The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas on July 5, 1999 · Page 5
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July 5, 1999

The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 5

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Galveston, Texas
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Monday, July 5, 1999
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Page 5
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GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS MONDAY, JULY 5,1999 \y\\\\ \i\\s A5 Packed and ready to go, German parliament begins move to Berlin The Associated Press BERLIN - After a weekend of packing up files and furniture, the first freight train chartered to help move the German parliament from Bonn to Berlin pulls out of the railroad station Monday for the 375-mile eastward trek. The first commuter planes for 1,200 government workers reluctant to give up their homes in quaint little Bonn also take off Monday — from the air- port the sleepy town shares with its big city neighbor, Cologne. The German government's long- planned return to its historic capital is in full gear this summer, almost 10 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Over the next two months, 669 parlia- •ment members, their 3,400 staff members and 6,000 other government officials will make the move. Parliament, which began its summer break last week, plans to reconvene Sept. 7 in the newly renovated, glass- topped Reichstag hi Berlin. But first, their stuff has to get there. The parliamentary vice president, Anke Puchs, was to see off the first of 24 trains to carry parliament's 24 miles of file-filled filing cabinets, 28,000 cartons of books, 30,000 pieces of furniture and 1,300 computers in overnight runs during July. The trains are to leave from the ship- ping yard in Cologne, 12 miles up the Rhine River from Bonn. The first train is scheduled to pull into Berlin early Tuesday morning. The goods from 81 buildings being vacated in Bonn will then be delivered to the 18 buildings being used in Berlin — a logistical and tracking challenge sure to test the famed German efficiency. Parliament's administrative staff is to begin working in Berlin on Aug. 1. Yet many of the new arrivals might be well-advised not to unpack everything: Because of construction delays, some of the buildings intended to house parliament members and government ministries still aren't ready, meaning theyll have to move again from provisional quarters to their permanent homes. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Berlin's biggest booster, may have the longest wait in temporary quarters: His new chancellery isn't expected to be ready until 2001. New church fulfills part of Roman wartime vow ROME — Pope, John Paul II on Sunday blessed a new church that Romans had promised to build 55 years ago if their city was saved from the ravages of World War II. The vow was made on June 4, 1944, when Allied troops were poised to enter Rome. Citizens prayed for deliverance, and an hour later German troops withdrew from the city, sparing it from attack. The vow was threefold, John Paul noted. Romans promised to build a church honoring the Madonna of Divine Love. They promised a major act of charity. And they promised to correct their moral conduct. The ultramodern Sanctuary of the Madonna of Divine Love he dedicated on Sunday and a nearby home for the elderly fulfill two parts of the vow, the pontiff said, but the third part still needs work. Parliament likely to OK women's voting rights KUWAIT —The choices Kuwaiti men made in parliamentary elections likely will lead to a social change that makes some in this traditional society nervous: Lawmakers appear all but certain to extend voting rights to women beginning in 2003. While the vote might have represented an advance for liberals, final results Sunday showed a reversal for the government, which had hoped the vote would bring a less combative legislature. Parliament largely serves a watchdog role. Although it reviews government agreements and proposals, the final word lies with the emir, whose decrees are difficult to overturn. It was not clear where the new lawmakers stand on the emir's decree permitting women to vote and run in elections beginning in 2003. Leftist rebels make for dangerous bird watching BOGOTA, Colombia — While leftist rebels are protecting myriad species by banning hunting and limiting fishing, they don't necessarily show the same respect for humans. Four American birdwatchers learned as much last year. Venturing into Andean meadows in search of the rare Cundinamarca Antpitta, a bird found only in Colombia, they ran into a column of guerrillas and ended up spending a month in captivity. The Americans were lucky. No ransom was paid, and no one was hurt. But they're not coming back anytime soon. "This terrible experience only means that I'll have to wait until the war is over before I return to Colombia to go birding," one of the four, New York cell biologist Pete Shen, said via email. The war has been going on for 35 years, though, with no end in sight. A few bird experts do venture into Colombia's wilds to do research, but even many of their colleagues question their judgment. "I don't go out to such places. It's too dangerous," said Walter Weber, German-born president of the Ornithological Society of Antioquia, a Colombian state with abundant bird life but also the country's highest incidence of rural violence. Ornithologists often must spend months explaining their projects to rebels in order to get clearance, scientists say. 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