- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 4, 2005

Nicole’s novel plot

The government of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has attacked the suspense thriller “The Interpreter,” starring Nicole Kidman, claiming it is part of a propaganda campaign by the CIA that shows “Zimbabwe’s enemies did not rest.”

The Herald, a government-controlled daily newspaper, also linked the film to efforts by Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer last week to have Mr. Mugabe indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

In the film, Miss Kidman plays a United Nations interpreter who overhears two people discussing an apparent assassination plot against the president of a fictional Republic of Matobo. The president is accused of ethnic cleansing and plans to address the U.N. General Assembly in an attempt to forestall indictment by the International Criminal Court.

“The film just shows how careful we have to be and that we should know our enemy is very powerful,” acting Minister of Information and Publicity Chen Chimutengwende told the Herald in Saturday’s editions. “We should plan to counter Euro-American imperialism. Our enemies have resources and are determined to wage their war on the economic, social and cultural fronts.”

Zimbabwe has become an international outcast in recent years because of repression and economic mismanagement by Mr. Mugabe’s regime. The government claims Western sanctions and boycotts are to blame for the country’s looming financial collapse.

Rumsfeld’s rain check

Due to hurricane relief efforts in the Gulf Coast, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has postponed an appearance on the “Late Show With David Letterman” that had been set for this coming week.

Mr. Rumsfeld was to appear tomorrow night. He will reschedule his visit, CBS said Friday.

“We obviously understand this decision,” Rob Burnett, executive producer of the “Late Show,” said. “He is welcome to come here anytime.”

Frank Zappa honored

Berlin aims to name a street after the late American rock legend and counterculture guru Frank Zappa and has invited his children to take part in the ceremony.

The Berliner Zeitung reported in its weekend edition that Marzahn, a district on the eastern fringe of the capital made up of communist-era prefabricated high-rise housing blocks, hoped to become home to Frank Zappa Strasse.

The article said that district planners were reviewing a proposal by the Orwo Haus, an association of young musicians, to rename what is now called Street 13 after the provocative star (1940-1993) who still has a strong cult following throughout the former communist bloc.

The Orwo Haus cafeteria shows a Zappa video every day at lunchtime.

“He was a rocker and we love to rock,” the newspaper quoted Andre Szatkowski, drummer for the band Freak-a-Delic.

It was unclear when the ceremony might take place, but Agence France-Presse reported that at least one of Mr. Zappa’s four children planned to attend.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.

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