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Q&A: Some details about 'Argo'

A little more about 'Argo'

I just saw the movie Argo, and I understand the six U.S. embassy workers had been turned away from two other embassies before they got to the Canadians. Which two countries turned them away?

Early in the film, a CIA supervisor tells actor-director Ben Affleck's character that the six U.S. Embassy staff workers had been turned away by Britain and by New Zealand. This depiction angered British diplomats who say they helped the Americans during the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, according to published reports.

Sir John Graham, then Britain's ambassador to Iran, told the London Telegraph: "It is not the truth that they were turned away from the British Embassy. We gave them all help at the time."

Chris Beeby, New Zealand's ambassador to Iran at the time, and second secretary Richard Sewell had a house for the Americans, if needed, and provided food and played chess with them while they were at the Canadian Embassy, according to Our Man in Tehran: The Truth Behind the Secret Mission to Save Six Americans During the Iran Hostage Crisis and the Ambassador Who Worked With the CIA to Bring Them Home by Robert Wright.

"I struggled with this long and hard because it casts Britain and New Zealand in a way that is not totally fair, " Affleck told the New Zealand Herald.

Tracking time change changes

What was the reason and what year did we start changing the time each spring and fall?

Benjamin Franklin proposed the idea in 1784 to save on candle usage by rising earlier to make better use of sunlight, but the policy for springing forward one hour and later falling back wasn't adopted by the United States until 1918, two years after several European countries began to use it to save fuel during World War I. It was unpopular and was repealed in 1919.

Daylight saving time (DST) became a local option, leading a few states and even cities to keep it between the wars. President Franklin Roosevelt instituted year-round DST, called "War Time," from 1942-45. But after World War II, there was no uniform law, causing confusion with plane, bus and train schedules and radio and TV broadcasts.

The Uniform Time Act of 1966 stated that DST would start on the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October, but states could opt out by passing their own laws. President Richard Nixon signed the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act of 1973. Clocks were set one hour ahead on Jan. 6, 1974. Standard time returned on Oct. 27, 1974, and DST started again on Feb. 23, 1975.

The current U.S. schedule follows the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which extended the period by about one month, starting in 2007. DST starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. Hawaii and most of Arizona do not observe DST. A 2008 study by the Department of Energy found that energy usage in the United States decreases about 0.5 percent a day during DST.

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Q&A: Some details about 'Argo' 12/04/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 11:01am]
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