The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, August 08, 1985, Image 1

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

Report says TDCs lax attitude
contributes to guard brutality
— Page 3
Turner drops bid for CBS,
agrees to purchase MGM
— Page 5
Players, owners finally agree;
Baseball strike over quickly
— Page 6
ess sets:
l Going
rexasA^M _ - -
I tie tsattaiion
Serving the University community
Vol. 80 No. 186 CJSPS 045360 6 pages
College Station, Texas
Thursday August 8, 1985
ontras kidnap
^29 Americans,
8 journalists
Associated Press
I MANAGUA, Nicaragua — U.S.-
i backed rebels firing automatic weap
ons kidnapped 29 American peace
pnivists anti 18 journalists Wednes-
•dav from a boat on the river dividing
■ icaragua and Costa Rica,
spokesmen for the group and the
! government said.
■ Herb Gunn, of Fayetteville, Ark.,
^deputy coordinator of the Witness
|for Peace group, told reporters in
Managua he contacted the rebels by
padio and was told the Americans
| were unharmed and were being held
in the jungle. He said the guerrillas,
|who are lighting to overthrow the
Nicaraguan government, wouldn’t
pay exactly where the group was.
I A Foreign Ministry communique
Iplamed the United States for the in-
llident and held the U.S. govern-
pnent responsible for the “physical
integrity” of the kidnapped,
g- In Washington, a spokesman for
||he peace group gave a similar
I State Department spokesman
ffeter Martinez said the U.S. Em-
Kassv in Managua “was trying to
sena a small plane into the area
where we believe the group is. But as
a result of heavy fog, the plane can
not get in. Therefore the embassy
has sent three embassy officers by
auto to the area.”
The communique, broadcast by
state radio, said 29 Americans of the
peace group and 18 Nicaraguan and
foreign journalists were kidnapped
by Revolutionary Democratic Alli
ance rebels.
Lt. Mary Jane Mulligan, a Defense
Ministry spokeswoman, also said re
porters from two newspapers and a
television station were aboard a
Sandinista helicopter that flew over
the area when the boat was seized
and photographed the kidnapping.
She did not say how the govern
ment helicopter happened to reach
the site precisely at the time the Con
tra’s allegedly kidnapped those
aboard the boat.
The communique said the rebels
intercepted the group at 7:45 a.m.
The Nicaraguan communique
said the activists went to the area de
spite a threat by rebel leader Eden
Pastora. Pastora’s rebel group, the
Revolutionary Democratic Alliance,
is based in Costa Rica.
Practice Makes Perfect
Bill Wiseman shows Bernice Beck, a senior rene- Wiseman’s Indian Lakes Shooting range in Bryan,
wable natural resources major from San Antonio, VViseman has been a gunsmith for the U.S. Olym-
how to shoot, a target at 100 yards. Beck was at pic team for over ten years.
Judge denies stay of lower court order
State will seek approval of special election
Associated Press
AUSTIN — Slate officials agreed
Wednesday to seek federal approval
Rof the special 1st District congressio-
Inal election but also vowed to con-
Btinue appealing what Attorney Gen-
r'(B i era * J' m Mattox called “this
r important state’s rights issue.”
Without comment Wednesday,
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron
R. White turned down the state’s re
quest for a stay of a lower court or
der that directed Texas to obtain the
Justice Department’s OK.
After getting that news, Mattox
and Secretary of State Myra McDa-
Iniel said the request would be sub
mitted by Friday’s deadline.
Gov, Mark White, who called the
special election, said he remains
“confident that eventually the
higher court will rule in our favor.”
Mattox and McDaniel said Texas
will request approval of the June 29
special election and the runoff.
The state also will appeal to the
full Supreme Court its argument
that Justice Department permission
isn’t necessary for special elections,
they said.
“We are submitting this informa
tion under protest, and we do intend
to pursue this important state’s
rights issue,” Mattox said.
“We will continue the appeal to
protect the integrity of future special
elections and to protect the gover
nor’s statutory authority to set such
elections,” he said.
In Saturday’s runoff. Democrat
Jim Chapman edged Republican
Edd Hargett by less than 2,000
votes. The runoff was scheduled af
ter no candidate got a majority in the
June 29 special election to replace
Rep. Sam Hall, a Democrat who re
signed to become a federal judge.
A three-judge federal court panel
last week threatened to void the elec
tion results unless the state asks for
Justice Department clearance.
