Altoona Mirror, January 16, 1980

Altoona Mirror

January 16, 1980

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Issue date: Wednesday, January 16, 1980

Pages available: 126

Previous edition: Tuesday, January 15, 1980

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - January 16, 1980, Altoona, Pennsylvania Eltoona SIRtttot VOL. 182 PHONE 944-7171 Altoona, Pa., Wednesday Evening, Jan. 16, 1980 Founded June 13, 1874 i copy Iran Plans Oil Cutoff To Counter Sanctions By United Press International Iranian Oil Minister AM Akbar Moinfar warned Western Europe and Japan today that any country joining the United Stales in imposing economic sanctions against Iran "will be deprived of oil." "It all depends on which countries participate (in any Moinfar told a news conference reported by Radio Tehran. "Any country which does will be deprived of oil." The oil minister said Iran is prepared to cut Us oil production In half to around 1.5 million barrels a day if Western Europe and Japan Impose economic sanc- tions. But in a report by Tehran radio monitored by the British Broadcasting Corporation in London, Moinfar strongly denied a report a U.S. oil industry publication (hat Iran's oil production al- ready has declined severely because of reduced demand on the open market. The American report said Iran's oil production had to around 2 million barrels a day and that ,its exports had fallen to between 900.000 and 1 million barrels a day. The Tehran radio broadcast said: "Asked to comment by our energy cor- respondent, Oil Minister Moinfar strongly denied the report at a reduction in Iran's oil exports published in the U.S. magazine and added: 'Our effort at present is focused on maintaining, oil output at. be- tween 3 million and a maximum of 3.5 million barrels per day.'" There were also the following develop- ments: Kuwaiti newspaper Al Ral Al Aam said Iranian authorities crushed an abortive coup attempt by miltiary officers against Ayatollah Runollah Khomeini, but there was no corroboration of the story, Iraqi report said a section of the Ahwaz-Abadan, oil pipeline in Iran was blown up Tuesday. The government-con- trolled newspaper Al Joumhouria said the blast caused a fire that lasted several hours at a section of the pipeline near the city of Ahwaz, southwest of Tehran, Tehran radio said it was caused by sabo- tage. U.S. press corps was packing to meet a Friday expulsion deadline set by the Islamic government on the lirst an- niversary of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi's exile from Iran. The ousted monarch was reported looking for a new exile homo in the the cool northern mou- Jains of Panama's Chiriaui province. Tehran radio also broadcast a statement issued by the Iranian foreign ministry firmly denying an Americnn report that Khomeini would be prepared to accept U.N. Secretary General Kurt WaldheJm as a mediator in the diplomatic conflict between Iran and the United States, It denounced the report as "an absolute lie" and said that, in principle, mediation "has never been and will never be ac- Prayer Vigil Begins Prayer vigil services are being held in the Lee Chapel of the First United Methodist Church, 12th Avenue and 13th Street, daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. These services will be held until the Iranian situation is resolved or the hostages are released, according to the Rev. Dr. James H. Zeisloft, pastor of the church. They are sponsored by 28 United tylethodist Churches in the city. The chapel Is open to the public and the city has reserved two parking meters directly across from it on 12th Avenue. The community is invited to join in the prayer vigil. cepted by the Iranian foreign ministry." Tehran radio confirmed that "sabo- tage" was responsible for the explosion that blew up the oil pipeline near from the southern oil center city of Ahvaz Tuesday night. It said the fire resulting from the explosion was put out this morning. "A National Iranian Oil Co. official told the Pars news agency today that the explosion and fire were caused by sabo- radio said. "Repairs to the damaged section ot !he pipeline will be operational again by tomorrow (Thurs- The Ahvaz region of southwestern Iran, populated mainly by Iranian-Arabs, has been the scene of much sabotage and other violence in recent months by Arab ex- tremists demanding local autonomy. The Kuwaiti newspaper that repoted the coup attempt said it was engineered by "medium-ranking Iranian army of- ficers" who planned first to take over Tehran and then beseige the holy city of Qom. 7he newspaper said "all the oMicers were arrested and later but it did not say when the coup was crushed or when the officers were executed, The U.S. reporters, ordered out by Friday, will leave behind the reason most of them came the 50 American hostages whose future seemed as uncertain today as on Nov. 4, the day of their capture by Moslem militants. But world support for Washington's response to the crisis gained slight momentum with Japan announcing it would join the United States in clamping economic sanctions against Iran de- spite Tehran's threat to cut off its oil supply, government sources in Tokyo said. U.S. to Help Allies WASHINGTON (UPI) The United States will help its allies who import Iranian oil in case the Tehran regime retaliates against joint American-fed