Molly Antopol’s debut, “The UnAmericans,” took almost 10 years to write, but was worth the wait. Published in 2014, the collection of stories about men and women struggling to navigate their place in the world and in complex relationships won the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and made the National Book Award long list. Antopol, the Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, has devoted her time as a Radcliffe Fellow to work on a novel that explores surveillance and privacy in politics and history. She answered questions from The Gazette for the second installment in “Decisions and Revisions,” a series of interviews with Harvard-affiliated writers on how their stories take shape. Read the first installment, with lecturer and novelist Claire Messud, here.GAZETTE: Where does your love of language come from?ANTOPOL: Even as a little kid I loved to read and write, but I never considered actually being a writer. I didn’t know any writers growing up — it seemed to me a completely pie-in-the-sky profession, like being an astronaut or a magician. When I was young, I would often just disappear somewhere in the apartment and my mother would find me writing myself into whatever book I was reading. As I got older and began to take writing more seriously, I started trying to figure out a way to make more room for it in my life. Once I realized how much I loved teaching and how beautifully that balanced with writing, I started trying to carve out a way to do both.‘I often feel that writing forces me to be a better version of myself, which is to say that I can’t be dismissive of people, I can’t be quick to judge.’GAZETTE: Are there certain writers who had a big impact on you?ANTOPOL: Grace Paley and James Baldwin have been hugely important to me from the beginning. They not only inspired me to write, they got me to think about why I write. When I was an undergraduate and in workshops for the first time, I had such a deep fear of seeming sentimental or overly emotional. So I was writing these really cool, tightly controlled stories even though they went completely against what came naturally to me and even went against what I wanted to read. Then I read Paley and Baldwin and I thought, “Wait, they’re not worried about that. They’re writing about the things that matter the most to them — the things they have to write.” That was a huge breakthrough for me — they’ll sit on my shoulders forever. Some other writers I turn to again and again are Natalia Ginzburg, Deborah Eisenberg, Joy Williams, Edith Pearlman, Edward P. Jones, Sergei Dovlatov, Louise Glück … I could go on and on.GAZETTE: What matters to you most when you are writing?ANTOPOL: Compassion. I often feel that writing forces me to be a better version of myself, which is to say that I can’t be dismissive of people, I can’t be quick to judge. In order to write the kind of fiction I’m really trying to write, I have to feel compassion for even the least sympathetic people, and spend time trying to understand their psychological makeup. If there’s one thing that links all of the writers I admire that I just mentioned, it’s that they have enormous empathy for every one of their characters.GAZETTE: Can you talk to me about your process? I know “The UnAmericans” took 10 years to write. Can you walk me through that?ANTOPOL: I had this piece of advice in my head early on. I’m not sure where I heard it — I have a sneaking feeling that I made it up. It was the idea that I should throw my entire self into a book and when I was finished, trash that book and start fresh. And that was basically what I did. I worked really hard on a collection of linked stories when I was in graduate school. I put everything that I could into it with the idea that no one would ever see it. My goal was that writing it would teach me many of the technical skills I hoped to have before I began writing the second book, the one I’d try to put out into the world. I ended up keeping two of my early stories — but, basically, that’s the reason “The UnAmericans” took so long.I’m also just a slow writer. I’m not a person who’s going to write 25 books in my life, and to be honest, I don’t really want to be. I love taking my time. I love the entire process of it, even though it can be humbling and lonely and difficult. The only way I know how to write a story is to think about my characters’ lives from the beginning to the end, and then, through subsequent drafts, to start to figure out what the most fraught or interesting moment is in their lives and begin to structure the piece once I understand that. And all the stories in “The UnAmericans” required a massive amount of research. With all of them, I read everything I could find about the story’s time and place, and applied for grants so that I could travel and interview people and spend time in archives. Every early draft of those stories was initially 70 or 80 pages long. With the early drafts, I’m still including bits and pieces of my characters’ lives that aren’t essential to the story, and am also still struck by so much research rapture that I include every detail, even the things that no one else would find mildly interesting.And then, many months and sometimes even a year after working on a story, I’ll begin to see its shape very clearly and I’ll start shucking away all of the details about my characters that no longer feel essential, along with most of the research I’ve done. With all of my stories, I’d say about 5 percent of the research remains by the end. But I can’t imagine not doing it — understanding the politics and history that influence my characters feels essential, and I also just don’t see the point of writing about a time and place that I haven’t tried my hardest to understand.GAZETTE: You have been a lecturer at Stanford for the past 10 