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4 The Daily Collegian
By RUSLAN MUSAYEV
Associated Press Writer
GROZNY, Russia Russian warplanes
and heavy artillery moved to draw a
tighter circle around the Chechen capital
yesterday and Chechen fighters retreated
from the northern front-line to reinforce
positions around Grozny.
Russia has said it is planning the second
phase of its campaign to wipe out Islamic
militants but has not said whether it
intends to send its forces into Grozny.
The capital saw the heaviest fighting in
a 1994-96 war in the separatist republic,
with the outnumbered guerrillas fre
quently inflicting major losses on the
Russian army, and the current conflict
has raised fears that the army is about to
be drawn into another bloodbath.
Russian troops are as close as 10 miles
to Grozny, with units perched on a ridge
overlooking the city, which spreads
across several valleys.
Artillery and warplanes reportedly
attacked militants' bases in at least four
locations yesterday, including Alkan-Yurt,
six miles southwest of Grozny. They also
destroyed a radio relay station in Pervo
maiskoye, 12 miles northwest of the capi
tal, the news agency ITAR-Tass reported,
citing the Russian Defense Ministry.
The agency said the Russians destroyed
a key bridge south of Grozny and bombed
roads leading out of the mountains that
form Chechnya's border with the former
Soviet republic of Georgia.
Chechen fighters repelled a Russian
offensive against Gudermes, 22 miles east
of Grozny, killing 25 soldiers, Magomed
Chupolayev of Chechnya's eastern front
command said. Russia countered that it
had not launched any infantry combat
operations in the past 24 hours, ITAR-
Chechen northern front commander
Baudin Bakuyev said fighters had retreat
ed from the open fields of the northern
third of Chechnya, where Russian troops
have solid control. They were heading to
Grozny to reinforce positions in anticipa
tion of a Russian attack and to the key
town of Bamut, about 30 miles southwest
Bakuyev also said Russian planes
pounded the Sunzhi Mountains west of
Russia claimed to have killed 40 rebels
in overnight attacks. Chechen military
commanders said yesterday that seven
civilians were killed overnight in Gekhi,
one of several southern villages that
Russian forces shelled. As it has done
throughout the latest conflict, Russia
denied that its bombs were hitting civil
Also yesterday, the Russian Committee
of Soldiers' Mothers, which highlighted
public opposition to the last war, weighed
in against Russia's current offensive, say
ing in a statement that the government
was again sending inexperienced soldiers
Yeltsin has issued a decree that soldiers
don't have to take part in military action
during peacetime unless they have more
than a year's experience and volunteer. So
far, the Russian government has not for
mally declared war in Chechnya.
The White House also has expressed
concern about the military campaign.
Yeltsin sent a message explaining Rus
sia's intentions to President Clinton,
according to a statement issued by the
Russian presidential press service.
Yeltsin said his primary task was "to
suppress the nest of terrorism and vio
lence developing in the Chechen republic,
to not allow new victims among the peace
ful population," according to the state
Eighty-year-old Pearl Norshay waits for the bus after grocery shopping
In Miami Beach, Fla. yesterday. In response to an increase in Social
Security benefits, Norshay said "every little bit helps."
Indonesia President B.J. Habibie listens
to a Parliament debate yesterday. Habibie
announced his withdrawal from today's
President Clinton gestures while addressing the Voices Against Violence Congressional Conference on Capitol Hill yesterday
The president told high school students they can play an integral role in lessening violence in schools and society at large.
Clinton addresses student violence
President speaks to 350 students during Congressional forum
By LAURIE KELLMAN
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON, D.C. Six months
after the shooting at Columbine High
School, President Clinton asked 350 stu
dents yesterday to help rid society of "old
hatreds and old fears" that spur violent
kids and adults.
"You live in the most modern of all
worlds, and yet the biggest problem we've
got is the oldest problem of human soci
ety: people being scared of people who
are different from them. And you can
help that," Clinton told the students, who
were selected for the two-day conference
by 130 members of Congress.
"If you want to live in the new world of
the 21st century, you've got to help people
get rid of their old hatreds and old fears,"
the president added.
