Washington — Margaret M. Heckler has agreed to give up her job as secretary of health and human services to become ambassador to Ireland, President Reagan announced yesterday. Mr. Reagan said he would not have given her a diplomatic post if she had not done a good job in her Cabinet department, the largest agency in the government. She said Reagan had offered her the choice whether to stay on or take the ambassadorship.
US protests attack on copter by Czechs in West Germany
A Czechoslovak military jet attacked a US helicopter Saturday over West Germany, launching two to four rockets but failing to hit the copter, the Pentagon disclosed yesterday. The incident occurred north of the German city of Freyung, about one mile inside West German airspace.
The US filed a strong protest over the incident Monday, Pentagon spokesman Robert B. Sims said. The helicopter was flying a routine surveillance mission along the border with Czechoslovakia and no reason for the attack is known, he added.
US shapes new policy on world debt problem
Treasury Secretary James Baker said he would hold confidential talks with top American bankers yesterday. He said he will outline his plan to alleviate the international debt problem, which will build upon the Administration's present case by case approach. He said the chairmen of America's top banks were summoned because US policy on international debt would clearly involve them.
Mr. Baker said efforts so far to bring down the value of the dollar have had a ``reasonable effect.''
Baker will announce the specifics of the plan at the International Monetary Fund/World Bank meetings, in Seoul, South Korea next week.
7,000 rally in Frankfurt in wake of anti-Nazi protest
About 7,000 people held a rally in the downtown district Tuesday afternoon on the fourth day of demonstrations against a neo-Nazi party meeting held in Frankfurt last weekend. Protests against the meeting spread to seven large cities early Tuesday and police said at least 60 people were arrested after demonstrators set fires and hurled rocks.
The overnight riots followed three days of protests against the conference of the National Democratic Party in Frankfurt and the death Saturday of 36-year-old G"unther Sare, who was run over by a police truck carrying a water cannon.
Interior Ministry spokesman Hans-G"unter Kowalski said the party has adopted some of the principles and goals of the Nazis, who ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945.
Biggest South African bank to join in apartheid protest
Barclays National, this nation's biggest bank, announced yesterday it would take part in a religious anti-apartheid protest. The bank said it will close all its branches for 90 minutes at lunchtime Oct. 9, during a clergy-led protest billed as a national day of prayer.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of students boycotted Cape Town's mixed-race schools, which reopened yesterday after a nearly month-long closure because of rioting. (Related stories, Page 3.)
Authorities shut down 464 schools Sept. 6 after two weeks of rioting in which at least three dozen people were killed. The action threw more than 360,000 pupils out of classes.
Student leaders want the right to elect freely their student councils, the withdrawal of soldiers from the townships, and the release of detained activists.
New President of Nigeria declares state of emergency
Nigerian President Ibrahim Babangida, who seized power in a coup just over a month ago, declared a state of economic emergency yesterday for the next 15 months. President Babangida said he would announce a program for the West African country's political future next year, but gave no details. Analysts have regarded such remarks in the past as a hint of a return to civilian rule.
Mr. Babangida said the emergency period would mean belt-tightening similar to that during the Nigerian civil war between 1967 and 1970.
US assures Guatemala of aid once civilian regime comes in
The US assured Guatemala yesterday of aid once a civilian government was in place after scheduled elections in November aimed at ending military rule, US officials said. Congress has barred all but a limited amount of development aid to Guatemala until after the elections in a bid to persuade a military government, much criticized for alleged human rights abuses, to hold them.
Malaysia denies report it raided Philippine isle
Malaysia yesterday denied a Philippine military report that its forces killed 53 people in a gunboat and helicopter raid on a Philippine island. The alleged Malay attack on the island of Maranas last week came three days after Filipino pirates raided a Malay town about 60 miles from Maranas, killing 10 people.
The incidents are believed to be part of a longstanding border conflict between the two members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a group generally known for its members' political cohesiveness and economic competitiveness.
Pentagon says USSR tested lasers against US satellites
The Soviet Union, in attempting to develop high-energy laser weapons, has conducted tests over the past few years against US satellites in low Earth orbit, Pentagon sources say. In some instances, the tests have resulted in the sudden loss of data from orbiting sensors, although the US has never publicly accused the Soviets of attacking satellites with ground-based lasers, the sources said Monday.
El Salvador to free prisoner kidnappers have demanded
El Salvador's Congress voted Monday to free one of the prisoners whose release has been demanded by the kidnappers of President Jos'e Napole'on Duarte's daughter. The prisoner, a Costa Rican pilot, had served four years of a 25-year sentence imposed for flying in arms for leftist Salvadorean rebels.
The motion for his release, which has been sought by Costa Rican President Luis Alberto Monge, said it was being done because of the friendship between the two countries.
US told to free $11.5 million for states with needy refugees
A federal judge has ordered the Reagan administration to release $11.5 million to states with large numbers of refugees in need of social services. The ruling was handed down by US District Judge Robert P. Aguilar in a case by Rep. Don Edwards (D) of California and others against Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler.
After midnight Monday, the end of the government's fiscal year, the money could have gone back to the US Treasury.
Hurricane damage estimates in East near $100 million
Estimates of property loss, crop damage, food spoilage, and repair costs caused by hurricane Gloria climbed toward $100 million yesterday from North Carolina to New England. More than half a million cutomers remained without power.
E. B. White, a writer who mastered simplicity
E. B. White, who passed on yesterday at his home here, was a master of simple writing. His works include the classic children's story ``Charlotte's Web'' and some of The New Yorker's most memorable essays. His revision of ``The Elements of Style,'' written originally by his Cornell professor William Strunk Jr., is considered a basic text on grammatical usage and composition.
In 1973, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 1978 he received a Pulitzer Prize, a special presentation for his body of works.