New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 26, 1984, New Braunfels, Texas
Nuns help famine victims battle starvation, disease
ALAMATA, Ethiopia (AP) — Two famine victims died and hundreds too weak to walk were spoon-fed a thick gruel of sorghum, salt and cooking oil for their Christmas meal in this northern Ethiopia relief camp.
Several thousand other men, women and children facing starvation lined up silently from morning until dusk Tuesday for their single meal of the day, porridge cooked and served amid clusters of flies at Alamata, some 375 miles north of Addis Ababa.
In Ethiopia, a Coptic Christian nation, Christmas is officially celebrated on Jan. 7.
But there was no time for celebration anyway for the four nuns of the Sisters of Charity, the order started on the streets of Calcutta, India, by Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Teresa. A simple Christmas Mass was followed by a routine day tending the dying, diseased and desperate.
“There could be no festivities,’’ Sister Vincena, from Kerala, India, told reporters visiting Alamata, one of 211 feeding centers for Ethiopians. “That would be a crime amidst this terrible suffering.”
Two gravely ill peasants — a boy suffering from dysentery and a middle-aged man afflicted by hepatitis — died before noon in shelters roofed with corrugated iron in this camp in the northern highlands of Wollo province. Their deaths added to the toll of 300,000 victims of the famine brought by three years of drought.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of others perished during the holiday in other camps, succumbing to malnutrition, measles, pneuomonia, dysentery and other ailments.
Mother Teresa flew into the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Tuesday morning to visit camps where 26 sisters of her order have been working for up to 12 years.Mother Teresa, 75, planned to fly to the camps in the next IO days to serve some of the 7.7 million people the Marxist government says face starvation.
“Most of these people have eaten their seed stocks and sold their tools and their livestock,” said Lawrence Bourasse, public relations officer for the Catholic Relief Services, which is caring for some 750,000 people.
A Christmas letter from the charity, published
Tuesday, warned that the famine had deteriorated “from critical to crisis proportions.’”
At Alamata, 45,000 people a day are being fed, sheltered and innoculated against disease by the Indian sisters; World Vision International, based in Monrovia, Calif., and Ethiopian government agencies.
Fafau Ashanow, 16, walked a whole day from his Mahago village to reach Alamata on Tuesday, leaving his hungry parents and relatives behind. He was squatting with 200 other famine victims, mainly children and old people, under the hot sun, waiting to be admitted to the feeding shelters and tents run by the nuns.
To coincide with the Christmas Day celebrated by most of the world’s Christians, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced that 380,000 blankets were being delivered, or had been pledged to the famine victims. The announcement came at a time when nighttime temperatures plunge below freezing at altitudes of
7,000 feet and where many hungry and homeless peasants are living in the open.
Holiday brought some cheer to troubled places
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Christmas 1984 brought moments of cheer to some of the world’s troubled places.
Striking British coalminers donned Santa Claus costumes on the picket lines they have manned since March.
Mother Teresa arrived in Ethiopia to comfort victims of the calamitous famine.
And a holiday truce in El Salvador's five-year civil war survived in spite of a 15-minute battle Monday night at the northern town of Dulce Nombre de Maria. One rebel was killed.
Archbishop Arturo Rivera y llamas, who has acted as mediator in El Salvador's first peace talks, said in his Christmas homily. “Though we have to be realistic we cannot but be joyful, we cannot but have great hope, because — yes — there is change.”
Hopi' John Paul ll chided the rich for being “frightening^ poor in heart,” and the Queen of England said the world would be a better place if nations behaved more as children do.
Some striking miners in Britain's bitter 10-month-old coal strike turned up to man Christmas Day picket lines outside mines and pow er stations in Scotland wearing Santa Claus outfits and carrying balloons and I'hristmas crackers,
Mother Teresa, the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize winner, began visiting camps where 26 sisters of her order were helping care for the estimated 7.7 milllion Ethiopians who the government says face starvation.
In Rome, more than 100,000 people jammed St. Peter s Square to hear Pope John Paul I I s Christmas Da> message to the w orld.
“We ... manifest our solidarity with the countless multitude of the poor, with their rights, with their hopes,” he said.He criticized “the cynical society of consumerism,” saying:“Are there not people rich in material goods, power, fame, and yet who are poor ... by reason of the great emptiness of the human heart?”
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II made her newest grandchild. Prince Harry, the star of her traditional Christmas message.
