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Italian Gov't Falls - Gay Unions Bill Appears Dead
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: February 21, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET
(Rome) The teetering government of Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi (pictured) fell Wednesday likely spelling doom for legislation that would create civil partnerships for same-sex couples.
President Giorgio Napolitano accepted Prodi's resignation as Prime Minister after the government lost a key vote in the Senate on foreign policy, including Italy‘s military mission in Afghanistan.
The vote did not constitute a non confidence motion but earlier Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema said that the government should resign if it did not win the foreign policy vote.
Napolitano will hold talks with party leaders on Thursday to discuss a way out. He could could order a general election, ask Prodi to form a new government or negotiate a deal for a new coalition government.
Under parliamentary ruled legislation not enacted dies when the government falls. The only thing that could save the civil partnership bill might be if Prodi were to form a new government.
Prodi's fragile left-of-center coalition cabinet approved the bill earlier this month in a stormy special meeting (story) and it was expected to be introduced in the Lower House in the next few weeks.
A weak coalition of nine small parties, Prodi' government had been grappling with civil partnerships for moths. Communists on the the far left of the coalition have been pressing for full marriage. The tiny UDEUR Party is opposed to any legislation.
Several UDEUR members have said that when the bill comes before Parliament they will vote against the bill even if it brings down the government.
The civil partnership legislation would allow same-sex couples to sign a civil registry and then share pensions, health insurance, enter into contracts, and permit them to be considered the same as married couples for public housing.
The opposition right of center coalition, led by Silvio Berlusconi and aligned with the Vatican, already has said it would vote against the civil unions bill.
The Roman Catholic Church has been engaged in an all-out assault on the legislation.
Prodi has been a supporter of moderate rights for same-sex couples since 2005 when he met with gay activists, but he opposes gay marriage. (story)
Five LGBT candidates were elected to the Italian parliament last year - all members of the center-left - including the first transsexual to win national election in Italy. (story)
L'adoption au sein de couples homosexuels interdite en cassation
20.02.07 | 18h14
PARIS (Reuters) - Dans un arrêt "de principe" qui éclaire le débat sur le mariage homosexuel, la Cour de cassation a déclaré illégale l'adoption par une femme homosexuelle de l'enfant biologique de sa compagne.
Cette pratique est revendiquée par la communauté homosexuelle qui y voit un moyen de donner à l'enfant d'un couple de femmes, conçu par insémination artificielle, deux parents avec des droits équivalents.
La plus haute juridiction française intervenait ainsi dans un dossier qui concernerait selon les associations des milliers, voire des dizaines de milliers d'enfants qui grandiraient actuellement dans des couples homosexuels.
Statuant en dernier ressort sur deux affaires où les cours d'appel de Bourges (Cher) et Paris avaient rendu des décisions contradictoires, la Cour de cassation a estimé que la pratique d'adoption était contraire aux intérêts de l'enfant.
En effet, en faisant adopter son enfant par sa compagne, la mère naturelle renonce légalement du même coup à sa propre autorité parentale, ce qui porte préjudice à l'enfant, souligne la Cour de cassation.
APPEL AU MARIAGE ?
Le seul moyen légal pour que cette pratique soit régulière et aboutisse à une autorité parentale partagée serait que les deux femmes soient mariées, souligne la Cour de cassation.
L'appel a légiférer sur le mariage ne figure toutefois évidemment pas en toutes lettres dans l'arrêt. Le mariage homosexuel est illégal dans la loi actuelle, qui ne prévoit qu'une forme d'union civile pour les personnes de même sexe, le Pacs (Pacte civil de solidarité).
Pour les couples d'homosexuelles, ne reste donc après cette prise de position de la Cour de cassation qu'une seule solution légale, reconnue dans un autre arrêt du 24 février 2006: la délégation partielle d'autorité parentale de la mère naturelle à sa compagne.
Reconnaissant pour la première fois implicitement le droit des homosexuels à éduquer des enfants, la Cour de cassation avait en effet autorisé cette mesure entre homosexuels vivant dans le cadre d'un "union stable et continue" et si "la mesure est conforme à l'intérêt supérieur de l'enfant".
Dans la campagne présidentielle, le programme du PS prévoit le droit au mariage et à l'adoption pour les homosexuels, tandis que l'UMP propose une simple amélioration des dispositions du code civil envers les homosexuels.
Dans un communiqué, l'Inter-LGBT (lesbienne, gai, bi et trans) relève que "la décision de la Cour de Cassation n'est pas un jugement sur la capacité des deux femmes à élever un enfant", car ce droit a déjà été reconnu implicitement aux homosexuels dans l'arrêt de février 2006, souligne-t-elle.
"Cette décision (de mardi) illustre la nécessité de légiférer. Toutes les décisions de justice récentes, quelle que soit leur tonalité, montrent en effet que la loi n'est pas adaptée aux situations de familles homoparentales", conclut l'Inter-LGBT.
French court stops lesbian adopting partner’s child
20 February 2007
PARIS - A French court ruled against allowing a lesbian woman to adopt her partner’s biological child on Tuesday, adding to a debate about gay rights two months ahead of a presidential election.
