Person of the Week
THE DIESEL At 2.16 meters and 142.9 kilos, he's too big, too good, too much. All-Star center Shaquille O'Neal led the Los Angeles Lakers to their third straight NBA title in a four-game sweep of the New Jersey Nets, winning his third consecutive Finals MVP. Can anybody stop Shaq?
"We pave the way for foreign policy now. Send the WWF in first and then you'll have a country that's happy and entertained."
Minnesota Governor and former professional wrestler, while on a trip to Beijing and Shanghai
900 million rural Chinese will be covered by Beijing's ambitious health-care program, though the goal won't be met until 2010 at the earliest
Delegates at the UN World Food Summit, dedicated to fighting global hunger, ate an opening-day lunch of foie gras, lobster and goose stuffed with olives
Aging rocker finally knighted. Apparently criteria for knighthood has evolved from "honor and valor" to "not dying of a drug overdose"
Director wins settlement of lawsuit against former producers. Class action suit against Woody for Small Time Crooks, though, is still on
Afghanistan interim PM wins presidency, thus becoming prime candidate for assassination. He says he'll pick a VP "who looks just like me"
ABC cancels U.S. version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Wiser but poorer, Regis vows to develop a spinoff, Who Wants Bus Money?
Portugal football coach sees team eliminated by Korea in the World Cup. National pride now rests on being No. 1 in dessert wines
Stolen Lincoln bust shows up at ex-Veep'shome. That, and Al's insistence that his family call him "Your Presidency," means he still hasn't let go
By SARA RAJAN
DIED. BILL BLASS, 79, fashion designer who introduced the "mix-and-match" concept into the American dress style; in Washington, Connecticut. Blass's clients included Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Nancy Kissinger and Barbara Walters. During his six-decade-long career, Blass went from being a $25-dollar-a-day design sketcher to a couturier with a licensing empire that put his name on everything from bed linen to perfumes and chocolate, and that was worth $50 million when Blass retired from designing in 1999. His label was taken over by Swedish designer Lars Nilsson in 2001.
DIED. JOHN GOTTI, 61, Mafia don and godfather of one of the most powerful crime families in America, of throat cancer; in a prison in Springfield, Missouri. Gotti, who had a proclivity for money and women, was a smooth-talking, scrupulously clad gangster christened the "Dapper Don" for his fashion sense. He took over the Gambino crime syndicate in 1985 after masterminding a Hollywood-style slaying of its boss, Paul Castellano, with the help of his head honcho, "Sammy the Bull" Gravano. Gravano turned state witness and testified against his boss; Gotti got a life term in prison on multiple racketeering and murder charges.
DIED. TAHSEEN BASHEER, 77, spokesman for Egyptian Presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat; in London. A staunch believer in peace between the Arab nations and Israel, Basheer was government spokesman during different stages of peace negotiations between Egypt and Israel in the seventies.
NOMINATED. A.P.J. ABDUL KALAM, 71, father of India's missile program and brain behind the 1998 Pokharan nuclear tests, as candidate for the country's presidency; in New Delhi. An aeronautical engineer, Kalam masterminded India's self-reliance in satellite and missile technology. The successful nuclear tests of 1998 made him a national icon. If elected in July, as expected, Kalam will become India's third Muslim head of state.
ON TRIAL. ANDREW MELDRUM, 50, American journalist with British newspaper the Guardian, on charges that he intentionally published false information against the Zimbabwean government; in Harare. Meldrum reported a story that claimed a woman had been beheaded by supporters of the Zanu PF, Zimbabwe's ruling party. The police say the killing never took place. Meldrum is being prosecuted under stringent media laws designed to curb government criticism.
ARRESTED. SAMUEL WAKSAL, 54, former CEO of ImClone Systems, the biotech company behind the experimental cancer drug Erbitux, on charges of illegal insider trading; in New York City. Waksal is accused of trying to unload his shares and telling two shareholders to sell their stock the day before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it was rejecting ImClone's application for the approval of Erbitux. Waksal's close friend, American domestic guru Martha Stewart, sold her shares in the company just before the announcement but has denied that she was tipped off.