years. How does teaching help inform your writing?ANTOPOL: I love teaching. I’d do it even if by some miracle I could afford to write full time. I really value the relationship I have with my students — it’s an incredible thing to get to work with a group of smart and engaged people who value fiction, who value sentences, in such a deep way. That isn’t something I always feel when I’m out in the world. I’ve had this experience a few times now, where I’ll assign a story that I’ve read 30 times and think I have a completely clear way to teach it, and then I walk into the classroom and they have an entirely new take on it that cracks the whole thing open for me. And, on another level, having a stable income and health insurance goes a long way toward giving me the freedom to write whatever I want. It feels essential to me to try to keep financial anxieties as far away from my work as they can be — I would never want any market to influence the kind of fiction I write.GAZETTE: Do you have a favorite place that you like to write? A time of day?ANTOPOL: I write whenever I can. I use Freedom software that allows me to block the internet — it’s amazing. I’m so addicted to the internet, and my brain is so trained every three minutes to check the newspaper, to check my email — it’s an incredible thing to only have access on my computer to my book for hours. I keep a notepad next to my desk and write down everything I want to research. At the end of my writing session that’s my treat to myself: I go back online and look all of it up. I have to do it that way. In the past I used to go down these research rabbit holes where I’d look up one seemingly simple detail and five hours later find myself in some intense bidding war on eBay.Otherwise, I don’t really have a routine, other than just treating it like a job, rather than waiting for inspiration to strike. I love how portable writing is. I can take my laptop and be anywhere. When my writing’s going well, I can work on the train, on a plane — it doesn’t matter.Part of the challenge for Antopol is making a story feel as immediate as real life.GAZETTE: What does it mean to you when your writing is going well? Can you describe that feeling?ANTOPOL: When it feels as present and immediate as the things that are actually happening in my life.GAZETTE: Tell me about the difference between writing a short story and writing a novel. Is one more challenging than the other?ANTOPOL: They’re both incredibly hard. Every time I start a new story, it feels as if I’m learning how to do it all over again. It’s such a humbling process. I don’t think I’ve ever written a story in less than eight or 10 or 12 drafts. It just never happens. In a way, writing this [current] draft of the novel feels really freeing because everything that I want to put into this draft I can put in. I did the same thing with the stories, and then it was a process of chiseling in draft after draft. I think about novels in the same way. My goal, whether with stories or this novel, is to make my characters as complicated and emotionally messy as people in real life, while keeping the sentences tight and compressed. One thing that really helps with this goal is, once I’m close to the end of a story and am entering revision mode, to read only poetry. At that point I don’t want any more research to weigh down the story so I stop reading nonfiction related to the topic, and because I don’t want another author’s voice to carry too much of an influence, I don’t read any fiction. I just read poetry: Louise Glück, Jean Valentine, Philip Levine. I love that time in my writing — that’s the first moment that the arc of the story finally feels complete and I can think solely about language. And now that the structure of the piece is set, I can think less chronologically and more about emotional time and memory, which feels much truer to real life.GAZETTE: I am interested in your work with character. In “The UnAmericans” you frequently assume the voice of a male character. Is that hard to do as a woman?ANTOPOL: Nothing about writing comes easily to me, but I would say the one thing that feels somewhat natural is voice. Once I’ve figured out my character, it really does feel like method acting. I just start thinking about how this person would react to whatever familial or professional or social situation I’m in. And in many ways my male characters or the women who are a lot older than I am felt easier to write because of the distance between me and them. It’s as if I’m able to get closer to the really intense emotional truths in my own life by writing from the perspective of the people different from myself. In many ways my male characters feel the most autobiographical — the distance allowed me to write about things that might have been too scary to look at head-on.GAZETTE: In reading your acknowledgements it struck me that it often seems to take a village to publish a book. Can you tell me about your village — your editors, your first readers and rereaders?ANTOPOL: My husband [journalist and author Chanan Tigay] is my first reader. I also have a few close friends I trade work with whose opinions are enormously valuable — we’ve been reading each other’s writing for years. My agent and I worked together for almost three years before he sent the book out. Every six months or so I’d send him a new draft of a story and [he’d] give me feedback — it was incredibly gratifying having him as an early reader. He was basically doing all that work for free, since it was so long before he sent the book out. Both he and my editor are writers, too — he writes fiction and memoir, she writes fiction and memoir and poetry — and that’s one of the things I love most about working with them both. I just trust their takes on my writing so deeply. Many of my editor’s thoughts on the