Star negotiator

first_imgHow can you defend a foreigner who came to the United States with the likely intent of causing harm to Americans? For attorney James B. Donovan, a 1940 graduate of Harvard Law School, the real question at the height of the Cold War was: How can you not?In representing accused Soviet spy Rudolf Abel in the late 1950s, Donovan “probably had the most unpopular client since John Adams defended the British troops in the Boston Massacre of 1770,” as newscaster David Brinkley put it. Donovan was no fan of communism, but he felt it was his patriotic duty to give Abel a strong defense and thereby demonstrate the fairness and integrity of the U.S. legal system. “If the free world is not faithful to its own moral code,” Donovan said, “there remains no society for which others may hunger.” He refused to give up even when Abel was convicted in federal court in Brooklyn. Donovan not only argued down the spy’s sentence from death to 30 years, he appealed the conviction all the way to the Supreme Court, losing narrowly.In 1962, with the backing of President John F. Kennedy ’40, Donovan traveled to East Berlin to negotiate a swap: Abel for American spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers, imprisoned in the USSR.At Harvard Law School in the late 1930s, Donovan lived in Walter Hastings Hall, served as chair of the Law School yearbook, and studied under later Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter. As an alumnus, he donated his legal fee from the Abel case to Harvard and two other universities. On Wednesday, the Law School’s Program on Negotiation will present a screening of Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies,” a film about the Abel-Powers negotiations in which Tom Hanks plays Donovan. Afterward, Dean Martha Minow will discuss the film with Professor Michael Wheeler of the Business School; Donovan’s granddaughter Beth Amorosi, president of AMO Communications LLC; and Donovan’s grandson John Amorosi, partner in the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell. Beth Amorosi spoke with the Gazette by phone earlier this month. GAZETTE: The trailer for “Bridge of Spies” gives the impression that your grandfather was simply an insurance attorney who somehow ended up defending an accused Russian spy. But the film reveals, at least in passing, that he had relevant experience.AMOROSI: The film does downplay his credentials, or enhances his everyman identity, playing up the fact that he was an insurance lawyer, [seemingly] picked out of the blue. But in reality, he did have quite a rich experience. In World War II, he worked as assistant general counsel for the Office of Scientific Research and Development [the federal agency that developed the atomic bomb], and then as general counsel for the Office of Strategic Services [the forerunner of the CIA]. And after the war, he was assistant prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trial. It was no accident that the Brooklyn Bar Association chose him to represent Rudolf Abel.James Donovan served as a commander in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Courtesy of the Donovan familyGAZETTE: The movie also portrays his relationship with his CIA handler [in the Berlin swap] as somewhat antagonistic. Was that for dramatic effect?AMOROSI: That was some artistic license. He actually had a very good relationship with the CIA agent he worked with, M.C. Miskovsky. The actor didn’t play one specific person, but more an amalgam of personalities at the CIA.GAZETTE: Donovan defended a Russian agent during the Red Scare. Was that tough on your mother and her siblings, and on your grandmother, as depicted in “Bridge of Spies”?AMOROSI: Yes. I think that the times in general then were very tense — as they are right now, when we’re facing terrorism rather than communism. Back then, though, we didn’t see everything happening through the media; there wasn’t the same transparency. So it was almost more a perceived threat, psychological warfare. Not that the threat wasn’t real, but nobody really knew what was going on behind the Iron Curtain. In a way, it is difficult to convey the level of tension my family felt. The film took some license, [inventing a] shooting scene. My family actually lived in an apartment building, not a house, at that time. They were on the 14th or 15th floor, so it’d be impossible to shoot up into their apartment. But that was a good way to convey that tension. And there is a suggestion that perhaps someone shot at the building, and bricks were thrown. There were picketers outside every day when the kids were going to school. The kids were not necessarily bullied, but the family in general experienced some condescending and strange looks from strangers — but also from friends of theirs, which was even more painful.GAZETTE: Did that sentiment turn around after Donovan got an American pilot freed from Soviet prison?AMOROSI: I think the environment was still tense. A lot of people didn’t understand why Francis Gary Powers was freed; some people were still suspicious of him. In hindsight, I’ve heard members of my grandparents’ generation say, “Your grandfather was a great American.” The passage of time, the distance of time from the actual incidents has really lent itself to the image of my grandfather as a hero.GAZETTE: Tom Hanks portrays your grandfather as an eminently good guy, tough when he needed to be. Was that accurate?AMOROSI: Yes, absolutely. He was a very amiable person, very humorous, and very humble, in that he wasn’t above working with anybody at any level to get the job done.GAZETTE: And six months after the spy swap in Berlin, your grandfather was in Cuba, snorkeling with Castro, trying to pull off an even bigger exchange. Can you talk about that?AMOROSI: President Kennedy and [Attorney General] Bobby Kennedy had him represent, not officially the U.S., but the Cuban Families Committee, to go and negotiate for the release of the Bay of Pigs prisoners. Between Christmas 1962 and April 1963, he met with Castro 15 times, negotiating the release of 1,113 prisoners — and he obtained exit visas for their families, so ultimately he freed about 10,000 people.President John F. Kennedy shakes hands with Donovan in the Oval Office. Courtesy of the Donovan familyGAZETTE: What made him such a good negotiator?AMOROSI: Again, he was personable, he liked people very much, he liked building relationships with people of all different cultures and backgrounds. That was one way he could build a strong foundation, because he looked at people as individuals and not as enemies or ideologies. He got to know them on a personal level. So that’s one quality, his humanity. Also, he used reason above emotion and would not bring his personal opinion into any situation, which enabled a much more level playing field. He also loved the law and would adhere to the law while negotiating. And his competitiveness — he loved challenges. … Just getting 1,100 prisoners out was not enough; he wanted to help their families too.GAZETTE: What about the lessons for young people in James Donovan’s story? You’ve mentioned hoping to make DVDs of the film available to public schools.AMOROSI: I’d like him to be considered a role model. Healthy role models are vital to our society, and there’s a dearth of them at the moment. Kids are bombarded through the media with all these different possible role models, or people who are automatically assumed to be role models for all the wrong reasons. What I’d like them to learn is that just because someone has a talent as an athlete or a musician — or a lawyer, for that matter — doesn’t automatically make that person a role model. It’s more about their character, their ethics, how they’ve lived their life, how they treat people. And I think to pursue any career of your choice with the utmost vigor and enthusiasm opens up so many doors for you, to become whatever you want to be.And I hope they learn not to back down in the face of [others’ opinions]. Popularity is overrated. … I don’t want to get into politics, but for example, just because most people are backing some candidate doesn’t make that the right choice. Don’t go with the easy choice; base your decision on your own conscience and your own character and your own beliefs and on what’s best for you — and what’s best for most.This interview has been edited for length. The “Bridge of Spies” screening is at 6:30 p.m. on March 30 at Austin Hall, with discussion to follow. View the event listing on the Harvard Law School website.last_img read more

