“In a world where already over half the population lives in urban areas, the human future is largely an urban future. We must get urbanization right, which means reducing greenhouse emissions, strengthening resilience, ensuring basic services such as water and sanitation and designing safe public streets and spaces for all to share.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
On the left is Karial slum, one of the urban slums in Dhaka.
One billion people-one out of three urban dwellers-are living in slum conditions.
2014: Leading Urban Transformations
On 27 December 2013, the UN General Assembly (by resolution A/RES/68/239) decided to designate 31 October, beginning in 2014, as World Cities Day. The General Assembly invites States, the United Nations system, in particular UN-Habitat, relevant international organizations, civil society and all other relevant stakeholders to observe and raise awareness of the Day, and stresses that the costs of all activities that may arise from observing the Day should be met from voluntary contributions.
The General Assembly recognizes the significance of equitable and adequate access to urban basic services as a foundation for sustainable urbanization and therefore to overall social and economic development.
The United Nations encourages Governments and Habitat Agenda partners to use planned city extension methodologies to guide the sustainable development of cities experiencing rapid urban growth, in order to prevent slum proliferation, enhance access to urban basic services, support inclusive housing, enhance job opportunities and create a safe and healthy living environment.
Where, When, and How to See Mercury
The innermost planet is well known for its speedy motion around the Sun, but you can spot it early in November hovering over the eastern horizon before sunrise.
Tour November’s Sky: The Saga of Cassiopeia
As the evening sky wheels around in late autumn, a mythic drama plays out in the stars above. Taking center stage, almost directly overhead at nightfall, is Cassiopeia, the Queen.
A hate crime charge is being added to others filed against an Illinois man who was arrested last week after he allegedly targeted a synagogue with extensive vandalism and anti-Semitic graffiti.
John White, 40, of Westmont, Ill., is being held under $5 million bond in the DuPage County Jail. He is charged with a hate crime at a place of religious purposes; institutional vandalism; illegal possession of a firearm, criminal damage to property and illegal possession of marijuana.
White was arrested on Oct. 21 after police responded to a report of a man driving a vehicle recklessly, damaging landscaping on the grounds of Etz Chaim Synagogue in Lombard, Ill. Moments earlier, seven windows at the synagogue had been broken and graffiti was written on an exterior wall.
DuPage County Assistant State’s Attorney Enza LaMonica told a judge on Friday that the suspect left a hatchet, a machete, an ax and a knife at the front entrance of the synagogue, the Chicago Tribune reported. Inside the suspect’s car, police found gun targets, rat poison, brass knuckles and a hateful note, the prosecutor told the court.
After White was arrested, police served a search warrant at his home in Westmont, Ill., where he lives with his mother. She told authorities her son, who as a record of drug arrests, has suffered from mental illness, the newspaper reported.
In the home, police located and seized “thousands of rounds of ammunition, and recovered a rifle, shotgun and four handguns.”
State Attorney Robert Berlin issued a statement calling the charges “extremely serious.”
“DuPage County is built on the strength of our communities, and an attack on a religious institution is considered an attack against the entire community,” the prosecutor said.
Rabbi Andrea Cosnowsky issued a statement saying Congregation Etz Chaim “condemns the recent act of vandalism on our congregational building and the apparent bigotry behind it.”
Other places of worship are offering support.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Sabet Siddiqui, a representative of Masjid-Ul-Haqq Mosque in Lombard, said: “We stand together with Congregation Etz Chaim with respect and condemn these acts of hatred and antagonism against any religion.”
Eileen Maggiore, a pastoral associate at Christ the King Church in Lombard, expressed sorrow of such hate crimes. “It’s a terrible shame that this still happens in our world. We are grateful no one was hurt and we stand in solidarity with our neighbors at Congregation Etz Chaim,” she said.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) works with organizations, governments and communities promote the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage on October 27 each year. Activities and events include:
Competitions, such as a logo contest, to promote the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage.
Local programs organized as a joint effort between national film archives, audiovisual societies, television or radio stations, and governments.
Panel discussions, conferences, and public talks on the importance of preserving important audiovisual documents.
Special film screenings.
Countries previously involved in observing the day included (but were not exclusive to) Canada, Denmark, Thailand, and the United States.
The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is a global observance and not a public holiday.
Many sound recordings, moving images and other audiovisual material are lost because of neglect, natural decay and technological obsolescence. Organizations such as UNESCO felt that more audiovisual documents would be lost if stronger and concerted international action was not taken. A proposal to commemorate a World Day for Audiovisual Heritage was approved at a UNESCO general conference in 2005. The first World Day for Audiovisual Heritage was held on October 27, 2007.
The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage aims to raise general awareness of the need for urgent measures to be taken. It also focuses on acknowledging the importance of audiovisual documents as an integral part of national identity.
UNESCO’s logo features a drawing of a temple with the “UNESCO” acronym under the roof of the temple and on top of the temple’s foundation. Underneath the temple are the words “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization”. This logo is often used in promotional material for the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage.
Ali Mazrui, a scholar and prolific author who set off a tsunami of criticism in 1986 by writing and hosting “The Africans: A Triple Heritage,” a public television series that culminated in what seemed to be an endorsement of African nations’ acquiring nuclear weapons, died on Oct. 12 at his home in Vestal, N.Y. He was 81.
His family announced the death without specifying a cause.
Uhuru Kenyatta, the president of Kenya, where Professor Mazrui was born, said at the time of his death that he was “a towering academician whose intellectual contributions played a major role in shaping African scholarship.”
