1985 - 1988
Union Carbide sued over India disaster. New York, Apr.8 1985
The Indian government filed suit against Union Carbide Corporation in Manhattan District Court today for unspecified damages arising from the December 1984 gas leak at the company’s plant in Bhopal. The suit stated that 1,700 people died and 200,000 were injured in the lethal leak. India seeks compensatory damages for the victims as well as punitive damages “in am amount sufficient to deter Union Carbide.... From the wilful, malicious and wanton disregard of the rights and safety of the citizens of those countries in which they do business.” It is reported that India might settle out of court.
Live-aid concert for African famine relief. Philadelphia, July 13. 1985
“To me this is not a pop concert to me this is not a TV show,” said Irish singer Bob Geldof of today’s Live Aid extravaganza. “To me this is simply a means of keeping people alive.” The all-star intercontinental rock fete was organised by Geldof to raise money for African famine relief. Centred at Wembley Stadium in England and Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium, the show included Sting, Paul McCartney, U2, Dire Straits and many many more.
Growing homeless ranks face bitter winter. Washington, Dec. 1985
As the winter winds begin to howl through the streets of the urban North, a legion of homeless people once again faces the perennial challenge of survival. Unemployment may be the lowest in five years, but homelessness is worse than any time since the Depression. No one really knows how bad; estimates range from 350,000 to 3 million. But the facilities are inadequate for handling even the best case scenario. Only 91,000 shelter beds exist in the whole country. A public outcry has forced higher expenditures in some states. But corporate contribution to health and human services are down. The Reagan administration has slashed spending on low-income housing
TWA hijack drama comes to an end. Damascus, Syria June 30, 1985
The 39 American hostages on the T.W.A. Flight hijacked by Arab terrorists 17 days ago have been freed. A spectacular convoy sped them to Damascus from the Beirut slum where they were held captive after removal from the aircraft. Also today, two of the hijackers still guarding the plane strode into the airport lounge and bragged to reporters about “the ability of the oppressed to control America.” Hooded in pillow cases, the pair concluded with the slogan “America is the great Satan.” The freed hostages said they will never forget the screams of fellow passenger Robert Stethem, a navy diver, before he was murdered. The passengers hailed  purser Uli Derickson for her brave calm. So far , the Shiite terrorists
Have failed in their demands that the Israelis free Palestinians, as the price for today’s release.
U.S. Now a debtor nation. Washington Sept. 16 1985
In a few years the United States has fallen from its lofty position as the world’s largest lender, to a shaky place in the debt cellar. According to figures issued today by the Commerce Department, the nation will accumulate a current accounts deficit of $130 billion this year, the largest in the world. It will be the first time since 1914 that the United States has owed foreigners more than they have owed to this country
Reagan meets Gorbachev. Switzerland Nov. 21, 1985
In the latest of the ten summit meetings held since World War II between the leaders of the United states and the Soviet Union, President Reagan today opened discussion on a wide range of topics with General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. Meeting at Chateau Fleur d’Eau outside Geneva, the President greeted Gorbachev with a firm ceremonial handshake. While the President is debating “Star Wars” with the soviet leader, Nancy Reagan is engaged in “style wars” with Raisa Gorbachev.
Shuttle Challenger explodes; 7 killed Cape Canaveral, Jan 28, 1986
The space shuttle Challenger exploded into a massive orange fireball today 73 seconds after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts aboard. The shocking scene was witnessed by thousands of spectators hers, while millions who were watching their television screens stared in disbelief. The worst catastrophe on the history of American space exploration, the tragedy has closed down the country’s space shuttle program indefinitely. The crew of Challenger were, Commander Francis “Dick” Scobee, Christa McAuliffe (a school teacher), Michael J. Smith, Dr. Judith A. Resnik, Dr. Ronald E. McNair, Lt. Col. Ellison S. Onizuka and Gregory B. Jarvis.
Scientology Guru writes kinky novel. New York Jan 24, 1986
Once upon a time Lafayette Ron Hubbard wrote science fiction. Then he gave it up to foundd the Church of Scientology, a religion whose main goal, say sceptics is lining Hubbard’s pockets. In any case, Hubbard’s back in sci-fi and is at work on a 10 volume work titled Invaders Planet. The maiden novel Mission Earth came out today. It is weak in the science and fiction areas, but has lots of kinky sex.
