Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - May 25, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina
Sakharov Addresses Soviet Congress
Lawmakers Clash Over State Budget
Kentucky Likes Knicks' Pitino
A Quick Read
Mass Killer's Wife Wins Record Lawsuit
LONDON (AP) — A jury awarded the wife of British mass killer Peter Sutcliffe, the so-called “Yorkshire Ripper,” a record $942,000 in libel damages Wednesday against a satirical magazine, Private Eye.
Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye, said the bimonthly may have to fold and declared, “If this is justice, I’m a banana.”
Sonia Sutcliffe’s truck driver husband was jailed for life in 1981 for killing 13 women and attempting to kill five more.
The 200,000-circulation Private Eye was ordered to pay the damages for alleging that Mrs. Sutcliffe sold her story to a tabloid newspaper for $392,000 after carousing with its reporters at a hotel.
Tax Burden Highest For Rich And Poor
WASHINGTON (AP) - Taxes take almost 36 percent of the income of the average American but about half the earnings of the nation’s richest and poorest families, the Tax Foundation says.
For most taxpayers, the federal system is progressive, meaning it is based in large part on ability to pay, the foundation said. But state and local taxes are moderately regressive, falling disproportionately on those with lower incomes.
In a study released Wednesday, the nonpartisan research organization found great disparity in the way some taxes are distributed among the various income levels.
“For example, the individual income tax burden of the $90,000-or-more income group (who pay 27.4 percent of income) is nine times greater than that of a family in the lowest income class,” which pays at an effective rate of 3.1 percent, the foundation said.
In 1986, households under $10,000 gave just about half their incomes — 49.5 percent — to federal, state and local governments. Those with incomes of $90,000 and more paid an average 51.6 percent.Weather
Partly cloudy skies are forecast for today and Friday with highs both days in the low 90s. Skies will turn fair tonight. Please see details on Page 6A.Deaths
Walter S. Baker, Aiken
Helen L. Huff, Warrenville
Lizzie Mae Johnson, North Augusta
Tillman Key, Aiken
Carol Turno, Aiken
Please see details on Page 5A.Inside Today
Local Front ...........................1B
Thursday, May 25, 1989
Aiken, South Carolina
Vol. 122 No. 125
GAO Doubts Reactor Cost, Building Time
By BRAD SWOPE Staff Writer
Building new weapons production reactors at the Savannah River Site and in Idaho will take longer and cost more than the U.S. Department of Energy estimates, a congressional report says.
The report by the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said the DOE should provide an “in-depth analysis of schedule, costs and benefits” for each type of nuclear reactor that could provide tritium and plutonium for U.S. nuclear weapons.
J. Dexter Peach, assistant U.S. comptroller general, presented the report Wednesday to the DOE’s Defense Nuclear Facilities Panel and the House Armed Services Committee.
Last August, the DOE proposed spending $6.8 billion to build a primary new production reactor at Savannah River, and a smaller backup reactor at Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. The SRS facility would begin operating about the year 2000, under the DOE’s schedule.
The GAO said the DOE’s proposal to Congress “does not provide a complete and clear picture of all implications of implementing the strategy. In addition,
subsequent events have affected the basis on which the strategy was developed.”
A crucial development since August has been the controversy that’s surfaced over technical and managerial problems at Savannah River’s three existing reactors, which now supply the only source of perishable tritium gas essential to arming nuclear weapons. The NPR would eventually replace them.
DOE has ordered all three reactors shut down for wide-ranging upgrades and hopes to restart one early next year, though no restart schedule has been announced.
The report said DOE’s proposal “does not provide clear information concerning the total time frame necessary to construct and obtain tritium from the two suggested reactors. In addition, the DOE schedule does not provide any contingency for uncertainties in areas of schedule risk.
(Please See GAO, Page 12A)
U.S. Business With China
Investment by U.S. partners in Chinese ventures in millions of dollars; Actual number of ventures in parentheses.
197SMH 1982 1983
U.S. Exports to China In billions
Portion of a . . 14 r—.
total exports HI Agriculture Ll Non-Agriculture
Source: U.S.-China Business Council
AP/T. Dean Caple
TRADE INTERESTS: Since resuming normal relations, the United States has become a major investor in China, as shown by this chart, but now businessmen are taking a more cautious approach. For story, please see Page 11A.
Wright On Ropes: Willing To Trade Job For Dismissal
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON -House Speaker Jim Wright, in a riveting spectacle of political abdication, is offering to relinquish his powerful leadership post in exchange for dismissal of ethics committee charges that involve his wife.
Democrats already have begun speaking WRIGHT of a succession in which Thomas Foley, the majority leader, would move up to speaker as early as next week.
“There is near unanimity of support for Tom Foley,” Rep. Pat Williams of Montana said Wednesday.
Publicly, Wright insisted he would “press ahead” with his defense against the charges in the House ethics committee. At the same time, he dispatched his lawyers to explore alternatives to what could be weeks of trying to change the minds of committee members who brought the charges against him.
The speaker’s lawyers, meeting Wednesday with attorneys for the ethics committee, offered his post in exchange for dismissal of the charge that he accepted improper gratuities from a developer friend, according to sources famil
iar with the talks.
One alleged gift was a job for Betty Wright. The committee’s outside counsel says she did little if any work for her salary. Wright says she did, and has vowed in sometimes dramatic statements to protect her honor.
