Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on September 17, 1990 · Page 9
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 9

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Indiana, Pennsylvania
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Monday, September 17, 1990
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Page 9
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<3nfriatta Gazette NATION/WORLD Thursday, September 18, 2003 — Page 9 Suicide evidence of fanners' plight By SANG-HUN CHOE Associated Press Writer SEOUL, South Korea — When Lee Kyung-hae, fresh out of college, returned to his rural hometown to become a farmer in 1975, the seeds of the economic upheaval that eventually led to his suicide, were already taking root. South Korea, once a predominantly agrarian country, had just begun its rapid industrial-' ization. The brightest among its young people joined Samsung, Hyundai and other big companies that built cars, oil tankers and computer chips for exports. While the country's manufacturers benefited from global trade, Lee grew despondent as cheap farm imports flooded in, prices plummeted and debts snowballed. Last week, Lee's self-styled campaign to defend Korean farmers from free trade came to a dramatic end when he stuck a knife into his heart during a protest outside a World Trade Organization meeting in Cancun, Mexico. He shouted "WTO kills farmers!" as he committed suicide. Lee's desperate act shocked South Koreans and dramatized the plight of its debt-ridden farmers, who are struggling to maintain their centuries-old agrarian tradition while the world's 12th largest economy finds its farm sector increasingly indefensible against global demand for free trade. Today, 600 black-clad farmers gathered in rain at an airport outside Seoul to receive Lee's body as it returned from Mexico. They draped his coffin with a national flag and called him a martyr. Lee's sobbing daughter, Jie-hye, said her father "died to keep the Korean farm industry alive." "Mr. Lee killed himself to show that Korean farmers are on the brink of a cliff," said Suh Jong- eui, chairman of the Korean Advanced Farmers Federation, a farmers' lobby that Lee had once headed. Soon after Lee's death, the 146 nation meeting in Cancun collapsed over differences between developing countries and rich nations over how to open agricultural markets. South Korea resisted the opening of agricultural markets as sought by some developing countries, but at the same time the government admits that liberalization is probably inevitable. The government protects its farmers by imposing tariffs of 100 percent or on imports of 142 farm products. It imposes a virtual ban on rice imports and buys huge stocks of rice domestically at high prices. As a result, a South Korean consumer pays four times more for rice than the average U.S. consumer does. Still, things are changing. To keep overseas markets open for its economy, South Korea slowly began to reduce the subsidies and started opening the doors on food imports in the late Relatives of Lee Kyung-hae, who killed himself outside a World Trade Organization meeting, attended a ceremony at Incheon Airport outside Seoul, South Korea. (AP photo) 1980s. In response, farmers, usually the most docile segment of Korean society, began taking to the streets even as their numbers dwindled. In this country of 47 million people, diere are only 3.6 million farmers compared to 6.6 million 12 years ago. In a letter to the WTO in March, Lee lamented that waves of market opening were destroying "our lovely rural communities," driving farmers into city slums and turning rural areas into ghost villages where "pig pens are empty and only immobile old people live." Lee was once a star farmer. His experimental 44-acre farm, 12 times the average plot for Korean farmers, attracted farming students who wanted to learn how to yield more with less cost and survive with declining prices. Lee was elected to the provincial legislature, and his farm was once featured on national television. But Lee's fortunes eventually declined, and a bank foreclosed on his farm because of an unpaid mortgage a few years ago. In 1990, Lee stabbed himself in the stomach with a Swiss army knife in the lobby of the WTO headquarters in Geneva. Lee spent a month earlier this year camped out in front of the WTO's headquarters, holding signs that said the trade organizations were killing farmers. After his death, relatives found his handwritten note: "It's more worthwhile to sacrifice one man for 10 people than ten people for one man." Board cancels season after alleged hazing NEW YORK (AP) — A Long Island school board has voted to end a high school football team's season amid allegations that some players were sexually assaulted by older teammates at a training camp. The Bellmore-Merrick school board decided at a Wednesday night closed-door meeting to cancel all of the Mepham High School football team's games, Newsday reported in today's editions. Three varsity players, ages 15,16 and 17, allegedly sodomized three junior varsity play- ers with a broomstick, pine cones and golf balls while other players watched, the newspaper reported. The alleged assaults took place at Camp Wayne in Preston Park, Pa., where about 60 Mepham High School players and five coaches spent a week last month. School officials and players have said the coaches did not know about the incidents until one of the victim's parents reported it to the school principal several days after the team had returned. More or less U.S. economy growing; budget deficit fed by war costs a concern By SAM F. GHATTAS Associated Press Writer DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The U.S. economy is growing faster than expected, but it won't be able to provide as much global stimulus as in the past because of soaring budget and trade deficits, the International Monetary Fund said today. • Economic