eco- (See IRAN, Page 3) 'Absolutely Crazy' Gold Prices Leap-Frog Around World By United Prat International Gold rocketed through the J700 barrier in Europe today in an "absolutely crazy" market opening at and later surged to 5765 at the London morning gold-fixing as the price leap-frogged around the world. Gold earlier hit record levels in New Yorkj Hong Kong and Zurich but the London morning fixing of eclipsed them all. It was an increase ol from the London closing price on Tuesday. The price of gold is "fixed" each morning and afternoon in London by a meeting of the five principal dealers who gather to set a price on gold. "Trading is hectic. We are rushed oft our feet. Little time to talk, "a dealer for brokers Samuel Montagu said. "Speculators have appeared from all over and the buying at the moment is mainly on the Afghanistan situation." said a broker with Johnson Mathey. Another deafer said, "Some say the big buyers in the market are the Arabs." The price of gold in Hong Kong at one point zoomed to an ounce, but it fell back J5 to close at after breaking all records in. the history of the 70-year-old Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange as buyers sought to get on the bandwagon. It opened at per ounce, a increase over Tuesday's close. It soared an ounce overnight in Switzerland from to a record an ounce. In London, it leaped an ounce overnight to but minutes later edged back to "It's absolutely crazy the market has gone a Zurich gold dealer said. "There just doesn't seem to be any end to this madness buyers seem willing to pay any price for the metal and the market has lost all proportion of what is normal and sound dealing." Market sources said local traders' bull- ishness was sparked by Treasury Secre- (See GOLD, Page 1) THE PRICE OF GOLD In Hong Kong rocketed to S7M in ounce this afternoon before closing at Miss Helen Tse ot Hong Kong Is quite happy to have this It-gram gold plate tor pendant. (UPI) NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL Joseph Luns said Tuesday that the treaty organization would not take measures the Soviet Union as a bloc because Afghanistan Is outside the NATO area. Soviet Troops On Pakistan, Iran Borders WASHINGTON Defense Secretary Harold Brown says some Soviet troops in Afghan- istan have reached the borders with Pakistan and Iran, and a Russian thrust across either frontier would make the current crisis "very, very much more serious still." En route back to Washington from his weeXtong trip to China, Brown stopped in San Diego Tuesday to meet with reporters. "The Soviets have in Afghanistan about troops and they are deployed throughout the major Brown said. "Some have reached the Pakistani border and the Iranian border." "Any further action by them to go beyond into Iran or Pakistan would tje very, very much more serious he said, fie declined to say what the American response would be to such an Incursion. White House press secretary Jody Powell also gave details on the Soviet deployment. "The main elements of these two (Soviet) divisions appear to be about 70 to 100 miles from (he Iranian border, Some of them have moved Powel) told White House correspondents Tuesday. "They arc participating in efforts to suppress Afghani nationalist forces in western Afghanistan. There is no way of determining with precision for what other purposes they may or may not be there." At the State Department, Marshall Shulman, a top adviser to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, told correspondents Soviet raids into Pakistan were more likely than a drive into the oil-rich Persian Gulf, "They would like to Co it (go into but (See SOVIETS, 3) Pakistan Waits for American Offers of Military Assistance RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (UPI) Pa- kistani President Mohammad Zia says he is still waiting for American offers of military aid to help offset the Soviet invasion of neighboring Afghan- istan. But the military president added at a press conference Tuesday he hopes such aid would come with no strings attached. Zia is anxious to preserve Pakistan's status as a nonaligned nation and has said he rlas no immediate plans of putting his rule of martial law to a democratic vole. "Frankly speaking, we have not yet heard exactly what the United States is he said when asked to com- ment on the resuUs of tttJks liis foreign affairs adviser, Agha Shahi, had in Wash- ington on the prospects for resumption of U.S. aid to Pakistan. "We have hail preliminary discussions and the rest is he said. "We have not asked the United States for any weapons as yet.11 he adOed, later. "We have not asked' any country for weapons Those who arc going to assist us will r.ssess in a very pragmatic manner exactly what our requirements are and I leave this to their judgment." Part of the problem In resuming aid from the American viewpoint is Zia's failure to return democracy to Pakistan. The president has twice postponed parlia- mentary elections and the widow and daughter of former Prime Minister Zulfifcar Ali Bhutto, whose death sentence Zfa refused to commute last year, remain under house arrest. Asked if he thought the United Slates would try to attach conditions to its offers of aid, which was broken off ift the wakeof the 1571 war between India and Pakistan, Zia replied: "This is the question that we have