Helping the Kurds:On Sunday, the first U.S. troops entered...

Newswatch...on last week in review

April 22, 1991

Helping the Kurds:

On Sunday, the first U.S. troops entered northern Iraq to establish refugee bases for Iraqi Kurds. An estimated half million Kurds have fled northward toward Turkey.

Thousands of joyful U.S. troops in armored columns rolled across the desert Monday, homeward bound in a swift pullout from southern Iraq. The United States dismantled its VII Corps headquarters in Iraq, the last remaining command of that size.

* Helicopter-borne U.S. troops Thursday looked for potential Kurdish refugee camp sites well inside Iraq.

* U.S. military commanders Friday sought Iraqi assurances thaallied troops building refugee camps in Iraq will not be attacked. Iraqi officials protested the bases but said they would not interfere.

Student testing:

President Bush Thursday called for a new national system of student testing and efforts to try radical new ways of organizing schools as the cornerstone of a new attempt to improve U.S. public education.


Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions announced Monday that it is one of three medical centers designated by the federal government to establish new comprehensive programs to study hearing, balance and related problems.

Drug tests:

Federal investigators probing the train collision April 12 near Chase Monday expressed concern over an eight-hour delay from the time of the crash to the time four crew members of the Conrail freight train submitted to urine tests.

Amtrak officials said Monday that the company's own tests of urine samples taken from the crews of both trains showed no sign of drug or alcohol use.

The Federal Railroad Administration released a statement late Thursday saying investigators were "reviewing the post-accident procedures utilized to collect employee specimens" of blood and urine at the Shock-Trauma Unit.


Forty Howard County government workers were laid off Monday in a move County Executive Charles I. Ecker said was needed to help balance next year's operating budget.

Rail strike:

The first nationwide freight rail strike in 10 years lasted only a day but still forced commuters and companies to juggle their schedules. Some 8,000 Maryland rail commuters Wednesday were caught in the struggle between railway unions and management, each side blaming the other. The strike hit the CSX and Conrail lines in Baltimore.

* Acting with unusual swiftness, Congress passed legislation designed to end the strike. President Bush signed the bill into law early Thursday. By Friday, schedules returned to normal.

Africa summit:

Three hundred black American political and business leaders met for three days beginning Monday with African heads of state Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to develop a strategy for helping blacks in Africa and the United States.


Brendan "Bud" O'Malley, the chief executive of the beleaguered Maryland Port Administration has resigned after less than two years on the job. He will probably leave the post sometime next month, O. James Lighthizer, Maryland's secretary transportation, said Wednesday. Lighthizer said he would assume the duties of the job temporarily, serving as head of both the Transportation Department and the port agency.

City budget:

A $9.9 million state grant and a wage freeze helped the city to avoid layoffs and cuts in services, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said Wednesday as next year's $2.07 billion budget was presented to the Board of Estimates.

Urban poverty:

The impoverished "underclass" of the nation's cities is smaller than many people have estimated, but its problems may be more intractable than both conservative and liberal theorists have suggested, according to one of the most extensive studies ever on underclass poverty.

South Africa sanctions:

The European Community agreed Monday to end sanctions on imports of iron and steel and gold coins from South Africa, the last remaining bans imposed by the trading bloc on Pretoria's white-led government. The EC, however, will continue to observe the U.N. bans on sports events with South Africa as well as U.N. embargoes on arms and crude oil from the country. The United States still is maintaining sanctions.

Bailout plan in trouble:

The Bush administration, facing mounting opposition in Congress and the Federal Reserve Board, is considering backing away from its own $70 billion plan to rescue the depleted fund that protects deposits in the nation's banks, White House officials said.

Confidence in the nation's banks and thrifts has eroded considerably since the mid-1980s, even though an overwhelming number of Americans have faith in their own bank and believe that their money is safe, a Los Angeles Times Poll showed.

On Friday, MNC Financial Inc. announced it had finished the first quarter in the black, thanks to the sale of its Delaware credit card division. MNC reported net earnings of $154 million for the quarter. In a massive turnover, 17 of the 26 members of the board have stepped down during the last year, according to a company proxy statement.

The Dow Jones industrial average finally has joined the rest of the record-setting stock market. On Wednesday, the widely watched index closed above the 3,000 for the first time, at 3,004.46..

Curriculum delay:

A task force drafting plans to integrate African and black American history and culture into Baltimore's school curriculum is urging a year's delay of the project. The panel's 62-page preliminary report, due out Wednesday, recommends a September 1992 implementation date rather than this September.

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