News In Brief
Czechoslovakia's Premier Lubomir Strougal, who headed the federal government for more than 18 years, and Slovak Premier Peter Colotka resigned yesterday, the state news agency CTK reported. The announcement was made by Communist Party chief Milos Jakes at a plenary session of the party's Central Committee.
Western diplomats in Prague have speculated on Mr. Strougal's fate in the past year, particularly since his dispute with Politburo hard-liner Vasil Bilak in 1987 over economic reform in the country.
Latvian Popular Front ends first congress
Latvia's Popular Front, part of the wave of new mass movements sweeping over the Baltic, wound up its founding congress yesterday. A similar Front was officially proclaimed in Estonia 10 days ago, and the third Baltic republic, Lithuania, is due to have its inaugural meeting toward the end of this month. Like its other Baltic counterparts, the Latvian Front calls for sovereignty within the Soviet Union, sharp curbs on immigration from the rest of the country, and promotion of the Latvian language and culture. (Estonian activism, Page 9.)
PLO source says leaders agreed on declaring state
A PLO spokesman said yesterday that Palestinian leaders have agreed to recommend the declaration of a Palestinian state. Jamil Hilal, director of the PLO information department, said the Palestinian parliament-in-exile will probably make the declaration before the end of the month. Mr. Hilal also said the leaders have also decided that formation of a provisional government should wait until later.
The state would be based on a resolution passed by the UN Security Council in 1947 which proposed the division of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, Mr. Hilal said.
Dodgers lead Mets 3-2 in National League playoffs
The battle for the National League pennant returns to Los Angeles for Game 6 tonight with the Dodgers leading the New York Mets 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. After losing two of the first three games, Los Angeles pulled out a dramatic 5-4 victory on Kirk Gibson's 12th-inning homer Sunday night, then exploded for six early runs and held off repeated Met rallies to win Monday's pivotal fifth game with a score of 7-4.
The winner of this league championship series goes into the World Series starting Saturday night against the Oakland Athletics, won won the American League pennant with a 4-0 sweep of the Boston Red Sox.
Tamil rebels massacre Sri Lankan villagers
Tamil rebels killed 47 villagers, the military said yesterday, in the worst violence since Indian peacemaking troops arrived in this island nation a year ago. In southern Sri Lanka, soldiers killed five people and injured four when they opened fire on antigovernment demonstrators who attacked a police station, according to police. In another development, two bombs exploded in the suburbs of Colombo, injuring four people, including two soldiers, police said.
Senate fails in maneuver for vote on child care bill
The Senate effectively ended all chances Friday for action this year on a triple-barreled family package promising child care assistance, parental job leaves, and a crackdown on child pornographers. With Congress's adjournment expected next week and at least two other major bills still pending, sponsors of the legislation failed to get the 60 votes they needed to restrict debate and get on with their bill. The vote was 50-46.
Yugoslavia imposes emergency measures
Communist authorities put more police on the streets and imposed unspecified ``urgent measures'' in Titograd yesterday, but protests fed by economic crisis and ethnic tension did not stop. Protest has swept much of southern and eastern Yugoslavia in recent weeks. Police used violent tactics for the first time over the weekend to disperse Montenegrin students and workers demanding the dismissal of local Communist Party leaders.
President Raif Dizdarevic went on national television Sunday to appeal for calm, warning of unspecified emergency measures.
Unrest continued yesterday in Titograd, the capital of Montenegro, 280 miles southwest of Belgrade, and the regional party leadership held an emergency meeting, the official news agency Tanjug reported.
Workers and 2,000 students at Niksic, 30 miles north of Titograd, rallied outside a government building and in a steel mill where 2,800 workers were on strike for a second day, Tanjug said.
Police used clubs and tear gas to break up weekend crowds in Titograd and to disperse marchers in Niksic, who were on their way to join the Titograd protesters.
The Titograd rally was an explosion of anger about hardships resulting from the austerity program the government imposed last May. Austerity measures were prompted by a $21 billion foreign debt and high inflation, which has soared to an annual rate of 217 percent. The unemployment rate is about 15 percent.
Agreement reached on Cuban withdrawal
Talks in New York have apparently yielded another step forward in the Angola-Namibia peace talks. Negotiators from Angola, South Africa, Cuba, and the US reportedly reached agreement over the weekend on a total withdrawal period of 24 to 30 months for the estimated 50,000 Cuban troops in Angola.
However, the sticky question of how many of those troops should leave early on remains unresolved.
This, and the specifics of how far north the Cubans would withdraw during the two year process must be agreed to before South Africa will go ahead with its own pull out from Namibia (South-West Africa), which lies just south of Angola. South Africa is insisting that most of the Cuban troops go home very early in the withdrawal process and that the rest be pulled to the northern half of Angola. Cuba and Angola are resisting.
Earlier, the parties tentatively agreed on Nov. 1 for beginning the South African pull out from Namibia and the implementation of the UN independence plan for that territory. However, informed sources say that date may slip.
The four parties are expected to meet soon in Brazzaville, Congo for more discussions on the remaining issues. Many observers believe that unless some sort of reconciliation process begins between the Angolan government and rebel UNITA forces, the broader peace accords could come to naught.
For the record
Civilian unemployment in the US fell 0.2 of a percentage point to 5.4 percent last month as payrolls grew by 255,000 jobs, the government said Friday. First Boston Corporation, one of Wall Street's largest securities firms, and its London-based sister company, Financi`ere Cr'edit Suisse-First Boston, announced Sunday their agreement to merge.
Two cars of a Yugoslav passenger train derailed and slammed into a parked freight train at a station, killing at least 33 people and injuring 15, the state Tanjug news agency reported yesterday.
About 1,000 guerrillas trying to seize a Burmese government post fought battles with soldiers along the river border with Thailand yesterday, the government said.