The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 18, 1996 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, October 18, 1996
Page 8
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A8 FRjDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1996 INTERNATIONAL THE SALINA JOURNAL T RUSSIA Firing Lebed may come back to haunt Yeltsin Ex-security chief may be more popular among majority of Russians By BARRY RENFREW Tlie Associated Press MOSCOW — Instead of solving a nagging problem by firing Alexander Lebed, Boris Yeltsin soon may find he has just unleashed his greatest rival. Free of ties to a government he despises, Lebed already is campaigning for president, the only job he wants. Lebed's dismissal will boost his standing in the eyes of millions of Russians fed up with Yeltsin and his government's incompetence and corruption. Lebed was ousted amid charges from Kremlin rivals that the ex-general wanted to seize power or incite a military mutiny. But Lebed insists he wants to win the presidency with ballots, not bullets. Lebed sees himself as a pragmatist and a patriot who believes in Russia's destiny as a great power. He believes Russia's problems start at the top and the country must be made to shape up, just like a bunch of raw recruits on the barracks square. Lebed's recipe for Russia is discipline, uncompromising honesty and harsh punishment for corrupt officials who plunder the economy. It is a message that made Lebed's star rise. Elections are not due until 2000, but few Russians expect the ailing Yeltsin to serve out his full term. Yeltsin is awaiting heart surgery amid constant reports and rumors of his failing health. Even when they united forces this summer, Yeltsin and Lebed always were going to be temporary allies. Lebed never concealed his contempt for Yeltsin and his administration, once describing the president as "minus." The two men had been bitter rivals, but a common threat from Russia's Communists forced them into the alliance during the presidential election. Lebed, who came in third in the first round, backed Yeltsin in the final round. This ensured the Communists' defeat. Lebed accepted the job of national security chief, an advisory post, but made it clear he wanted the power to solve Russia's problems. T BRITAIN LEBED Many Russians, tired of government mismanagement, want tough action to clear out corrupt officials and gangsters who control large parts of the economy. They are tired of endless government promises that life will get better. Instead they want jobs, full paychecks and political and economic stability. Above all, they want a forceful, honest leader who can clean up the country. Lebed, with his unflinching manner and blunt honesty, is seen by many ordinary people as just that. They are tired of Yeltsin, believing he has winked at corruption and chaos, only caring about staying in power. Lebed's handling of the Chechen war demonstrated he was not just a tough ex-soldier who thought problems could be beaten into submission. While other leaders refused to compromise with the Chechen separatists, Lebed swiftly concluded a political settlement, ending the war and sending his political stock soaring even higher. With Lebed out of the Kremlin, the hard-line faction that started the war may be tempted to try force again. Such a move would be extremely unpopular and only boost Lebed's standing. While Yeltsin is likely to stay in office until he dies or is totally incapacitated, the men around him know none of them can match Lebed in electoral charisma. Lebed will give new life to the Russian opposition. Until now the most powerful opposition force has been the Communists, but most Russians refuse to support them because of their totalitarian legacy in the Soviet era. Yeltsin was always able to use the anti-Communist card to excuse his government's poor performance.- Lebed will be the first prominent opposition leader who can present a strong npnCommu- nist threat to the government that is likely to attract a nationwide following. Whatever the . road ahead, Yeltsin can count on Lebed being there at every twist and turn, bluntly criticizing the government's every move. Woman denied use of late husband's sperm Case has sparked a debate on ethics of artificial insemination By The Associated Press LONDON — A widow who wants to become pregnant with her late husband's sperm had her hopes dashed by a British court Thursday because she does not have his written permission. Diane Blood, 30, wept in the High Court when she heard she could not use the sperm taken from her husband, Stephen, as he lay hospitalized in a coma nearly two years ago. "We planned a baby