May 31, 1978: Commies And The Economy.

News of the day for May 31, 1978. Skyrocketing inflation. Consumer prices suffer a hefty increase. NATO summit decries Communist involvement in Africa. Brezhnev reacts. Zaire fighting continues with French and Belgian troops while first contingent of Moroccan peacekeepers arrive. UN extends peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights. Tuition Tax Credits proposed by Congress. Italian Opera rocked by financial scandal. And Knee-Capping comes to Berlin.

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Kind of a mess on this particular May 31st in 1978. The world was distracted with finances and violence. On the domestic front it was disclosed that Consumer Prices had hit an all-time high for everything from beef to lettuce. Inflation was skyrocketing and homeowners were taking the worst of the drubbing. Internationally, the NATO summit concluded with stinging denunciations of Communist involvement in Africa, the Soviets and Cubans being singled out. In return, Soviet Premier Brezhnev condemned the action by taking to the airwaves and offering a long and lengthy dirty laundry list of Imperialist contretemps as rebuttal. Meanwhile, the Civil War in the former Belgian Congo, now renamed Zaire (and since re-renamed Congo) got the ire of the French and Belgians who sent in troops to quash the uprising, but not without wholesale massacres of Europeans still living there. On this day Morocco sent in its first contingent of troops to act as peacekeepers while French and Belgian forces withdrew. The UN decided to extend its peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights, since it was deemed a success. Egyptian President Sadat pledged to keep Middle East peace negotiations alive, despite qualms and rejections from the Israelis.

On Capitol Hill a proposal was put forth by Congress to offer Tuition Tax Credits to students and Senator William Proxmire concluded the all-volunteer Army wasn't going to be a success if it didn't encourage recruitment and training of more females.

For scandals, it was Italy's turn and specifically the Italian Opera Houses, as a financial scandal triggered the arrests of over 29 people, mostly prominent figures from such institutions as the La Scala, Turin and Naples Operas. And the age-old Sicilian tradition of knee-capping finally went international with the first such case reported from the streets of Berlin.

What a day, as reported on The CBS World News Roundup for May 31, 1978.

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