DIED. SIEGFRIED HANSEN, 90, electrical engineer who created space suits used in nasa missions; in Los Angeles. Unlike previous pressure suits, the 22.7-kg Mark I, first designed in 1955, enabled astronauts both to breathe and bend their arms a full 90 degrees, a design that inspired the space suits used today.
DIED. DAVID ASSEO, 88, Chief Rabbi of Turkey and advocate of interfaith tolerance; in Istanbul. Asseo was the leader of Turkey's small Jewish community for 41 years, and nursed it through the 1986 terrorist attack on Istanbul's Neve Shalom Synagogue in which 22 people were killed.
DIED. HAJI, 3, the first Asian elephant conceived through artificial insemination, of a fatal herpes-like infection; in Springfield, Missouri. Haji was born in 1999 after many failed attempts to artificially breed elephants in captivity.
DIED. COLONEL FLOYD JAMES THOMPSON, 69, the longest-held American prisoner of war in Vietnam, who was captive from 1964 to 1973; in Key West, Florida. Imprisoned in the notorious Hanoi Hilton, Thompson was beaten with bamboo sticks, suspended by his thumbs and escaped five times, only to be recaptured. He was held for 3,278 days.
DIED. JOAQUIN BALAGUER, 95, former President of the Dominican Republic, whose rule spanned 22 years; in Santo Domingo. Balaguer was known as the "father of Dominican democracy" but was also remembered for atrocities committed early in his rule, most notably the mysterious assassination of journalist Orlando Martinez Howley in 1975.
CHARGED. IVAN LEXA, 41, former Slovak secret police chief, with armed robbery, fraud, kidnapping and corruption; in Bratislava. Lexa, who fled Slovakia in 2000, was detained at a South African beach resort near the port city of Durban as an illegal alien. He was deported to Bratislava where he was arrested.
RESIGNED. ROBERT PITTMAN, 48, chief operating officer of AOL Time Warner (owner of Time) and one of the architects of the spectacular rise of AOL prior to its merger with Time Warner in 2000; in New York City. Pittman was viewed as a formidable force within the media giant, but has been widely criticized lately as AOL's growth has stalled and the stock has imploded. "It's time to take a break," Pittman said.
ELECTED. AVUL PAKIR JAINULABDEEN ABDUL KALAM, 70, long-haired scholar and rocket scientist, dubbed India's "Missile Man" for his pivotal role in the country's successful rocket and satellite programs, and also renowned for supervising India's 1998 nuclear weapons tests, as President of India; in New Delhi. Aside from an avid interest in Indian culture-he plays the veena, a traditional Indian instrument, and is an authority on the Bhagavad Gita-he's also dedicated to making India a major military power. "Our neighbors have nuclear weapons," he has said. "Do you want us to be invaded?" The Indian presidency is a largely ceremonial position.