Gore to the Fore

Landow Lurks in Background

Hundreds of thousands of of U.S. residents live in areas administered by the federal government— in fiefdoms such as military bases, federal hospitals, national parks, research institutions, even the famed "Area 54." According to the suit, the District is similar to these enclaves.

In response to demands for self-government by residents of such areas, Congress has solved the problem by unifying them with surrounding states. Thus, people in the U.S. military fort at the Presidio in San Francisco can vote in California and residents on the Montana side of Yellowstone National Park can cast ballots as Montanans. Workers at the National Institutes of Health just outside Washington, D.C., in the Maryland suburbs have been given the vote in that state.

The suit, now before a three-judge panel drawn from federal district and appellate courts, seeks the same treatment for citizens of Washington, D.C. If granted, it could lead to self- government as a part of Maryland or Virginia, or perhaps set in motion the creation of a 51st state.


The Swiss Go Nuclear
Leaked Document Details Russian Deal

Clinton's increased defense budget is based on self-fulfilling fears that a "rogue state" like Iraq or North Korea might loft a nuclear missile at the American heartland. And of course, if the U.S. pursues its current policies of spewing nuclear technology around the globe, something like that just could happen.

But while the West fears what could happen if a country like Iraq gets the bomb, the real promoters of the new nuclear arms race are not in Baghdad but in tiny, neutral Switzerland.

An internal industry document leaked to Greenpeace in Switzerland demonstrates how U.S. nuclear technology will be passed through Switzerland to the Russian military nuclear complex. The document, released last month, describes negotiations held in Zurich on September 17, 1998, between representatives of Swiss nuclear utilities and officials of the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy and their commercial agents. The deal would entail sending over 2000 tons of radioactive spent fuel from Swiss reactors— which utilize U.S. technology— to Russia from 2000 through 2030.

The Swiss want the Russians either to keep the waste or extract weapons-grade plutonium, which would be returned to Switzerland. Whatever happens, they want to be able to purchase weapons-grade plutonium from the Russians.

As part of the deal, Switzerland would export high-level nuclear waste returned to it from Britain and France to Russian dump sites. Russia and Switzerland reportedly have agreed upon everything but the price.

European spent fuel transferred to Russia most likely would end up either at Mayak— the world's largest nuclear complex, located in the Urals— or at Krasnojarsk-26, the huge Siberian underground operation, which houses a partially completed reprocessing plant. This is the region of Russia governed by the hardline General Alexander Lebed, who has been currying favor in the U.S. as a possible Yeltsin successor.

Ironically, the former Soviet Union is being turned into the world's largest nuclear waste dump. Europe's biggest nuclear dump site is scheduled to open next year in southern Ukraine. Financed by an American loan, it will take waste from Ukraine's four nuclear plants.

A 1995 Russian decree bans importation of spent nuclear fuel. Recently, members of the Russian parliament have sought to modify the decree.


Burton Eyes TV Doc In Hearing
House Government Reform and Oversight Committee chair Dan Burton— who called Clinton a "scumbag" only to be exposed as having fathered a child out of wedlock— has announced that his committee's "first hearing into expanding medical choices" will feature Jane Seymour, star of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and "an activist in the area of alternative medicine since her father was stricken with cancer."

Fondly remembered for her role in Live and Let Die, Seymour's Dr. Quinn inspired millions of children. The daughter of a Polish obstetrician who grew up in England, she worked as a teenager as an auxiliary nurse and moonlighted with the British Red Cross. "I used to go to the rugby fields and patch up gorgeous-looking young men," Seymour told People magazine. She's currently working on a a TV film of Dr. Quinn, in which the no-nonsense doc "tells little boys that women aren't just to marry and have babies with."

A Burton aide said Seymour is viewed as key to the congressman's inquiry because she "brought her knowledge of medicine into the movies."

Additional reporting: Ioanna Veleanu

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