France’s highest appeals court said that by letting her partner adopt the child the biological mother would have to legally renounce her own parental authority, which would hurt the child.
The only means of adoption by which parental authority could be shared would be for the women to marry, the court said. But gay marriage is not legal in France.
France’s Socialist party has pledged in its election programme to allow same-sex couples to marry and to adopt children. Its presidential candidate Segolene Royal has said she will guarantee ‘equal rights for same-sex couples’.
Royal’s conservative rival, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, is against both measures.
The issue caused a stir in France in 2004 when a maverick mayor performed the country’s first same-sex wedding. The marriage was promptly declared illegal and the conservative government refused appeals to change the law.
French law allows basic civil unions between homosexuals but gays say they are at disadvantage to heterosexual married couples in terms of taxes, inheritance and adoption rights.
Tuesday’s court case concerned the specific case of lesbians adopting the biological children of their partner, and not the general adoption rights of homosexuals in France.
Gay rights groups say such adoptions in two-women relationships would allow children conceived through artificial insemination to have two parents with equal rights, ensuring parental rights when one of the women dies.
At the moment, a biological mother in a same-sex couple in France has the right to hand over partial parental authority over her child to her partner. But gay rights groups say this does not go far enough as it gives the parents unequal rights.
Mardi Gras is global, from Moscow (Idaho) to Moscow (Russia)
The Associated Press
Sunday, February 18, 2007
In New Orleans, people throw strands of beads from parade floats. In Louisiana's Cajun country, they ride from farm to farm, clowning and singing to beg ingredients for a communal gumbo — a local delicacy. Louisiana's Carnival sweet is the king cake, a coffee cake frosted in purple, green and gold. In England, it is pancakes, and the day is called Shrove Tuesday.
Worldwide, hundreds of cities and towns hold a final blow-out on Fat Tuesday before the austerities of Lent — or just because.
In Sydney, Australia, it started as a gay rights protest and is now a huge festival celebrating all aspects of gay culture. In Moscow, Idaho, it started as a foot parade and bar-based fund-raiser for the University of Idaho's art museum and is now a non-parading festival to benefit children's charities.
You can even find it in India — Carnival has been celebrated since the 1700s in Goa, a former Portuguese colony.
Cities and towns throughout Europe and all along the U.S. Gulf Coast have Mardi Gras celebrations. So do Chicago and Vail, Colorado.
The Gulf Coast parades and balls spread east and west from New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, where they started in the 1800s. Mobile claims (to some dispute) to have been celebrating since the 1700s. Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, claims the first celebration in North America: Pierre le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville, came ashore there on Mardi Gras of 1699 (March 3).
Although Mardi Gras has been a state holiday since 1872, the celebration itself arrived only recently in Louisiana's oldest city. Natchitoches, founded in 1714 — four years before New Orleans — saw its first Mardi Gras ball about 30 years ago and its first Carnival parade in 1999.
The parade exists largely because Dianne Winningham was itching for something to do after she and her husband retired there from Shreveport, Louisiana.
"I asked about Mardi Gras. They said, 'We don't have one.' I said, 'We're going to,'" she recounted. The city did have a Mardi Gras krewe, the Krewe of St. Denis, but its formal ball and other events all were private.
The Krewe of Dionysos' first parade, in 1999, had three floats, about 120 riders, and a few marching bands. This year's parade will have 10 or 12 floats, and crowds have grown every year, Winningham said.
Moscow (pronounced MAHS-koh) had a parade from the early 1980s until about five years ago, when the highway was rerouted, blocking the parking lot where it had started, said Jerry Schutz, who for about 15 years was a board member for Moscow Mardi Gras Inc.
The Russian capital (MAHS-cow) also celebrates the holiday, known there as Maslenitsa, or Blini Week. For 85 years, there was little or no public celebration, but an advertising firm took it up in 2002. "The people are letting the long-annoying winter out and the long-awaited spring in," the "Maslenitsa Pride" Web site states.
Cold is the reason that Chicago's Karnevalsgesellschaft Rheinische Verein, established in 1890 by German immigrants, has never held a parade, spokesman Hans Wolf said. It has held a masked ball every year since then, even during World Wars I and II.
Nobody's really sure just when Cajun towns began the "courir de Mardi Gras," costumed men riding from farm to farm to sing, clown and collect ingredients for a communal gumbo, says Larry Miller, an instrument-maker and amateur folklorist.
He said the courir in Tee Mamou ("Tee" is the Cajun shortening of "petit," or "little"; Mamou, sometimes called Big Mamou, is in another parish) just west of Iota has been studied by many folklorists because its song and other traditions, handed down in the same families for generations, are well preserved.
It has one non-traditional tradition: the Mardi Gras, as the costumed riders are called, ride in trucks rather than on horses.
"Tee Mamou never stopped running during World War II. Since there were not enough horses, they resorted to wagons and trucks and trailers," said Miller. That enabled each participant to come up with required fee — $2 in those days, now $15 — without having to own a horse, Miller said. "If you're required to have a horse, it's too expensive for the average person."