His books and his hundreds of scholarly articles explored topics like African politics, international political culture, political Islam and globalization. He was for many years a professor at the University of Michigan, and since 1989 had held the Albert Schweitzer chair at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Reflecting his habit of provocation, Professor Mazrui wrote an article in 2012, posted on Facebook, accusing Dr. Schweitzer, the revered medical missionary in pre-independence Gabon, of being “a benevolent racist.” He wrote that Dr. Schweitzer had called Africans “primitives” and “savages,” and had treated Africans in a hospital unit that was separate from, and less comfortable than, one for whites.
Professor Mazrui’s courage transcended ideas. When he was a political-science professor in Uganda in the early 1970s, the country’s brutal dictator, Idi Amin, invited him to be his chief adviser on international affairs — “his Kissinger,” Professor Mazrui told The New York Times in 1986. Instead, he publicly criticized Amin and fled Uganda.
“The Africans,” a nine-part series that was originally broadcast by the BBC and later shown on PBS, portrayed Africa as having been defined by the interplay of indigenous, Islamic and Western influences. Professor Mazrui had acquired the perspective by growing up speaking Swahili, practicing Islam and attending an English-speaking school in Mombasa, Kenya.
“My three worlds overlapped,” he said in the interview with The Times.
The series glorified the Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi, saying he inspired Africans to have a sense of destiny and become actors on the world stage — a stance that set off storms of criticism. In the last episode, Professor Mazrui predicted a “final racial conflict” in South Africa that would end with whites’ shrinking from using nuclear weapons for fear of killing themselves and then being defeated in an armed struggle, ending apartheid. Victorious blacks, he said, would then inherit “the most advanced nuclear infrastructure on the continent,” and nuclear weapons would become a bargaining chip in a worldwide black-white struggle.
He told The Los Angeles Times that he was “uneasy” that the United States and the Soviet Union could start a nuclear war, without Africa having the same capability. “I want black Africa to have the bomb to frighten the system as a whole,” he said.
The National Endowment for the Humanities, which had contributed $600,000 toward the making of the series, was so upset with Professor Mazuri’s message that it removed its name from the credits. Lynne Cheney, the chairwoman of the endowment, called the series “worse than unbalanced,” noting that it included no interviews giving divergent views.
Professor Mazrui’s answer to Mrs. Cheney was that he had intended from the beginning to represent the views of one African — “a view from the inside,” he called it. “There are many parts that are anti-imperialist,” he told The New York Times. “Africa is concerned with past domination and afraid of redomination.”
Reviewing the series for The Times, John Corry called its scholarship “empty” and said it was “a vehicle solely for Mr. Mazrui’s feelings.”
But Clifford Terry, writing in The Chicago Tribune, suggested that this personal perspective was in fact a strength: “It is obvious, through it all, that here is a man who deeply cares about what he likes to call a ‘remarkable continent.’ ”
Tom Shales of The Washington Post applauded the shows’ abrasiveness. “The alternative,” he wrote, “would be an innocuous, safely ‘balanced’ documentary on Africa that made no ripples, provoked no discourse.”
Ali Al’Amin Mazrui was born on Feb. 24, 1933, in Mombasa. His father was an eminent Muslim scholar and the chief Islamic judge of Kenya.
As a boy he was not a good student and studied typing at a technical school. He stayed on at the school as a clerk and kept unsuccessfully applying to university, he said in a 2009 interview with The Observer, a Ugandan newspaper.
The Observer reported that the governor of Kenya had heard him give a speech on the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday and had been impressed. That led to a series of interviews and a scholarship to finish secondary school in England. He ended up earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Manchester, a master’s from Columbia in New York and, in 1966, a doctorate from Oxford.
The next year he published three books on African politics. In 1973, he began teaching at Makerere University in Uganda. When he fled Uganda, he went to the University of Michigan to teach political science. In addition to teaching at Binghamton, he held an at-large professorial appointment with Cornell and lectured at many schools around the world.
He was president of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists of North America and president of the African Studies Association of the United States. He advised the United Nations and the World Bank.
Professor Mazrui’s marriage to the former Molly Vickerman ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife, the former Pauline Uti; his sons, Jamal, Alamin, Kim, Farid and Harith; his daughter, Grace Egbo-Mazrui; three grandchildren; and a sister, Alya.
In editing “The Africans” for American television, Professor Mazrui deleted his description of Karl Marx as “the last of the great Jewish prophets” because producers feared it might be taken as anti-Semitic.
In Britain, where the line was used, he had worried that Marxists might be offended by the reference to Marx as a prophet.
“My life,” he once said, “is one long debate.”
Correction: October 24, 2014
An earlier version of this obituary referred incorrectly to the person who was impressed by a speech Mr. Mazrui gave on the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, leading to new educational opportunities. It was the governor of Kenya, not the governor of the technical school where he was working as a clerk.SOURCE
Oscar de la Renta, the doyen of American fashion, whose career began in the 1950s in Franco’s Spain and sprawled across the better living rooms of Paris and New York, and who was the last survivor of that generation of bold, all-seeing tastemakers, died on Monday at his home in Kent, Conn. He was 82.
His death was confirmed by his wife, Annette de la Renta. The cause was complications of cancer.
Though ill with cancer intermittently for close to eight years, Mr. de la Renta was resilient. During that period his business grew by 50 percent, to $150 million in sales, as his name became linked to celebrity events like the Oscars. Amy Adams, Sarah Jessica Parker and Penélope Cruz were among the actresses who wore his dresses.
Recently his biggest coup was to make the ivory tulle gown that Amal Alamuddin wore to wed George Clooney in Venice.
Determined to stay relevant, Mr. de la Renta achieved fame in two distinct realms: as a couturier to socialites — the so-called ladies-who-lunch, his bread and butter — and as a red-carpet king. He also dressed four American first ladies, but it was Hollywood glitz, rather than nice uptown clothes, that defined him for a new age and a new customer. Just as astutely, he embraced social media.
