Academic Freedom Bill Signed into Law

Maine Governor Angus King has signed a bill prohibiting state colleges and universities from accepting funds from any source that imposes restrictions limiting academic freedom. The bill, introduced by Representative Stavros J. Mendros (R-Lewiston), would prevent foreign governments, corporations, or organizations from using grants to promote their own agendas.

During the nineties, Turkey began spending millions of dollars to fund programs at American colleges and universities. The initiatives raised fears that the money was being used to influence what American students are told about the massacres of Armenians and other minorities earlier in the century. When Princeton University chose, for its newly-created Ataturk Chair, a longtime lobbyist and apologist for the Turkish government, these fears seemed to be confirmed. A petition protesting the acceptance of Turkish government money was signed by, among many others, Kurt Vonnegut, Susan Sontag, Cornel West, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Holocaust scholar Robert Lifton.

Harvard, Georgetown, and the University of Chicago are among the universities that have accepted endowments from Turkey. But other universities, including UCLA, have turned down such offers.

Foreign Policy History Blocked

The State Department has blocked the release of an official history detailing U.S. foreign policy activities concerning Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey during the middle to late sixties. "No determination has been made" on its release, a State Department spokesperson told Hellenic Communication Service. Hundreds of copies have been printed and are in stock, awaiting the outcome of deliberations among the CIA, State Department and the White House.

"The problem is mainly at the CIA," said Steven Attergood, a senior research analyst for the Federation of American Scientists. Attergood, who directs a project on government secrecy, cited "a concern that reports of U.S. activities would inflame certain parties in Greece and generate awkwardness or resentment at a time when it is clearly not wanted" because of concerns about terrorism.

"Sooner or later, it will be released," Attergood said.

The history documents proposals during the mid-sixties to influence Greek politics and elections, a Washington Post article reported. One plan proposed buying the votes of enough Greek lawmakers to secure a right-wing government. Another would have funnelled money into Greece in an effort to defeat left-wing candidates.  Both plans were rejected by policymakers, the article said.  The revelations in the book are less startling than those contained in another recent volume on Indonesia, which the State Department tried to recall last spring.

Documents in that volume suggested that the U.S. had helped an Indonesian dictatorship identify leftists and communists, who were then killed.

The publication is part of the multi-volume Foreign Relations of the United States series, which is produced by State Department historians and constitutes an official documentary record of foreign policy decisions and diplomatic activity. Recent volumes from the series are available online.

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Which Way Orthodoxy?

The Ecumenical Patriarchate and a committee representing the Archdiocese of America have announced an agreement concerning the American church's new Charter. But sources from around the Orthodox community say that in fact the Patriarchate rejected key provisions of the proposed Charter, indicating it is not ready to allow more autonomy for the Church of America. By Robert Herschbach

Diocesan Awards 2001

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During a period of 23 years over which figures were compiled by the Archdiocese, there were 121,587 marriages and 16,981 divorces. Using these figures alone, the divorce rate would be 14% of the total Orthodox marriages, falling far below the US national average of approximately 43%. By Christos and Mary Papoutsy

Greek Laws dealing with purchase
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With patience, persistence and good legal advice, home-buying dreams of Greek-Americans can materialize, resulting in closer ties to ancestral lands and fine educational opportunities for youngsters. By Christos and Mary Papoutsy

Thea Halo in Boston

"You are to leave this place. You will have three days to gather your things. You will take only what you can carry." With an officer's shouts, the three-thousand-year history of Pontic Greeks in Turkey came to a violent end. Stripped of everything she had ever held dear, young Sano saw her family members perish, one after the other. By Nina Gatzoulis

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