On the Net:
Sydney, Australia: http://www.mardigras.org.au/
Tee Mamou: http://www.iotamardigras.com/main.html
Japan's foreign minister expresses displeasure over U.S. resolution on WWII sex slaves
The Associated Press
Monday, February 19, 2007
Foreign Minister Taro Aso expressed displeasure Monday over a proposed U.S. congressional resolution seeking Tokyo's apology for the Japanese army's practice of forcing women to serve as sex slaves during World War II.
The resolution, sponsored by several members of the U.S. House of Representatives, calls for Japan's prime minister to "formally acknowledge, apologize and accept historical responsibility" for using "comfort women" — a Japanese euphemism for thousands of women forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers throughout Asia in the 1930s and 1940s.
Aso, speaking at a parliamentary committee meeting, called the nonbinding resolution, which was introduced earlier this month, "extremely regrettable."
"It was not based on objective facts," Aso said, without elaborating.
Three women who say they endured rape and torture at the hands of Japanese soldiers during World War II and a lifetime of mental and physical scars testified last week in written statements at a hearing of the House subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment.
The proposed resolution does not seek Japanese reparations, but demands that Japan formally reject revisionists who say sexual enslavement never happened and educate children about the comfort women's experience. It was unclear when the House subcommittee would meet again to consider whether to endorse the resolution.
Historians say that Japan forced about 200,000 women, mostly from conquered Asian nations such as Korea and China, into sexual servitude. While Japan acknowledged in the 1990s that its military set up and ran brothels for its troops, it has rejected most compensation claims, saying they were settled by postwar treaties.
The Asian Women's Fund, created in 1995 by the Japanese government but independently run and funded by private donations, was founded as a way for Japan to compensate former sex slaves without offering official government reparations. Many comfort women have rejected the fund, seeking formal government compensation.
Japanese leaders have repeatedly apologized, including former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who said in 2001 that he felt sincere remorse over the comfort women's "immeasurable and painful experiences."
But supporters of the resolution want an apology similar to the one the U.S. government gave to Japanese-Americans forced into internment camps during World War II. That apology was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
In a letter sent to the congressional panel, Japan's ambassador to the United States, Ryozo Kato, said his country has recognized its responsibility and acknowledged its actions.
"While not forgetting the past, we wish to move forward," Kato wrote.
Ray Evans, 92; half of award-winning, prolific songwriting duo that created 'Mona Lisa,' 'Silver Bells,' 'Tammy'
By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
February 17, 2007
Ray Evans, whose long collaboration with songwriting partner Jay Livingston produced a string of hits that included the Oscar-winning "Buttons and Bows," "Mona Lisa" and "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)," has died. He was 92.
Evans, who teamed with Livingston in the late 1930s, died Thursday evening at UCLA Medical Center of an apparent heart attack, Frederick Nicholas, Evans' lawyer and the trustee of his estate, said Friday.
Considered among Hollywood's greatest songwriters, Livingston and Evans wrote songs for dozens of movies, most of them at Paramount, where they were under contract from 1945 to 1955.
With Livingston providing the melodies and Evans writing the lyrics, the team turned out 26 songs that reportedly sold more than 1 million copies each.
"Ray Evans, along with his late partner, Jay Livingston, gave us some of the most enduring songs in the Great American Songbook," lyricist Alan Bergman told The Times on Friday. "We will miss him but know that his songs will live on."
In addition to their three Oscar winners, Livingston and Evans earned Academy Award nominations for "The Cat and the Canary," from "Why Girls Leave Home" (1945); "Tammy," sung by Debbie Reynolds in "Tammy and the Bachelor" (1957); "Almost in Your Arms," from "Houseboat" (1958); and "Dear Heart," from the movie of the same name (1964).
"Dear Heart," with lyrics credited to Livingston and Evans and music by Henry Mancini, became a big hit for Andy Williams.
"I just loved the record I made of 'Dear Heart,' " Williams told The Times on Friday. "Livingston and Evans were really part of the generation of songwriters that I loved, and I sang a lot of their songs over the years. I wasn't as close to them like I was to Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini, but I certainly recognized their talent and how good they were at their craft of putting out great songs."
Among Livingston and Evans' songs, which have reportedly sold a total of nearly 500 million copies, is the Christmas standard "Silver Bells." Introduced in the 1951 Bob Hope-Marilyn Maxwell comedy "The Lemon Drop Kid," "Silver Bells" is said to have been recorded by nearly 150 artists and have sold more than 160 million copies.
The duo also wrote the memorable themes for the television series "Bonanza" and "Mr. Ed."
"Ray had a great ear for language, for the vernacular, which is something he had in common with many of the great lyricists," singer-pianist Michael Feinstein, who in 2002 released an album devoted to the Evans and Livingston songbook, told The Times a few years ago.
"He was able to distill a mood or a feeling into a song without it sounding cliched," Feinstein said. "He did not consider himself a sophisticated writer, but he knew how to express the thoughts, feelings and emotions of the common man in an eloquent way."
