News In Brief
Edwards AFB, Calif.
Discovery's international crew of five Americans, a French pilot, and a Saudi Arabian prince swooped out of orbit Monday for a successful dawn landing. Sixty-five minutes before the landing, the crew fired braking rockets 220 miles above the Indian Ocean to drop the shuttle out of orbit and start it on a blazing dive through the atmosphere on a course that descended over the Pacific and across the California coast. During the week-long journey, Discovery's crew launched four satellites and helped test a laser for the ``star wars'' defense program.
Brock asks NAACP for help with youth jobs and business
Labor Secretary William Brock told delegates of the NAACP Wednesday, ``The country needs your help'' in addressing problems of minority youth unemployment and business opportunities. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is holding its annual meeting here this week. Secretary Brock, representing an administration largely viewed as hostile to the civil rights organization's goals, acknowledged ``differences'' between the Reagan administration and the NAACP, but insisted that agreement on broad goals of equal opportunity and access should overcome ``tactical'' differences.
The NAACP's Benjamin Hooks told the delegation that the organization was ``unalterably opposed'' to William Bradford Reynolds' confirmation as associate attorney general of the US. He cited what he said was Reynolds' ``blatant hostility to civil rights. . . ''
Bush in Italy for talks on terrorism, `star wars'
US Vice-President George Bush met with Italian government leaders Monday for talks expected to focus on international terrorism, US barriers to pasta imports, and European participation in the ``star wars'' space defense program. Mr. Bush, who arrived in Rome Sunday in the first stop of a seven-country European tour, talked with Premier Bettino Craxi, Foreign Minister Giulio Andreotti, and current President Sandro Pertini. Monday morning, the vice-president had a private meeting with Pope John Paul II.
Leader in Italian Senate elected new president
Christian Democrat Francesco Cossiga, a two-time former premier and current president of the Senate, was elected Monday as Italy's new president. Mr. Cossiga will succeed the popular Sandro Pertini, a Socialist, on July 7 for a seven-year term. Mr. Pertini decided not to stand for a second term. Italy's Communists and parties in the Socialist-led government agreed earlier to back Cossiga, virtually ensuring the Christian Democrat's election to the ceremonial post.
China backs a Korean exit by US and plan to reunify
China called Monday for the withdrawal of all American forces stationed in South Korea and said it supported North Korea's proposal for three-way talks between the two Koreas and the United States. In a message from two official Chinese organizations sent to Pyongyang, China hailed North Korea's proposals for achieving reunification of the two nations, divided at the end of the Korean war in 1953.
Meanwhile, China has relaxed its rigid one-child family planning policy, particularly in the countryside, where opposition has been strongest. A spokesman for the state family planning commission said the policy had served its purpose.
Gandhi sends Indian officials to Gujarat to help still strife
Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi rushed a team of officials to the riot-torn Gujarat State after giving the chief minister there an ultimatum to stamp out violence that has killed nearly 200 people. The Press Trust of India news agency said Sunday the team would help local authorities curb street battles between Hindus and Muslims triggered by protests against a government affirmative-action policy reserving jobs and college places for the underprivileged.
Iranian team visiting Syria to spur support for war
A high-level Iranian delegation led by parliamentary Speaker Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani began a visit Monday, part of Iran's recent diplomatic drive to back its policy of continuing the 57-month-old war with Iraq. Mr. Rafsanjani told a Syrian news agency that Iran's relations with Syria were ``strong and distinguished.'' In a message from Iran's President Ali Khamenei, the Iranian leaders vowed to ``continue resistance until the final victory.''
Intrastate phone rate case to be taken by high court
The US Supreme Court, in a case involving potentially millions in higher telephone bills nationwide, said Monday it will decide whether the federal government may force states to raise rates for intrastate telephone service. The high court also agreed to resolve an important libel law dispute involving the question of whether the libel defendant or the plaintiff must bear the burden of proving the truth or falsity of an allegedly libelous statement.
In addition, the court said it will decide whether federal workers have any say in decisions by government agencies to hire private companies for some jobs.
NEA head urges requiring teachers to pass certification
Mary Hatwood Futrell, president of the National Education Association, said in an interview Monday she is seeking support for a plan that would require all new teachers to pass a certification test. The NEA has maintained that it supported testing new teachers but opposed barring anyone from the profession solely because he or she failed such a test. Saying it is time to ``face reality,'' Ms. Futrell said she will press for an unequivocal endorsement of testing as part of the certification process at the NEA annual convention, which opens here Friday.
Senate bill seeks to require FCC to screen TV takeovers
Four US senators concerned over Ted Turner's proposed takeover of CBS-TV are proposing a bill today that would require Federal Communications Commission hearings to be conducted in bids for television networks. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Larry Pressler (R) of South Dakota, Thomas F. Eagleton (D) of Missouri, Daniel K. Inouye (D) of Hawaii, and J. James Exon (D) of Nebraska, would require the FCC to study takeover attempts and assess the ``benefits or damages to the public interest.''
Agca identifies 3rd man he says was accomplice
Mehmet Ali Agca identified a third alleged accomplice Monday in the 1981 shooting of Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square. During testimony last week, Agca changed his story and said there was a third Turk, a man he identified first as only Akif and later as Omer Ay.
Agca said he had been reluctant to identify Mr. Ay because he is in a Turkish prison, serving a life sentence for the murder of a leftist politician in the Turkish province of Malatya, from which Agca comes.
Agca's testimony about Ay was generally confused and contradictory.
Tapes in drunk-driving cases boost Massachusetts police
Police stations around Massachusetts are videotaping the booking of drunken-driving suspects, and authorities say the videotapes are producing guilty pleas as well as protection from police brutality charges. Police officials say the videotaping setups cost as little as $2,500 and within one year can save thousands of dollars in overtime paid to police officers who must appear as witnesses and has resulted in a conviction rate of nearly 100 percent.
US subs safe despite spying, Navy officials tell Congress
Despite information about US submarines that may have been passed to the Soviets by the alleged Walker spy ring, America's subs are safe and likely to remain so for the forseeable future, top Navy officials told Congress Monday. Navy Secretary John Lehman said that new advances in technology are making it more difficult to track subs, regardless of spy information.