January 5, 1989 – The United Nations Security Council was slated to meet for urgent closed-door consultations on this day to discuss Libya’s protest of American shoot-down of Libyan MIG’s over the Mediterranean. No public meeting was called and any resolution condemning the action was expected to get a quick veto by the U.S. Reactions in Tripoli were swift and loud. Western European Diplomats were summoned to the Gaddafi compound to hear a lengthy condemnation of the incident and noisy demonstrations sprang up all around Tripoli. Aides close to Gaddafi were unsure how to handle this sudden burst of anti-American propaganda. Journalists were urgently summoned to the Gaddafi compound. But instead of hearing from Gaddafi himself, they got a hastily slapped together demonstration by some 200 supporters, chanting slogans “Down-down with USA” and “We Shall Fight”. Gaddafi was nowhere to be seen. Instead, he issued a statement saying “we shall meet challenge with challenge. We, as well as the fish are awaiting the American aggressors”. By morning, the streets of Tripoli were calm, but the military went on a higher state of alert.
And there was more – on the eve of a United Nations Chemical warfare conference in Paris, where the U.S. planned to press its case against Tripoli for an alleged poison gas factory, the West German government decided not to take action against a company Washington said helped build the plant. Reports from the West German finance industry showed no evidence that Imhausen Chemicals was involved in building the Libyan factory as U.S. officials insisted it was. One possibility was that U.S. Intelligence got their information wrong. There were several companies operating in West Germany engaged in similar activities. But some insisted Imhausen went via Hong Kong and bypassed West Germany. It was an investigation that was ongoing.
And aside from the final rundown of the Reagan White House and farewell parties and fundraisers, there was a lot of other news, of which this is only a sample as provided by The CBS World News Roundup.