News In Brief
US officials are backing away from a proposal made by President Reagan at the Reykjavik summit to scrap all nuclear ballistic missiles. While this offer is still on the table, ``in the overall scheme of things it is not being emphasized as much as before,'' Kenneth Adelman, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, said yesterday. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and other Western European leaders have strenuously objected to the prospect of a world without ballistic missiles, feeling it would leave them without the security of the US nuclear umbrella.
At present the main arms control goals of the US are achieving a 50 percent cut in strategic nuclear forces and agreeing on reductions of intermediate-range weapons in Europe and Asia, Mr. Adelman said.
USSR gives its blessing to a bit of free enterprise
Soviet citizens will be allowed to engage in free enterprise under a landmark law passed yesterday that recognizes that individually-run businesses effectively make up for consumer shortfalls under communism. The law approved unamimously by the Supreme Soviet, the country's nominal parliament, is the first since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution to clearly define rules governing individual labor and to acknowledge that the flourishing black market in goods and services has to be fitted into the framework of socialism.
Starting May 1, 1987, 29 types of production and service activities will be allowed, the law said. Skilled workers will be free to repair houses, cars, televisions, and radios, and car owners can use their vehicles as taxis.
GNP pushed ahead 2.9% in 3rd quarter, US says
The nation's economy, propelled in part by booming car sales, expanded at a moderate 2.9 percent annual rate in the summer quarter after the spring's near-standstill performance, the government said yesterday. The Commerce Department said the rise in gross national product was also the result of a defense spending increase and an improved trade performance.
US instructors begin round of contra training
US instructors have begun training a group of Nicaraguan contra rebels for their fight to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government, a rebel political leader and Honduran military source said yesterday. Roger Hermann, the political coordinator of the US-backed Kisan Indian guerrilla army, said 44 commandos from three rebel forces of the United Nicaraguan Opposition, a rebel umbrella group, left two weeks ago for training at an undisclosed location.
Philippines checks report of arms in Marcos bastion
The Philippine military said yesterday it is investigating a report that 120 tons of firearms were smuggled into former President Ferdinand Marcos's northern Ilocos stronghold earlier this month. The report raised fears that a group, possibly loyal to Mr. Marcos, might be preparing to overthrow President Corazon Aquino's government. Meanwhile, a right-wing ally of Philippine Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile was assassinated on the outskirts of Manila yesterday.
Kodak joins companies leaving South Africa
The Eastman Kodak Company Wednesday joined the growing list of multinational companies to announce plans to withdraw from South Africa. Kodak did not specify when the pullout will occur but said shipment of its cameras, film, and other products to South Africa will end by April 30, 1987. The company said its employees in South Africa would receive ``a generous separation package'' and would be offered reemployment counseling.
3 New York crime figures guilty of rackets, plotting
Three crime figures were convicted yesterday of participating in the ``commission'' that ruled the US Mafia. A federal jury found Genovese crime family boss Anthony Salerno, Colombo boss Carmine Persico, and Lucchese boss Anthony Corallo guilty of racketeering and conspiracy.
Mexico in for a series of emergency loans
The World Bank announced Tuesday it is making $300 million immediately available to Mexico, the first installment on a package of emergency loans to the country that could eventually total $12 billion. The loan was approved by the bank in July, but the money had been held up pending final agreement on the full package, designed to help Mexico meet payments on its $98 billion foreign debt. Of the full amount of the loan package, half will come from private banks and the rest from multinational organizations, such as the World Bank.
President Reagan's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. which appeared on Friday, Nov. 14, contained a number of minor errors. The correct version appears today on Page 6.
New Soviet Afghan plan in the offing
During his visit to India next week, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev will make a major foreign policy speech that will probably include new proposals on Afghanistan, informed Soviet sources say. The most likely occasion for the address will be his visit the Indian Parliament, they say. The sources expect Mr. Gorbachev to concentrate on South Asia and the Middle East. But the Soviet leader will also enlarge on themes already broached in his Vladivostok speech in July, they say. He will stress his new multipolar foreign policy, and probably repeat his call for a Helsinki-style conference on security and cooperation in Asia, they say.
The core of the speech, the sources say, will likely be a new package of Afghanistan proposals. A well-informed Soviet analyst expects Gorbachev to propose the withdrawal of all Soviet troops within a period of 18 to 24 months if Pakistan agrees to cut back its support for Afghan guerrillas - in particular, to prohibit the flow of weapons across its border.
Pakistan provides a rear base and supply lines for the Afghan guerrillas fighting the Soviet-backed government. It has also given temporary asylum to about 3 million Afghan refugees. Although Iran aids the guerrillas, Soviet sources say that they consider Pakistan the key to Afghan problem. The sources say that a detailed timetable for the withdrawal of their troops was drawn up some time ago.
The package may also include further inducements aimed at encouraging direct talks between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which the Pakistanis have refused, and a repetition of Afghanistan's willingness to include opposition groups in the the government in Kabul, sources say.
Soviet analysts feel Pakistan's government is coming under increased political pressure. The Afghan conflict has aggravated tribal tensions and unrest on the Afghan-Pakistani border, the Soviets feel, and has added to Pakistan's economic and social problems. The reverse side of this analysis seems to be that, if they wished to, the Soviet and Afhan governments could make life difficult for the Pakistani government.
Gorbachev is expected to touch on the Middle East - probably making considerable mileage out of President Reagan's Iranian difficulties - and Punjabi unrest, emphasizing Soviet support for the Indian government.