“Above all. we must retain the child’s readiness to forgive, with which we are all born and which it is all too easy to lose as we grow older,” she said.
In Christ’s birthplace Bethlehem on the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Israeli soldiers stood guard on rooftops looking down on Manger Square outside the Church of the Nativity.
The troubles of the world intruded on Christmas celebrations in predominately Protestant Northern Ireland, where the mainly Catholic Irish Republican Army is fighting for independence from Britain and union with the Irish Republic.
In Limavady. police were called to a Protestant church when fighting broke out between the moderate congregation and Protestant hardliners who burst in on a Christmas Day service to protest the presence of a Roman Catholic priest.
The priest and the Protestant minister had exchanged visits to each other’s churchess in a show of Christian unity.Fewer tourists visit Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM. Occupied West Bank (AP) Some 6,000 tourists and pilgrims, searched and
guarded by hundreds of Israeli occupation troops, visited the birthplace of Jesus Christ this Christmas.
Bethlehem tourism director George Sammour said the crowds were about two-thirds the size of last year’s, and he blamed the lag on the troubled world economy.
Church bells heralded the holiday in the town of
15,000 on the West Bank of the Jordan River. A 30-foot Christmas tree was aglow with colored lights in Manger Square. Inside the adjacent church, brown-robed monks sang carols in I>atin.
Israel’s prime minister. Shimon Peres, visited the town Christmas Eve and talked with Mayor Enas Freij, a Christian Palestinian.
Carrying a whiskey. Peres walked through a reception with Freij by his side, shaking hands with Palestinians opposed to Israel’s presence in the West Bank.
“It is my honor ro bring to you today on your holiday a special greeting from the Jewish people living in Zion — a greeting of peace from those who seek peace,” said Peres.
Freij said his Christmas wish was “that 1985 w ill be a year of political initiatives and moves toward solving the Arab-Israeli crisis.”
For most pilgrims, the politics went unnoticed. Christmas to them was an emotional visit to the birthplace of Jesus in the rolling Judean hills.
“I always wanted to see where Jesus walked. I think this experience will make me a better Christian,” said Eva Verhulst, from Yuma, Ariz.. w ho wiped tears of emotion from her cheeks.
For others it w as simply a festive place to spend a night singing carols and meeting people from around the world.
Like Dolly wigs, jelly bellies, fur hats, Ranger sportswear
DALLAS (AP) - People will buy just about anything at Christmastime, the old retail-store maxim goes. But from Dolly Parton-style bouffant wigs to imitation lizard-skin sport coats, a few items seemed immune from the seasonal buying frenzy.
Here are a some other dust-gatherers that merchants say shoppers could have bought in Dallas this Christmas, price negotiable in many cases:
— beer-flavored toothpaste, or after-dinner toothpaste in creme de menthe, anisette or amaretto.
— memorabilia from the Texas Rangers.
— tweed flop hats and painters’ hats.
— jelly bellies, especially red and green ones.
— a computer program called “Basic Industrial History of
— men’s Hush Puppy shoes, especially in gray.
Mike Dalton, manager of a Good Earth Vitamin Store, says his store was full of slow sellers. he said. People apparently are thinking calories, not nutrition, at Christmas.
“December is the worst month for nutrition. I mean, if it isn’t covered with chocolate or if it doesn’t have rum in the middle, nobody wants it at Christmas,” Dalton said.
Terry Forest, manager of a Jarman-Flagg shoe store, said. “Don’t ask me why, but you can have all these Hush Puppies you want — especially the gray Nobody wanted them this season. But now. Nike tennis shoes — you couldn’t keep up with the demand. Get a shipment and they’re gone.”
Other retailers had items that were a bit more fast-moving.
“Our biggest hits, of course, were Cabbage Patch dolls and accessories.” Rod Turner, manager of a Target Store in Dallas, told the Dallas Times Herald “And Transformer tovs
(small metal toys that convert from cars and boats into fanciful robots).”
A big surprise, Turner said,
was physical fitness gear.
“Everything sold from weight flenches to sweats to a total sellout of mini-trampolines. We couldn’t keep up with the demand for mini-trampolines. Great season.”
Charles Gay of Wormser of Dallas, a haberdashery, said he sold more than IOO Indiana Jones hats during December.
“All sizes, all colors. Men and women brith buying them for $24.95 and $45, two different models,” Gay said.
Other big sellers, Gay said, were Untouchable hats You know, like the gangster show, and gangster hats, like the movie.”
