. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – ABC World News This Week – April 18, 1988 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.
In a week full of drama, intrigues and political horse races, this week ending April 18th in 1988 still had a few surprises tucked away. The Kuwaiti Airline hostage drama, which was entering its 15th day, was getting taking a turn for the tense as a second hostage was shot to death and tossed out of the plane by gunmen holding the hostages. To diffuse the tensions, PLO leader Yassar Arafat entered into the negotiations which included a demand to land the plane in Cyprus for refueling.
The Soviet engagement in Afghanistan was winding down as the first of an expected full-withdrawal was expected to begin in May. Afghanistan was often referred to as The Soviet Union’s Vietnam, as both conflicts took on very similar aspects. Just the past week, rebel gunfire took down an Afghan passenger plane, killing all 29 on board. And an explosion at an Army ammunition depot in Pakistan killed more than 100 people. Some of the weapons destroyed were earmarked for the Afghan rebels and Pakistani officials were investigating the possibility of sabotage.
And the U.S. Military wasn’t immune to terrorist attacks this week. Five people, including an enlisted Woman were killed in Naples, when a bomb was set off outside a USO club. Terrorist experts pointed to a Japanese Red Army faction. The USS Samuel Roberts was also attacked. It had been escorting re-flagged Kuwaiti Tankers through the Persian Gulf, when it hit a mine and injured 10 sailors.
In the world of politics, the 1988 Presidential race was speeding forward, with odds-on favorite Michael Dukakis winning handily in primaries for the Democrats. The Republicans were leaning on vice-President George Bush to hold up their end of the political behemoth. Still, it was a ways off until November and anything could (and would) happen.
On the domestic front, Hotel owner Leona Helmsley, who once quipped that only “the little people paid taxes” got hit with her own bag of ironies as Federal investigators discovered some $4 million worth of unpaid taxes. Leona Helmsley who was dubbed The Queen Of Mean along with her husband, were indicted on Income Tax evasion and an elaborate scheme of phony books and records to give t he impression personal expenditures were business expenditures. Leona Helmsley was also charged with extorting kickbacks from suppliers. They claimed innocence.
And that’s a little of what went on this week – the one which ended on April 18th in 1988 as reported by ABC Radio’s World News This Week.