The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, May 01, 1987, Image 1

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TheBattalion Vol. 82 No. 148 GSPS 045360 14 pages College Station, Texas Friday, May 1, 1987 a m —I. V f ' 4 ^''i f W ,>• V . < - 1 Wet Behind The Ears Aaron McDonough does the backstroke during the A&M swim team’s Thursday practice. McDon- Photo by Bill Hughes ough is a member of the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay team which qualified for the NCAA finals. Reagan assures veto of trade retaliations WASHINGTON (AP) — Presi dent Reagan promised Prime Min ister Yasuhiro Nakasone on Thurs day he would veto legislation requiring trade retaliation against Japan, but he refused to lift sanc tions already in place without evi dence Tokyo has stopped unfair sales practices. In a move that pleased U.S. offi cials, Nakasone told Reagan he had directed the Bank of Japan and the Finance Ministry to lower short-term interest rates. Presidential spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said lower interest rates would stimulate economic growth in Japan, providing “a major opportu nity for increasing markets for U.S. goods, for increasing the buying power of Japan.” Vice President George Bush said, “Anything that stimulates markets abroad is good news for American workers and American products.” Reagan and Nakasone met at the White House against the back ground of the sharpest trade friction between the two countries since World War II, fueled largely by America’s huge trade deficit with Ja pan, which totaled $58.6 billion last year. The meeting came one day after the House approved legislation that would trigger trade retaliation against countries, such as Japan, that maintain large trade surpluses with the United States. Reagan told Nakasone he would veto the measure if it reached the White House, and noted that its nar row margin of approval — just four votes — insured that the veto would be upheld. At welcoming ceremonies on the South Lawn, under a brilliant sun, Reagan told Nakasone that “even the closest of friends have differ ences” and “we must address the current unsustainable trade bal ance.” He said the trade deficit with Ja pan “has spawned calls for protectio nism that would undo the shining economic accomplishments we’ve achieved together.” The president said “the answer is not in restrictions but in increased opportunities” and called for Japan to open its markets more to trade and commerce. In response, Nakasone said, “I am deeply concerned the serious fric tions on the trade and economic is sues are on the rise between our two countries. We should not allow such a situation to undermine the friendship and mutual trust between our two countries.” Nakasone urged Reagan to lift $300 million in sanctions imposed on Japanese products in retaliation for the alleged violation of a 1986 agreement not to sell computer chips at unfairly low prices. The two leaders are to meet again Friday. House approves trade bill, ignores Reagan veto threat WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Thursday approved, 290- 137, a sweeping trade bill with stiff retaliatory features, defying a presi dential veto threat and forecasts that the Senate would wipe out its most stringent provisions. “Although you may not like parts of the bill, let’s move it along, let’s get it into the process,” Speaker Jim Wright, D-Texas, urged before the House acted. “Surely the other body (the Sen ate) will make modifications,” he said. Rep. John J. Duncan, R-Tenn., declared before the 900-page mea sure won approval he doubted that “anybody in this House today be lieves this bill will go through the Senate and be signed by the presi dent in its present form. “I hope all of you realize that this bill isn’t going anywhere.” The vote for the measure rep resented two thirds of the 435-seat House, the margin needed to over ride a presidential veto. On the roll call, 247 Democrats and 43 Republicans voted for the measure, while six Democrats and 13 1 Republicans voted against it. Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, who met earlier with President Reagan, visited senators shortly after the House acted. The Senate Finance Committee, which is drafting its own trade legis lation, may take up a punitive provi sion similar to one sponsored by Rep. Richard A. Gephardt, D-Mo., and adopted by the House on Wednesday by a four-vote margin. New tuition plan for state colleges gets House support AUSTIN (AP) — The House ad vanced a bill from Speaker Gib Le wis 1 hursday that would allow state colleges to double their tuition with out legislative approval. The provision, part of a compre hensive bill resulting from the Select Committee on Higher Education study, was opposed by lawmakers •‘'■ho said it could make tuition too spensive for many Texans. Also Thursday, the House voted entative approval to a select com- nittee recommendation for a re- uired basic skills test for college stu- ents. Students would have to pass he test before they could take ju- lior-level courses. Senate bill lo censure physicians for abortions AUSTIN (AP) — Physicians who icrform abortions during the third rimester of a woman’s pregnancy mild lose their medical