Today's Story Line:
We waited until Wednesday's decision by Britain to seek extradition of Gen. Augusto Pinochet before we took a look at the impact on Chile (page 1). Beyond the obvious divisions among Chileans over whether Spain should try the ex-dictator, there's a churning of public conscience over Pinochet's legacy that might alter Chile's political landscape. By the way, Britain's decision came a day before the 50th anniversary of the United Nations declaration on human rights.
In contrast, Argentina has had a slightly different political churn as it too deals with its military past. Columbia University journalism professor Anne Nelson, who has written often from Latin America, reports from Buenos Aires about the renewed prosecution of a horrific "dirty war."
Not far away, in Antarctica, another kind of churn - the loss of the atmosphere's ozone layer - appears to be damaging the marine life. While the world is cutting down on the use of ozone-eating chemicals, the effects may linger for years. Quote of note: "The broader concern is that a significant change in the Southern Ocean can impact [the food chain] in other oceans." - Dr. Wade Jeffrey, researcher in Antarctica.
- Clayton Jones
REPORTERS ON THE JOB
* CHILLED OUT IN CHILE: For a while on Wednesday it looked like response from Pinochet supporters to Britain's extradition decision might be fast and furious. Within 15 minutes of notification in Chile of the decision, a bomb threat hit the campus-like complex of Chilean National Television, where Latin America correpsondent Howard LaFranchi was in the middle of an interview. Sirens blared and the police arrived, but no bomb was found. And that was the last sign he witnessed that day - other than people uncustomarily gathered around newspaper kiosks draped with the day's big news - of any commotion in Chile over the Pinochet affair.
* THE PERFECT-STORM CRUISE: To report the ozone story on page 8, our globe-trotting contributor Colin Woodard took a research ship to Antarctica from the tip of South America. Sounds pleasant, no? For three days, the ship had to cross Drake Passage, which has a reputation among sailors for the world's worst weather. Waves were 50 feet high and the ship rolled 40 degrees. One scientist, watching a video, was thrown completely out of his sofa. At meals, plates flew across the table. One time, when Colin tried to enter his room, the furniture had moved and barricaded the door. One of his tables was smashed to bits. Climbing stairs as the ship rolled was like walking through different degrees of gravity. "Zero gravity would be better than topsy-turvy gravity," he says, safely back on terra firma.
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