stories were global or character-based, but I was also so happy to have her poet’s eye on the stories, especially when we talked in such depth about sentences.GAZETTE: How important is it for you that your husband and first reader is also a writer?ANTOPOL: People sometimes ask me whether it’s hard being married to another writer. The truth is, I can’t imagine being married to someone who isn’t a writer. We shout sentences we’ve just written across the apartment, and we both completely get it if the other one wants to disappear into another room for days, or forgets to pay the electricity bill. I think in the beginning we worried about being in competition with each other, but that was a long, long time ago. I was honestly just as happy the day he sold his book as when I sold mine. There’s something amazing about watching a person you love devote himself so fully to a project, not knowing whether anyone will ever read it. And he just works so hard — it’s inspiring to be around.GAZETTE: Is there anything that comes easier to you now — anything that was more challenging when you were first starting out?ANTOPOL: One thing that comes easier to me now is that it’s less painful to cut things from my book that aren’t working. It used to be pretty hard for me to get rid of a sentence or paragraph I liked once I realized it didn’t belong. Now I just move on. I have that folder on my desktop that I imagine a lot of writers have, a place where I store all of the orphaned sentences and phrases I love but had to cut, in the hope that they can be used somewhere else. But I’ve never once repurposed anything from that folder. Every sentence I write should be deeply connected to my character’s psychology, to their situation. And so it doesn’t feel truthful to pull a sentence from one story and tack it onto another. If it fits easily in another story, it means it probably wasn’t that interesting of a sentence to begin with. The more I write, the more firmly my goal is for the writing to be invisible and for the characters to take center stage, and that means doing away with anything that feels decorative or showy.
The Kroc Institute sponsored a panel discussion Monday on the recent nuclear deal with Iran at the Hesburgh Institute for International Studies. The event, titled “The Iran Nuclear Agreement: Is it a Good Deal?” featured political science professor Michael Desch, law school professor Mary Ellen O’Connell and adjunct professor Major General Robert Latiff. Moderator David Cortright, director of policy studies at the Kroc Institute, began by defining the objective of the talk, which was to evaluate the effectiveness of the recent agreement negotiated between the Islamic Republic of Iran, the United States and several other countries in preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The first panelist, Desch, outlined the military and political situation before the negotiations began and described the most important terms of the agreement.Desch said prior to the nuclear talks, the United States possessed 7,100 warheads, while Israel had somewhere between 80 and 200, and Iran controlled none. Additionally, he said that there was a wide discrepancy between the nuclear capable delivery systems, which include intercontinental ballistic missiles as well as naval and air resources, of the three countries: The United States has 886, Israel has 300, and Iran between 100 and 300.“If you want a nuclear weapon, there are two ways to get it, actually three ways to get — you can buy one from somebody, but I don’t believe that’s ever happened in the history of the nuclear era,” Desch said.These two methods, according to Desch, are either enrichment of uranium through centrifuges or plutonium production from a heavy water reactor.Desch said the deal seems to have achieved the objectives desired by President Obama and his administration and advances United States national security interests.“It’s not perfect, but on the other hand, it’s as good as it gets,” Desch said. O’Connell spoke next, examining the deal in the context of international law and the possible alternative options at the United States’ disposal. “We’ve heard about two options that are allegedly available as alternatives to this very complex agreement, and one option is [to] continue with the sanctions, and the other option is [to] attack and eliminate Iran’s nuclear program with military force,” O’Connell said.The sanctions route is infeasible, O’Connell said, because the United Nations has already lifted the most effective ones, and any new unilateral sanctions the United States imposes in the future will be extremely weak in comparison. The agreement contains provisions for sanctions that will immediately snap back into place if Iran violated certain terms and requirements. The use of force to destroy the Iranian nuclear program is both morally questionable and practically very unlikely to succeed, O’Connell said.It is a violation of international law to use military force, except in cases of self-defense, she said, and any military action in self-defense must follow the principles of necessity, meaning every other option has been exhausted, and proportionality, meaning the act of self-defense does not inflict significantly greater harm than the original offense. According to O’Connell, the number of nuclear sites and their high levels of protection mean actions like bombing raids will prove ineffective and could produce civilian casualties in the millions.O’Connell said if the U.S. breaks the nuclear agreement through either unilateral sanctions or military force, Iran can easily stop following the terms of the deal.