Despite international calls for clemency, a Cuban firing squad executed Eduardo Diaz Betancourt, 38, following a trial in which he was found guilty of terrorism. Cuban officials commuted the death sentences of his two accomplices to 30 years imprisonment. Last Dec. 29, authorities captured the three armed men, Cuban exiles who lived in Miami, shortly after they landed on the Communist island’s northern coast in an inflatable dinghy.
Philippine President Corazon Aquino, who is not running for re-election, endorsed former defence chief Fidel Ramos as her favored successor in the May 11 presidential balloting. Aquino’s choice threatened to split the pro-administration LDP party, which has named Speaker of the House Ramon Mitra as its candidate. But aides said that Aquino believed the 63-year-old Ramos would ensure the defeat of another declared candidate: Imelda Marcos, the widow of ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
A FATAL FLIGHT
An Air Inter A320 jet, flying to Strasbourg, France, from Lyon, crashed into a mountain, killing 87 passengers. Nine people survived, but Denis Petitclerc, 30, of Saint-Joachim, Que., was believed to be among the dead. It was the third accident in four years for the A320, an ultramodern jet built by the European Airbus consortium. Critics of the aircraft say that its computer-controlled fly-by-wire system, which sends command signals electronically rather than hydraulically, is too sophisticated for its human operators.
CRACKDOWN IN ALGERIA
A week after cancelling parliamentary elections, Algeria’s new military-backed regime arrested prominent Moslem fundamentalist opponent Abdelkader Hachani and banned partisan gatherings at mosques. Hachani’s Islamic Salvation Front had swept first-round elections in December and was poised to win control of parliament in a Jan. 16 runoff—a prospect that led the North African country’s secular elite to seize power.
A PHONE-TAP SCANDAL
Ireland’s Progressive Democrats threatened to pull out of the Fianna Fail-led coalition government this week unless Prime Minister Charles Haughey resigns. Haughey, 66, has been implicated in a 1982 scandal in which government officials tapped the phones of two Dublin journalists to try to track cabinet leaks.
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