Person of the Week
BERRY GREAT She was the first African American to win Best Actress in the 74-year history of the Oscars, and her teary speech almost took another 74 years. But Halle Berry's victory was vindication for generations of black performers denied the podiumand inspiration for generations to come
"If I mention one death here, do I mention the other death there? Where do you end? Blood only brings blood."
PRINCE SAUD AL FAISAL,
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister, on the continuing standoff between Israel and the Palestinians
70 percent was the success rate when investigators from the U.S. FAA tried sneaking knives through airport security in undercover tests
Alarmed that young people aren't procreating, the Japanese government issued a report calling for "structural reform in lifestyle"meaning less work, more babies
Faux-rapper's film rakes it in at British box office. Yes, talent-challenged white men can still make money appropriating black pop culture
Supermodel wins privacy case against a tabloid. When will those media jackals allow the famous to go through rehab in peace like the rest of us?
Liberal scores with his Bush-bashing book Stupid White Men. That's a great way to get added to the FBI's "Full Body Cavity Search" list
Diva wins Worst Actress at the Raspberrys. She announces her award "gives every nameless, faceless woman the chance to totally fail"
MOHAMMED ZAHIR SHAH
Afghan King has trip delayed a month, citing bad security. Right, because Afghanistan is just a few weeks from being as safe as Club Med
Andersen CEO resigns, saying he wants to help employees. He'll be available between the hours of 9 and 5 to clean out anyone's desk
DIED. BILLY WILDER, 95, sharply satirical screenwriter, prolific filmmaker and winner of six Academy Awards; in Los Angeles. Born in a village in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Wilder landed in Hollywood in 1934 as part of an influx of German EmigrEs fleeing Hitler's accession. Nominated for 12 Oscars as a writer, Wilder is best remembered for films like Sunset Boulevard, The Apartment, The Seven Year Itch and Some Like It Hot.
DIED. MILTON BERLE, 93, towering personality of the small screen who traded a life in vaudeville to become TV's first star with his 1948 debut in Texaco Star Theater; in Los Angeles.
DIED. DUDLEY MOORE, 66, British comic actor, musician and star of stage and screen best known for the 1960s act Beyond the Fringe, as well as the films 10 and Arthur; in Plainfield, New Jersey. A talented classical and jazz pianist, the diminutive Moore once said, "If I'd been able to hit someone in the nose, I wouldn't have been a comic."
DIED. DOROTHY DELAY, 84, renowned violinist and instructor of some of the finest players to have emerged in the past 30 years; in Upper Nyack, New York. Educated at Julliard, DeLay's students included Itzhak Perlman and Midori.
DIED. THOMAS J. KELLY, 72, engineer who oversaw design and construction of the Eagle lunar module that landed the first astronauts on the moon; in Cutchogue, New York.
CONVICTED. TIMOTHY WOODLAND 25, Okinawa-based U.S. Air Force staff sergeant, for the rape last June of a 24-year-old local woman on the hood of a car at a shopping center; by a Japanese district court in Naha. The incident was the latest in a string of public relations debacles for the U.S. military in Okinawa, whose personnel number some 26,000. Woodland has been sentenced to 32 months in jail.
INDUCTED. RAGGEDY ANN, 87, wholesome redheaded doll, into the U.S. National Toy Hall of Fame, joining such icons as Barbie and Mr. Potato Head; in Salem, Oregon. With the support of letter-writing fans, Raggedy Ann won the honor after having been passed over four times.
RESENTENCED. KRISHNA MAHARAJ, 63, British baron of banana imports who spent the past 15 years on Florida's death row for a 1986 double murder, to life in prison; by a court in Miami. Over 100 British parliamentarians continue to press for a retrial, based on what they consider significant errors in the millionaire's original 1987 trial.
RESIGNED. ARCHBISHOP JULIUSZ PAETZ, 67, high-ranking Polish prelate, following an "inconclusive" Vatican investigation into accusations, which Paetz denies, that he molested clerics; in Rome. "Not everyone understood my genuine openness and spontaneity toward people," he said.
