The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 31, 1998 · Page 3
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 3

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Tuesday, March 31, 1998
Page 3
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THE PALM BEACH POST TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 1998 3A Industry, opponents unhappy with tobacco legislation , The Associated Press ' : WASHINGTON Cigarette makers would get the protection of a $6.5 billion annual limit on damage payments, but large classes of plaintiffs would still be able to sue under the leading tobacco bill that has started its journey through Congress. The industry called the compromise measure, apparently supported by a ma jority of Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee, an act of "vengeance" and threatened to withhold its cooperation in steering advertising away from kids. "This is a punitive and unrealistic assault on the industry, the millions of people who work in it and with it, and the millions of American adults who use its products," industry representative J. Phil Carlton complained during a conference call with reporters. "The industry cannot and will not give its assent to it." Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop called the bill a sellout to the industry. The American Lung Association said it was unacceptable. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Commerce Committee, acknowledged Monday that the provisions re quiring cigarette makers to steer advertising away from kids could be meaningless if challenged or ignored by the industry, but said he puts little credence in threats from tobacco executives. "I can't and will never be subject to a veto by the tobacco industry," McCain said, adding that he doubts companies could win a public relations war against the bill. The liability question was the filial sticking point that prevented round-the-clock negotiations from wrapping Jlp until Sunday night. In a bid for Democratic votes, McCain scaled back several additional legal protections that had been part of a previous draft only 90 minutes before he formally unveiled the bill at a late-afternoon press conference, a senior committee aide said. Supreme Court wrestles with giving: disability protection to HIV-infected ii-1 The Associated Press WASHINGTON In a major test of disability rights, Supreme Court justices sparred Monday over whether HIV-infected people should be considered disabled because of dangers involved in sex and childbearing. The lawyer for Maine dentist Randon Bragdon argued that Bragdon did not illegally discriminate against an HIV-infected woman by refusing to treat her at his office. The patient, Sidney Abbott, suffers no AIDS symptoms and therefore is not protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act, said attorney John McCarthy. But Abbott's lawyer said lower courts correctly found that Bragdon violated the law, which bars discrimination against the disabled in jobs, housing and public accommodations. The law responsible for such aids as wheelchair ramps at The justices' ruling could provide clues as to whether the law covers other kinds of disabilities, such as cases of epilepsy or diabetes that are controlled by medication. . ,; In other action Monday, the court: , Set the stage for a states' rights battle by agreeing to consider whether Congress can make carjacking a federal crime. A California man's appeal of his carjacking conviction relies oh a 1995 ruling that limited Congress' power to attack crime through its authority over interstate commerce. Delayed Whitewater , investigators' effort to obtain notes taken by the lawyer for White House aide Vincent Foster during a meeting shortly before Foster's 1993 suicide. The court agreed to decide whether attorney-client privilege protects against disclosure of the notes even after Foster's death. to have children. "I'm not sure that's what the statute is talking about," Souter said. However, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that if a person with highly infectious tuberculosis stays away from other people, "we don't just call it a moral choice." Bragdon's lawyer said the disability law aims to protect people whose disabilities affect their "day-to-day independent' living and economic self-sufficiency," not HIV-infected people who suffer no symptoms. Klein said that unless HIV-infected people have clear protections under the law, many will hide the fact that they carry the virus. The court never has decided a case involving an HIV-related issue or the disability-bias law, signed in 1990 by President Bush. A decision is expected by July. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS A sunrise safari for the first tourists CHOBE NATIONAL PARK, Botswana - Putting aside world problems, President and Mrs. Clinton take in a spectacular day of sightseeing Monday in one of Africa's last unspoiled wilderness areas, a 4,200-square-mile refuge in northern Botswana. The president will resume his official schedule today, flying to Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. Channel 10 official won't be going to jail r--n I countless public places says people are disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment that "substantially limits one or more major life activities." HrV-infected people should always be considered disabled because the contagious and fatal nature of acquired immune deficiency syndrome severely limits their ability to have sex and bear children, said Abbott's attorney, Bennett H. Klein. Some justices disputed whether HIV infection really creates such a limit. Justices David Souter and Antonin Scalia suggested an HIV-infected person faces a "moral choice" rather than an actual physical limit on his ability Attorneys for Channel 10 refused, claiming the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows them to to protect confidential sources. Three weeks ago, Broward Circuit Judge Richard Eade rejected that argument and ordered that the tape be surrendered. The station appealed to the Florida Supreme Court. After police identified the tourist last week and prosecutors subpoenaed him, the basis of the dispute dissolved. "I'm sleeping a lot better these days," said Sobrino, who might have faced contempt charges had he refused to give up the sistant news director. Al Guttmann, the Broward assistant state attorney assigned the case, refused to comment Monday. The tape showed a scuffle between Fort Lauderdale police officer Jonathan Appel and John Clements, a schizophrenic. The tourists turned the tape over to the station on the condition they remain anonymous. The state attorney's office, however, argued they were essential witnesses in the investigation of possible charges against Appel. Prosecutors demanded to view the entire unedited tape so the tourists' identity could be By Dan Moffett Palm Beach Post Staff Writer The constitutional battle between the Broward State Attorney's Office and a Miami TV station appears to have been re- , solved by police work. : WPLG-Channel 10 has received word from prosecutors that they have identified one of the Polish tourists who videotaped a beating at Fort Lauderdale beach last summer. The man, who may be a part-time city resident, was linked to a building that appeared on an edited version of the tape. "The police did a good job and settled this thing for us," said Omar Sobrino, the station's as One Income t Tax Planner (Please allow two weeks for delivery)' I Call 561-746-6405 Donald Scherzi CPA I 6156 Drake Street Palm Beach Gardens I I I I I I I The Palm Beach Post ' nuironlopc a ialni iiiq1 tr or greater than the cost of Only one coupon per person per visit I your newspaper everyday. may be used. Valid 331 - 4698. 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