January 18, 1987 – a day of cautious diplomacy. News from West Germany that suspected 22-year old Palestinian terrorist Muhammed Ali Hamedi was scheduled to be freed. The U.S. wanted to extradite Hamedi back to the U.S. in order to stand trial in connection with the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jet which resulted in the murder of one of the passengers, U.S. Navy seaman Robert Stethem, purportedly at the hands of Hamedi. The U.S. assured West German authorities that they would not seek the death penalty of the hijacker in exchange for the extradition, since the treaty with West Germany expressly forbids imposition of the Death Penalty. Hamedi was one of four hijackers of the TWA flight charged by the U.S. for the hijacking as well as the murder of Stethem. A State Department official said the formal extradition request would be in the hands of the German authorities sometime later in the week.
President Reagan was spending the weekend at Camp David where he was expected to be working on his State of The Union address and was returning to Washington the following day.
New York commuters who used the Long Island Railroad were busy deciding how they were going cope with the strike that shut down the nations busiest commuter rail line. Officials in communities served by the LIRR were preparing contingency plans, which were slated to go into effect the upcoming Tuesday. The railroad normally carried some 272,000 commuters a day.
And speaking of strikes – the strike against USX Steel Corporation moved a step closer to ending. Union local Presidents meeting in Pittsburgh voted 38-4 to accept a proposed new contract. It wasn’t what they wanted, but it was the best they were going to get.
And that’s how this day rolled – this January 18,1987 as reported by CBS Radio News.