U.S. Bombs  Libya for terrorist attacks Washington Apr. 16, 1986
Last night’s surprise American attack on Tripoli has taken the lives of Colonel Muammar el-Khadafy’s 15-month-old adopted daughter and two American pilots. President Reagan told a meeting of businessmen here today “We would prefer not to have to repeat the events of last night. What is required is for Libya to end its pursuit of terror for political goals.” The President ordered the attack in retaliation for Libya’s “direct” role in the pril 5 bombing of a West Berlin discotheque popular with American servicemen
Americans do it again. The experimental plane Voyager becomes the first to circumnavigate the globe non-stop  without refuelling on Dec. 23. The 25,012 mile trip took nine days three minutes. Piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeagar
Industry gives way to service sector. Washington 1986
“This nation is becoming a nation of hamburger stands,” it was said in 1974, “a country stripped of industrial capacity and meaningful work, ... A service economy ... busily buying and selling cheeseburgers and root beer floats.” The intervening years have in fact witnessed what is called the “hollowing of American industry.” Beset by competition from abroad, American firms shift output to low-wage nations, or they they import products, becoming marketers or distributors for foreign firms. Since 1953 manufacturing fell from 30 to 21% of gross national product. Service industries have taken over, creating 10 million jobs in seven years.
Law offers amnesty to illegal migrants. Washington Nov. 7, 1986
President Reagan today signed a landmark immigration bill that bans the hiring of illegal aliens. It also offers legal status to immigrants who can prove that they have lived here continuously since January 1, 1982. There are an estimated 3 million illegal aliens in the United States. The bill imposes fines ranging from $250 to $10,000 on employers who violate its provisions. The President insists it will remove “the incentive for illegal immigration by eliminating the job opportunities.” He added, “future generations of Americans will be thankful for our efforts to humanly regain control of our borders.”
Iran arms deal revealed. Washington Nov. 13, 1986
The Reagan administration has confirmed a flood of  world-wide reports that it indeed has been sending iran weapons - against both United States law and official policy  - for some time. The bizarre story began to break last week when a pro-Syrian Beriut newspaper, Al Shirra  ran a story that said the United States had sent Iran spare parts and ammunition for jet fighters. The newspaper also reported that the United States had airlifted weapons from the Philippines to Iran in four C-130 cargo plans.
The arms deal was reportedly organised and carried out by a “crisis management” group within the 46 member National Security Council staff. A prominent member of the team is marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, a decorated Vietnam veteran and deputy director for political-military affairs at the Security Council.
“How the Reagan revolution failed”1986
In 1980 David Stockman was, at 34, the wunderkind of the Reagan team, point-man on the slash-and-trim attack. 4½ years later the savant of supply side economics quit his job as budget director and got a job on Wall Street. Now he is back in the news with The Triumph of Politics: How the Reagan Revolution Failed, a memoir. That depicts the President as a muddle-headed leader.
Star Wars system wrecks Iceland summit. Oct. 13, 1986
The once-promising arms meeting between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorgachev broke up late yesterday. According to administration spokesmen, the talks ended because of the continuing U.S.- U.S.S.R. Impasse over Reagan’s refusal to drop the “Star Wars” space defence program.
Evangelist Bakker toppled in sex scandal. Missouri, May 6, 1987
The governing board of the Assemblies of God voted today to strip Jim Bakker of his ordination. Bakker has been in the midst of a sex and money scandal since early this year. The founder of the tremendously successful PTL Club television ministry has admitted to a “sexual encounter” in December of 1980 and claims to have been blackmailed since as a result. Since news of Bakkers indiscretion became public donations to PTL (Praise the Lord), which previously received over $100 million a year from viewers, have fallen sharply (as have donations to other television ministries). When Bakker resigned as head of PTL march 20, the new governing board of the ministry was headed by Jerry Falwell, the founder of the Moral Majority and host of the Old Time Gospel Hour.
Andy Warhol, guru of pop Art is dead. New York, Feb 21, 1987.
After surviving the excessive life style of his acolytes and an assassination attempt by the lone member of S.C.U.M. (Society for Cutting Up Men), Andy Warhol died today of complications resullting from surgery. After working in commercial illustration, Warhol initiated the Pop Art movement with his deadpan representations of banal objects, from Campbell’s Soup cans to dollar bills.
Col Oliver North takes the stand. Washington, July 1987
After seven months of invoking the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination, Lt. Col. Oliver North has finally told his version of the Iran-Contra affair and his role in it. Testifying before Senate and House investigating committees under a grant of limited immunity, North spent six full days artfully defending his actions in the illegal arms-for-hostages deal., saying “I assumed that the President was aware of what I was doing and had, through my superiors, approved.” He claimed that he had sent five memoranda to the President through Admiral John Poindexter, Reagan’s national security adviser, requesting permission to divert money from the Iranian arms sales to the contras.
Black American middle class is growing. New York City August 1987
The total of middle-class blacks in America has more than doubled between 1969 and 1984, according to an article in Ebony magazine. The report defines “middle class” as taxpayers with an income between $20,000 and $50,000. While nearly half of all white families are middle class, the article says, only about 30% of black families fall into the category. Two-fifths of middle class blacks, Ebony reports, have some college education, while one fourth have completed four years of advanced schooling. Although these statistics show some gains for blacks, a report from the National Urban League says that Reagan policies have hurt them.
