News In Brief
Margaret Jean Hutchison, the first of eight sanctuary movement activists convicted in a federal alien-smuggling conspiracy trial, was given a five-year suspended sentence yesterday. The judge also placed Ms. Hutchison, of Tucson, on probation, instructing her to stay away from anyone known to be violating immigration laws. The first of two days of sentencing included the first courtroom statements by some of the other sanctuary movement defendants, who include a minister, two priests, a nun, and four church workers.
Hutchison told the judge that her involvement in aiding what she considered to be Central American refugees had grown out of her Christian faith. She said she would not refrain from her ``ministry.''
Israeli unit had OK to kill terrorists, ex-chief says
The former head of Israel's top-secret intelligence service said Likud party leader Yitzhak Shamir authorized his agency to kill terrorists in hostage rescue operations, a government official said yesterday. The former chief of Shin Beth, Avraham Shalom, made the disclosure at a meeting of ministers from Prime Minister Shimon Peres's Labor Party on Saturday, the official said.
It was the first time since the controversy arose over the deaths of two Palestinian hijackers in 1984 that Israeli officials charged such a blanket authorization existed.
15,000 workers on strike over pay in Philadelphia
Unions representing more than 15,000 city workers from clerks to garbage collectors went on strike yesterday in a wage dispute. Some 3,600 union workers also struck eight private hospitals, but negotiators reached tentative agreements to end all but one of those walkouts.
The strike by two district councils of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees was the first since an eight-day walkout in 1978 in which garbage piled up on streets and police were called to city prisons to maintain order.
Mexico pays $600 million of its foreign debt bills
The government paid $600 million on its $97.6 billion foreign debt yesterday. It has another 30 days to reach an agreement with its creditors on managing the rest of the debt, the Treasury Department said. Spokesman Roberto Contreras said the $600 million, including interest, payments to suppliers, and international organizations, will be paid from the country's reserves.
This comes a week after Gustavo Petricioli, the new finance minister, said Mexico could make debt payments only when world prices for crude oil -- the country's principal export -- improved.
2 brokerage ex-officials tied to Levine insider case
Two former officials at leading Wall Street brokerage houses were accused yesterday by the Securities and Exchange Commission of joining investment banker Dennis B. Levine in a massive insider trading scheme. Robert Wilkis, a former first vice-president at E. F. Hutton & Co., and Ira B. Sokolow, a vice-president at Shearson Lehman American Express, neither admitted nor denied any wrongdoing. But Mr. Wilkis agreed to give up $3.3 million and Mr. Sokolow promised to repay $210,000.
Mr. Levine, who was a managing director at Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc., pleaded guilty to criminal charges last month and agreed to cooperate with investigators.
Kuwaiti Cabinet resigns; performance probe cited
Kuwait's entire 16-man Cabinet submitted its resignation Tuesday, the Kuwait News Agency reported. The agency cited no reason for the surprise resignation, but the action followed confrontations between the executive body and the 50-member Parliament of this oil-rich sheikhdom.
Kuwait is the only country in the Persian Gulf region with an elected Parliament and independent press.
Informed sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said one reason behind the resignation was a quest by Parliament to have four of the 16 ministers questioned over alleged shortcomings in their ministries.
New York City celebrates climb from budget cellar
New York City celebrated ``fiscal independence day'' yesterday as it declared its financial freedom from control placed on it during the fiscal crisis 11 years ago. The city paid back the last $1 million of $1.65 billion in federally guaranteed loans and at the same time Monday became independent of the state Financial Control Board, which had been set up to oversee the city's budgets.
Peruvian justice minister quits over prison killings
Justice Minister Luis Gonz'ales Posada resigned Monday night, saying he felt morally responsible for the alleged security force killings of more than 100 prison inmates after they had stopped rioting, the official news agency reported. He was the second official to resign in connection with security force actions in retaking three Lima-area prisons where inmates rioted June 18-19, most of them members of the leftist Shining Path guerrilla movement.
US replacing ambassador to Honduras in policy rift
The US is replacing its ambassador to Honduras, John Ferch, who has held the post for less than a year, because of dissatisfaction over his handling of administration policy toward neighboring Nicaragua, an administration official said yesterday. No decision has been made about who will replace Mr. Ferch.
Graduation day brings pomp and praise to prison
More than 100 inmates of New Jersey's Trenton state prison received high school, college, and vocational school certificates Monday. The ``graduates'' of the state General Education Development (GED) program marched into outdoor ceremonies. Eight diploma winners received ovations from other inmates, handshakes and congratulations from prison officials and state authorities.
The program is highly competitive. Passing grades are higher than outside prison walls, and to participate inmates must maintain clean disciplinary records.
Manned-space control shifting to Washington
Management of the nation's space station is being shifted from the Johnson Space Center to NASA headquarters in Washington, a move that follows recommendations by the presidential commission that investigated the Challenger disaster. The presidential commission said the NASA management system that gave project control to the regional centers tended to distort communications between the centers and headquarters and to dilute accountability. It recommended a streamlining of the system to ensure that information flowed to the top.
In a column on press harassment in South Africa and Nicaragua which appeared July 1 on Page 3, the anti-Nicaraguan ``contra'' position of exiled former contra director Edgar Chamorro was mistakenly attributed to Pedro Joaqu'in Chamorro, a member of the family that owns the now-closed Nicaraguan newspaper La Prensa. We regret this misattribution.