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The XXI century will be a сentury either of total all-embracing crisis or of moral and spiritual healing that will reinvigorate humankind. It is my conviction that all of us - all reasonable political leaders, all spiritual and ideological movements, all  faiths - must help in this transition to a triumph of humanism and justice, in making the XXI century a century of a new human renaissance.

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7 February 2006

K-19 sub captain nominated for Nobel

     The late Russian K-19 submarine captain who helped avoid a nuclear meltdown and possible war has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
     The nomination for Capt. Nikolai Zateev and the nuclear sub's crew has the support of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, himself a past winner of the prize, The Independent reported Monday.
     Gorbachev wrote to the Nobel Committee praising "the personal courage of these heroes," which, he says, "averted a thermal explosion of the reactor and a subsequent environmental disaster" and possible Cold War confrontation.
     The accident July 4, 1961, off the Norwegian Coast, remained a secret for the Soviet authorities and was only disclosed in 1990 under Gorbachev's policy of "glasnost" or openness.
     Aware of the risks to himself and 139 crewmembers, Zateev, who died in 1998, ordered the men to repair the leak. After about two hours, the situation was brought under control but not before many of the crew were exposed to large doses of radiation. Eight crewmen died of radiation sickness and less than 60 of the 139-member crew now survive.
     The story was made into the movie "K-19: The Widowmaker, and starred Harrison Ford.

United Press International, February 6, 2006