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The Scoop: The China Trip

Clinton Spoke, but Did Anyone Understand?

TIME magazine

(TIME, July 27) -- As the White House sees it, the big payoff in BILL CLINTON's trip to China was being able to speak directly to the Chinese people. But while he spoke in English, the masses were listening in Chinese, and the interpretation was not good. Some Chinese academics in the U.S. who listened to the press conference in Beijing say Clinton's polite, subtly worded protest about the loss of life at Tiananmen Square did not come across to ordinary Chinese. Even worse was Clinton's centerpiece speech at Peking University, where the State Department interpreter had major difficulties, breaking off sentences to start new ones, leaving some key phrases untranslated. The result was disappointing. The Chinese host of the broadcast criticized the interpreter outright, and a Beijing official later observed to his daughter in the U.S. that Clinton came out sounding like a "stupid man who cannot finish a sentence." The State Department has asked for tapes of the broadcasts so the interpretation can be "checked for quality control."

--By Bruce W. Nelan/Washington

The Scoop: The Coming Chaos

Y2K Is Months Away, but Sharks Are Circling

Chilled by a possible blizzard of year 2000-bug lawsuits--one estimate sees $1 trillion in damages--corporations are asking the feds for help. "Because of fear of litigation, many companies are afraid of sharing information" about their readiness says HARRIS MILLER, president of the Information Technology Association of America. President CLINTON agrees, and plans to send a bill to Congress this week designed to get companies to reveal how Y2K-O.K. their computers are, in exchange for partial protection from lawsuits. "The maker of any such statement shall not be liable" for it if the company made an effort to tell the truth, a draft obtained by TIME says. But skeptics argue this lets businesses off the hook. "It's an invitation for sellers to tell their customers a product is Year-2000 compliant when it isn't," says DAVID FRIEDMAN, professor of law and economics at Santa Clara University.

--By Declan McCullagh/Washington

"NO, I'M MISS THANG!"

Rare is a celebrity so unique that she can be identified with just a single name. Even more rare is when two such celebrities share that name contemporaneously. But it has happened. Here's how to distinguish between the two Monicas.

MONICA (ARNOLD)

OCCUPATION: Pop Star

DISTINCTION: The youngest artist to have consecutive No. 1 singles

FAMOUS DUET PARTNER: Brandy

MOST FAMOUS RECORDINGS: Miss Thang and The Boy Is Mine

THE RUMOR ABOUT HER: She's pregnant. (Not so, she has told newspapers)

SINGS?: Beautifully

MONICA (LEWINSKY)

OCCUPATION: Client

DISTINCTION: The first White House intern to cause consecutive front-page stories

FAMOUS DUET PARTNER: Linda Tripp

MOST FAMOUS RECORDINGS: Hours of conversation about the vagaries of interpersonal relationships

THE RUMOR ABOUT HER: Her ex-boyfriend is a Big Shot. (Not so, she has said in an affidavit)

SINGS?: Not yet


VERBATIM

"I used to drive Johnson and Nixon, and I never heard anything that was said in the back seat of the car. We have a tendency to look for things rather than listen."
P. HAMILTON BROWN, ex-Secret Service agent, on how useful agents' testimony may be to Kenneth Starr "You ever wanted to put one of those in the Oval Office?"
MARIA SHRIVER, NBC News correspondent, to Hillary Clinton, referring to a cot in Thomas Edison's lab "Chill, Orrin."
SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY, during an exchange between Orrin Hatch and Janet Reno at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing
Sources: Brown (USA Today); Inoguchi (New York Times); Shriver (Today show).
In TIME This Week

Cover Date: July 27, 1998

The Bodyguards: Shadows And Shield
All In The Detail
Tradition With A Twist
The Notebook: Clinton's Chinese Miscommunication


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