The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 12, 1993, Image 1

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

1 The Battalion Vol. 92 No. 113 ( 6 pages) 1893 - A Century of Service to Texas A&M - 1993 Friday, March 12,1993 w 1 AITING in AGO Day 13 Standoff creates business boom WACO - Good luck findin; hotel room or rental car in ig a this city. Fast food sales are sizzling. Camping gear is going fast. At Waco Communications Inc., manager Pam Katrycz has rented about 100 pagers to federal agents and journalists covering the standoff between federal authori ties and members of the heavily armed Branch Davidian religious sect. “We're almost out of stock. People are still coming in," Ms. Katrycz said. Whether it's a $25 Yellow Cab trip to the sect's Mount Carmel compound or the $10.26 pepper- oni pizza delivered, money has flowing into Waco since the siege began on Feb. 28. Hundreds of law enforcement officials, reporters and photogra phers have swarmed the city since that Sunday, waiting for the cult members to surrender to federal agents. Some reports have estimated that the armies of agents and jour nalists are spending $1 million a week. But local experts say they can't put a price tag on the spend ing. Some business owners even downplay the boom, noting that the slaying of four agents and wounding of 16 others isn't the kind of publicity any city would want. “It's certainly having an eco nomic impact," said Chamber of Commerce President Jack Stewart. “It's not an event anybody would have asked for." Stewart said Chamber officials by next week should know just how large the impact has been. Gordon Rostvold, secretary of the Waco Hotel-Motel Associa tion, credits the standoff with fill ing the city's 2,700 hotel rooms to about 90 percent occupancy. Rostvold has hired temporary workers to answer phones and wash laundry at the Hilton hotel he manages. Koresh to release 3 more members WACO — Doomsday cult leader David Koresh agreed to let three men leave his armed com pound, the FBI said, but his dozens of followers remained locked in a standoff with federal agents for a 12th day Thursday. The three men, whose exit was promised in a phone call early in the day, had not left the Branch Davidians' rural compound near Waco by early evening, federal authorities said. Rain and fog blanketed the compound for much of the after noon, as the weather began to turn colder. While highs reached into the 80s earlier this week, be low-freezing temperatures were forecast for the weekend. Also Thursday, a 12-year-old girl who lived with the cult for four years said that while there, she was taught to put a gun in her mouth and instructed how to commit suicide by taking cyanide. Two elderly women and 21 children were allowed to leave last week. The last was a young girl last Friday. Ninety adults and 17 children are still believed to be in the compound. More than a week ago, Koresh reneged on a promise to surren der the entire cult once a radio station played a 58-minute state ment of his on the air. FBI spokesman Dick Swensen called Koresh's latest promised release a positive signal in negoti ations to end the stalemate, which began Feb. 28 when an attempted raid by federal agents turned into gun battles. Four federal agents and at least two cult members died. But Swensen also cautioned, “Until they come out, we won't be comfortable that they are com ing out." Swensen identified one of the three men who want to leave the compound as Oliver Kyarfas, 19, an Australian. \ The Associated Press Reno becomes nation's first female attorney general THE ASSOCIATED RPESS WASHINGTON — The Senate unani mously confirmed Janet Reno on Thurs day as the nation's first female attorney general, completing the Clinton Cabinet and bringing fresh leadership to a Justice Department still led by a Bush holdover. Applause broke out in the normally decorous Senate chamber when the 98-0 vote was announced, making Reno the government's top law enforcement offi cer. Problems ranging from a terrorist bombing in New York to questions about the FBI director in her own department, await the 54-year-old South Florida pros ecutor. She is expected to be sworn in next week. “President Clinton should be com mended for taking yet another step in opening new opportunities for women and minorities," Sen. Howard Metzen- baum, D-Ohio, said in the brief discussion that preceded the vote. Reno's cakewalk through the constitu tional advise-and-consent process closed the book a Clinton Cabinet-selection process that got under way not long after his election last November. Clinton's difficulties filling the job of attorney general — the failed nomination of Zoe Baird and the withdrawal of feder al judge Kimba Wood from consideration — have delayed any major policy reviews at the Justice Department. “I would submit that President Clinton — albeit not the first time at bat — has hit a home run," said Sen. Joseph Biden, D- Del. The Senate confirmed Reno just a day after the Judiciary Committee approved her nomination. Normally, there must be a three-day waiting period before the full Senate can act, but that was waived. The agency has been run, since Clin ton's Jan. 20 inauguration, by Bush ad ministration appointee Stuart Gerson. Reno, who will be the first Democrat to head the Justice Department in 12 years, is expected to make many policy changes. But the standoff between federal agents and an armed religious cult in See Reno/Page 3 Clinics tightening security Added measure taken after death of doctor Alabama sells out G. Rollie DARRIN HILL/The battalion Randy Owen, a member of the band Alabama, performs in Thursday night.. Alabama stopped by College Station during front of more than 6,500 fans in G. Rollie White coliseum a tour of their most recent album. FBI tracking money behind bombing THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEWARK, N.J. — Investigators in the World Trade Center bombing are track ing $8,000 transferred from Europe into a Jersey City bank account jointly held by the two key suspects, an official con firmed Thursday. Federal investigators believe the mon ey paid for the attack but didn't appear to have come from either suspect's family or homeland. The New York Times reported Thursday. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MOSCOW — The Communist-domi nated Congress whittled away more of President Boris Yeltsin's powers Thurs day and canceled a national referendum he had sought to cement his authority. The criticism was so biting that Yeltsin walked out of the Grand Kremlin Palace before the Congress of People's Deputies adjourned its second day of an emer gency session. The votes cutting his power were pre liminary but potentially damaging to Yeltsin, who has haggled for months with Parliament Speaker Ruslan Khasbu- The newspaper quoted a law-enforce ment official it didn't identify as saying the money trail “suggests some foreign group was financing them." Investigators continued searching with body-sniffing dogs for a worker missing since the blast, and crews at the 110-story towers started an expected two- week job scrubbing soot from the com plex. A third man arrested during the blast investigation, Ibrahim Elgabrowny, faced a bail hearing on charges that he punched FBI agents when they came to search his latov over who should wield supreme power: the president or par liament. Without his pre sent power to issue decrees, Yeltsin loses the ability to imple ment market reforms over the heads of ob stinate officials and pro-Communist law makers. And without the threat of the proposed April 11 refer endum, lawmakers may be emboldened to attack Yeltsin further. Yeltsin's supporters in the 1,033-mem- apartment in New York's Brooklyn bor ough on March 4. Elgabrowny faces no charges related to the bombing, although a federal judge at an earlier hearing said Elgabrowny “may be involved up to his eyeballs." The two main suspects are Mo hammed Salameh, 25, an illegal alien from Jordan who was arrested March 4 in Jersey City, N.J., where he was living; and Nidal A. Ayyad, 25, a Palestinian- American chemical engineer arrested Wednesday at his home in Maplewood, N.J. hard-liners ber Congress claimed the restrictions, if given final approval, could make Yeltsin a lame-duck president. The resolution was sent to an editing committee — which includes Yeltsin and Khasbulatov — and could be presented for a final vote Friday. “After this Congress, the reforms could be finished," said Leonid Gure vich, a pro-Yeltsin lawmaker. In Washington, Secretary of State War ren Christopher expressed confidence Yeltsin could emerge in a stronger posi tion. “It's a very dynamic situation," Christopher said. “The end of the story See Yeltsin/Page 3 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS PENSACOLA, Fla. — Investigators found no evidence Thursday of a con spiracy in the shooting death of a doctor outside his abortion clinic. The anti-abor- tiondemonstrator who reportedly con fessed was ordered held without bond. In the wake of what's believed to be the nation's first killing stemming from an abortion demonstration, clinics around the country tightened security and women's groups urged Congress to approve legislation making the blocking of clinics a federal crime. At conserva tive Pensacola's two abortion clinics, police in creased security. “The whole community feels violated by the killing," Mayor Jerry Maygarden said.. A candlelight vigil in Gunn's memory was planned in Pen sacola for Thurs day night. Michael Frederick Griffin, once de scribed by his wife as suffering “great fits of violence," was ordered held with out bond. A day earlier, he shot Dr. David Gunn, calmly surrendered and confessed, auhtorities said. “At this time we have no evidence to indicate a conspiracy exists," police Sgt. Jerry Potts said. “The case is not closed, but I can't say we anticipate additional arrests." In Washington, several national groups urged an FBI investigation of “anti-choice violence." The shooting, abortion rights advo cates said, is indicative of growing ex tremism in the anti-abortion movement. “The government needs to ensure that vigilantes, terrorists and religious ex tremists do not take away our basic right to choose," said Kate Michelman, presi dent of the National Abortion Rights Ac tion League. Randall Terry, a leader of the anti abortion group Operation Rescue, called the killing an "inappropriate, repulsive act," but he also called Gunn a murderer of babies. Griffin, 31, was charged with murder. He is accused of firing three shots at Gunn from a .38-caliber revolver at point-blank range. Gunn, 47, was getting out of his car at the back door of the Pensacola Women's Medical Services as anti-abortion demon strators picketed the clinic. Via a television hookup between the jail and the Escambia County Court house, Griffin asked Judge William J. See Clinics/Page 3 Yelsin looses more power to Yeltsin "The whole community feels violated by the killing." -Jerry Maygarden, Pensacola mayor Military cutbacks Clinton promises aid to ease transition THE ASSOCIATED PRESS BALTIMORE — Looking to wean the nation off Cold War military budgets. President Clinton on Thursday promised help to people and places hurt by deep Pentagon cuts and a new round of base closings. He also pledged to spend billions of dollars to promote civilian uses of mili tary technology. “The world's finest makers of swords can and will be the world's finest makers of plowshares," the president told enthu siastic workers at a Westinghouse Elec tronic Corp. plant, one day before the scheduled announcement of a new round of base closings. Clinton plans to ease the pain of mili tary cuts with a five-year “defense con version" budget of $19.6 billion, a frac tion of the $112 billion he plans to slash from the Pentagon budget during the same period. Republicans said the conversion pro gram won't provide enough help to vic tims of Pentagon cuts. “I think it is a political effort to try to cover and make excuses for the incredible slashing that they're doing in this Penta gon, because they don't have the guts to cut anywhere else," said Rep. John Ka- sich, ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee. “I don't pretend that this will be easy, and all of it will take some time," Clinton said. Clinton's first-year budget contains lit tle new money, and most of the programs announced Thursday have been on his agenda since the presidential campaign. But the Westinghouse plant — with its electric cars and high-tech civilian radar — was a fitting backdrop for unveiling his repackaged defense conversion pro gram. Nearly 4,500 plant employees have been laid off since 1991, but company of ficials said hundreds of jobs were saved when the firm began using its technology to create products for civilian and mili tary uses. See Military/Page 3 Sports •Basketball: One last chance for A&M in NCAA tounament •Baseball: Aggie’s ready to open show on raod Page 4 Opinion •Smokers: leapers of the 90s - No respect, no rights and no place to smoke •Long lost verse of Aggie s War Hymn needs to be sung Page 5