“Every obligation Iran has respecting nuclear weapons is derived from the binding nature of international law, so to treat these rules as not binding in a case which the U.S. believes is exceptional or outside the rules, makes a nonsense out of the very obligations that we are holding Iran to,” O’Connell said.Latiff spoke last, discussing myths surrounding the deal and counterarguments to refute them. According to Latiff, inflammatory rhetoric and ignorance about the actual details of the agreement has overshadowed much of the public discussion on the deal.Some of the opponents of the deal have valid claims that Iran does sponsor terrorism and is an outspoken enemy of the United States, he said, but the U.S. must still negotiate with countries it finds contemptible or even evil if it wants to achieve anything peacefully.“Some of the money may be used to fund terror, but this is no reason to go war,” Latiff said.Latiff said a major misconception surrounding the agreement is that it limits the United States’ ability to attack Iran. “This deal gives us a better opportunity and more information should we decide to go to war, which I hope we don’t,” Latiff said.Another criticism of the agreement, Latiff said, holds the fact that International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors must request inspections in advance before they examine nuclear sites allows Iran to cheat on its obligations. However, Latiff said this was a necessary concession.“Would we allow foreign inspectors unfettered access to our nuclear facilities? No,” Latiff said.Tags: Iran, Kroc Institute, nuclear agreement
The next pandemic could come from the Amazon rainforest, warns Brazilian ecologist David Lapola, who says human encroachment on animals’ habitats — a likely culprit in the coronavirus outbreak — is soaring there because of rampant deforestation.Researchers say the urbanization of once-wild areas contributes to the emergence of zoonotic diseases — those that pass from animals to humans.That includes the new coronavirus, which scientists believe originated in bats before passing to humans in China’s rapidly urbanizing Hubei province, probably via a third species. HIV, Ebola, dengueSimilar patterns can be seen with HIV, Ebola and dengue fever — “all viruses that emerged or spread on a huge scale because of ecological imbalances,” he said.So far, most such outbreaks have been concentrated in South Asia and Africa, often linked to certain species of bats.But the Amazon’s immense biodiversity could make the region “the world’s biggest coronavirus pool,” he said — referring to coronaviruses in general, not the one behind the current pandemic.”That’s one more reason not to use the Amazon irrationally, like we’re doing now,” he said.And one more reason to be alarmed by the surge in deforestation by illegal farmers, miners and loggers, he added.Bolsonaro, a climate-change skeptic who wants to open protected indigenous lands to mining and agriculture, deployed the army to the Amazon this week to fight deforestation, in a rare protective move.But Lapola said he would rather see the government reinforce the existing environmental agency, IBAMA, which has faced staffing and budget cuts under Bolsonaro.”I hope under the next administration we’ll pay more attention to protecting what may be the planet’s greatest biological treasure,” Lapola said.”We need to reinvent the relationship between our society and the rainforest.”Otherwise, the world faces more outbreaks — “a very complex process that is difficult to predict,” he said.”We’d better just play it safe.” Last year, in far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s first year in office, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon surged 85 percent, to more than 10,000 square kilometers (3,900 square miles) — an area nearly the size of Lebanon.The trend is continuing this year. From January to April, 1,202 square kilometers were wiped out, setting a new record for the first four months of the year, according to data based on satellite images from Brazil’s National Space Research Institute (INPE).That is bad news, not just for the planet but for human health, said Lapola, who holds a PhD in earth system modeling from the Max Planck Institutes in Germany and works at the University of Campinas in Brazil.”When you create ecological disequilibrium… that’s when a virus can jump” from animals to humans, he said. Lapola, 38, who studies how human activity will reshape the future ecosystems of tropical forests, says the same processes are in play in the Amazon.”The Amazon is a huge reservoir of viruses,” he told AFP in an interview.”We’d better not try our luck.”The world’s biggest rainforest is disappearing at an alarming rate. Topics :
CLEAR LAKE — Governor Kim Reynolds is making two trips to north-central Iowa this week to hand out Give Back Iowa Awards, which is part of a campaign where businesses statewide encourage their employees to volunteer and log their hours as part of an eight-week challenge from April 1st through May 31st. Reynolds on Tuesday presented the medium-sized business award to Clear Lake Bank & Trust, while she’ll be back in Hanlontown on Thursday afternoon to present the small-sized business award to POET Biorefining. Reynolds tells KGLO News that volunteering not only makes a difference in the towns across the state, but the dollar value that it brings to the state is incredible. “The statistics show that employers that encourage their employees to volunteer and give back, their productivity goes up, they’re more engaged, they love their job, and so it’s a win-win on so many levels. They logged an incredible amount of hours and it’s just a couple months that they compete for the award, but it’s very obvious that they don’t just do it over a couple months, that they are committed to their communities and giving back.” Reynolds says she encourages businesses to start some sort of volunteer program. “I would definitely encourage them to do it, and then they are an inspiration to other employers. That’s why we try to come out to the company and say congratulations job well done.’ Reynolds last month announced that she’s creating a new policy to encourage state employees to volunteer. “I’ve seen the impact, I’ve seen the results that it has not only on the company but the employees, and that’s why we’re starting up a volunteer program for state workers. I just met with my team yesterday to walk through what the rules look like and how we can start. We are going to have to start kind of small but it will be just eight hours, but just to kind of get all of it up and running and make sure that agencies that may have a tough time with some of their employees making it happen, we want to make sure that they have the flexibility to do that.”The last two years, First Citizens Bank in Mason City has won the medium-sized business award with Clear Lake Bank & Trust being given “honorable mention”, with the two banks flipping spots this year. Reynolds says along with the award to POET, she’s proud of the volunteer efforts in north-central Iowa. “I’m telling you, they’re rocking up here and I’m proud of them. I said before I left, ‘congratulations, job well done, hopefully I’ll be back next year presenting you with another certificate’. So the challenge is on.” The large-sized business winner was the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort in Riverside. For more you can head to volunteeriowa.org.
The seriousness of the Ebola epidemic calls for extraordinary measures to stop its spread. It is time to close ranks, not time for political squabbles and constitutional wrangling. When the State of Emergency was declared it was intended to facilitate the adoption of drastic measures such as the curfew and the quarantine of certain communities which were suspected of having a high risk of infection because of overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions.The State of Emergency, when declared, often overrides the obligation to observe civil liberties among other protected rights including the denial of the right of Habeas Corpus. That is why the Executive must have the consent of the national Legislature. Once such has been granted, then it gives the President the option of making the list of the prohibited activities under the State of Emergency, thereby ensuring that people are aware of what is expected of them. Anyone dissatisfied with the imposition of any specific measures may file an injunction to constrain the government from the exercise of such specific powers. It is for the court to decide on the validity and invalidity of such measures.In addition, the Attorney General/ Minister of Justice may normally be expected to enter a plea of nolly prosequoi against any injunction or other such writ.The aim of the State of Emergency is to create a deterrent to unruly conduct. It is not to rob people of their liberties so long as there is no abuse of such liberties. The State of Emergency does not abuse such liberties such as the right to free assembly, free speech, freedom of assembly, the practices of one’s religion etc. Rather, it is meant to dissuade people from act of sedition, libel, and disinformation. What the Emergency Powers do is enable the authorities to detain offenders for a period within the span of the Emergency without necessary recourse to the normal judiciary process.The State of Emergency may be extended at the end of the initial period of such extension is ratified by the legislature. If it is not ratified, the Emergency lapses.It will seem to me that the President, considering the difficulty of and opposition to quarantine and the curfew when they were adopted, forcing the government to cancel the quarantine felt it necessary to ask for more specific powers that will allow it to block demonstrations, public protests, religious and other gatherings that must tend to pose a risk to people in such gatherings. During this Ebola pandemic, it is in such gatherings that the virus is more easily transmitted. As you know, refusal to heed the instructions on combating the virus explains the rapid spread of the disease. Hence, all must be done to put an end to such willful conduct. It is inconvincible that the President will want such extra powers to carry out a draconian rule. No one needs to be afraid of losing his/her liberties. For example, when it was clear that the West Point Community had adhered to prevention rules, the government lifted the quarantine. Whatever additional powers she receives will be used to ensure that people are safe from the spread of the virus. People must by now be convinced of the democratic bonafides of the President. She has ruled like a democrat in a country with problems of indiscipline.The Legislature, civil societies, and others who may be worried about the potential abuse of power, should realize that the government needs to be well equipped with the necessary and sufficient powers to enable it to gain control over this epidemic.It is not a time for politicking, for the fate of the nation is at stake and the President is under tremendous stress to stop the spread of the disease. Therefore, everybody, including the Legislature, the Cabinet, Political Parties, Civil Society organizations, the churches, the Mosques, schools, colleges, and universities must all come together to bring this virus to a halt.Those who have come from afar to help us fight the epidemic are curiously watching us to see how united we are in our stand to defeat this disease. Therefore, Political squabbles which tend to deflect our attention from the path of victory will not be encouraging to them.SO LET US CLOSE RANKS NOW TO WIN THE WAR ON EBOLA.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