The son of a second-hand paper, string and burlap dealer, Evans was born in Salamanca, N.Y., south of Buffalo, on Feb. 4, 1915.
After graduating from high school, where he played clarinet in the band and was valedictorian, Evans earned a degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
While at the university, he met Livingston, a journalism major from Pennsylvania who had studied piano as a child. Evans joined Livingston's band, which performed at college dances and parties, and during school vacations they played together in cruise ship bands.
After graduating in 1937, Evans and Livingston continued to work on cruise ships before moving to New York City, where they began their songwriting collaboration.
They had their first success in 1941, when their song "G'Bye Now" was incorporated into John "Ole" Olsen and Chic Johnson's zany Broadway revue "Hellzapoppin' " and landed on "Your Hit Parade."
In 1944, the two songwriters came to Hollywood, where they had a hit with Betty Hutton's recording of "Stuff Like That There."
They earned their first Oscar nomination with "The Cat and the Canary."
Under contract to Paramount, the pair wrote one of the biggest hits of 1946: the title song for the Olivia de Havilland movie "To Each His Own," the basic framework of which began with Evans' phrase "two lips must insist on two more to be kissed."
For one week in 1946, five versions of "To Each His Own" were on Billboard's Top 10 list, with recordings by Eddy Howard (No. 1), Tony Martin, Freddy Martin, the Modernaires and the Ink Spots.
Livingston and Evans picked up their first Oscar for the bouncy "Buttons and Bows," which was introduced by Bob Hope in the 1948 comedy western "The Paleface" and recorded by Dinah Shore, among others.
While at Paramount, the songwriters even made a cameo appearance playing themselves in Billy Wilder's 1950 classic "Sunset Boulevard."
Although they were born only six weeks apart, Livingston and Evans were "not the least bit alike," Evans told The Times in 1985.
"I'm nuts about sports, play baseball and tennis every weekend; Jay couldn't care less. He's restrained and quiet; I'm more outward going. Jay is a marvelous musician; I have a tin ear."
But, he said, "our tastes are similar, and we both like good music and song."
"Mona Lisa," which they wrote for "Captain Carey, U.S.A.," a 1950 drama starring Alan Ladd, remained Evans' favorite song.
It was originally called "Prima Donna," but they changed the title at the suggestion of Evans' wife, Wyn, who thought "Mona Lisa" sounded much nicer.
In the movie, the song is sung by a blind Italian street singer to send a signal to Italian partisans during World War II and is heard only in fragments.
But Evans and Livingston thought that if they could play the song for Nat King Cole, they might be able to persuade him to record it.
"So Paramount Studio, who owned the song, pulled some strings, and [Cole] allowed us to come to his home and play it for him, in 1950," Evans recalled in a 1993 interview with the Buffalo News. "He recorded it, and in 1951 Capitol Records decided not to release it. They said it wouldn't ever be a hit."
Capitol eventually used the song, but only as the flip side of a Cole single the record company felt would become a hit, "The Greatest Inventor of Them All."
"Eventually, we had the last laugh," Evans said. "Mona Lisa" became an enormous hit. "It was so different and so unusual," he said. "It's hardly ever dropped in popularity … and it's given me a lot of credit and ego."
After leaving Paramount to work as freelancers in 1955, Livingston and Evans won their third Oscar for "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)," which was sung by Doris Day in Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 thriller, "The Man Who Knew Too Much."
The duo also wrote the music and lyrics for two Broadway musicals: "Oh Captain!" in 1958 (a Tony nominee for best musical) and "Let It Ride!" in 1961. And in 1979, two of their songs were included in the hit Broadway revue "Sugar Babies."
In later years, they provided special material for Bob Hope and charity shows.
In 1993, Evans returned to Salamanca, which renamed a Main Street theater in his honor. Then 78, he told the Buffalo News that he no longer wrote songs. Popular tastes had changed drastically since his and Livingston's heyday, he acknowledged. "There's no way we are going to be heard," he said.
Still, there was no denying the staying power of their songs. The year before, Evans and Livingston and their publisher each made $400,000 off royalties from past hits.
But although they no longer had the "economic pressure" to continue writing, he said, "you don't live on bread alone. There's the excitement and fun that you miss."
After Livingston died in 2001 at the age of 86, Evans wrote a few songs with other collaborators. But, according to Feinstein, "he said it was a strange experience after being teamed with Jay for over 60 years."
Evans, whose wife died in 2003, is survived by his sister, Doris Feinberg.
February 17, 2007
Ray Evans, Lyricist of Hit Songs From Movies, Dies at 92
By RICHARD SEVERO
The New York Times
Ray Evans, a pop lyricist who teamed up with the composer and lyricist Jay Livingston to write three Academy Award-winning songs and one of Nat King Cole’s best-known classics, as well as the Christmas standard “Silver Bells,” died on Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 92.
Jim Steinblatt, a spokesman for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, announced the death.