When justice White refused to
block that order, McDaniel said
Texas was left with few options.
The Reagan administration chal
lenged both the June special election
and the runoff, contending Gov.
White should have gotten Justice
Department clearance because it is
required by the federal Voting
Rights Act.
That 1965 law, designed to pro
tect minority voters, prohibits elec
tion changes in Southern states with
out federal approval. Justice
Department lawyers said the election
dates to fill the 1st District vacancy
were different than those specified
by Texas law for such cases.
But state officials disagree.
“We feel we should not have to
preclear all future elections,” McDa
niel said.
Mattox charged that the Republi
can-run Justice Department chal
lenged the special election for politi
cal reasons, hoping to confuse voters
and reduce Democratic turnout in
the Northeast Texas district where
no Republican has won since Re
Mattox predicted the election will
win federal approval, adding, “The
voters in the 1st Congressional Dis
trict have spoken, despite the Justice
Department’s attempt to intimidate
Four blacks
shot, killed in
South Africa
Associated Press
— Four blacks were killed Wednes
day during a day of rioting in Dur
ban in which officers fired on rioters
who burned a mortuary, set up road
blocks and attacked a police vehicle
with gasoline bombs, authorities re- ,
The report also said an Indian
truckdriver died of injuries suffered
when young blacks stoned his vehi
cle the night before. Gobin Singh
was believed to be the first Indian
killed in nearly a year of racial vio
lence that has cost about 500 black
In Pretoria, the capital, police said
they had released more than a third
of the 1,465 people picked up dur
ing the 18-day-old state of emer
gency imposed in an attempt to quell
the violence.
The biggest single release was an
nounced Wednesday. Police said 342
people were freed and 28 other anti
apartheid activists were detained. By
police count, this meant 868 people
still were held without charge.
Police said the mortuary was
burned and the official car attacked
in Durban’s Umlazi township, but
did not say where or how the blacks
were killed. Durban and the rest of
Natal province had been comparati
vely quiet during the months of riot
and protest.
Police reported firing rubber bul
lets and tear gas at gangs during the
night. No casualty figures were avail
Durban was not one of the 36
communities included in the state of
The violence, which spread to the
nearby Natal provincial capital of
Pietermaritzburg, was apparently
sparked by the unsolved murder in
Umlazi last week of black lawyer Vic
toria Nonyamezeleo Mxenge.
Opposition groups have charged
that Mrs. Mxenge was killed by a
pro-government death squad.
But Ghief Gatsha Buthelezi, head
of Natal’s 5-million-strong Zulu tribe
and a outspoken critic of both the
government and the outlawed Afri
can National Congress, said Mrs.
Mxenge’s death was being exploited
by other blacks to foment “this black
on black confrontation.”
i pairs of
at Bird.
i Bryam
Black infants' high death rate
1 linked to premature birth
Associated Press
BOSTON — Even with equal ac
cess to sophisticated hospital care,
black infants have a significantly
higher death rate than whites,
largely because they are more apt to
be born too early or too small, a Har
vard study concludes.
The gap quickly diminishes, how
ever, as children get older, and it dis
appears by adolescence.
One goal of U.S. medicine is to
provide fast access to newborn inten
sive care to every mother and infant
who needs it.
Yet researchers maintain that this
will not wipe out the differences be
tween the races in childhood survi
“Today, changes in society as well
as in family and personal habits are
necessary to lower childhood morta
lity,” Dr. Robert J. Haggerty, presi
dent of the American Academy of
Pediatrics wrote in editorial in the
“As important as it is, medical care
has its limits.”
The death rate was 24 percent
higher for blacks than whites
through age 19, according to the
study, which was based on a detailed
examination of death records in
Boston over eight years and was
published in Thursday’s New En
gland Journal of Medicine.
Nearly all the difference resulted
from a sharply higher black death
rate during the first year of life.
“There are still major problems
that we need to address,” said Dr.
Paul H. Wise, who directed the
“ We need to deal with prematu
rity, first and foremost.”
In Boston, virtually everyone can
get highly sophisticated medical care
at hospitals affiliated with medical
Income levels are also a factor, the
study found. Poor youngsters had a
higher death rajte throughout child
hood than did those in middle-class
But this did not completely ex
plain the differences between blacks
and whkes, because even when fam
ily incomes were the same, more
black babies died.
