By Richard Corliss
By Richard Schickel
DIED. EARL HINDMAN, 61, actor best known for his intentionally obscured role as Wilson, a neighbor who offered backyard counsel to handyman Tim Taylor in the sitcom Home Improvement but whose face was forever hidden behind a fence; in Stamford, Connecticut.
DIED. ANITA MUI, 40, flamboyant actress and Canto-pop diva, known as the Asian Madonna; of lung dysfunction caused by cervical cancer; in Hong Kong. (See Appreciation, page 48.)
DIED. ERSA SIREGAR, 52, Indonesian television reporter who was caught in the cross fire in a shoot-out between Indonesian troops and members of the separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM), who were holding him; in East Aceh, Indonesia. The head of the International Federation of Journalists said the rebels had earlier agreed to free Siregar and his cameraman, but closing the deal fell apart because the military wouldn't allow human-rights organizations in to arrange the release. The military placed the blame on GAM and accused the rebels of using Siregar as a human shield.
DIED. KRIANGSAK CHOMANAN, 86, Thai general and Prime Minister from 1977-80 who set up a timetable for democratization, including 1979 parliamentary elections, but fell from grace after being linked to a 1985 coup attempt; in Bangkok. Kriangsak offered amnesty to students and intellectuals who went into hiding during earlier crackdowns on a communist insurgency, and his more tolerant approach is credited with healing divisions in Thai society.
SENTENCED. NGUYEN VU BINH, 35, a former journalist with Vietnam's state-run press who published online articles criticizing the country's border agreement with China; to seven years in prison on espionage charges; in Hanoi. Washington condemned Binh's sentencing, which came after a three-hour closed-door trial that human-rights groups called deeply flawed. "No individual should be imprisoned for their peaceful expression of their views, and the sentencing of Mr. Binh clearly violates international standards for the protection of human rights," said U.S. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli.
CAPTURED. A PYTHON reported to be 14.8 m long and weighing 447 kg, which would make it the largest snake ever discovered; in Curugsewu, Java, Indonesia. The dark-colored male reticulated python, which is capable of eating up to five dogs a month, would be almost 5 m longer than the previous record holder, a 10-m python shot on Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 1912.