Many high-end designers had bigger businesses. Some were more original. But very few were fearless enough to adapt to a cultural shift. Mr. de la Renta did it twice in his career, the first time in 1980.
Normally he didn’t dwell on the subject of his legacy. In an interview in 2009, at his home in Punta Cana, in his native Dominican Republic, he said of fashion: “It’s never been heavy. Somebody might ask, ‘What is Oscar de la Renta?’ And you could say, ‘It’s a pretty dress.’”
Instead he preferred to joke, or talk about his vegetable garden in Kent, or dish the dirt. He rarely shied from controversy or calling someone out.
Three years ago, he chided Michelle Obama for wearing foreign labels. (He insisted that his comments were not made because she never wore his things. Eventually, this month, she did.) Once, in a speech, he offered to send three-way mirrors to certain editors who wore miniskirts.
But then, all his life Mr. de la Renta loved being where the action was — whether a gala, a dominoes table, or in his various homes entertaining talented and influential friends.
“He notices everything,” John Fairchild, the retired publisher of Women’s Wear Daily, said a few years ago. A telephone call from Mr. de la Renta might begin with a familiar bit of flirtation: “How are you, my darling? Tell me the gossip.”
In 1980 he and his first wife, a former editor named Françoise de Langlade, posed for the cover of The New York Times Magazine, with the headline “Living Well Is Still the Best Revenge.” By then, Mr. de la Renta had lived in New York for 17 years — less time than his rivals Bill Blass and Geoffrey Beene.
The article, which described the stylish couple’s uninhibited social ascent — and the array of people who came to their “salons,” ranging from Norman Mailer to Henry Kissinger — was a kind of watershed moment. Fashionable people had long been part of the city’s social scene; that wasn’t news. But, as a point of contrast, when Truman Capote held his Black and White Dance in 1966, only a tiny fraction of the 540 guests were dress designers. They became more visible during the 1970s, but the Times Magazine article, by Francesca Stanfill, now put their money and status out in the open.
As Alexander Liberman, the editorial director of Condé Nast, said, “Designers have become the new tycoons.” Mr. de la Renta soon embarked on the next phase of his career: as a designer to first ladies, beginning with Nancy Reagan.
Though he never took his job lightly, he always gave the impression that his life mattered more. He had enormous zest, displayed in his fashion — the vibrant colors, the airy sleeves, the Turkish delight numbers that so appealed to his greatest champion, the editor Diana Vreeland.
But where he really revealed himself, his hospitable nature, was in the Dominican Republic, where he was regarded as an unofficial ambassador (he held a diplomatic passport anyway). He built two homes there. The first, in Casa de Campo, featured thatched roofs, rattan furniture and hammocks, and images of the de la Rentas’ informal gatherings often appeared in W in the 1970s.
The second home, in Punta Cana, though imposing in the Colonial style, with wide verandas (and its own chapel on the grounds), also had a relaxed feeling. Mr. de la Renta built the house with his second wife, the former Annette Engelhard Reed, whom he married in 1989, after the death of Francoise, from cancer, in 1983.
In addition to his wife, Mr. de la Renta is survived by a son, Moises; three sisters; three stepchildren; and nine step-grandchildren.
At holidays, the de la Rentas filled their house in Punta Cana with relatives and friends, notably Bill and Hillary Clinton, Nancy and Henry Kissinger, and the art historian John Richardson. The family dogs had the run of the compound, and Mr. de la Renta often sang spontaneously after dinner. First-time visitors, seeking him out in the late afternoon, were surprised to find him in the staff quarters, hellbent on winning at dominoes.
A man of the world, he was at ease everywhere — though he once said, “To me, home is wherever Annette is,” then added with a droll laugh, “She could be unbelievably happy without me.”
Oscar Aristedes de la Renta was born in Santo Domingo on July 22, 1932. The youngest of seven children and the only boy, he often recalled that he usually got what he wanted from his family. He finished high school in Santo Domingo, and although his father preferred that he join him in the insurance business, young Oscar persuaded his mother to send him to Madrid to study art.
At 19, he left for Spain on a passenger ship.
Besotted by postwar Madrid and his new freedom, Mr. de la Renta was soon spending more time in the cafes and nightclubs, meeting flamenco dancers, than in class. As well, he acquired a “señorito” wardrobe, he told the writer Sarah Mower, which consisted of custom-made suits from the tailor Luis Lopez, high starched collars and a carnation of deepest red in his buttonhole. The $125 his father sent each month paid for fancy clothes and in a sense his broader education afoot in Spain.
For extra money, he drew clothes for newspapers and fashion houses. He later admitted that his drawings were not technically accomplished or original. Nonetheless, some of his sketches were seen by Francesca Lodge, the wife of John Davis Lodge, then the United States ambassador to Spain. In 1956, she asked Mr. de la Renta to design a coming-out dress for her daughter Beatrice. The dress and the debutante appeared on the cover of Life that fall.
He was soon working in the Madrid salon of Cristobal Balenciaga, perhaps the greatest couturier of that period. Mr. de la Renta’s job was to sketch dresses to send to clients. But when he asked Mr. Balenciaga to transfer him to the main studio in Paris, the couturier told him he wasn’t qualified yet and to wait a year.
Spacecraft Observe Comet Siding Spring
Although flight controllers were worried that Mars-orbiting spacecraft might be harmed by the comet’s close approach, nothing happened – and unique scientific observations are now streaming back to Earth.
Dark Skies for 2014’s Orionid Meteor Shower
The Orionid shower is a long-lasting display of meteors that peaks about October 21st. With moonlight not a factor, an observer under clear dark skies might see an Orionid every 5 minutes in the hours before dawn.
