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October 15, 1979 – Historic news – Chinese Premier Hua Guofeng landed in Paris for his first of several stops on a three-week European tour. It was the first time a Chinese Communist leader visited Europe, and the purpose was to strengthen relations with nations that saw the Soviet Union as a potential enemy. Hua succeeded Mao some three years earlier, and he held the three top posts in China; Chairman of the Communist Party, Premier and Chairman of the Military commission. His arrival in Paris began a six-day visit to France, to be followed by stops in West Germany, Britain and Italy. Hua was expected to use this visit as a means of warning those Western nations of a Soviet threat – his message was simple; stay united, strengthen the Atlantic Alliance and the European Common Market and help China with credits and Technology.
Meanwhile, a group of Black American leaders arrived in Israel in a move clearly intended to reverse the effects of the recent tour of the area by Jesse Jackson, head of Operation PUSH. The delegates representing the NAACP, The Urban League and the Civil Rights Department of the AFofL-CIO planned their trip before Jesse Jackson came the Middle East, but Israelis saw a dramatic relationship between the two visits – to them, Jackson was the Enemy – these visitors were Friends. At a news conference that morning, the delegates stressed Black America’s support for Israel; the vital relationship between Jews and Blacks in the U.S. and how important it was for Americans; Black or White, to have no dealings with the PLO. Ironically, Prime Minister Begin had no time to visit Jackson, however these delegates had a previous appointment.
And the 1980 election season was unofficially getting started. Even though Jimmy Carter did not officially declare his intentions to seek a second term, he was on a tour of the U.S., speaking at various functions that were construed as political in nature, along with speaking at a fundraiser in Chicago for Mayor Jane Byrne. First Lady Roselyn Carter was in Chicago the previous week where she got what appeared to be an endorsement of President Carter, but quickly backed off when pressed, saying the Cook County Democratic Chairman was to call a caucus of local delegates and adding she “thought they would support him”. However, the Party Chairman hadn’t committed himself. Carter was scheduled to conduct a Town-Meeting in Chicago to discuss his administration’s various policies.
All that, and a lot more for this October 15, 1979 as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.