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Jun 25, 2014

Prolific U.S. character actor Eli Wallach dies at 98 – NYT

WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) – Eli Wallach, an early
practitioner of method acting who made a lasting impression as
the scuzzy bandit Tuco in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, died
on Tuesday at the age of 98, the New York Times reported.

Wallach appeared on the big screen well into his 90s in
Roman Polanski’s “The Ghost Writer” and Oliver Stone’s “Wall
Street” sequel and other films.

May 28, 2014

U.S. author, poet, rights activist Maya Angelou dies at 86

By Colleen Jenkins and Bill Trott

(Reuters) – American author and poet Maya Angelou, whose groundbreaking memoir “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” earned her international acclaim with its unflinching account of rape and racism in the segregated South, died on Wednesday at age 86.

The prolific African-American writer, known for her lyrical prose and regal speaking voice, died quietly at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Angelou’s family said in a statement. No cause of death was given.

May 28, 2014

U.S. author, poet Maya Angelou dies at 86

By Colleen Jenkins and Bill Trott

WINSTON-SALEM N.C. (Reuters) – American author and poet Maya Angelou, an eloquent commentator on race and gender best known for her groundbreaking autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” has died at age 86 in North Carolina.

The prolific African-American writer died quietly at her home in Winston-Salem, Angelou’s family said in a statement on Wednesday.

Apr 15, 2014

Ex-U.S. defense secretary knows accuracy of his tax return is unknown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Donald Rumsfeld has a new addition to his list of known unknowns – the accuracy of his 2013 tax filing.

Rumsfeld, who was U.S. defense secretary under President George W. Bush, posted a picture on Twitter of the letter he sent to the Internal Revenue Service, saying he had submitted his tax return by Tuesday’s deadline but that he had “absolutely no idea whether our tax returns and tax payments are accurate.”

Apr 10, 2014

U.S. accuses Russia after Putin warning on gas supplies to Europe

MOSCOW/WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) – President Vladimir
Putin warned on Thursday that Russian gas supplies to Europe
could be disrupted if Moscow cuts the flow to Ukraine over
unpaid bills, drawing a U.S. accusation that it is using energy
“as a tool of coercion”.

In a letter to the leaders of 18 European countries, Putin
made clear that his patience would run out over Kiev’s $2.2
billion gas debt to Russia unless a solution could be brokered

Apr 7, 2014

Actor Mickey Rooney, brash star of 1930s and ’40s, dies at 93

By Bill Trott

(Reuters) – Actor Mickey Rooney, who became the United States’ biggest movie star while still a brash teenager in the 1930s and later a versatile character actor in a career that spanned 10 decades, died on Sunday, friends and entertainment media said. He was 93.

Rooney, who developed a reputation as a hard-partying, off-screen brat in his heyday and married eight times, died after a long illness, the TMZ celebrity website said. Show business website Variety also reported his death.

Apr 6, 2014

Book tells how CIA turned ‘Doctor Zhivago’ into propaganda tool

WASHINGTON, April 6 (Reuters) – CIA officials had rave
reviews for Boris Pasternak’s classic Russian novel “Doctor
Zhivago” – not for its literary merit but as a propaganda weapon
in the Cold War, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.

The U.S. intelligence agency saw the book as a challenge to
Communism and a way to make Soviet citizens question why their
government was suppressing one of their greatest writers,
according to newly declassified CIA documents that detail the
agency’s involvement in the book’s printing, the Post said.

Apr 4, 2014

Former President George W. Bush’s brush portrays world leaders

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. President George W. Bush on Friday revealed a series of portraits of world leaders he painted in a new pursuit that he said has “opened my mind,” even though it left him exposed to joking criticism from his mother.

An exhibit titled “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy” opens Saturday at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas. It will feature Bush’s paintings of some two dozen world figures he worked with during his 2001-2009 presidency, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Dalai Lama.

Mar 20, 2014

Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps dead at 84

By Bill Trott

(Reuters) – Fred Phelps, the pastor who led a small Kansas church’s vitriolic “God Hates Fags” anti-gay campaign at public events across the United States, including military funerals, has died, the church said Thursday.

Phelps, whose Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, won a 2011 freedom-of-speech U.S. Supreme Court decision related to their anti-gay picketing, died late Wednesday in a Kansas hospice. He was 84.

Mar 18, 2014

American philanthropist Bunny Mellon dies at 103

By Bill Trott and Victoria Cavaliere

(Reuters) – Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, the aristocratic philanthropist and a close friend of Jacqueline Kennedy who provided money used to conceal 2008 U.S. presidential candidate John Edwards’ extramarital affair, has died at the age of 103, her attorney’s office confirmed on Tuesday.

Mellon, an avid, self-taught horticulturist who redesigned the White House Rose Garden during the Kennedy administration, died on Monday at her Virginia estate of natural causes related to her age, according to a statement from Alex Forger, Mellon’s personal attorney.