Sioux City Journal from Sioux City, Iowa on November 29, 1999 · 9
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Sioux City Journal from Sioux City, Iowa · 9

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Monday, November 29, 1999
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9
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WW The Sioux City Journal, Monday. November 29, 1999A9 World Russians seek to cut Grozny supply route GROZNY, Russia (AP) - Russian tanks and infantry backed by warplanes fought Sunday to cut off the last major supply route between Grozny and the rest of rebel-controlled Chechnya, clashing for hours with about 500 militants. Russian ground troops were battling the rebels for control of the road between Grozny, the Chechen capital, and the city of Urus-Martan, 12 miles southwest of Grozny, Russia's NTV television reported. NTV showed Russian Mi-24 helicopters firing at rebel positions, while tanks rolled across a surrounding plain. However, the Russians' advance was slow because the military command seeking to avoid the kind of heavy losses suffered in ground battles during the previous, 1994-96 Chechnya war pulled back troops every time they encountered heavy resistance, the report said. Russian warplanes and artillery Pipe bomb injures 43 in S. Africa JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) A pipe bomb exploded inside a crowded beachfront restaurant Sunday, injuring at least 43 people, police said. The blast near Cape Town came just weeks after police in the area all but declared victory in a war against terrorist bombings. In a flash, a lazy weekend afternoon at a scenic cove turned into a nightmare, with the injured crawling through debris and pools of blood in the St. Elmo's pizza restaurant in Camps Bay, just south of Cape Town. Police Capt. Neville Malila told The Associated Press by telephone that the pipe bomb was placed under a table inside the restaurant and that at least 43 people were injured. A 4-year-old girl's foot was so severely injured that it had to be amputated, the South African Press Association reported. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, which resemled an unsolved attack on another high-profile tourist target: the August 1998 bombing of a Planet Hollywood restaurant at Cape Town's fashionable waterfront which killed two people and injured 26. A pipe bomb also was used in that attack. Some of the victims' limbs were blown off in the Camps Bay bombing, Provincial Security Minister Mark Wiley said in a television report that included footage of a person writhing on the sidewalk with a severed foot. Wiley said police must be given "blanket powers by the government to apprehend all suspects" to prevent the attacks from wrecking the tourist industry in Western Cape province, a top money-earner. "The very economy of the Western Cape is at stake if they do not give us that capacity," Wiley said. The restaurant is across the street from a beach that is popular among local people and foreign tourists alike. With much of the Atlantic Ocean coastline near Cape Town being rocky, Camps Bay is often crowded, as it was at 3:45 p.m. Sunday when the bomb went off. Last month, police hailed the arrests of three members of a Muslim fundamentalist vigilante group as a breakthrough in their war against urban terrorism. Trial begins in February for the three members of People Against Gangsterism and Drugs, or PAGAD, on 124 terror-related charges. Police credited the drop in bombing attacks in the Cape Town area from 68 last year to eight this year, including Sunday's bombing to the creation of a police anti-terrorist crackdown, also battered Urus-Martan itself, largely destroying the center of the city and setting off several fires, according to NTV. The Russian military has denied it plans to storm Grozny, and instead is seeking to cut it off from supplies and reinforcements while hammering it with air and artillery strikes to wipe out or drive out militants holed up in the city. Russian warplanes on Saturday bombed the Argun Gorge southeast of Grozny another route along which the militants were believed to be moving supplies, weapons and reinforcements to the embattled capital, the Russian military said Sunday, according to the Interfax news agency. Russia's ferocious bombing of Grozny prompted a counteroffensive by rebels on Saturday the first major raid since Russia's military ground operation began in September. Fighters led by field commander Salman Raduyev stormed the town of Novogroznensky, 25 miles east of Grozny, and claimed to have largely taken control of the town Saturday. Meanwhile, the strikes on Grozny since Thursday have left more than 260 people dead, Grozny Mayor Lecha Dudayev said Saturday, citing survivors' accounts. The Russian military denied that civilians had been killed, saying the strikes targeted facilities used by Islamic militants. The bombing of Grozny has taken out 12 rebel strongholds, four weapons installations, an