New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 11, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
New Braunfels Herald Zeituny Sunday, September 11,1983 3AU.S. jets fly over Mideast fighting
More than 40,000 Christians may be trapped by Druse
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) — Shellfire hit the Marine compound at Beirut airport Saturday and U.S. jets thundered over the Chout mountains, where Druse fighters were said to have massacred 64 Christian villagers. Fears mounted for the safety of as many as 40,000 other Christians trapped by Druse militiamen.
Beirut television reported that 70 carloads of Christian refugees from the mountain fighting demonstrated in front of the residence of U.S. Ambassador Robert Dillon demanding American intervention to halt the bloodshed, which blew up after the Israelis pulled back from the Chouf a week ago.
Warrant Officer Charles Rowe, spokesman for the U.S. Marine contingent of the multinational peacekeeping force, reported no casualties from the latest shelling. He said the jets — two U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcats from the carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower — scrambled to reconnoiter and demonstrate force.
The U.S. jets first took to the skies over Lebanon on Wednesday along with French fighter-bombers after
U.S. and French positions were shelled in west Beirut. Four Marines were killed Monday and Tuesday, and two French peacekeepers were killed Wednesday.
The U.S. frigate Bowen opened up with its 5-tnch guns Thursday after the Marine compound again came under fire from Druse batteries. It was the first use of American Navy firepower since the Marines landed a year ago. The Tomcats also flew over the Chouf on Thursday.
The Christian Voice of Lebanon radio said 64 more Christians were “massacred” by the Druse in the overrun Chouf village of El-Bire, 15 miles southeast of Beirut. The Druse Progressive Socialist Party said those killed in El-Bire were Christian militiamen.
Laure Speziali, director of the Beirut office of the International Red Cross, said army sources told her 64 bodies had been found in the village. But she said the Red Cross was unable to reach the town to check the massacre claim. She said Druse turned back two Red
Cross convoys which Fnday tried to reach Deir Al-Kamar. where an estimated 25,000 to 40,000 refugees were trapped
The local Druse leader, Sheik Mohammed Abu Shakra, said the Red Cross could enter only when Christian forces free 30 Druse women he claimed were taken prisoner after an alleged massacre of Druse civilians in the nearby town of Kfar Matts.
The overall Druse leader, Walid J urn Watt, told a radio interviewer in Damascus, Syria, that his forces would not storm Deir Al-Kamar and would protect Christians who took refuge there
But in Beirut, a spokesman for the Phalange, the largest Christian militia, described the situation in Deir Al-Kamar as “more than tragic. People are sleeping in the streets and in the woods,” he said “Many of them have no blankets We fear epidemics may be starting at any moment."
Congress returns to problems
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress returns from a five-week recess to confront an autumn of hard choices about the Soviet Union and the Mideast, and a stalemate over trimming bulging budget deficits.
The recess ends with the House and Senate reconvening at noon Monday. While they were gone, legislators unleashed a torrent of angry rhetoric against the Soviet Union after it shot down a South Korean jumbo jet Sept. I, killing all 269 people aboard, including 61 Americans. Among the passengers was Rep. Larry McDonald, D-Ga.
Initial legislative reaction to the incident will be largely symbolic, with leaders in the House and Senate prepanng — in cooperation with President Reagan — resolutions condemning the act.
The longterm impact of the attack is more difficult to determine.
“The principle effect has been to restate the determination to stay militarily strong ...,” said Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker Jr., R-Tenn. Nevertheless, Baker added, arguments over separate elements of the defense budget — such as the MX missile and the B-l bomber — will continue.
Another concern facing returning legislators is the continued civil war between religious factions in Lebanon and the lack of say from Congress in the deployment of U.S. Marines there.
Congressional sources have said Reagan's allies in the Republican-controlled Senate are preparing legislation that would approve the presence of U.S. troops in Lebanon.
The effect of such a measure would be to relieve the administration of pressure under the 1973 War Powers Act that would limit the stay of the Marines
to a maximum of 90 days unless Congress approved.
The sources, who asked not to be quoted by name, said the idea of legislation authorizing the troops to remain surfaced during a Sept. 4 White House meeting as the president briefed bipartisan leaders on the Soviet attack on the South Korean jetliner.