In their heyday, in the 1940s and ’50s, the team of Evans and Livingston was much in demand in Hollywood, turning out songs for film after film that often became big jukebox hits. The team was formed after Mr. Evans met Mr. Livingston at the University of Pennsylvania, survived separation during the war years and enjoyed decades of success until the emergence of rock ’n’ roll.
Evans and Livingston received their first best- song Oscar for “Buttons and Bows,” a bouncy tune from the 1948 comedy-western “The Paleface.” It was introduced by Bob Hope, playing the timid dentist “Painless” Peter Potter, who sang it to Jane Russell. Dinah Shore had a hit record with it, and the song spent 19 weeks on the “Hit Parade” radio program.
“Mona Lisa” was written in 1950 for a forgettable Alan Ladd film called “Captain Carey, U.S.A.” In the movie, the song is used to send a signal to Italian partisans during World War II. Originally, it was called “Prima Donna,” but Mr. Evans’s wife, Wyn, preferred “Mona Lisa.” The songwriting team agreed.
Before the release of the film, Mr. Livingston and Mr. Evans went to see Nat King Cole to interest him in recording it. That day, Mr. Cole’s baby daughter Natalie was making such a fuss that Mr. Cole had trouble hearing it, but agreed to record it, even though he was not sure a song about a da Vinci painting was commercially promising. Capitol Records had so little faith in the song that it was put on the B side of a single, paired with something called “The Greatest Inventor of Them All.”
It became one of Cole’s greatest and most enduring hits, and Mr. Evans was especially pleased when Natalie Cole revived it on a hit record of her own.
“Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be”),” which won a third Oscar for the team, was sung by Doris Day in “The Man Who Knew Too Much”(1956), Alfred Hitchcock’s remake of his own1934 film. A little improbably, Ms. Day belts it out to signal to her kidnapped child that she and her husband (James Stewart) have come to the rescue.
Ms. Day’s recording was a hit, and it, too, survived in other recordings and even a television commercial.
Other Livingston-Evans movie songs were nominated for Oscars, among them “The Cat and the Canary,” from “Why Girls Leave Home” (1945); “Tammy,” from “Tammy and the Bachelor” (1957), which became a best-selling record for Debbie Reynolds; “Almost in Your Arms,” from “Houseboat” (1958); and “Dear Heart,” from the 1964 movie of the same name, starring Glenn Ford and Geraldine Page. Andy Williams had a hit with “Dear Heart,” singing the Livingston-Evans lyrics to music by Henry Mancini.
Mr. Livingston and Mr. Evans also wrote the lyrics for a 1947 tune that Victor Young adapted from a Hungarian folk song to serve as the theme for the movie “Golden Earrings.” Sung in the movie by the basso Murvyn Vye, it became a hit record by Peggy Lee.
“To Each His Own” was a big hit in 1946 for several performers: Eddy Howard, the Ink Spots, Tony Martin, Freddie Martin and the Modernaires.Perhaps the team’s biggest commercial success was a Christmas song they first called “Tinkle Bell” until Lynne Livingston, Jay’s wife, objected to the title. The song became “Silver Bells,” and it was first sung by Bob Hope in “The Lemon Drop Kid” (1951). “Silver Bells” is one of the most popular Christmas songs ever written, selling millions of records.
Mr. Evans and Mr. Livingston were both small-town guys, Mr. Livingston from McDonald, Pa., and Mr. Evans from Salamanca, in the middle of a Seneca Indian reservation in western New York.
Mr. Evans was born there on Feb. 4, 1915, the son of Philip Evans and Frances Lipsitz Evans. The elder Evans was a scrap dealer from Latvia. Neither parent was musical.
Ray Evans learned to play clarinet and saxophone in high school and organized a dance band there, which he said “wasn’t very good.”
While he was at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, he met Mr. Livingston, who was studying journalism at the university and was the organizer of a dance band. Mr. Evans tried out for the band and made it, and the two became partners for more than 60 years.
After graduation, they moved to New York to try their hand at Tin Pan Alley songwriting. They had a hit with “G‘Bye Now” in 1941, but World War II intervened, and Mr. Livingston was inducted into the Army. Mr. Evans took a bookkeeping job at an aircraft plant on Long Island.
In 1944, they reunited and, after some work in New York, including writing special material for the comedy team of Olsen and Johnson, they attracted the attention of Johnny Mercer, who liked their work and opened doors for them in Hollywood.
In the years that followed, they wrote 600 to 700 songs, of which 300 were published. They also contributed songs to more than 80 movies, including “My Favorite Brunette” (1947); “Whispering Smith” (1948); “Sorrowful Jones” (1949); ; “Fancy Pants” (1950); “Here Comes the Groom” (1951); “Aaron Slick From Punkin Crick” (1952); “That’s My Boy” (1951); ; “Lucy Gallant” (1955); “Istanbul” (1957); ; “The James Dean Story” (1957); “This Happy Feeling” (1958); ; and “Wait Until Dark” (1967).
For some of these films they worked with the great names in movie music, like Percy Faith, Max Steiner, Neal Hefti, David Rose, Jimmy McHugh, Franz Waxman and Sammy Cahn.
