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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

PEOPLE

BY ALEXANDRA A. SENO


Soda Pop Brings Pop Stars Together

Aaron Kwok Fu-shing may be one of Hong Kong's Heavenly Kings, but to the singing superstar, Janet Jackson reigns supreme. The pair recently filmed a Pepsi commercial in Australia, and Kwok has become one of Queen Janet's most devoted subjects. "Being the first Asian artist to perform with her, I felt I was representing all singers in China," he told reporters. The burden on the StormRiders star's broad shoulders aside, the two seem to have hit it off just fine. "She was always nice to me," the 33-year-old Kwok gushed. Jackson presented him with her world tour brochure signing the dedication: "Aaron: It was great working with you. You are very handsome. I love you!" Pepsi hopes viewers will be as enthralled by the futuristic ad. Its storyline: girl meets boy from another universe and, inspired by the fizzy drink, is magically transported to his world. Their thirst slaked, the couple live happily ever after, of course. Hong Kong, China and Taiwan get to see the commercial in April.

Salman Rushie's Unfunny Valentine

"Life can be harsh, and for a decade St. Valentine's Day has reminded me of that harshness," writes Salman Rushdie in "My Unfunny Valentine" for the New Yorker magazine. The recently wed author was not reflecting on his love life or his two soured marriages. Rather, he recalled the death sentence pronounced on him by Iran's late religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini on Feb. 14 ten years ago. Still in hiding and heavily guarded by the British police, the Booker Prize-winning author, 51, just received a rare New Year's gift: the Indian government approved his visa, allowing him to visit the country of his birth for the first time in 10 years. Despite threats on his life, Rushdie is said to be planning a trip to Bombay in the next few weeks. No, not to research another book: He wants to visit his ancestral home.

Keep an Eye Out for Kata

When the stars strut down the red carpet at next month's Oscars, some of them, like Minnie Driver last year, will be thanking Blake Kuwahara. The optometrist-turned-eyewear designer won't be there but his products most certainly will. The Japanese-American, 38, is the talent behind that mega-trendy maker of sunglasses and frames, Kata. Helping protect Hollywood's sensitive eyes from a barrage of flashbulbs is part of his mission: "I'd like people to see eyewear as a fashion accessory." If he had his way, folks would be changing glasses the way they do shoes to match what they are wearing. But coordinating Kata frames with your party frocks could get pretty pricey. The high-fashion spectacles are made in Japan and cost $350 and up each, a bit out-of-sight in an economic slump.


This edition's table of contents | Asiaweek home

AsiaNow


   LATEST HEADLINES:

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

MANILA
Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

ALLAHABAD
Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

COLOMBO
Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

TOKYO
Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

BANGKOK
Thai party announces first coalition partner



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

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



ASIAWEEK:

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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