Hello Diplomacy – Goodbye E.B. White – October 1, 1985
News for this first day of October in 1985 was hopeful, vengeful and sad.
The hopeful part came in the form of the upcoming Summit talks in Geneva between Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev and President Reagan. Much was going on at the Nuclear Disarmament talks, with the Soviets making a surprise proposal ahead of resumption. U.S. officials trying to get a handle on who this new Kremlin leader Gorbachev was. Meanwhile, Gorbachev was wasting no time in his PR blitz, meeting in Paris with French President Mitterrand. Mitterrand was in the midst of his own National Migraine, with the Greenpeace scandal and continuing revelations surfacing over the Mitterrand regime’s complicity (and tacit approval) in the bombing incident of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior. Hopefully, Gorby-Mania would take care of all that.
The vengeful part came a little further South and to the East as word surfaced of an Israeli Air force raid on PLO headquarters in Tunis, some 1500 miles away from Tel-Aviv. The daring raid, which leveled PLO Headquarters buildings, killed a then-unknown number of PLO members, but didn’t get the intended target; Yasir Arafat. It was said the raid was in retaliation to the PLO murder of three Israelis in Cyprus the previous week. Egypt denounced the air raid as a “heinous criminal action” and it broke off border talks with the Israelis.
And staying in the Middle East – word that Soviet officials had grave doubts over the fates of four colleagues kidnapped the previous day in Lebanon by one of two fundamentalist groups who claimed responsibility. So far, one of the diplomats, a Soviet Culture attache had been executed with promises from an anonymous caller that one official would be executed each hour unless Syria stops the fighting between its allies and Sunni fundamentalists in the Lebanese port of Tripoli. However, there was no confirmation of the report and no further word on the fates of the other hostages.
And the sad part came in the form of news that E.B. White, the master of simple writing and author of The Elements Of Style, which he wrote with William Strunk died on this day at age 86. White, whose literary works included Charlottes Web and was a regular contributor to The New Yorker Magazine won him a place as one of the 20th century’s great Men of Contemporary American Letters.
And that’s a small slice of what went on this October 1, 1985 as presented by the CBS World News Roundup.