licenses un- !er a bill that a Senate committee ap- iroved Thursday. Sen. Ted Lyon called the bill a vic- pry for anti-abortion groups, de- pite its variations from his original iill. “Carrying this bill was like wres- ling with an 800-pound gorilla,” .yon, D-Rockwall, told the Senate ^ommiptee on Health and Human Services. “Every time I grabbed hold K of it, it has thrown me up against the E wall.” The original bill made it a felony for physicians to perform abortions on a fetus capable of living outside its mother’s womb except when nec essary to preserve the mental or I physical health of the mother. But an amendment offered by Sen. Hugh Parmer dropped the I criminal penalties. The amendment also would allow doctors whose med- I ical licenses are challenged to defend 1 themselves by proving the abortion was performed before the third tri mester. Lyon said that latter provision of the amendment violates the U.S. constituion because it defines viabil- 1 ity ofa fetus. In a rare move, Lewis came down from his podium to present his bill, which won preliminary approval in a 98-10 non-record vote. The bill faces another House vote which could send it to the Senate. Under the bill, state university boards could set tuitions up to twice the minimum set by lawmakers. Tu ition could not be set below the mini mum. State college tuition is now $16 per semester hour. Lawmakers in 1985 set a schedule that will bring the minimum up to $24 an hour in 1993. Rep. Eddie Cavazos, D-Corpus Christi, was among House members who complained that tuition should remain a legislative decision. “If we think that higher education is wasting money, and then we give them the authority to raise tuition, it’s like telling your teen-age son, ‘Look you’re spending too much money so I’m going to raise your al lowance,’ ” Cavazos said. House Higher Education Com mittee Chairwoman Wilhelmina Delco, D-Austin, defended the pro posed system as the best way to han dle the differing costs at state uni versities. Gov. Bill Clements said he likes the idea. “Having this as a more flexible sit uation for the administration and for the systems of higher education on tuition, I think, is a step in the right direction,” he said. Rep. A1 Luna, D-Houston, said the new system would make it diffi cult for poor students, including many minority students, to afford college. Delco said they would be helped by a program in which 20 percent of any tuition increase would be put into a special fund to help poor students. A Cavazos amendment that would have kept lawmakers in charge of setting tuitions was killed in a 79-41 vote. Lewis said letting college boards set tuition would “get it out of the political arena where many times the emotion overrides what should take place.” Lewis said the change would not spark increased tuition if the bill is approved and goes into effect in September. “I hope you all don’t headline the story with tuition increase because that is a small, small element of what we did here today, and you probably will see absolutely no increase at all on college tuitions,” he told news re porters. Official: Reagan not involved in fund fraud WASHINGTON (AP) — President Reagan had no part in conservative fund-raiser Carl R. ChannelTs conspiracy to defraud the govern ment in raising weapons money for the Contra rebels, White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said Thursday. “In the legal view of the White House, the president is not a part of this conspiracy,” F’itzwa- ter told reporters. Channel!, who pleaded guilty to a single con spiracy charge on Wednesday, set up meetings between Reagan and supporters of ChannelTs tax-exempt foundation at the White House in 1985 and 1986, but Reagan believed he was thanking the supporters for purchasing commer cials for the Contra cause, the spokesman said. Fitzwater said several such meetings occurred. He said he could not immediately provide an ex act number. Channel! pleaded guilty to conspiracy to de fraud the government of taxes on $2 million in contributions for military aid to the Nicaraguan rebels. He cited former White House aide Lt. Col. Oliver North as a fellow conspirator. In the first criminal charge brought in the Iran-Contra affair, the fund-raiser agreed to co operate with independent counsel Lawrence Walsh’s investigation. Channell did not implicate Reagan in the ille gal activities. Congressional Iran-Contra investigators have said one crucial aim of their probe is to learn whatever they can about possible presidential in volvement, but they declined comment Wednes day when asked if Channell was expected to tes tify during public hearings that begin next Tuesday. Fitzwater, citing a statement Reagan made at a March 19 news conference, said, “It was his un derstanding the money was being raised for ad vertisement purposes.” At the news conference, Reagan had been asked about a North memorandum, quoted in the report of the presidentially-appointed Tower board, saying: “The president obviously knows why he has been meeting with several select peo ple to thank them for their ‘support for democ racy’ in Central America.” North was fired and National Security Adviser John Poindexter resigned last November after disclosure of plans to divert