A Letter From The Publisher, Jan. 14, 1980

Rarely has a new year begun with such a fast-developing and important story. Even before the holiday season ended last week, it was clear that the flow of Soviet troops into Afghanistan would deeply affect the course of Soviet-American relations, and thus call for TIME'S first breaking news cover of 1980.

New Year's Day had hardly ended when Senior Editor Otto Friedrich met with the Nation section staff to plan this issue's 17-page series of stories, the main narrative of which was written by Associate Editor Burton Pines. Says Friedrich: "We simply hit the ground running this year." TIME correspondents on three...

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