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Archive for Wednesday, July 11, 2001

World Briefs

July 11, 2001

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Egypt: Arab League names new spokeswoman

The Arab League has appointed as its top press officer Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian intellectual with a record of championing civil rights and opposing corruption.

League Secretary-General Amr Moussa announced the appointment Tuesday, saying Ashrawi would contribute to "the Arab cause."

Moussa said Ashrawi's position, director general of media affairs, is a new post in the Arab League, which represents 21 Arab countries and the Palestinian territories.

Ashrawi, a 54-year-old Christian from Jerusalem, worked as a professor of English before entering politics full time.

She served in the 1990s as spokeswoman for the Palestinian Authority and as minister of higher education in the authority's Cabinet. She resigned from the Cabinet in 1998.

Rome: Michelangelo's Moses on view after cleaning

Fans of Michelangelo can now see his famed statue of Moses, freshly restored and opened to the public on Tuesday.

Located in Rome's basilica of St. Peter in Chains, the monumental statue is the centerpiece of Pope Julius II's tomb. It is considered one of Michelangelo's masterpieces.

Restorers have been working on the tomb all year, cleaning away centuries of grime. They recently installed new scaffolding that allows visitors to see the statue while work on the tomb continues.

Julius II's tomb was a project Michelangelo work on intermittently for 40 years. The pope himself commissioned the tomb in 1505, eight years before his death. But Michelangelo was distracted by other projects, including the Sistine Chapel, and his own dissatisfaction with the work. Michelangelo finished the tomb in 1545.

Nepal: Girl, 4, chosen as living goddess

A 4-year-old girl was elevated as the new living goddess of Nepal on Tuesday, to spend her childhood revered as the source of prosperity in the Hindu kingdom high in the Himalayas.

Preeti Shakya, the daughter of a poor family, was enthroned as the new Kumari, or virgin goddess a status she will hold until she reaches puberty and returns to being a mere mortal.

The ceremony took place in the goddess's small palace at the heart of the Nepalese capital, Katmandu.

The Kumari is revered by both Hindus and Buddhists who believe that she has blessed the king and 22 million people of this Himalayan nation with peace and prosperity.

The goddess lives sequestered in her palace, allowed only a few selected playmates, and sees the outside world a few times a year when she is wheeled through the capital on a chariot pulled by devotees.

She wears only red, her hair is always tied in a topknot and she has a third eye painted on her forehead.

Germany: Schindler's widow wants documents returned

Oskar Schindler's widow said Tuesday that Israel should return to Germany his documents, including a list of some 1,200 Jewish prisoners he is credited with saving from the Nazis.

Emilie Schindler, 94, spoke at a modern history museum in Bonn, which she maintained would be the best place for the documents.

"It is my wish and will that these documents, with the list of names of the rescued Jews, return to Germany soon," she said.

Oskar Schindler saved Jews by drawing up lists with fictitious jobs in his factory in occupied Poland to convince the Nazi SS the workers were vital to the war effort. His efforts were chronicled in the movie "Schindler's List."

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