Superpowers sign first missile reduction treaty. Washington Dec. 8. 1987
The United States and the Soviet Union formally agreed to the first comprehensive arms control treaty in the nuclear age today. Coming after the serious breakdown in their arms limitations talks in Reykjavik, Iceland. Reagan and Gorbachev announced the terms of the far-reaching Intermediate Nuclear Forces (I.N.F.) Treaty, which will go into effect as soon as the legislatures of both nations complete the ratification process.
Stock market tumbles by 508 points. New York Oct. 19, 1987
The stock market plunged 508 points today. The debacle was described by the New York Stock Exchange chairman as “the nearest thing to a meltdown that I ever want to see.” The rout was the worst day in history, wiping out more than $500 billion in stock equity. It came to an awesome volume of 604 million shares, almost double the previous record set last Friday, when stocks plunged 108.35 points. At Shearson Lehman Brothers, traders tacked up a sign “To the lifeboats!”
The White house tried to buoy spirits with news that President Reagan was watching the collapse “with concern” and that he remained certain “that the underlying economy is sound.” But the stockholders wanted more, studying tickers and television in search of answers that they failed to find. One New York actor said that he was being battered but could not get through to his broker so he could sell out.
Evangelist Swaggart falls from grace. Louisiana Feb. 21, 1988.
In yet another instalment of religion and sex, the television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart has admitted to visiting a prostitute. “I have sinned against you, and I beg your forgiveness,” said Swaggart in a tear-flooded confession to his congregation. Swaggart, a flamboyant preacher, was among the most virulent in denouncing Jim Bakker a “cancer on the body of Christ,” was forced to humble himself after church officials were shown photographs of Swaggart’s visit to a prostitute.
Pentagon unveils stealth bomber Washington Apr. 20, 1988
The U.S. Air force today released pictures of the B-2 or Stealth bomber, a project it has kept secret for 10 years. The artists rendering shows a tail less, multiple engine boomberang-shaped aircraft that resembles the YB-49 Flying Wing developed by Northrop in the late 1940‘s. The plane is built from materials that make it virtually invisible to radar. The air force would not provide information regarding the bombers dimensions, size of crew and payload.
After four decades, the cold war may be ending. New York 1988
The year 1988 will pass into history as the year the cold war ended, say those who think Mikhail Gorbachev means what he said at the United Nations December 7. Though the Russian Revolution “radically changed the course of world development,” the Soviet Leader said, “today we face a different world, for which we must seek a different road to the future.”
Reagan visits changing Soviet Union. Moscow May 31, 1988
President Reagan’s trip to the Soviet Union has had mixed results so far. According to Howard Baker, White House chief of staff, Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev collided almost immediately after they met formally. Sparks flew as Reagan assailed the Soviet Union’s human rights record. One Russian spokesman said flatly, “We don’t like it when someone from the outside is teaching us how to live, and that is only natural.” So far, the two leader have produced no significant agreements. But they recognise the need of continuing the thaw in the cold air and of maintaining a dialogue on the crucial issues of disarmament and the resolution of regional conflicts.
While Reagan has had his problems with Gorbachev, he apparently is well-liked by the Soviet people. Today he met with 600 students and intellectuals at Moscow State University and was welcomed with enthusiasm. Explaining why the  President was so popular with the people, a Soviet editor said, “Reagan is a simple man”
Americans return to space with Discovery. Cape Canaveral, Florida Sept. 29, 1988
The shuttle Discovery blasted flawlessly into orbit today, heralding a long awaited comeback for the beleaguered American space programme. An unspoken tension surrounded the launching, at 11.37 a.m., reaching a peak as the Discovery, riding the familiar billowing white smoke trail, passed the 73 second mark , the point at which the Challenger exploded, plunging NASA into a 32 sombre months of redesign of the shuttle fleet and reassessment of the nation’s space goals. Six hours later the craft’s five-man crew launched a $100 million communications satellite. Said one official: “we are back in business and it has not been easy.”
George Bush sweeps to 40-state victory. Washington Nov. 8 1988
George Herbert Walker Bush, a decorated hero of World War II, was elected President of the United States today, winning 40 of the 50 states to defeat Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, his Democratic challenger. The final tally showed Bush with 426 electoral votes to 112 for Dukakis. He will take office on January 20, succeeding Ronald Reagan, whom he served as Vice-President for eight years. Bush, a New Englander, who made his fortune in the oil fields of Texas, is the first sitting Vice-President elected to to the nation’s highest office since Martin Van Buren in 1836. The Bush running-mate, Senator Dan Quale of Indiana, was elected Vice-President.
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