Tour city park to see where the needs are

first_imgNow, with the restoration of A Diamond under way and work progressing on the Music Haven seating enhancement, I think some serious work should be done by the city to clean up the surrounding areas. For the past three or four years, I have noticed a huge degree of neglect on the part of the parks department to complete necessary and/or routine work, such as the removal of dead trees and stumps, coupled with a lack of cutting and trimming of low-hanging limbs and dead branches.I have a mental list of four or five dozen other projects that could/should be completed, including the clean-up and restoration of the casino, that will bring Central Park back to where it should be.I invite any elected city official, starting at the top, to take a one-hour walk with me in the park. I will point out everything that I believe should be done to accomplish that goal. Please let the clean-up start now so Central Park at least compares to Albany’s Washington Park, The Crossings in Colonie and all the parks in Niskayuna.I sincerely hope to find an interest from someone in the city of Schenectady.Paul McDonaldNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Niskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes I was born and raised in Schenectady and lived within a stone’s throw of Schenectady’s Central Park. In my youth, my friends and I spent play time there on a year-round basis. For the past 70-plus years, I have frequently visited the park and I know it very well. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

No fear of relegation battle – Lambert

first_img Villa slipped into the bottom three for the fourth time this season when they were beaten 2-1 at Arsenal last weekend. But Villa manager Lambert insists his squad are in the right frame of mind for the challenges promised by the next 11 matches. “The thing we’ll see is the players are up for it, that is for sure. I don’t see them being frightened or a lack of confidence or anything like that at all,” Lambert said. “I never get a sense on the training ground that it has been really down. I can’t argue the last few weeks with the way they’ve been playing. They’ve given it a right good go. I’ve not sensed they are scared at all. They’ve got to embrace the challenge. I think if you go the other way you will get frightened by it and I don’t think there is any reason to be frightened by it.” Lambert is determined that Villa will come through their current strife and enjoy a brighter future after three years of either flirting with or being directly involved in a relegation battle. He said: “The club has been in and around it for three years. It’s nothing new. But you have to look forward and think you are going to get out of it. You have to believe this is going to be a brand new dawn. It has to be, otherwise there’s no point being here. You have to change it. “You have to stay in the league, to keep believing what you are doing is right, keep focusing on your beliefs and I’ll never deviate from that.” Lambert admits he is driven on by the challenge of managing in the Premier League rather than the financial incentives of being in the top flight. He said: “I think the finances in the Premier League are vast and everyone wants to be in the Premier League. I don’t now look at it and think you want to be in because of financial reasons but because it is the best league, the best stadia. Everything about the Premier League is fantastic.” When asked if players have contracts which are linked to being relegated, Lambert said: “Myself and Randy Lerner (club owner) speak all the time about things. I know exactly what’s happened.” Paul Lambert senses his players have no fear of being involved in a Barclays Premier League relegation battle ahead of their meeting with champions Manchester City.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Wilshere coming ‘back to his best’ – Wenger

