Starting Time

6 minute read

Person of the Week
ICHIBAN! American League mvp winner Ichiro Suzuki is more than just the first Asian position player to excel in U.S. baseball. He has also reminded us, in this era of runaway home run inflation, that smart hitting, slick fielding and clever baserunning are what the game is really about

“You should forget the September 11 attacks.”
Taliban spokesman, recommending that Americans instead focus on the Afghan death toll

Prime Number
$10 billion is the estimated cost of building Afghanistan into a functioning society, according to officials attending a U.S. State Department conference

South Korea’s Defense Minister claims that North Korea has amassed up to 5,000 tons of biological and chemical weapons ready for deployment

Royal girlfriend named head of the National Osteoporosis Society. This makes the score in the popularity contest: Diana 5,000Camilla 1
Ex-Argentine president and Latin lover cleared of conspiracy charges, allowing him to focus exclusively on Julio Iglesias look-alike contests
Techno-pontiff posts first ever online papal apology, for the clergy’s sexual abuse of kidsthen plays Everquest until he’s slain by an elf
Solo Stone album sells only 954 copies on first day in U.K. That’s pretty good considering most guys his age are wearing adult diapers
Ex-Ginger Spice allegedly charges to entertain British troops. Russian soldiers, meanwhile, have been given all the free antifreeze they can drink
Leader of MNLF orders attack in southern Philippines and his troops get slaughtered. Besides that, it was an excellent plan

Next on Oprah’s book club: Dirty Harry Potter
But Will Draco Respect Harry in the Morning?

As a keen follower of the phenomena associated with Harry Potter, Notebook was mildly scandalized by the photo and caption below, which appeared in the pages of our very own magazine. We worried that even a hint of lasciviousness associated with the bespectacled boy wizard could ruin one great AOL Time Warner franchise-in-the-making. (We’ve got pensions to worry about.) Imagine our consternation when we found that sexual currents have been swirling around Harry’s broomstick for years. “Harry had closed his eyes when he felt Draco’s lips descend on his once again, and this time indifference fled as he responded instantly … ” Say it isn’t so, Harry! We were happy with your other alternative lifestyle! And with a Slytherin?! (Although anyone who knows anything about boarding schools can’t be overly shocked at any slitherin’ in the bunks.)

It turns out that Harry Potter has spawned an enormous output of “fan fiction,” original stories featuring the Hogwarts gang written by aficionados and posted on the Internet. A curiously large proportion of the stories are in what is called the “slash” category, describing Harry’s heretofore unpublicized gay liaisons in stories such as Night of the Round Table. Harry is one of the most popular protagonists in this underground literary form, although he’s not alone. (Others include Don Quixote, Ben Hur, Nero Wolfe and, less imaginatively, Frank and Joe Hardy.) Warner Bros. has no plans to include this new side of Harry in its sequels. (Although the Batman franchise could use some fresh character issues.) The whole concept gives Notebook pause on a particular point: what has Hagrid been doing out there in the woods all these years?

Q&A Farhad Darya
The first song played on Radio Afghanistan after the Taliban’s tumble was Kabul Jaan, by Farhad Darya, an Afghan singer in exile. Now living in the U.S., he spoke with TIME’s Jeffrey Ressner.

Q: What does the title mean?
A: “Beloved Kabul.”

Q: What are some of the lyrics?
A: “Let me sing limitless songs for the agony of the Afghans/ For my homeless, wandering people/ Let me sing from Iran down to Pakistan.”

Q: What did other singers do under the Taliban?
A: Most of the artists fled, a couple were killed, and some said goodbye to music.

Q: When will you go back?
A: When I can perform as a free musician in Afghanistan, I will gonot as a tourist but to live.


DIED. KING SALAHUDDIN ABDUL AZIZ SHAH, 75, constitutional monarch of Malaysia; in Kuala Lumpur. Salahuddin, an avid golfer and cyclist, took the ceremonial throne in 1999 under a five-year rotation system when he was elected by secret ballot among the sultans of Malaysia’s nine states. Salahuddin married four times, lastly exchanging controversial vows with a 19-year-old.
DIED. MOHAMED IBRAHIM KAMEL, 74, the former Egyptian Foreign Minister who resigned at Camp David in the wake of the historical peace accords between Israel and Egypt in 1978; in Cairo. Kamel was the second Egyptian Foreign Minister to resign in a period of a year, disagreeing with President Anwar Sadat’s policies.
DIED. MARY KAY ASH, 83, founder of the cosmetics company Mary Kay Inc. and one of the most influential women in American business; in Dallas. Ash created an award system in which she gave deserving saleswomen pink Cadillacs.
DIED. MARY WHITEHOUSE, 91, schoolteacher turned feisty antipornography lobbyist; in Colchester, England. Whitehouse created the Clean Up TV campaign in 1964prompted by a bbc program depicting extramarital affairsand the National Viewers and Listeners Association in 1965.
DISBARRED. F. LEE BAILEY, 68, former defense attorney for O.J. Simpson and Patty Hearst, from the Florida bar; in Tallahassee. Bailey, cited by the State Supreme Court for mishandling nearly $6 million in securities owned by a drug-smuggling client, remains a member of the Massachusetts bar.
SENTENCED. JONATHAN KING, 56, British pop star first known for Everyone’s Gone to the Moon (1965), to seven years’ imprisonment on six charges of indecent assault and sex abuse of teenage boys in the 1980s; in London.


Snaking along a dusty highway near Tangi Abrishum, headed west from Jalalabad to the Afghan capital of Kabul last Monday, a convoy of cars and taxis filled with journalists and interpreters was halted at a bridge by bearded guards bearing Kalashnikovs. A few vehicles managed to speed away but two were trapped. The armed men, probably Taliban but possibly bandits, forced four journalists outsparing their drivers. The four, HARRY BURTON, 33, and AZIZULLAH HAIDARI, 33, both with Reuters; MARIA GRAZIA CUTULI, 39, of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera; and JULIO FUENTES, 46, of the Spanish daily El Mundo, were beaten, stoned and then shot at close range. When the bodies were recovered two days later, each victim had multiple gun-shot wounds. They were the second group of journalists killed in Afghanistan in two weeks.

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