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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

NEWSMAKERS


HEALTH WORRIES

THAILAND'S KING BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ, 71, hasn't been in the best of health for quite some time now, prompting Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to officiate at several functions over the past three years. In 1995, the King had an angioplasty procedure and has since been treated for an irregular heartbeat. Just last month he was hospitalized for hemorrhoids and had a benign tumor removed from his digestive tract. On June 14, public concern about the King's health heightened yet again amid news that he had been fitted with a back brace - the result of a fall he had on May 6. Doctors prescribed complete rest for three months. That means the King is to refrain from taking long walks, standing and sitting. Otherwise he risks further damage to his once-fractured spine. For Thais, the timing of their revered monarch's latest health problem is unfortunate: It comes in a year in which they are celebrating the start of the sixth auspicious 12-year cycle of the King's birthday, which falls on Dec. 5.


CHANGING CHARGES

THE BOMBING OF THE Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia last month might have hampered a key initiative that President Jiang Zemin was scheduled to take later this year. In the fall, during the 50th-anniversary celebrations of the People's Republic of China, Jiang had planned to roll out "Jiang Zemin Theory" with great fanfare. Echoing Mao Zedong Thought, the philosophy would have two central themes. The first: China's newfound global importance under Jiang's leadership. The second revolves around the president's pet idea of "comprehensive security," which goes beyond the usual military connotations of the term to include such areas as economic and financial stability. But the recent chill in Sino-U.S. relations has put theme No. 1 under a cloud. As for the second principle, the military's Liberation Army Daily recently said that while comprehensive security may be important, its very bedrock is military security - an apparent challenge to Jiang, who lacks personal military experience or background.


REBEL POWER

FORMER INDIAN DEFENSE MINISTER Sharad Pawar, 58, launched a new party on June 10. The wily power-broker unveiled the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) at a convention in Bombay. The NCP, he said, will be politically equidistant from both the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which heads India's caretaker government, and the Congress party, from which Pawar was expelled for six years last month. Pawar promised that his new party will provide a "secular, transparent and progressive forum for the country." He also assailed Congress president Sonia Gandhi, 52, for wanting to become India's premier even though she was born an Italian. It was that very gripe that prompted Sonia to temporarily resign as Congress president, resulting in Pawar's expulsion. Sonia seemed unperturbed by Pawar's latest challenge. In a speech in neighboring Andhra Pradesh state, she made it clear she will be PM if Congress wins a majority in national elections, which are scheduled to begin in September.


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AsiaNow


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TIME:

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

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



ASIAWEEK:

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

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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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