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Madeleine Albright, first female US secretary of state, dies at 84******
In this file photo taken on August 20, 1998, then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright speaks to reporters at the White House on the US attack of a terrorist base in Afghanistan.
Madeleine Albright, who came to the United States as a child refugee and rose to be the first female secretary of state, shaping American foreign policy at the end of the 20th century, has died at the age of 84.
Tapped by President Bill Clinton as ambassador to the United Nations then as the US top diplomat, Albright was one of the most influential stateswomen of her generation.
In mourning her passing, Clinton said Albright had been "a force for freedom, democracy and human rights," calling her death an "immense loss to the world."
President Joe Biden said Albright had "turned the tide of history," adding that she "defied convention and broke barriers again and again."
At the United Nations, the Security Council observed a moment of silence.
Clinton, announcing his choice of Albright to head the State Department in 1997, said gender "had nothing to do with her getting the job" and she was the most qualified candidate.
Albright, however, was aware of the significance of the appointment.
"It used to be that the only way a woman could truly make her foreign policy views felt was by marrying a diplomat and then pouring tea on an offending ambassador's lap," she once said in a speech to the Women in Foreign Policy Group.
"Today, women are engaged in every facet of global affairs."
Albright took the helm of the State Department in a post-Cold War world in which the United States had emerged as the sole superpower, leading crucial discussions with world leaders on arms control, trade, terrorism and the future of NATO.
Not since Margaret Thatcher governed Britain had a woman held such a position of global influence.
Born Marie Jana Korbelova in Czechoslovakia on May 15, 1937, Albright came to the United States as a refugee with her family in 1948 and became a US citizen in 1957.
Her father, Josef Korbel, a diplomat, had converted from Judaism to Catholicism after the family fled to London in 1939 to escape the Nazis.
Albright said she only learned about her Jewish origins late in life and the fact that three of her grandparents had perished in concentration camps.
'Short, noisy type'
Fluent in English, Czech, French and Russian, Albright earned her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College.
She earned her doctorate in political science at Columbia University and went to work for Democratic senator Edmund Muskie.
She later joined the National Security Council in the White House of President Jimmy Carter, serving under his national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, her former professor at Columbia.
After Carter's defeat, Albright began teaching at Georgetown University in Washington but remained an influential voice in Democratic foreign policymaking circles.
She was named US ambassador to the United Nations by Clinton in 1993 and served in that role until 1997, when she became secretary of state.
Albright married Joseph Albright in 1959. They had three daughters and divorced in 1982.
Her memoir, "Madam Secretary," was published in 2003.
She also wrote a book about her huge collection of brooches which, she explained to Smithsonian magazine in 2010, sometimes were "reflective of whatever issue we're dealing with."
"In every role, she used her fierce intellect and sharp wit – and often her unmatched collection of pins – to advance America's national security and promote peace around the world," Biden said.
Two men found guilty of Malcolm X murder to be exonerated******
Two men found guilty of the 1965 assassination of civil rights leader Malcolm X are to have their convictions thrown out, one of them posthumously, in an admission by US authorities of a historic miscarriage of justice.。
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was to hold a press conference yesterday to announce the exoneration of Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam.。
Aziz, 83, was sentenced to life in prison in 1966 but was released in 1985. Also sentenced to life, Islam was released in 1987 and died in 2009.。
"These men did not get the justice that they deserved," Vance said in an interview with The New York Times. "What we can do is acknowledge the error, the severity of the error."
The newspaper said that a 22-month investigation conducted jointly by the Manhattan district attorney's office and lawyers for the two men found that prosecutors, the FBI and the New York Police Department withheld evidence that would likely have led to the acquittal of the two men.。
A third man, Mujahid Abdul Halim, 80, confessed to Malcolm X's murder and was released from prison in 2010.。
Halim claimed during their 1966 trial that Aziz and Islam were innocent.。
All three were members of the black nationalist group Nation of Islam, which Malcolm X had renounced.。
Malcolm X was shot dead by three gunmen on February 21, 1965 as he prepared to deliver a speech in a Manhattan ballroom. Halim was taken into custody at the scene with a bullet wound to the leg.。
Aziz and Islam were arrested several days later. Both denied involvement in the assassination and provided alibis for where they were at the time of the shooting.。
Aziz said in a statement on Wednesday that "the events that brought us here should never have occurred; those events were and are the result of a process that was corrupt to its core – one that is all too familiar – even in 2021."
"While I do not need a court, prosecutors, or a piece of paper to tell me I am innocent, I am glad that my family, my friends, and the attorneys who have worked and supported me all these years are finally seeing the truth we have all known, officially recognized."
Yesterday's press conference was also to be attended by civil rights attorney David Shanies and Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project.。
Shanies and the Innocence Project, a nonprofit which has secured the exoneration of hundreds of wrongfully convicted prisoners in the United States, collaborated with Vance's office in re-investigating the case.。
The review of the case followed the release of a Netflix docuseries "Who Killed Malcolm X?"
The Times said the re-investigation did not identify "who prosecutors now believe really killed Malcolm X, and those who were previously implicated but never arrested are dead."
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