DIED. LEO CASTELLI, 91, ground-breaking American art dealer who repackaged once-lowly kitsch as cutting-edge modern art; in New York. By launching the careers of Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, Castelli revolutionized cultural standards by widening the scope of what could be deemed artistic: The most arbitrary thing, the most arbitrary gesture, can be considered as a work of art.
DIED. NORMAN WEXLER, 73, Oscar-nominated American screenwriter whose gritty films chronicled characters with dead-end jobs, unshaven jaws and dirty fingernails; in Washington. Although Wexler made his reputation on the 1973 corrupt-cop drama Serpico, not all of his films wallowed in blue-collar angst: in 1977, Wexler proved the unlikely savior of the musical movie, with his hip-swiveling blockbuster Saturday Night Fever.
INDICTED. MARIO RUIZ MASSIEU, 48, Mexico's former drug czar and associate of ex-President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, on charges of using his position to wheedle millions of dollars in bribes out of narcotics traffickers; by a grand jury in Houston, Texas. Although Ruiz Massieu was arrested at a New Jersey airport four years ago after trying to spirit $40,000 in undeclared cash out of the country, the Clinton Administration had been reluctant to bring money-laundering and conspiracy charges against him in the hope that he could be deported to Mexico to face prosecution there.
RELEASED. LIM GUAN ENG, 39, vocal Malaysian opposition stalwart and perennial critic of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, after a year's imprisonment for committing sedition by distributing a pamphlet decrying the government's decision not to arrest a ruling-party politician on statutory rape charges; in Kuala Lumpur. Although jubilant crowds met the newly released ex-parliamentarian, Lim cautioned against forgetting those who are still behind prison walls--a clear reference to former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who was sentenced in April to six years in prison for abuse of power.
RESIGNED. NOTRA TRULOCK, U.S. Department of Energy whistleblower who alleged Chinese spying at Los Alamos National Laboratory and fingered Chinese American physicist Wen Ho Lee, after criticism mounted that Lee was singled out because of his ethnicity; in Washington. Trulock, who denies the discrimination charge, quit after two government reports hinted that he bungled the investigation into nuclear espionage by focusing on Lee's race. The Taiwan-born scientist has not been charged with any crime.
RETURNED. CHINUA ACHEBE, 69, crusading Nigerian author whose eye-opening book, The Trouble with Nigeria, depicted the brutalities of a military kleptocracy that has dominated the country's politics since its independence in 1960, after nearly a decade in self-imposed exile; to Lagos. Hundreds of intellectuals fled the west African country after General Sani Abacha hanged political writer Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995, but the trickle now returning home signals budding confidence in the nation's democratic experiment headed by civilian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was elected earlier this year.
Speaking in Tongues
Say What? Does it sometimes seem that the 74 English-speaking countries are separated by a common language? Encarta has created the first global English dictionary. We asked them for some help. Here's the resulting glossolalia glossary:
Underpants: pants (Britain), underdaks (Australia)
Police: bobby (Britain), garda (Ireland), Mountie (Canada), police wallah (South Asia)
Porch: stoep (South Africa), gallery (Caribbean)
Ghost or Monster: duppy (Caribbean), wendigo (Canada), taniwha (New Zealand)
Bar: pub (Britain), hotel (Australia), boozer (Britain, Australia, New Zealand)
Bathroom: loo (Britain), dunny (Australia), lav (Britain, South Africa)
Barbecue: braai (South Africa), barbie (Australia)
Pickup Truck: bakkie (South Africa), ute (Australia), utility vehicle (New Zealand)
Eggplant: aubergine (Britain), bhaigan (Caribbean)
Bubba: Norm (Australia), Hoser (Canada)