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NOVEMBER 6, 2000 VOL. 156 NO. 18

Milestones
BY SHEELA SARVANANDA

RESIGNED. HIDENAO NAKAGAWA, 56, Chief Cabinet Secretary and top aide to Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori; in Tokyo. Plagued by allegations of connections to right-wing extremist groups and having a mistress, Nakagawa stepped down abruptly in a move many observers say was designed to relieve pressure on the embattled Mori government, already under fire for the Prime Minister's bungled attempts at diplomacy with North Korea.

APPOINTED. HANNA GRONKIEWICZ-WALTZ, 47, as vice president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; in London. Much lauded in her role as president of the National Bank of Poland since 1992, Gronkiewicz-Waltz has helped guide Poland through the tumultuous transition years, in the process strengthening the central bank's independence and developing a clear-cut licensing policy that assisted the dynamic growth of Poland's financial sector.

DIED. FEREYDOUN MOSHIRI, 74, celebrated Iranian poet; in Tehran. Moshiri's free-flowing, uncluttered works are based on the rhymes of classical Persian poetry. Unlike many of his left-leaning counterparts, whose poetry is often suffused with sexual narcissism, the fierce nationalist penned verse that was lauded for its romance and lust for life.

DIED. EDUARD GOLDSTUECKER, 87, dissident and historian; in Prague. A pivotal figure in the Czechoslovakian reform movement of 1968, which was suppressed by Red Army troops, Goldstuecker was instrumental in the attempt to transform the face of communism from totalitarianism to socialism. He began his career as an authority on 20th-century German literature by Jewish authors, notably Franz Kafka. Detained in 1951 at the peak of the Stalinist anti-Semitic campaign, he was later rehabilitated and headed the union of Czech writers during the "Prague Spring." He served as a deputy to the Czech National Council when it developed reforms that distanced the former Soviet satellite from Moscow, prompting the massive crackdown.

DIED. SITARAM KESRI, 80, former president of India's Congress Party; in New Delhi. After more than six decades in politics, Kesri was finally elected to the party's top post in 1997. But his stint proved brief; 18 months later he was replaced by Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born widow of assassinated Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

JOINTLY AWARDED. To Chinese poet BEI LING, 40, and jailed Mexican army general JOSE FRANCISCO GALLARDO RODRIGUEZ, 54, the PEN International Freedom to Write prize, for their efforts in defending liberty of expression; in Los Angeles. Arrested by Chinese authorities for distributing a literary magazine on the mainland without a permit, Bei was released after campaigning by human rights groups and the U.S. government. Gallardo remains in jail on corruption and desertion charges, but supporters regard him as a prisoner of conscience.

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