RETIRING. RONNIE FLANAGAN, 53, Northern Ireland's progressive chief of police who through the late '90s succeeded in changing the force's Protestant-biased image; in Belfast. Flanagan steps down amid controversy over his handling of the 1998 Omagh bombing.
The Prime Minister Hears Voices
By ROBERT HORN
Thai Premier Thaksin Shinawatra has never been shy about taking on his critics. But that's hard to do when they are an invisible band of roving black propaganda-meisters. On March 23 the PM used his weekly national radio address to warn the kingdom about a plot to undermine his government. Thaksin said "devilish" forces have been paying an army of henchmen to ride in cabs and say terrible things about himin the nefarious hope that the cabbies would pass the criticism on to other fares. "They're damaging the country, but I won't waver," a resolute Thaksin assured his undoubtedly alarmed audience. The leader's latest revelations came less than a month after it was discovered that his government has been investigating bank accounts of activist groups and journalists who have been critical of the Prime Minister, though far more openly than their smear-from-the-backseat sympathizers. (The probes were supposedly prompted by an anonymous tip to the Antimoney Laundering Office that the journalists were members of a criminal organization.) As far as a fifth column of commuters is concerned, Bangkok's cab drivers claim to be in the dark. "We're a tight-knit community. If it were happening we would know," says Uthaiwan Sawanarun, owner of J.J. Taxi Group, who staunchly adds that she would drive anyone who bad-mouthed Thaksin straight to the police. Newspapers and opposition politicians branded Thaksin as paranoid. "If Thaksin seriously believes that groups of people are planning around- the-clock to destroy him, then maybe he should see a doctor,'' says Jurin Laksanavisit, a senior member of the opposition Democrat Party. Thaksin is perfectly fine, according to his deputy health minister, who assured the Bangkok Post that the Prime Minister "falls asleep easily."
Modern Japan: It's Kinda a Country
By KATE DRAKE
Moms and dads may hate it, but au courant street slang says a lot about any society. In Japan during the highfalutin '80s, lives were oshare (posh), and indeed they were considering those diamond Rolexes and $15 cups of coffee. Food wasn't tasty, it was chou beri guddo (very very good). Clothes weren't just happening, they were a five-second melody: chooooouuu kaawaaaiiiiiii (very cute). Japanese were enthusiastic once ... and rich.
Fast-forward to the present and what do you find? A "kinda" culture. The country's youth these days aspire to little more than to be considered kojare, or kinda stylish. Clothes from inexpensive thrift stores, like mom's elastic-waisted skirts from the late '70s, are the height of fashion. Makeup is unnecessary. Kids get their kicks at cheap eateries, where they can flirt with kogirei (kinda attractive) waiters. Even emotions and sensations are getting a yen-like devaluation. Japanese youth don't work up a proper appetite, they get kobarabeta (a little peckish). The good jobs are disappearing, banks teetering, the population aging, and more and more people in their 20s are forced to live with their folks. It's a wonder the slang isn't gloomier. Nonetheless, in today's Japan, "kinda" is as good as it gets.
Don't Count China Out Of the Space Race Yet
By HANNAH BEECH
Chinese pride blasted into orbit last week with the launch of a spacecraft that takes the nation one step closer to bringing Mao memorabilia to the moon. In an ambiguous sign of technological self-confidence, the Shenzhou 3 rocket carried not snailsthey were part of the payload during a mission last yearbut crash-test dummies, which sent back simulated heartbeats and voices. (Ordinary Chinese could relate, being familiar with the National People's Congress.) While in orbit, the craft also captured digital images of Earth that notebook hopes will answer the age-old trivia question: is the Great Wall really visible from space?
China is intent on becoming the third country to send a man into orbitbehind the U.S. and the former Soviet Unionbut its galactic ambitions have been dogged by troubles. In the mid-'90s a Long March 2E rocket exploded after blastoff, killing a family of six on the ground. Still, the country has persevered. With last week's successful launch, China's Space Association says it could send up an astronaut (pre-sumably with an actual heartbeat) as early as next year. The ultimate goal is a lunar landing. Only one problem: it's a long way to call for Chinese takeout.