Clinton also asked the students to
"speak up" in support new civil rights
protections for homosexuals. Sponsored
by House Democrats, the "Voices Against
Violence - conference was timed to coin-
AP Photo Wilfredo Lee
AP Photo/Muchtar Zakaria
Social Security benefits to increase in 2000
By ALICE ANN LOVE
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON, D.C. Retirees
will get the biggest cost-of-living
increase in their Social Security
checks that they've seen in three
years an average Sl9 a month --
beginning in January.
The 2.4 percent benefits boost,
announced by the Social Security
Administration yesterday, will he
nearly twice the 1.3 percent
increase senior citizens got this
year, largely because of a recent
spike in energy prices.
However, with overall inflation
remaining relatively tame, the 2000
Social Security payment update
will continue a 1990 s trend of mod
est increases. The annual adjust
ment is tied to the government's
estimate of increases in consumer
"Inflation remains under control,
which is important for all con
sumers, particularly seniors who
E. Timor wins independence
assembly recognized E. Timor's
vote for independence
yesterday and announced plans
to work for democracy after
today's presidential election.
By GEOFF SPENCER
Associated Press Writer
JAKARTA, Indonesia Just 16 months
after authoritarian President Suharto was
forced from power, Indonesia's legislature
today delivered what could be a crushing
blow to his hand-picked successor.
In a session that dragged from yesterday
into the early hours of this morning, the
700-member People's Consultative Assem
bly narrowly rejected President B.J. Habi
bie's speech defending his brief tenure as
leader of the world's fourth most-populous
The assembly also voted to recognize
cide with the six-month anniversary of
the Columbine massacre near Denver, in
which two boys killed 12 fellow students
and one teacher before killing themselves
in the school library.
Spurred by those killings, the House
and Senate passed competing versions of
a bill designed to keep guns out of the
hands of children and criminals, but a
panel of lawmakers from both chambers
has vet to strike a compromise.
Three GOP lawmakers sent students to
the events --- Reps. Jennifer Dunn of
Washington, Sue Kelly of New York and
Connie Morella of Maryland but
Republicans said that they had not been
"It might have been better to put the
politics of party division aside on this
solemn day" and invited Republicans to
the conference, the chairmen of the
House and Senate Judiciary committees,
Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois and Sen.
Orrin Hatch of Utah, said in joint state
Dunn, for example, found out about the
live on fixed incomes," said Social
Security Commissioner Kenneth S.
Apfel, focusing on the positive.
Many retirees, however, com
plain that modest annual payment
updates in recent years haven't
kept up with their day-to-day
"You get an increase, but your
rent goes up, your gas goes up and
even your phone bill," said Edith
Bailey, 79, among those inter
viewed at a senior citizens expo
held near Baltimore earlier this
David Mullen, 65, of Washington,
D.C., searching supermarket
shelves for bargains yesterday,
sighed, "I'll survive, but I don't
know. I keep playing the numbers
and hope I win."
The 2000 Social Security cost-of
living adjustment, or COLA, means
the average monthly check for
retirees will rise by $l9, from $785
In addition to retirement bene-
East Tim'or's vote for independenCe,
paving the way for the half-island territory
to become the world's newest nation.
After the votes, supporters of Habibie's
rival for the presidency, Megawati
Sukarnoputri, marched jubilantly through
the streets of the capital, Jakarta.
"It's the voice of the people. I'm really
proud that the assembly members listened
to the people's aspirations," said one revel
er, Mohammad Hussein.
The assembly was to reconvene later
today to choose Indonesia's next president
in its continuing transition to democracy
after Suharto's 32-year reign.
Some members of the assembly cheered
as the 355-322 vote rejecting Habibie's
speech was announced.
"Habibie's nomination for the presiden
cy has been wrecked," said Amien Rais,
the assembly's reformist chairman.
Habibie's public humiliation caused him
to withdraw from today's presidential
He had been appointed to take over the
conference when a student from her dis
trict, Paul Kim of Lindberg High School
near Seattle, asked the congresswoman if
he could take part after hearing about the
events from friends in a neighboring
Democratic district, her spokeswoman
Kim and his fellow conference mem
bers, selected by their representatives
from essays they wrote about the causes
of youth violence, climbed onto their
chairs in the soaring caucus room and
welcomed Clinton with whoops and
The students will have.a chance during
the conference to offer their views on
why young people become violent and
how to prevent school shooting sprees
like those that have occurred in Colorado,
Oregon, Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky.
They will present their findings to con
gressional leaders on Wednesday.
