abu Sneineh hill,
where the Palestinians live.
Israeli tanks blasted a building in
the Palestinian neighborhood after sol
diers saw armed Palestinians there, die
military said, but there were no signs
that Israel planned to retake the hill,
part of the Palestinian-controlled area
of the divided dty.
A1997 interim accord split Hebron
into Israeli and Palestinian zones
because about450Jewish settlers live in
the center of the dty in homes that were
owned by Jews before they were driven
out during riots in 1929.
Reporter killed in Kosovo
KRIVENIK, Yugoslavia—Mortar shells
struck a village just inside Kosovo on
Thursday, killing at least two civilians
including an Associated Press Television
News journalist, as fighting intensified
between Macedonian forces and ethnic
Albanian militants.
NATO-led international peacekeepers
set up a field hospital to treat at least 16
wounded, and American soldiers searched
for other possible victims in Krivenik, just
three-quarters of a mile inside Kosovo’s bor
der with Macedonia.
The attack on the village came as
Macedonia’s government said a successful
army offensive had driven back the rebels,
who maintain they were fighting for greater
rights and recognition for ethnic Albanians
in the Slav-dominated country. But the
rebels suggested they were merely regroup
ing in the largely inaccessible hills.
One of those killed in the mortar
shelling was APTN producer Kerem
Lawton, a 30-year-old British national
based in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina. He died
of shrapnel wounds suffered when a shell
hit his vehicle as he arrived in the village at
midmoming to cover the deployment of
NATO-led peacekeepers monitoring the
Sylejman “Sulci” Kllokoqi, an APTN
cameraman who had left the car to photo
graph refugees, said he heard an explosion
and saw a plume of smoke.
aI saw people lying on the ground. I
started shouting, ‘Kerem! Kerem!’ Then I
saw Kerem in die car,” Kllokoqi said.
Lawton was the 26* AP journalist to die
in the line of duty since the news coopera
tive was founded in 1848.
The Associated Press
■ New York
Combs to drop'Puffy1name
with release of new album
NEW YORK—Sean Combs
says he’s not blowing smoke-hete
getting rid of his much played
. upon “Puffy’* moniker.
The rap mogul, who was
acquitted earlier this month of
bribery and weapons charges,
told MTV News on Wednesday
that he's dumping the nickname
when he comes out with a new
*Tm not doing it as serious as
Prince. I’m not just going to be
crazy with it" he said. T just need
a fresh start That’s alL”
So what will be his new rap
name? Actually, he said he would
just take one of his other nick
names - R EMddy. The rapper said
he could even envision a name
change ceremony, with another
beleaguered celebrity helping
him out
“So probably, like, the first
week in June we are going to have
a name change ceremony.
Clinton is probably going to
change my name. Bill Clinton, I
like his style," Combs said. “He is a
survivor, they went at him, he is
stiD standing."
■ New York
McVeigh: Bombing was to
avenge Waco, Ruby Ridge
BUFFALO — Detailing his
motives in the Oklahoma City
bombing for the first time pub
licly, Timothy McVeigh said he
pulverized die building to avenge
Waco and Ruby Ridge - and he
regretted having killed children
because it undercut his cause.
“I recognized beforehand that
someone might be... bringing
their kid to work," he says inanew
book. “However, if I had known
there was an entire day care cen
ter, it might have given me pause
to switch targets. That's a large
amount of collateral damage"
In 75 hours of prison inter
views, McVeigh talked to Lou
Michel and Dan Herbeck,
reporters for The Buffalo News,
near his hometown of Pendleton,
about how and why he bombed
the Alfred P. Murrah Federal
Building. The April 19, 1995,
attack killed 168 people, 19 of
them children.
In the interviews, which
began in May 1999, McVeigh got
choked up while talking about
killing a gopher but did not
express remorse for the bombing.
“I understand what theyfelt in
Oklahoma City. I have no sympa
thy for them,” he told the authors
of “American Terrorist Timothy
McVeigh and the Oklahoma City
■ Florida
Florida bill keeps autopsy
photos dosed to the public
beside Dale Earnhardt’s widow,
Gov. Jeb Bush signed a bill
Thursday to keep autopsy photos
dosed to die public unless a judge
approves their release.
The law sprang from an out
cry over the Orlando Sentinel’s
request to see Earnhardt’s autop
sy photos. Teresa Earnhardt led
die protests, saying die wanted to
protect her family’s privacy
The measure, passeaunani
mousiy in the Senate on
Thursday, makes it a felony to
improperly release the records,
with a maximum sentence of five
years in jail and a $5,000 fina
Bush thanked the Legislature
for handling the bill in what he
called record speed.
“A tribute to the speed ofDale
Earnhardt," the governor said.
■ Mexico
Rebels appeal for rights,
head back to the jungle
even by critics, the Zapatista
rebels made an appearance
before Congress to appeal for
Indian rights, then announced
they were headed back to the jun
The 24 masked rebel leaders
depart - possibly Thursday - with
major political victories. And they
leave behind a gift for President
Vicente Fox: an agreement to
begin the contacts he has repeat
edly sought
Zapatista Comandante
Esther said Wednesday that Fox
had given “a signal of peace” by
meeting the rebel demand to
close seven army bases near their