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News In Brief

December 24, 1986



Washington

The Air Force has declared its first 10 MX nuclear missiles operational, marking the first time in 16 years the United States has added a new intercontinental ballistic missile to its land-based arsenal, the Pentagon said yesterday. The Air Force has been installing the first batch of MX missiles -- dubbed the Peacekeeper by the Reagan administration -- at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming since last fall. Each missile is equipped with 10 nuclear warheads and poised for launch at full alert.

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The Pentagon also said Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger will authorize money next year to begin construction of two nuclear-powered aircraft carriers that will ensure the Navy's ability to maintain ``15 deployable carrier battle groups beyond the year 2000.''

South Africa is barring US legislators over curbs

South Africa has barred two groups of US congressmen who planned to visit the country in January, Foreign Minister Roelof Botha said yesterday. The US congressmen, including Howard Wolpe, chairman of a House of Representatives Foreign Affairs subcommittee, planned to make a fact-finding mission next month. Mr. Botha told state radio that only congressmen who did not vote for a tough sanctions package against South Africa in October would be welcome.

Greyhound is nearing end of the line in bus business

Greyhound Corporation, after 60 years in the interstate bus business, said Tuesday it plans to sell almost all of its Greyhound Lines bus operations to an investor group for more than $350 million in cash, securities, and royalties. John W. Teets, Greyhound chairman and chief executive officer, has been saying for several months that the bus line would be sold or liquidated if a satisfactory labor agreement for a new contract was not ratified by the union that represents more than 6,000 Greyhound drivers and other employees. In a statement released Tuesday, Greyhound said prospects for reaching a timely settlement with workers appear ``very remote,'' and this brought on the decision to sell.

Solidarity committee to monitor legal abuses

Poland's outlawed trade union Solidarity has set up a special group to monitor legal abuses by communist authorities, opposition sources said yesterday. The Intervention and Legality Commission, which has representatives in 11 Polish cities, will review the existing legal system and help victims of injustice, a communiqu'e released by group said. The commission was set up at the urging of Solidarity leader Lech Walesa and will be headed by activist Zbigniew Romaszewski.

Spy in Nicaragua tells of `Foreign Legion' plan

Self-confessed spy Sam Hall said Monday his intelligence-gathering mission in Nicaragua originated from an operation conceived two years ago by the Pentagon. Mr. Hall, who was detained on Dec. 12 outside the Punta Huete air base north of Managua, told reporters the plan to recruit an ``American Foreign Legion'' of spies and counterterrorists was dropped by the US government because it was too expensive. It was picked up by private backers, he said, adding that he knew his contacts only by the code names Tinker, Evers, and Chance - the famous baseball players.

Dissident Orlov to take Cornell research position

Yuri Orlov, a physicist and human rights activist freed in October after eight years of imprisonment and internal exile in the Soviet Union, said yesterday he will join the faculty of Cornell University as a research scientist. Mr. Orlov accepted a three-year appointment in the school's Laboratory of Nuclear Science after considering offers from several other American universities and European laboratories.