profits from the se cret Iran arms sales to the rebels battling the gov ernment of Nicaragua. Reagan also was asked at the news conference if he knew about solicitation of money from pri vate sources for the Contras. “I knew that there were many people privately giving money to things of that kind,” the presi dent responded. “But when I met with them, I met with them to thank them because they had raised money to put spot ads on television in fa vor of the Contras in an effort to try and influ ence Congress to continue giving aid. And I thought that was worth a thanks.” New A&M political alliance created Group formed for black students By Kysa L. Anderson Reporter A newly formed Texas A&M organization — the Black Student Alliance — plans to be the politi cal voice for A&M’s black stu dents by speaking out on issues affecting them. Kevin Johnson, a senior envi ronmental design and construc tion science major, is the creator of the alliance. Black students do not have an avenue to turn down when faced with problems at A&M, he says, so the BSA will provide that ave nue. “One of the goals of BSA is to magnify the black student voice on issues and policies relevant to blacks at TAMU,” Johnson says. “At the present time, BSA will only be able to take political stands on campus issues. “As far as national issues — those will come later on down the road. I don’t think BSA is big enough to deal with national is sues yet.” But Keith Kenebrew, 1987-88 National Society of Black Engi neers president, has his reserva tions about the BSA being a polit ical voice for A&M’s black students. “The BSA is in such a prelimi nary state that it’s hard to deter mine its political effectiveness,” Kenebrew says. “However, my fear is that BSA won’t evolve into a political organization, but I hope it will.” Kenebrew believes it is impor tant for everyone to have a politi cal voice. “Black or Hispanic — no mat ter who you are — you need a po litical organization and a political backing,” he says. “Political back ing is important because every thing is political. Hopefully, BSA can teach students to survive poli tics.” Because black students rep resent such a small percentage of. A&M’s population, Kenebrew says, it is difficult for them to have a political voice. “You learn politics by being in volved with politics,” Kenebrew says. “BSA is a way to learn poli tics.” Kenebrew will preside on the BSA’s board of excellence, or di rectors, which will have represen tatives from each black organiza tion at A&M. Terris Burton, 1987-88 Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity president, also believes A&M’s black stu dents should have an organiza tion’s political backing. Burton, who represents Alpha Phi Alpha on the BSA board, says an exam ple of a BSA political activity would be to put pressure on A&M’s Board of Regents to fi nancially divest from South Af rica. “Because BSA is a combination of the majority of blacks on cam pus, it can voice the overall opin ion of blacks,” Burton says. Also, Burton would like the BSA to put pressure on The Bat talion to publish more stories about black students. “I hope BSA can have some impact on campus media,” Bur ton says. “There needs to be more coverage about black activities in the newspaper. There are always articles about the recruitment of black students to A&M, but there aren’t many articles about what blacks are doing here at A&M.” Johnson, a former MSC Black Awareness Committee chairman, says there has been an organiza tion similiar to the BSA at A&M — the Black Organizations Asso ciation —which was formed un der the BAG. But because BAG is part of the Memorial Student Center, he says, it is not per mitted to take political stands on issues. Although politics will be a ma jor function of the BSA, John son’s primary motive is to prevent conflict between events con ducted by black organizations. Because black students are the major supporters of black organi zations’ activities at A&M, con flicting events would create fac tionalism, he says. “One of BSA’s purposes is to be a coordinating body of partici pating black organizations and to provide unity and support for each organization and its activ ities.” Members of the BSA will sub mit calendar dates of their orga nization’s event. If two organiza tions have an event planned for the same day, Johnson says, they will need to compromise as to which activity will happen that day. The BSA will be a mediator if any problems occur between the organizations’ conflicting dates, Johnson says. Johnson says the BSA will send a monthly newsletter to each black student at A&M and to his parents. The newsletter will re port events among black students at A&M for that month. “BSA will serve as an informa tion source for students, parents and participating organizations about issues and social events on campus,” Johnson says. “I feel that this aspect of BSA will have a major impact on the students’ so cial life. It will make them more aware of what’s going on around campus.” Burton says the success of the BSA depends on student partici pation and on how well the BSA functions. “One of the goals of BSA is to magnify the black stu dent voice on issues and policies. ” — Kevin Johnson, Black Student Alliance creator