News In Brief
Bolivia is in the midst of yet another political cliff-hanger. At time of writing, with the presidential inauguration set for Tuesday, the nation still did not know who its next president would be. Two former presidents were edging in and out of first place as the vote count continues since the July 14 presidential balloting. But neither Hugo Banzer Suarez nor V'ictor Paz Estenssoro was close to an absolute majority. General Banzer had less than 1 percent of an edge over Dr. Paz in uncertified results.
The Bolivian Congress, which must choose the winner, is divided. Banzer's slight edge does not assure him victory in Congress. With a likely 51 seats committed to his candidacy, Banzer is behind Paz, who has 59 seats.
A third candidate, Jaime Paz Zamora, a leftist in contrast to both Banzer and V'ictor Paz, garnered less than 10 percent of the vote July 14. His name will also be before Congress. But Jaime Paz has pledged his support to V'ictor Paz, which brings V'ictor Paz close to victory if all of the leftist candidate's 14 seats go to him. Some voters might turn in blank ballots, or they could divide their votes between the other two candidates.
The situation remains fluid, and it is still possible that Bolivia's inauguration day will come and go with no president having been chosen. Congress could, however, chose an interim president as it has in the past.
Israel unveils tough measures against Palestinian suspects
Israel announced tough new measures against Palestinians suspected of anti-Israeli activities in the occupied West Bank, including expulsion and detention without trial. The announcement Sunday followed the deaths last month of three Israelis in attacks blamed on Arab guerrillas.
ABC-TV executive kidnapped in Beirut
Gunmen kidnapped the operations manager of ABC News in Beirut on Saturday. A spokeswoman for the United States television network said four men with rifles seized Shakib Hmeidan, a Lebanese, while he was on his way to Beirut airport in a chauffeur-driven car. It is not known who abducted him. Mr. Hmeidan is the fifth employee of Western news organizations in Beirut to be kidnapped.
Manville Corporation OK's plan to deal with lawsuits
Manville Corporation's directors approved a reorganization plan Friday aimed at providing funds to compensate those who sue the company in the future over asbestos-related illness claims. Leon Silverman of New York, a court-appointed attorney representing future claimants, devised the plan with the help of Manville executives. He is to present it today in New York to United States Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland, who has overseen Manville's Chapter 11 proceedings for nearly three years.
South Korean dissident released from house arrest
Opposition leader Kim Dae Jung was freed Saturday from his second term under house arrest this year. His release came as officials of the ruling Democratic Justice Party threatened to put him in jail if he accepted a post offered to him by the main opposition party, the New Korea Democratic Party (NKDP), which he helped found. Mr. Kim was placed under house arrest last Wednesday before its national convention Friday. The NKDP offered advisory posts to Kim and another leading dissident, Kim Young Sam.
Kim Dae Jung is barred from joining a political party or seeking election to parliament because he is under a suspended 20-year sentence for sedition. His aides said Saturday he had not decided whether to accept the post.
Alaska governor appears to be clear of impeachment
A state Senate committee Saturday all but guaranteed that Gov. Bill Sheffield will not be impeached for allegedly steering a lucrative state lease to a political supporter and then lying about it to a grand jury. By a 4-to-1 vote, the five-member, Republican- dominated Senate Rules Committee sent to the Senate floor a report sharply critical of the first-term Democrat's actions, but did not recommend his impeachment.
Nicaraguan foreign minister resumes fast of protest
Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann yesterday resumed his fast to protest United States policies toward his country, his spokesman said. Fr. D'Escoto had broken his 27-day-old hunger protest Saturday, saying Nicaragua depended on him to defend the principles of the leftist Sandinista revolution and saying that his health had worsened since the fast.
D'Escoto, a Maryknoll priest, is protesting US support for right-wing rebels fighting to topple the six-year-old Sandinista regime.
Violence at Mexican protest of election results
Police broke up a demonstration of over 20,000 people protesting alleged electoral fraud in Monterrey, the capital city of Mexico's northern border state of Nuevo Le'on. Monterrey's business organizations issued a statement Saturday condemning violence against ``unarmed protestors'' and calling for ``an in-depth investigation.''
Head of Chile's paramilitary police is forced to resign
Gen. Cesar Mendoza, forced to resign from Chile's military junta Saturday night, was quoted yesterday as saying his para-military police were the victims of an opposition campaign to divide the armed forces. Gen. Mendoza resigned Friday night after a civilian judge said a four-month investigation produced ``clear evidence'' that 14 Carabineros were involved in the March 30 killings of three activists of the outlawed Communist Party.
Bombs on transport truck explode in Oklahoma
As many as six to eight one-ton military bombs exploded early Sunday after a collision between a car and a truck hauling the explosives, injuring at least 31 people, blasting a large crater in Interstate 40 and forcing the evacaution of up to 6,000 residents. A car entering Interstate 40 from US 69 collided with the explosives-laden truck, causing it to jackknife, according to Checotah Fire Chief Don Rey.
Walker goes on trial on military-secrets charges
Arthur Walker, a retired Navy lieutenant commander, goes on trial today on charges of passing military secrets to the Soviet Union. Lt. Comm. Walker is alleged to have taken secret documents while working for a defense contractor in nearby Chesapeake, two former Navy men, and one active duty sailor are charged in the espionage case.
Astronauts on Challenger continue experiments
Challenger's astronauts continued their around-the-clock space research Sunday on the sixth day of a shuttle mission that has been extended a day to add to the science harvest. Challenger is scheduled to land at Edwards Air Force Base in California at 3:47 p.m. EDT Tuesday, just short of a full eight days in space.