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The Daily Tar Heel Monday, March 27, 19893
By J ANNETTE PIPPIN
Following a five-year ban on
hazardous waste disposal in North
Carolina, the Senate approved a bill
this month to lift the ban and revive
the state's search for a waste treat
The Senate voted unanimously in
favor of the bill, and it will now be
passed to the House.
The bill will most likely pass the
House, but not in its present form,
said Rep. Joe Hackney, D-Orange.
"There's a discrepancy between how
the House and the Senate want the
The bill would abolish the current
From Associated Press reports
VATICAN CITY - Pope John
Paul II Sunday offered Easter wishes
in 55 languages to a world he said
was driven toward self-destruction.
and the Roman Catholic patriarch in
Jerusalem blamed politicians for
violence in the Holy Land.
The patriarch, Michel Sabah,
made his comments before pilgrims
at Easter Mass in Jerusalem's Church
of the Holy Sepulchre, the site where
Christians believe Jesus was
Elsewhere Sunday, shells and
rockets pounded Beirut as Lebanese
Christians commemorated Easter,
and in Afghanistan, about 30
members of the dwindling Western
community gathered for services.
In Czechoslovakia, Christians
called for the pope to visit the
communist nation, and in some parts
of the Soviet Union, Masses were said
for the first time in years.
About 180,000 faithful crowded
the Vatican's St. Peter's Square for
Iranian navy hijacks yacht, seizes
From Associated Press reports
MANAMA, Bahrain Iran's
navy hijacked an Arab tycoon's yacht
with five members of Kuwait's royal
family and four Britons aboard and
was holding them for ransom, news
reports said Sunday.
Government information officers
in Kuwait. Bahrain and other gulf
states said they had no information
about the incident, which reportedly
Independent Television News in
Britain quoted diplomatic sources in
Kuwait as saying the four Britons are
young women who were aboard the
82-foot yacht, owned by Kuwait's al
Sabah royal family.
The report said the yacht appar
ently was seized for ransom after it
strayed into a sensitive area near
Iran's northern Farsi island.
It said officials leaked information
to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anbaa
because Iran's Revolutionary Guards
are demanding a ransom and because
The Princeton Science Library
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Hazardous Waste Treatment Com
mission and replace it with the
Industrial Waste Treatment Commis
sion, said Hope Lucas. Community
Relations Coordinator for the Gov
ernors Waste Management Board.
The new commission would be in
charge of searching for possible waste
treatment sites in the state.
By initiating the bill, the Senate
hoped it would convince S.C. Gov.
Carroll Campbell to lift a ban on
waste shipments from North Caro
lina. Campbell issued the ban on
March I to all states that ban waste
disposal within their own borders.
In a letter sent to N.C. Gov. Jim
Martin last Wednesday, Campbell
John Paul's message commemorating
the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In his 20-minute speech in Italian,
the pope decried religious persecu
tion, exploitation of women, degen-
eration of family life, sectarian strife
and lack of concern for the
Earlier Sunday, the pope, squinting
in the warm spring sun, held a Mass
on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica.
Calling Easter the new Passover,
a reference to the Old Testament
account of the miraculous rescue of
the Jews in Egypt, the pope said:
"God passes where there do not exist
conditions worthy of a truly human
life, through lack of housing, promis
cuity, vagrancy, where selfishness
withers the fruitfulness of marriage
and the family breaks up."
He also decried violence against
children and the "shameful commerce
of vice . . . (where) women are still
the main victim."
The pope devoted much of his
message, broadcast to 50 countries,
negotiations between Kuwait and
Iran are going badly.
Al-Anbaa first reported the story,
saying the yacht had come from
France and docked briefly at Bahrain,
before leaving Thursday. Six hours
after it sailed for Kuwait, a distress
signal was picked up, said the paper.
Officials at Bahrain's leading yacht
club, the Marina Club, said their
registers showed a distress, signal
A man speaking English with an
Arabic accent said, "My yacht is
burning. What can I do?" according
to a club official. The caller did not
respond to a request for his location.
