News In Brief
Ponce, Puerto Rico
Gov. Rafael Hern'andez Col'on declared three days of mourning and announced a multimillion-dollar emergency aid plan for victims of flooding and mud slides. The governor has also talked to White House officials about obtaining technical help and federal aid in the aftermath of a tropical rainstorm that triggered the floods and mud slides, killing at least 66 people. Estimates of the number of missing ranged from 75 to hundreds.
The Puerto Rico legislature authorized release of $10 million in contingency funds for emergency relief. Forty municipalities are disaster areas and top priority will be given new housing for at least 2,000 people left homeless. The mayor of Ponce put damages at ``more than $100 million.''
At left, National Guardsmen, called out when the governor declared a state of emergency Monday, work with with civil defense workers and volunteers to search for survivors in the town of Mameyes, where sliding mud and rocks buried some 400 shacks Monday.
Treasury to keep US afloat with an emergency auction
The Treasury Department announced yesterday it will go hold an emergency auction to borrow $5 billion in new money to keep the government solvent while Congress wrangles over raising the debt limit. The new money will keep the government from bouncing hundreds of thousands of federal checks.
The department scheduled an emergency sale of $5 billion in Treasury bills yesterday, which will provide the government with that much new money to keep operating.
Mexico may be first test of plan to expand lending
Mexico will be the first test of a US proposal that banks provide additional loan money to poor countries, French Finance Minister Pierre Beregovoy said yesterday. ``Will the banks go in? What assurances will they ask? Those are the two questions,'' he told reporters.
US Treasury Secretary James A. Baker III presented a proposal Tuesday that banks lend an additional $20 billion over the next three years to heavily indebted countries.
Mr. Beregovoy said he had not talked to US bankers, but he had the impression that Mr. Baker had some encouragement from them.
Baker spoke at the opening in Seoul of the annual joint meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Bankers have indicated they will go along with the US plan if the countries that receive the money adopt austerity policies.
Soviet offer of 50% ICBM cut may not be so good, Nitze says
Moscow's offer to cut strategic arms by 50 percent was not as good as it may have sounded, one of the top US arms control officials said yesterday. (Related story, Page 3) White House arms control adviser Paul H. Nitze said the Soviet proposal involves delivery systems (missiles and airplanes), not warheads.
Mr. Nitze, addressing a news conference after he briefed NATO ambassadors on Washington's position, said the Soviet proposals needed careful study. He said Washington would prefer to study the proposals carefully before reacting officially or taking a firm position.
`Star wars' plan risks a rift, NATO parliamentarians say
President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative to develop a space-based antimissile system threatens to create deep divisions in the Atlantic Alliance, according to NATO parliamentarians. That is a major conclusion of reports to the North Atlantic Assembly, which groups 184 members of parliament from the 16 NATO nations. The assembly is to debate ``Strategic Defense and the Atlantic Alliance'' at its annual session in San Francisco next weekend.
Singaporean premier urges Congress to reject trade bars
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew urged Congress yesterday reject trade protectionism, warning that the alternative would be a global economic tailspin reminiscent of the 1930s. Mr. Lee, who here is on an official four-day visit, devoted almost all of his 30-minute address to the protectionism issue.
Minutes after he spoke, House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. (D) of Massachusetts postponed a scheduled vote on a major trade measure that would restrict textile and apparel imports -- including those from Singapore.
James Buckley in line for US appeals bench
President Reagan plans to nominate former New York Sen. James L. Buckley and another prominent conservative, Michael J. Horowitz, for the US Court of Appeals here, a Reagan administration official said yesterday. The New York City Bar Association, in an unusual move, announced Sept. 20 that it would not endorse Buckley, who has practiced law for only a few years, for nomination to the circuit court judgeship.
Big brokerage firm charged with mishandling securities
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged yesterday that Kidder, Peabody & Co., one of the nation's leading brokerage and investment banking houses, mishandled $145 million in customer securities between late 1983 and late '84. The SEC opened administrative proceedings against Kidder and its vice-president and director of operations, Gerard A. Miller. The next step, unless the charges are dropped or the case is settled, is a hearing before an administrative law judge to determine whether the charges are valid and penalties are warranted.
Young sweeps to victory for 2nd term in Atlanta
Mayor Andrew Young won 81 percent of the vote here Tuesday in an easy victory for a second term. While avoiding discussion of his political future beyond the mayor's office, Mr. Young urged his campaign workers to stay together as a voice in next year's elections for the US Senate and state legislature.
Central Park site dedicated to Lennon's hopes for peace
New York City dedicated a 21/2-acre site in Central Park yesterday to the memory of John Lennon and his hopes for peace. ``Strawberry Fields'' features trees and plants donated by 123 countries in memory of the former Beatle. Dogwoods came from the late Princess Grace of Monaco, river birches from the Soviet Union, maples from Canada, and daffodil bulbs from the Netherlands.
Plants from countries that are political foes coexist peacefully. Jordan's fothergilla, for instance, grows beside Israel's cedar.
The United States is not represented because the White House did not respond to Miss Ono's request.