Bertrand Russell letter sold
The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles has acquired a 1937 letter written by Bertrand Russell in which the Nobel Prize-winning philosopher says if the Nazi army invades his native England the British should invite Adolf Hitler to dinner rather than fight. The museum, part of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, announced on Wednesday that it paid US$4,000 for the letter at an auction in England last month. “If the Germans succeed in sending an invading army to England we should do best to treat them as visitors, give them quarters and invite the commander and chief to dine with the prime minister,” Russell wrote. “Such behavior would completely baffle them.” Rabbi Marvin Hier, the Wiesenthal Center’s founder, says Bertrand’s letter will be placed in the museum alongside one that Hitler wrote in 1919 outlining the anti-Semitic views that led to the Holocaust and killing of 6 million Jews.
Former airline boss sought
An official said the Attorney General’s Office has issued an arrest warrant for the former owner of defunct Mexicana Airlines on charges of misuse of funds. The official says the office has asked Interpol for help locating Gaston Azcarraga, who is accused of operating with illegal proceeds and is believed to be in the US. The official was not authorized to speak by name. The official said Azcarraga is accused of using investor funds without permission. Mexicana Airlines, once the country’s main commercial airline, ceased to operate in 2010 after filing for bankruptcy.
Canal work to restart
Work to widen the Panama Canal was to resume yesterday, an official said, two weeks after the huge project was suspended over US$1.6 billion in cost overruns. Canal administrator Jorge Quijano said that the consortium involved, Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), will “resume tomorrow [yesterday] morning as we develop an interim agreement.” Work to expand the canal was suspended earlier this month by the GUPC consortium. The dispute is over US$1.6 billion in cost overruns in the project, the main part of which is to build a third set of locks.
Prince does sword dance
Britain’s Prince Charles donned a ceremonial Saudi thobe and checked red-and-white keffiyeh to join members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family in an ardah — sword dance — at the annual 17-day Janadriyah cultural festival at Riyadh during his 10th official visit to the kingdom. Adorned with elaborate dagger and bandolier, the prince successfully negotiated the steps while wielding a golden sword during the ceremony. He was accompanied by several Saudi princes, all similarly attired, at the event at a stadium in the city.
Toddler admitted to Mensa
With an IQ above 160, three-year-old Alexis Martin of Queen Creek is now the youngest member in the Arizona chapter of Mensa, a Phoenix television station reported. Alexis, who reads at a fifth-grade level and taught herself Spanish using her parents’ iPad, qualified by scoring among the top 2 percent of the general population on an intelligence test, her father said. Ian Martin told ABC15 in an interview that the family began noticing that something about their daughter was different when she was just a year old. “She would recite her bedtime story from the night before,” he told the station. “She didn’t just recite them, she recited them exactly.”