arms depot, two guerrilla command headquarters and two communications centers, the Russian military command said. Still, the Russians conceded that hardly any residences remained intact in Grozny. Even if buildings have not collapsed, their roofs have been torn off, and windows and doors shattered. Russian troops stationed a few miles from Grozny were repositioning Sunday to tighten their blockade of the city, Russian news reports said. The Russian forces have taken over the hills overlooking the city from the north, and could see rebel positions down in the city, the reports said. Russia launched air strikes on Chechnya in August with the stated aim of wiping out Islamic rebels w ho twice invaded the neighboring Russian republic of Dagestan this sum mer. Russia has also blamed the rebels for apartment bombings that killed 300 people in several Russian cities. The international community has put increasing pressure on Russia to halt the offensive, focusing us com plaints on widespread civilian casu alties and on the plight of the more than 220,000 refugees who have fled the fighting. Sinn Fein is expected to deliver sneedv disarmament bv IRA BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) On the eve of forming a long-elusive new government for Northern Ireland, Britain's senior official in the province said Sunday that he trusted Sinn Fein leaders to deliver speedy Irish Republican Army disarmament as part of the deal. Four parties, including the IRA-linked Sinn Fein, are expected to nominate candidates today for a 12-member Protestant-Catholic Cabinet, the key objective outlined more than 1 Vi years ago in the Good Friday peace accord. The breakthrough was made possible by the Ulster Unionists, the province's major British Protestant party, deciding Saturday to drop their demand for IRA disarmament before forming the new administration. Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson praised Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble, who would lead the Cabinet, for overcoming "hostility and mental aggression" from hard-line Protestant critics. Trimble won 58 percent support for the policy change in a vote Saturday by his party's governing council. Mandelson's government plans to transfer substantial powers Thursday to the new Cabinet, reversing 27 years of direct rule by Britain. And Mandelson said he hoped the IRA's promise to open negotiations on Thursday with a Belfast-based disarmament commission would produce "quick progress" on an issue that has handicapped peacemaking work here for years. Speaking in a British Broadcasting Corp. television interview, Mandelson added that he expected Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness both reputed former IRA commanders "to lead the republican movement and ensure that they deliver on their side of the bargain." "Whatever you might think about their past, they're people now who are committed to politics, not to violence," said Mandelson. "I don't think they would have asked the IRA, you know, to take part in this if they didn't know what the answer was going to be." Mandelson, who said he thought the IRA would start disarming by January, described Adams and McGuinness as two forward-look ing politicians who ... should be given the benefit ot the doubt. But McGuinness, one of Sinn Fein's two candidates expected to receive posts Monday, warned that Trimble's unexpected setting of a February deadline for a start to IRA disarmament would make it more difficult to achieve. McGuinness said the Ulster Unionists' "ultimatum and demand" approach "makes our job all the more difficult." But he did not rule out the possibility of an IRA weapons gesture in January. Trimble won over wavering sup porters and secured his slim majority Saturday by promising to reconvene the Ulster Unionist meeting in Feb ruary for "a final decision." This meeting would decide whether to withdraw from the Cabinet if the IRA hadn't begun to disarm. Trimble underscored this reassur ance by telling the Ulster Unionist meeting he had prewritten and signed a resignation letter as Cabinet leader tor his party s files. Despite warnings about Y2K, Russians remain nonchalant MOSCOW (AP) - Western experts warn that Russia is among the countries that have done the least to prepare for the Y2K computer bug, but many Russians are decidedly nonchalant about the potential implications: severe failures in vital services. "We will pass quietly through 2000 just like we have every other year," said Ilya Klebanov, Russia's' deputy prime minister in charge of defense. "I think it's best not to scare the little children of Russia." No one really knows exactly what Y2K glitches the result of unfixed older computers and embedded circuits mistaking 2000 for 1900 and going haywire might do in this vast nation of 148 million people spread across 1 1 time zones. At their worst, computer failures could plunge Russian cities into icy darkness while in the grip of bone-chilling winter, cutting