Slice of Life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2007, 12:00am

From the South China Morning Post this week in 1990

London, December 17

The Iraqi President, Mr Saddam Hussein, has acquired enough Western technology to produce a nuclear bomb in as little as a year, a leading London newspaper reported.

The Sunday Times Insight team says Mr Saddam's scientists have built a factory for producing nuclear centrifuges, key equipment for making nuclear devices. They have also built a secret uranium enrichment laboratory in the outskirts of Baghdad. The report came a month before the January 15 UN deadline authorising force to remove Iraq from Kuwait. Iraq has said it does not recognise the resolution.

Shortly after Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2 1990, American intelligence agencies, including the CIA, carried out an emergency review of Mr Saddam's nuclear capability

The new evidence suggests Iraq is three years closer to nuclear capability than Western intelligence agencies had thought.

Hongkong, December 19

China fired a salvo at the Hongkong Bank and the Government for the Bank's decision to form a British-based parent company seen as tantamount to shifting its domicile overseas.

In a concerted move, the China-aligned Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po newspapers carried four strongly-worded editorials and commentaries condemning the bank's move as 'not sensible' and 'damaging to local confidence'.

They attacked the Bank for 'wanting to enjoy privileges only and failing to live up to its obligations and responsibilities for Hongkong'.

The Hongkong Government was also criticised for its open support for the Bank's plan.

But the Governor, Sir David Wilson, reiterated the Government's support for the move, saying the bank would continue to issue notes.

Speaking before an Executive Council meeting, Sir David defended the Bank's decision.

'If you look at it from a wider Hongkong perspective, what Hongkong needs is a strong bank, an effective bank committed to Hongkong, able to operate throughout the world,' he said.

Washington, December 20

Dan Quayle's office was flooded with calls after consumer rights activist Ralph Nader gave out the number and urged people to call the American Vice-President and urge him not to accept a US$45,000 pay rise.

'We could barely do our work,' a Quayle staffer said of the dozens of calls.

Standing outside Mr Quayle's office at the Old Executive Office building, Mr Nader read aloud the Vice-President's telephone number - 'that's 202-456-2326' - and urged people to complain about the salary increase for Mr Quayle, House members and other workers.

US President Mr George Bush ordered the pay rise for Mr Quayle as a part of a new and elevated salary structure authorised by Congress last autumn against the objections of Mr Nader and the American public.

Mr Nader led an unsuccessful campaign to block the pay rise. He argued that by refusing the rise now, 'the Vice-President can move from the status of buffoon to bravado'.