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News In Brief

December 23, 1986



Manila

The government of President Corazon Aquino rejected communist rebel demands yesterday but said it still hoped for a meeting of minds in peace talks to start Jan. 6. Presidential spokesman Teodoro Benigno said rebel demands for an ultimate share of power, the closing of US military bases in the Philippines, a rewriting of the new constitution, and a merging of armed forces were all non-negotiable issues. Each item represents a major demand by the rebels, who for the first time in their 17-year insurgency in the Philippine countryside are observing a cease-fire.

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Uruguay OKs amnesty for human rights violators

The Uruguayan Chamber of Deputies overwhelmingly approved an amnesty yesterday for soldiers accused of human rights violations during the 1973-85 military rule. The vote came after a brawl-marred all-night debate. The Senate approved the amnesty Sunday, and the House's vote averted a showdown between the powerful armed forces and the elected government of President Julio Mar'ia Sanguinetti. During its 12 years in power, the military jailed tens of thousands of people and tortured many of them as part of a crackdown on the left.

Israeli censors permit reports of Vanunu kidnap

Former nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu flashed a message on the palm of his hand while being taken to court Sunday, and yesterday the military censor allowed journalists to disclose that it said he had been kidnapped in Rome. The message he relayed Sunday was the first word from Mr. Vanunu, who has been held incommunicado since being brought to Israel in October to await trial on charges of espionage.

The Sunday Times in London reported Oct. 5 that Vanunu gave it information on a factory in the Negev Desert where he said Israel has made 100 to 200 nuclear weapons. Vanunu disappeared in London on Sept. 30 and news reports had said he was kidnapped from England or from international waters by agents of Mossad, the Israeli secret service.

IRA claims responsibility for weekend bombings

Irish Republican Army bombs wrecked two hotels and a pub in weekend attacks, but security forces thwarted a bomb attempt on a nightclub. No injuries were reported, but officials estimated damage at more than $1.5 million. The IRA claimed responsibility in a statement sent to news organizations. Police in Northern Ireland had warned that the IRA planned a pre-Christmas bombing blitz after explosives were seized recently in both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

New Cabinet in Pakistan; pact with India signed

Pakistani President Mohammed Zia ul-Haq swore in a sharply slimmed-down Cabinet of 16 members yesterday to replace the 36-member body that resigned on Saturday. According to an official list of the new Cabinet, six ministers retained their posts. The Cabinet resigned after a discussion of law-and-order issues sparked by ethnic rioting in Karachi. Government officials said later that the resignation had nothing to do with the riots. Meanwhile, officials from India and Pakistan agreed Sunday on limited joint efforts to check terrorism, drugs, and illegal travel between their neighboring countries. The agreement was aimed at preventing Sikh extremists from using Pakistan as a base for terrorist raids into India.

No cause clear in death of molestation plaintiff

Preliminary results of an autopsy failed to establish the cause of death of the woman whose allegations her son had been sexually abused brought on the McMartin Pre-School molestation case, officials said. Judy Ann Johnson was found dead Friday at her home in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Sheriff's investigators said there were no obvious signs of foul play.