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People in the News

March 23, 1989

MIAMI (AP) _ Two of the nation’s moonwalkers, Edwin ″Buzz″ Aldrin and Eugene Andrew Cernan, say it’s time for the United States to step up its commitment to space.

Aldrin, the second man to step foot on the moon, and Cernan, the last, spoke Wednesday at a tennis tournament celebration at the Doral Resort and Country Club.

The space program has been rudderless since the Apollo missions, Aldrin said. He called on the Bush administration to create a space program with a clear objective, not just a series of space shuttle launches with no unifying long-term goal.

″I would like to see a renewed commitment to exploration,″ said Aldrin, who walked on the moon on July 20, 1969, after Neil Armstrong. The two astronauts flew on the Apollo 11 mission.

Cernan, who walked on the moon in the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972, said he thought his steps would signify the beginning of a new era and not the end of a mission.

″I’m disappointed that that new era has not materialized,″ Cernan said. ″We don’t have a basic mission ... there’s no plan.″


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Actress Beverly Todd was embraced by the parents of a teen-ager who is accused of killing her son, Malik Smith, in a bar fight.

John Tavo Leota, 18, was arraigned on the second-degree murder charge Wednesday in a five-minute hearing attended by Todd.

Leota remained in jail after the judge scheduled an April 5 preliminary hearing and refused to reduce the $100,000 bail. A prosecutor argued that as a juvenile Leota was involved in several similar incidents.

After the arraignment, Todd left the courtroom weeping quietly and the defendant’s father, John Leota Sr., embraced her and said, ″I’m very sorry.″

His wife, Elvina Leota, embraced Todd and told reporters she empathized with the actress.

″I know how she feels. I think I feel the same feeling. I hope she understands,″ Mrs. Leota said. ″I know my son very well. He’s not that kind of boy. He is a child with a lot of problems.″

Smith, 18, of Los Angeles, was skiing in Utah. He died Monday at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center after he was struck during a fight at a disco late Saturday, said West Valley City Police Sgt. Thayle Nielsen.

Todd learned of the death in New York, where she was promoting the film ″Lean on Me,″ in which she portrays an assistant principal. She has appeared in ″Clara’s Heart,″ ″Moving,″ ″Baby Boom″ and ″Roots.″


LONDON (AP) - Italian architect Renzo Piano, widely known for his work on the futuristic Pompidou Cultural Center in Paris, was awarded Britain’s Royal Gold Medal for Architecture.

″He has shown himself to be one of the outstanding architects of the late 20th century. His work manages to combine a sense of wonder and drama without ever losing its human scale and he is a community architect of international reputation,″ said Rod Hackney, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects which made the award Wednesday.

Piano’s designs for Kansai Airport in Japan and the subway in Genoa, Italy, ″renew the feeling of adventure and excitement that men and women have long felt for travel,″ Hackney said.

The gold medal was first awarded in 1848 and is considered the world’s single most prestigious honor in architecture.

An exhibition of Piano’s work will be held in London April 21-May 23.


COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - Soviet physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov will attend an international symposium to be held in the Danish capital May 18-19, the Politiken newspaper reported Wednesday.

The symposium, called ″Global Tasks in an Open World: Confrontation to Cooperation,″ is sponsored by the Niels Bohr Institute of Copenhagen University and The American Academy of Arts.

About 80 delegates from Japan, Africa, India, United States and Europe are expected to attend.

″This confirms the contention that there is a spiritual connection between Niels Bohr’s idea about an open world and Sakharov’s ideas,″ university Chancellor Ove Nathan was quoted as saying.

Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist who laid the groundwork for the theory of quantum mechanics in the 1940s, and called for the free dissemination of scientific information.


ST. PAUL (AP) - Archbishop John Roach of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was released Thursday from St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he had been treated for pneumonia since Saturday.

Roach, 67, was hospitalized following his return to St. Paul last week after attending a meeting of U.S. bishops with Pope John Paul at the Vatican.


GREENCASTLE, Ind. (AP) - Ken Bode, the national political correspondent for NBC News and former politics editor for The New Republic magazine, is leaving NBC for DePauw University, the university announced Thursday. He will be director of the Center for Contemporary Media.

As an NBC News correspondent since 1979, Bode has appeared on the network’s morning and evening news programs as well as ″Meet the Press.″ ″Bode’s Journal″ has been broadcast on the ″Today″ show since 1981, and he has done a ″Weekend Nightly News″ feature since 1987.

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