off heat and power to millions. Foreign analysts are reasonably certain that chances of a nuclear disaster are remote. But they are especially concerned about utilities, including the possible cut off of natural gas supplies to much of Europe. The U.S. State Department is worried enough about former Soviet states that it is giving nonessential embassy employees in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus a free trip out over the New Year's holiday if they want. It has also warned Americans to reconsider traveling to those countries. "Prolonged disruptions in energy supplies in Russia could put other systems dependent on electrical power at risk," the State Department said. "In practical terms, this could mean disruption of basic human services such as heat, water, telephone and other vital services." The U.S. Embassy plans to set up letterboxes in Moscow hotels and offices to help foreign citizens keep in touch with each other if Y2K problems should knock out communications systems, an American diplomat said in mid-November. Nadezhda Senna, a member of a private Y2K awareness group, said Russia is not ready to deal with computer problems. "Our people haven't prepared for this at all," she said. "They need to know what could happen on that day, what's Dossible electricity and heat going out, not in one house or region, but a massive outage. Even so. Senna and others agree the threat probably isn't as bad as some Westerners fear nor as small as Russia's government says. Russians are used to living with disaster. In recent years alone, they ve watched their society crumble amid unending political and economic crisis. And many take a typi cally Russian philosophical attitude toward the Y2K bug. Still, Russia has worked with the West to make sure no problems oc cur with its nuclear weapons arsenals and nuclear power plants. Russian officials will camp out at a command center at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado to head off any potential confusion. While Western officials admit chances are slightly higher that Rus sian nuclear reactors could go awry, they say the government has mostly cornered the problem. 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A mix of Israeli artists, local Arab townspeople and diplomats made their way through Ono's conceptual exhibit, "The Open Room." It features linen canvases painted with single words such as "Imagine" and "Feel." "I feel that through art we can all get together and communicate and express our love to each other and we can change the world," Ono, the 66-year-old widow of John Lennon, said Saturday. Former Prime Minister Shimon Peres said he was pleased to see such a high-profile exhibit in the town recently marked by clashes be tween Israeli Arabs and police. I think it is a great day in Israel to see Umm el-Fahm in a different light not in a light of misunderstanding but of renewed understanding," he said. Ricci says transition years were toughest NEW YORK (AP) Surviving the transition years from child actress co-starring with a ghost in "Casper" to doing sex scenes with Johnny Depp in Sleepy Hollow was the toughest role Christina Ricci, now 1 9, has had to play. I stopped feeling fabulous around age 1 1 ," Ricci tells Rolling Stone magazine in its Dec. 9 edition. "I got much less confident and more angsty. I think it had to do with boys not liking me." In high school, she said, she became anorexic and dropped to 80 pounds, in part to get attention. The scars on her forearms are from soda tops and her own fingernails. She said she did it because the pain calmed her down. "I didn't really stop feeling like a failure until after The Opposite of Sex,' " she said. It was the movie that turned Ricci into a sex symbol. Now, she considers herself healthy and good role model, partly because of her view of what a role model should be. "I think role models should be extremely flawed," she told the maga zine. "So then people who are striving, they don't have to strive for perfection. Dickens descendant has no 'humbug' BOSTON (AP) His great-great-grandfather may have created the character Ebenezer Scrooge, but there's very little "humbug" in Gerald Charles Dickens. The 36-year-old descendant of Charles Dickens is touring in a one- man performance of "A Christmas Carol," but the show doesn't stop after Tiny Tim's observance, "God Bless Us, Every One!" Dickens, of East Sussex, England, gives audiences post-show hand shakes and chats about his beloved, novelist ancestor. "In keeping the world of Charles Dickens alive, what I do on the stage is one thing," he said. "It's afterward that's the most special. I love to talk about Charles Dickens and hear about people's questions, or their memories of a special time or a family tradition of listening to A Christmas Carol."' Dickens said that most Americans tell him of their love for "Oliver Twist" or "A Tale of Two Cities," but he favors "Great Expectations" and "David Copperfield." Ruby robe worn by Dutch