Mea culpa, mea culpa
President Clinton’s tour of Africa became a broad expression of contrition for what he called his country’s shameful legacy in Africa, including America’s role in the slave trade, its support for repressive anti-communist dictators during the Cold War and its failure to act against the genocide in Rwanda.
While saying it is “well not to dwell too much on the past,” Clinton nonetheless told a crowd in Mukono, Uganda, that Americans should recognize and repent for the reality that “the United States has not always done the right thing by Africa.”
Thursday, Clinton stood beside President Nelson Mandela and hailed South Africa as “a people unshackled,” vowing to forge a new partnership between the two countries. It was the first visit by a sitting American president to South Africa.
Sergei Kiriyenko woke up Monday an obscure government official and went to bed only a heartbeat away from the Russian presidency.
His elevation to Russia’s No. 2 political job was so unexpected that even his former secretary in the energy ministry hadn’t heard why he did not arrive at his office Monday morning.
“What do you mean he’s been promoted?”
To the astonishment of the Kremlin elite, political pundits, the Russian public and even Kiriyenko himself, the 35-year-old energy minister was picked from the crowd of bureaucrats by President Boris Yeltsin to run the Russian government, at least temporarily, after Monday’s dismissal of Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and his entire Cabinet.
Iceberg? What iceberg?
“Titanic,” James Cameron’s $200 million-dollar epic, hit gold Monday night, sailing away with 11 Oscars at the 70th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Already the all-time box-office champ, “Titanic” tied the Oscar record set in 1959 by “Ben-Hur.”
Oscar gold also was distributed to “As Good as It Gets” actors Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson.
More kids with guns
The people of Jonesboro, Ark., struggled last week to understand the terror that erupted in their midst Tuesday when two boys went on a shooting rampage at a middle school, killing four girls and a teacher, and wounding 11 others.
Wednesday, the two suspects, Andrew Golden, 11, and Mitchell Johnson, 13, waived their rights to probable cause and detention hearings and were ordered held without bond on five counts of capital murder and 10 counts of first-degree battery.
A new study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association last week confirms that kids who watch a lot of television tend to be heavier than kids who do not.
Yet the study could not say whether watching television results in children getting fatter or being fatter induces children to watch more television.
When 12:01 a.m. passed and God didn’t break into the programming on Channel 18 as predicted, the religious leader who brought his followers from Taiwan to Garland, Texas, had a simple message: He’d been wrong.
Chen Heng-ming had said that God would appear on Channel 18 across the country to alert humanity to his impending arrival on Earth at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
“Because we did not see God’s message on Channel 18 tonight, my predictions of God arriving on March 31 can be considered nonsense,” Chen said. But “keep watching.”
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The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Compiled by news editor Kevin Graman from staff and wire reports.