News Currents

UNITED STATESThe latest Democratic presidential candidate, former California governor Jerry Brown, announced Oct. 21. Describing the current state of affairs in government, he said: "The calamity which our forefathers feared most has, in our time, come to pass - an unholy alliance of private greed and corrupt politics." ... George Hennard, the man who crashed his pickup truck into a crowded cafeteria last week in Texas and shot 23 people to death, was not on drugs, had no alcohol in his system, and was not suffering from brain abnormalities, authorities said.... President Bush, who broke his campaign vow not to raise taxes, may propose a tax cut for the middle class. Press secretary Marlin Fitzwater aired the possibility Oct. 21 - just one day after Senate Finance Committee chairman Lloyd Bentsen (D) of Texas unveiled a tax-cut proposal of his own.... Oliver North, the central figure in the Iran-contra affair, asserted in an ABC News "Nightline" interview late Oct. 21 that the White House used him as a scapegoat to pro tect President Reagan as the scandal unfolded in 1986.

EUROPE Freed American hostage Jesse Turner, his 1,731-day ordeal in Lebanon over, flew from Damascus to a US air base in Germany Oct. 22 to be reunited with his wife and to hug the four-year-old daughter he has never seen.... Irish leader Charles Haughey and British Prime Minister John Major will meet in Dublin at the end of November to discuss European Community affairs and to give impetus to stalled talks designed to return Northern Ireland to some form of local government.... The Yugoslav Army tightened its grip around the Adriatic resort of Dubrovnik and fought sporadic mortar duels with Croatian forces overnight, Croatian radio said Oct. 22.... Final figures showed Oct. 22 that Swiss extremist groups, which want tougher curbs on immigrants, gained the most from last weekend's parliamentary elections. The center-right coalition retain power, but with a reduced majority of 147 seats in the 200-seat lower house.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC Envoys from North and South Korea, China, Mongolia, Japan, the Soviet Union, and the UN are discussing a $30 billion, 20-year plan to develop Manchuria's Tumen delta into "a future Hong Kong." The representatives met recently in Pyongyang, North Korea, and approved a program management committee under the guidance of the UN Development Program, the UN agency's Beijing office said Oct. 22.... A peace pact ending 13 years of civil war in Cambodia is to be signed in Paris Oct. 23. Under the accord a peaceke eping force known as the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia, or UNTAC, will move in to supervise the demobilization of 70 percent of all forces. The plan is that the remaining 30 percent will group in barracks and camps and hand over their weapons to the peacekeepers.

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