The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, August 05, 1992, Image 1

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The Battalion
Vol. 91 No. 188 (6 pages)
‘Serving Texas A&M Since 1893’
Wednesday, August 5, 1992
What do the Dead Sea
Scrolls really mean?
Page 5
Economic forecasting gauge falls for first time in six months
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WASHINGTON (AP) - The govern
ment's chief economic forecasting gauge
fell in June for the first time in six months,
the Commerce Department said Tuesday,
signaling a wobbly economy through the
November election and beyond.
The 0.2 percent drop in the depart
ment's Index of Leading Indicators, de
signed to predict economic activity six to
nine months in advance, was the first
since it declined 0.1 percent in December
and the worst since January 1991.
The drop followed gains of 0.6 percent
in May and 0.3 percent in both April and
March. >
Analysts expected the slight decrease
and said it was not a sign of renewed re-
ession, but a symptom of the weak and
rratic growth bedeviling the economy
since the middle of last year.
"It's evidence we're in . . .
for more of the same — a lack
luster, limpid, lethargic per
formance that goes on month
after month," said economist
Robert Dederick of Northern
Trust Co. in Chicago.
That's bad news for Presi
dent Bush and other incum
bents who would prefer that
voters on Election Day feel
good about the economy, or at
least optimistic that hard times soon will
be over.
An even more politically important
statistic — the unemployment rate for
July — is scheduled for release by the La
bor Department on Friday. Despite five
consecutive quarters of weak economic
growth that economists say constitute a
Bad Times Ahead?
Economic Indicators revealed the following:
— A drop in the inflation-adjusted supply of money.
— A decrease in the average factory worker’s work week.
— An increase in new claims for unemployment insurance.
— A decline in stock prices.
— A fall in building permits.
— A slump in consumer confidence.
recovery, the nation's unemployment rate
has continued to rise.
Many analysts now believe jobless
ness, after hitting an eight-year high of 7.8
percent in June, will improve slightly. But
few are as optimistic as Bush administra
tion prognosticators who believe it will
dip below 7 percent by year's end.
"Unless that rate can drop
noticeably between now and
November, people are going
to feel pretty glum and take it
out on incumbents," said
economist Paul Boltz of T.
Rowe Price Associates in Bal
timore. "I think we'll see
some improvement . . . but I
think the improvement will
be perceived as late in the
In June, six of the 11 forward-looking
indicators that comprise the leading index
contributed to its decline. One was un
changed and four were positive.
The negative indicators, in order of
magnitude, were:
— A drop in the inflation-adjusted sup
ply of money in the economy.
— A decrease in the average factory
worker's workweek from 41.3 hours to
41.1 hours.
— An increase in new claims for unem
ployment insurance from an average of
415,000 a week in May to 429,000 in June.
— A decline in stock prices as mea
sured by the Standard & Poor's 500.
— A fall in building permits.
— A slump in consumer confidence as
measured by the University of Michigan's
Survey Research Center.
The positive indicators were a gain in
new orders and contracts for business
equipment and buildings, a rise in new
orders to factories for consumer goods, a
slowdown in business delivery times
which indicates increased demand, and
an increase in the price of various raw
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Texas physics
experts give
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great reviews
Robin Goodpaster
The Battalion
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The U.S. Senate's approval of
funding for the Superconducting
week chp lil < pS Su P er Collider will breathe new
telephone call fro: f ‘ nto th . e Program, opening up
the door for important scientific
advances, an A&M physics pro
fessor said.
Dr. Robert Webb, professor in
the physics department at Texas
A&M, said that he was very
pleased that the SSC was given a
reprieve by the Senate.
He described the Supercon
ducting Super Collider as a mi-
roscope to look at matter from a
very close distance.
• liiun U. ™ « It is an i m p 0r t an t project for
k j X c S ? r ! the nation for future scientific de-
and saidSundayl ve ] 0 p men t j n the United States,"
jell the paintings - ^ebb said.
ranee to raiseLt p ro b es t he forces between
matter and matter," Webb said.
It puts matter very close togeth
er so that we can look at these
forces at very small distances and
see what ramifications it has."
For instance, there may be
new particles produced or new
interactions may take place,
Webb said.
"The project is one step closer
to completion (because of the
Senate's action)," Webb said. "I
am hopeful in the future that we
I can complete the project in a
timely fashion."
I Webb gave reasons for favor-
I ing timely completion of the pro-
I jed.
"This project is sup>posed to be
I completed in 1998. If there are
I problems at higher levels (Con-
I gress), it might take longer to
I complete. Inflation and other
£ few I factors might hurt the project
I tremendously," Webb said.
| The Texas A&M physics facul-
■ ty stand to benefit from this pro-
ject and that SSC research will be
come an important part of the
Texas A&M physics graduate
program, Webb said.
Texas A&M currently has five
faculty members and five post
doctoral people working on SSC
The funding level to A&M has
yet to be determined by Con-
j gress, Webb said.
Dr. Austin M. Gleeson, chair
man of the physics department at
the University of Texas, said that
in the long term, the super collid
er project will be a viable entity
and that the physics group
would be very involved with the
The University of Texas has
four senior faculty people work
ing on the super collider project.
NICK PENA/The Battalion
Out with the old and in with the new
Ronnie Underwood (in truck), a mattress with new ones. Phil Curtis, Ronnie's employee,
producer from Fort Worth, collects the old helps Ronnie load the old mattresses into the
mattresses from Southside after replacing them truck.
: WE DO"
’-tuned car produces
the harmful emissions
oerly maintained car.
med car can use 9%
than a poorly-tuned
Shuttle crew encounters experimental difficulty
Mission Control instructs Atlantis' astronauts to halt testing of half-ton satellite
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Atlantis'
astronauts began releasing a satellite on miles
of string Tuesday, but immediately halted the
experiment when the half-ton metal ball
rocked from side to side.
