A Hostages Story – November 20, 1991

Thomas Sutherland - 5 years a hostage.

Thomas Sutherland – 5 years a hostage.

CBS World News Roundup – November 20, 1991 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

News for this day in 1991 had a lot to do with Thomas Sutherland, a professor at the American University in Beirut who had been held hostage somewhere in Beirut since 1985 was finally freed on this day. With the efforts of Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite, Sutherland was finally released, joining the others who had been released earlier from the Islamist Jihad group holding several hostages over the years. The group released a message apologizing for the actions, saying it was serving no useful purpose. Sutherland was immediately flown to Wiesbaden Germany to be reunited with his family.

In other news – the case of The Keating Five was the focal point of an ethics determination in Congress this day. The case of Alan Cranston was at the tug-of-war stage, with Senator Jesse Helms, leader of the three Committee Republicans demanding the censure of Cranston for his dealings with indicted Savings and Loan figure Charles Keating. Committee Democrats have been rejecting the notion of censure in favor of a lesser sanction. The Committee’s resolution, a strong reprimand, was scheduled to be read on the Senate floor this day, and Cranston was slated to appear to hear the charge and deliver a statement of defense. The resolution of the Cranston case will finally wrap up the Keating Affair and the so-called Keating Five. The four other Senators involved with Charles Keating, Democrats Riegle, DeConcini and John Glenn and Republican John McCain all received letters of reprimand months earlier.

And election year was just around the corner and President Bush was expected to announce his bid for re-election. It was just a question of who his handlers were going to be. It was clear White House Chief of Staff John Sununu was to direct the campaign from the White House, other members of the proposed team were balking at Sununu’s role in the campaign.

All that, and a whole lot more for this November 20th in 1991 as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.

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