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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story


Hollywood's Newest Odd Couple

Joan Chen's acting career may be behind her, but her best days as a director may be still to come. After her debut with the acclaimed Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl - winner of seven prizes at last year's Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan - Shanghai-born Chen is tipped to direct her first Hollywood production. The word in Tinseltown is that she is negotiating to direct Richard Gere and Winona Ryder in the love story Autumn in New York. If terms are worked out, shooting could start later this year. It seems Gere and Ryder both liked The Sent Down Girl - which must have come as a surprise to Chen, 38, best known for her starring role 12 years ago in The Last Emperor. She says she is a firm supporter of China's position on Tibet and made The Sent Down Girl to show the best side of the Chinese presence in the region. Gere, by contrast, would probably be happier if the Chinese left Tibet tomorrow morning and closed the door behind them. Watch out - Autumn in New York may not be the world's most harmonious love story.

The Very Height of Fashion

Hong Kong fashion guru Joyce Ma has made her name by selling beautiful clothes to beautiful people - a business she started in the days when chic in Hong Kong meant a little black cheongsam. Now, though, Ma, 57, has been recognized for her own style. The luxury retailer (Giorgio Armani, Issey Miyaki, John Rocha, among others) has become the first Asian to be inducted into the International Best Dressed Poll's Fashion Hall of Fame. Among those named with her were Queen Noor of Jordan and Sophia Loren. The list is based on votes by fashion journalists, designers and sundry other dignitaries of the rag trade.

Geri Gets a Hot Reception

Now we know why she was called Ginger Spice - because things are likely to get a little heated when she's around. That's precisely how it worked out when Geri Halliwell flew to Manila as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Population Fund. Catholic clerics reacted with indignation when the former Spice Girl spoke out in favor of condoms and contraception. Church spokesman Monsignor Pedro Quitiro became particularly hot under the dog collar. Sending Halliwell to a Catholic nation such as the Philippines was like dispatching Salman Rushdie as a goodwill ambassador to a Muslim country, he fumed colorfully. Halliwell, 26, didn't appear to be listening. On her first overseas trip on behalf of the U.N. body, she was given a pop-star reception at a college that runs a pioneering sexual-health course where students are trained to teach other students. "Wouldn't it be great if sex education was this well accepted all over the world?" she said. The Church's reply to that is not known.

This edition's table of contents | Asiaweek home



U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

Thai party announces first coalition partner


COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state


COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness

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