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Smithsonian Revamps Controversial Atom Bomb Exhibit

The Washington Post

The Smithsonian Institution, attempting to defuse a mounting controversy over its planned exhibit on the atomic bombing of Japan, announced Monday that it would accompany the exhibit with a separate exhibition about how Americans experienced World War II.

The action comes amid increasing criticism of the atom bomb exhibit, which veterans groups and others charge ignores Japan's years of aggression in Asia and the Pacific. It also ignores, they say, the savagery of Japan's conquests, and pictures the Japanese as needless victims in a war of American racism and vengeance.

Just Monday, for example, an editorial in the Wall Street Journal found it "especially curious to note the oozing romanticism with which the (exhibit's) writers describe the kamikaze suicide pilots (as) youths, their bodies overflowing with life.' Of the youth and life of the Americans who fought and bled in the Pacific there is no mention."

Other critics of the exhibit say it should place greater emphasis on the fact that the bomb was dropped on Japan to end the war without an invasion of the Japanese mainland, which would have cost hundreds of thousands more lives, Japanese as well as American.

North Says Robb Lacks Moral Force' to Hold Office

The Washington Post

Vowing to hound U.S. Sen. Charles S. Robb, of Virginia, until Election Day, rival Oliver L. North charged Monday that Robb has a "seriously flawed" character and lacks the "moral force" to hold public office.

North, appearing at an Arlington news conference with sleeves rolled up and spoiling for a political fight, vowed that Robb is "about to get an education" and for the first time referred directly to allegations that Robb has had extramarital sexual relationships. North pointedly noted "my fidelity" to his wife and family, and said, "I don't have that kind of character problem" that has plagued Robb.

In some of his most acerbic rhetoric to date, Republican North called his Democratic opponent a "near-radical" liberal and promised to attack him without let-up. "Chuck Robb is acting as though he were unstained by scandal," North said. "The voters on Nov. 8 are going to show how damaging (Robb's personal life) is. Character always counts in a campaign."

North's strongest support comes from among conservatives and Christian fundamentalists, and his emphasis on family values has been a key appeal of his campaign.

Robb has acknowledged "socializing in situations not appropriate for a married man" while he served as governor in the mid-1980s, and he has apologized for hurting his wife and family.

MCI Disconnects Plans To Create Wireless Network

Los Angeles Times

The information highway on Monday became littered with the wreckage of yet another deal gone bad as the nation's second-largest long distance phone carrier and two partners abandoned a promising pact to build a nationwide wireless network.

MCI Communications Corp. of Washington broke off plans to invest $1.3 billion in Nextel Communications Inc., a Rutherford, N.J.-based wireless dispatch service company, and join with it and Comcast Corp. of Philadelphia to build a communications network available to about 95 percent of the U.S. population.

It was at least the fourth ballyhooed telecommunications deal to fall apart in recent months. The MCI-Nextel plan, which would have used a portion of the airwaves now employed mainly by taxi dispatchers, held special promise because it would have produced coast-to-coast competition with existing cellular services.

Its "specialized mobile radio" technology, employing hand-held devices similar to cellular phones, can be implemented quickly. But business and consumers may have to wait years for the arrival of more advanced wireless technologies such as personal communications services, which would provide wireless communications from devices as portable and unobtrusive as a wrist watch.