Most of the racial disparity oc
curred among infants. Among those
under a month old, 90 percent of
the excess deaths of black babies was
attributed to prematurity and low
birth weight.
No one knows precisely what
causes prematurity and low birth
weight, but poor living habits during
pregnancy are believed to contrib
ute. These may include smoking,
drinking, taking drugs and failing to
eat properly.
The study did not look into possi
ble differences between blacks and
whites in access to prenatal care,
which could have contributed to the
number of premature births and
dangerously small babies.
Water tanks' roles in jet crash debated
Associated Press
GRAPEVINE — While one
federal investigator says the water
tanks hit by Delta Air Lines Flight
191 as it crashed may have saved
lives, another says the death toll
may have been increased by the
twin containers.
But National Transportation
Safety Board member Patrick
Bursley said Wednesday the two
views are like “comparing apples
and oranges” and both probably
are correct.
At a news conference Tuesday
night, Bursley, who has been the
chief spokesman for the investi
gation, said, “It’s not impossible
the catastrophe would have been
worse in terms of fire and so on if
the tanks hadn’t been there, and
the 31 people who survived
would not have survived.”
But NTSB’s director of acci
dent investigations, Terry Ar-
mentrout, said that had the water
tanks not been there, the plane
probably could have sustained
“Had it been a level, flat, hard-surfaced terrain field —
no water, no rain, no obstructions — an .. . aircraft as
strong as the 747 or the L-1011 could sustain that.” —
Terry Armentrout, the National Transportation Safety
Board’s director of accident investigations.
the crash without breaking up. It
had already touched down once
before clipping the water tanks.
“Had it been a level, flat, hard
surfaced terrain field — no water,
no rain, no obstructions — an . . .
aircraft as strong as the 747 or the
L-1011 could sustain that,” Ar
mentrout said of the Friday crash
at Dallas-Fort Worth Interna
tional Airport.
Asked if that meant the main
body of the plane might have
emerged intact had it missed the
water tanks, Armentrout replied,
Contacted Wednesday, Bursley
said he didn’t challenge Armen-
trout’s comments, “but I’m not
certain I would accept the context
that nakedly. That plane was on
the ground in a place where it is
not normally going to be.”
He said it was true the tanks
caused the plane to break up. But
on the other hand, had they not
been there, the aircraft could
have hit two or three other air
planes parked beyond the water
tanks or a warehouse where peo
ple could have been working,
Bursley said.
“If they had hit two parked air
planes with their fuel load, the
fire would have been perhaps
worse,” Bursley said. “If they had
continued into the warehouse . . .
the dimensions of the accident
could have been even larger.”
Almost all those who survived
were in the plane’s tail section,
which snapped off when the
plane hit the tanks, whipped com
pletely around and came to rest at
a steep angle.
- The crash, which took place as
Flight 191 arrived from Fort Lau
derdale, Fla., killed 132 passen
gers and crew members and one
person on the ground. Twenty-
eight passengers and three crew
members survived.
Bursley said the water tanks
are well clear of the runway in
accordance with Federal Aviation
Administration rules.
“There’s no question about
their siting,” he said. “They are
fully within accepted criteria . . .
False alarms a waste of time, money
Staff Writer
Pranksters intentionally tripping
fire, smoke or burglar alarms in
campus buildings may find it a not-
so-humorous experience if they’re
Bob Wiatt, director of the Univer-
sitiy Police Department, said stu
dents caught causing false alarms at
A&M face disciplinary action by the
office of student affairs and pros
ecution by the Brazos County Attor
ney’s office.
Pulling a false alarm in Texas is a
Class A Misdemeanor punishable by
a fine of up to $2,000 or up to one
year in jail or both. Punishment by
the University can range from con
duct probation to expulsion.
“If that’s somebody’s idea of good
humor and if we ever catch anybody
like that, I guarantee you it will be
the last of their humorous days,”
Wiatt said.
Recently, about five false fire
alarms were pulled in various dorms
on campus.
Wiatt said there are several ways
to set off campus alarms. For exam
ple, pranksters sometimes tape
smoking cigarettes to smoke alarms
and run off. Some campus build
ings, he said, have alarms set to go
off after certain hours and if the
doors to these buildings are shaken
violently, the alarms can be trig
After an alarm is triggered, cam
pus police and sometimes city fire
departments answer it.
Wiatt said false reports cost the
department money in equipment
and manpower used to answer the
alarms. Fie said every alarm is an