The team tried the theater without much success and found little demand in Hollywood for their kind of music once rock arrived. In later years the pair turned their attention to television and wrote the theme music for long-running series like “Bonanza” and “Mr. Ed.” Mr. Livingston died in 2001.
Mr. Evans, who had no children and is survived by his sister, Doris Feinberg of Salamanca, was a self-deprecating fellow who liked to call himself a “sounding board” for his partner. But he was much honored in Salamanca, which renamed its movie house the Ray Evans Seneca Theater.
A. ヒッチコック監督の映画「知りすぎていた男 (The Man Who Knew Too Much)の中で、「ケ・セラ・セラ」を歌うドリス・デイ (YouTube)
Author of princess book slams Japan publisher for nixing planned translation
The Associated Press
Friday, February 16, 2007
The author of a book on Crown Princess Masako slammed a Japanese publisher on Saturday for its decision to cancel a translation of his biography following indignant protests from Japan's government, calling the step a "blatant attack on freedom of speech."
Japanese publishing house Kodansha Ltd. said late Friday it has canceled plans to publish the Japanese translation of "Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne," written by the Australian journalist Ben Hills and released by Random house in December.
The tartly worded biography is billed on the cover as "tragic, true story" of the 43-year-old princess, a Harvard graduate who abandoned a diplomatic career to marry royalty. The book describes her as a virtual captive of the imperial palace who has been bullied by bureaucrats into depression.
Hills said in his e-mail to The Associated Press on Saturday that he was "disappointed" by Kodansha's decision. "We regard this as a blatant attack on freedom of speech." He also condemned Japan's government for exercising "censorship that would be totally unacceptable in any other advanced country" and pressuring Kodansha to surrender.
"I do not worry whether people love my book or hate my book, but they should be given the chance to read it for themselves and make up their own minds," he said, adding that he hoped to publish the book through another "courageous" publisher — one of three that have contacted him recently.
Japan's Imperial Household Agency and its Foreign Ministry had demanded an apology from the author for "disrespectful descriptions, distortions of facts and judgmental assertions with audacious conjectures and coarse logic." But government officials declined to cite most of the passages they found problematic. The government also protested to Random House in Sydney.
Criticizing the emperor was regarded as serious crime in the first half of the 20th century. There is still a strong tradition in Japan of respect for the royal family, who are shielded from view by secretive palace officials.
The book details Masako's life in the palace, during which she has come under grinding pressure to produce a male heir to the throne. She and Crown Prince Naruhito were married in 1993. After suffering a miscarriage in 1999, she had a daughter, Aiko, in 2001.
Kazunobu Kakishima, editor at Kodansha, denied the company was scrapping the Japanese translation because of the government's protest. The decision, he said, came after Hills refused to acknowledge making factual errors during an interview with a Japanese television earlier Friday.
"We have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to maintain trustworthy relations with the author and thus we were forced to cancel the book," he said.
Kakishima said a "substantial number of factual errors" have been corrected through fact-checking and meetings with interviewees quoted in the book. Kakishima declined to describe any specific errors, citing privacy.
Hills, Kakishima said, had acknowledged the errors in discussions with Kodansha, approved corrections in a translated draft and even thanked the publisher for the changes.
Hills said Saturday he and his Australian publisher did not apologize for the errors "because we felt — and feel — that there is nothing to apologize for."
A Foreign Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity as required by protocol, denied contacting the Kodansha publishing house over the book but refused to comment on the cancellation.
Palace officials were not immediately available for comment late Friday.
Emperor Akihito's chamberlain, Makoto Watanabe, wrote to Hills earlier this month that a veteran palace reporter told him "almost every page seems to contain an error."
In one example, Watanabe said, the book erroneously called the Emperor's duties "all undemanding formal appearances at uncontroversial events."
Another passage, Watanabe said, incorrectly said Japanese royals would be unlikely to take up a cause as Princess Diana did with the Leprosy Mission.
Last Update: Friday, February 16, 2007. 11:22pm (AEDT)
Japan publisher cancels plan to print princess book
A Japanese publisher says it has cancelled a plan to print a Japanese-language edition of a book on the life of Crown Princess Masako that has triggered protest from the Government.
The Foreign Ministry this week said it was seeking an apology and "appropriate steps" from Australian journalist Ben Hills, saying his book, Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, insults the royal family and contains factual errors.
Mr Hills, who has described his book as "the story of a romance gone wrong, an Oriental Charles and Diana story", has refused to apologise and says he intends to publish the Japanese edition in early March.
The original book in English was published in Australia in November by Random House, Australia.
But Japanese publishing house Kodansha says it has scrapped the plan for a Japanese edition following Mr Hill's refusal to apologise for the errors, which it has already corrected with Mr Hill's consent prior to the Japanese Government's protest.
"We cannot tolerate the attitude the author has shown towards obvious errors in the original book," the publisher said in a statement.
Mr Hills could not be reached for comment.
Following the Japanese protest, Mr Hills had said it was the Japanese Government that should apologise to Princess Masako.