before he died," Diane Blood told reporters afterward. "I don't see why my life as I planned it should have ended." The case, the first of its kind in Britain, has sparked a widespread debate on the ethics of artificial insemination. Stephen Blood died in March 1995 after contracting bacterial meningitis and falling into a coma. While he was comatose and on a life-support machine, Diane Blood asked doctors to take sam- ples of his sperm, which now are stored at a hospital in Sheffield, 160 miles north of London. The regulatory Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority ruled it is unlawful for Diane Blood to be inseminated artificially with her husband's sperm without his written authorization. Diane Blood took the case to the high court, where her chief attorney, Lord Lester, argued there was clear evidence her husband had approved of artificial insemination and wanted children. He said the authority had taken an "unduly narrow approach" by requiring written consent. But Sir Stephen Brown, president of the Family Division of the High Court, upheld the authority's decision as lawful, even though he said he could empathize with Diane Blood. "My heart goes out to this applicant," the judge said. Brown said Britain's 1991 law regulating the use of stored sperm was particularly strict "because the whole field of artificial insemination with sperm obtained from a man who subsequently died was and is highly sensitive and ethically controversial." French phone numbers grow to 10 digits today By The Associated Press PARIS — French telephone numbers grow from eight digits to 10 today to increase France's capacity for modems and cellular phones. The change will add 410 million new telephone numbers. A Finance Ministry report earlier this month blamed France's limited supply of phone numbers for curbing use of personal computers and cellular phones. Callers will add two numbers at the beginning of the current eight. Those outside France will add a single digit in addition to the country code, "33," which does not change. Paris numbers will start with "01," numbers in the northwest "02," northeast "03," southeast and Corsica "04," and southwest "05." To call a French number from outside of France, omit the zero. Thus dialing the Paris area from abroad, which previously required a 33-1 prefix, will not change. GUATEMALA Stampede leaves 78 dead, 123 hurt The Associated Press Bodies of the 78 soccer fans killed in Guatemala City were lined up shortly after their deaths at Mateo Flores Stadium. Stampede turns frenzy of World Cup soccer into a deadly nightmare By SERGIO CARRASCO The Associated Press GUATEMALA CITY — The joyful screaming of fans drowned out the shrieks of panic. Even as paramedics and firemen began laying out the corpses, fans were doing the wave. The horror of what happened Wednesday night was slow to dawn on the more than 50,000 people at Mateo Plores Stadium, a frenzied crowd wild with anticipation of the World Cup soccer qualifying match between Guatemala and Costa Rica. Only when radio stations began to broadcast news of what had happened in a dimly lit corner of the stands did a hush fall over the crowd and the players stop their warmups. Then, President Alvaro Arzu took the field, microphone in hand. "One of the worst tragedies in our country has occurred tonight," he said. He said the match was sus- pended and declared three days of mourning. The stampede killed 78 soccer fans and injured 123. It apparently resulted from the same deadly factors that have created soccer tragedies before: There were too many spectators, too much crowding, few ways to escape when an incident sparks a panic, and the panic kills. The tragedy struck at about 7:25 p.m. Officials at first said angry ticket holders outside forced a door and poured into the southern end of Mateo Flores Stadium, where Guatemala fans were concentrated. But police later said fans were fleeing a drunken brawl. "Those above began to push and those who died were those who were seated," said Juan Bautista Cabrera, a 72-year-old stadium worker. Yet most in the stadium were oblivious to the tragedy — perhaps because poor lighting made it difficult to see. Not until about 8 p.m., when the first radio reports of the tragedy were broadcast, did everyone in the stadium realize what had occurred. GET READY FOR WINTER! WOOD STOVES, HEATERS & ACCESSORIES AT SUTHERLANDS! PELLETS Clean burning. 40 Lb. bag. TIMBERRIDGF" 1 WOOD STOVE Heats up to 1,000 sq. ft. 18TR 00 Window & brass trim optional WOOD PELLET STOVE WITH BUILT IN BLOWER Dual blower system. Adaptable for mobile homes. 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