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Today in history:February 25

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发表于 2016-7-9 23:20:33 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
  February 25
          Poster of the Cassius Clay-Sonny Liston pre-fight weigh-in
          1991: US bombers strike civilians in Baghdad
          England have
          Hundreds of Iraqi civilians have been killed and wounded in Baghdad by
American bombers.
          Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz said: "This was a criminal,
pre-meditated, planned attack against civilians."
          Local reports say two laser-guided precision bombs hit an air-raid shelter
in the middle class district of Amiriya, five miles from the centre of the Iraqi
capital.
          So far 235 bodies have been recovered, 12 hours after the attacks at 0445
GMT and 0450 GMT.
          Continuing fires and intense heat in the bunker complex - which includes a
school, mosque and supermarket - have hampered rescue efforts and 300 people are
still thought to be trapped inside.
          Many of the victims are thought to be women and children.
          White House spokesperson Martin Fitzwater said the loss of civilian life
was "truly tragic", but described the bunker as a well-known military
target.
          "We don"t know why civilians were at this location. We do know that Saddam
Hussein does not share our sanctity for human life," he continued.
          One American intelligence officer said the bunker had been transmitting
military signals until the moment the bombs hit.
          Another US spokesperson in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, suggested Saddam had
deliberately created a human shield - a tactic he has used before - to inflame
international opinion against allied air strikes.
          The Baghdad shelter manager said: We didn"t have a single military man in
the shelter. It is allocated to civilians."
          According to intelligence sources the shelter was built during the
Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s with a 10 to 15-foot thick concrete ceiling,
reinforced with steel, designed to withstand electro-magnetic pulses from a
thermo-nuclear blast.
          Both sides are investigating the incident - caught on camera by US
planes.
          Tariq Aziz has called on the UN - meeting tonight - to condemn the "hideous
crime". A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar expressed
dismay at such a large loss of civilian life.
          Nikita Khrushchev astonished his comrades by denouncing Stalin"s regime
          1956: Khrushchev lashes out at Stalin
          Artificially 1969:
          The The Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, has denounced Joseph Stalin as a
brutal despot.
          In a sensational speech to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party Mr
Khrushchev painted a graphic picture of a regime of "suspicion, fear, and
terror" built up under the former dictator who died three years ago.
          He said he wanted to break the "Stalin cult" that has held Soviet citizens
in its thrall for 30 years.
          The prime minister described the purges during the period of 1936-38.
          He implied that one of Stalin"s most trusted aides Kirov had been
assassinated in 1934 at the leader"s behest.
          Stalin then initiated a series of trials of members of the politburo and
had some executed for Kirov"s murder, including Zinoviev, Kamenev and Rykov.
          Stalin meted out humiliation and persecution to those officers and members
of the Politburo who fell from favour, said Mr Khrushchev.
          He revealed that in 1937 and 1938, 98 out of the 139 members of the Central
Committee were shot on Stalin"s orders.
          The leader also criticised Stalin"s foreign policy during World War II. As
an ally of Adolf Hitler, Stalin refused to believe Germany would invade Russia -
despite warnings from Winston Churchill and Sir Stafford Cripps, the British
Ambassador in Moscow, amongst others.
          When the attack was launched, Stalin ordered the Red Army not to retaliate
saying the raid was merely "indiscipline" on the part of some of Hitler"s
units.
          Mr Khrushchev also condemned Stalin"s autobiography as an "odious book" in
which Stalin refers to himself as "the workers" genius-leader" and a "shy and
modest person".
          He also accused Stalin of violent nationalism and anti-Semitism.
          He revealed that in his last will and testament Lenin advised against the
retention of Stalin as general secretary of the Communist Party.
          He said the information he had just divulged should only be made known to
the public by degrees.
          "You understand, comrades, that we could not spread this information to the
people at once," he said. "It could be done either suddenly or gradually, and I
think it would be more correct to do it gradually."
          Vocabulary:
          sanctity : the quality of being holy(圣洁)
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