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Berenson on Trial For a Second Time

Former MIT student Lori Berenson, who is on trial for a second time on charges of assisting the Tupac Amaru rebel movement in Peru five years ago, last week professed her innocence and claimed that she is a political prisoner.

According to the Associated Press, Berenson said in a television interview on Sunday, March 24, “I am innocent of what they are charging me with.”

“I consider myself a political prisoner,” Berenson said in the interview, according to the AP.

Berenson’s second trial follows the revocation last August of a life sentence handed down in 1996 by a secret military tribunal in her first trial.

On Thursday, according to the AP, Berenson’s lawyer Jose Luis Sandoval made a motion to exclude a large portion of prosecution evidence that was obtained by police who covertly videotaped conversations between her and another attorney.

The three-judge panel has not made a decision on this motion.

Area code overlaying takes effect

As a result of the addition of a new area code in the Cambridge/Boston area, MIT students and staff must now enter the area code when placing local calls. The change will not affect calls within the MIT campus or calls to 411 and 911.

The addition of the new area code (857) has come about as a result of the increasing number of phone line subscribers in Eastern Massachusetts. Starting May 1, 2001, new phone lines in the Cambridge/ Boston area will be assigned the 857 area code.

In addition to the 617 zone, the other zones in Eastern Massachusetts which will be overlaid with new area codes are: 508 (774), 781 (339), and 978 (351). Thus, any calls to the 508/774, 781/339, or 978/351 zones will require callers to enter the area code as well.

All current phone numbers will remain the same, although callers giving out their phone numbers to other local callers must include their area code.

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