The World: Thunderbolt from Thieu

In the wake of Communist gains in the Easter offensive, South Viet Nam's National Assembly last June reluctantly granted President Nguyen Van Thieu the power to rule by decree for six months. Thieu lost no time in issuing a series of tough decrees that, among other things, increased the income tax rate, set the death penalty for certain crimes, including kidnaping and heroin dealing, subjected some religious groups to the draft, and ordered Saigon's 40 newspapers to deposit 20 million piasters ($46,-512) each as security against government fines or libel suits.

The eleventh and latest decree, quietly issued in August over...

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