This is somewhat remarkable, considering that Bakari is African-American. Rather than run away from Bundy’s reputation as a racist — well earned, after his widely publicized remarks about race in the immediate aftermath of Bundy’s showdown — the two of them went on the offensive, attacking his critics for their “political correctness,” which Bakari says is “bad for America.”
But none of it is as remarkable as the exchange between the two men, in which Bundy complains that “a man ought to be able to express himself without being called names”, and adds: “It’s almost like black folks think white folks owe them something.”
The ad opens with a clip of U.S. Attorney General Eric holder, commenting in 2009 on the state of race in America: “In things racial, we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.”
The ad then segues to Bundy and Bakari in western cowboy garb with their horses at a hitching post, as spaghetti-western music plays in the background.
BUNDY: Did he just call me a coward?
BAKARI: No, he just called all white folks cowards.
BUNDY: He must not know me.
BAKARI: You mean if someone called you a racist, you wouldn’t drop your head and be all scared and sad and run around here apologizing like them billionaire ball team owners did a little while ago?
BUNDY: No, I wouldn’t, and I’m sick and tired of people that act like that.
BAKARI: Cliven, you know that political correctness, that’s bad for America. A man ought to be able to say whatever you want to say.
BUNDY: That’s exactly right. I know black folks have had a hard time with slavery and you know, the government was in on it. And the government’s in on it again. I worked my whole life without mistreating anybody. A man ought to be able to express himself without being called names.
BAKARI: I hear you, Cliven, I believe you. A brave white man like you might be just what we need to put an end to this political correctness in America today.
BUNDY: Don’t sell yourself short. You’re taking a chance just being in my company.
BAKARI: I know. I’m as sick as you are. I feel ashamed when I hear black folks whining about “white folks this,” “white folks that.” Always begging.
BUNDY: It’s almost like black folks think white folks owe them something.
BAKARI: I know, I’ve got an idea. Let’s call Eric Holder up.
BUNDY: What do you mean?
BAKARI: Tell him you’re a white man that’s not scared to talk to him about race. And you know a black man that will stand with you.
BUNDY: I like that idea. Mr. Eric Holder, this is one white man that’s not scared to talk about race. I dare you to come to Las Vegas and talk to us.
BAKARI: And don’t give us that “you’re too busy” stuff. You weren’t too busy to go to Ferguson, Missouri.
As the Washington Post notes, Bakari is a fringe candidate who has virtually no change of unseating the incumbent, Rep. Dina Titus, a Democrat, in Nevada’s 1st District.
“BUNDY: That’s exactly right. I know black folks have had a hard time with slavery and you know, the government was in on it. And the government’s in on it again. I worked my whole life without mistreating anybody. A man ought to be able to express himself without being called names.”
Newsflash, Bundy: it was not just the U.S. government that “was in on it”. So too were the White people of this nation who had not the guts, backbone, nor conscience to stand up against the wrongs perpetuated against Black people. No. They just went along with the program and racism is still with us.
“BAKARI: I know. I’m as sick as you are. I feel ashamed when I hear black folks whining about “white folks this,” “white folks that.” Always begging.”
Hey, when did this memo get passed out? It’s news to me. You mean all this time I have been working for what I have, earning a paycheck, paying city/county/state/federal taxes, and being a good citizen, I was supposed to have been “whining” and “begging”?
Damn, I guess I have a lot of time to make up for. It’s going to be exhausting whining and begging; gonna have to take more vitamins to build my strength up.
And to think that poor beautiful horse had to stand there and suffer through the indignity of these two antediluvian atavistic throw-backs to the Pre-Cambrian Epoch.
As for Uncle Ruckus…um, I meant Bakari;
….entertains the delusion that many people will vote him into office.
I find it very funny that Uncle Ruckus/Bakari is standing near the end of the horse—-especially when the horse raises his tail to drop some shit.
These two missed their true calling in life. They both gave out-of-this-world standup comic routines that George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, and Richard Pryor would have killed for.
Both of these creatures talked shit that had me rolling on the floor.
The United Nations’ (UN) World Development Information Day is annually held on October 24 to draw attention of worldwide public opinion to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them.
World Development Information Day activities attract the media, including television journalists.
Many events are organized to focus attention on the work that the UN does, particularly with regard to problems of trade and development. Many of these are aimed at journalists working for a range of media, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines and Internet sites. Direct campaigns may also be organized in some areas. These may use advertisements in newspapers and on radio and television as well as posters in public places.
In South Africa, indabas (gatherings of community representatives with expertise in a particular area) are often held. Representatives of local, national and international bodies are invited to share, discuss and consolidate their ideas around a particular development issue of local or national importance.
World Development Information Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
On May 17, 1972, the UN Conference on Trade and Development proposed measures for the information dissemination and the mobilization of public opinion relative to trade and development problems. These became known as resolution 3038 (XXVII), which was passed by the UN General Assembly on December 19, 1972.
This resolution called for introducing World Development Information Day to help draw the attention of people worldwide to development problems. A further aim of the event is to explain to the general public why it is necessary to strengthen international cooperation to find ways to solve these problems. The assembly also decided that the day should coincide with United Nations Day to stress the central role of development in the UN’s work. World Development Information Day was first held on October 24, 1973, and has been held on this date each year since then.
In recent years, many events have interpreted the title of the day slightly differently. These have concentrated on the role that modern information technologies, such as Internet and mobile telephones can play in alerting people and finding solutions to problems of trade and development. One of the specific aims of World Development Information Day was to inform and motivate young people and this change may help to further this aim.
On October 24, 1945, the United Nations (UN) came into force when the five permanent members of the security council ratified the charter that had been drawn up earlier that year. These members were: France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Since 1948, the event’s anniversary has been known as United Nations Day. It is an occasion to highlight, celebrate and reflect on the work of the United Nations and its family of specialized agencies.
United Nations offices around the world join in to observe United Nations Day.
