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Little Justice
Matsui Yayori, 66, doesn't like the phrase "mock trial," which is not what she's about. Matsui, a journalist-turned-activist, prefers the term "people's tribunal" and its implication of moral authority. And a moral reckoning is just what she is seeking in the Dec. 8-12 event she's organizing in Tokyo. Matsui's group, Violence Against Women in War-Network Japan, has taken on the issue of the sexual slavery used by the Japanese military during World War II. She expects about 50 victims, former "comfort women," and at least 350 supporters from China, Indonesia, North and South Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan to attend. And that almost guarantees counter-demonstrations. The threat of violence by rightist Japanese, still in denial of any wartime national wrong-doing, is so strong that the venue hasn't been announced yet — a most likely vain attempt to avoid what could be an ugly confrontation. Matsui's plan is to have a three-person panel of independent jurists prepare an indictment naming specific former high-ranking officers of the Japanese Army and senior government officials. So far all post-war Japanese governments have denied any error in policy, though some unofficial attempts have been made to pay compensation to the victims. Virtually all the women, now in their 70s and 80s, refused the payments, saying they were not interested in money — they want an official admission of guilt and an apology, not cash. The women's demand and the governments intransigence are what drives Matsui's quest for justice.

China's Fallen Web Hero
Even though Zhu Haijin, 33, died of a stroke on Sept. 21 while pounding away at his computer keyboard, he remains one of the driving background figures in China's dissident movement. As a Web-based free-speech activist Zhu's thousands of firebrand essays and e-mail messages made him a cult figure for the growing number of young, wired, but disenchanted Chinese. The Web is the ideal format for such driven people. During his two-year online life span in southern China's bustling Shenzhen, Zhu inundated the world with his thoughts. And though his essays never made it to popular publications, mainstream newspapers and web sites have eulogized him. The site set up in his memory on continues to receive messages from thousands of fans who see him as one of the finest examples of the freedom the Internet engenders. In an environment where authorities strive to stifle dissidence, Zhu's intensity and volume gave him a following inside and outside his homeland.

Charles Perkins, 64, often described as Australia's Aboriginal Martin Luther King Jr., died of renal failure on Oct. 19 in Sydney. The controversial Perkins, known as "Uncle Charlie" to his followers, is best remembered for his protests against the racism directed toward Australia's indigenous people. Despite the many "firsts" attached to his name — the first Aboriginal university graduate, the first to head a government department — he left his government job in 1988 amid allegations of corruption. Perkins made headlines this April when he warned visitors to the Sydney Olympic Games to stay away unless they were prepared to see Aborigines rioting in the streets.

APPEALED Philippine prosecutors took their 25.7-billion-peso ($532-million) tax evasion case against businessman Lucio Tan to the Supreme Court, seeking to reverse a March lower-court decision which dismissed the charges against Tan on a technicality.

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