WORLD

World Notes

February 18 1991
WORLD

World Notes

February 18 1991

World Notes

A LONDON BLITZ

IRA guerrillas admitted responsibility for a daring daylight mortar attack on 10 Downing Street, the official residence of Prime Minister John Major. The incident occurred as Major and his cabinet were inside discussing the Gulf War. A police spokesman said that three mortars were fired from a van, landing in the prime minister’s garden. Two policemen and a government clerk were slightly injured by flying glass.

BOXING IN THE PLO

Syrian-supported Lebanese government troops moved into south Lebanon for the first time since 1975, taking up positions near Israel’s self-declared security zone. The troop movement took place after Israel said that if the Lebanese government failed to remove Palestinian guerrillas from the area, its army would intensify aerial and ground attacks against PLO targets in Lebanon.

MAINTAINING SANCTIONS

One week after South African President F. W. (Frederik) de Klerk urged his parliament to repeal the last remaining pillars of apartheid, black leaders of the frontline states recommended that Western nations maintain sanctions against Pretoria. While praising de Klerk’s reforms, the presidents of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Mozambique said that economic pressure was needed to help South Africa’s black majority attain full legal rights.

A PRIEST-TURNED-PRESIDENT

Trading the pulpit for politics, Roman Catholic priest Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide was sworn in as Haiti’s new president. Aristide, 37, gained prominence in the mid-1980s with sermons denouncing dictator Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier. In his inaugural address— delivered in Creole, the language of the majority, instead of French, which is spoken by wealthier Haitians—Aristide promised economic justice in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation. As well, he said that he will prosecute remnants of the Duvalier dictatorship and the feared Tonton Macoutes militia.

ACTIVISTS ON TRIAL

China put two leading pro-democracy activists, Liu Gang and Chen Xiaoping, on trial for planning to overthrow the government. Authorities have called the two dissidents “black hands” behind the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. If convicted, they face a minimum of 10 years in jail or could be put to death.