On and around October 24, many activities are organized by all parts of the UN, particularly in the main offices in New York, the Hague (Netherlands), Geneva (Switzerland), Vienna (Austria) and Nairobi (Kenya). These include: concerts; flying the UN flag on important buildings; debates on the relevance of the work of the UN in modern times; and proclamations by state heads and other leaders.
United Nations Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
The foundations for a “League of Nations” were laid in the Treaty of Versailles, which was one of the treaties to formally end World War I. The treaty was signed in Versailles, France, on June 28, 1919. The league aimed to encourage disarmament, prevent outbreaks of war, encourage negotiations and diplomatic measures to settle international disputes and to improve the quality of life around the world. However, the outbreak of World War II suggested that the League of Nations needed to take on a different form.
The ideas around the United Nations were developed in the last years of World War II, particularly during the UN Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, the United States, beginning on April 25, 1945. The UN was officially created when a UN charter was ratified on October 24 that year.
United Nations Day was first observed on October 24, 1948. The UN recommended that United Nations Day should be a public holiday in member states since 1971. There were also calls for United Nations Day to be an international public holiday to bring attention to the work, role and achievements of the UN and its family of specialized agencies. These have been spectacular, particularly in the fields of human rights, support in areas of famine, eradication of disease, promotion of health and settlement of refugees.
The UN does not work alone but together with many specialized agencies, including: the World Health Organization (WHO); the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); International Labour Organization (ILO); United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
The UN emblem consists of a projection of the globe centered on the North Pole. It depicts all continents except Antarctica and four concentric circles representing degrees of latitude. The projection is surrounded by images of olive branches, representing peace. The emblem is often blue, although it is printed in white on a blue background on the UN flag.
ELIZABETH PENA, ACTRESS ON THE BIG SCREEN AND SMALL SCREENS
By DANIEL E. SLOTNIK
OCT. 16, 2014
Elizabeth Peña, an actress who appeared in major studio pictures like “Rush Hour,” independent films like John Sayles’s generational drama “Lone Star,” and a host of television shows, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles. She was 55.
Her manager, Gina Rugolo, confirmed her death, saying it followed a brief illness.
Ms. Peña played everything from love interest to comedic sidekick in movies and on television for 35 years. She was a demolition specialist alongside Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in “Rush Hour” (1998). As Pilar Cruz, a history teacher who rekindles a romance with a small-town Texas sheriff in “Lone Star” (1996), she won an Independent Spirit Award for best supporting actress. “The sultry Ms. Peña gives an especially vivid performance as the character who is most unsettled by the shadows of the past,” Janet Maslin wrote in The New York Times in 1996.
Her first major film role was as Tim Robbins’s lover in Adrian Lyne’s psychological thriller “Jacob’s Ladder” (1990). She reportedly won the part over stars like Julia Roberts, Andie MacDowell and Madonna.
A television regular, Ms. Peña appeared on shows like “L.A. Law,” “American Dad” and “Boston Public.” In the mid-1980s, she starred as a maid who marries her employer to stay in the United States in the short-lived sitcom “I Married Dora,” and starting in 2000 she played a hairdresser in “Resurrection Blvd.,” the Showtime drama about an upwardly mobile Latino family.
More recently she played the mother of Sofia Vergara’s character on the hit ABC sitcom “Modern Family,” even though she was only 13 years older than Ms. Vergara.
Elizabeth Peña was born in Elizabeth, N.J., on Sept. 23, 1959. Her father, Mario, was a Cuban actor, director and playwright, and Ms. Peña spent much of her childhood in Cuba before returning to the United States. She graduated from what is now the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan.
She performed in a production of “Romeo and Juliet,” translated into Spanish by the poet Pablo Neruda, at the Gramercy Theater in 1979 and made her film debut in the Spanish-language film “El Super” that year.
Ms. Peña went on to play the mistreated wife of Ritchie Valens’s half brother in the biopic “La Bamba” (1987); Jamie Lee Curtis’s confidante in the action film “Blue Steel” (1989); and Richard Dreyfuss’s and Bette Midler’s maid in the comedy “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” (1986).
She also did voice-over work in the animated film “The Incredibles” (2004) and cartoons like “Justice League.”
She married Hans Rolla in 1994. He survives her, as does their son, Kaelan; their daughter, Fiona Rolla; her mother, Estella Margarita Peña; and a sister, Tania Peña.
Ms. Peña said that she researched Mexican-American culture to prepare for her part in “Lone Star.”
“I recorded people’s voices to get the proper inflection,” she told The Ottawa Citizen in 1996. “I crossed the border a whole bunch to collect a lot of history. I would sit for hours looking at the women, how they dressed.”
“In the United States, all Spanish-speaking people are lumped into one category,” she continued. “But we’re all so different.”
Norward Roussell, who in 1987 arrived in Selma, Ala., as the city’s first black superintendent of schools with aspirations to equalize educational opportunity — only to be fired three years later amid racial animosities, protests and a school boycott that recalled the historic Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march of 1965 — died on Monday in Selma. He was 80.
By the time Dr. Roussell came to Selma, blacks owned businesses and held administrative positions like postmaster, and many whites hoped that the bloody attack on demonstrators by club-wielding state troopers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge that had horrified the nation was distant, shameful history.
“We were wrong,” Joe Smitherman, who was first elected mayor of Selma in 1964 as a supporter of George C. Wallace, Alabama’s segregationist governor, and served for 38 years, said in an interview with The Los Angeles Times in 1990. “And I don’t know how to say it better than that. And I was part of that wrong.”
In Selma, Dr. Roussell (pronounced ROO-sell), who had been a top administrator in the New Orleans school system, chose to take on a very touchy educational issue: the “leveling” or “tracking” of students by ability. Poor minority students had tended to end up in the lowest of three groupings, and black parents had been protesting that their children were segregated into inferior instruction.
