THE FUHRER'S SECRETARY
The movie to watch at the Berlin Film Festival next week is called "Blind Spot," a documentary and prolonged interview with Traudl Junge, Hitler's secretary, who took dictation for his final political testament in the bunker in April 1945 as the Red Army closed in. "Child, I want to dictate something to you," Hitler told her, and launched into new orders to "uphold the Race Laws to the very last detail."
Junge was hired in 1941, after almost breaking down with nervousness at her first dictation test with the Fuhrer. "Child, you can hardly make as many mistakes as I do," he reassured Traudl.
Junge was officially declared de-Nazified in 1947 by the occupying American authorities as merely "a youthful accessory."
(From UPI Hears)
THINGS WE DON'T UNDERSTAND
Television's MSNBC is busy apologizing for a graphic gaff on air Tuesday that has left some viewers steaming. The Congress of Racial Equality's Niger Innes appeared on the network to discuss Ken Lay's failure to testify before a congressional committee investigating Enron. Unfortunately for all concerned, an MSNBC producer added an extra "G" -- in exactly the wrong place -- to Innes' first name in the on-screen graphic that identified him.
Innes, who is the son of civil rights legend Roy Innes, is reportedly taking the whole thing in stride, suggesting this is not the first time such an error had been made.
(From UPI's Capital Comment)
NEWS OF OTHER LIFE FORMS
Singaporeans apparently can't get enough of Taiwan's hottest sex scandal, according to the Straits Times newspaper.
The city-state's Internet users account for about one-fourth of all Lycos.com searches about Melody Chu Mei-feng, a former Taipei government official who became a pop culture figure after a Taiwanese tabloid, Scoop, distributed a CD-ROM showing her having sex with her married lover. Chu's name appeared at No. 1 on the Top 50 at search engine Lycos.com for two weeks in a row.
Aaron Schatz, who writes a column on the Top 50, told the Straits Times that Singapore's 23 percent share of Chu searches probably was due to the country's high Internet penetration. He said in an e-mail to the newspaper: "We've never had a search that was so clearly from outside the U.S. dominate the Lycos 50 before."
(Thanks to UPI's Joe Warminsky in Washington)
TODAY'S SIGN THE WORLD IS ENDING
In a January broadcast of "The 700 Club" that has received scant attention, the Rev. Pat Robertson said that because America has not repented and turned away from sin since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, more are on the way -- and that San Francisco and Detroit are likely targets.
The Virginia-based televangelist cited several Biblical passages that suggested heavenly punishment and destruction would fall on people who turned away from God. "People think their lives have changed," Robertson said, according to the broadcast, which UPI transcribed. "The truth is people are right back where they were before. And although there's a small remnant who are really praying and seeking God and turning from sin, there hasn't been a sense of national repentance. We just haven't had that. We had a day of reconciliation, whatever that means, but we didn't have a day of repentance."
He did not give a reason for citing San Francisco and Detroit as targets but added, "I think something through ship" would be the way terrorists attack. And he told viewers that "certain perversions -- sexual perversions for an example -- are being touted as a privileged activity, and those who oppose it are being called evil."
Robertson was criticized following the Sept. 11 terror attacks for his apparent endorsement of remarks on The 700 Club by the Rev. Jerry Falwell blaming gays, abortion rights advocates and feminists, among others, for having brought on the strikes that caused more than 3,000 deaths. Falwell later apologized, and Robertson said he had not understood what Falwell had actually said.
AND FINALLY, TODAY'S UPLIFTING STORY
Jeannie Schulz, whose late husband Charles delighted the world with half a century of "Peanuts" comic strips and everything that went with them, has cemented the final tile in a mural in tribute to the cartoonist.
Published reports indicate that Mrs. Schulz placed the final tile in the huge work of art before members of the local media. The mural depicts the evolution of the "Peanuts" characters over the years. It will eventually grace one wall of the Schulz museum in Santa Rosa, Calif., and contains more than 3,500 tiles.
The designer of the mural is Japanese artist Yoshiteru Otani, whom Schulz met a decade ago and was picked to do a tribute to Snoopy some years ago.
By the way, the mural was first assembled, tile-by-tile, on the floor of a Toyko gymnasium before being shipped to the States. The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center will open in the fall.
(Thanks to UPI's Dennis Daily)