Filipino rebel leader says cease-fire talks are off
A negotiator for communist rebels in the Philippines said yesterday his side would not enter into new talks with the government on a cease-fire, despite President Corazon Aquino's reported Nov. 30 deadline for a halt to the fighting. The negotiator, Satur Ocampo, said he was hopeful talks would begin as soon as ``we see the atmosphere conducive.'' Negotiations broke down last week after the killing of leftist leader Rolando Olalia. Mr. Ocampo made his comments during a funeral procession for Mr. Olalia. Between 50,000 and 100,000 people, many of them communists chanting leftist and antimilitary slogans, joined the procession. It was the largest and most open display of flags, banners, and personalities from the underground left in the heart of Manila since the beginning of the 17-year-old communist insurgency.
Health and Human Services Secretary Otis R. Bowen proposed a $1.77 billion expansion of medicare yesterday to cover the expense of ``catastrophic'' illness among the elderly. The cost would be paid in higher premiums. Mr. Bowen said the increased coverage would provide unlimited hospital and medical coverage to medicare recipients while capping their out-of-pocket expenses at a maximum of $2,000 a year.
The secretary, in recommendations requested by President Reagan, also proposed that expanded private insurance and tax breaks for private savings be encouraged to cover the cost of long-term nursing home care, which now is not covered by medicare or most private insurers.
Babrak Karmal, who was replaced as Afghanistan's top leader six months ago, resigned yesterday from all his remaining government and Communist Party posts, Radio Kabul said. The report on Afghanistan's state-run radio said Mr. Karmal resigned from the presidency and his seat on the ruling Politburo. The move appeared to complete the process of removing Karmal from power that began earlier this year when he lost the country's top post, secretary-general of the ruling Communist Party.
Sudanese Prime Minister Sadeq al-Mahdi said Wednesday he would soon announce new laws to replace Sharia (Islamic law) introduced by then President Jaafar Nimeiri in 1983, the Middle East News Agency reported. Mr. Nimeiri's introduction of a harsh version of Sharia, including amputations and public floggings as punishments for ``un-Islamic practices,'' was unpopular and alienated the people of Sudan's mainly Christian and animist southern provinces, where a guerrilla war has intensified in the past three years.
A new chemical accident close to the site of a toxic spill three weeks ago sent a contaminated cloud of smoke drifting over Basel yesterday, but authorities said there was no danger to health. Police said that 1,100 pounds of a poisonous compound ``went out of control'' at a testing center of Ciba-Geigy AG, Switzerland's largest chemical manufacturer, causing the smoke cloud.
Meanwhile, Swiss lawmakers on Wednesday scheduled a joint session of parliament for Dec. 2 to hear a statement by President Alphons Egli on the recent chemical spill in the Rhine River. Mr. Egli said he expects that damages will total at least 100 million Swiss francs - $60.6 million.
An investment fund managed by Ivan Boesky sold at least $440 million in securities last week before announcement of Mr. Boesky's involvement in a stock scandal, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times reported yesterday. Wall Street sources were quoted as saying the stock sales had an ironic twist since Boesky, involved in the biggest insider-trading case ever, apparently decided on the trades based on information about himself before it was publicly disclosed.
Several hundred Nicaraguan troops have crossed into a part of southeastern Honduras where US-backed anti-Sandinista rebels maintain base camps, military sources say. The sources said that between 500 and 1,000 Nicaraguan troops are believed to have crossed in the last week into a 450-square-mile zone in Honduras's El Paraiso Province, a border region that juts into Nicaragua.
Military sources said the newly arrived troops might be planning to attack the contra rebels, who maintain bases about 12 miles west of Nicaraguan troop positions.
American mercenary Eugene Hasenfus has decided not to appeal a 30-year prison sentence for his role in flying weapons to Nicaraguan rebels and will try to win a pardon instead, his Nicaraguan lawyer said Wednesday. The lawyer, Enrique Sotelo Borgen, said that Mr. Hasenfus signed a document waiving the appeals process before a revolutionary tribunal.
The first of 17 Titan 2 missile silos in Arkansas to be eliminated under the unratified SALT II agreement with the Soviet Union has been demolished by explosives. The 160-foot-deep silo was cleared of its missile and equipment earlier this year. According to SALT agreements, the rubble-filled pit will be left open for 180 days to allow Soviet satellites to verify that the site has been dismantled. It will then be capped and the land restored to its original condition.
A suicide car bomb killed eight people, including three Fijian soldiers in the UN peacekeeping force, when it exploded Thursday at a roadblock in south Lebanon, a UN spokesman and Israel Radio reported. The UN spokesman said the car exploded at a roadblock manned by the Fijian contingent of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, at Ein Hamara, six miles south of the Mediterranean port of Tyre.
The bombing came as Israeli helicopter gunships attacked and destroyed a boat, described by Israeli authorities as a Palestinian guerrilla vessel, in the south Lebanese port of Sidon. Reports from Sidon said four civilians were wounded in the Israeli rocket attack.
General Motors Corporation indefinitely furloughed 16,700 workers in three states yesterday and said it may have to shut down its North American assembly operations because of a strike at a parts plant in Indiana. Workers at Delco Electronics, a GM subsidiary that makes electronic parts such as radios, heat sensors, and onboard computer components, have been on strike since Monday. Talks to end the strike at Delco were to resume yesterday. If the strike continues until Monday, GM may have to close all but one of its 35 assembly plants in North America, the Detroit News reported.