July 5, 1991 – A Scandal Named BCCI – Hussein And The Inspectors – Being Paid In Sunsets
July 5, 1991 – A day after America celebrated, it was back to business as usual. In Moscow, the Russian Parliament was voting to give approval to Mikhail Gorbachev’s new Treaty Of Union. The treaty was approved after Boris Yeltsin appealed to lawmakers to support it. Yeltsin warned that failing to give approval would potentially spell the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein told the UN that his country will turn over a list of nuclear materials and make sure that UN inspectors have access to nuclear sites.
In Yugoslavia, officials in Slovenia said they were renewing efforts to comply with demands from the Federal Government which had set a deadline of midnight July 4th for some of them. The Country’s Information Minister gave details of how some 10,000 troops were being sent home as a conciliatory gesture towards the Federal Authorities; whose original demands they had rejected as impossible. A second demand for release of all Yugoslav Army prisoners was in the process of being met as hundreds of prisoners were being assembled in Lyubiljana prior to their eventual return home by train. On the question of Slovenia’s borders however, there seemed to be little movement. The Federal Authorities wanted to regain control over the Customs and Border facilities. Whereas the Slovenian Presidency called for negotiations involving the European community. The Federal Authorities demanded the restoration of the borders to their previous status by the upcoming Sunday. It was the Yugoslav Army’s attempt to seize control of the main border crossing posts the week before which led to the outbreak of fighting.
The Bank Of Credit And Commerce International, which was closed down by Federal authorities earlier in the year, after it was implicated in laundering money for deposed Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, further had its operations suspended in Britain, Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands. The Bank Of England said it had evidence that the Luxembourg-based bank was engaging in widespread fraud over a number of years and it was on an unprecedented scale. The liquid assets of BCCI were turned over to the British government and some $7 billion dollars worth of deposits had been seized. Investors who had banked with BCCI were met with closed doors and some pessimistic outcomes. None of the BCCI-funded banks in the U.S. were part of the investigation – for now.
The unemployment figures were dismal, but spin was trying hard to paint a different picture – we were in a Recession after all.
And a report that the National Park Service was being stretched thin by lack of people wanting to join the NPS; as more and more Rangers said they were frustrated and angry over how little they were being paid, poor housing and an increasing workload to accommodate visitors to the tune of some 250 million a year, all came on a year the National Park Service was celebrating 75 years. As one former Ranger put it; “I’m tired of being paid in sunsets”.
And that’s a small slice of what went on, this 5th of July, as presented by NPR’s All Things Considered.