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Person of the Week
A SAVING FACE? Junichiro Koizumi is a sharp-dressing, head-banging, Richard Gere-coiffed rebeland Japan’s 11th Prime Minister in 12 years. Unlike his cold-pizza predecessors, he’s a popularnot the pols’choice. And he, too, could make a quick exit if he can’t rev up the economy

Refutes rumors of trading sex for her ex-husband’s presidential pardon, becoming perhaps the first woman to deny bedding Clinton
Two-week-old British calf found alive amid the foot-and-mouth slaughter sets off a nationwide flood of sympathyand is spared
The 60-year-old California financier gets the all clear for his $20 million space tour; denies he’s going for the frequent-flier miles

Giving happy people shiners? Guitarist for the American rock group R.E.M. is arrested for assaulting two British Airways crew members
Rooked with his own petard! Russian chess champ loses to a Greek dental student who studied the master’s moves on the Internet
A chip off the presidential block? George W.’s 19-year-old daughter is ticketed for booze possession in Austin, Texas. That’s a crime?

“(It) was morally and strategically equivalent to the U.S. hitting a government building in Serbia, Iraq or other nations.”
an American on death row, describing his 1995 bombing of a U.S. federal building in Oklahoma that killed 168 people

Prime Number
19,000 foreign maids ran away from their employers in Saudi Arabia over the past year, according to the country’s labor ministry

Major New York nightclubs have cut out the middleman and hired private ambulances to cart overdosing clubbers off to the emergency room

BigFoot Will Just Have To Wait For His E-mail
Can’t we just talk? It was the technology that was going to let us watch movies in the Amazonian rain forest and trade pork-belly futures while hanging from Mount Rushmore. Third-generation mobile telecommunications, or 3G, was going to change life as we know it, starting this month in Japan. Well, it looks like we’re safe, for a while at least, from video conferences with the boss while on the privy. NTT DoCoMo, the undisputed hare in the race to bring 3G to market, announced last week that its service wasn’t ready, and postponed the launch until October, a move that led to a 5% drop in the company’s stock.

First-generation technology, you’ll recall, allowed homemakers to call their partners on the way home from work to nag them to pick up the dry cleaning. (It succeeded zero-generation: yelling real loud.) That begat 2G, which most of us use, though rarely to its full potential, which includes text messaging and sending smiley faces to classmates. (DoCoMo became a renewed symbol of Japanese tech prowess by popularizing those features, especially with the young, through its i-mode service.) 3G is an exponential jump, allowing one to do pretty much anything a PC can, anywhere. Its hype was such that companies spent fortunes to win 3G licenses around the world. Europe attracted the biggest fees: $100 billion or more. (The U.S. is far behind: 3G isn’t expected there for two years.)

The problem, according to a shamefaced DoCoMo, is that the software for the system is full of bugs. Worse: no one really knows whether consumers even want 3G. An intermediate system, 2.5G, is in service in four countries, offering speedy, “always on” Net connections. But few manufacturers make souped-up handsets and the networks are idlewhile the world continues to simply talk on their cell phones. Will 3G be greeted with a similar yawn? DoCoMo is putting on a brave face, insisting it will be the first 3G provider on the planet. Its big competitor these days: the Isle of Man (pop. 73,000). Think of it: video conferencing between the Irish Sea and Hokkaido will soon be a snap.


RESIGNED. VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO, 47, popular Prime Minister of Ukraine, after receiving a vote of no confidence from the communist-led opposition in parliament; in Kiev. His ouster, which was met with the biggest protest in three months of political turmoil, removes the main check on the power of the business oligarchs to whom embattled President Leonid Kuchma is largely beholden.
RESIGNED. CUMHUR ERSUMER, 48, Turkish Energy Minister and the highest-ranking official to step down over a graft scandal that partially triggered the country’s economic crisis; in Ankara. Ersumer’s announcement pushed Turkey’s stock market up more than 7%.
ARRESTED. ROBERT S. GORDON,42, former Cisco Systems executive accused of embezzling $10 million from the networking equipment maker and one of its smaller partners; in San Jose, California.
ARRESTED. BADARUDDIN ISMAIL, 56, Malaysian human- rights activist and the 10th person arrested this year under the country’s draconian Internal Security Act; in Kuala Lumpur.
DIED. DAVID WALKER, 56, former astronaut who commanded the 1989 Atlantis voyage and launched the Magellan probe that mapped the surface of Venus; in Houston, Texas. Walker also flew on three other U.S. space shuttle missions, including the 1984 Discovery, which was the first successful attempt at retrieving satellites from orbit.
DIED. ISAAC (“IKE”) COLE, 73, jazz pianist and composer and brother of the late Nat (“King”) Cole; in Sun Lakes, Arizona. Cole, who once considered changing his name to differentiate himself from his more famous brother, played keyboard on Unforgettable, the Grammy-winning 1992 tribute album by Nat’s daughter Natalie Cole.

The City of Brotherly Love doesn’t generally weep for brothers who love and leave it, but REV. LEON SULLIVAN was a towering, 2-m exception. Though he grew up in West Virginia, died in Arizona and is best-known globally for his antiapartheid crusading and ties to Martin Luther King Jr., it was in 1960s Philadelphia that the proud but pragmatic pastor of Zion Baptist Church preached, perfected and first put into action his message that “black power without green power is no power.” In North Philly, that meant pooling black parishioners’ greenbacks to build grocery stores and job training centers after race riots left shops and hopes in ruins. When he became General Motors’ first black director in 1971, it meant persuading GM and other companies with business in South Africa to desegregate workers and pay them equally. The Lion of Zion left Philly in 1988; I first heard him roar 10 years later at a reunion sermon. The old-timers said it felt like 1968 all over again.

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