News In Brief
Washington — Congressional negotiators approved a costly new long-term farm policy late Saturday designed to keep farmers afloat until their competitiveness is restored and American agriculture regains its footing. The wide-reaching bill now must go to both the House and Senate for final endorsement, expected as early as tomorrow, then to the White House, where it is unclear whether President Reagan will sign it.
The final bill would cost about $125 billion over the next three years, of which about $52 billion would go for crop price and income supports and the rest for an array of credit, aid, and research programs. Mr. Reagan has insisted that commodity spending not exceed $50 billion.
Cut in physicians' fees for medicare is proposed
The Office of Management and Budget is proposing to reduce medicare physicians' fees, restrict federal payment for home health services, and cut spending on AIDS as part of President Reagan's budget for the fiscal year 1987, according to a published report. The proposal would call for the first time for a reduction in medicare payments to physicians for services that the government identifies as ``overpriced.''
Egypt charges 3 Libyans with a plot to kill exiles
The Egyptian government charged three Libyans with espionage and issued warrants for their arrest in the alleged plot to kill Libyan exiles in Egypt, the Middle East News Agency said Saturday. Egypt plans to try the three in absentia along with four other Libyans captured after the foiled attack on two exiles last month, the news agency said.
White House seeks to revive summary security dismissals
The Reagan administration is moving to revive a long-dormant procedure allowing for the summary dismissal of federal employees ``in the interests of national security,'' officials said Saturday. The move by the Office of Personnel Management to reestablish security hearing boards that were used in the 1950s evoked protests from civil libertarians who warned the action would undermine due process for federal employees and could lead to arbitrary dismissals.
Official confirms proposal for having FHA go private
A Reagan administration official confirmed a report published Saturday that confidential documents were submitted last week to the Housing and Urban Development secretary proposing sale of the Federal Housing Administration to the private sector by the end of 1989. An FHA spokesman said department officials would have no comment before today.
Since the FHA was founded in 1934 to offset economic hardships during the depression, it has provided mortage insurance to 51 million Americans.
Judge ends amputee's suit against cigarettemaker
A federal judge threw out a $55 million liability suit Friday against R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, saying Floyd Roysdon, an amputee, failed to prove the company's cigarettes were more dangerous than a consumer should expect. Mr. Roysdon contended a lifetime of smoking the company's cigarettes had caused problems that led to the amputation of his leg in 1983.
State legislator seeks curb on professorial watchdogs
State Rep. Marlin Schneider (D), in response to a conservative group's plans to monitor professors, has introduced legislation making it illegal to sit in a classroom against the wishes of a teacher. A self-styled academic watchdog group called ``Accuracy in Academia'' had announced plans to monitor professors to identify those who present solely leftist views to their students.
Representative Schneider denounced the plans as ``McCarthy-like tactics.''
Fire at Costa Rican Embassy in US causes injury, damage
A fire injured seven people and caused $450,000 worth of damage at the Costa Rican Embassy in Washington yesterday, authorities said. Investigators described the fire as ``suspicious,'' but would not provide further details.
The injured included five members of the family of Costa Rican Ambassador Federico Vargas.
4 Cubans ousted by Spain in alleged kidnap attempt
Four members of the Cuban Embassy staff left for Havana Saturday after Spain arrested and expelled them for allegedly trying to kidnap a high-level Cuban defector. Police said they arrested the Cubans when they attempted to kidnap former the Cuban vice-minister for state planning, Manuel Antonio S'anchez P'erez, who had received provisional political asylum from Spain Dec. 9.
Bill to cut credit card rates, spur disclosure is introduced
Legislation to cut credit card interest rates and require full disclosure by card companies of their annual fee and interest charges has been introduced in the Senate. The bill would require credit card applications to state the annual fee and interest charges and would also require the companies to submit monthly reports on their rates to the Federal Reserve Board for publication.
The board would also issue yearly analyses on the credit card industry.
Complaints on press quality by Britons surge upward
Britons' complaints to the Press Council, an independent press watchdog, ranging from bad taste and unfairness to bias and wholesale fabrication, have soared to their highest level since the body was set up 31 years ago. The barrage of protest coincides with a flare-up in press circulation wars that many commentators believe have diminished the quality of several of Britain's nine national newspapers.
Ethiopian famine-aid chief disappears; defection hinted
Marxist Ethiopia's top government famine relief official, Dawit Wolde Giorgis, has vanished, sources in Ethiopia said, and a British newspaper reported Sunday that he might be seeking asylum in the United States. Sources in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, privately acknowledged that Mr. Dawit's return from a trip to Europe and the United States was nearly three weeks overdue.
The defection, if true, would greatly embarrass Ethiopia's government.
Carlos P. Romulo, Philippine statesman
Former Philippine Foreign Minister Carlos P. Romulo, who passed on here Sunday, was an aide to Gen. Douglas MacArthur in World War II and was praised by the US government as ``one of the truly great statesmen of the 20th century.'' Mr. Romulo was a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, journalist, and diplomat who was elected president of the UN General Assembly in 1949. He was the last surviving signatory of the original UN Charter and served as the Philippine's ambassador to the United States.