Putting the Genie back in the bottle for now.

Putting the Genie back in the bottle for now.
Putting the Genie back in the bottle for now.

– CBS World News Roundup – December 30, 1986 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Only a year earlier, on December 30, 1985, President Reagan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev exchanged warm New Years greetings and hopes for continued progress for both countries.

December 30, 1986 it was a different story. In 1985 it was the rosy glow of the successful Reagan and Gorbachev Fireside Summit in Geneva. By 1986 it was the failure of the Reykjavik Summit to continue building on what was started a year earlier.

So it was no Happy New Year hugs and salutations between East and West and the hope for continued peace in 1987. It was back to the drawing boards. Even though both sides gave vague excuses, the failure of the summit was clear and the diplomatic snub, even clearer. The New Years Greetings of 1985 between Reagan and Gorbachev were a one-shot deal.

But there was other news on this day, December 30, 1986.

Iran-Contra figure Oliver North was now claiming the idea for the arms-for-hostages deal was actually cooked up by the Israelis. Israel vehemently denied the allegations, going so far as to label North a liar. Even though Israel was involved in the sale of arms to Iran, Israel’s involvement stopped there. Further involvement could have resulted in U.S. curtailing economic aid to Israel.

The Japanese cabinet okayed a nearly $22 billion defense budget, exceeding a sensitive threshold of 1% of GNP which many in Japan considered a reckless move.

Thailand closed down Khao-I-Dang, its largest Cambodian refugee camp, once called home by many who are now U.S. citizens. At its peak, the camp housed some 140,000 Cambodian refugees, but as of this day in 1986, only 24,000 remained. The Thai government said it had put up with the refugees for more than a decade and the remaining refugees were rejected by most western host-nations because of suspicions of being members of the notorious Khmer-Rouge. Those remaining refugees would be relocated to other camps. Some relief workers opposed the move saying it was a death sentence for many.

And Exxon joined the growing list of multi-national corporations pulling out of South Africa. Exxon said it sold its South African affiliates to a local trust for an undisclosed price. The full impact of the move was questioned, as it remained to be seen if Exxon would still supply oil to South Africa via the affiliate as several other multi-national companies wound up doing. So it looked good on paper and it was a nice public relations move, but as for reality? Not so much.

And that’s a slice of what went on this December 30th in 1986, which was also a Tuesday, as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.

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