News In Brief
Plans for talks between the government and opposition stalled yesterday as authorities objected to two Solidarity union participants and Lech Walesa refused a meeting to discuss the matter. Mr. Walesa said he would not accept a demand that he meet today with Interior Minister Czeslaw Kiszczak to discuss objections to the banned trade union's delegation to the talks.
Tropical storm Miriam turns away from land
Tropical storm Miriam turned away from the Pacific coast after heavy rains hit Guatemala and southern Mexico. Guatemala, El Salvador, and southern Mexico, barely affected by the storm that left at least 111 dead in five other Latin American countries, called off states of alert that had been in effect Sunday and Monday.
Forecasters feared it would regain strength and become a hurricane again as it reached the Pacific, but it did not.
Many survive jet crash in the Peruvian Andes
A Peruvian passenger plane with 65 people on board crashed shortly after takeoff high in the Andes Mountains yesterday, but at least 53 people were dragged from the wreckage alive, an Aeroperu spokesman said. An airline spokeswoman said the F-28 Fokker crashed after taking off from the airport at Juliaca, in Puno Province, 540 miles south of Lima. The plane was bound for the city of Arequipa, the spokeswoman said.
Ku Klux Klan ordered to pay rights marchers
Two chapters of the Ku Klux Klan were ordered yesterday to pay almost $1 million to civil rights marchers attacked last year in all-white Forsyth County, Ga. Federal Judge Charles Moye unsealed a verdict awarding $948,000 to 57 people pelted by rocks and bottles as they staged a march in January 1987 to mark the birthday of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Salvadoran death squads active, Amnesty says
Right-wing death squads have abducted, tortured, and executed hundreds of Salvadorans in the past 18 months and have often beheaded the victims to spread fear, Amnesty International said yesterday. The London-based human rights organization said the killings were carried out by plainclothes gunmen and by uniformed police and military units with the apparent aquiescence of the state.
The government claims these are independent extremist groups which it is unable to control.
Georgia congressman offers to give up jury trial
Rep. Pat Swindall offered yesterday to give up his right to a jury trial on federal perjury charges in order to obtain a verdict by election day, but US District Judge Robert Vining immediately rejected the idea. Mr. Vining pledged, however, to try to expedite the trial while safeguarding the congressman's rights. Mr. Swindall, a two-term Republican, said he remained confident the trial can be completed before the Nov. 8 election, in which he faces Democrat Ben Jones.
Sinhalese in Sri Lanka dispersed during protest
Police fired tear gas to disperse nearly 3,000 Sinhalese protesters who demanded early parliamentary elections in northern Sri Lanka yesterday. Police said no one was injured in the demonstration at Medawachchiya on the outskirts of the north-central town of Vavuniya. Police said they thought the protest was staged by the Marxist People's Liberation Front. Authorities imposed a curfew in Colombo and surrounding areas after a bomb killed eight people Monday at a governing party meeting in the capital.
Continuing aid to Angola sought by 51 US senators
In a letter released yesterday, 51 senators urged President Reagan to work for direct negotiations between the Angolan government and the antigovernment UNITA rebels, in parallel to US-mediated efforts to bring peace to southern Africa. The senators asked President Reagan not to restrict US aid to UNITA until the Soviets and their allies have stopped supplying the Angolan government, and a reconciliation process is under way.
2 sides appear open to new Gulf proposal
The UN Secretary-General yesterday invited the foreign ministers of Iran and Iraq to Geneva on Oct. 31 to continue talks ultimately aimed at a peace settlement between the two Gulf nations. The UN Security Council strongly backed the initiative, while expressing concern about the slow pace of the talks so far.
The Secretary-General has proposed a four-point package that would include an Iranian commitment not to search Iraqi ships sailing through the Strait of Hormuz, at the entrance to the Gulf, in exchange for explicit Iraqi recognition that this is Iran's right until a proper peace has been concluded.
Other elements in the proposal involve withdrawal of troops to the internationally recognized boundaries within two weeks, the beginning of prisoner-of-war repatriation, and discussion of reopening the Shatt al Arab.
Iraq's ambassador to the UN, Ismat Kittani, said that his country is ready to go to Geneva for peace talks anytime. Iranian diplomats also indicated that they will go.
``I am encouraged by the fact that both sides appear ready to show their goodwill by proceeding with some repatriation [of prisoners] in the near future,'' Secretary-General Javier P'erez de Cu'ellar added, without giving details.
Philippine ferry toll put in hundreds
A ferry sank with more than 500 people aboard during the height of Typhoon Ruby, and the Coast Guard said yesterday only 15 survivors were rescued before the search was suspended for the night. The storm, which officials said killed at least 76 people on land and left 111,000 homeless, tore through the central Philippines and into the South China Sea yesterday. Coast Guard officials said the 2,845-ton Dona Marilyn sank Monday in the Visayas Sea, about 300 miles southeast of Manila. It was not clear how many people were lost. Rescuers found 11 survivors on Maripipi Island and another small island, and four people were found floating in the water, according to a Coast Guard official.
The Dona Marilyn was carrying 451 passengers and 60 crew members from Manila to Tacloban, on Leyte Island, when it radioed a distress call, according to an official from Sulpicio Lines, owner of the vessel.
The storm caused widespread flooding on the island, setting up landslides and washing away bridges. Agriculture Secretary Carlos Dominguez said preliminary estimates showed Ruby caused $45.7 million in crop damage.
For the record
In Lebanon, a car bomb exploded yesterday in the Syrian-policed town of Barr Elias in the Bekaa Valley, injuring at least five people, police said. A helicopter from the US Army National Guard on an antidrug surveillance mission near the US-Mexican border crashed and burned during a low-altitude chase, killing all eight people aboard, officials said yesterday.