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MARCH 20, 2000 VOL. 155 NO. 11

Milestones
By PENNY CAMPBELL

DIED. CHARLES GRAY, 71, archetypal British film villain who played the cat-loving evil genius Blofeld in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever; in London. Although Gray won plaudits during his long stage and television career, he will be best remembered for his portrayal of screen bad guys--and for his 1975 role as narrator in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, which earned him cult status.

DIED. DAME ROMA MITCHELL, 86, Australian grande dame of the legal profession; in Adelaide. Mitchell broke new ground for women--as Australia's first female Queen's Counsel, Supreme Court judge and state governor--earning her the nickname "Roma the First." She was the original chairwoman of the Australian Human Rights Commission and was named a Dame of the British Empire in 1982. Having retired from the South Australia bench in 1983, she was elected the state's governor in 1991.

DIED. ARTYOM BOROVIK, 39, prominent Russian investigative journalist and media magnate; in Moscow. Borovik, a leading critic of acting President Vladimir Putin and the war against Chechnya, had reported on alleged atrocities in Chechnya. He was killed when the private jet he was in crashed on take-off at a Moscow airport.

DIED. PEE WEE KING, 86, country musician who co-wrote the American classic The Tennessee Waltz; in Kentucky. Born Frank Kuczynski, King started his career as an accordion player but was most successful as a songwriter with hits like Slow Poke and Walk Me by the River. A pillar of Nashville's Grand Ole Opry--country music's most famous concert hall--he performed regularly on TV, appeared in several Gene Autry films and was inducted into Country Music's Hall of Fame in 1974.

PARDON DENIED. For MAURICE PAPON, 89, former Vichy government official and ex-French Budget Minister, who in 1998 was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the deportation of Jews to Nazi death camps during World War II; in Paris. The unrepentant Papon, who has heart problems, had appealed for a pardon on health grounds. The appeal was rejected by President Jacques Chirac after consulting medical experts.

RETIREMENT ANNOUNCED. Of JOHN MAJOR, 56, former British Prime Minister, from Parliament after 20 years as an M.P.; in Huntingdon. Caricatured as gray and boring, the mild-mannered Major became Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher was ousted by her party in 1990. He surprised pundits by leading the Conservatives to victory in 1992. But he led them to a disastrous defeat in 1997 and hinted then that he might leave politics at the next parliamentary election.

Time Capsule
Bill Clinton's swing through India, Bangladesh and Pakistan will be the first visit to the Asian subcontinent by an American President since Jimmy Carter arrived to a mixed reception in India 22 years ago. "The India visit started badly. Carter's planners had hoped to attract something like the capacity audience Dwight Eisenhower addressed in 1959 at [New Delhi's] Ram Lila Ground, [which] can hold some 275,000 people. But [Prime Minister Morarji] Desai does not follow the crowd-collecting tactics of his predecessors, who trucked spectators in. . . Only 50,000 showed up and Carter's . . . message drew mostly a bored silence. The President recovered brilliantly in . . . Parliament House, where he . . . drew eloquent comparisons between the struggles for full democracy in the U.S. and India. Members of the Parliament broke the chamber's silence 23 times with desk-thumping, foot-stamping applause."
--TIME, Jan. 16, 1978

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