News Currents

CRISIS IN THE GULF Arab opposition to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait solidified with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Syria agreeing at a conference in Cairo Dec. 3 to step up diplomatic efforts to dislodge Saddam Hussein's army before a UN Jan. 15 deadline.... Iraq's government announced Dec. 4 it would permit all 3,300 Soviet hostages held in Iraq to leave beginning Dec. 5.... Three-quarters of Americans expect a US-Iraqi war, and 66 percent think economic sanctions and diplomacy will not work to settle the Gulf crisis, according to an ABC/Washington Post poll released Dec. 3.... President Bush has dropped the idea of bringing allies along for Gulf crisis talks with Iraq, removing the only obstacle that seemed likely to prevent high-level meetings from taking place.... US Defense Secretary Richard Cheney said Dec. 3 that sanctions alone are not enough to convince Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, but that a strong military force and a deadline for its use are essential.

UNITED STATES

The US Supreme Court ruled 6 to 2 Dec. 3 in the case of a Mississippi death-row inmate that after someone in custody requests counsel, that counsel must be present at all subsequent interrogations. The justices overturned Robert Minnick's murder conviction because police questioned the suspect without his lawyer being present.... Pro-choice activists in Chicago hailed another Supreme Court decision upholding a legal settlement that eased restrictions on Illinois abortion clinics, but anti-abortion forces vowed to pursue the case in lower court.... More than 200 residents of a poor, Hispanic neighborhood in Miami set a building afire and looted shops Dec. 3 to protest the acquittal of six police officers in the beating death of a suspected drug dealer. A federal jury was unable to reach a verdict on the principal charge that the victim's civil rights were violated.... The Northwest Airlines DC-9 that collided with another Northwest jet on the ground in dense fog in Detroit, killing eight people and injuring 21, may have strayed onto the wrong runway, federal officials said....

AFRICA

Opposition and government leaders in South Africa feared for the success of their talks after a frenzy of black faction fighting took the death toll around Johannesburg to 1,000 since August. Police found the bodies of 70 people Dec. 2 and 3 who had been shot, bludgeoned, or hacked to death. An African National Congress statement renewed accusations that policemen were secretly stirring the conflict.... In Chad on Dec. 4, rebel Gen. Idriss Deby firmed up his power base, while ousted president Hissene Habre contemplated bitter defeat from exile in neighboring Cameroon. The US said Dec. 3 it would not formally recognize the new government in Chad, which it has accused of being backed and financed by Libya.... All 10 people aboard were killed when a Boeing 707 cargo plane chartered to take famine relief supplies to southern Sudan crashed while approaching Nairobi airport early Dec. 4.

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