Milestones: Jul. 8, 1985

DIED. Elias Sarkis, 61, mild, publicity-shy President of Lebanon from 1976 to 1982, whose conciliatory style was largely ineffectual in reversing the spreading factional violence, civil war and foreign intervention that shredded the country's fabric; of neuromuscular disease; in Paris. A former governor of the Bank of Lebanon and a Maronite Christian (a requirement for the presidency), Sarkis as President-elect helped get Syrian peacekeeping forces into Lebanon in 1976, then was unable to ease them out. "The Sphinx," as he was called, was also stymied by the Palestini- an refugees' disruptive impact on the na- tion's long-standing but strained ChristianMuslim balance....

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