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Asia Buzz: Election Special, Part 55
It could only happen in America

November 13, 2000
Web posted at 2:00 p.m. Hong Kong time, 1:00 a.m. EDT

Welcome back to "Current Affairs: One Darned Thing After Another." I'm your host, Telegenic Ted. The U.S. presidential crisis, now in its fifth week, took a turn today that can only be called dramatic. And that's saying a lot considering this incredible, historic story, isn't it, Judy?

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Jolly Judy: It is indeed. I haven't been able to comb my hair out since early this month.

Ted: Deal with it, Judy. We now cross live to our Beijing bureau for the latest news, with bureau chief Ji Wiz.

Ji: China finally recognized the government of Al Gore today after weeks of procrastination. That puts 22 governments behind Gore, compared to 21 who have recognized the government of George W. Bush.

Judy: To remind our viewers, the countries behind Gore now include Britain, Mexico, Brazil, India, Latvia, most of the African continent, and Iraq. Backing Bush is Japan, Germany, Canada, Pakistan, Burma and the United Arab Emirates. The Kremlin, as of last reports, hasn't been heard from -- or, perhaps, hasn't been asked.


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The story behind today's news from the editors of Asiaweek

Ted: And France, Judy?

Judy: France says it wants nothing to do with either.

Ted: No news there!

[They both laugh]

Ted: Ji, what was behind China's momentous decision?

Ji: The decision came after this week's visit by Gore's special emissaries Barbra Streisand and Alec Baldwin. We haven't confirmed this yet, but apparently Gore has offered Beijing control over the entire Pacific, including South America.

Judy: Enticing indeed. We heard also that Barbra sang at the banquet last night.

Ji: That's true, Judy, but the deal went through anyway.

Ted: Was there any quid pro quo?

Ji: Possibly. It was announced this morning that a double bill of "The Mirror Has Two Faces" and "9 1/2 Weeks" will be playing in all Chinese cinemas as of next week. And satellite photos show that China's intercontinental ballistic missiles are now pointed at Austin, Texas.

Ted: That's where Gov. Bush's breakaway government is headquartered, of course, and correspondent T. Grizzled Veteran now joins us from Austin.

Veteran: The Bush camp says it is disappointed in China's decision, but repeated its mantra that when it finally manages to retake the White House from what it calls the "Gore-Clinton-Hillary Scoundrels," it would treat all nations fairly, regardless of how they reacted during the crisis. Then it ordered the closure of all Chinese restaurants in Texas, Tennessee, Mexico, Brazil and Latvia.

Judy: Did the Bush team admit that its own envoys to Beijing failed in their mission the week before last?

Veteran: Privately, Bush insiders say it might have been a mistake to send Charlton Heston, Arnold Schwarzenegger and June Allyson. They say the message might have been confusing.

June: Veteran, you're reporting from the City Center Comfort Inn. Is there any chance Governor Bush will be able to retake the Austin State House?

Veteran: No, the forces of former governor Ann Richards and rebel Republican James Baker still control that. And since the defection of former vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney, their position has only strengthened.

Ted: An update just in: Rep. Rick Lazio says he won't surrender Long Island even if China points missiles at his headquarters, which, as we've reported, is at the International House of Pancakes, right off Exit 12 in Rosalyn, open 24 hours, children welcome, free refills. Judy?

Judy: Finally, we go to our special correspondent in Washington, Ron Ziegler, former press secretary to President Richard Nixon. Ron, with the country divided and the National Guard on American streets, things are sure different from the Nixon days, aren't they?

Ziegler: Not particularly.

Judy: What's happening at the embattled White House.

Ziegler: The Gore team is continuing its "business as usual" theme, Judy, decorating the White House Christmas tree, for example, and finalizing plans for the depopulation of Florida.

Judy: Hillary's in charge of that, right?

Ziegler: Correct.

Ted: Has there been any progress in the talks with Ralph Nader?

Ziegler: Not as far as we know. Nader refuses to surrender Greenwich Village or Seattle.

Ted: Breaking news from Hollywood, and coming in live, with her own theme music, is correspondent Cindy Toothsome. What's happening in LaLa Land, Cindy?

Toothsome: In a further display of its support for Al Gore, director Ron Howard has announced that his big Jim Carrey picture currently at the box office would be renamed. The new title is "The Gingrich That Stole Christmas."

Ted: ...and?

Toothsome: yet a further show of support, Martin Sheen, Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez have flown to Washington...

Ted: We're running out of time, Cindy.

Toothsome: ...while angry crowds surrounded the residences of June Allyson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chuck Heston with soundtrucks blaring the soundtrack from "Yentl."

Ted: All I can say, folks, is that from where I'm sitting the view is getting uglier and uglier. Oh Judy, don't cry -- I didn't mean you. Wait! We forgot about Buchanan. Veteran, any word from his camp?

Veteran: Buchanan is sticking by his pledge to recover the Philippines as a U.S. colony when he takes power.

Ted: Which is why the Philippine government has recognized the Buchanan administration! That's all for tonight, folks. Tune in tomorrow. And Judy, please stop weeping. You don't look that bad. Considering...

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