Jack Straw

British politician Jack Straw

John Whitaker "Jack" Straw is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Blackburn since 1979. He served as Home Secretary from 1997 to 2001, Foreign Secretary from 2001 to 2006 and Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons from 2006 to 2007 under Tony Blair.
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home town
Essex
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Ex-UK foreign secretary faces legal action in rendition case
Yahoo News - about 1 year
LONDON (AP) — A lawsuit against former U.K. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw brought by an ex-Libyan dissident who alleges he and his wife were abducted and sent to Tripoli with British complicity can proceed, Britain's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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 Yahoo News article
Close legal loophole which means public services contractors don't have disclose their work, say campaigners - The Independent
Google News - about 2 years
The Independent Close legal loophole which means public services contractors don't have disclose their work, say campaigners The Independent Companies who operate everything from prisons to parking services and prosecuting TV licence evaders must be made more accountable, campaigners say. A legal loophole in the Freedom of Information Act which exempts major contractors from revealing ... FOI commission 'will not propose exempting universities from law' despite proposals from ministersTelegraph.co.uk Freedom of Information reviewer Jack Straw advised firm on how to avoid transparency lawsMirror.co.uk FoI charges would 'strangle investigations at birth' says PA bossHoldTheFrontPage.co.uk Press Gazette -Daily Mail -Redbrick all 10 news articles »
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Blair and Straw face questions over complicity in Shaker Aamer's treatment
Guardian (UK) - about 2 years
Alex Salmond says Guantánamo detainee’s claim that former PM and minister must have known of his torture is reasonable Tony Blair and Jack Straw must reveal what they knew about the alleged torture of the former Guantánamo Bay detainee Shaker Aamer, Alex Salmond has said. In his first interview since returning home to London in October after being detained without charge for 14 years in the US military facility in Cuba, British resident Shaker Aamer suggested the former prime minister and the former home and foreign secretary were aware that he was being tortured. Continue reading...
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 Guardian (UK) article
The U.S. Best Selling Poet ... Is a Persian!
Huffington Post - over 2 years
For those who are not closely familiar with the history of what is called the Middle East today, "Persia" mostly sounds like a weird and eccentric name that has to be looked for in the encyclopedias and textbooks. There are people to whom the word Persia resonates with some ancient geographical territory, but they're unable to locate it on the map. And of course there are people who are well aware that the word "Persia" was used since the fifth century BCE to describe one of the world's longest-standing and most venerable empires, inherited to the modern-day country that George W. Bush once said was part of an Axis of Evil: Iran. The Persian culture and its manifestations, which continue to influence the world and inspire scores of people across the planet, make up the ignored and undiscovered part of the reality of Iran. Persian culture takes on many different representations, characterized by the enormous amount of literary work produced throughout the past centuries by Iranian po...
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 Huffington Post article
UK government 'seeking to avoid responsibility' for renditions
Guardian (UK) - over 2 years
An opponent of Gaddafi is suing Jack Straw and the intelligence agencies in the supreme court after he was flown to the Libyan dictator’s torture cells in 2004 The government is indulging in an “extravagant extension” of the doctrine of foreign state immunity to avoid responsibility for rendition cases it coordinated, the supreme court has been told. Officials cannot lawfully “shut the doors of the court to victims of executive abuse simply by acting with other states,” the UK’s highest court heard. Continue reading...
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 Guardian (UK) article
Court exceeded its power in ordering publication of Charles memos – Straw
Guardian (UK) - almost 3 years
Jack Straw, an architect of the Freedom of Information Act, says supreme court ignored will of parliament and letters to ministers should have remained secret Jack Straw, a former Labour cabinet minister and one of the architects of the Freedom of Information Act, has said that the Prince of Wales’s memos to ministers should have remained secret and that the supreme court exceeded its power in backing the Guardian’s fight for publication. Speaking after the publication of the so-called black spider memos following a 10-year legal battle by the Guardian against the government, Straw said: “The heir to the throne is going to have some views – if you want a constitutional monarchy it is important that those views are known but they are only known in private.” Related: The Guardian view on the black spider memos: a victory for the rule of law, a warning to Prince Charles | Editorial Related: Read the Prince Charles 'black spider' memos in full Continue reading...
