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Major International News - Q2 1987

 

Margaret Thatcher Claims Victory in Third Consecutive General Election

London - British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has led her Conservative Party to a third consecutive general election victory. Despite a net loss of 21 seats in the House of Commons, Mrs. Thatcher has successfully maintained a commanding 376 seats in Parliament. The victory for the Prime Minister is the second consecutive landslide for the ruling Conservative Party and a reaffirmation of Mrs. Thatcher's position as leader of the United Kingdom. The electoral triumph can be attributed to a booming economy, record-low inflation, and declining unemployment levels. The victory for the Conservatives come as the Labour Party continues to struggle with its political identity as moderates and left-wingers continue to battle for control of their party. Mrs. Thatcher's reelection is also a victory for U.S. President Ronald Reagan as he maintains one of his closest allies in the fight against communism. The "Iron Lady" is expected to continue to play a significant role in the Western World and the Cold War.

 

State Department Designates Waldheim an "Undesirable Alien"

Vienna  - Secretary of State George Schultz and Attorney General Edwin Meese have announced, following a thorough investigation, that Austrian President Kurt Waldheim participated in Nazi-sponsored persecution during World War II. The actions of President Waldheim therefore prohibits his entry into the United States by federal statute. The joint-investigation found that, among other events, Kurt Waldheim assisted in the transfer of civilian prisoners to the SS for exploitation as slave labor; the mass deportation of civilians to concentration and death camps; the utilization of anti-Semitic propaganda; the mistreatment and execution of Allied prisoners; and reprisal executions of hostages and other civilians. President Waldheim has effectively been labeled persona non grata by the State Department as a result and has received similar condemnation across the Western World. Reports have also indicated that the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia used information regarding Waldheim's past as a means of blackmailing him throughout his tenure as UN Secretary General.

 

LOT Polish Airlines Flight 5055 Crashes in the Katby Woods - 183 Dead

Warsaw - Thousands of mourners have descended on Warsaw following the deaths of 183 passengers aboard LOT Polish Airlines Flight 5055. The crash occurred shortly after takeoff as both engine 1 and 2 reportedly experienced multiple catastrophic events. The flight crashed into the nearby Katby Woods Nature Reserve and there were no survivors. The crash is the deadliest aviation disaster in Polish history to date. An outpouring of condolences have been sent from around the world ranging from General Secretary of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev to U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Pope John Paul II also released a statement expressing his sadness over the situation with many noting the location of the crash being the pope's native country. 

 

West German Youth Detained After Landing Private Plane on Red Square

Moscow - Mathias Rust, an eighteen-year-old youth from West Germany, has been detained after landing on Red Square in a private plane. The notable flight was impressive as the young man evaded Soviet air defenses and landed in the very heart of the Soviet Union. A video tape of Mr. Rust flying over Red Square was captured by a British doctor. Mr. Rust was arrested two hours after landing on Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge. The fact that Mr. Rust has been described as an inexperienced pilot has caused considerable concern within the Soviet Union over the ineffective nature of their aerial defenses. 

 

Massacre of Muslim Youth in India as Riots Rage On

Meerut - 42 Muslim youth have been reported dead following what is being described by international observers as a mass murder. An unknown amount of personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary rounded up Muslims in the Hashimpur mohalla in Meerut. The elderly and children were removed from the rounded up individuals and the rest were brought to the outskirts of the city where they were shot and murdered. The bodies were found in nearby canals a few days after the events occurred. Rioting in Meerut had begun in May over communal disturbances between Hindus and Muslims. The rioting had ended for a period of time before spiking again after arson attacks in May. The PAC was called in to restore peace in the region. The suppression of the riots have been similarly violent with claims of Muslims being burned alive and a specific case of a Muslim girl being crushed by a police jeep. No indictments have been made in the massacre and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi refused to comment.

 

Talks Between Portugal and China Break Down Over Macau Sovereignty

Macau - Portuguese Foreign Minister João de Deus Pinheiro has announced that talks regarding the transfer of Macau's sovereignty to the People's Republic of China have broken down following fears of suppression of a liberal society within the territory. The recent decision by the PRC to take making Macau a Special Administrative Region off the table for consideration was seen as the driving force behind opposition from Portugal to turn the territory over. The future status of Macau now remains in question as most international observers assumed the transfer of territory to the PRC was a forgone conclusion. Portuguese Prime Minister Aníbal Cavaco Silva has stated that he will not allow his foreign ministry to continue negotiations with the PRC regarding Macau until they put SAR status back on the table as a guarantee.

 

New Zealand Passes Historic Nuclear Free Zone

Wellington - New Zealand's Labour Government has passed the historic New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987. The act codifies the legal framework of New Zealand's anti-nuclear policy by establishing a nuclear free zone. This decision is the culmination of years of advocacy by anti-nuclear activists in New Zealand and the victory for David Lange's Labour Party in 1984. The sinking of Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior in 1985 spurred popular support within New Zealand to adopt anti-nuclear policy. U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz and Defense Secretary Weinberger expressed skepticism over the new policy and how it would affect the movement of nuclear weaponry in the region.

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