Monday Mayhem – November 9, 1987
Ironically, November 9, 1987 landed on a Monday – and like many Mondays before and after, it was a day filled with drama, madness and anger.
Starting with news of bombings in Sri Lanka, the responsibility of Tamil extremists as bombs went off in the capital of Columbo during rush hour, killing a reported 20, but with estimates of at least 50.
In Ireland, Remembrance Day, a day of memorial for the fallen soldiers of World War 1 and 2, was marked in the Irish border town of Enniskillen with a bomb blast, killing at least 11 and seriously injuring over 63. The British blamed the IRA for the bombing, yet the IRA took no responsibility as Protestants vowed revenge and the British government in Northern Ireland asked for calm.
And in the Middle East, the Abu Nidal Terrorist group was holding some 8 Israelis, including 3 women and 2 children, who were seized aboard their yacht off the Gaza Strip. However, the Belgian government said 5 of those being held hostage were Belgians. In any event, the Abu Nidal group threatened to kill them if Israel retaliated. The situation was somewhat murky as Israel said the hostages were not Israeli citizens, and the International Red Cross has denied the Abu Nidal claim that it had been contacted. But the Israelis admitted that the alleged hi-jacking could be an attempt to upset the Arab League Summit beginning this day in Amman Jordan. Israeli officials were operating under the assumption that something had happened, but declined to say if they would assist Belgian authorities in the matter.
All that, and Iraqi claims that an Iranian missile attack on Baghdad, reportedly killing some 11 women and children were both seen as efforts to derail Arab leaders efforts at the emergency session in Amman to explore ways to end the long Iran-Iraq War.
Meanwhile, back in the States – As the Supreme Court met to hear arguments on the constitutionality of executing teenage criminals, one of its nine seats remained vacant. Nominee #2 Douglas Ginzburg withdrew, while possible nominee #3, California appellate Court Judge Anthony Kennedy discussed the possibilities of a SCOTUS appointment with White House Chief of Staff Howard Baker in meetings over the weekend. The White House confirmed Kennedy was a strong contender for the job.
And that’s a small slice of the Monday Madness for November 9, 1987 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.