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Person of the Week
SPIES LIKE US? Just days before Secretary of State Colin Powell’s visit, Beijing experienced a bout of benevolence, releasing three Chinese-born U.S. scholars convicted on charges of spying for Taiwan. Gao Zhan and Qin Guangguang were sprung on “medical grounds,” while Li Shaomin was expelled

“In reality, it was those people who put him in that situation … who were wrong.”
father of a protester slain in Genoa, explaining that violent anti-globalization demonstrators are as responsible for his son’s death as the Italian police

Prime Number
35 percent of Americans believe China is the nation that most threatens world peace; only 13% of those polled cited second-place Iraq

A Scottish safari-park chimp pickpocketed a warden’s cell phone and was detected only when he began placing shrieking prank calls to staff members

Mogul wins award for his funding of vaccine development. Feds haven’t weighed in on his plan to bundle those vaccines with Office XP
N. Korea’s leader makes state visit to Moscow in armored train. Obviously, he’s worried about being mobbed by screaming teen girls
Basketball guard signs $100 million contract with the Knicks. During press conference he vows to live lavishly and acquire expensive cars
Queen’s hubby tells 13-year-old aspiring astronaut he’s too fat for space. This from a man whose son said he wanted to be a tampon
Spanish director riles activists by killing four bulls during filming. His first flicksKill All Bulls and Kill All Bulls IIshould have tipped them off
Job description: Carry clubs, hand club to golfer, put club away. Caddie costs Ian Woosnam the British Open by carrying one too many clubs

He Said, She Said
After a child-support suit was settled, Russian model Angela Ermakova broke her silence last week to describe her baby-producing broom-closet tryst with tennis stud Boris Becker

“It was a mistake which will haunt me for the rest of my life. The result is brutal for me, but also for my wife, my children, my mother.”

“Boris pulled me into the broom cupboard … I felt like Cinderella in a beautiful dream. Boris was like a radiant German knight.”

Here & There
UNITED KINGDOM: Prince Charles is spearheading a campaign to make “the pub the hub” of community life in declining rural areas

CHINA: In Wuxue, state workersincluding those in hospitalsare told to “show their love” by buying at least six cases of the city’s beer


ASSASSINATED. PHOOLAN DEVI, 38, outlaw-turned-politician whose life was depicted in the 1994 film Bandit Queen; in New Delhi. The lower-caste Devi was sold into marriage at age 11, fled, and joined a gang of robbers. To avenge her rape by a group of upper-caste men, she allegedly led the massacre of 22 men and was jailed for 11 years. A hero to India’s dispossessed, she was twice elected to parliament.
BANNED. JAMES ARCHER, 27, for life from trading in London’s financial district for his 1998 manipulation of the Swedish stock exchange while working at Credit Suisse First Boston; in London. His disgraced father, author Jeffrey Archer, was jailed last week for perjury in a libel case.
DIED. INDRO MONTANELLI, 92, veteran right-wing Italian journalist and former Fascist renowned for his controversial views; in Milan. In 1943 he was jailed by the Fascists and narrowly escaped execution for criticizing the regime in his coverage of the Spanish Civil War.
DIED. MILTON GABLER, 90, music producer who founded Commodore Records, the first U.S. independent jazz label; in New York City. He worked with jazz greats Billie Holiday and Peggy Lee.
DIED. EUDORA WELTY, 92, American author hailed as a master of the short story; in Jackson, Mississippi. Welty’s incisive tales, inspired by her observations of Southern life, earned her numerous awards, including a 1973 Pulitzer Prize for the novel The Optimist’s Daughter. (See Eulogy)
DIED. AVELINE KUSHI, 78, macrobiotic cookbook author who opened one of the first natural foods stores in the U.S.; in Brookline, Massachusetts. A native of Japan who moved to America in 1951, Kushi believed macrobiotic diets could help promote world peace.


One hot, spring day I was walking with EUDORA WELTY through a little shopping mall. She was 86. As we walked rather slowly along the glass storefronts, we came to where a wide, smiling, pink-faced man was inflating colorful balloons. As each balloon filled and fattened, the cylinder emitted a quite loud whoosh of air. Eudora looked about to find the sound. “Balloons,” I said. “Oh,” she said, those luminous pale blue eyes igniting. “I just thought it was someone who saw me, sighing.”

To take a walk or a Saturday drive with Eudora was to have the world narrated to you, recalibrated and transformed into language that was surprising, sometimes shocking, always sympathetic, frequently hilarious, and full of perception, wonder and delight. To know Eudora Welty was to experience the best of life on an exquisitely human scale, and to be reminded again where the seeds of greatness are sown.

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