News In Brief
President Reagan has again called for deep cuts in superpower nuclear weapons -- and played down the temporary Soviet moratorium on all nuclear testing. In a message to the review conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in Geneva Wednesday, Mr. Reagan said the longstanding American proposal for ``radical reductions'' in nuclear arms offers ``the most direct and best course to pursue if we are to eliminate the danger of nuclear war.''
Limitations on nuclear testing, he continued, without referring explicitly to the current five-month Soviet moratorium, can play a ``useful'' but ``more modest'' role.
In response to the United States President's statement, the Soviet delegation renewed the offer to extend the Soviet test moratorium beyond Jan. 1, 1986, if the US would join in.
For two decades the superpowers have observed a partial test ban that permits only underground -- and only small-scale -- nuclear explosions.
The President repeated the recent American invitation to Moscow to send observers to the United States to monitor the size of an American underground test. For years the two superpowers have been close to agreement on all aspects of a total nuclear test ban -- but final agreement has stumbled at the impasse between American insistence on on-site verification and Soviet insistence that the on-site inspections demanded by Washington would be intrusive.
In his own comments after reading Reagan's message to the conference delegates, Kenneth Adelman, US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency director, praised the effectiveness of the nonproliferation treaty, which was signed in 1968 and took effect in 1970.
He welcomed the recent voluntary agreement under which the International Atomic Energy Agency may now inspect some Soviet nuclear power plants. He added that Washington hopes that Moscow ``will make additional types and numbers of facilities eligible for safeguards'' -- and that China might also follow suit.
Militant Sikhs decide to boycott Punjab elections
The Akali Dal, the militant wing of the main Sikh political party, decided yesterday to boycott Punjab state elections and renew its struggle for Sikh autonomy. Sikh militant leader Joginder Singh charged that Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi ordered the elections to cover up ``continuing atrocities against Sikhs by security forces,'' and lend credibility to an agreement with a moderate Sikh leader, the deceased Harchand Singh Longowal, to end the three-year Punjab crisis.
US, British air agencies order checks of faulty jet engines
The Federal Aviation Administration plans to order airlines to examine engines of the type involved in the explosion and fire of a British charter airliner that killed 54 people. In London, Britain's Civil Aviation Authority has grounded planes using engines like the one involved in the Manchester crash last week after checks revealed defects in engine combustion chambers.
Leader of Nigerian coup pledges package of reforms
Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Babanginda, who assumed the presidency of Nigeria in a coup against another military government, pledged to improve the economy, review the cases of prisoners awaiting trial, and reform the secret police. General Babanginda made the pledges in an address on Nigerian Radio, monitored here. Nigerian Radio reported tight security in effect yesterdaywed in Lagos, Nigeria's capital, but no violence 24 hours after the coup.
In Washington, officials said the US expects to continue good relations with Nigeria.
Israeli troops sweep Shiite village in Lebanon
Israeli soldiers, tanks, and helicopter gunships stormed the Shiite Muslim village of Qabrikha in the UN-patrolled zone in southern Lebanon. The raid yesterday was their biggest sweep in two months, police and UN officials reported. In other developments, the Socialist Baath Party claimed a suicide bomber exploded a TNT-laden car yesterdaywed at a checkpoint manned by Israeli-backed militiamen in south Lebanon. Security sources said 15 people were killed or wounded.
Khmers say Vietnam sends 3,500 troops to Kampuchea
Vietnam has sent about 3,500 fresh troops to Kampuchea (Cambodia) this month for training in the fight against guerrillas in the west of the country, Khmer Rouge radio said yesterdaywed in a broadcast monitored in Bangkok.
More Soviet troops, supplies head for east Afghanistan
Helicopters are ferrying more Soviet troops to eastern Afghanistan where fighting is raging in a drive to seal guerrilla supply routes into the area, rebel sources said yesterdaywed. Western diplomats reported Tuesday that in the past week streams of helicopters and military convoys had been seen heading from the Afghan capital of Kabul to the east.
Chemical fumes injure 27 in Philadelphia area
A reaction at a chemical plant spread irritating fumes about 20 miles, reaching Philadelphia early yesterday. Authorities said 27 people were injured and the leak threatened the evacuation of 40,000. The reaction began in a large container at Sartomer Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlantic Richfield Company, sending out a cloud of a chemical used in making plastics. Evacuation plans were cancelled when the leak was contained at about 3 a.m.
British railroad guards narrowly vote down strike
Britain's 11,000 railroad guards have voted narrowly against going on strike, their union said yesterdaywed. The guards voted last Friday on whether to take industrial action against plans by state-run British Rail to introduce trains without guards as an economy measure. The result, announced today, showed that 4,815 guards voted against striking while 4,360 were in favor.
3 reported arrested for Salvador caf'e slayings
Three people have been captured in connection with the June machine-gun killing of 13 men, including four US marines, at a sidewalk caf'e. In a letter to President Reagan read to reporters Tuesday night, President Jos'e Napole'on Duarte said another alleged attacker had been killed and others had been identified but not captured.
In Washington, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger yesterdaywed praised the Salvadorean government for the capture.
Ugandan peace-talks round ends with uncertainty
Peace talks between Uganda's new military rulers and the National Resistance Army (NRA), the country's biggest rebel group, adjourned indefinitely Tuesday night in an atmosphere of uncertainty after two days of intense negotiations.
Carbide, planning cutback, asks halt to stock trading
Union Carbide Corporation yesterday asked the New York Stock Exchange to halt trading in its stock temporarily pending an announcement of plans for a major cutback. Carbide plants in West Virginia have had nine chemical leaks since a December leak in its Bhopal, India, plant killed over 2,000 people.
In Tuesday's Monitor it was incorrectly stated that the exchange rate for the South African rand was 40 South African cents to the dollar. It should have stated that the exchange rate was 40 cents (US) to the rand.