... 1998 (20 years ago today), Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, deposed as leader of Panama by the U.S. military, was indicted on charges of money laundering and drug trafficking. As we've posted, he was eventually convicted, and he has just completed a 17-year sentence. He remains in prison nonetheless, on account of the ruling last August that he could be extradited to France, which already has rendered an in absentia conviction of Noriega, now 73, on additional money laundering charges. Another Miami-based judge has just blocked that extradition until after completion of Noriega's appeal, which invokes Third Geneva Convention of 1949, dealing with treatment of prisoners of war.
... 1626, Marie de Rabutin-Chantal was born in Paris, the granddaughter of Jeanne de Chantal (in English, Jane Frances de Chantal), a French noblewoman who would be named a saint for having established the Roman Catholic Order of the Visitation of Our Lady after becoming a widow at age 28. Marie herself was widowed at age 26 after her husband was fatally wounded in a duel. Under her married name, Marie Sévigné (above), she wrote letters to her daughter until her own death in 1696. Still in print, this 25-year correspondence remains an important artifact of the times in which Mme de Sévigné lived.