Al-Anbaa identified those aboard
the yacht only as royal family
members from an unidentified Per
sian Gulf nation and four Britons.
The newspaper said it had names of
all those aboard but would not
publish them "to avoid affecting the
secret contacts going on with Iran at
the highest levels to end the incident."
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announced he would lift the ban for
10 days beginning March 27 but
no permanent lift will be made unless
the N.C. bill becomes law.
Emergency relief would be granted
to North Carolina by allowing 850
tons of waste material to be dumped
in South Carolina during the 1 0-day
period, said Jean Floyd, a spokeswo
man for Campbell.
The amount of time the bill is
discussed in the House is expected
to be longer than the 20 days it took
to clear the Senate, but the House
will proceed as quickly as possible,
Despite opposition to the bill from
many counties, the governor feels
aroy nd the world
to places "where consciences are
oppressed, where Christ's faithful
cannot openly invoke him or suffer
persecution because of their love of
In Jerusalem, Sabah,. the first
Palestinian to serve as Roman
Catholic patriarch or bishop
of the city, alluded to the searing
conflict between Israel and the
Palestinians in an Easter Mass.
Under flickering candles and the
glare of television lights, the Mass was
intoned in Latin, French and Arabic
as pilgrims from throughout the
world crowded the chapel that many
believe contains Christ's tomb.
"We find the reality of the Holy
Land, a reality of death and suffer
ing," Sabah said in an Easter plea,
"We find those who tell us each
day: We are hungry, we are humil
iated, we are prisoners, we have no
schooling," he said. "We find those
who have died and those who have
yet to die while the politicians take
In London, Britain's foreign office
said it was the first it had heard of
the report. "WeVe asked our embas
sies in the region but they know
nothing about it," said an official on
condition of anonymity.
Shipping executives speaking on
condition of anonymity .said there
were at least two cases in recent
months of "pirates" seizing vessels in
the northern gulf. .
, "They just turn over people aboard
to the nearest fishing boat and seize
the boat," said one of the sources.
The pirates most likely are Iranian,
the sources said.
Al-Anbaa said the yacht probably
is at Farsi.
The island was used as a base for
gunboats manned by Revolutionary
Guards during the eight-year gulf
war. The gunboats were used to
attack oil tankers and other merchant
traffic in gulf shipping lanes.
Kuwait was one of Iraq's largest
financial backers during the war and
- 2 $7.95
North Carolina is back on track to
handling its own waste, Lucas said.
Hertford County is the 89th county
to announce it would refuse to host
a waste treatment facility.
Hertford County Commissioner
Don Craft said public opinion was
against such a facility. The county
finds it hard to agree to host the waste
site when the state legislature doesn't
have any specific guidelines to man
age the establishment of the site.
Lucas said the new bill would
require more strict and specific
criteria in selecting a site. Unlike the
old bill, the new bill would allow the
governor to have the final say on
waste sites built in the state.
their time finding answers."
Sabah, named bishop in January
1987, never directly mentioned the
Palestinian uprising that for 15
months has torn the occupied West
Bank and Gaza Strip.
But his mention of the "two peoples
in this Holy Land" and his repeated
references to death clearly evoked the
revolt in which more than 400
Palestinians and 18 Israelis have died.
In the Soviet Baltic republics of
Lithuania and Latvia, many Chris
tians celebrated the Easter Mass for
the first time in years. Last year,
Moscow handed back confiscated
cathedrals to many communities after
decades in government hands.
In Czechoslovakia, about 400'
people gathered beneath the balcony
of 89-year-old Roman Catholic
Cardinal Frantisek Tomasek's
Baroque residence shouting, "Long
Live Our Father!" and "We Want the
Holy Father!" in a call for John Paul
to visit Prague.
registered 1 1 tankers in the United
States because Iran made its shipping
a target. This prompted a large U.S.