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 Guardian (UK) article
Chilcot inquiry into Iraq war may be delayed beyond 2015
Guardian (UK) - almost 3 years
Inquiry is mired in arguments about criticism it intends to make of some individuals, including Tony Blair and Jack Straw The long-awaited Chilcot report into the 2003 invasion of Iraq may be delayed until next year because the inquiry is mired in increasingly heated argument about the criticism it intends to make of some of the leading individuals involved, including Tony Blair, his foreign secretary, Jack Straw, and the then head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Related: The Guardian view on the Chilcot report: time’s up | Editorial Continue reading...
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 Guardian (UK) article
Ex-Libyan rebel commander appeals ruling on British torture case
Yahoo News - over 3 years
By Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - A former Libyan Islamist commander who says he suffered years of torture by Muammar Gaddafi's henchmen after British and U.S. spies handed him over to Libya will try this week to overturn a ruling blocking legal action against the British government. Abdel Hakim Belhadj, a rebel leader who helped topple Gaddafi in 2011 and is now leader of the Libyan al-Watan Party, says he and his pregnant wife Fatima were abducted by U.S. CIA agents in Thailand in 2004 and then illegally transferred to Tripoli with the help of British spies. Two years ago, he began legal action against former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Britain's MI5 and MI6 spy agencies, a former intelligence chief, and relevant government departments. This week, Belhadj launches an appeal against that decision.
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 Yahoo News article
UK, US were 'malign' force in Iran: Straw
Yahoo News - about 4 years
Former foreign secretary Jack Straw said Friday that Britain and the United States had been a "malign force" in Iran in the past, after a relationship-building visit to Tehran. Straw and three other British members of parliament visited Iran this week amid a thawing of relations between Britain and the Islamic Republic, after ties were severed in 2011 when hardline Islamists ransacked the British embassy compound in Tehran. In an interview with BBC radio, Straw said his group had been well received by the government of President Hassan Rouhani and reported "considerable optimism there" about a rapprochement with the West. "There is a very, very long history to this, to poor relations between Iran on the one hand and US and UK on the other," Straw said.
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 Yahoo News article
US and UK struck secret deal to allow NSA to 'unmask' Britons' personal data
Guardian (UK) - over 4 years
• 2007 deal allows NSA to store previously restricted material • UK citizens not suspected of wrongdoing caught up in dragnet • Separate draft memo proposes US spying on 'Five-Eyes' allies The phone, internet and email records of UK citizens not suspected of any wrongdoing have been analysed and stored by America's National Security Agency under a secret deal that was approved by British intelligence officials, according to documents from the whistleblower Edward Snowden. In the first explicit confirmation that UK citizens have been caught up in US mass surveillance programs, an NSA memo describes how in 2007 an agreement was reached that allowed the agency to "unmask" and hold on to personal data about Britons that had previously been off limits. The memo, published in a joint investigation by the Guardian and Britain's Channel 4 News, says the material is being put in databases where it can be made available to other members of the US intelligence and military community. Britai...
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 Guardian (UK) article
At the Nexus of Media and Politics - Part Two
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Below is a transcript of a lecture given by Alastair Campbell today in his role as Humanitas Visiting Professor of Media 2013/14 at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), at Cambridge University, in association with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue A few years ago, Carl Bernstein and I shared a platform at a conference in Italy. I was surprised how much we agreed about the modern media. But what struck me most was his description that Watergate was one of the greatest stories of all time but, he added, 'a disaster for journalism.' As the Redford/Hoffman film showed, Woodward/Bernstein were obsessive about facts, determined to go that extra distance to check. There are reporters today for whom an investigation means two phone calls not one, or the dubious and illegal practices of which we have heard so much. Watergate was the best of journalism because it slowly, systematically uncovered a terrible truth that the most powerful man in the worl...