royalty is fake AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - What was believed to be a 1 84- year-old ruby robe worn bysix generations of Dutch royalty and last draped over the shoulders of Queen Beatrix in 1 980 is a fake, according a new Dutch book. The garment now owned by Queen Beatrix is only a poor copy of the original ermine-lined velvet cape with 83 embroidered golden lions, tailored for King Willem I's investiture in 1 81 5, according to media accounts of the book. Journalist Dieuwke Grijpma, author of "Clothing for the elite, the Dutch couturiers and their clients," writes that the copy was made by a Swiss tailor some 50 years ago. The tailor, Erwin Dolder, who died in 1970, was alleged to have kept the real item for his own wardrobe and flaunted the royal garment regularly in the cafes of downtown Basel. Trump would not rule out bombing North Korea WASHINGTON (AP) Donald Trump said Sunday he would not rule out a U.S. military first strike to stem North Korea's missile production. The potential Reform Party presidential candidate also called Russian President Boris Yeltsin "a disaster" and "one tough hombre" who suffers from "a major alcohol problem." In a wide-ranging interview that touched on Trump's views about U.S. foreign policy and his own prospects for the presidency, he said on CNN's "Late Edition" that he will decide by February whether to run for president. Trump said his Reform Party colleague, Patrick Buchanan, has "no hope" of winning the presidency, and he predicted that Buchanan's campaign would attract enough Republicans to let Democrats win office. His own campaign would not, Trump said. Trump said he supports amending the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and negotiating with North Korea because the United States needs a missile-defense shield. Asked whether Trump would rule out a military strike against North Korea, such as Israel's attack against in 1981 to halt the completion of the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq, Trump said, "You can never rule it out." Forbes upholds his views on abortion NORTH CONWAY, N.H. (AP) - Question time for Steve Forbes, and the schoolteacher from Freedom wanted to know how the Republican presidential candidate could fit his libertarian ideas about taxes in with his restrictive view on abortion. He did not try, but said persuasion is the answer, that only with a national consensus could the Constitution be amended to add the abortion ban he wants. "Otherwise, it doesn't happen," he said. Dawn Alexander Tapper, a teacher in nearby Ossipee, was not persuaded. Banning abortion would worsen social ills, she said later. An independent, Tapper can vote in either parry's primary in New Hampshire and she is leaning to Vice President Al Gore anyhow. But she wanted to hear Forbes on his flat tax plan 1 7 percent in place of the income tax and the Internal Revenue Service code. The tax plan was central to Forbes I, the multimillionaire publisher's 1 996 presidential campaign that fell flat after a brief burst toward the top of the GOP field. Forbes II in 2000 includes the flat tax among a broader set of social issues, like abortion, which he played down before. 'This is a campaign of stark differences," he told libertarians at a New York City luncheon. Forbes said he stands for "leave us alone government," and said Texas Gov. George W. Bush, the Republican presidential leader, has disparaged the idea. Clinton begins busy week after holiday WASHINGTON (AP) - Returning from Thanksgiving break, President Clinton begins a busy week of fund raising, bill signing, and haggling over global trade. Aides say that with Congress out of town, much of the president's activity will be aimed at nudging lawmakers to address unfinished business when they return to Capitol Hill next year. The president planned a Rose Garden ceremony this afternoon to sign the spending package passed by Congress in its final hours. The legislation includes funds for more teachers and police two administration priorities. After three fund-raising events Tuesday in California one for Handgun Control and two to support Democratic candidates for Congress the president arrives in Seattle for World Trade Organization talks. He is sure to encounter protesters worried about the danger that globalization presents to the environment and workers. Congress wrapped up its session before Thanksgiving without passing an increase in the minimum or a patients' bill of rights. Clinton, entering his last year in office, wants to see action on those issues in early 2000. "The president will highlight some of the victories we've achieved for the American people on education, the environment and law enforcement," said White House spokesman Jake Siewert. "But also he'll spend some time discussing the unfinished business Congress failed to tackle this year." 605-232-9261 WorHi tiota C?ty, Kl Erit 2 (2nd M Id tatrth Pakot Ira RlgM)

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