News In Brief
Johannesburg — A government physician who treats prisoners won a court order yesterday to halt torture of inmates arrested by police under South Africa's emergency decree. In a suit in Port Elizabeth Supreme Court against the national police department, Dr. Wendy Orr said: ``Detainees are being taken out of my care for the purpose of interrogation and, during the course of this interrogation, brutally assaulted.''
Authorities have repeatedly denied charges of torture.
Dr. Orr has been the district surgeon for Port Elizabeth since January. Her suit restricted itself to people arrested under the state of emergency imposed July 21 to try to end persistent rioting against apartheid, South Africa's system of strict racial segregation.
Justice J. P. G. Eksteen granted Orr's request for an order restraining police from assaulting detainees in the Port Elizabeth magisterial district and the magisterial district of nearby Uitenhage.
More than 3,500 people have been detained under the emergency powers, more than 1,000 remain imprisoned without access to lawyers or family.
The physician said that from July 22 to Sept. 16 she saw 286 detainees who complained of assaults. In 153 of the cases, she said, wounds could not have been inflicted lawfully.
National police department attorneys did not oppose or object to the court's ruling.
Meanwhile, Britain announced it was recalling its two military attach'es from South Africa and endorsing a list of limited sanctions adopted by other Common Market countries to force South Africa to adopt racial reforms.
The South African government yesterday said it was proposing a major land swap between white-ruled sections of Transvaal province and black homelands in which both blacks and whites would be forced to move.
The land-swap proposal, the second to surface in three days, involves adding about 890,000 acres under white control to three black homelands and shifting 280,000 acres from three black areas into the white area.
Forced removal, as it is called, is one of the most widely criticized aspects of the system of apartheid. Earlier this year the government said it would halt the practice.
Gandhi expands his Cabinet in sweeping reorganization
Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi expanded his Cabinet yesterday from 35 to 51 members, named a new foreign minister, and took over the key defense portfolio. Mr. Gandhi appointed three new full-ranking Cabinet ministers, 10 new ministers of state, and three new deputy ministers. Meanwhile in the Punjab, election officials estimated at least 55 percent of voters turned out despite the threat of bombs and a boycott sponsored by Sikh militants.
Ominous hurricane Gloria puts Carolinas on the alert
A hurricane watch was posted for North Carolina's Outer Banks yesterday as Gloria, one of the strongest and most dangerous Atlantic hurricanes on record, passed the Bahamas and headed north toward the East Coast. Emergency-preparedness officials along the coast began organizing contingency plans in case the storm hits the mainland.
Copter that diverted jet had clearance, US says
Investigators who examined tapes of tower communications concluded yesterday that the pilot of a helicopter that forced a crowded Eastern Airlines jet to abort its takeoff had received clearance to cross the runway, federal officials said. A controller at an airport in nearby Virginia had given the helicopter general takeoff clearance but had not specified a direction that would avoid crossing the path of the Boeing 727 that had been cleared for takeoff.
Two more are found alive as Mexican rescue continues
Rescue workers pulled another newborn baby and a man alive from the rubble of a collapsed hospital yesterday, six days after Mexico City was ravaged by massive quakes that claimed thousands of lives. President Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado pledged that rescue efforts would go slowly to protect others who may still be alive.
De la Madrid ordered a massive review of building codes in the densely packed metropolis. He met today with city officials to begin the study, which will also review building heights, population density and construction laws.
Chief US economist backs 4% growth forecast for '86
President Reagan's chief economic adviser, Beryl Sprinkel, defended the administration's forecast that the US economy would grow by 4 percent next year. Under questioning by a congressional subcommittee Wednesday, Mr. Sprinkel made it clear that the US would like to see other countries strengthen their economies but not in a way that could reignite inflation.
Army chief of staff named to head French intelligence
Gen. Ren'e Imbot, chief of staff of the French Army, was named to head France's intelligence services yesterday. General Imbot was ordered to clean up the agency and report fully on its role in the bombing of a Greenpeace protest ship. He will take his post immediately. Imbot replaces Adm. Pierre Lacoste, who was fired last week for refusing to answer questions about the affair.
Gunmen on Cyprus give up after seizing Israeli yacht
Three gunmen believed to be Palestinians seized a yacht at a marina here yesterday and shot and killed three Israelis on board before surrendering to police after a nine-hour siege, security sources said. Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides told reporters the gunmen were demanding the release of 20 Israeli prisoners.
US says it's unaware if Shiites have cut demands on hostages
The State Department says it has no information on a report that the Shiite captors of six Americans kidnapped in Lebanon may be willing to scale down their demands drastically for the hostages' release. The kidnappers have insisted that 17 terrorists imprisoned in Kuwait be released, but the Washington Post reported Tuesday that the captors may demand freedom for only two of the Kuwaiti prisoners.
Nine Carolina Klan members charged in '82-83 incidents
Nine members of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina were charged yesterday with plotting to threaten local blacks and whites during a series of cross burnings and shootings in 1982 and '83. The 20-count indictment, returned in US District Court in Asheville, N.C., was unsealed yesterday after the arrests were made, Justice Department officials said.
Postal Service says rates should hold until 1987
The US Postal Service said yesterday that current first-class and package rates can likely remain in effect until 1987.
Rome police hold 16-year-old in bombing at airline office
A powerful bomb exploded at a British Airways office yesterday. Police said 14 people were injured. A 16-year-old Palestinian caught running from the scene confessed to the bombing, police said. An Italian judge said the suspect, who identified himself as Hasan Aatab, said he belonged to the Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Moslems. The group claimed responsibility for throwing a grenade into a caf'e in the same Via Veneto area 10 days before.
Human-service staff votes for UAW tie in Michigan
The United Automobile Workers (UAW) union has won the right to represent 10,000 human-service workers employed by the State of Michigan in one of the biggest white-collar organizing drives in its 50-year history. A majority of Michigan human-service workers unit voted for representation by the UAW.