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Published:April 18th, 2008 11:28 EST
World Chronicle: April 18, 2008

World Chronicle: April 18, 2008

By Krzys Wasilewski

It happened today in Prague, Czech Republic...

Washington is probing the Czechs if they would like to host American missiles, writes Polish newspapers. Prague has already agreed on building a radar on its territory that would become part of a US-sponsored anti-missile shield that is to be located in the Czech Republic and Poland. The latter, however, is said to irritate the Bush Administration with its demands that range from modernizing the Polish army to installing Patriot missiles on its territory. Facing a deadlock in negotiations with the Poles, Washington hopes that the more agreeable Czech government will host the entire shield. The Czech foreign minister downplayed the information, saying that it was nonsense. "

It happened today in Asuncion, Paraguay...

Friday is the last day of a presidential campaign in Paraguay. After weeks of often heated political rallies and televised debates, the final battle on Sunday will be fought between two candidates: a former Catholic Bishop Fernando Lugo and former Education Minister Blanca Ovelar. The 56-year-old Lugo left the Church in 2006 as both the national and Vatican laws bar the clergy from running for offices. Rejecting the notions that he is another Hugo Chavez, Lugo said: I am not of the left, nor of the right. I`m in the middle as a candidate sought by many " (The Associated Press). Ovelar, on the other hand, represents the party that has ruled Paraguay for 61 years and led many corruption scandals. According to the latest polls, Fernando Lugo will be moving into the presidential palace as he enjoys wide support among the poor and indigenous.

It happened 50 years ago in Washington, DC...

Ezra Pound, a controversial US-born writer and intellectual, was released today from a hospital for the mentally ill. Graduating from Hamilton College in 1905 and one year later from the University of Pennsylvania where he received an MA in Romance Philology, Pound moved to London to befriend his favorite writers, Ford Maddox Ford, T. E. Hulme and William Butler Yeats " the best living poet according to Pound. The latter reciprocated the young American`s affection by employing Pound as his personal secretary. In 1920, he moved to Paris and four years later left for Italy. There, when the Second World War was drawing to a close and American forces approached, Pound was mistakenly arrested by US troops and sent to a detention camp. Reportedly, he suffered a nervous breakdown during that time which would get even worse on his return to the United States where he was accused of treason. In 1946, Pound was ordered to St. Elizabeth`s Hospital, the first federally-run place for the mentally ill, located in Washington, DC. Only after 12 years was Pound released which spurred him to utter the famous words: America is a lunatic asylum. " He then returned to Italy where he stayed until his death in 1972.

It happened 102 years ago in San Francisco, California...

The earthquake started " with a direct violence that left one breathless, " reported a local journalist shortly after a gray cloud of dust over San Francisco, the commercial hub of the Western Coast, dissolved and the enormity of damage came to light. The powerful earthquake started at 5:12 am, on Wednesday, April 18, 1906. At that time hardly anyone realized the dangerous location of San Francisco, with dozens of new buildings appearing every month. When the earthquake finished its murderous work, San Francisco looked like a dead city, full of the skeletons of once proud constructions and bodies scattered on the streets. Some 3,000 people lost their lives, either buried alive under the debris or in numerous accidents that occurred during the enormous panic that erupted when the first buildings began to crumble. Approximately 250,000 residents were left homeless with almost 30,000 buildings having been devastated in several hours. Despite the overbearing sense of desperation which dominated the area, it took only three years to recreate most of its buildings, bringing life to a once dead city.

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