Notre Dame ReSources

Author: Dennis Brown

Notre Dame ReSources
July 20-26, 1997

p. p. Notre Dame faculty are available for additional comment on these people and events in the news: p. War criminal arrests in Bosnia: Recent arrests of suspected war criminals by NATO troops have “changed everything” concerning the International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) for the former Yugoslavia and must continue for peace to last, says Garth Meintjes , associate director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame. “Simply put, there can be no sustainable peace in Bosnia unless major war criminals are arrested and removed from positions of influence,” says Meintjes, who has just returned from the ICTY’s headquarters in The Hague. “To leave without doing so is to squander the billions of dollars which have been invested in the peace process so far.” Meintjes added: “Just a few months ago there was widespread speculation that the tribunal would be shut down because of a lack of financial and political support. But the recent arrests have suddenly given new vigor and determination to those mandated to prosecute the war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity that were committed during the conflict. As a result, public attention has once again been focused on the issue of accountability for war crimes.” (219) 631-8544 ; .p. MIR: Despite the problems on the Russian space station MIR, “U.S. collaboration with Russia in the space program is a good thing,” says Stephen Batill , professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering and director of Notre Dame’s Hessert Center for Aerospace Research. “The Russians have developed some exceptionally sound minds working on this project. I’d much rather have them working on space exploration than on developing the next smart missile.” (219) 631-5591 p. Market values: Government social welfare programs have helped create a less secure labor environment for the typical American worker by inadvertently harming family values, according to a new study by Notre Dame economists Ralph Chami and Connel Fullenkamp . The study appears in the latest issue of The Cato Journal and can be obtained by calling Chami at (219) 631-8672 or Fullenkamp at (219) 631-8432 p. “Contact”: The recently released motion picture “Contact” focuses on the conflict between religion and the concept of extraterrestrial life, a debate that “has been going on for a long time,” says Michael Crowe , a professor of liberal studies at Notre Dame and author of the book “The Extraterrestrial Life Debate, 1750-1900: The Idea of a Plurality of Worlds from Kant to Lowell.” “This isn’t a new issue, though some will think so because of the movie,” Crowe says. “The debate between religion and extraterrestrials has a long and complicated history and is an issue that is important and worthy of discussion.” (219) 631-6212 p. James Earl Ray: Inconclusive results from tests on the rifle and bullet that killed Martin Luther King, Jr., are of little consequence and in no way exonerate James Earl Ray, says G. Robert Blakey , professor of law at Notre Dame and chief counsel to the 1977-79 House Select Committee on Assassinations. “We were not able to correlate bullets we fired from the rifle either,” says Blakey, who added it is a “layman’s myth” that forensic tests always can match bullets to guns. “The (murder) bullet cannot be excluded from the rifle either, therefore the tests are of no significance.” (219) 631-5717 p. Sand castles: For kids on the beach, building sand castles is a delightful way to have fun in the summer sun. For Peter Schiffer and Albert-Laszlo Barabasi , it is a research subject. The two Notre Dame physicists have determined precisely what physical phenomenon is at work that allows damp sand to hold its shape in the construction of sand castlessurprisingly, a scientific question that never before had been addressed. The study has more practical application in the study of the structural strength of medicinal tablets or the concrete in bridges and buildings. The findings are published in the June 18 issue of the science journal Nature. Schiffer can be reached at (219) 631-7262 ; Barabasi at (219) 631-5767 p. Title IX: On the 25th anniversary of the adoption of Title IX of the Education Code, it would be helpful for all parties to “tone down the inflammatory rhetoric that increasingly crops up in discussions” of gender equity in athletics," says Debbie Brown , head women’s volleyball coach at Notre Dame, in an op-ed in USA Today. “While women’s programs worry over the lack of progress and men’s bemoan budget cuts, both should remember this is an evolutionary process.” (219) 631-6307


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