activity, which slowed in the United States from about mid-2002, began to regain momentum after the Iraq war in March and April with increased government spending, consumption and private investment, the IMF said in its biannual World Economic Outlook. That recovery should continue into 2004 at a somewhat stronger pace than earlier expected, it said: 2.6 percent in 2003 and 3.9 percent in 2004. Those are up from the 2.2 percent and 3.6 percent forecast last April. "Right now the United States is just charging ahead," said the IMF's chief economist, Kenneth Rogoff. "It has the best recovery money can buy.... But mis comes at a cost of mortgaging growth further down the road." Rogoff told a news conference that U.S. productivity figures were "encouraging" for the longer term. The school board found that many of the team's players violated the district's code of conduct by not reporting the alleged abuse, Newsday said. No arrests have been made, and prosecutors and school officials have not commented on the specifics of the allegations. Newsday said school board members and Thomas Caramore, the district's superintendent, declined further comment Wednesday night. State police are investigating. • But, he added, "one has to be quite concerned about what will eventually happen when the twin deficits —• fiscal and current account—are reined in, as eventually they must be," he said. The IMF noted the costs related to Iraq would only worsen an already ballooning U.S. budget deficit, which it warned would offset the longer-term benefits of the Bush administration's tax cuts if sustained. After registering the largest- ever budget surplus in 2000 — $236 billion, or 2.4 percent of gross domestic product, and slightly less than half that in 2001 — the United States is expected to post a deficit of $455 billion, or 4.2 percent of GDI} in 2003. President Bush has asked Congress for an additional $87 billion for military and reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although not all the money will be spent in the 2004 budget, it will increase the deficit next year to $525 billion to $535 billion. That would be about 4.7 percent ofGDR Rogoff said the dollar will have to drop sharply when the U.S. current account deficit — the broadest measure of the trade deficit, one that includes goods, services and interest payments — starts to unwind later in 'the decade. IMF sees signs of recovery, leaves global growth forecast unchanged By ANWAR FARUQi Associated Press Writer DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The global economy appears poised for growth, but the advance will be uneven and the recent collapse of trade talks in Mexico could foretell a worrisome slowdown, the International Monetary Fund said today. The agency predicted 3.2 percent growth this year and 4.1 percent in 2004, the same projections it issued last April. Europe is still struggling to turn its economy around, while Japan's gross domestic product finally has started looking better, he said. China and India are showing strong growth mat illustrates their increasing importance, Rogoff said as the IMF released its World Economic Outlook ahead of its annual meetings here with its sister organization, the World Bank. Rogoff said oil prices are expected to dip slightly next year into the $25 per barrel range, which would help most economies, though he cautioned that crude remains a hugely volatile commodity. Still, the overall picture is the best since the 2001 recession, and given that, "an imbalanced recovery is better than none at all," Rogoff said. Democrats: Clark improves image By NEDRA PICKLER Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON — Wesley Clark's entry into the Democratic presidential primary is already proving advantageous, say congressional Democrats who argue that the retired four-star general's bid negates their image as soft on defense. Several lawmakers interviewed said regardless of whether Clark wins the nomination, having him among the party's candidates increases their credibility on the military and foreign affairs. "It's very bad for me as a Democrat to be tagged as somebody who doesn't support the military," said Rep. Baron Hill, D- Ind. "He takes that issue back for us." Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y, a decorated veteran of the Korean War who is backing Clark, said the former NATO supreme commander "is Teflon to the question of being a patriot." Democrats "need someone who'll stand up with Bush and CLARK doesn't have to say, T'm as patriotic as you are, now let's debate the issues,'" Rangel said. Rep. Marion Berry, a fellow Arkansas Democrat who is lining up support for Clark on Capitol Hill, said more than 30 members of Congress have told him they will back the former general. The only other Democratic presidential candidate who can match that is former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt. Clark plans to visit Capitol Hill next week in an effort to line up even more support, Berry said. He said he expects close to 50 lawmakers will be ready to endorse Clark by then, including more than half of the "Blue Dog" coalition of centrist Democrats as well as more liberal members. Clark plans to make his first campaign stop today in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., site of the 2000 presidential recount. He's also under pressure from Democrats to participate in a party-sponsored debate next week that will focus on economic issues. Clark's economic positions are largely undefined, and his aides said he may miss the event because he is supposed to give a paid speech that day. Anniversaries? Birthdays? Weddings? We'HdveA Beautiful Selection of * QtjAUTY ^For <fhat (Special occasion .„ • CjjnttalV tame Glftwant 'Teapots , ' „ ' » Fentoa GUss • Frames - *• ^fj »,« , 1 r < » • Framed Kdrnr^s • Sam&mite luggage PAULBEATTY JEWELERS 120 W. 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