Veil, Simone, 1927-, French politician. Interned in Nazi concentration camps during World War II because she was Jewish, she became a lawyer and government official. She served (1974-79) as minister of health under French president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, securing the passage of a liberalized abortion law in 1974. Elected to the European Parliament in 1979, 1984, and 1989, she served (1979-82) as its first popularly elected president. From 1993 to 1995 she was French housing and urban and social affairs minister, and in 1998 she was appointed to the French Constitutional Council.
Weil, Simone, 1909-43, French philosopher and mystic. After receiving her baccalauréat with honors at 15, she studied philosophy for four years, then entered (1928) the prestigious École Normale Supérieure, from which she graduated in 1931. She then taught in secondary schools and contributed many articles to socialist and Communist journals. She was active in the Spanish civil war until her health failed. Born into a free-thinking Jewish family, she became strongly attracted in 1940 to Roman Catholicism, believing that Jesus on the Cross was a bridge between God and man. Most of her works, published posthumously, consist of some notebooks and a collection of religious essays. They include, in English, Waiting for God (1951), Gravity and Grace (1952), The Need for Roots (1952), Notebooks (2 vol., 1956), Oppression and Liberty (1958), and Selected Essays, 1934-1943 (1962).

See biographies by J. Cabaud (tr. 1965), R. Rees (1966), S. Petrement (tr. 1976), G. Fiori (1989), and F. du P. Gray (2001); R. Coles, Simone Weil: A Modern Pilgrimage (1987); M. G. Dietz, Between the Human and the Divine: The Political Thought of Simone Weil (1988); bibliography by J. P. Little (1973).

Martini, Simone, or Simone di Martino, c.1283-1344, major Sienese painter. His art is admired for its Gothic spirituality combined with a vibrancy and a great elegance of line. A follower of Duccio di Buoninsegna, his earliest known work (1315) was a fresco depicting the Maestà (Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints and Angels) in the Palazzo Pubblico, Siena. In 1317, King Robert of Anjou invited him to Naples to paint St. Louis Enthroned (Naples Mus.). He created altarpieces for the Dominicans of Pisa and Orvieto. One of these is now in the Gardner Museum, Boston. In 1328 he painted one of the first commemorative portraits, an impressive, almost heraldic, image of the soldier Guidoriccio da Fogliano, with a starkly landscaped background (Palazzo Pubblico, Siena). His painting of the Annunciation (1333; Uffizi) is famous for its exquisitely refined use of outline. In this work, as in others, he was assisted by his brother-in-law Lippo Memmi. At the invitation of Pope Benedict XII, he went to Avignon in 1339 and decorated the portal of Notre Dame des Dons (almost obliterated). He became friends with Petrarch and designed a frontispiece for him for a Vergil codex (Ambrosian Library, Milan). His frescoes (of uncertain date) at Assisi include lively scenes from the life of St. Martin. Other works by Simone are in Siena, Berlin, Liverpool, and in the Louvre.
Hurricane Hattie was a powerful Category 5 hurricane that hit Central America on Halloween during the 1961 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused millions of US dollars in damages and killed around 275 people. Tropical Storm Simone was a Pacific tropical cyclone that was disputed whether it was a continuation of Hattie.

Meteorological history

Hattie swept across the Caribbean and came ashore in the town of Belize City, British Honduras (now Belize), on October 31. It was a strong Category 4 hurricane at landfall, having weakened from a Category 5 just offshore. On the other hand, Simone attained tropical storm status in the Pacific as Hattie passed near Belize. After Simone made landfall, its remnants crossed back over to the Gulf of Mexico, where Tropical Storm Inga developed. The role of the remnants of Simone in the formation of Inga is debatable.

While the viewpoint of U.S. Weather Bureau Office was that "the remnants of Hattie developed into neither Simone nor Inga, there are still disputes whether Hattie, Simone and Inga were indeed the same storm.

Hattie held Category 5 intensity on the dates of October 30 and October 31, making it the latest Category 5 storm on record in the Atlantic basin.


Heavy rains fell across the Cayman Islands and Central America. Reports were scant from the region, but Grand Cayman reported of rain in 24 hours, with falling in the six hour period between 1 am and 7 am LT . Hattie destroyed parts of British Honduras, and killed an estimated 275 people . In the days after the storm, throngs of survivors numbering in the thousands roamed the streets for days digging about in the crumbled ruins in search of any kind of food. Hattie also caused about $60 million (1961 US dollars) in damage. Hattie damaged Belize City badly enough to force the government to relocate to a new capital further inland: its present location in Belmopan. Some permanent towns, such as Hattieville, were formed from temporary shelters built for those made homeless by the hurricane.

Violence broke out in the aftermath of the storm, causing the British frigate, HMS Troubridge, to land 125 officers and men to aid colony police in halting widespread looting and pillaging.


The name Hattie was retired the following year and will never be used by an Atlantic hurricane again. It was replaced by Holly in 1965.

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