Names in the news, Aug. 4

Posted Aug. 03, 2011, at 5:30 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 03, 2011, at 7:09 p.m.

Alfred Hitchcock (photo) is still surprising his fans. Film preservationists say they’ve found the first half of “The White Shadow,” the earliest known surviving feature film on which Hitchcock has a credit. The first three reels of the six-reel film made in 1923 were discovered by the National Film Preservation Foundation at the New Zealand Film Archive. “The White Shadow” was directed by Graham Cutts, and Hitchcock is credited as writer, assistant director, editor and art director. Hitchcock, whose suspense classics include “Psycho,” “The Birds,” “Rear Window” and “Vertigo,” made his own directing debut two years later. … The nation’s poet laureate, W.S. Merwin, told scientists and others on Tuesday that humans aren’t being true to themselves and are reducing their own chances for survival by failing to take care of other life and the planet. Merwin told a meeting of scientists in Waikiki, Hawaii, that they were doing work of “desperate importance” as species become extinct at an increasingly rapid rate around the world. The problem is particularly acute in Hawaii, which has more endangered species than any other state and is sometimes called the endangered species capital of the world. The 83-year-old Maui resident recalled when a scientist told him the world was losing a species a week and noted that pace has picked up dramatically. “It’s irrevocable. You can’t put them back. You can’t say, ‘Whoops, sorry.’ … You’re not ever going to fix it,” Merwin said while delivering the keynote address of this year’s Hawaii Conservation Conference before several thousand people. Mixing his comments with poems, Merwin read “Rain at Night” describing the destruction of a Hawaii forest by profiteers. The New York City native and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner moved to Hawaii in 1976.

TRIAL IN EGYPT Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak lies on a hospital bed flanked by his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, inside a cage of mesh and iron bars in a Cairo courtroom on Wednesday. Mubarak’s historic trial began on charges of corruption and ordering the killing of protesters during the uprising that ousted him from office in February. Mubarak has been in custody in a hospital at a Red Sea resort since suffering a heart attack in April. He denied all charges against him.

AP Photo courtesy of Egyptian State TV

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