Mission Control instructed the crew to pull
the satellite back down on the docking ring of
the four-story launch tower in the cargo bay.
The satellite was docked after several mo
ments of difficulty.
The satellite was released, and the proce
dure aborted, as Atlantis flew over the Pacific
Ocean just off the coast of Chile.
The experiment already had been running
three hours, or two orbits, late because of a
tuck power cable. Flight directors assessed
the latest problem and discussed what to do
Atlantis' astronauts freed the power cable,
but the delay caused NASA to reduce the
amount of tether to be unreeled from just over
12 miles to six to seven miles.
The astronauts disconnected the cable from
the satellite on their 11th try when commander
Loren Shriver fired the shuttle jets and nudged
the plug's release pin free.
The cable is one of two that provide power
and communications to Italy's Tethered Satel
lite from the shuttle. The first cable was un
plugged without problem.
Everything worked well as the astronauts
unlatched and turned on the 1,140-pound
satellite and raised the four-story platform in
the cargo bay, with the satellite perched on top
like a golf ball on a tee.
The satellite was to be unreeled from At
lantis by a wire and fiber cord just one-tenth of
an inch in diameter. The experiment was sup
posed to last 30 hours.
Scientists expected the tether to generate
several thousand volts of electricity when ex
Original plans called for a 12-mile tether,
but the delay caused NASA to scale back.
Power production would be similar to the
wire and magnets of a car alternator; in this
case, the tether would cut through Earth's
magnetic field at 17,500 mph.
Current should flow down the tether from
the satellite to the shuttle, and electron beam
guns in the cargo bay would shoot the electri
cal charge back into the charged ionosphere
and complete the electrical circuit.
U.S. pushes for aid
to young victims
of war-torn Sarajevo
Americans want Red Cross access
to camps in Bosnia-Herzegovina
victims are children and the
world watches and reacts with
horror. But there is no sign the
United States or its allies see any
way of stopping the carnage in
what was once Yugoslavia.
The frustration was clear in
the tortured phrasing used
Tuesday by Assistant Secretary of
State Thomas Niles.
"Historical experience with
other armies in Bosnia-
Herzegovina does not suggest
this is a place one would want to
get involved in," Niles told a
House Foreign Affairs
When Iraq overran Kuwait
two years ago. President Bush
displayed no such hesitation as he
used the United Nations to build
a broad international coalition to
thwart Saddam Hussein.
The murders of children in
Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
establishment of detention camps
powerfully reminiscent of Nazi
concentration camps have stirred
demands for similar action.
At the United Nations, the
United States pushed Tuesday for
a Security Council statement
demanding that the Red Cross or
some other neutral agency be
given access to the camps. There
was no mention of military
But Yugoslavia is not the
Persian Gulf. The issues are not as
clear-cut. Serbian leader Slobodan
Milosevic is not — at least, not yet
— seen as a villain on a par with
Saddam Hussein.
At the Pentagon, spokesman
Pete Williams put the
responsibility on the shoulders of
the United Nations.
"Our current posture in
Yugoslavia is to respond to
requests from the United
Nations," Williams said. "All the
United Nations has asked us to
do so far is relief flights into
But neither at the United
Nations nor in the councils of the
European Community has
anyone come up with a plausible
plan to force an end to the
No one believes military
intervention in Yugoslavia would
result in a quick and easy
triumph. There is no massed Iraqi
army to punish with relentless air
strikes. The enemy forces are
snipers and artillery and mortar
crews entrenched in rugged
What can the United States
Raymond Garthoff, a former
State Department official and
ambassador to Bulgaria,
expressed the dilemma: "I don't
know. I'm not sure what we
ought to do."
Ag journalism makes
department transition
Program returns to its former status
By Todd Stone
The Battalion
The agricultural journalism
program at Texas A&M has re
turned to the Department of Jour
nalism after being administered
through the agricultu -al educa
tion department this spring.
"This is a program that has a
great history, and I believe, a
great future," Journalism Depart
ment Head Dr. Charles Self said.
"This is an incredibly important
program that no one wanted to
Still, the ag journalism pro
gram was nearly a permanent vic
tim of the state higher education
funding cuts.
These cuts forced the College
of Liberal Arts and College of
Agriculture not to provide the
journalism department with the
necessary funds for a new faculty
position solely dedicated to ag
journalism. Without this faculty
member, the program would not
have met qualifications for ac
creditation in journalism.
During the spring, ag journal
ism was placed within the agri
cultural education department. A
plan was being considered to of
fer students a more general, ag
communications program under
the College of Agriculture in place
of ag journalism.
Before the program was
moved, 62 students were study
ing ag journalism. Few students
who applied this spring were able
to participate.
"It was not a decision anybody
liked," Self said. "It was not a
good solution, but we had no
Ag journalism majors contin
ued taking classes from the Col
lege of Agriculture and the jour
nalism department.
"It (ag journalism) changed
housing, and students weren't ad
mitted for awhile," said Amy Mc
Donald, coordinator for agricul
tural journalism degree program.
"But we maintained contact with
those students so they would be
able to maintain their training in
ag journalism."
In response to an alumni report
that ag journalism may be elimi
nated, former A&M journalism
students, current students and
professional ag journalists com
plained about the program's hia
tus to A&M officials.
"Industry professionals appre
ciate the ag journalism program at
A&M and look to A&M to pro
vide leadership for ag communi
cation," McDonald said.
The Provost's office responded
by providing the necessary funds
to support the ag journalism fac
ulty position. Both the Depart
ment of Journalism and College of
Agriculture have pledged to find
the funds to keep the program in
good shape.
"It was a herculean effort on
the Provost's part to find the
See Journalism/Page 4