Princess Masako, 43, is a Harvard-educated former diplomat who many Japanese had hoped would help modernise Japan's staid imperial family when she married Crown Prince Naruhito in 1993.
But she has been suffering from a stress-related mental illness caused by the pressures of adapting to rigid palace life, and has been unable to perform her official duties fully for the past three years.
The pressure to bear an heir to Japan's males-only throne was widely seen as one of the causes of Princess Masako's illness, but the stress may have eased when her royal sister-in-law gave birth last September to Prince Hisahito, the first male heir born to the imperial family in more than 40 years.
Princess Masako and Prince Naruhito have a daughter, the 5-year-old Aiko, but she cannot ascend the throne under current law, and plans to revise the law were shelved after Prince Hisahito's birth.
Japan publisher scraps planned translation of Australian book on royal family
The Associated Press
Friday, February 16, 2007
Japanese publisher said Friday it has decided to scrap a translation of a new book on Japan's royal family that has sparked protests from Japan's government.
"Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne," penned by Australian journalist Ben Hills, was released by Random House in December and its billed as a biography of the 43-year-old diplomat-turned-princess, who has suffered for years from stress-induced illness.
Japan's Imperial Household Agency and Foreign Ministry had demanded an apology from the author for "disrespectful descriptions, distortions of facts and judgmental assertions with audacious conjectures and coarse logic." The government also protested to Random House in Sydney.
Kodansha Ltd. denied it was scrapping the Japanese translation because of the protest.
Kodansha editor Kazunobu Kakishima said the decision was in response to Hills' refusal to admit making factual errors during an interview with a Japanese television earlier Friday, causing the publisher to "lose faith" in him as journalist.
"We have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to maintain trustworthy relations wit the author and thus we were forced to cancel the book," he said.
Kakishima called Hills' denial of errors in the book and refusal to apologize "extremely inappropriate." Hills has acknowledged the errors, approved corrections in a translated draft and even thanked the publisher for the corrections, he said.
The book details Masako's life in the palace, during which she has come under grinding pressure to produce a male heir to the throne. After suffering a miscarriage in 1999, she and Crown Prince Naruhito had a daughter, Aiko, in 2001. The couple were married in 1993.
Wording in the book — one chapter about Naruhito is titled "Mummy's Boy" — contrasts with the gentle, respectful treatment afforded the royal family in Japan's press. Criticizing the emperor was regarded as serious crime in the first half of the 20th century.
Kakishima said a "substantial number of factual errors" found in the original, including those mentioned by the Japanese government, have been corrected through fact-checking and meetings with interviewees quoted in the book.
A Foreign Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity as required by protocol, denied contacting Kodansha over the book but refused to comment on the cancellation announcement. Palace officials were not immediately available for comment late Friday.
Hills said in his e-mail to The Associated Press this week that he had no intention to offer an apology and that the government was trying to pressure publisher Kodansha to shelve a planned Japanese version of the book.
Kakishima said the publisher has notified Hills and Random House of the decision.
Ben Hills website
At U.S. hearing, WW2 sex slaves spurn Japan apologies
Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:43PM EST
By Paul Eckert, Asia Correspondent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three women who were forced into sexual servitude by Japan in World War Two on Thursday told the U.S. Congress harrowing tales of abuse and said they rejected Japanese official apologies as an insult.
The now elderly "comfort women" -- a Japanese euphemism for the estimated 200,000 mostly Asian women forced to provide sex for Japan's soldiers -- testified in a debate on a House of Representatives resolution calling on Japan to apologize for that practice.
The women, two South Koreans and a Dutch-born Australian, said Tokyo's efforts to atone for their ordeal were insufficient because official apologies were not accompanied by offers of government compensation.
"A real apology to me is one that is followed by action," Jan Ruff O'Herne, 84, who was snatched by Japanese officers from a sugar plantation in 1942 in Indonesia, then a Dutch colony where here family had lived for three generations.
She told the Asia-Pacific subcommittee of the HouseCommittee on Foreign Affairs that she lost her virginity to a sword-wielding Japanese officer, the first rape in a three-year nightmare that led to miscarriages later in life.
"Even the Japanese doctor raped me each time he examined me for venereal disease," O'Herne said.
The devout Catholic woman said she had forgiven the Japanese but rejected a payment from Tokyo's Asian Women's Fund in 1995 as "an insult to comfort women" because the money was from private donations -- a formula that she felt skirted Japanese state responsibility.
"I will only take money if it comes from the government," O'Herne told the hearing.
CRITICIZING A U.S. ALLY
Japan in 1993 acknowledged a state role in the wartime brothel program and later issued apologies and set up the Asian Women's Fund. About 285 of the women who accepted payments of about $20,000 from that fund received personal apologies from Japan's prime minister.
A Japanese official in Washington said Tokyo was monitoring the debate since Rep. Michael Honda, a California Democrat, introduced the nonbinding resolution on February 1, but did not wish "to make this a big public issue" in U.S.-Japan ties.
Lee Yong-soo and Kim Koon-ja told similar tales of abduction from villages in Korea and deployment to military brothels, followed by ostracism and hardship after the war.
