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HANNAH BEECHRENOMINATED. JAMES HORMEL,66, San Francisco philanthropist, as U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg, by President Bill Clinton; in Washington. Hormel's first nomination was snuffed out last year when Senate majority leader Trent Lott blocked a vote on the openly gay nominee, comparing homosexuality with alcoholism and kleptomania and arguing that Hormel would use the post to promote a gay agenda.RE-ELECTED. NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV,58, steely ex-Soviet party boss, as President of the oil-rich Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan. The election result surprised few, given that Nazarbayev's chief rival was banned from running and that local media were tightly leashed. International monitors joined the U.S. State Department in condemning the polls, but Nazarbayev retorted that he was satisfied with the process, which he said was free and fair. He received 81% of the vote.SENTENCED TO DEATH. MOUSSA TRAORE,former Mali strongman, whose 31-year Marxist regime kept the West African nation mired in poverty; for diverting public funds into his own pocket; by the criminal court in the capital Bamako. Traore is no stranger to death sentences: in 1993, he faced execution for ordering the murders of more than 100 protesters, but the sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment.DIED. BRIAN MOORE,77, Irish-born author, whose tight prose and searing storylines made him a favorite of Graham Greene and Joan Didion; in Malibu, California. A versatile wordsmith whose characters ranged from an alcoholic spinster rejecting religion to a war criminal outrunning his past, Moore dabbled in various literary forms, including a 1966 screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's Torn Curtain and the poignant 1955 novel The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne.DIED. JOHN HERVEY,44, hedonistic English aristocrat, who depleted his fortune through drug addiction and a penchant for lavish parties, of undisclosed causes; in Suffolk, England. True to his family's infamous reputation--his father was jailed for jewelry theft in the 1930s--the flamboyant Marquess of Bristol was imprisoned twice on drug convictions but denied the experience reformed him in any way: Sure, it might work for stupid people, but it's designed for the lower classes really, isn't it?DIED. WILLIAM H. WHYTE,81, American urban scholar, whose studies deconstructed street life and shed light on begging techniques (panhandlers who jingle change in their cups do better), post-lunch conversation (businessmen loiter on the street after meals because it's neutral ground) and pedestrian speed (unsurprisingly, New Yorkers walk faster than other Americans); in New York. A critic of corporate conformity, Whyte denounced the American business ethic in his 1956 bestseller The Organization Man, urging white-collar workers to champion individualism and reject bureaucracy.Even a decade ago MICHAEL JORDAN was recognized as a peerless basketball player. He just kept building on his legend until his retirement last week. Will the National Basketball Association ever be the same?Only 25, [Michael] Jordan has already won every major individual award the NBA has to offer. . . He has pulled the once dreadful Chicago Bulls into the playoffs four years running and contributed mightily toward rejuvenating a deadly dull league that only seven years ago was being lampooned as the National Buffoon Association. Small wonder some sportscasters call Jordan 'Superman in Shorts' . . . For Jordan, the world of basketball is a world without bounds. He gyrates, levitates and often dominates. Certainly he fascinates. . . Jordan's appeal shines through the bottom line: he may be the biggest draw in professional sports.--TIME, Jan. 9, 1989