World Reacts to Kennedy Tragedy

02/02/1999 at 12:00 AM EST

While America sat glued to TV and computer monitors this weekend, hoping against hope that John Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and her sister Lauren Bessette were still alive, the rest of the world, too, focused its attention on the search for the missing plane, lost off the coast of Martha's Vineyard. In Ireland (the Kennedy family's ancestral home) state TV and radio channel RTE ordered its Washington correspondent to go to Massachusetts to cover what it described as a tragedy for "the Irish-American political dynasty." In Israel Kennedy's disappearance and presumed death was the top story on all radio and TV reports and in the daily newspapers. This morning lengthy obituaries and accounts of the string of tragedies that have befallen America's most famous family ran in newspapers from Britain to Japan, most of the accounts accompanied by photos, including the famous image of the 3-year-old John-John saluting at his father's funeral.

  • Pope John Paul II, vacationing in the Italian Alps, said he was praying for the whole Kennedy clan. Australia's acting prime minister, Tim Fischer, sent a message of sympathy to the Kennedy family. And even Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi expressed his "sorrow for the loss of John Kennedy Jr." He went on to castigate U.S. authorities for their failure so far to locate the lost plane.

  • For complete coverage, click here.

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