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Secret Police

December 31, 2005 | Robyn Dixon, Times Staff Writer
At night, when the archbishop tries to sleep, his mind churns with the stories of his poor, hungry countrymen. Often he crawls out of bed and prowls his house, haunted by one of religion's eternal questions: Why does God let people suffer so? During services, parishioners say, his emotions take over and he sometimes seems on the verge of tears. Nearly a quarter of Zimbabwe's population has been pushed to the edge of starvation by five years of economic mismanagement and hyperinflation.
November 10, 2005 | Kim Murphy, Times Staff Writer
He was the founder of the secret police at a time when the word police meant terror. Hundreds of thousands of Russians disappeared into interrogation stations and prison camps of the feared Cheka and its successors, never to emerge alive. Not surprisingly, as the Soviet Union was collapsing in 1991, the bronze statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky that towered for years outside KGB headquarters was among the first Soviet relics to go, pulled down by the crowds and eventually hauled off to a statue garden.
October 4, 2005 | Katharine Mieszkowski
Possessed by Shadows Donigan Merritt Other Press 240 pp, $22 * Rock climbing, bouldering and mountaineering anchor this grim novel in which a young climber confronts her impending death and her husband faces losing her. Molly, 33, a journalist who is dying of brain cancer, and her husband, Tom, a philosophy professor, travel from the familiar climbing routes of Southern California into the High Tatra mountains in what was once Czechoslovakia.
September 20, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
Two Afghan men went on trial at The Hague on charges of committing war crimes, including killing and torture, when they were officials of the Khad secret police during communist rule of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Hesamuddin Hesam, 57, and Habibullah Jalalzoy, 59, were arrested late last year. Their lawyers argued unsuccessfully for withdrawal of the charges.
May 15, 2005 | Peter Savodnik, Peter Savodnik is political editor of the Hill newspaper in Washington. He traveled to Belarus in 2004 on a German Marshall Fund fellowship.
President Bush's visit to the former Soviet republic of Georgia last week served as a reminder that the United States is working to foment peaceful (and not so peaceful) democratic uprisings throughout the region. U.S. tax dollars helped further the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004 and the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan this year. Now U.S.
April 28, 2005 | From Associated Press
A Polish priest at the Vatican was accused Wednesday of collaborating with the communist-era secret police during the 1980s as Pope John Paul II was inspiring his countrymen to resist the Soviet-backed government. Father Konrad Stanislaw Hejmo acknowledged that he had shared reports he wrote for Polish church officials with an acquaintance, a Pole who lived in Germany, but said he had not suspected that the man might be a spy. "I have never been a secret collaborator," Hejmo said in Rome.
May 16, 2004 | Natasha S. Randall, Natasha S. Randall is a columnist who writes about U.S. books and publishing for Publishing News and translates from the Russian.
To be a poet is to be a virtual exile, someone who shifts between internal and external spaces, making the familiar strange and the strange familiar. And as T.S. Eliot once said, poetry is not an expression of a poet's personality but an escape from it. But an escape is always from somewhere or something, and a poet's work is always emerging in some way from experience.
June 15, 2003 | Joe Domanick, Joe Domanick, a senior fellow at USC's Annenberg School Institute for Justice and Journalism, is author of "To Protect and To Serve," a book on the history of the Los Angeles Police Department.
When the City Council and the mayor recently went toe to toe over the proposed hiring of 320 police officers, the fact that 55 of them would be assigned to the LAPD's counter-terrorism bureau didn't attract much attention. But there are plenty of questions to ask. Does the bureau really need more cops to seek out and frustrate potential terrorists in L.A.? What has the bureau been doing since 9/11 with the force it already has?
April 13, 2003 | Mark Magnier, Times Staff Writer
Sheik Lami Abbas Ajali looked around at the small cell where he spent several bleak weeks of his life and recounted the torture: how he was hit, prodded, had his eyelids pulled back, had electric shocks applied to his temples and genitals, how his hands were cuffed behind him then raised until he was off the ground. He recalled Saturday how torturers stuffed 10 suspects into an 8-by-6-foot room so only two could sleep at any given time while the other eight were forced to stand.
March 9, 2003 | From Associated Press
Secret police swooped in on an anti-government demonstration Saturday in Caracas in a failed attempt to arrest a strike leader who had emerged from hiding to address the rally. The police fired shots into the air and launched tear gas canisters to disperse protesters, who smashed police vehicle windows, local television reported. There were no immediate reports of injuries or arrests.
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