asked- And so far we are still waiting." "In the event that the United States decides to support Pakistan, we hope this assistance will be without strings." he said. "We feel that the United Slates hasn't got any strings in mind. But you know, everyone always acts in his own interests." Board Decides to Join Despite Hollidaysburg Okays Vo-Tech Pact By JEFF MONTGOMERY Staff Writer Hollidaysburg Area School District approved wilh reser- vations an agreement linking it lo the AUoona Area Vocational-Technical SchooJ Tuesday night. Board members agreed, 7-2, to accept articles of agreement tluil give the dis- trict two members on the vo-tech's 18- member operating committee. The move also gives Hollirfay.sburg students open enrollment in vo-tech classes while re- moving ihe burden of individual tuition. The district must pay as a portion of the equity borne by other school districts in previous years. However, funds (or the "buy-in" are expected to come through a federal grant still to be approved by me Appalachian Regional Commission. While emphasizing Iheir commitment to vocational education, board members voiced concern during the meeting about perceived inequality in the operating com- mittee's makeup. Holiidaysburg, which adds 20 to 25 percent of the vo-tech's enrollment, will have two represfntQftves on the committee. Spring Cove and Fellwood- Antis, each adding about to percent of enrollment, also have two represent- atives. "I do have a problem with the operat- ing committee's structure and our inabili- ty to ever change board member HollMaysburg Defers on Contracts, Elementary 'on Hold' Page Mary Charlesworth said. "I see no leverage for us outside the committee, and no leverage tor us inside." Mrs..Charlesworth, who voted against the measure1 wilh member Richard Crawford, added that she opposed heavy district dependancc on federal funding lor local services. In what was described as a clari- fication, board members said an amend- ment bad been modi lied in the agreement, assuring that the district's annual payments are no more than 10 percent ot the total amount owed to the vo-tech if ihe expected federal grant does nol complete- ly cover the buy-in. "The articles of agreement must be approved by the six member-districts on the vo-tech's operating committee. Homebuying in Area Slows to a Trickle By TOM GIBS SUH Writer Area homebuilderj and real estate agents right now are like Dustbowl farmers looking tor ram me flow of homebuyers has slowed lo a trickle, due to the heat of rising mortage Interest rates, and there doesn't seem to be anything resembling a sudden cloud- burst on the horizon. "Right local contractor Richard Flore, president of the Blair County Homebuilders Association, "I'd say things are slow." Winter Is traditionally a slow time for borne contractors, but the builders say they're just not getting the orders that should be coming in at this time of year. "Business Is Hollidaysburg contractor Wlllard Campbell said Tues- day. "With the high interest rates fmd everything right now, people are Just scared. They don'l want to buy right now, they're going to wait to see if Ihe prices come down." It's not ]ust the sale of new homes (hat has been affected. "Since the first of the year, things have picked up some, but the market still Isn't what it used to Joseph Rolss. a real estate salesman with the Parsons Agency, offered. According to the Pennsylvania As- sociation of Realtors, new home sales dropped 13 percent belween October and November reflecting a 25 percent dip below the 1973 totals. The National'As- soclallon o[ Homebuilders is predicting a 23 percent decline In housing starts this year, with the effects to be most severe in the northcentral and northeastern parts of the nation. "Those areas of the tindey Carver, an economic research analyst wilh Ihe homebuilders group, said Tues- day, "are still not recovered from the last recession." (See HOMES, Page J) In the Mirror Publisher Warns of Peril "We must protect our Mirror Publisher Marge Helsel writes, In grim warning to parents of the Increasing peril to America's youth: marijuana. See her column on Page 8 today. Senate Search Hoop Thrills Gov. Thornburgh marks his first year in office today with a suburban church service, but spent the eve of his anniversary trying to line up a gorxl candidate for the U.S. Senate. The field seemed, to have been nar- rowed to, former Philadelphia Dis- trict Attorney Arlen Specter and strite GOP Chairman Harold 3t. School Loans Penn Cambria School Board will be going to the bank soon in an effort lo bail its way out of debt, and to get money lo fix the deteriorated Gallilzin Junior High School roof. The board approved both plans last night................................Page Yesterday's Circulation: H was some night for roundball: Bishop Guilloyle avenged ait earlier loss lo Bishop Carroll Tuesday night with a 59-57 triple overtime victory; Holtidaysburg's hounding defense lett Mount Union thoroughly dis- organized in the second half and the Golden Tigers won 47-44 also in overtime..........................Page INDEX Accidents......11 Area.............43 Crime...........28 Features.......42 Movies..........14 N.Y. Stocks...J2 Opinion...........8 TV WEATHER TONIGHT: Cloudy, low in the upper 20s. TOMORROW: Mostly cloudy, high in low 90s. Details..............Page ;