Khartoum, Sudan —The new military ruler of Sudan said Monday his government had taken steps to establish closer ties with the Soviet Union, Libya and Ethiopia. He also pledged to revise Sudan’s harsh Islamic laws.

Gen. Abdul Rahman Swar alDahab, chairman of the ruling 15man Military Council, took power in a military coup April 6 while President Jaafar Numeiry was in Egypt en route home from a trip to the United States. The coup followed weeklong street protests over food and fuel price increases.

Vienna — Young Catholics have asked Czechos lovak leader Gustav Husak to lift jail sentences given to three Catholics convicted of trying to smuggle religious materials into the country, a Vienna based Catholic news agency Kathpress said.

Branislav Borovsky, Aloijz Gabaj and Tomas Konc were detained by Polish police in Poland in December 1983 and turned over to Czechoslovak authorities last April. They were given sentences ranging up to 18 months in prison.

Naples, Italy — Rescue workers descended 650 feet into the crater of Mount Vesuvius on ropes early Monday and rescued a U.S. sailor trapped inside the volcano while trying to save a shipmate.

Firefighters also hoisted out the body of the other sailor, who died after falling into the 4,000footdeep crater Sunday.

Sixth Fleet headquarters identified the rescued sailor as Brett Jacobs, 22, from Kansas City, Mo. The dead sailor was identified as Ralph Underhill. His age and hometown were not immediately released.

Beirut, Lebanon — Palestinian leaders Monday began two days of meetings chaired by Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the Iraqi News Agency said.

The discussions were to deal with Arab and international political attitudes toward a Jordanian Palestinian peace proposal as well as the fighting in the southern Lebanese port of Sidon between Christian militiamen and Palestinian backed Moslems, the agency said.

Vatican City — US. Ambassador Edward Rowny briefed Pope John Paul II Monday on the progress of arms control talks between the United States and the Soviet Union in Geneva.

The Pope granted Rowny a 20minute private audience in his study at the Apostolic Palace to hear a report on the talks, Vatican sources said.

The audience followed John Paul’s meeting Saturday with six U.S. senators, who delivered a letter from President Reagan that Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole of Kansas said touched on “the troubling situation in Central America and the arms control talks in Geneva.’”’

New Delhi — New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange Monday called for an end to “‘superpower rivalry’’ in the Indian Ocean during a one day visit to reaffirm New Zealand’s ties of friendship with India.


Lange flew to India Sunday from Africa and talked with Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi for more than one hour.

“If the Indian Ocean stops being a zone of superpower rivalry, we would support that,’’ Lange told reporters after talking with Gandhi.

His statement supported India’s call for a “Nice zone”’ in the Indian Ocean. India is worried that U.S. warships in the region make the Indian Ocean a_ possible scene of confrontation with the Soviet Union.

Article extracted from this publication >>  April 19, 1985