I should also mention the passing of journalist, Oriana Fallaci. Here’s the NY Times obituary. As recounted in the article, Fallaci was a masterful interviewer:

Mr. Kissinger called his experience with Ms. Fallaci “the most disastrous conversation I ever had with any member of the press.” At the height of his power and celebrity in 1972, she had coaxed him to admit that at times he felt like “the cowboy who leads the wagon train by riding ahead alone on his horse, the cowboy who rides all alone into the town.” Mr. Kissinger later wrote in his memoirs that the quotation harmed his relations with Nixon.

After Sept. 11, Fallaci became on ardent critic of Islam.

Her death is unfortunate because she was to stand trial in Italy on charges of vilifying a religion. It would have been interesting to see if a European court would convict a writer for offending members of a population. The fact that she was even charged with a crime should be a reminder of the freedoms we enjoy in America.