January 19, 1998

All Things Considered
(entire program)
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An index of the day's stories:

BUTLER IN IRAQ -- Top United Nations arms inspector Richard Butler arrived in Iraq today for a new round of talks with government officials about resuming unfettered UN inspections for weapons of mass destruction. The negotiations come only a day after Saddam Hussein vowed to throw all UN inspectors out of the country in four months unless the punishing UN sanctions on Iraq are lifted. NPR's Eric Weiner reports from Baghdad. (3:30)

EMBARGOES -- NPR senior news analyst Daniel Schorr says that the time for economic embargoes have come and gone. They often harm the people they are meant to benefit. (3:00)

NETANYAHU -- NPR's Ted Clark reports from Washington that on the eve of President Clinton's meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expectations are low for any real breakthrough in the now-moribund peace process. Instead of coming to Washington with a detailed plan for a new redeployment from the occupied territories as Washington had requested, Netanyahu will arrive with a series of new conditions to attach to previously- negotiated agreements that both the Palestinians and officials in Washington consider unacceptable. (5:00)

OTHER STORIES -- Other stories we're following today: MLK, Guatemala Attack, and Carl Perkins Obit. (:30)

GORE PREACHING -- We'll hear an excerpt from Vice President Al Gore's speech today at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, where he unveiled a new plan that would increase federal funds to fight racism. His speech was part of events honoring the life of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. (3:00)

CARL PERKINS OBIT -- Rockabilly legend Carl Perkins, the author of "Blue Suede Shoes," died today at the Jackson/Madison County Hospital outside Nashville, Tennessee. He was 65 years old, and had been recuperating at the hospital from complications after a series of strokes. We'll hear excerpts from an interview that he gave last year on National Public Radio's Fresh Air program, and portions of his music. (3:50)

N. IRELAND -- NPR's Michael Goldfarb reports from London that British Prime Minister Tony Blair met today with Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams to discuss the shaky Northern Ireland peace process. Sinn Fein--the political wing of the Irish Republican Army--has rejected Blair's latest blueprint for negotiations. Meanwhile, a Protestant man was murdered in Belfast today, in retaliation for the killing of a Catholic over the weekend. The latest spate of murders has claimed six lives in the past three weeks. (3:30)

ROE V. WADE READINGS -- This week marks the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe versus Wade. In a 7-to-2 ruling, the Justices found that a woman has a constitutional right to privacy that includes the right to choose an abortion. In 1973, the Court held that this right was absolute during the first trimester of the pregancy -- it allowed for some government regulation in the 2nd trimester -- and it declared that states may restrict or ban abortions in the last trimester, unless the pregnancy poses a threat to the life or health of the woman. All this week, All Things Considered will explore the legal, mdeical, and philosophical legacies of the Court's decision. Today, we hear excerpts from the majority opinion and the dissenting opinion. (8:30)

CLONING LAWS -- NPR's Joe Palca reports on some of the legal furor surrounding the recent announcement by a Chicago scientist that he plans to pursue research into human cloning. President Clinton has sent a legislative proposal to Congress that would introduce a five-year moratorium on all such research, and Representative Vernon Ehlers of Michigan has introduced two bills that would ban both human cloning and research into human cloning. But some scientists say that it's a mistake to rush into this kind of legislation so quickly, citing the outcry that emerged following the development of recombinant DNA technology, which has turned out to be extremely useful in agricultural, pharmaceutical and medical research. (5:15)

THE FILE ON H. -- Albanian novelist Ismael Kadare's latest book has just been published in the United States, taken from a French edition. It's set in the early 1930's, and tells the story of an expedition that's in search of links between oral poetry in the Balkans and the Homeric epic tradition. Reviewer Alan Cheuse says that it's a combination of gripping story and biting political commentary, which finds parallels in the current situation in the Bosnian region. ("The File on H" by Ismael Kadare is published by Arcade Press.) (2:30)

MLK -- NPR's Joshua Levs reports on ceremonies in Atlanta marking Martin Luther King Day. During the event, Vice President Al Gore announced a plan to increase civil rights spending by $86-million dollars. (4:30)

BATON ROUGE SHOOTING -- NPR's Debbie Elliott reports on a shooting today at the Baton Rouge, Louisiana Martin Luther King Day parade. The gunman -- or gunmen -- shot into a crowd of marchers in the parade. One twenty-five year old man was killed, and three other children were injured. (2:30)

GUATEMALA ATTACK -- NPR's Elizabeth Arnold reports that five students from St. Mary's College in Maryland were sexually assaulted Friday in rural Guatemala. The women were part of a sixteen-member group visiting the central American nation. Gunmen stopped the bus and robbed all the passengers before attacking the five women. Two men are now in custody. Guatemala's long civil war ended a year ago, but common crime is a growing problem there. (3:30)

OTHER STORIES -- Other stories we're following today: Butler in Iraq and N. Ireland. (1:00)

BABBITT & CASINOS -- A House committee opens hearings this week on allegations that the Clinton administration had an Indian casino license denied in return for campaign contributions from rival casino operators. The charge involves tribes in Wisconsin seeking an off-reservation casino license, which was opposed by other tribes. The Interior Department, which denied the license, says the application was rejected on its merits, not because of political influence. NPR's Barbara Bradley reports. (8:15)

DEATH PENALTY BOARD -- NPR's Chitra Ragavan reports on the Justice Department's internal review of cases that could involve seeking the death penalty. The process has taken on heightened visibility as reports have circulated of possible plea-bargaining at the California trial of accused UNABOM suspect Theodore Kaczynski. (5:15)

WI WELFARE -- NPR's Peter Kenyon has an overview of the state of welfare in Wisconsin. That state's highly-touted "Wisconsin Works" program has increased the proportion of welfare recipients who are moving toward stable employment, largely through the program's generous funding of child care programs and its focus on transportation needs. However, with cuts to food stamp programs and care for disabled children, many families are finding the transition to "workfare" difficult, and local food banks are finding that they serve more people than ever. Furthermore, there is growing concern about the large number of Wisconsin welfare recipients who have not yet enrolled in "Wisconsin Works." The deadline for enrollment is March 31st...and those who fail to report to a welfare office for workfare jobs will find themselves completely cut off from benefits. (7:15)

WAR CRIMES -- Gillian Sharpe reports from the Hague on today's opening of the war crimes trial of Slavko Dokmanovic, a Serbian former mayor accused of helping carry out the 1991 massacre of two hundred people in Croatia. Dokmanovic was mayor of Vukovar when rebel Serbs pulled Croatian soldiers and civilians out of a hospital, took them to a nearby farm, and proceeded to beat and execute many of them. Dokmanovic is charged with aiding and abetting the massacre. He denies the charges and has pleaded not guilty. (3:00)

EARLY MUSIC -- Tom Manoff reviews the CD "Early Music" by the Kronos Quartet. He finds the sound contemporary, but suffused with influences from long ago. (The CD "Early Music" by the Kronos Quartet is available on Nonesuch Records.) (4:30)