December 5, 1981 – Diplomacy Of The Shuttle Kind – The Syrian Missile Crisis – Tragedy In A Coal Mine.
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December 5, 1981 – A day for Shuttle Diplomacy and a day for putting out fires. Special Envoy Philip Habib was having a less-than-successful time pitching an American plan for a Middle-East Peace initiative to Arab leaders. This day he was heading to Saudi Arabia after spending some time in Israel, meeting with Yitzhak Shamir and Ariel Sharon, which was portrayed by the Israeli’s as “very good” but expressed deep concern over the arming of Terrorists in Lebanon. In Damascus, Syrian Radio broadcast an editorial quoting Hafaz Assad that the presence of Syrian missiles in Lebanon was “not negotiable”. Also repeated was the Syrian contention that the U.S. disqualified itself as a mediator by signing a strategic cooperation agreement with Israel. The pact was described by Syria as a “virtual declaration of War against the Arab world”. Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and Turkish military planners agreed to “speed up” delivery of American weapons to Turkey’s ill-equipped armed forces during intense negotiations in Ankara. Security was tight as threats continued against President Reagan, Weinberger and several other cabinet members by Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi. It was disclosed that five Libyan assassins had entered the United States. It hadn’t deterred Weinberger, who was going ahead with his planned 11 day trip to Turkey and other NATO nations. Diplomacy trudged on.
Millions of Russians were working without pay this day, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Soviet Victory over the Nazis in the Battle of Moscow. Radio Moscow said the “Work For The Nation Day” was raising funds for various social welfare projects, including hospitals, child care centers and Sports facilities, but didn’t say just how much money was raised.
And the last missing Coal Miner was found dead in West Virginia. The worst fears were realized earlier this morning as workers dug their way to the last man, trapped in a cave-in several nights earlier in a mine near Bergoo West Virginia. The body of Donal Arbogast was brought out of the Elk river mine, as relatives and friends maintained a vigil. The cave-in claimed three lives and left two miners injured.
And that’s a sample of what went on, this December 5, 1981 as presented by CBS Radio Hourly News.