As Congress scrambles to complete must-pass bills before the end of this year's session, House and Senate negotiators worked yesterday on finishing touches for a balanced-budget plan. Responding to White House worries that the proposal could hurt defense programs, the negotiators agreed to give the Reagan administration more discretion in cutting military spending in 1986.
As drafted, the compromise would permit President Reagan to make savings in other defense programs to protect military pay and personnel levels. The administration would also have flexibility in making cutbacks within specific defense accounts.
Despite White House jitters, members of Congress predict that the President will go along with the balanced-budget plan unless he ``makes a 180-degree turn,'' says Rep. Thomas S. Foley of Washington, Democratic whip.
Still looming over Capitol Hill before the holiday break:
Debt-limit extension. Tied to the balanced-budget measure, the extension must be passed before midnight tonight to keep the government from going into default. The extension allows the government to continue borrowing money.
Tax overhaul bill. Mr. Reagan and House Democrats are joining forces to attempt passage this week of a massive revision of the federal tax code. Some GOP House leaders are balking, but Democrats are confident the bill will pass.
Catchall spending bill for federal agencies. Funding expires this week for most federal functions, but legislation could be in danger of a veto. Reagan wants less money for domestic and more for defense spending than Congress is proposing.--
Nobel Peace Prize awarded amid pro-Sakharov protest
Norwegian Nobel officials awarded the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize yesterday to Bernard Lown of the United States and Yevgeny Chazov of the Soviet Union, who claimed the award on behalf of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, an antiwar organization founded by Soviet and American physicians. The two doctors received a $225,000 award for the organization they helped found five years ago.
This was only the second time a Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a Soviet citizen. The first was noted dissident physicist Andrei Sakharov in 1975.
Hundreds of Sakharov supporters protested yesterday's award because the Soviet recipient had once publicly denounced Dr. Sakharov.
Latins' sanctuary proposed by San Francisco supervisor
A resolution was presented to the city Board of Supervisors yesterday which would defy the US Immigration and Naturalization Service and offer sanctuary to San Francisco's estimated 80,000 Salvadorean and Guatemalan refugees. Supervisor Nancy Walker, backed by six other board members and by religious leaders, introduced a resolution directing the city administration to take no action jeopardizing the safety or welfare of any Salvadorean or Guatemalan refugee.
ABC, PBS TV networks join in plan to combat illiteracy
The American Broadcasting Company and the Public Broadcasting Service television networks announced yesterday a collaboration to help overcome illiteracy. ABC News will run a documentary next September on the problems of the estimated 23 million functionally illiterate American adults. After the ABC show, PBS will broadcast a documentary on strategies to combat illiteracy. The networks are encouraging local follow-up.
Japan reports new record in trade surplus with US
Japan reported yesterday that its monthly trade surplus with the United States hit a record $4.03 billion in November. Economists forecast Japan could have a $50 billion trade surplus with the US this year.
US plans to sell missiles for S. Korean air defense
The Pentagon plans to sell Stinger air-defense missiles to South Korea for the first time, unless the move is blocked by Congress, the Pentagon has announced. The Stinger is a portable, shoulder-fired missile that can be used by troops against low-flying airplanes and helicopters. It has a range of more than three miles.
Columbia law dean picked to head Yale University
Yale University announced Benno C. Schmidt Jr. yesterday as its new president. Mr. Schmidt will be the 20th president of the 284-year-old institution, replacing A. Bartlett Giamatti, who took over in 1977. Mr. Schmidt, dean of the Columbia University Law School, was chosen from among 430 candidates.
South Africa extends freeze on repaying its foreign debt
South Africa extended a freeze yesterday on repaying most of its foreign debt by three months to allow time for negotiations with major creditor banks on a rescheduling package. The freeze, originally due to expire Dec. 31, was imposed at the start of September to stem an outflow of foreign capital and to protect the rand when foreign banks, concerned about the country's political stability, cut off credit lines. It will now run until March 31, the government said.
US congressmen see victory for Marcos in opposition rift
Members of the US Congress said yesterday they viewed the split of an opposition unity ticket in the Philippines as virtually ensuring the reelection of President Ferdinand Marcos in balloting set for Feb. 7. After the announcement Sunday that instead of joining Corazon Aquino's opposition bid to oust Mr. Marcos, Salvador Laurel would seek the presidency himself, the congressmen said there was still no consensus on how US policy might develop should Marcos be reelected.
And in Manila yesterday more than 30,000 Filipinos marched to protest alleged human rights violations by the Marcos government.
Poland warns US of reaction for curbs on Poles' travel
Poland warned the US yesterday that it may retaliate against travel restrictions placed on Polish officials in America and said Solidarity leader Lech Walesa might not get a passport to go abroad. Washington had announced Monday that diplomatic and other official personnel from East Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, and Czechoslovakia would have to book their travel through the State Department.
Denmark acts to curb asylum for refugees
The Danish parliament passed a law yesterday curbing the rights of refugees seeking asylum in Denmark, whose numbers have swelled from 4,300 in 1984 to 8,000 this year. Under the law, refugees, most of whom come from the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, can be expelled after about two weeks without the right to a tribunal hearing if officials regard their case as ``clearly groundless.''
In an article on Honduras in Monday's Monitor, Rafael Leonardo Callejas was incorrectly identified as the presidential candidate of the Liberal Party. He was the National Party candidate.