first_imgJack Wilshere Wilshere coming ‘back to his best’ – Wenger Rob Lancaster Last updated 2 years ago 16:39 29/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) jackwilshere-cropped Getty Images Arsenal BATE BATE v Arsenal UEFA Europa League Premier League The manager is praying that the England international does not suffer more injury setbacks and can finally reach his potential Arsene Wenger believes Jack Wilshere is “on his way back to his best” after the midfielder impressed in Arsenal’s 4-2 Europa League victory over BATE.Wilshere 3/1 to score v BrightonThe England international played the entire game in Belarus on Thursday, as the Premier League club made it two wins from two in the group stages of the competition. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. Wilshere is in the final year of his contract with Arsenal, having spent last season on loan with Bournemouth after a series of injuries stalled his career at the Emirates Stadium.However, Wenger believes the future remains bright for the talented 25-year-old – provided he can stay healthy.Our #BATEvAFC man of the match?That’s this guy #SuperJack pic.twitter.com/aooxBwTwLO— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) September 29, 2017″He had an outstanding first half,” said the Gunners boss.”He fights until the end. He’s on his way back to his best and showed that.”He’s at an age where a player normally gets to the best of his career. He’s on the way up. He’s only been stopped by a series of injuries.”Hopefully, I just pray, he is not hampered by any more problems and that will see him getting stronger and stronger. He’s shown again that he’s not lost his football.”Wilshere has not made a Premier League appearance this season, but was an unused substitute for Monday’s 2-0 home win over West Brom.last_img read more

Tropical Storm Maria Advisory Number   2

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, September 16, 2017 – Providenciales –…DEPRESSION BECOMES TROPICAL STORM MARIA……ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST…SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST…2100 UTC…INFORMATIONLOCATION…12.3N 52.6WABOUT 620 MI…1000 KM ESE OF THE LESSER ANTILLESMAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…50 MPH…85 KM/HPRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 275 DEGREES AT 20 MPH…31 KM/HMINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1002 MB…29.59 INCHESWATCHES AND WARNINGSCHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:The government of Antigua has issued a Hurricane Watch for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat.SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…* Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and MontserratA Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…* St. Lucia* Martinique and Guadeloupe* Dominica* Barbados* St. Vincent and the GrenadinesA Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.  A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.   Interests elsewhere in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of this system.  Additional Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watches will likely be issued tonight or early Sunday.   For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service.DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOKAt 500 PM AST (2100 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Maria was located near latitude 12.3 North, longitude 52.6 West. Maria is moving toward the west near 20 mph (31 km/h). A slower west-northwest motion is expected during the next couple of days.  On the forecast track, Maria is expected to approach the Leeward Islands on Monday.   Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours, and Maria is forecast to be a hurricane when it approaches the Leeward Islands early next week.  Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center.  The estimated minimum central pressure is 1002 mb (29.59 inches).HAZARDS AFFECTING LANDWIND:    Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area by Monday night or Tuesday, with tropical storm conditions possible on Monday.   Tropical storm conditions are possible in the tropical storm watch area on Monday.STORM SURGE:    A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 3 to 5 feet above normal tide levels within the hurricane watch area.RAINFALL:    Maria is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 6 to 12 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches across portions of the central and southern Leeward Islands through Tuesday night.  Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches will be possible for portions of the northern Leeward Islands through Tuesday night.  These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.SURF:  Swells generated by Maria are expected to begin affecting the Lesser Antilles by Sunday night.  These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.  Please consult products from your local weather office.last_img read more

Cabrillo National Monument closed amid partial government shutdown

first_img SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego’s Cabrillo National Monument was closed Saturday as a result of the partial federal government shutdown that went into effect at midnight when the Senate and House of Representatives failed to reach an agreement on President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. The monument’s website said it was shuttered Saturday “for the safety of visitors and park resources” due to the lapse in federal funds, and the site wouldn’t be updated during the shutdown. The Cleveland National Forest’s website also said the USDA wouldn’t actively update the site during the shutdown, but there was no information on any portion of the forest being closed.The status of many National Parks is unclear. Workers were to be furloughed, but the parks themselves were expected to remain accessible for the most part. Congress approved funds for about three-quarters of the federal government in September, but the budgets for the remaining portions of the government had a Dec. 21 deadline for funding to pass. The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a stopgap funding bill with $5 billion for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The Senate and House both adjourned Friday night without reaching a spending deal.The Senate again adjourned without a deal Saturday afternoon, ensuring the shutdown will continue at least through Thursday. Many workers were off during the Christmas holiday anyway, meaning the full effects of the shutdown won’t likely be felt unless it goes on longer. The departments of Interior, Homeland Security, State, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Commerce and Justice were all affected by the partial shutdown.Workers such as Border Patrol agents and Transportation Security Administration workers were expected to continue working. The U.S. Postal Service was unaffected by the shutdown and will continue to deliver mail. Cabrillo National Monument closed amid partial government shutdown KUSI Newsroom, Posted: December 22, 2018 December 22, 2018 Updated: 3:27 PM Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom last_img read more