But neither his tweed flop hats nor his black fur Moscow-style winter hats were selling. “But that’s because it’s been so warm. Wait until it gets real cold.” he said.
Joe Niegoda. owner of Just Beady Candy, said almost everything sold well for him this Christmas. The top seller, which he couldn’t keep on the shelves, wasn’t candy, however.
.Mumble Bears, stuffed bears with ears and noses that wiggle. Just couldn’t keep up," Niegoda said.
About the only thing he couldn't move, he said. were jelly bellies.
“The Jells Bellies were a real dog. Yeah. Ronald Reagan's Jelly Bellies. Want some?” Niegoda asked.
Anything bearing the name of the Texas Rangers, last-place team in the American league West, moved poorly, said I .arn Gantt, manager of the Texas Fan Fair, which specializes in sportswear emblazoned with team insignias.
“Ranger stuff didn't sell doodlie," Gantt said. “I think I was the only person in the state of Texas who bought a Rangers jersey this year ."Comet launch due Thursday
LOS ANGELES \Pi Scientists will try again I hursda} to create a comet-like phenomenon 70.160 miles over the Pacific Ocean after being stymied by poor weather that would have prevented them from observing it
The so-called Christmas Comet was rescheduled for 4 32 a rn PST Thursday, said West German scientist Gerhard Haerendel. It was to have been created earls Tuesday by the release of a barium vapor cloud from a West German satellite over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America The “comet” would have been visible from much of the western United States, southwestern Canada, northern Mexico. Hawaii and Tahiti
But Haerendel, directing the experiment from the Kitt Peak National Observatory rn Arizona, scrubbed the release with 15 minutes to go when clouds moved over the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, making the site too marginal for telescope observations.
Clouds already covered the three other major observatories Mauna Kea on Hawaii, Haleakala on Maui and Kitt Peak
The experiment is part of a $78 million U.S.-British-W’est German study of how Earth’s magnetic field is affected by the solar w ind, a hot. electrically charged gas or “plasma” speeding from the sun at nearly I million mph.
Christmas fires claim 20 lives
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
At least 20 people were killed and 20 injured in holiday fires in seven states, including an inferno at an Illinois retirement home that claimed eight lives and three Christmas tree-spawned blazes ui California and West Virginia, authorities said
In other fires on Tuesday, two people died in a Baldwin, Mich., foster home; one person perished in a fire blamed on an electrical malfunction in West Virginia; two people were killed rn a Tennessee house fire; two people lost their lives in a Minneapolis suburb house fire; and one man died iii a rural Columbia. S t’., house fire.
The fire in the nme-story Karcher Retirement Hotel in Waukegan, 111., that also left 21 people homeless, apparently was caused by an electrical problem in a tailor shop on the ground floor, authorities said.
“From what we can determine right now, it appears to have something to do with the wiring,” said fire Et. Jim McGram. “We think it began in the dead space above a drop ceiling, and that it smoldered for a long time. Whatever started it was totally destroyed, we think.
“The building was built in the 1920s, but we don’t know how old the wiring was. From what I saw, it didn’t look like it was very old.”
The early morning fire — the deadliest in the county in at least IO years — swept into the lobby and sent dense smoke up an elevator shaft, said Lake County Coroner Barbara
“ The dead were found on the building's sixth, seventh, eight and ninth floors,” Mrs. Richardson said. “The cause of death for all appeared to be smoke inhalation.”
Seven of the dead ranged in age from 67 to 86 years old. and an age was not available on the eighth, she said.
Five of the six tenants injured, also suffering smoke inhalation, remained hospitalized in good condition today, officials said.
Temporary shelter for the homeless was established at a nearby hotel in the community 40 miles north of Chicago.
A St. Albans, W Va., couple died Tuesday when an apparent malfunction in Christmas tree lights set the house afire. A 9-year-old girl visiting the home with her parents'saw the Christmas tree ablaze and woke her father and sister and fled the house,” said Kanawha County Sheriff’s Deputy K H Savilla.
“The house was pretty well burned up by the time we got there, said I .ake wood Fire Chief Carl Cobb. “We had to haul water to the area because there aren’t any hydrants. It was a good piece from the station.”
A man in his 70s died in Frankford, VV Va., in a fire caused by an apparent electrical malfunction, authorities said.
A woman died of heart failure in l-i Puenta, Calif., and a teen-ager from smoke inhalation in Bell, Calif., both near Los Angeles, after Christmas trees caught fire.
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