But Rep. Clarence Long, D-Md., chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations, said last week he would try to cut off money for U.S. troops as of Nov. I unless the president files a report under a section of the War Powers Act that would require him to acknowledge the Marines are in combat.
Administration critics have not given up, but it is unlikely that congressional critics will have success in blocking recent administration moves to step up the U.S. presence in Central America.
Former South African prime minster dies
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CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Former Prime Minister John Vorster, a tough advocate of apartheid who left office disgraced by a government scandal, died Saturday night. He was 67.
A spokesman for Tygerburg Hospital near Cape Town said Vorster died at 4:25 p.m. CST.
Vorster entered the hospital Monday with a lung infection. Doctors said he later developed a blood clot in a lung.
While serving as justice minister, Vorster strictly enforced the apartheid — racial separation — laws by detaining dissidents without trial and applying
banning orders, a type of internal exile, to white hberals and black nationalists. He crushed South Africa's Communist Party and acquired the nickname Jackboot John.
Later, during the 12 years he was prime minister, Vorster tried to put a milder image on the apartheid policies that brought international condemnation. Some parks, theaters and hotels were opened to blacks, and mixed-race sports were allowed.
He traveled outside the country to meet black African leaders and once startled his supporters by sitting between two black women at a banquet in
His full name was Balthazar Johannes Vorster, but as he moved to the forefront of South African politics he dropped his first name and used the Anglicized version of his middle name.
The son of a farmer, Vorster epitomized the qualities admired by the Dutch-descended Afrikaners. He became a leader in the post-World War □ generation that brought conservative Afrikaners to power after 140 years of British influence.
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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Charles V. Harrelson has asked for a new trial in the slaying of U.S. District Judge John H. Wood Jr., arguing that one of the key witnesses against him may have been too sick with syphilis to testify credibly.
In papers filed Friday in federal district court here, Harrelson’s attorney claimed the witness, Hampton C. Robinson III, was being treated at an alcohol and drug treatment center throughout the trial.
Harrelson is serving two consecutive life sentences from his conviction last December on charges of murder, conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Prosecutors contended he was paid $250,000 to kill Wood.
Wood was the first federal judge this century to be slain when he was gunned down outside his San Antonio townhouse May 29,1979.
In seeking the new trial for Harrelson, attorney Tom Sharpe Jr. contended the government violated its court-ordered promise to reveal any illnesses such as the syphilis from which he claims Robinson suffered.
“The failure of the government to provide the complete medical record of Hampton Robinson compels the entry of an order granting a new trial,” Sharpe said.
The Brownsville attorney argued that syphilis and the drugs that may have been prescribed to combat it could have hindered Robinson’s memory, and that the fact that he had the disease may have impeached his credibility and that of his wife, another prosecution witness.
Sharpe said that Jo Ann Robinson revealed that she and her husband, a longtime Harrelson gambling companion, were kept at the Starlight Hospital in Kerrville during the 10-week trial.
Hospital officials, contacted Friday night, declined to discuss the couple.
The assistant U.S. attorneys who prosecuted the Wood case could not be located for comment.
Robinson, a wealthy East Texas rancher, testified Harrelson bragged that “killing people and getting away with it is my long suit.”Latin American leaders OK peace plan
PANAMA CITY, Panama (AP) — The foreign ministers of nine Latin American countries agreed Saturday on a plan for peace in Central America calling for regional negotiations, disarmament and a cutback in foreign advisers.
“For the first time foreign ministers of the region’s five countries are rn agreement with respect to very concrete measures,” Panamanian Foreign Minister Oydeen Ortega Duran told reporters at the end of a three-day meeting.
The four socalled Contadora countries — Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela — have made peace proposals before, but this is the first time the foreign ministers of Guatemala, Costa Rica, EU Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras have endorsed such a plan.
Details of the document approved at the meeting were withheld pending official approval by the governments involved.
Ortega spoke to reporters as his colleagues emerged at 1:00 a m. Saturday from a 15-hour session of closed-doors talks.
He said the document calls for progressive disarmament to be enforced through systematic checks (rn regional arms supplies together with a cutback on the number of foreign military advisers in Central America.
He also said it stressed the Contadora group’s efforts to bring Central America’s conflicts to the negotiating table.
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