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Daniel Pearl’s father donates prize

The father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, shown above, has donated the prize from a top scientific award to a foundation established to perpetuate his son's ideals. (Wall Street Journal)

The father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, shown above, has donated the prize from a top scientific award to a foundation established to perpetuate his son’s ideals. (Wall Street Journal)

LOS ANGELES, May 14 (JTA) — The father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl has donated $15,000 he earned from a top scientific award to a foundation established to perpetuate his son’s ideals. Judea Pearl received the Lakatos Award, conferred by the London School of Economics for outstanding contributions to the philosophy of science. The UCLA computer scientist was honored May 9 in London for his book “Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference,” an analysis of statistics, artificial intelligence and probability theory. “My family and I have gone through the worst of times in the past few months,” the Israeli-born professor said at the award ceremony, battling his grief. “Until two weeks ago, I was not sure whether I could muster the strength to come and accept this honor. “Danny would have encouraged me to go ahead with the lecture as planned, in symbolic defiance of his murderers’ attempt to spread fear and despair across the globe.” In a painfully ironic note, Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheik, the chief defendant in Pearl’s murder, studied at the London School of Economics. The Daniel Pearl Foundation — www.danielpearl.org — was established to promote greater cross-cultural understanding throughout the world. There have been other recent reminders of his son’s lasting impact, Pearl said. He recalled that President Bush, speaking in San Jose, Calif., on April 30, declared that, “We reject the ancient evil of anti-Semitism, whether it is practiced by the killers of Daniel Pearl or by those who burn synagogues in France.” In a thank-you note to the president, Judea and Ruth Pearl wrote, “If Danny’s death can raise people’s awareness of anti-Semitism and inspire them to speak against it, then we can make progress against all forms of cultural and religious discrimination and hatred.” In a related development, the Los Angeles Press Club announced establishment of the Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity. The first award will be presented posthumously on June 22 to the slain journalist. Pearl’s parents will accept the award. The award also will honor “the more than three dozen journalists killed in the line of duty around the world last year,” said Alex Ben Block, executive director of the press club. On a family note, Judea Pearl said his son’s widow, Mariane, is expected to give birth soon to the couple’s first child, a son.

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