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DECEMBER 4, 2000 VOL. 156 NO. 22

Milestones
By PENNY CAMPBELL

DIED. LARS-ERIK NELSON, 59, New York Daily News columnist, of a suspected stroke; in Washington, D.C. A former Reuters correspondent, Nelson joined the Daily News in 1979, leaving in 1993 only to return two years later. An independent thinker who delighted in defending unpopular causes, Nelson was one of the first American journalists to criticize coverage of suspected Chinese-American spy Wen Ho Lee and was a staunch defender of Bill Clinton during his impeachment ordeal over the Monica Lewinsky affair.

DIED. EMIL ZATOPEK, 78, legendary Czech athlete and four-time Olympic gold medalist; in Prague. Known as "the locomotive" because of his relentless running and ungainly style, Zatopek won his first Olympic gold in the 10,000-m in London in 1948. In Helsinki four years later he won the 10,000-m, the 5,000-m and the marathon—an event in which he had never before competed—setting an Olympic record for each. During his career he established a total of 18 world records.

DIED. VYACHESLAV KOTENOCHKIN, 74, Russian cartoonist whose slapstick series Nu, pogodi, about a hungry wolf's inept efforts to catch a wide-eyed rabbit, became a worldwide success; in Moscow. At the end of every episode, as the rabbit yet again made good its escape, the wolf shouted: "Nu, pogodi! (Just you wait!)"

DIED. THEODORE MONOD, 98, French naturalist famed for his long, solitary treks through the Sahara desert; in Versailles. Known for his meticulous research and insatiable curiosity, Monod became one of the world's leading experts on the Sahara, writing numerous books and articles on the subject. A spiritualist and pacifist, he championed animal rights and the environment decades before those causes gained wide popularity. He was elected to France's Academy of Sciences in 1963 and was a member of the French Legion of Honor.

DIED. JAMES RUSSELL WIGGINS, 96, former editor of the Washington Post; in Brooklin, Maine. Wiggins, whose journalistic career spanned nearly eight decades, was widely credited with transforming the Post from a small and struggling enterprise into a nationally respected newspaper. He left the daily in 1968 to serve briefly as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

RESIGNED. NIKI LAUDA, 51, former Formula One racing driver, as chairman of the floundering Austrian airline Lauda Air; in Vienna. Lauda stepped down after an auditor's report criticized the airline's board for failing to monitor derivatives transactions properly. He had been engaged in a bitter battle for control of the loss-making airline with Austrian Airlines, its largest shareholder.

ARRESTED. HERNAN RAMIREZ, a Chilean army general indicted earlier this month on charges of involvement in the 1982 assassination of Tucapel Jimenez, a labor leader and prominent opponent of then-military dictator Augusto Pinochet; in Santiago. Ramirez was the first active member of the armed forces to be indicted for human rights abuses committed during Pinochet's regime, and retired early following the charges to save the army from the embarrassment of a serving general going on trial.

TIME CAPSULE

A decade ago few people could have predicted that ALBERTO FUJIMORI, who resigned last week as President of Peru after fleeing to his ancestral homeland of Japan, would dominate Peruvian politics throughout the 1990s.

"When the presidential campaign started nine months ago, few people in Lima had ever heard of . . . Alberto Fujimori, an agronomist of Japanese descent. . . Dubbed 'the Japanese Tsunami,' Fujimori . . . appeal[ed] to the country's desperate poor in a door-to-door campaign through shantytowns and farm villages. . . [He] is descended on his mother's side from a noble warrior, but his family, like most of Peru's 80,000 Japanese immigrants, first lived in a dirt-floored adobe hovel after arriving from southern Japan in 1934. . . As any political candidate who comes out of nowhere, the Japanese Tsunami could fade just as fast as he rose. But for now his fresh face and promises of social justice seem to be just what Peruvian voters are looking for."
--TIME, April 23, 1990

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