In a letter to Musharraf, French President Nicolas Sarkozy called the attack an “odious act” and said “terrorism and violence have no place in the democratic debate and the combat of ideas and programs.” Bhutto, a former two-time prime minister of Pakistan, was killed in a suicide attack in Rawalpindi just 10 weeks after she returned to her homeland from eight years in exile. A suicide attack on her homecoming parade killed more than 140 people. The articulate, poised 54-year-old had lashed out at the spread of Islamic extremism as she campaigned for next month’s parliamentary elections. The United States had been at the forefront of foreign powers trying to arrange reconciliation between Bhutto and Musharraf, who under heavy U.S. pressure resigned as army chief and earlier this month lifted a state of emergency, in the hope it would put Pakistan back on the road to democracy. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for “all Pakistanis to work together for peace and national unity.” The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Pope Benedict XVI was immediately informed of the “terrible news.” “One cannot see signs of peace in this tormented region,” Lombardi said. Sarkozy said Bhutto had paid “with her life her commitment to the service of her fellow citizens and to Pakistan’s political life” and urged Pakistan’s elections be held as scheduled on Jan. 8. In Britain, where Bhutto had attended Oxford University, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said she “risked everything in her attempt to win democracy in Pakistan and she has been assassinated by cowards who are afraid of democracy.” “The terrorists must not be allowed to kill democracy in Pakistan, and this atrocity strengthens our resolve that the terrorists will not win there, here, or anywhere in the world,” Brown said. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the attack “is clearly aimed at destabilizing the country.” He beseeched Pakistanis to refrain from violence. Italian Premier Romano Prodi said he was filled with grief and called Bhutto “a woman who chose to fight her battle until the end with a single weapon – the one of dialogue and political debate.” “The difficult path toward peace and democracy in that region must not be stopped, and Bhutto’s sacrifice will serve as the strongest example for those who do not surrender to terrorism,” Prodi said. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, during a speech south of Santiago, paid “sincere tribute to a woman … who fought her entire life for a better Pakistan.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the “cowardly terrorist attack … also targets the stability and democratic process of Pakistan.” In Moscow, Anatoly Safonov, Russian President Vladmir Putin’s envoy on international cooperation against terrorism, expressed fears the assassination would trigger violent repercussions. “The already unstable situation in Pakistan will be further exacerbated by this powerful factor,” Safonov said, according to the Interfax news agency. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin condemned the attack, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported. “We hope that the leadership of Pakistan will succeed in taking all measures for guaranteeing security in the country,” Kamynin said. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who personally knew Bhutto, said he hails her memory and called on the international community to support Pakistan and its democracy. Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said he had felt disgust when receiving the news of Bhutto’s murder, which he called “bestial.” “I feel a strong worry for the consequences this will have for Pakistan,” he said. Israeli President Shimon Peres said Bhutto “feared nothing and served her country with valor.” AP writers Fisnik Abrashi in Kabul, Afghanistan; Jenny Barchfield in Paris; Matthew Rosenberg in New Delhi; Jill Lawless in London; Marta Falconi in Rome; Matthew Lee in Washington; John Heilprin at the United Nations; Eduardo Gallardo in Santiago, Chile; and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson In Texas, a tense-looking President Bush demanded that those responsible be tracked down and brought to justice. “The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy,” Bush told reporters at his ranch in Crawford. “We stand with the people of Pakistan in their struggle against the forces of terror and extremism.” He later spoke briefly by phone with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf but White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said he had no details. Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai, who met Bhutto earlier on Thursday in Islamabad, said he was “deeply pained” by the assassination of “this brave sister of ours, a brave daughter of the Muslim world” “She sacrificed her life, for the sake of Pakistan and for the sake of this region,” he said. “I found in her this morning a lot of love and desire for peace in Afghanistan, for prosperity in Afghanistan and … Pakistan.” From Moscow to Washington to New Delhi and points in between, dismay and condemnation poured forth Thursday over the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, along with concern for the stability of the volatile region. World leaders lauded her bravery and commitment to democratic reform. The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to condemn the killing. In India, which has fought three wars against Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Bhutto is irreplaceable, and noted she had striven to improve relations between the two nuclear-armed countries. “I was deeply shocked and horrified to hear of the heinous assassination,” Singh said. “In her death, the subcontinent has lost an outstanding leader who worked for democracy and reconciliation in her country.”