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MAY 15, 2000 VOL. 155 NO. 19

Milestones
BY PENNY CAMPBELL

DIED. PHAM VAN DONG, 94, Marxist mandarin who served as Prime Minister of Vietnam for 32 years and helped lead the communists to victory over France and the U.S.; in Hanoi. A loyal supporter of Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh, Dong rose to international prominence as chief communist negotiator at the 1954 Geneva talks that led to the end of French colonial rule and split Vietnam in two. He became Prime Minister of the North in 1955, a position he continued to hold after reunification in 1975. He retired in 1987 as reformists began to replace the Old Guard.

DIED. POUL HARTLING, 85, former Prime Minister of Denmark and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; in Copenhagen. Hartling was elected to Parliament as a Liberal in 1957, becoming party leader in 1965. He became Foreign Minister in 1968 and served as Prime Minister from 1973-75, a time he later described as "horrible." He was appointed head of the unhcr in 1978, when millions were being displaced in Asia and Africa. In 1981, during his tenure, the agency was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

DIED. JOHN O'CONNOR, 80, conservative Roman Catholic Cardinal of New York whose outspoken opposition to abortion, birth control and homosexuality provoked controversy in a city known for its tolerance; in New York City. O'Connor was appointed Cardinal in 1985, making him America's most senior Catholic. His orthodox views were tempered by social concern, and he was an advocate for enhanced labor rights.

DIED. PENELOPE FITZGERALD, 83, British author known for her understated and elliptical style; in London. Fitzgerald published the first of her nine books at the age of 60. Her novel Offshore, based on her family's life on a houseboat on the Thames, won Britain's prestigious Booker Prize in 1979. Her last novel, The Blue Flower, won the U.S. National Book Critics Circle Prize in 1997.

RETIREMENT ANNOUNCED. Of NOBORU TAKESHITA, 76, former Prime Minister of Japan whose consummate skill at back-door dealmaking earned him the nickname Shadow Shogun; in Tokyo. Takeshita, who has been hospitalized for more than a year, said he will not stand for re-election this year to the Lower House of the Diet. Liberal Democrat Party Prime Minister from 1987-89, he was forced to resign because of a shares-for-favors scandal that also toppled three of his cabinet colleagues.

RELEASED. CHEN LANTAO, 36, after serving 11 years of an 18-year sentence for criticizing the 1989 massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing's Tiananmen Square; in Shandong province. A government scientist, Chen organized protests in support of the student-led movement. He was serving one of the longest sentences given to any of the protesters.

ELECTED. AHMET NECDET SEZER, 58, a reformist judge, as President of Turkey by the country's National Assembly; in Ankara. After his election, Sezer called for greater democracy. He has also pledged to uphold Turkey's secularism and oppose Kurdish nationalism.

Time Capsule
Eleven years after PAN AM FLIGHT 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270, the trial of two Libyan men accused of planting a bomb on the plane began last week at a former NATO air base in the Netherlands.
"Not one of the 3,000 residents of Lockerbie is likely ever to forget the horrors that befell the Scottish village during Christmas week of 1988. At dinnertime last Wednesday ... a rain of fire and metal suddenly fell on Lockerbie, destroying houses and automobiles and scattering debris as far as [130 km] away... The grisly shower consisted of the remains of a 747 jetliner, Pan American Flight 103 from London to New York, and its [259] passengers and crew members. Long before dawn, emergency rescue teams realized that everybody on the plane had perished, along with at least [11] people on the ground... Flight 103 made the record books ... as Britain's deadliest air crash."
--Time, Jan 2, 1989

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