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 Huffington Post article
Jack Straw: Labour made mistake letting Poles in early
Guardian (UK) - over 4 years
Former home secretary says number and impact of migrants from eastern Europe far exceeded predictions The former home secretary Jack Straw has admitted that dropping immigration restrictions on eastern European migrants was a "spectacular mistake" on Labour's part. The Labour MP said handing immediate working rights to Poles and other nationalities who joined the EU in 2004 was a "well-intentioned policy we messed up". Writing in the Lancashire Telegraph, Straw said: "However careful you are, as a minister, in your analysis, many decisions are based upon predictions about the future, where, ultimately, your fate is in the lap of the gods. "One spectacular mistake in which I participated [not alone] was in lifting the transitional restrictions on the eastern European states like Poland and Hungary which joined the EU in mid-2004. "Other existing EU members, notably France and Germany, decided to stick to the general rule which prevented migrants from these new states from working...
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 Guardian (UK) article
Apologists for Israel Hatred in the UK
Huffington Post - over 4 years
The British Board of Deputies is an important and distinguished organization that is undermined by Jonathan Arkush's head-in-the-sand approach to the deluge of Israel hatred that has erupted in the UK. Arkush is hell-bent on defending Anglo-Jewry from charges of insufficient action. But in his response to me he contradicts himself on nearly every line. He praises Israeli ambassador Daniel Taub, on the one hand, for condemning the ignorant remarks of Jack Straw. Yet he does hold former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, or the office's current occupant, accountable for failing to do the same. Is it only Jews who are temporarily imported from Israel that are responsible to stand up to fraudulent charges of the Jewish state stealing Palestinian land? Does the office of Chief Rabbi not require its occupants to proudly defend the Jewish homeland? Arkush, who in his column claims responsibility for the welfare of British Jewish students, says he does not know "of a single British university" wh...
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 Huffington Post article
HS2 alternatives could require 14 years of weekend rail closures
Guardian (UK) - over 4 years
Backbench MPs angry over Network Rail report that says upgrades to existing line's will need 2,770 weekend closures to match HS2 capacity Alternatives to building Britain's second high-speed rail link which would instead upgrade existing lines could need 14 years of weekend closures to complete, according to government-sponsored studies releasedon Monday. The claims were published as ministers battle to maintain cross-party support for the controversial HS2 project connecting London to the north and before a crucial week for the scheme in parliament. The government has faced a backlash from backbenchers against the project, which is expected to cost up to £42.6bn, has overrun its original budget and cuts a swath through many marginal Conservative constituencies. The studies, prepared by Network Rail and the management consultancy Atkins, found that the east coast mainline, midland mainline and west coast mainline would require 2,770 weekend closures (144,000 hours of work) if the...
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 Guardian (UK) article
Labour stalwart Straw stepping down - expressandstar.com
Google News - over 4 years
AFP Labour stalwart Straw stepping down expressandstar.com Labour's elder statesman Jack Straw has announced he is to stand down as an MP at the next general election. 8a1fa772-3dc9-11e3-97a7-0a0c02230000 Jack Straw will stand down as an MP at the next general election. Tweet. The former home secretary, ... Former UK foreign minister Straw stepping down as MPAFP The News Matrix: Saturday 26 October 2013The Independent Jack Straw standing down at next electionTelegraph.co.uk BBC News -Daily Mail all 44 news articles »
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Jack Straw
    LATE ADULTHOOD
  • 2015
    Age 68
    In October 2015 He was Given the Freedom of the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen.
    He was exonerated by the Commissioner in September 2015 after a detailed investigation.
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    Straw voluntarily withdrew from the Parliamentary Labour Party (but remained a member of the party itself) in February 2015 due to allegations from Channel 4 and the Daily Telegraph.
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    In February 2015, Straw was secretly recorded by journalists from The Daily Telegraph and Channel 4 News, who posed as representatives of a fictitious Chinese company that wanted to set up an advisory council.
