South Africa said yesterday it had found a document proving that Mozambique and Zimbabwe plotted to overthrow the government of Malawi last month. Foreign Minister Roelof Botha told a news conference the document was found amid the wreckage of a plane in which Mozambican President Samora Machel was killed Oct. 19. The plane crashed just inside South African territory.
Mr. Botha said the document showed that the plot against the government of President H. Kamuzu Banda - one of Pretoria's few friends in black Africa - was imminent. Botha said South Africa had sent copies to the Mozambique and Zimbabwe governments asking for an explanation.
Malawi, the most moderate of southern Africa's black states, has been accused by Mozambique and Zimbabwe of helping right-wing rebel forces of the Mozambican National Resistance. Backed by South Africa, the rebel movement is fighting the Marxist government of Mozambique.
Copter with rig workers plunges into North Sea
A helicopter flying from an offshore oil rig in the North Sea crashed into icy waters off Scotland's Shetland Islands yesterday and officials said 45 of the 47 people on board were missing or dead. Shell Oil, which chartered the helicopter to carry 44 employees back to their home bases from the Brent North Sea oil fields, said three hours after the crash that only two survivors had been found.
Shell said the helicopter crashed during a 135-mile flight to the Shetlands from the oil fields, which are midway between Norway and Scotland. The Coast Guard reported gale force winds in the area at the time of the crash.
John Walker gets life; his son, 25 years in jail
Convicted spy John Walker was sentenced yesterday to life in prison, and his son, Michael, to 25 years. US District Judge Alexander Harvey said he would recommend that the two men serve their terms without chance of parole, calling their actions a ``tremendous harm'' to US security. If parole is allowed, John Walker would be eligible after 10 years; his son after eight.
Mr. Walker headed a spy ring for 17 years, providing military information to the Soviet Union. Both he and his son had access to sensitive material while serving in the Navy.
16 Filipinos injured by bomb at a theater
A moviegoer hurled a bomb at the screen of a crowded suburban Manila theater yesterday, injuring 16 people. The attack was the sixth in the capital area in less than a month. Some of the other recent attacks have been linked to supporters of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
Taiwan party seeks vote on going independent
Taiwan's month-old opposition party, gearing up for parliamentary elections next month, broke new political ground yesterday by unveiling a party constitution that calls for Taiwan's 19 million people to decide their own political destiny. A leader of the Democratic Progress Party, organized in defiance of a ban on political parties, said it would accept a popular decision to announce independence for Taiwan. Independence is anathema to the ruling Kuomintang Party, which maintains its Taipei government is the legitimate ruler of all China, including the mainland.
Ankara synagogue attack tied to Abu Nidal group
An indictment released yesterday said the Abu Nidal terrorist group was responsible for the Sept. 6 attack on an Istanbul synagogue. The report was the first official statement linking Abu Nidal to the attack on Neve Shalom synagogue, which killed 21 people. The accusation against the Abu Nidal group came in an indictment against five Palestinians in connection with the murder of a Jordanian diplomat in July 1985.
Dissident to bow out if Seoul gives direct vote
Dissident leader Kim Dae Jung said he would give up any presidential ambitions if the government and the party in power agreed to direct elections for president. Mr. Kim said Wednesday that the government of President Chun Doo Hwan is seeking to hold power after 1988, when Mr. Chun's term ends. Chun insists he will step down then to give South Korea its first peaceful transfer of power.
Mississippi school sit-in wins more minority hiring
Protesters demanding more black teachers in city schools ended a six-day sit-in at school district offices Wednesday after the school board agreed to develop a minority hiring program. The board also agreed to suspend fees for day-care services, increase business with minority contractors, and encourage more blacks to participate in extracurricular activities. About 30 percent of the teachers and administrators in the district are black, while 60 percent of the students are black.