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Marie Colvin Killed in Syria

Marie Colvin Killed in Syria 24 February 2012

Marie Colvin: Courageous, dedicated and utterly determined. It was a shock then, but no surprise to colleagues, that Colvin, an American reporter for The Sunday Times who became a legend on Fleet Street, was killed on Wednesday in the terrible slaughter of Homs, a city that has been besieged and bombarded by the Syrian Government for more than two weeks. She had filed a moving report from the city just days before her death in the rebel-controlled enclave of Baba Amr, describing the plight of women and children huddling for elusive shelter in the so-called "widows' basement". One of the most resourceful and courageous foreign correspondents of her generation, Marie Colvin had made her name for her intrepid forays into some of the most dangerous war-torn regions of the world, and through the graphic copy which these perilous forays produced for The Sunday Times for which she had worked for the past 25 years. She was killed along with a French photojournalist Remi Ochlik when shells and rockets hit the house in Baba Amr where both were staying.

Since losing the sight in her left eye while covering the fighting between government troops and Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka in April 2001, Colvin had been instantly recognisable for her trademark eye-patch. Her reports were always redolent of the violent atmosphere of life in the front line where, as she was always candidly aware, the dangers that eventually claimed her life were part and parcel of the desperate existence of a population on the ground that simply had nowhere to flee from them.Only recently, while reporting she had not hesitated to confess herself "more awed than ever by the bravery of civilians who endure far more than I ever will. They must stay where they are. I can come home to London."ne of her last pieces of commentary from the conflict in Syria, whose bloodshed she described as "absolutely sickening", was of a piece with the immediacy she brought to her reporting. "I watched a little baby die today," she told BBC television by phone from Homs. "Absolutely horrific. His little tummy just kept heaving until he died."Marie Catherine Colvin was born in 1956 in Oyster Bay, New York State, a small town in Nassau County on Long Island Sound. She was educated at Oyster Bay High School from where she went to Yale University in 1974 and took her bachelor's degree. Beginning her journalistic career in the United States, she came to Europe in 1984 as bureau chief in Paris for the agency United Press International (UPI).In 1986 she joined The Sunday Times, working as Middle East correspondent for nine years, after which she became Foreign Affairs correspondent. Her area of specialisation was the politics and culture of the Arab and Persian worlds, but as time went on she came increasingly to be present in countries where conflict was destroying societies, particularly the lives of the weakest members of them. She strongly believed she could make a difference. It was the credo which led her to expose herself to danger in the pursuit of truth right to the end of her life.In her periods of relaxation Colvin was a glamorous host at her London house, presiding in a black cocktail dress and a special eye-patch studded with rhinestones, over parties full of actors, politicians, writers and journalists. An expert yacht skipper, she also liked to take time off in the summer to go sailing. Colvin had no children. She was married twice to journalist Patrick Bishop; both marriages ended in divorce. She also married journalist Juan Carlos Gumucio, who committed suicide in 2002. She lived in Hammersmith, West London.

Marie Colvin was born on 12 January 1956, Oyster Bay, New York. Time not known so I have used mid-day. This limits interpretation somewhat as we don't have an Ascendant nor accurate Moon position. Still, we can see at first glance what it was about Marie Colvin that attracted her to the life of a war correspondent with all its associated dangers. Firstly, there is a t-square made up of a Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in Leo/Virgo opposite Venus in Aquarius and square to a Mars - Saturn conjunction in Scorpio. This configuration is an indication of tremendous strength and determination in the face of opposition. It also suggests that the person is likely to be attracted to situations in which she is tested to the limit and where she may be confronted with many violent incidents in which she feels powerless. There is also restlessness and a desire for constant activity. This is echoed by the trine aspect from Uranus in Leo to the Mars-Saturn conjunction. But Uranus is also part of a t-square with Neptune in Scorpio and Chiron (conjunct Mercury) in Aquarius and suggests initial wounding in the areas of idealism and communication, which may have been confused and impractical at times. But it is also where she was eventually to help others by becoming their voice, making sure that the world became aware of their plight.

Both the Sun and Moon are in Capricorn and an indication that work and responsibility were an integral part of Marie's personality, not deterred by obstacles that stood in the way of success. L.S.

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