November 17, 1980 – President George H.W. Bush goes on tour of Europe and pays a visit to the troops in the Persian Gulf. On this day, he traveled to Czechoslovakia to visit with President Vaclav Havel and to help celebrate the one-year anniversary of its Velvet Revolution, an upheaval that toppled Communism but exposed a host of new challenges. The President promised that Czechoslovakia’s new democratic would not have to face them alone. He promised to help by giving the country an open door to trade with the U.S., by providing American technology and by asking Congress for $60 million to encourage private investment that would bolster the Czech economy.
Meanwhile in Moscow, Soviet President Gorbachev was acting swiftly on a promise to rid his government of officials blocking reforms needed to revive a collapsing Soviet economy. Gorbachev demanded that he be given more powers to enforce Governmental decrees. Taking heed of the demands made by leader of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin, Gorbachev promised to involve leaders of the country’s fifteen republics in key decisions. He also proposed creating a vice-Presidency, perhaps as reaction to an assassination attempt the previous week. It was also at a point where many government ministers were considering whether or not to resign in the wake of sweeping changes.
And on the subject of Presidents: President Bush was preparing for his visit with the troops in the Persian Gulf. But not everyone in the region was pleased at the prospect – Jordan‘s King Hussein blasted the presence of Western troops in the region. In a speech during the opening of the Jordanian Parliament, Hussein said the west “tolerated” the pre-meditated murder of Palestinians by Israeli troops in Jerusalem, with a timid rebuke of both sides. At the same time, the King charged, the west adopted a course of military escalation, unyielding positions and economic strangulation in the Gulf. The issue of Double Standards was something all Arab nations agreed on and King Hussein gave assurances he would continue to search for an Arab solution to the present crisis in the Gulf.
And that’s just a small slice of what went on, this November 17, 1990 as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.