. . . and America asks "where's the beef?"
. . . and America asks “where’s the beef?”

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS World News Roundup – May 14, 1984 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

Days of nail-biting and confusion – this May 14th in 1984.

Starting with news the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, holding an American couple hostage and threatening to kill them unless a $2 million ransom was paid was showing signs of relenting. The Americans, kidnapped by the Sri Lankan separatists a week earlier, were being held ransom for the money and release of political prisoners. However, word reaching the State Department sounded encouraging, with news the relatives of the kidnapped couple and pleas from Indira Gandhi were having a positive effect. And even though the couple hadn’t been released, it was looking likely they would.

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, the long-sought election was looking like a reality, despite the election dominated by Philippines Dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his political party which ran a slate of candidates all pledging loyalty to Marcos. Marcos’ wife Imelda, proclaimed that she expected a landslide for her husband. The election was anything but sedate, with murder and violence marking the entire process, including the assassination of opposition leader Benigno Acquino in August of the previous year.

The Russians told the 1984 Olympic Committee they were absolutely, definitely, unequivocally NOT attending the Games in Los Angeles over Summer. The Russians made the announcement, citing fear for the safety of their athletes. They claimed there was a plot to drug and kidnap as well as violent protests aimed at the athletes and they couldn’t vouch for their safety and received no assurances from Peter Ueberroth, the Olympic organizer, that steps had been taken to insure their protection. Ueberroth was gobsmacked, but everyone else played the hunch that it was really “tit-for-tat” for 1980 and America’s no-show.

Iraq staged two more attacks on ships at the oil terminal on Kharg Island in the Persian gulf. The Iran-Iraq War lumbered on.

All the Democratic candidates were heading West for the upcoming June Primaries. They landed in San Jose and immediately began combing the area for Hispanic votes. At last count, Mondale edged out Jesse Jackson 46-45%, with Gary Hart getting only 9% of the straw poll. Hart was pining hopes on the Yuppie vote to turn things around.

And Michael Jackson was heading to Washington to the White House South Lawn to kick off a commercial he was making against Drunk Driving. It was the biggest ticket the South Lawn had in a long time.

And that’s a small slice of what went on this May 14th in 1984, as presented by Reid Collins and The CBS World News Roundup.

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