New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 24, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
4 Cl Herald-Zeitung Cl Wednesday, January 24,1996
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Q U O T A B
“My father gave me these hints on speech-making: ‘Be sincere... be brief... be
— James Roosevelt son of Franklin D. Roosevelt, c. 1965
Despite assurances, Muslim fighters still in Bosnia, still threat to American soldiers
Our policy in Bosnia is already a dangerous one, with American troops dodging land mines and acting as a buffer between warring factions in the northeast comer of that war-torn country.
But another wild card has been in the deck throughout our troops’ short deployment in the Balkans.
Muslim warriors who flocked to Bosnia to fight on the side of government forces have not left for their homelands, as government officials promised they would, upon the arrival of NATO troops.
Our own policymakers knew of the presence of these fighters when the decision was made to include 20,000 American soldiers in the NATO peace-keeping mission, but assurances that they would leave Bosnia we're enough to satisfy those in charge.
However, many mujahedeen remain in the region — heavily armed, and itching for action.
Our troops were put on alert Tuesday after an American civilian, tied to extremist causes, tried to penetrate a U.S. base of operations in Bosnia.
But the real threat comes from Muslim fighters.
Officials are concerned that terrorist actions may follow the recent harsh sentencing in the U.S. of a Muslim cleric convicted of involvement in the World Trade Center bombing in New York.
They also think, with mujahedeen in place near U.S. troop bases, the Muslim fighters may be the instruments of those terroristic acts.
In our rush to join the peace-keeping mission in Bosnia, our leaders decided to consider several hundred mujahedeen as insignificant or only a temporary threat.
But as reports conclude that many of the fighters still remain in Bosnia, it is obvious we’ve made a serious miscalculation.
NATO, and especially U.S. political and military leaders, should insist ttiat the Bosnian government (the entity responsible for the mujahedeen presence) fulfill their promises and ensure that those fighters leave the country.
Otherwise, we may see U.S. troops returning to America in body bags following a suicide bombing or other terrorist action.
(Today s editorial was written by Managing Editor Doug Loveday.)
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Postmaster: Send address changes to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels. Tx. 78131-1328Make good grades — pay less
A new auto insurance discount for good students rewards academic achievement and reflects William O. Douglas’ observation that “common sense often makes good law.” The 74th Legislature authorized the discounts when it passed Senate Bill 553 by Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and Rep. Tony Goolsby, R-Dallas.
The bill provides a motor vehicle insurance premium discount for high school and college students who maintain at least a “B” average or a 3.0 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. Previously insurance companies did not provide automobile insurance premium discounts based on academic achievement for Texas students, although some states encourage the discount and Georgia requires it.
To qualify, applicants annually must file school-issued grade reports with an insurer and submit evidence that they are licensed to drive in Texas. They also must be full-time students in their junior or senior years of high school or in an institution of higher learning.
Applicants also must prove that they are younger than 25 years old and qualify as youthful drivers under the Texas Department of Insurance automobile classification plan. SB 553 affects insurance policies delivered, issued for delivery or renewed on or after Jan. I. Eligible students should ask insurance agents how to apply for the discount and its amount.
Other insurance laws passed during the 74th Legislative session address health, the availability of insurance, homeowners’ policies and life insurance. SB 607 by Zaffirini and Rep. Nancy McDonald, D-E1 Paso, requires group health insurance policies to
pay for medically accepted bone mass measurement tests to detect osteoporosis in at-risk individuals. Although osteoporosis affects men, it primarily affects women 40 years or older.
Another insurance bill also affects women. The American College of Clinical Pathologists estimates that 50 percent of women have clinically evident fibrocystic breasts, and 90 percent have some degree of fibrocystic disease.
Insurance companies often deny coverage upon diagnosis of a fibrocystic breast condition. SB 182 by Sen. Peggy Rosson, D-El Paso, and Rep. Patricia Gray, D-Gaiveston, prohibits this practice. Insurers cannot deny coverage, cancel or refuse to renew a policy, limit coverage or charge a different rate for equal coverage because an individual has been diagnosed with or has a history of a fibrocystic breast condition.
House Bill 1367 by Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Hous-ton, and Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, also addressed the issue of discrimination in insurance underwriting.
The bill prohibits companies from refusing coverage; refusing to continue coverage; or charging a different rate or limiting coverage on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, marital status or geographic location. What’s more, it prohibits considering English fluency when underwrit-
ing health insurance policies.
Insurers, however, may make insurance decisions based on age, gender, marital status, geographic location or disability, if the decisions are based on sound underwriting or actuarial principles reasonably related to actual or anticipated loss experience.
Another fair practice insurance bill addresses the viatical settlement business. Under such an agreement, an investor buys the life insurance policy of a terminally ill person for less than the policy’s face value.
The policy holder usually receives from 50 to 80 percent of the policy in cash, depending on the person’s life expectancy. Cancer patients comprise about IO percent of the participants in viatical agreements. The industry began in 1988 and grew rapidly after the onset of AIDS.