Navy buildup in the gulf. Iran says
the U.S. Navy presence was one of
the military setbacks that forced it to
accept the Aug. 20 cease-fire ending
Kuwait-Iranian relations had been
improving since the cease-fire. But
friction surfaced March 15, when
Kuwait said a number of fugitives its
government wants on charges ranging
from espionage to coup plotting were
free in Iran.
A spokesman for the, Iranian
Embassy in Kuwait said: "We have
no information yet. We read the
report like you in the newspaper."
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FDA officials deny
use of N u tra weet
creates health risks
By SUSAN HOLDSCLAW
Despite claims that NutraSweet
causes health problems for some
people. Food and Drug Admin
istration officials say the artificial
sweetener is safe.
Aspartame, one of the chemi
cals in NutraSweet, poses a health
hazard and needs investigating,
H.J. Roberts, director of the Palm
Beach Institute for Medical
Research, said in the February
1988 edition of New Scientist
Roberts reported finding severe
problems in 157 of 551 people he
studied. Eleven lost vision in one
or both eyes, about one-third
suffered from severe dizziness and
almost half experienced headaches
after using NutraSweet.
But FDA officials say the
product only poses a health hazard
to a limited number of people,
"It's the most widely tested
additive the FDA had ever
approved," said Emil Corwin of
the FDA's press office. "With a
couple of exceptions, it is a
perfectly safe product to use."
Some consumers have reported
negative effects resulting from
using NutraSweet, but the FDA
has no plans to make any changes
in its approval of the product,
Corwin said in a telephone inter
view last week.
More than 100 million Amer
icans regularly consume Nutra
Sweet in its raw form or in the
more than 1,300 products that
contain the artifical sweetener. It
is found in a variety of products
including soft drinks, cereals,
yogurts and pharmaceuticals.
Aspartame, which is approved
for usage in 77 countries around
the world, can reduce calories in
foods by up to 95 percent and does
not promote tooth decay.
The FDA keeps records of
clinical studies of people who
complain of health problems after
using NutraSweet, but most com
plaints come from people with
genetic problems specifically
phenylketonuria, Corwin said.
"The FDA has been careful to
take into account all the evidence
and feels the product is very safe,"
.Jic- said.: .-i . . --- - .. - :
The FDA approved the" product
for the U.S. market in July 1 98 1,
and began keeping records of
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consumer complaints in 1984,
Corwin said. More than 4,000
NutraSweet users have filed com
plaints due to the consumption of
aspartame since 1984.
The most common complaint
from NutraSweet users was head
aches, Corwin said. Dizziness, a
change in moods, vomiting, nau
sea, abdominal pain and vision
impairment followed as the most
common side effects.
"It's safe," Corwin added. "It
stands up under very rigorous tests
the FDA must do."
NutraSweet officials also
defended their product as being
safe to use.
In a letter to The Daily Tar
Heel, Art Massa, consumer and
trade relations director for
NutraSweet, rebutted Roberts'
"He has done absolutely no
controlled research," Massa
wrote. "All of his allegations are
based on his speculation about
patients and others who have
complained about reactions.
"Despite his lack of research
and rejection by regulatory
authorities, he continues to make
irresponsible claims alleging
aspartame causes everything from
blindness to Alzheimer's disease."
But Roberts stood by his find
ings and said a new study soon
to be published would reinforce his
"I have no reason to retract any
of my original statements,"
Roberts said in a telephone inter
view from West Palm Beach, Fla.,
last week. "A subset of the pop
ulation have problems with aspar
He said he advised his patients
not to use NutraSweet if they
experience negative side effects.
Roberts said he didn't think his
new research would make the
FDA consider issuing warnings
about aspartame. "The FDA is
apparently disinclined to do so,"
NutraSweet underwent rigor
ous testing before the FDA ever
approved it, and the company
continues to investigate com
plaints and test the product, Massa
The FDA will continue to
monitor complaints but has no
plans to recall NutraSweet,'?Cor
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