The talks on Wednesday included suggestions that the conflict-of-interest charges could be narrowed to eliminate the years when Mrs. Wright’s job was involved.
Rep. John Myers, R-Ind., ranking Republican on the ethics committee, said panel members Wednesday afternoon authorized outside counsel Richard Phelan to hold discussions — but not negotiations — with Wright’s lawyers. Phelan met with Rep. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., a member of the speaker’s defense team.
Republicans made public their reluctance to make a deal with the speaker. House GOP campaign officials have said Wright’s ethics will make a juicy campaign issue for them in 1990.
“I personally am opposed to any arrangements, deals, plea bargaining,” Myers said.
House Republican leader Bob Michel, R-Ill., who was keeping tabs on the talks, told reporters that, “Quite frankly, the integrity of the ethics committee might very well be undermined if they were to
(Please See WRIGHT, Page 12A)
Bush Under Increasing Attack For Decision To Build Reactors
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON -The Bush administration is coming under increasing attack for its plan to build new military reactors in South Carolina and Idaho that could provide far more material for nuclear warheads than the Pentagon says it will need. BUSH
The latest barrage of criticism comes from the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress. It said Wednesday that lawmakers were given inaccurate and incomplete information about key elements of the plan to build
reactors in South Carolina and Idaho.
The GAO also questioned whether it was necessary to build the reactors, which the Energy Department says would provide 150 percent of the anticipated need for tritium, a radioactive gas used to boost the explosive power of nuclear warheads.
The administration wants to build one reactor at the federal Savannah River Site near Aiken and another at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory near Idaho Falls. It says they could be built within IO years for $6.8 billion.
The main reason for constructing new
reactors is that the only existing ones capable of producing tritium — all situated at the Savannah River Site — are
(Please See BUSH, Page 12A)
Li Peng Calls In Soldiers To Crush Student Revolt
Workers, Intellectuals Join Ouster Movement-Intense Political Struggle Remains Unresolved
By The Associated Press
BEIJING — Premier Li Peng spoke publicly today for the first time since declaring martial law, denying on state-run television that he had called the army to Beijing to crush the pro-democracy student movement.
Earlier today, in yet another mass demonstration, more than 100,000 workers and intellectuals marched to join students in demanding Li’s ouster. An intense power struggle within the political leadership appeared unresolved.
Li’s apparent attempt to end the upheaval with martial law in Beijing on Saturday has met with widespread resistance and exacerbated divisions in China’s political and military leadership.
He said in the appearance on state-run television news that the army had not yet entered the city because “our government is a people’s government and our army is a people’s army.”
Over the weekend, tens of thousands of people had stymied the army’s advance on students occupying central Tiananmen Square by building street barricades that kept them out of Beijing.
The television news quoted Li as saying during a meeting with three new ambas
sadors that the thousands of troops surrounding Beijing would only enter the city once local citizens understand their purpose.
He denied claims that the army was called in to crush the month-long student movement, the largest in Communist China’s 40 years.
A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman denied today that either Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang — who had shown sympathy for the students’ cause — or Li had lost their posts. She refused to comment on strife within the leadership.
Today’s marchers converged on Tiananmen Square, China’s symbolic center of power, two days after an estimated I million people held a similar protest demanding Li’s ouster.
The banner-waving procession chanted, “We won’t stop until Li Peng steps down!” They also demanded the resignation of senior leader Deng Xiaoping, believed to have been behind Li’s crackdown.
“This is the first time I’ve demonstrated in my life,” said Zhang Ciling, 54, a composer. “But today I have to express my feelings. My country is facing a
(Please See LI PENG, Page 12A)
Quarterly GNP Report Shows Growth Short Of Expectation
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy grew at a 4.3 percent annual rate in the first three months of 1989, much slower than previously thought, the government reported today.
The Commerce Department’s estimate of growth in the gross national product, the broadest measure of economic health, was well below an initial estimate a month ago that put the GNP increase at 5.5 percent.
The slowdown was even more pronounced when the effects of a rebound from last year’s drought in the farm sector were removed.
That rebound added 2.5 percentage points to growth in the first quarter after the drought had subtracted 1.1 percentage points in the last quarter of 1988.
Thus, growth in the nonfarm economy slumped to a lackluster 1.8 percent in the first three months of the year, down from a nonfarm growth rate of 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter and the slowest quarterly GNP advance in more than two years.
The 4.3 percent overall GNP increase was substantially lower than expected. In advance of today’s report, many forecasters were looking for only a slight downward revision to 5.4 percent GNP growth.
The GNP report did serve to emphasize the general view that the economy is headed for a period of markedly slower growth this year.
Even with the effects of the drought, the GNP expanded last year at a four-year high of 3.9 percent. That rapid pace helped to drive unemployment down sharply and the overall prosperity was credited in part with helping the Republicans hold onto the White House.
However, the expansion, which has lasted a peacetime record of more than six years, is expected to slow this year under the impact of the credit-tightening engineered by the Federal Reserve in an effort to keep inflation under control.
Economists say it is still an open question over whether the Fed’s intervention will succeed in achieving slower growth and lower inflation or a more severe weakening that could topple the country into a recession.
The new GNP report showed that inflation spurted in the first three months of the year. A price index tied to the GNP rose at an annual rate of 5 percent from January through March, reflecting higher wage costs for federal employees and higher food and energy prices.
The inflation advance, while unchanged from the initial estimate a month ago, was up from a 4.2 percent rate in the final three months of 1988.