May 23, 1990 – Concerns Over Touchy Nukes – Gorbachev Faces A Vote Of Confidence
May 23, 1990 – Safety concerns were raised over reports that some U.S. nuclear warheads were defective and could lead to an accidental nuclear explosion. The Washington Post reported that, in 1988 a defect was discovered in the W-79 short-range Artillery shell that could have caused it to fire if forcefully hit on a sensitive spot. The W-79’s were deployed in West Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. Urgent orders went out not to move the weapons and repair teams were secretly dispatched to disable them. Two other other nuclear warheads were under scrutiny; the W-88 Trident warhead and the W-69 warhead short-range attack missiles. Defense Secretary Dick Cheney assured a meeting in Brussels that there was nothing to worry about and the situation was under control. Despite the disclosure, European leaders were asking for greater transparency from the U.S.
Meanwhile in Moscow, an election was proposed to vote on radical economic changes that promised to send prices and unemployment sky-high. No date had been announced, but the election was viewed as a referendum and vote-of-confidence on the policies of Mikhail Gorbachev. Kremlin spokesmen said Russia needed a referendum in order to gauge public support before it institutes a program that will switch the Soviet Union to a market economy.
And the Israeli Foreign Ministry accused President Bush of fanning the continued violence by Palestinians. The latest set of clashes, which saw some 22 Palestinians were killed was blamed, in part by the absence of peace negotiations. Militant Israelis marched celebrating Jerusalem Day, the anniversary of Israel’s conquest of The Old City in 1967. The previous night, Premier Itzhak Shamir declared the Jewish State had a sacred right to Jerusalem and it would never relinquish control. He also expressed confidence that he would be able to form a new Right-Wing government within a few days. Hardliner and former Defense Minister during the Invasion of Lebanon Ariel Sharon, declared the present situation as a “state of Emergency” and that he needed to be restored as Defense Minister because he knew how to handle the crisis.
And that was just a little of what went on, this May 23, 1990 as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.