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In Passing

Princeton, N.J.

Theodore Draper; scholar, critic

Theodore Draper, 93, an independent scholar and social critic who wrote skillfully about the history of American communism, racism and abuses of executive power, died Monday at his home in Princeton, N.J. He had a stroke three years ago.

As a regular contributor to the New Leader, Encounter, Commentary and the New York Review of Books, Draper scolded government officials of all political persuasions for what became his overriding concern: the lack of accountability among leaders.

His analysis of the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961 as “one of those rare events in history – a perfect failure” was much quoted by scholars.

He enhanced his reputation with a book, “A Very Thin Line,” a definitive study of the mid-1980s Iran-Contra matter, in which U.S. officials covertly sold arms to Iran to win the release of U.S. hostages in the Middle East and used some of the profits to support Nicaraguan rebels known as the Contras.


Eli J. Segal, 63; Clinton aide

Eli J. Segal, 63, a resourceful entrepreneur and a Democratic political operative who helped run Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and then joined Clinton’s White House staff, died Monday at his home in Boston.

He had mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The family said the source was unknown.

In the Clinton White House, Segal held the title of assistant to the president. One of his major accomplishments was seeing through the legislation to create the Corporation for National and Community Service, commonly called AmeriCorps.

Starting in 1993, Segal served three years as the first chief executive of AmeriCorps, which promises young people payment for college in return for community service. Hundreds of thousands have served in the program.

In his second term, Clinton asked Segal to head the Welfare to Work Partnership, a not-for-profit group spawned from massive welfare reform legislation. Segal worked to encourage businesses to hire people off welfare. Shortly after stepping down in 2000, he received the Presidential Citizens Medal for service to the nation.


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N. Korea, setting stage for talks, halts nuclear, ICBM tests

UPDATED: 10:03 p.m.

North Korea said Saturday it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests and plans to close its nuclear test site ahead of a new round of negotiations with South Korea and the United States. There was no clear indication in the North’s announcement if it would be willing to deal away its arsenal.