HB 2256 by Rep. John Shields, R-San Antonio, and Sen. Frank Madia, D-San Antonio, requires the insurance commissioner to adopt rules for persons engaged in the viatical settlement business. The rules must address registration of persons in the business, contract form approval, disclosure requirements, prohibited practices, assignment or resale of life policies and confidentiality of personal and medical information.
These and dozens of other insurance-related bills reflect Edmund Burke’s words: “Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom.”
(Judith Zaffirini is a state senator for New Braunfels.)
Clinton’s call for smaller gov’t draws jeers
By DAVID ESPO
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTONJAP) — Portending a campaign-season struggle for the political center, Republicans are scoffing at President Clinton’s embrace of “an era of balanced budgets and smaller government" as empty rhetoric from a liberal politician.
“President Clinton may well be the rear guard of the welfare state," Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole said in a broadcast rebuttal to Clinton’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.
• Dole, the front-runner for the COP nomination to oppose Clinton next fall, noted that Clinton cast several vetoes last year on GOP legislation.
“He is the chief obstacle to a balanced budget, and the balanced budget amendment” to the Constitution, the Kansas Republican said.
For his part, Clinton’s speech to Congress sketched themes likely to carry him into the fall.Today In History
By The Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, Jan. 24, the 24th day of 19%. There are 342 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
Chi Jan. 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in northern California, a discovery that led to the gold rush of ’49.
On this date:
In 1908, the first Boy Scout troop was organized in England by Robert Baden-Powell.
In 1924, the Russian city of St. Petersburg was renamed Leningrad in honor of the late revolutionary leader (however, it has since been renamed St. Petersburg).
In 1942, a special court of inquiry into America's lack of preparedness for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor placed much of the blame on Rear Adm. Husband E. Kimmel and Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short, the Navy and Army commanders.
In 1943, President Roosevelt and British PrimeAnalysis
“The era of big government is over,” the president said during an hour-long speech in which he summoned skeptical Republican lawmakers to work with him to nail down an elusive baianced-budget deal and bipartisan welfare overhaul.
“But we cannot go back to the time when our citizens were left to fend for themselves,” the president added in remarks before a packed House chamber and a television audience counted in the millions.
Rhetoric aside, Clinton’s speech provided moments of theater only possible when the nation’s political elite gather:
—Democrats cheered enthusiastically when first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was introduced in the House chamber; Republicans only grudgingly.
—Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary shook hands only with Democrats as she walked down the center aisle to her seat, keeping her back turned to Repub-
Minister Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.
In 1965, former British Prime Minister Churchill died in London at age 90.
In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws that denied welfare benefits to people who had resided in a state for less than a year,
In 1978, a nuclear-powered Soviet satellite plunged through Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrated, scattering radioactive debns over parts of northern Canada.
In 1985, the space shuttle Discovery was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on the first secret, all-military shuttle mission.
In 1987, gunmen in Lebanon kidnapped American educators Alann Steen, Jesse Turner, Robert Polhill and Indian-bom professor Mitheleshwar Singh from Beirut University College (all were later released).
In 1993, retired Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall died in Bethesda, Md., at age 84.
Ten years ago: The Voyager ll space probe swept past Uranus, coming within 50,679 miles of the seventh planet of the solar system and snapping dozens of
licans, some of whom have demanded her dismissal.
—Clinton sparked a laugh from Rep. Newt Gingrich, his political nemesis, when he handed the House speaker a copy of his speech text along with a handwritten note.
“Thank you and good night,” it read — precisely the words Gingrich had said in advance he wanted to hear.
Clinton’s speech was salted with conciliatory references to majority Republicans, and included a salute to Dole’s service in World War ll a half-century ago.
But he challenged the GOP directly on two pressing issues. “Never — ever shut down the government again,” he said in a reference to the two partial federal closures since November. “Ami pass a straightforward extension of the debt limit.”
Coached in advance, Democrats cheered those words, while most Republicans sat in silence.
Dole didn’t address these issues.
Five years ago: A brief skirmish occurred high above the Persian Gulf as a Saudi warplane shot down two Iraqi jets.
One year ago: President Clinton appealed for common ground as he delivered his second State of the Union address, this time before a Republican-led Congress. The prosecution gave its opening statement at the O.J. Simpson trial, mapping a “frail of blood” as evidence the former football star was guilty of murder.'
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Ernest Borgnine is 79. Evangelist Oral Roberts is 78. Former Sen. Paula Hawkins, R-FIa., is 69. Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond is 55. Former State Department official Elliott Abrams is 48. Actress Nastassia Kinski is 36. Olympic gold-medal gymnast Mary Lou Refton is 28.
Thought for Today: ‘Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now — always.” — Albert Schweitzer, Gcrman-bom missionary and Nobel laureate (1875-1 %5).