"If you don't officially apologize or make compensation, then give me back my youth," said Kim, 81, repeating statements she made to the Japanese parliament more than a decade ago.
Honda urged the committee to move urgently to pass his measure because "these women are aging and their numbers dwindling with each passing day."
Honda, one of a handful of U.S. lawmakers of Japanese descent, said he was alarmed at efforts by some conservatives in Japan to withdraw or revise the government's earlier admission of a state role in the brothel system.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, criticized the resolution, saying "Japan has already apologized many, many times." Japan today was a U.S. ally and a "major force for decency and humane standards", he added in comments that drew angry condemnation from Korean witness Lee.
World War II sex slaves press U.S. Congress to support resolution seeking Japanese apology
The Associated Press
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Even after more than 60 years, the defiance remained as Jan Ruff O'Herne described her refusal to submit to the Japanese soldiers who repeatedly raped her as a young woman in Indonesia.
She told U.S. lawmakers how she shaved her head to make herself unattractive. How she hid, one time even in a tree. How she huddled together and prayed with other captive "comfort women" — a euphemism for the up to 200,000 women who historians say were forced to have sex with millions of Japanese soldiers during the war. How she punched and kicked and screamed, even though it invariably meant she would be beaten worse.
"Never did any Japanese rape me without a fight. I fought each one of them," she said Thursday, testifying at a House of Representatives hearing of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia, in which O'Herne and two other former comfort women pleaded with U.S. lawmakers to adopt a resolution urging Japan to apologize formally.
The memories of being raped and beaten day and night, even by the doctor who examined her for venereal disease, "have tortured my mind all my life," said O'Herne, a former Dutch colonist born in Java who now lives in Australia. "I have forgiven the Japanese for what they did to me, but I can never forget."
O'Herne and two South Korean victims appeared in support of a nonbinding resolution that urges Japan to "formally acknowledge, apologize and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner" for the women's ordeal.
Often through tears, the three women spoke Thursday of their anger, shame and defiance, and of the physical and mental scars that remain.
"I am so embarrassed. I am so ashamed," said Lee Yong-soo, speaking through an interpreter of her rape and torture. "But this is something I cannot just keep to myself."
The resolution does not recommend that Japan pay reparations. Besides an official apology, it demands that Japan reject those who say the sexual enslavement never happened and to educate children about the comfort women's experience. It was unclear when the House panel would meet again to consider whether to endorse the resolution.
Supporters of the resolution want an apology similar to the one the U.S. government gave to Japanese-Americans forced into internment camps during World War II. That apology was approved by the Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
Japan objects to the resolution, which has led to unease in an otherwise strong U.S.-Japanese relationship. Its leaders have apologized repeatedly. Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, for instance, said in 2001 that he felt sincere remorse for the comfort women's "immeasurable and painful experiences."
In a letter sent to the congressional panel, Japan's ambassador to the United States, Ryozo Kato, said his country has recognized its responsibility and acknowledged its actions. "While not forgetting the past, we wish to move forward," Kato wrote.
Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said that Japan has done exactly what the resolution demands: officially apologized. "The issue of an apology has been fully and satisfactorily addressed," he said, adding that Japanese citizens living now should not be punished for what earlier generations did.
The State Department expressed sympathy Thursday for the victims, but said in a statement that Japan had taken steps to deal with the issue, referring to the apologetic comments made by Koizumi and other prime ministers.
A sponsor of the resolution, Democratic Rep. Mike Honda, acknowledged that many believe it focuses on the past to the detriment of the crucial U.S. alliance with Japan. But he called such worries unfounded.
"Reconciliation on this issue will have a positive effect upon relationships in the region as historical anxieties are put to rest," said Honda, a Japanese-American who as a child was interned in a wartime U.S. camp.
Japan acknowledged in the 1990s that its military set up and ran brothels for its troops. But it has rejected most compensation claims, saying they were settled by postwar treaties.
The Asian Women's Fund, created in 1995 by the Japanese government but independently run and funded by private donations, has provided a way for Japan to compensate former sex slaves without offering official government compensation. Many comfort women have rejected the fund.
Witness Lee told the lawmakers, "I will not leave the Japanese government alone until they get down on their knees in front of me and give me a sincere apology."
Committee on Foreign Affairs
U.S. House of Representatives
Contact: Lynne Weil at (202) 225-5021
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment
Eni F.H. Faleomavaega (D-AS), Chairman
You are respectfully requested to attend the following OPEN hearing of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment, to be held in Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building .
Thursday, February 15, 2007
"Protecting the Human Rights of Comfort Women"
The Honorable Michael M. Honda
Member of Congress
Ms. Yong Soo Lee
Surviving Comfort Woman
Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery
Ms. Jan Ruff O’Herne
Surviving Comfort Woman
Friends of Comfort Women in Australia
Ms. Koon Ja Kim
Surviving Comfort Woman
National Korean American Service and Education Consortium
Ms. Mindy Kotler
Asia Policy Point
Ok Cha Soh, Ph.D.
Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues
Witnesses may be added.