Gay Talese, who had covered the 1965 march for The New York Times and returned to Selma in 1990 to report on the school-board controversy, said in his memoir “A Writer’s Life” (2006) that Dr. Roussell was determined to at least reform, if not end, what had been a haphazard, arbitrary process. (Tracking has since been largely abandoned in American schools.)
“The movement had finally succeeded during the mid-1950s in enrolling black students in white classrooms, providing blacks and whites with an equal opportunity for a broader education, and also as classmates to learn more about one another and ideally promote greater understanding and tolerance,” Mr. Talese wrote of Dr. Roussell’s motivations. “What a pity it would be if the victory over school segregation in the 1950s were followed at century’s end by school segregation of another type.”
But on Dec. 24, 1989, the school board’s six white members voted not to renew Dr. Roussell’s contract, which was to expire on June 30, citing incompetence. The five black members walked out. On Feb. 2, the white majority voted to dismiss him altogether.
Blacks and their supporters staged sit-ins; students boycotted school until all 11 of the city’s schools were closed; many white parents withdrew their children and enrolled them in all-white private schools. As tensions mounted, Gov. Guy Hunt sent 200 National Guard troops to Selma to restore order, recalling the scene almost a quarter-century earlier.
Everybody seemed to have something to say. In an evaluation, the board said that Dr. Roussell had been “dictatorial” and “abrasive.” Black lawyers complained that the process by which the school board members were chosen — they were appointed by the City Council, not elected — was unconstitutional. White parents claimed that Dr. Roussell had pushed a political agenda and had not enforced discipline.
Mayor Smitherman suggested that people were reliving the civil rights movement, although at a considerably less intense level. This time, Mr. Talese reported, when demonstrators yelled, “C’mon beat us,” troopers ignored them. When the protesters knelt to pray, troopers took off their hats and lowered their heads.
Dr. Roussell was reinstated, but his contract was not extended. He sued the school board for $10 million in damages, but settled for $150,000 and left.
Norward Roussell was born in New Orleans on July 11, 1934. He and his identical twin brother, Norman, were the youngest of seven children. Their father, Edward, who had been a baseball player in the Negro leagues, owned a fruit-cart business and never went to school. His wife, Rosa, taught him to read and write his name. He died when the twins were 8.
People magazine reported in 1990 that the day after their high school graduation, the twins awoke to find their mother standing over their beds with sack lunches. They got jobs digging ditches. A week of that was enough, and they both quit and found employment at a nearby laundry. After a year there, they joined the Air Force and went to Korea, where they were assigned to administrative work.
Their brothers and sisters contributed savings to send the twins to Dillard University in New Orleans, where they both majored in biology. They then earned master’s degrees in chemistry from Fisk University in Nashville and Ph.D.s in education from Wayne State University in Detroit, before going on to careers in teaching and educational administration.
Norward worked in New Orleans schools and eventually became area superintendent, supervising 30 schools and 28,000 students. He was then hired by Selma.
Mr. Talese wrote that Norward Roussell was a “slender gentleman” who carried himself with “majestic dignity.” He was, he continued, “perceived as an orderly individual who would create an atmosphere within the school system and the city that would foster biracial cooperation and advance the idea that headline-making activism was detrimental to Selma’s economic growth.”
He accepted an invitation to be the first black in Selma’s Rotary Club, but did not pursue membership in the country club. “I did not come to Selma to claw down racial barriers,” he told Mr. Talese.
After leaving Selma, Dr. Roussell went to Tuskegee, Ala., to be superintendent of the Macon County schools, which ran into financial trouble and were taken over by the state during his tenure. After four years in Tuskegee, he returned to New Orleans to become an executive at his alma mater, Dillard. He finished his career as interim superintendent of the New Orleans public schools. After Hurricane Katrina destroyed his home in New Orleans, he moved back to Selma.
In addition to his daughter and brother, he is survived by his wife of 53 years, the former Joan Verrett; his sister, Ada Anderson; his sons, Eric and Norman; and three grandchildren.
“I sought fairness in the system,” Dr. Roussell once said. “It was simply that.”
Correction: October 17, 2014 An obituary on Thursday about Norward Roussell, the first black superintendent of schools in Selma, Ala., misstated the number of years he was superintendent of the Macon County schools in Alabama. It was four years, not eight. The obituary also misspelled part of the name of the bridge where state troopers attacked civil rights demonstrators in 1965. It is the Edmund Pettus Bridge, not the Edmund Pettis Bridge.
It was the most notorious spy case of the Cold War — the conviction and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union — and it rested largely on the testimony of Ms. Rosenberg’s brother David Greenglass, whose name to many became synonymous with betrayal.
For his role in the conspiracy, Mr. Greenglass, an Army sergeant who had stolen nuclear intelligence from Los Alamos, N.M., went to prison for almost a decade, then changed his name and lived quietly until a journalist tracked him down. He admitted then, nearly a half-century later, that he had lied on the witness stand to save his wife from prosecution, giving testimony that he was never sure about but that nevertheless helped send his sister and her husband to the electric chair in 1953.
Mr. Greenglass died on July 1, a family member confirmed. He was 92. His family did not announce his death; The New York Times learned of it in a call to the nursing home where he had been living under his assumed name. Mr. Greenglass’s wife, Ruth, who had played a minor role in the conspiracy and also gave damning testimony against the Rosenbergs, died in 2008.
In today’s world, where spying has more to do with greed than ideology, the story of David Greenglass and the Rosenbergs is an enduring time capsule from an age of uncertainties — of world war against fascism, Cold War with the Soviets, and shifting alliances that led some Americans to embrace utopian communism and others to denounce such ideas, and their exponents, as un-American.
