Beatrice and Benedict, by Berlioz, a production of BU's Opera Institute and Chamber Orchestra, Thursday, April 19 to Sunday, April 22, at the BU Theatre

Vol. IV No. 30   ·   13 April 2001 


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Institute for Public Accuracy: Israeli PM "total rejectionist"

LAW Associate Professor Susan Akram, who specializes in refugee issues, expresses her views on the escalation in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the March 19 Institute for Public Accuracy, a publication of the Federal Document Clearinghouse, Inc. Akram says: "The deteriorating situation is a reflection of a complete lack of focus on the international law principles that should guide a just solution for the millions of Palestinian refugees and for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict generally. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is a total rejectionist of any solution that entails even minimal justice for the Palestinians. He is moving towards the total 'canonization' of the Palestinian areas, establishing 46 separate isolated areas."

Boston Herald: Convicted killer may be innocent

Bruce Jackson, a molecular biologist at BU School of Medicine, a nationally known DNA expert, and head of the forensic DNA science program at Massachusetts Bay Community College, has joined the effort to clear a Massachusetts man serving a life sentence for a 1971 murder. Jackson believes Robert Breest, convicted in 1973 of murdering New Hampshire teenager Susan Randall, deserves better quality DNA testing.

According to an article in the April 4 Boston Herald, during Breest's trial prosecutors argued that Randall clawed her killer "to the bone," that Breest was the lone assailant, and that the blood under Randall's fingernails matched Breest's blood type. DNA testing was not available at the time, but in January a New Hampshire Superior Court judge granted Breest's request for DNA testing. The results, from Cellmark Diagnostics in Maryland, indicate Breest could not be ruled in or out as the killer. Jackson takes exception to the quality of the tests. "If the test is well-done," he says, "the signals are strong, like a new typewriter ribbon." Of particular concern was why a basic test, a Y chromosome analysis, wasn't done. "If you have a male suspect, it's the easiest thing in the world to do," he says.

Breest has suffered three heart attacks in prison and is experiencing blood pressure problems. His lawyer, Donald Brisson, is asking a New Hampshire Superior Court judge to allow another, better quality round of testing. "I'd hate to see him die in prison and DNA come back and say, 'gee, it wasn't Bob Breest,'" says Brisson. "That would be a tragedy."

CNN Sunday: The power of napping

Infamous napper and SAR Professor William Anthony, coauthor of The Art of Napping at Work, was interviewed by Donna Kelley, CNN anchor, on Sunday, April 1, about his call to designate April 2 as National Workplace Napping Day. Kelley asked Anthony to define some of the words he uses:

Kelley: What's napostic?

Anthony: Well, a napostic is a nonbeliever in the power of naps.

Kelley: The healing power of naps, is what you say.

Anthony: Exactly.

Kelley: Naptitude. What's that?

Anthony: Well, naptitude would be a person who has an aptitude for naps, and it's a trait commonly found in leaders, geniuses, and babies.

Kelley: Who is a naphomaniac?

Anthony: A naphomaniac is a person or a napper who overdoes a good thing.

New York Times: Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., to begin safety ads

Still struggling to recover from the recall last August of Firestone tires, Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., plans to begin the largest advertising campaign in its history in an effort to reassure customers, reports the New York Times on April 5. While Firestone's ads will emphasize safety, the Ford Motor Company, whose Explorers, mostly equipped with Firestone tires, were involved in accidents because of the tires, will not mention the issue of safety in its next public relations effort. C. B. Bhattacharya, SMG associate professor of marketing, tells the Times that Ford's decision to avoid safety in its advertising is understandable, but that Firestone has little choice but to address the issue. "It's not just a good idea, it's the only option they have," says Bhattacharya. "Firestone has its back against the wall. Ford wants the public to believe the problem is Firestone's problem, while Firestone doesn't really have that luxury."

Boston Globe: MFA showpiece a modern fake

One of the most famous objects in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts -- a dazzling ivory and gold snake goddess -- is a modern forgery, says Kenneth Lapatin, CAS assistant professor of art history, a leading specialist in ancient ivory statuettes, and president of the Boston chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America. Lapatin, who concluded that the goddess is fake after more than a decade of research, says in the April 6 Boston Globe, "I don't believe it is 3,500 years old. It is at least 87 years old, and could be as much as 98 years old." The statuette, labeled as the work of Minoan craftsmen in ancient Crete, has been surrounded by controversy since its arrival at the museum in 1914. Lapatin outlines his findings in the January/February issue of Archaeology and is at work on a book, scheduled to be published next year, entitled Mysteries of the Snake Goddess: Art, Desire and the Forging of History.

"In The News" is compiled by Mark Toth in the Office of Public Relations.


13 April 2001
Boston University
Office of University Relations