The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 10, 1996 · Page 12
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 12

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Salina, Kansas
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Thursday, October 10, 1996
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Page 12
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A8 THURSDAY. OCTOBER 10, 1996 NATION THE SALINA JOURNAL AVIATION New law tightens airport security The Associated Press President Clinton greets Brian Cox, 5, Mountoursville, Pa., Wednesday at the White House where the president signed the Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act of 1996. Cox's sister Monica died in the crash of TWA Flight 800. Organized labor upset with Clinton for switch on anti-labor provision By Scrlpps Howard News Service WASHINGTON — Expect longer waits, tougher security and more bomb-sniffing dogs at the nation's airports, thanks to legislation President Clinton signed Wednesday that angers one of the Democrats' biggest backers: organized labor. The $9 billion bill, financed by a renewed 10 percent ticket tax, requires criminal background checks for airport employees and accelerates the purchase of new bomb-sniffing machines to screen luggage that currently is sent only through X-ray machines. The measure, which rushed through Congress in the weeks after the July 17 explosion of TWA Flight 800 off the coast of Long Island, also will lead to the hiring of dozens of new FBI agents to hunt down terrorists. It will allow airport ticket agents to use computer-generated profiles to identify suspicious passengers. "Americans will not only feel safer, they will be safer," Clinton said at a bill-signing ceremony Wednesday attended by relatives of passengers on the TWA flight. Although federal investigators have not determined a cause for the disaster, the midair explosion of the Boeing 747 prompted a congressional review of lapses in airport security and calls for new equipment to ensure that bombs can't be smuggled onboard aircraft. A group of Democrats led by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., tried unsuccessfully to block passage of the bill because of a provision that union leaders see as anti-labor and the Clinton administration once had opposed. The controversial provision classifies all Federal Express employees as aviation workers, which under the National Railway Act means they can join only national unions. Federal Express truck drivers want the right to organize locally. Clinton doesn't want to rub organized labor the wrong way in this election season. The AFL- CIO has said it will spend $35 million in an effort to return control of Congress to the Democrats. The Republicans charge that unions are forcing members to contribute to the funding of anti- GOP campaign ads. In another action related to the TWA crash, Congress voted to turn the job of informing relatives of plane crash victims over to the National Transportation Safety Board. Relatives of TWA Flight 800 victims said the airline didn't fully inform them about the fate of their loved ones and didn't provide adequate information on what happened. Rep. John Duncan, R-Terin., said air passengers will notice increased patrols of bomb-sniffing dogs and other "security improvements" that could bring new delays. The new law also forbids any unlicensed pilots from participating in aeronautical competitions. This was in response to the death of 7-year-old Jessica Dubroff of Pescadero, Calif., who crashed April 11 while trying to set a cross-country record for young pilots. Persons have to be 16 to obtain licenses. NOBEL PRIZES Helium and 'buckyballs' spell Nobel Six scientists share Nobel Prizes for physics and chemistry By The Associated Press NEW YORK — Six scientists — five of them Americans — won Nobel Prizes on Wednesday for discovering soccer ball-shaped molecules dubbed "buckyballs" and a strange form of helium that could shed light on the universe's first few instants. Two Texans and a Briton won the chemistry prize for discovering a family of carbon molecules that spawned a new field of study. Formally known as fullerenes and SMALLEY The Associated Press Professor Harry Kroto of Sussex University displays a model of 'bucky- balls' Wednesday. Kroto, along with Robert Curl Jr. and Richard Smalley, both of Rice University, won a Nobel Prize for the buckyballs. informally called buckyballs, the odd-shaped molecules were named for architect R. Buckminster Fuller because of their resemblance to his geodesic domes. The physics prize went to three U.S. scientists for discovering that at extremely low temperatures a form of helium can flow without losing energy to friction. That finding has had unexpected applications to theories about the universe's earliest moments. The chemistry prize was shared by Harold Kroto, 57, who teaches at Sussex University in England, and Robert Curl, Jr., 63, and Richard Smalley, 53, of Rice University in T MEDICARE CURL LEE Houston. The three discovered buckyballs at Rice in 1985. "It's what every kid who had a chemistry set dreams of," Curl said in Houston. Buckyballs haven't become a critical part of daily life, but chemists predict that fullerene OSHEROFF RICHARDSON technology is on the horizon. Labs around the world are working on ways to apply them. Among