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News In Brief

December 23, 1985



Naples, Italy

Firefighters contained a huge blaze yesterday which broke out at one of Italy's largest oil storage depots after an explosion that killed at least three people and injured 168. The fire burned all night Saturday in 27 giant tanks at the depot of the state oil company Agip in Naples' industrial zone.

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A spokesman said investigations into the cause of the explosion would begin immediately, but local authorities said sabotage had been ruled out.

Two thousand people had been evacuated from their homes nearby.

Bonner speaks at synagogue, gives thanks for Jewish help

Soviet dissident Yelena Bonner gave a 10-minute speech, her first in public since arriving in the US for medical treatment, at a Sabbath service at Congregation Mishkan Tefila, thanking the Jewish community for their support of herself and her husband, Andrei Sakharov. Asked by reporters why she chose to speak at the synagogue, Mrs. Bonner said, ``Because anti-Semitism exists, I find it impossible not to come to a synagogue. I believe the most terrifying and the most deplorable development in human history is the teaching of national or religous superiority.''

Former FBI clerk charged with spying for Soviet Union

Former FBI clerk Randy Miles Jeffries will be charged today with spying for the Soviet Union, becoming the 11th American to face trial for espionage this year. Mr. Jeffries, whom the FBI said Saturday had admitted to two meetings with Soviet officials to hand over portions of government documents for $5,000, will be formally arraigned today in US District Court.

Attacks on journalists nearly doubled in '85

Violence directed at journalists on the job nearly doubled in 1985, according to a report newly released by Freedom House, a nonpartisan national organization that monitors press freedom. The report said that 30 journalists were killed in 11 countries -- half in the Philippines, 13 were held hostage or disappeared, and 76 in 20 countries were beaten, bombed, wounded or otherwise harassed. There were 109 known detentions, compared with 72 in 1984.

It added that censorship has increased significantly in Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, the Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan and Zimbabwe, but was reduced in Nigeria and South Korea.

Congressmen ask Nicaragua leader to ease restrictions

Seventy-eight members of the House of Representative sent a bipartisan appeal to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega urging him to lift his government's ``draconian restrictions'' on freedom of expression and worship. And in Managua, Mr. Ortega invited President Reagan Saturday to join him in a lie-detector test ``to see who is telling the truth about Central America.''

US, Japan settle leather trade dispute

The United States and Japan settled a dispute over restrictions on American leather imports Saturday, with Japan agreeing to give the US $260 million worth of trade concessions.

Meatpackers' local opposes proposed Hormel settlement