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    In September 2015 the Commissioner for Standards dismissed all allegations that he had brought the House of Commons into disrepute and criticised Channel 4 and the Daily Telegraph’s conduct.
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    In February 2015 Channel 4 Dispatches and The Daily Telegraph accused Straw of impropriety following a meeting they set up with a fictitious Chinese company.
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  • 2013
    Age 66
    In 2013, at a round table event of the Global Diplomatic Forum at the UK's House of Commons, Jack Straw (who has Jewish heritage) was quoted by Israeli politician Einat Wilf, one of the panelists at the forum, as having said that among the main obstacles to peace was the amount of money available to Jewish organizations in the US, which controlled US foreign policy, and also Germany's "obsession" with defending Israel.
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  • 2012
    Age 65
    In October 2012, the Guardian reported on the filing of court papers, which alleged that MI6 alerted Muammar Gaddafi's intelligence services to the whereabouts of dissidents, co-operated in their rendition, sent officers and detailed questions to assist in their interrogation, and that Straw attempted to conceal this from MPs.
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  • 2011
    Age 64
    In late 2011, Straw was appointed to the role of visiting professor to University College London School of Public Policy.
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    In April 2011, Straw was appointed as a consultant to E. D. & F. Man Holdings Ltd., a British company based in London specialising in the production and trading of commodities including sugar, molasses, animal feed, tropical oils, biofuels, coffee and financial services.
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    In January 2011, Straw provoked controversy with comments made on Newsnight about Pakistani men.
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  • 2010
    Age 63
    In December 2010, ahead of the UK Alternative Vote Referendum 2011, Straw was a signatory to a letter to the Guardian arguing in favour of the alternative vote.
    In August 2010, Straw announced his plans to quit his role as Shadow Justice Secretary and move to the backbenches, citing the need for a ‘fresh start’ for the Labour Party under a new leader.
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    Jack Straw apologised for these comments regarding the veil on 26 April 2010 at a private hustings organised by Engage in the buildup to the United Kingdom General Election, 2010.
  • 2009
    Age 62
    Straw represented the government on a controversial edition of Question Time on 22 October 2009, against British National Party leader Nick Griffin on his first ever appearance.
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    In February 2009, Straw used his authority as Justice Secretary to veto publication of government documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act: in particular, those pertaining to early government meetings held in the run-up to the Iraq war in 2003.
  • 2007
    Age 60
    Straw was appointed Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain and Secretary of State for Justice on the first full day of Gordon Brown's ministry, 28 June 2007.
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    In 2007 the Union Council reinstated his life membership and place on the Presidents' Board.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 2006
    Age 59
    In October 2006 Straw attracted controversy by suggesting to a local newspaper, The Lancashire Evening Telegraph (now The Lancashire Telegraph), that Muslim women who wear veils that cover their faces (the niqab) can inhibit inter-community relations, though he denied the issue was raised for political gain, stating that he had raised it in private circles in the past and it had never progressed beyond discussions.
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    In August 2006, it was claimed by William Rees-Mogg in The Times that there was evidence that Straw was removed from this post upon the request of the Bush administration, possibly owing to his expressed opposition to bombing Iran.
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    In February 2006, Straw attracted publicity after he condemned the publication of cartoons picturing Mohammed in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
  • 2005
    Age 58
    On 13 October 2005 Straw took questions from a public panel of individuals in a BBC Newsnight television special on the subject of Iraq, addressing widespread public concerns about the exit strategy for British troops, the Iraqi insurgency and, inevitably, the moral legitimacy of the war.
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    At the 2005 Labour Conference, the then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was heckled by Walter Wolfgang, a German Jew who had suffered persecution under the Nazis, and a prominent Labour Party member.
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    In the run up to the 2005 general election Straw faced a potential backlash from his Muslim constituents over the Iraq War – the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPAC) attempted to capitalise on anti-war sentiment with 'operation Muslim vote' in Blackburn.
