1. Archive

Navy suspends use of Sea Sparrow

Navy chief Frank Kelso on Saturday night ordered U.S. warships worldwide to cease using the Sea Sparrow missile until investigators determine why the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga fired two of them inadvertently at a Turkish destroyer during NATO exercises Thursday night, killing five Turkish sailors. Kelso also ordered Vice Adm. Kenneth Malley of the Naval Sea Systems Command to conduct a "top-to-bottom review" of the surface-to-air missile system. A Navy official said a preliminary investigation suggested that human error was responsible for the fatal launch in the Aegean Sea.

Gorbachev calls

himself "refusenik'

MOSCOW _ Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev on Saturday blasted a decision by Russian authorities to ban him from traveling abroad, calling it political discrimination and a violation of human rights. "The first Soviet president has been turned into the first political "refusenik' of Russia," said a statement issued by Gorbachev's press office, using the name once given to Soviet dissidents. Gorbachev refuses to give evidence to Russia's highest court about the activities of the Communist Party. He says the court is being manipulated for political purposes.

Iraqis angry over

U.N. assets seizure

BAGHDAD, Iraq _ Iraqis reacted with anger Saturday at a U.N. decision to seize Baghdad's assets. "The Security Council's decision is an illegal act of confiscation, a modified form of bank robbery Texas style," Information Minister Hamed Yousef Hamadi said. The council voted Friday to seize an estimated $1-billion of Iraqi oil money abroad to compensate victims of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and to pay for U.N. weapons inspections. "This is to put pressure on us, so that we are forced to do what America wants us to do," said Sabah al-Ameir, a florist who sells paper bouquets because U.S. sanctions bar the import of flowers.

Irish president

visits Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia _ Irish President Mary Robinson began a two-day visit to this starving nation Saturday with a stop in Baidoa, one of the towns hardest hit by the crisis. "More than 100 people died while we were there," she said of her tour of feeding and therapeutic centers operated by the Red Cross and the Irish agencies Concern and Goal. "I wanted to present a positive image, so I smiled through my tears," she said after arriving in the capital, Mogadishu. Robinson, who is scheduled to address the United Nations this week, said she will urge the world to provide more relief to Somalia.

Paraguay army

chief is charged

ASUNCION, Paraguay _ The commander in chief of the Paraguayan army has been charged with involvement in a car smuggling ring, court sources said Saturday. The charges against army chief Gen. Humberto Garcete and two other generals were filed by two civil judges investigating the smuggling to Bolivia of about 40,000 cars stolen in Paraguay and Brazil, the sources said. Under the 34-year dictatorship of Gen. Alfredo Stroessner, ousted in a 1989 coup, Paraguay became a notorious haven for smuggling. After the coup a number of Stroessner's ministers and other high-ranking officials were tried for corruption and embezzlement.

Elsewhere . . .

JERUSALEM _ Israeli security forces killed two Palestinians in the occupied West Bank on Saturday, the army said. The deaths bring to 936 the number of Palestinians killed by Israelis since the Palestinian uprising began almost five years ago.