Thatcher quits:British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher...

Newswatch ... on last week in review

November 26, 1990

Thatcher quits:

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher announced her resignation Thursday, the same day that she survived a no-confidence vote in Parliament. On Wednesday, a day after she failed to end a challenge by her former defense minister, Michael Heseltine, in a vote among Conservative members in Parliament, Thatcher said she would "fight on" to a second round of balloting. But Cabinet members told her she could not win.

Thatcher, 65, prime minister since May 1979, keeps the post until a successor is chosen by secret ballot tomorrow among the 372 Conservative legislators in the House of Commons.

She was Britain's first woman prime minister, Europe's longest-serving prime minister in this century and the only one to win three consecutive elections.

In addition to Heseltine, Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd and Treasury chief John Major jumped into the Conservatives' leadership contest.

President Bush visited U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf Thanksgiving Day and told them, "We won't pull punches." The chief executive was in high spirits Thursday after hop-scotching by helicopter across eastern Saudi Arabia to spend the holiday with some of the approximately 400,000 men and women he has ordered to the gulf region. The president, accompanied by his wife, Barbara, came within 65 miles of the border with Kuwait.

* A group of 45 House Democrats, including Kweisi Mfume of Maryland, went to court Tuesday to challenge the president's power to wage war against Iraq without congressional authority.

* Iraq is sending 250,000 more troops to Kuwait, more than doubling its military strength in the occupied emirate, the Iraqi News Agency reported last Monday.

The move came 11 days after President Bush announced a U.S. buildup that would bring American troop strength in the region to about 430,000 soldiers, Marines and other personnel.

* Three more Army Reserve units based in Maryland were called up last Monday for duty in conjunction with Operation Desert Shield. The units are the 352nd Civil Affairs, headquarters and headquarters company, from Riverdale; the 422 Medical Detachment, from Rockville; and the 531st Medical Detachment, from Baltimore. The reservists reported Wednesday.

* In Washington, Pentagon officials said they are weighing ways to make more troops available for service in the gulf if needed. They said the Army is considering freezing the release of officers and enlisted personnel from units in the United States.

Bush-Gorbachev summit:

Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and President Bush are planning a January summit in Moscow, U.S. and Soviet officials said Tuesday. It would be the fourth summit for Bush and Gorbachev.

Failing to make the grade:

Maryland public elementary and secondary schools failed to meet six the state's eight performance standards in the past school year, according to a report issued last Monday by the state Department of Education.

* Elsewhere on the education front last week, State Higher Education Secretary Shaila Aery proposed reducing the size of the University of Maryland System by eliminating University College and merging its continuing education program into the curriculum of UM College Park.

T. Benjamin Massey, president of University College, said Wednesday that Aery's proposal should be ignored and the college should receive the $39 million it is seeking to operate in 1992. Massey suggested that the college be allowed to grow and "maintain its position as one of the nation's leading providers of continuing higher education to adults."

* This Thursday, University of Maryland Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg is expected to recommend that university regents name Errol L. Reese president of the University of Maryland at Baltimore.

Reese, dean of the university's dental school, will succeed William J. Kinnard, who last Monday resigned the post he had held since April 1989.

Tax battle looms:


Gov. William Donald Schaefer last week praised a new report calling for major increases and restructuring of state taxes.

Schaefer called the report of the Linowes Commission "well thought out," and said many of its ideas should have been enacted long ago. "Some changes in the tax structure have to be made, there's no question about that," Schaefer said last Monday. "No one in the past had the intestinal fortitude to do it."

But Schaefer stopped short of embracing any of the report's specific proposals, which include increasing income tax rates and the sales tax, reducing local property taxes, and expanding the sales tax to include many services that are now untaxed.

City Council President Mary Pat Clarke called the recommendations "an essential part of [Baltimore's] recovery program," while Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said they would help the entire state, not just the city.

Michael Milken, the junk-bond whiz who came to symbolize the fast money of the 1980s, was ordered Wednesday to serve 10 years in prison for securities fraud.

The sentence was the toughest in the government's 4 1/2 year probe of insider trading and capped the investigation.

Gymnastics trials here in '92:

The United States Gymnastics Federation on Wednesday chose Baltimore as site of the 1992 Olympics Gymnastics Trials, which are to be held June 6-14, 1992.

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