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  • 2004
    Age 57
    In the 2004 Equatorial Guinea coup d'état attempt, Jack Straw was personally informed months in advance of the plans for the takeover attempt and failed to accomplish the duty under international law of alerting the country's government.
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    In a letter to The Independent in 2004, he claimed that Trotskyists "can usually now be found in the City, appearing on quiz shows or ranting in certain national newspapers," and recommended "Left-Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder by Vladimir Lenin.
  • 2001
    Age 54
    In late September 2001, he became the first senior British government minister to visit Iran since the 1979 Revolution. In 2003 the governments of the USA and UK agreed a new Extradition Treaty between them, intended to speed up extradition of terrorist suspects.
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    He was instead appointed Foreign Secretary in 2001 to succeed Robin Cook.
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  • 2000
    Age 53
    Also in 2000, Straw turned down an asylum request from a man fleeing Saddam Hussein's regime, stating "we have faith in the integrity of the Iraqi judicial process and that you should have no concerns if you haven’t done anything wrong."
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    In March 2000, Jack Straw was responsible for allowing former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to return to Chile.
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    A motion of Leeds University Union Council in 2000 removed Jack Straw's life membership of the Union and removed his name from the Presidents' Board, citing his support for asylum and immigration bill and limits to trial by jury and legal aid.
  • 1998
    Age 51
    He supports his local football club Blackburn Rovers, and was made an honorary vice president of them in 1998 by Jack Walker.
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  • 1997
    Age 50
    On 31 July 1997, Straw ordered a public inquiry, to be conducted by Sir William Macpherson and officially titled "The Inquiry into the Matters Arising from the Death of Stephen Lawrence".
    Appointed as Home Secretary after the 1997 general election, he brought forward the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, increased police powers against terrorism and proposed to remove the right to trial by jury in certain cases.
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    He held two of the traditional Great Offices of State, as Home Secretary from 1997 to 2001 and Foreign Secretary from 2001 to 2006 under Blair.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1992
    Age 45
    Straw briefly served as Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment under John Smith from 1992 to 1994, speaking on matters concerning local government.
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  • 1987
    Age 40
    Straw's first Shadow Cabinet post was as Education spokesman from 1987.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1981
    Age 34
    The report found that there had been a failure of leadership by senior MPS officers and that recommendations of the 1981 Scarman Report, compiled following race-related riots in Brixton and Toxteth, had been ignored and concluded that the force was "institutionally racist".
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  • 1979
    Age 32
    He won the seat in 1979.
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    He was later selected to stand for Labour in its safe Blackburn seat at the 1979 General Election.
  • 1978
    Age 31
    On 10 November 1978 he married Alice Perkins, a senior civil servant.
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  • 1977
    Age 30
    Straw was selected to stand for Parliament for the Lancashire constituency of Blackburn in 1977, after Barbara Castle decided not to seek re-election there.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1974
    Age 27
    Straw stood unsuccessfully as the Labour parliamentary candidate for the safe Conservative Tonbridge and Malling constituency in the February 1974 election.
    He served as a political adviser to Barbara Castle at the Department of Social Security from 1974 to 1976, and as an adviser to Peter Shore at the Department for the Environment from 1976 to 1977.
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  • 1971
    Age 24
    Between 1971 and 1974, Jack Straw was a member of the Inner London Education Authority, and Deputy Leader from 1973 to 1974.
    In 1971, he was elected as a Labour councillor in the London Borough of Islington, a position he held until 1978.
  • 1969
    Age 22
    However, he was elected as NUS President in 1969, holding this post until 1971.
  • 1968
    Age 21
    Straw's first marriage, in 1968, to teacher Anthea Weston, ended in divorce in 1977.
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    In April 1968, he stood unsuccessfully for election as NUS President, to be defeated by Trevor Fisk.
  • 1967
    Age 20
    Straw was then elected president of the Leeds University Union. At the 1967 National Union of Students (NUS) Conference, he unsuccessfully ran for office in the NUS.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1946
    Born
    Born on August 3, 1946.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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