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OCTOBER 9, 2000 VOL. 156 NO. 14

Milestones
BY PENNY CAMPBELL

CONVICTED. P.V. NARASIMHA RAO, 79, former Indian Prime Minister, of criminal conspiracy and bribery; in New Delhi. A special tribunal found Rao guilty of authorizing payment of nearly $4 million to members of parliament during a crucial confidence vote in his minority government in 1993. A political acolyte of the Gandhi family, Rao emerged from retirement in 1991 to become Prime Minister after Rajiv Gandhi's assassination; he remained in power until 1996. Rao, who is to be sentenced on Oct. 11, faces up to five years in jail.

DIED. ROBERTO BADEN POWELL DE AQUINO, 63, virtuoso guitarist and pioneer of Brazil's bossa nova music in the 1950s and '60s; in Rio de Janeiro. The stalwart musician, whose tune Samba de Bençao featured in the 1996 film A Man and a Woman, called himself simply Baden Powell. Although he wrote some of his most successful songs in collaboration with Vinícius de Moraes, one of Brazil's most famous poets, Baden Powell found greater fame in Europe than in his homeland.

DIED. HEBERTO PADILLA, 68, acclaimed Cuban poet whose criticism of his country's revolution led to jail and exile; in Auburn, Alabama. Imprisoned briefly in 1971 for writing a book critical of Fidel Castro's government, Padilla made a public disavowal that was so obviously forced that it provoked international protest and turned many left-leaning intellectuals against the Cuban President. In 1980, Padilla was allowed to leave for the U.S., where he taught literature and continued to write poetry.

DIED. R.S. (RONALD STUART) THOMAS, 87, priest, Welsh nationalist and poet whose bleak verse drawing on the harsh lives of his parishioners and his own religious dilemmas made him one of his country's literary giants; in north Wales. Ordained in 1937, Thomas published his first book of poetry The Stones of the Field in 1946. He was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1964 and nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996.

DIED. FRANK WILLS, 52, keen-eyed former Watergate security guard who discovered the 1972 break-in that led to U.S. President Richard Nixon's resignation; in Augusta, Georgia. Working the midnight shift at the complex, Wills called police after noticing tape on door latches leading to the offices of the Democratic National Committee. When they arrived, they found a burglary in progress. After brief notoriety--he played himself in the 1976 movie All the President's Men--Wills spent his later years largely in poverty.

DIED. PIERRE TRUDEAU, 80, charismatic former Canadian Prime Minister and champion of national unity whose flamboyance belied the modest image of his countrymen; in Montreal (see Eulogy, below). A lawyer by training, Trudeau was elected to parliament with the Liberal Party in 1965, becoming Justice Minister two years later. Chosen head of the party in 1968, he at the same time became Prime Minister, a post he held for a total of 15 years. During his time in office Trudeau introduced the country's first independent constitution and notably defeated the Quebec separatists in a 1980 referendum on the province's future.

EULOGY

I think of Pierre Trudeau as the first postmodern politician. He loved to repudiate conventional partisan ideologies, and if in the end that served his partisan goals, well, there would be just a little Gallic upturn at the corners of his mouth. He had a near-perfect understanding of the possible uses of celebrity. If a photographer were near, he'd manage a jacknife off the lowboard, a lively judo tussle, a rose in his buttonhole or a pretty woman on his arm. He sliced through dowdy Canadian politics like the classy skier he was--moving gracefully, radiating freedom, yet somehow making all the gates. On the other hand, he was sardonic, often arrogant, prone to lecture. In parliamentary debate, his abrasiveness drove the opposition into spasms of rage. There is a danger that Trudeau will be remembered more for his style than for his achievements. That would be a mistake. It seemed at the time that he was holding Canada together, and historians haven't challenged that evaluation. He used the army against Quebec terrorists while forcing the English-speaking provinces to make services available in French. He led a rethinking of the entire constitutional structure of the country and its relationship with England. He sparked a Canadian orientation toward the "Pacific Rim" two decades years before that phrase became a byword in the U.S. Those were special years in Canada's life.

Richard Duncan, TIME Ottawa bureau chief, 1968-71

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