The school shootings intensified an
already heated debate from Capitol Hill to
Hollywood over gun control and violence
in the media.
fits, Social Security payments will
increase for disabled workers and
families whose breadwinners have
died. Monthly payments for 6.6
million low-income individuals
receiving Supplemental Security
Income, known as SSI, also will
rise 2.4 percent.
The increases will begin showing
up in benefit payments for Janu
Separately yesterday, the gov
ernment said that the monthly
Medicarc premium deducted from
most elderly and disabled Ameri
cans' Social Security checks for
insurance coverage of doctors'
office vints will stay unchanged at
$45.50 in 2000.
Monthly checks from Social
Security, the government's biggest
benefit program, with 44.2 million
Americans on the rolls, are adjust
ed annually to keep rising prices
from eroding recipients' buying
Since 1975, the adjustment has
Wednesday, Oct. 20, 1999
" presidency when his mentor, Suharto,
stepped down last year in the face of vio
lent protests against his iron-fisted rule.
The assembly's decision to recognize
that former Portuguese colony's Aug. 30
vote for independence after 24 years of
Indonesian rule brought some closure to
East Timor's 850,000 people.
The territory's overwhelming vote to
break free of Indonesia led to a wave of
killing, looting and arson by pro-Indone
sian militias and their Indonesian military
That violence continued until the deploy
ment of an Australian-led multinational
The official handover of East Timor to a
U.N. transitional team is expected by the
end of the year.
Habibie's withdrawl strengthens the
presidential hopes of Megawati, the daugh
ter of Indonesia's founding leader.
Megawati's party won the most
though not a majority of the votes in
June 7 parliamentary elections.
By ROBERT WELLER
Associated Press Writer
LITTLETON, Colo. The same
intense emotions that brought people
together in a sea of silver and blue to
mourn Columbine High School's dead
are now tearing them apart.
At least 18 lawsuits are in the works
as a result of the April 20 bloodbath,
with just about everyone a potential
defendant gun makers, the gunmen's
parents, the school district and the
Even the parents of one of the killers,
Dylan Klebold, have filed a notice of
intent to sue Sheriff John Stone. The
Klebolds say Stone failed to inform
them about the violent tendencies of
the other gunman, Eric Harris.
Investigators were aware that Harris
had made threats and maintained a
hate-filled Web site, and the Klebolds
claim they would have made sure their
son stayed away from Harris if they
had known that.
The Klebolds' lawyer, Gary Lozow,
said Thomas and Susan Klehold want to
protect themselves from lawsuits filed
by victims and will not seek more
money that what other people are seek
ing from them.
AP Photo/Greg Gibson
Harris and Klebold stormed their
high school just after lunchtime, scat
tering gunfire and bombs. They killed
12 students and a teacher and wounded
at least 23 others before committing
suicide in the deadliest school shooting
in U.S. history.
In the days after the massacre, Lit
tleton came together, putting up silver
and-blue Columbine ribbons in win
dows and on fences and wearing lapel
pins. They turned out for funeral ser
vices, organized campaigns to raise
money, and made dinners and did other
chores for victims' families.
Harriet Hall, the mental health work
er in charge of providing counseling to
the Columbine victims, said she is not
surprised how much the community
has clashed since then.
"I'd be worried if there weren't dis
agreements. I think it is possible to
have nobility, anger and grief at the
same time, if you recognize your grief,
but it is rare indeed," Hall said. "This is
a natural response to what the commu
nity has been through."
The parents of Isaiah Shoels, the only
black student killed in the massacre,
are suing the Harrises and the Kle
bolds, in addition to two men charged
with helping the teens get the guns
used in the attack.
been automatic, requiring no vote
by Congress. It is based on changes
in the Consumer Price Index the
government's inflation yardstick
from the third quarter of one year
to the corresponding quarter of the
Because of low inflation, the
yearly benefit boosts have been
below 3 percent since 1994. The
only previous time the automatic
COLAs had slipped under that level
was a record low of 1.3 percent set
in 1987, which was matched in
1999. The 2000 COLA will be the
biggest since 2.9 percent in 1997.
In contrast, double-digit inflation
in the late 1970 s drove the cost-of
living increase up to a high of 14.3
percent in 1980.
Advocates for the elderly say
that while the smaller COLAs of
recent years do track standard
measures of inflation, they may
nevertheless seem inadequate to
senior citizens, who have special