Starting Time

7 minute read

Person of the Week
FOLKS LIKE US Despite a bill before the U.S. Congress and a possible U.N. treaty banning human cloning, fertility researchers Panos Zavos of the U.S. and Italian Severino Antinori are undeterred in their plans to implant cloned human embryos in 200 women within the next few months

“There are parts of the world where Jesus Christ is not so well known.”
Brazilian soccer legend, responding to a reporter’s suggestion that he rivals Jesus in international fame

Prime Number
250,000 subscribers paid for access to a host of child pornography websites. Police say the busted Internet smut ring was earning up to $1.4 million a month in revenues

The grandpups of an attack dog that fatally mauled a San Francisco woman are for sale. A newspaper ad brags the “dog-o-war pups” are “bad to the bone”

U.S. Marine Corps gives TV’s Private Gomer Pyle an honorific promotion to lance corporal. Rambo and Commander McHale are astonished
Fulbright scholar is paroled after six months in a Russian jail. His next fellowship, a MacArthur grant, has him doing 25 to life at Sing Sing
Pop star will donate bone marrow to save a fan with leukemia. He also offers to donate catchy tunes to save George Michael’s career
Taller ex-wife Nicole Kidman admits she’s happy to wear heels again. Cruise is dealing with the breakup by dating beautiful women
R.-and-B. singer is booed for forgetting the words to the U.S. national anthem. Maybe those years spying for the communists confused her
America’s national bird suffers from a neurological disease causing the breed to crash. It turns out Gerald Ford had the same affliction

Got Urea?
A Growing Boy Needs His Saffron
Milk, you can splash it in your coffee, force it on the kids, ladle it over cereal, or, now, use it to scrub your floor. The milk market, once utterly homogenized, is diversifying. In the U.S., sales of flavored milks are booming thanks to calcium-conscious women and a general nostalgia by baby boomers. (Chocolate milk is the hands-down favorite.) Asians have particularly promiscuous lactose preferences, although if they want to try bubble gum-flavored carbonated milk, they’re going to have to ship it in from the U.S. Say goodbye to skim and 2%.

Once an after-school staple, Hershey’s is selling a fat-free chocolate milk to attract the calorie-counting water-cooler set. e-MOO carbonated milk drink hits the shelves this summer in bubble gum flavor and orange sparkle.

Locals keep cool during the long, sweltering summer by downing tall glasses of milk with a splash of Coca-Cola or Pepsi.

The flavors of the dinner plate are all over the country’s soy-milk labels. You can find sweet corn, red bean, green bean and, perfect with your breakfast bagel, black sesame soy milk.

In the cold Beijing winters, warm almond and coconut milk rival Sprite and Coke. Hong Kong’s Trappist Dairy is pushing its energizing ginger milk and also lunch-box-sized cartons of milk flavored with carrots.

Stirring in something interesting takes a sinister turn: Indian dairies have been caught doctoring milk with urea, detergents, caustic soda and palm oil to make it last in the heat or to increase profits. But not all additives are lethally exotic. The upwardly mobile will pay four times the price of ordinary milk for a half-liter of milk mixed with spices like kesar (saffron), elaichi (cardamom) or rose petals.

When the durians fall, the skirts riseor so they say in Mindanao, where the odoriferous fruit is considered an aphrodisiac. Savvy plantation owners are marketing milk and ice cream infused with durian zest to sometimes unimpressed locals. “It’s so gross,” says one 11-year-old Filipina, “I can’t stand it.”

A Princely Eye for Fire Trucks, Salad Bowls and Tissue-Box Cozies
When you spend upwards of $700,000 a day, the closets fill up. That’s what happened to Brunei’s Prince Jefri Bolkiah. Following the collapse of his business empire, his brother, the Sultan of Brunei, is auctioning the prince’s accumulated assets. The sale will take place in 21 warehouses in Brunei; if a single buyer fails to bid for the whole lot, the prince’s booty will be sold in more than 8,000 palletsthough it will be a shame to break up such a thoughtful collection. A sampling:

-Two boxes of toilets
-884 fruit bowls
-Japanese vibrating massage chair
-Sega Outrun arcade game
-Ten-pin bowling equipment, including scoring system, control gear and lane
-Sofa designed to look like the rear end of a Cadillac
-Two Mercedes-Benz fire trucks
-592 salad bowls
-Airbus A340 simulator
-Decorative covers for Kleenex boxes
-Stainless steel two-door pizza oven
-Erhard badminton court and net
-Comanche attack helicopter simulator


DIED. MAUREEN REAGAN, 60, daughter and frequent critic of former President Ronald Reagan; in Sacramento. A politically active feminist, she pushed for the unsuccessful Equal Rights Amendment for women, lobbied for abortion rights and helped elect women to public office. Ms. Reagan had a distant relationship with her father after he divorced her mother, actress Jane Wyman, in 1948.
DIED. JORGE AMADO, 88, Brazil’s most beloved author whose 32 books sold 20 million copies in 48 languages; in Salvador da Bahia. Amado’s first novel was published when he was 19. A champion of the poor, from 1935-1985 he was spied upon, exiled, and often jailed by Brazil’s right-wing government.
DIED. CHRISTOPHER SKASE, 52, fugitive Australian businessman who personified the excess of the 1980s and lived in self-imposed exile for 10 years; in Majorca, Spain. Skase was wanted on 30 criminal charges relating to the billion dollar collapse of his Qintex empire. After a failed takeover of MGM/United Artists, Qintex foundered under $1.5 billion in debts. Personally owing $172 million, Skase fled.
DIED. HOWARD ETLING, 93, Geneva-based U.S. diplomat who was one of the first Americans to relay intelligence of a Nazi plan to exterminate millions of Jews; in San Rafael, California. Elting’s 1942 memo was received with skepticism by the U.S. State Department.
DIED. CHRISTOPHER HEWITT, 80, British-born stage actor who is best known as the wisecracking butler in the American television series, Mr. Belvedere; in Los Angeles.
BEATEN. HAILE GEBRSELASSIE, 28, Ethiopian world cross-country champion, denied a record five gold medals in the World Championships 10,000 m when he lost in the final to Kenyan policeman Charles Kamathi; in Edmonton, Canada.


GENERAL DUONG VAN MINH had a knack for turning up during a crisis. In 1963, when the Americans considered President Ngo Dinh Diem a liability, “Big Minh” (after long conversations with U.S. officials) mounted a coup with two other generals. In the early ’70s, he was a perennial stalking horse to unseat President Nguyen Van Thieu. By 1974, when I knew him, he had become the darling of the Third Force Advocates who believed the South could be neutralistnot communist nor pro-Western. When North Vietnamese troops closed in on Saigon, Minh was once again called. As others fled, he was sworn in as President in a violent rain storm. Three days later in the presidential palace, he wearily and honorably offered to transfer power to officers whose tanks had smashed through the gates. He was rudely told he had nothing to surrender. Sadly, for those of us who liked him, Minh once again came out a loser.

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