other things, they are working on using buckyballs to conduct electricity without resistance or to deliver medicine into the body. Scientists might even be able to turn buckyballs into diamonds or string together a tubular type of fullerene to create super- strong fibers. . David Lee, 65, Robert Richardson, 59, and Douglas Osheroff, 51, were honored with a Nobel in physics for finding that at temperatures within two thousandths of a degree of absolute zero, the isotope helium-3 can be made to flow essentially without slowing down. The phenomenon is known as su- perfluidity. Lee and Richardson teach at Cornell University in New York. Osheroff is a professor at Stanford University in California. Their research was done at Cornell in the 1970s. The research has recently shed light on the first moments of the universe. The physical transitions that occur as helium becomes frictionless are similar to processes believed to have taken place a fraction of a second after the big bang, according to the Nobel citation. The discovery of superfluidity in helium-3 also helps physicists explore the rules that govern the behavior of subatomic matter. With almost all of the heat sucked out of it, helium-3 behaves according to weird quantum rules that are hard to discern under normal conditions. No technological applications have resulted from the discovery yet, but the possibilities are great. The research could help scientists understand superconductivity, the phenomenon whereby some substances at low temperatures conduct electricity without resistance. Lab ordered to pay $119 million in Medicare fraud By The Associated Press BOSTON — Damon Clinical Laboratories Inc' agreed Wednesday to plead guilty to defrauding the government's Medicare health program and will pay $119 million in criminal and civil penalties. The medical lab became the latest of many around the country snagged in the Justice Department's four-year investigation of fraudulent billing in the medical industry. Damon, which formerly operated in the Boston suburb of Needham, agreed to pay $35 million as a criminal fine and $84 million in civil penalties while pleading guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud the United States. If the plea agreement is accepted by the court, the criminal fine would be the largest the government has ever recovered in a health-care fraud case, U.S. Attorney Donald Stern said. Stern said Damon Clinical sub- mitted millions of fraudulent claims for medically unnecessary laboratory tests. The lab, in response to fee reductions by Medicare adopted in 1988 and 1989, began grouping certain blood tests so that doctors would order more than were necessary, the charges said. Damon then billed Medicare for all of the tests, together called a "LabScan," even though the government is only responsible for medically necessary tests. "What was marketed as a Lab- Scan was actually a massive lab scam," Stern said. To keep doctors from complaining, Damon Clinical did not charge physicians for the unnecessary tests, and did not disclose that the lab intended to bill Medicare for them, prosecutors said. Medicare is the government health insurance program for the elderly and disabled. In the settlement, Damon also admitted submitting false claims to the Railroad Retirement Board, the CHAMPUS program, which serves military dependents, the Office of Personnel Management and 25 state Medicaid programs, which serve the poor. Damon was purchased by Corning Clinical Laboratories, a division of Corning Inc., in 1993. Upon learning of Damon's test "bundling," Corning immediately stopped the practice, prosecutors said. Other Corning subsidiaries have already paid several million dollars to the government in similar fraud investigations. RALPH WHEEL Bonds - Insurance Phone 827-2906 115 East Iron Your Hearing Aid could be this small! 827-8911 1-800-448-0215 Hearing Aid Service 234 S. Santa Fe, Sallna CAMPAIGN '96 Dole's Bozo remark is no laughing matter to Bozo By The Associated Press LYNDHURST, N.J. — Bob Dole may have stuck a size 83-XXX foot in his mouth when he referred to President Clinton as Bozo, recalling a similar quip from George Bush during the 1992 race. Dole made the remark during a campaign stop here Tuesday, angering television's original red- haired, bubble-nosed, big-shoe- wearing clown, Larry Harmon. "It irks me when people use the character's name in a demeaning way," Harmon said from his Hollywood office. "It's like attacking motherhood and apple pie for heaven's sake." At the rally in Lyndhurst, a man in the crowd shouted to Dole as hd shook hands, "Please get Bozo tiut of the White House." Dole called back, "Bozo's on his way out!" " Dole spokesman Nelson Warfield dismissed the exchange as a ligh't moment during the campaign. ' Harmon said there's more to if/' "Bozo's a good luck charm," he said. "Look what it did for President Clinton. Bush called him a Bozo- Clinton shot back that Bozo make^ people laugh and ... went laughing all the way to the White House." . In the final weeks of the 1992 campaign, President Bush referred to Clinton and Al Gore as "two B6 ; zos" who knew less about foreign 1 policy than a dog. " You make promises. Well help you keep them. ans - promise is a promise. And a Capitol Federal Home Equity Loan is the perfect way to deliver. 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