April 4, 1987 – Pope John Paul II visits Chile and gets a glimpse of the violence in the streets of Santiago while conducting an open air Mass. Demonstrators, protesting the oppressive military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet clashed with police during the mass, sending clouds of teargas wafting toward the podium and the sounds of gunfire cut the mass short for fear things were getting out of hand quickly. It was the latest in a series of protests, as violence amped up in the Chilean capitol between demonstrators and police during the Pope’s visit.
Meanwhile, President Reagan was hearing north the next day to visit Canada and hold talks with Prime Minister Mulroney over trade, acid rain and the free passage of American warships through Canadian arctic waters. Canada and the U.S. were the two largest trading partners in the history of nations. The U.S. exported some $47 billion worth of goods to Canada, compared to only $23 billion to Japan. The two countries were engaged in negotiations to remove tariffs and other barriers to that trade. By law, they needed to reach a deal by the end of the year, but serious obstacles had arisen, not the least being a rising anti-American sentiment north of the border. Among other things, Canadians were upset with the U.S. over the inability to do more about acid rain, the industrial emissions that drift northward from U.S. smokestacks. Mr. Reagan was expected to renew promises to research acid rain, with the hope that it may clear the way for a trade agreement by the year’s end.
And with all the talk of trade sanctions, it was Britain’s turn to threaten sanctions against Japan. A British government mission was heading to Tokyo in an attempt to avert a trade war. Earlier in the week, the British Cabinet took powers enabling it to shut down Japanese financial institutions in Britain unless Tokyo eased trade restrictions in its domestic market. The British were adamant they didn’t want a fight, but they were clearly fed up and they wanted access to the Tokyo Stock Exchange and a greater share of other Japanese markets. The Japanese government had already politely dismissed British requests to that effect.
And that’s a small slice of what happened, this April 4, 1987 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.