News In Brief
Danbury, Conn. — A $5 million Union Carbide fund for people injured by the gas leak at the company's Bhopal, India, plant will be distributed by relief agencies, the company said. Under the aid plan, the $5 million will be paid to the American Red Cross, which will distribute the money to the Indian Red Cross, a Union Carbide spokesman said.
Since the Dec. 3, 1984, accident that killed about 1,700 people in Bhopal, the Indian government has refused to take all but $1 million in relief funds offered by Union Carbide, saying that an adequate settlement had not been reached.
And in Bhopal, hundreds of residents protested about relief measures at the start of week-long demonstrations leading up to the anniversary of the poison gas leak.
Klinghoffer family sues ship, PLO for $1.5 billion
The family of businessman Leon Klinghoffer, who was killed during the terrorist takeover of the cruise ship Achille Lauro, has decided to sue the Palestine Liberation Organization, the ship's owners, and others for $1.5 billion. The suits were filed in US District Court and in state court in Manhattan.
The state suit, which names only the PLO, accused the group of the ``wanton and coldblooded murder of Leon Klinghoffer.'' The federal suit did not mention the PLO.
US foreign-trade gap cut sharply last month
The US foreign-trade deficit narrowed to $11.5 billion last month, down sharply from the record reached in September as car imports fell, the Commerce Department reports. The October improvement came from a 13.4 percent drop in imports, down from a record $33.3 billion in September to $28.8 billion last month.
Egypt demands extradition of surviving hijack suspect
Egypt has demanded that Malta extradite the surviving terrorist suspected of hijacking the EgyptAir jetliner. Maltese officials had said the suspected hijacker had identified himself as a 20-year-old Tunisian named Omar Marzouki, who they said was described by several people on the plane as the leader of the hijackers. In Cairo, the Egyptian government issued a statement Wednesday saying the extradition request was made so Mr. Marzouki could be tried under Egyptian law.
Zimbabwe leader accepts bid to visit USSR next week
Prime Minister Robert Mugabe leaves Sunday for his first official visit to the Soviet Union since Zimbabwe's independence in 1980. During the seven-year guerrilla war against white rule in Rhodesia, Moscow backed Mugabe's rival, Joshua Nkkomo. Relations between Zimbabwe and the Soviet Union were cool after independence, but they have recently shown signs of improving.
Detroit plans metal detectors to screen weapons at schools
Metal detectors similar to those used at airports will be installed in Detroit's 22 public high schools to check students for weapons, school officials said Wednesday. The Detroit branch of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit to block the random weapons sweeps.
Terrorists in Amritsar attack pro-government Sikh cleric
Three suspected terrorists shot and wounded the highest priest of the Sikh religion, Sahib Singh, and killed his bodyguard inside the Golden Temple, the faith's holiest shrine, police said Wednesday. The attack on the temple head priest occurred while 15,000 people thronged the shrine for the sect's main religious festival.
The pro-government priest, who has received death threats from radical Sikhs who condemn him as a traitor, was wounded in the back and arm but not seriously injured, a police spokesman said.
West Germany may join in `star wars,' Thatcher says
After talks with West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said Wednesday she believed West Germany would join Britain in agreeing to take part in the US ``star wars'' space defense program. West Germany has appeared wary of joining the program, which is designed to create a space-based antimissile shield, largely for fear of exacerbating relations with its East European neighbors.
US announces 10 grants for education R&D centers
The Education Department announced the winners of 10 grants worth a total of some $54.5 million to operate education research-and-development centers. The grant package is one of the largest ever awarded in the field of educational research, the department said. Each of the 10 centers will focus research on particular topics for five years.
The list of winners included such schools as the University of California (Berkeley), the University of Pittsburgh, and Johns Hopkins University.
Africa fund-raiser, reporter on Monitor get hunger prizes
Bob Geldof, the Irish rock singer and famine fund raiser, received a special award of $20,000 at the 1985 World Hunger Media Awards ceremony at the United Nations Nov. 26 -- a function organized by singer Kenny Rogers, hosted by Walter Cronkite, and attended by UN Secretary-General Javier P'erez de Cu'ellar. Sharing a $15,000 prize for best newspaper coverage of hunger was David K. Willis, third-world correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor, and James P. Gannon, editor of the Des Moines Register and Tribune.
The awards, including those for best famine photography, best book, and others, totaled $100,000, and were chosen from 268 entries.
Mr. Geldof repeated the need to continue aid to Africa, saying the continent would not make progress unless it was able to feed itself and that political stability was the prerequisite.
Daytona Beach plans sports to tone up '86 spring break
Officials hoping for a safer and calmer spring break next year have organized a sports festival they hope will keep college students busy with activities that could steer them away from beer and drugs. The plan for spring break, which includes a ban on alcohol displays, will involve an intercollege, 20-sport competition. Festival sponsors say they hope to give away $250,000 in prize money.