Mr. Greenglass, who grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in a household that believed Marxism would save humanity, was an ardent, preachy Communist when drafted by the Army in World War II, but no one in the barracks took him very seriously, much less believed him capable of spying.
He was not well educated, but his skills as a machinist — and pure luck — led to his assignment in 1944 to the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, where America’s first atomic bombs were being developed. After being picked to replace a soldier who had gone AWOL, he lied on his security clearance report and was assigned to a team making precision molds for high-explosive lenses used to detonate the nuclear core.
When Mr. Rosenberg, already a Soviet spy, learned of his brother-in-law’s work, he recruited him. Security was often lax at Los Alamos, with safes and file cabinets left unlocked and classified documents lying on desks. Mr. Greenglass had no need for Hollywood spy tricks. He kept his eyes and ears open, and in mid-1945 sent Mr. Rosenberg a crude sketch and 12 pages of technical details on the bomb.
That September, after the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed with atomic bombs, ending the war, David and Ruth Greenglass visited the Rosenbergs’ apartment in New York. What happened there later became a matter of life and death, for as Mr. Greenglass delivered his latest spy notes, a woman — either his wife or his sister — sat at a Remington typewriter and typed them out.
The significance of that act did not become evident for five years. By then the Soviet Union, once America’s ally, had become a Cold War foe, witch hunts for suspected Communists were underway, and spy networks were being broken up. Klaus Fuchs, a physicist who had worked at Los Alamos, was caught, and named Harry Gold as a courier. Mr. Gold then named the Greenglasses and the Rosenbergs, who were arrested in 1950.
Mr. Greenglass admitted passing secrets to Mr. Rosenberg, but refused at first to implicate his sister. But just before the Rosenberg trial, Mr. Greenglass changed his story. Told that Ruth had informed F.B.I. agents that Ethel had typed his notes, he supported his wife’s account and agreed to testify against his sister and her husband.
Mr. Greenglass was under intense pressure. He had not yet been sentenced, and his wife, the mother of his two small children, faced possible prosecution, though her role had been minimal. In federal court in Manhattan in 1951, Mr. Greenglass’s testimony — corroborated by his wife’s — clinched the case against Mr. Rosenberg and implicated Mrs. Rosenberg.
Referring to Ethel Rosenberg in ringing hyperbolic phrases, the chief prosecutor, Irving H. Saypol, declared, “Just so had she, on countless other occasions, sat at that typewriter and struck the keys, blow by blow, against her own country in the interests of the Soviets.”
The jury found the Rosenbergs guilty of espionage conspiracy, and the presiding judge, Irving R. Kaufman, sentenced them to death. Appeals failed, and the Rosenbergs, who rejected all entreaties to name collaborators and insisted they were not guilty, were executed at Sing Sing on June 19, 1953. A co-defendant, Morton Sobell, was also convicted and was imprisoned for 18 years.
Mrs. Greenglass was not prosecuted. Mr. Greenglass was sentenced to 15 years, but was released in 1960 after nine and a half. He rejoined his wife and for decades lived quietly in the New York area, working as a machinist and inventor.
A 1983 book by Ronald Radosh and Joyce Milton, “The Rosenberg File: A Search for the Truth,” rekindled interest, concluding that Mr. Rosenberg was a dedicated spy but that his wife had played only a minor role, and raising questions about the evidence and the government’s tactics in the case. Mr. Radosh and Sol Stern also interviewed Mr. Greenglass for an article in The New Republic.
Sam Roberts, a Times editor and reporter, later found Mr. Greenglass and, after a 13-year effort, obtained 50 hours of interviews that led to a book, “The Brother: The Untold Story of the Rosenberg Case.” In the book, Mr. Greenglass admitted that, to spare his wife from prosecution, he had testified that his sister typed his notes. In fact, he said, he could not recall who had done it.
“I don’t remember that at all,” Mr. Greenglass said. “I frankly think my wife did the typing, but I don’t remember.”
He said he had no regrets. “My wife is more important to me than my sister. Or my mother or my father, O.K.? And she was the mother of my children.”
In a 2008 interview with Mr. Roberts, Mr. Sobell admitted that he had given military secrets to the Soviet Union, and concurred in what has become a consensus among historians: that the Greenglass-Rosenberg atomic bomb details were of little value to the Soviets, except to corroborate what they already knew, and that Ethel Rosenberg had played no active role in the conspiracy.
David Greenglass was born on the Lower East Side on March 2, 1922, to immigrants from Russia and Austria. He was 14 when he met Julius Rosenberg, who began courting Ethel, who was seven years older than David, in 1936. The Rosenbergs were married in 1939.
David graduated from Haaren High School in 1940 with only fair grades. He attended Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, but flunked out.
Mr. Greenglass and Ruth Printz, who had been neighbors, childhood sweethearts and members of the Young Communist League, were married in 1942. They had a son and a daughter, who survive him.
He had several machinist jobs before being drafted in 1943, and the Army put his skills to use. He fixed tank motors, inspected equipment and worked on ordnance in California and Mississippi. He was also assigned to classified work at Oak Ridge, Tenn., where uranium was being enriched for a secret weapon.
To pass his security clearance for the most sensitive work of the war at Los Alamos, Mr. Greenglass disguised or omitted Communist associations in his background. For character and work references, he alerted the writers — all friends — how to respond, and only glowing reports came back. “All evidence indicates subject to be loyal, honest and discreet,” Army intelligence reported.
Everywhere — even at Los Alamos — he preached communism, trying to persuade fellow G.I.s and co-workers that they would someday prosper in a utopian society free of squalor and injustice. Letters to his wife, some signed “Your Comrade,” also sprinkled dialectics among the endearments. “We who understand,” he wrote, “can bring understanding to others because we are in love and have our Marxist outlook.”
The deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Greenglass, like those of the Rosenbergs more than 60 years ago, are unlikely to end public fascination with the case, whose betrayals have been woven into American culture. In Woody Allen’s film “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” the character played by Mr. Allen says dryly that he still has feelings for his vile brother-in-law.
“I love him like a brother,” he says. “David Greenglass.”
At the 1974 national convention of the American Institute of Architects in San Francisco, Judith Edelman presented data showing that 1.2 percent of registered architects in the United States were women. Only coal miners and steelworkers, she suggested, counted a lower proportion.
These survey results, she said, “clearly demonstrate that the alleged grievances are not all in the heads of some paranoid chicks.” She then agreed to lead a task force to tackle the issue, out of fear that someone “insufficiently stubborn” would get the job.
Ms. Edelman died of a heart attack at 91 on Oct. 4 at her home in Manhattan, her son Marc said. Her legacy includes designing housing for the needy, health clinics and other buildings throughout New York City, as well as drafting many respected planning studies.
But it was as a firebrand for women in architecture — she said she came to be called Dragon Lady at A.I.A. headquarters in Washington — that Ms. Edelman established a broader reputation. In the early 1970s, as feminism challenged many institutions, she pointed out that women were far less likely to be in architecture schools or partners in firms than men, and were paid less.
In 1974, Ada Louise Huxtable, architecture critic for The New York Times, wrote that it was “appalling” that the institute’s national membership consisted of 24,000 men and 300 women. When Life magazine in 1976 surveyed women in professions, it said that “none even today is a more exclusively male preserve than architecture.”
In 1971, Ms. Edelman became the first woman elected to the executive committee of the New York chapter of the institute, with the goal of persuading what she termed “an exclusive gentleman’s club” to elevate women. She also fought for change from outside the establishment, helping found the Alliance of Women in Architecture in 1972.
In designing buildings, Ms. Edelman was clearly successful. The firm she started with her husband built more than 1,500 apartment units and commercial enterprises between the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges; devised a way to preserve the facades of nine brownstones on the Upper West Side to fashion a single multiunit building, where Jackie Robinson was one of the first residents; restored the La MaMa theater on the Lower East Side; and built many affordable housing projects. It won awards from the City Club of New York, the Municipal Art Society and the American Institute of Architects.
Her great feminist cause has fared less well. Although women now account for half of all graduates of American architecture schools, they represent only 20 percent of licensed practitioners and an even lower proportion of partners in firms, according to the blog of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, which chronicles women’s past and present contributions to the industry.
Judith Deena Hochberg was born on Sept. 16, 1923, in Brooklyn to immigrants from Eastern Europe. Her childhood fascination with building turned into a desire to become an architect when she visited an architect’s office as a junior in high school. The desire solidified when an injury prevented her from dancing, her first love.
Her politics came from her upbringing. “I was raised in a very lefty environment,” she said in an interview with the blog of ESKW/A, the current name of her firm. (The initials stand for Edelman Sultan Knox Wood.)
She attended Connecticut College and New York University before earning an architecture degree from Columbia. Her class was mostly women and Latin Americans, because American men were fighting in World War II. In the interview, she said she had led a successful rebellion to include more modernist architecture in the curriculum.
Columbia professors, she recalled, often said, “We’re wasting our time on you girls.” Asked by her interviewer if they said that to the women directly, she replied, “Oh, yes.”
When Ms. Edelman started looking for a job, she heard something similar. “We don’t hire girls,” one potential employer after another said.
She finally found work drawing designs for brickwork for mental hospitals. She was then hired by the architect Huson Jackson, who had an office in Greenwich Village, where she lived. Mr. Jackson, a professor at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard, was a leader in bringing the International Style from Europe to the United States.
“He was a great thinker, but he couldn’t draw, interestingly enough,” Ms. Edelman said. “He’d draw a squiggle and say, ‘Turn this into a building.’ ”
In 1947, she married Harold Edelman, and they spent a year traveling in Europe on a fellowship she had won from Columbia. After returning to the United States, they formed a partnership with Stanley Salzman, who had worked with Walter Gropius, a giant of the profession who founded the Bauhaus architectural school. Mr. Salzman left the firm in 1979 and died in 1991.
Mr. Edelman died in 1999. In addition to her son Marc, Ms. Edelman is survived by another son, Joshua; her sister, Joan Gitlow; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Ms. Edelman, who attended a design criticism session two weeks before her death and then walked more than a dozen blocks home, was the model for a 1974 children’s book, “What Can She Be? An Architect.” The authors, Gloria and Esther Goldreich, changed the character’s name to Susan Brody.
As a young architect, Ms. Edelman did not know of Julia Morgan, the great California architect who designed San Simeon, the home of William Randolph Hearst, and more than 700 other buildings. She made that admission in a speech accepting the Woman of Vision award from the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women in 1989.
Later generations knew about Ms. Edelman. In that same speech, she talked about a young female architect, unknown to her, who years ago had said she named her cat Judy Edelman.
“Astonished, I asked why,” she said.
The woman, she said, answered, “What other role models are there?”
BEAUTIFUL, ALSO, ARE THE SOULS OF MY BLACK SISTERS · A BLOGSITE FOR THE PRAISING OF ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL AND SUBLIME IN HONOR OF ALL BLACK WOMEN. "ONLY THE BLACK WOMAN CAN SAY WHEN AND WHERE I ENTER, IN THE QUIET, UNDISPUTED DIGNITY OF MY WOMANHOOD, WITHOUT VIOLENCE AND WITHOUT SUING OR SPECIAL PATRONAGE, THEN AND THERE THE WHOLE. . .RACE ENTERS WITH ME." ANNA JULIA COOPER, 1892