News In Brief
| Manama, Bahrain
An Iranian gunboat attacked a Cypriot supertanker in the Gulf early yesterday in apparent retaliation for Iraqi air strikes, Gulf-based shipping executives reported. Also yesterday, Iran's official news agency said Iraqi jet fighters bombed industrial units in Iran's Bakhtaran Province, killing or wounding several civilians.
The fighting came as UN Secretary-General P'erez de Cu'ellar prepared to leave for the Gulf in an effort to end the seven-year-old war.
Dissidents in 3 countries protest at Iranian sites
Iranian dissidents occupied or attacked Iranian offices in Norway, France, and West Germany yesterday to protest the Islamic revolutionary government of Ayatollah Khomeini. Demonstrators attacked the Iranian Embassy in Oslo and the Iran Air offices on the Champs 'Elys'ees in Paris, smashing windows and raising banners that denounced Khomeini, police said.
Another Iran Air office at the airport in Frankfurt, West Germany, was also attacked. There were arrests, but no injuries, police said.
$270 million for contras called 18-month US aim
President Reagan wants Congress to provide $270 million in renewed aid for Nicaraguan contras over the next 18 months, Secretary of State Shultz said yesterday. Mr. Reagan had promised not to formally ask Congress for more money for the contras until the US fiscal year ends Sept. 30.
Separately, the US will divert $9 million of aid earmarked for the Salvadorean military to equip police dealing with violent street demonstrations, State Department spokesman Charles Redman said Wednesday.
PLO denies Arafat open for direct talks with Israel
A report by an Israeli parliamentarian that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is ready to enter direct talks with Israel outside UN international peace conference is untrue, Ahmed Abderrahman, a Palestinian Liberation Organization spokesman, said yesterday. Meanwhile, Israeli government officials have rejected what they understood as Mr. Arafat's proposal for direct peace talks with Israel, Israel Television reported.
Cluster of OPEC officials meet on cheating charges
Oil ministers from five members of OPEC called an emergency session yesterday to discuss evidence that key producers are cheating on a June agreement to limit production. In meetings yesterday and today, the ministers were expected to reaffirm the cartel's commitment to the June production limits designed to keep oil's average price at $18 for a 42-gallon barrel. But they are unlikely to take concrete action to end the overproduction.
Bell spinoffs win OK on transmitting data
US district judge Harold Greene yesterday opened the door for Bell operating companies to transmit computerized information services, but refused to lift restrictions that prevent the companies from making telephone equipment and providing long-distance service. Judge Greene also said the companies will no longer have to obtain a waiver from the court to enter non-telecommunications businesses.
Split ABA vote for Bork encourages opponents
An American Bar Association vote endorsing Robert Bork for the Supreme Court is encouraging some of the judge's opponents, because it was an unusually divided vote. The ABA's standing committee voted 11 to 4 to endorse Judge Bork.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Sen. Sam Nunn said the Georgia Democrat is seeking to delay Senate consideration of Bork until Republicans abandon a filibuster that has blocked action on the 1988 defense spending bill for four months.
Ethiopia's military chief becomes `civilian' ruler
The new civilian legislature yesterday elected military strong man Mengistu Haile Mariam the country's first president and adopted a constitution ending 12 years of military rule. As president of the new and nominally civilian government, Colonel Mengistu, will retain the sweeping powers he enjoyed as chairman of the Provisional Military Administrative Council.
For the record
Gen. Augusto Pinochet celebrates his 14th year as dictator of Chile today with his grip on power as firm as ever and his eye on a new presidential term. West German Mathias Rust, who is sentenced to four years in a labor camp for flying a small plane into Moscow, will not be freed under the government's June amnesty decree, an official said yesterday.
South African police, using anti-riot emergency powers, arrested 173 blacks in incidents in Natal Province, police said yesterday.
President Aquino appealed to Filipinos yesterday to help her overcome the crisis caused by a failed coup attempt and the resignation of her Cabinet.
First City Bank Corporation of Texas has been pledged nearly $1 billion by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in the second-largest US bank bailout ever.