Lions and Tigers

United Press International

A new hybrid tiger/lion cub was born on April 20 in Thoiry Zoo. Thoiry is 25 miles from Paris, and consists of mansion build in 1564 with gardens designed by Le Notre, period furnishings and art, and a library of historical records alongside it’s open air zoo of rare animals.

At Thoiry, Vicomte Paul de la Panouse and his wife Annabelle Leigh have already owned four “ligons”, two males and two females. Earlier this year, a couple of these hybrids were given to the Chinese government and now reside in a Beijing Zoo.

The new birth is zoologically important because the mother was the result from the crossing of two species, and it is generally presumed that such crossings always produce sterile offspring.

Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction Talks

MBFR Talks tried to tackle “the data problem” where Western estimates show that instead of the agreed upon parity between NATO countries and Warsaw Pact countries, Warsaw Pact countries had a margin of superiority of about 20% regarding troops stationed in Europe.

The Indianapolis News (Indianapolis, Indiana) · 19 Apr 1984

In the Vienna Conference, the NATO countries proposed to “narrow the counting to ground combat forces and their support units” instead of counting the service support forces which are more numerous in the Warsaw Pact countries.

Chemical Weapons

If there is no agreement to limit or eliminate chemical weapons, the U.S. may introduce production of binary weapons, according to TV Eye.

Discussion of Chemical Weapons is sure to be a topic at the Conference for Disarmament (CD) in Geneva, Switzerland.

155mm binary XM687

A 1980 New York Times front page editorial by Malcom W. Browne claims that such chemical warfare is needed to counter Soviet chemical weapon usage in Afghanistan.

Tripoli University Hangings


Date Event
September 1, 1969 Libyan coup d’état
April 7, 1976 Student’s Revolution
April 7, 1977 Students Hung in Public Square in Benghazi

According to a National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL) statement Hafed al-Madani and Rasheed Kaabar were publicly executed at Tripoli University on Sunday, four years after they had been arrested in student protests.

The executions come just after the April 7th, 1976 holiday. April 7th is commemorated every year in Libya as the anniversary of when the Gaddafi regime claimed victory over university students who were protesting the government in Tripoli and Benghazi. Jailed student protesters were accused of being American agents, members of political parties, or terrorists

As part of the holiday celebrations, secondary students march and practice drills in the squares of Tripoli and Benghazi. Since 1977, the regime has also commemorated the Student’s Revolution each April  by  publicly executing students who oppose the government, sometimes after being arrested for years without trial.


What Comes after Andropov?

Last night, CBS discussed the death of Comrade Yuri Andropov and what this means for Eastern Europe, The Middle East, Central America, and Asia.

With only two years in office, Andropov had formerly been Chairman of the Committee for State Security (KGB). Since his acension to General Secretary, Andropov’s government had been challenged by domestic issues such as the economy and corruption (such as dealing with the vestiges of the “Cotton Scandal” in Uzbekistan).

His management of the issues was quite different than that of his predecessor, Leonid Brezhnev, even though he had been a member of Brezhnev’s advising troika, alongside Andrei Gromyko and Dmitry Ustinov.

The expectation is that 72-year-old Konstantin Chernenko will be the choice of the politburo to become the next General Secretary of the Communist Party and de facto leader of the USSR.

Ivan & Anya, Jim & Sally

Just suppose with me for a moment that an Ivan and an Anya could find themselves, say, in a waiting room, or sharing a shelter from the rain or a storm with a Jim and Sally, and that there was no language barrier to keep them from getting acquainted. Would they then deliberate the differences between their respective governments? Or would they find themselves comparing notes about their children and what each other did for a living? . . . They might even have decided that they were all going to get together for dinner some evening soon. Above all, they would have proven that people don’t make wars.

Ronald Reagan

25 Years of Castro, Part 2

Today’s Seattle Times article referred to the 1969 Zafra de los diez milliones as a turning point for Fidel Castro. His charisma was no longer enough to ensure miracles (such as the eradication of illiteracy, and the success of programs to train doctors on the island) would continue. It was not just the Cubans in Miami who opposed the Castro government.

Prior to the 1980s, the majority of Cubans in the United States came from middle and upper class families. However, two decades after the revolution – 10,000 lower income Cubans stormed the Peruvian embassy in April of 1980 seeking asylum.

The Mariel Boatlift refugees, unpopular both in the United States and in Cuba was the ultimate result of the Cuban dissatisfaction. Approximately 125,000 Cubans entered the United States – including unskilled workers, and those labeled by the Castro government as criminals and mental patients.

25 years after the Cuban Revolution, Castro is “on the defensive” according to the Times. The government has matured, though, and should be able to weather the next 25 years.

Against Wind and Tide: A Cuban Odyssey (1981)

25 Years of Castro, Part 1

The Cuban Revolution ended on January 1, 1959, 25 years ago, when Batista fled the capital and Fidel Castro’s 26th of July movement entered La Habana.

Today’s Seattle Times shows the smiling faces of three of Castro’s barbudos, Camilo was 26, Che was 30, and Raul was 27.

Tomorrow, the special feature will continue, and promises to look at Cuba in 1985 and the changes since the revolution.