News In Brief
Washington — President Reagan will undergo prostate surgery in January to relieve what a spokesman called ``mild, recurring discomfort,'' the White House announced yesterday. Presidential spokesman Larry Speakes said Mr. Reagan would have what is technically called a transurethral resection of the prostate performed by two civilian physicians at Bethesda Naval Hospital outside Washington on Jan. 5. Reagan underwent a similar procedure 20 years ago and was told he would probably have to have it done again at some time, Mr. Speakes said.
During the same visit to the hospital, the President will also undergo a colonoscopy examination to check for any recurrence of the colon cancer discovered and removed in July 1985, Speakes said. He is expected to be hospitalized for three or four days.
Philippines says rebels suspected of 12 violations
The Philippine Armed Forces chief, Gen. Fidel Ramos, said yesterday the military has counted 12 possible cease-fire violations by communist guerrillas. The rebels accused the military of making false accusations. Compliance with the cease-fire is monitored by a committee that includes guerrilla and military representatives. Although the panel has received two formal complaints from the military about violations and is investigating them, it has not labeled any incident a violation of the truce.
Convicted spy sentenced to three life terms
A US District judge sentenced a convicted spy and former National Security Agency employee, Ronald Pelton, to three life terms plus 10 years Tuesday, saying he had betrayed a ``special position of trust.'' Mr. Pelton was convicted in June of four counts of espionage for selling information to the Soviet Union about how the NSA collects, decodes, and analyzes information.
Karachi curfew continues; Bhutto condemns riots
A curfew was in effect in almost two-thirds of Karachi yesterday to curb clashes between residents and immigrants that left 174 dead and at least 660 wounded in four days. The rioting, the worst since independence in 1947, began Sunday when Pathans went on a rampage against immigrant Mohajirs and Biharis after police conducted drug and weapons raids in Pathan areas.
Pakistan's leading opposition figure, Benazir Bhutto, condemned the riots and said the government should resign and hold fresh general elections.
9 South Africans on trial in `subversive talk' case
Nine people accused of making ``subversive statements'' went on trial yesterday in one of the few prosecutions of alleged violations of the South African state of emergency. Nine members of the End Conscription Campaign, a group opposed to the military draft of all white men, appeared briefly in Cape Town's Magistrate's Court and were released on bail. The state introduced no evidence on the statements it claims were illegal, and proceedings were postponed until Jan. 14. The defendants, who were detained last week, were told the state was still formulating charges.
Meanwhile, police in Mbabe, Swaziland, said a South African was abducted from his home in the second such raid in a week by attackers believed to be working for South Africa. The Times of Swaziland newspaper said the man was believed to be a member of the United Democratic Front, an anti-apartheid coalition in South Africa.
De Lorean found innocent of racketeering and fraud
Former carmaker John De Lorean was found innocent Wednesday on all counts in the US government's racketeering and fraud case against him. Mr. De Lorean, who in 1984 was acquitted of cocaine conspiracy charges after a sensational trial in Los Angeles, had been accused of stealing at least $8.5 million from investors in his defunct sports car company.
Ortega asks pardon for Hasenfus
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega Saavedra formally requested a pardon yesterday for jailed American mercenary Eugene Hasenfus. Information Minister Manuel Espinoza said the pardon was a gesture designed to show the American people that ``Nicaragua wants peace.'' Mr. Hasenfus is serving a 30-year prison term for running arms to the Nicaraguan rebels. He was arrested Oct. 6, a day after his aircraft was shot down by Nicaraguan soldiers.
His release was expected within hours, though by press time no announcement had been made.
The move came after President Ortega met with Sen. Christopher Dodd (D) of Connecticut Tuesday. Mr. Espinoza said Mr. Ortega told several US leaders ``that he did not discount the possibility of pardoning [Hasenfus] as a characteristic humanitarian gesture of the Sandinista people's revolution that is always firm but also always generous....''
Dodd was scheduled yesterday to visit Sam Nesley Hall, another American suspected of spying. So far, Managua has ignored a US Embassy request for such a visit. Mr. Hall was arrested Dec. 12, allegedly at a military base outside Managua and with maps stuffed in his socks. Ortega says Hall smuggled explosives into the country to help the rebels.
Iran-contra update. Shultz to envoys: no back door
Secretary of State George Shultz cautioned all American ambassadors yesterday not to engage in ``back channel'' communications with the National Security Council unless they are acting on the direct orders of President Reagan. John Kelly, the US ambassador to Lebanon, was admonished by Mr. Shultz for using a secret channel to the White House to make arrangements concerning David Jacobsen, a released American hostage, without notifying the State Department. Mr. Kelly was sent back to Lebanon, however, with ``the full confidence'' of Shultz and the President.
Among other recent developments:
Majority leader Jim Wright named Democrat Lee H. Hamilton of Indiana yesterday to head a 15-member House committee to investigate the Iran-contra connection and coordinate the work of the chamber's other panels probing the affair.
Other members of the panel will be Democrats Dante Fascell of Florida, Jack Brooks of Texas, Les Aspin of Wisconsin, Peter Rodino of New Jersey, Louis Stokes of Ohio, Edward Boland of Massachusetts, Ed Jenkins of Georgia, and Thomas Foley of Washington and Republicans William Broomfield of Michigan, Dick Cheney of Wyoming, Henry Hyde of Illinois, Jim Courter of New Jersey, Bill McCollum of Florida, and Michael DeWine of Ohio.
Sen. William Cohen (R) of Maine, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said yesterday the Pentagon received much less for arms sold to Iran than the real value of the arms, possibly to leave inflated profits that could be used for other purposes, such as secret aid to the Nicaraguan contra rebels.
Senator Cohen also said Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger told the panel in testimony yesterday that the Pentagon's inspector general had begun an internal investigation of handling of the weapons sale.
White House chief of staff Donald Regan told the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday that no one was ever authorized to divert money from arms sales to the Nicaraguan contras. Following more than four hours of closed testimony, Mr. Regan told reporters neither he nor the President knew about the transfers.