News In Brief
Stock prices fell sharply around the world yesterday, haunted by two old nemeses - the falling dollar and a lack of confidence in Washington. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 70.29 points to 1,840.19 at late afternoon trading. Stock prices in London and Tokyo also slid lower. The dollar closed at 132.45 yen in Tokyo, a record low, and dropped to a postwar record of 1.6345 against the West German mark. (Story, Page 7.)
President Reagan, meanwhile, in a bid to calm the markets, said the new US budget-reduction package ``is not a perfect deal ... but it's an adequate deal.''
Iraq, Iran report hits; US TV copter fired at
Iraq said its warplanes bombed two electric plants in western Iran yesterday, while Iran claimed its fighter-bombers struck a petrochemical complex in northern Iraq. Also yesterday, a helicopter carrying a crew from ABC-TV was fired on from an Iranian warship off the Arab emirate of Sharjah, shipping sources said.
They said the crew was uncertain of the warship's nationality and had approached to film it. No damage or casualties were reported.
UN chief to press truce with Iranian and Iraqi
Javier P'erez de Cu'ellar, the UN Secretary-General, is expecting to meet with Iranian envoy Muhammad Javad Larijani tomorrow and Thursday to discuss a Security Council-mandated cease-fire in the Iran-Iraq war. Mr. P'erez de Cu'ellar also expects to meet Iraqi Foreign Minister Taraq Aziz not later than early next week so that the success or failure to arrange a cease-fire date will be discussed in the summit between President Reagan and Soviet leader Gorbachev.
French diplomat traded for Iranian in Pakistan
A French diplomat was exchanged for an Iranian interpreter in Karachi yesterday in a deal to thaw a five-month-long diplomatic chill between Iran and France. Paul Torri, French consul in Tehran, and Vahid Gordji, an interpreter at the Iranian Embassy in Paris, had been kept under siege at their respective missions since July. Separately, at least six people died in gun battles and two bombs exploded yesterday as Pakistanis voted for local councilors in the first nationwide elections since the end of martial law in 1985, police reported.
Afghan leader speaks of pullout within a year
Afghan leader Najibullah said yesterday that Soviet troops could pull out of his country in a year or less and suggested a superpower conference on stabilizing the situation in his country. Speaking at a meeting of the Soviet National Council, President Najibullah said he was ready to meet opposition leaders for direct peace talks and would extend a cease-fire for government troops until July 15.
Earlier yesterday, a former guerrilla leader who is now an Afghan general opened fire on security forces guarding the meeting, triggering a gunfight that left 11 dead, diplomats said.
Eleven killed in violence in South African province
Eleven people were killed and guerrillas attacked a police training center during the most violent weekend in months in South Africa's black townships, police said yesterday. Worst hit was the district around Pietermaritzburg, where nine people were killed and the mayor said black-against-black fighting was out of control.
Mozambican rebels kill 7 on Zimbabwe border
Mozambican rebels killed seven people in a northeast Zimbabwe border village, the national news agency said yesterday. The Ziana agency said the seven were killed Thursday, the same day rebels killed 16 whites on two mission farms in Zimbabwe's Matabeland Province.
Filipinos protest at base over American influence
About 1,500 Filipino protesters chanting anti-American slogans demonstrated outside the Clark Air Base to protest alleged US intervention in the country's internal affairs. Three Americans were killed near the base Oct. 28. A speaker at a rally charged President Aquino with having no definite policy on the US bases.
Italian diplomats strike; transport snag grows, too
Italian diplomats around the world staged their first ever strike yesterday, while railway and airport stoppages brought more chaos to public transport. Union officials representing Italian diplomats said the protest is aimed at blocking a law under which lower-ranking Foreign Ministry staff would move to the ranks of the diplomatic corps because of their length of service.
West Bank disturbances continue a second day
Palestinian youths threw stones at Israeli soldiers and vehicles yesterday as unrest continued in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip for a second consecutive day, Army sources said. Palestinian sources said troops made several arrests when dispersing students in Hebron, but there were no reports of injuries in incidents that military sources described as relatively limited.
Antigovernment protests hit 2 Bangladeshi cities
Antigovernment protesters hurled bombs into trucks carrying troops during street battles in Chittagong, Bangladesh's main port city, and police gunfire killed two people in Dacca yesterday, Indian sources said.
Supreme Court to weigh letup on natural gas curbs
The US Supreme Court agreed yesterday to consider letting the Reagan administration stop regulating some natural gas prices, a move government lawyers say could save consumers $100 million a year. The court said it will review a ruling the government says improperly sets minimum prices for the gas.
US Indians want museum to stop displaying bones
American Indian leaders are trying to get the Smithsonian Institution to stop displaying the bones of their ancestors. Museum officials say they are willing to remove bones that can be identified as having been stolen from graves or coming from people with living descendants, but they would like to keep others for study.
The Smithsonian has about 34,000 skeletal specimens, of which about 14,500 are North American Indians.
For the record
Half the Cuban inmates who freed 26 hostages and surrendered after an eight-day siege were transferred yesterday to other prisons, but no progress was reported in efforts to free 90 hostages still held in an Atlanta penitentiary, authorities said. A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.4 on the open-ended Richter scale rocked Alaska and northwestern Canada yesterday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
Turkey's prime minister, Turgut Ozal, won a resounding general election victory yesterday and immediately promised Turkey's 52 million people their lives would improve under his government.
Voters swam, canoed, and took ferries to the polls in Vanuatu Monday to elect a new government for the South Pacific's most left-wing state.