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APRIL 21, 2000 VOL. 26 NO. 15 | SEARCH ASIAWEEK


Asiaweek Pictures

People

Sally in a New Role
Broadcast journalist Sally Wu Xiaoli, a presenter on Star TV's Phoenix channel, is well on the way to becoming a multimedia darling. When the 33-year-old married top Taiwan shoe manufacturer, Chou Benji, in Los Angeles last week, she was front-page material in a number of Chinese-language papers. After all, she has a major fan in Chinese prime minister Zhu Rongji, who has publicly praised her current affairs programs. Known for her flair for the dramatic and forthright style, Wu seems to take a surprisingly traditional view of her new role. "Marriage is just like handing myself from my dad's hand to another man who loves me the most," she said at an engagement ceremony. Confucius would have approved.

It's Thai Genes
These girls don't just want to have fun. They want to really swing - and all of Thailand is watching. Twins Aree and Naree Wongluekiet are showing that there may be something to Tiger Woods' Thai heritage. The girls are taking to the greens with a vengeance. Last month, the 13-year-old golfing sensations from Thailand - separated by a mere nine minutes - became the second youngest players to compete in the ladies pro circuit. A lot of their time is spent at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in the United States, where their family has lived for the past three years so the girls can polish their birdie shots. (Sporting talent runs in the family: their 17-year-old brother Chan is ranked second among the U.S. juniors.) The twins' daily grind, which includes rising at dawn to squeeze in school and putting, hasn't worn them down yet. They enjoy golf so much they even dream about it. The future looks bright, but Thai fans fret about bumps along the way. "They must be concerned about nutrition," huffs one sportscaster. "It is a disadvantage for golfers to be less than 165 cms tall." Being a child prodigy is never easy.

A Thesis on Beckham?
Never let it be said that Staffordshire University is a stuffy place. The British institution is to offer a course on football star, David Beckham, a.k.a. Mr. Posh Spice. And Asians are particularly keen to sign up. "Who knows, David might come to a class to answer questions," says one Singapore fan. "I might faint if that happens." The 25-year-old Manchester United midfielder, who peddles Indian hair cream in his spare time, is a "cultural enigma" warranting academic debate, says instructor Ellis Cashmere. From analyzing the footballer's haircut to the birth of his son, the university promises to delve deep into Beckham-mania. "He is bland and all he can do really is kick a ball, yet he is famous in just about every country," says Cashmere. "We want to study the reasons." At least the course will be short.

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November 30, 2000

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The Spy of the Century?
Accused of mishandling classified material, Taiwan-born Wen-ho Lee is in jail, shackled and isolated. His family fights on; the scientific community asks questions
Fear, Loathing in the Labs: Was one scientist fired because he is Chinese?

ECONOMY
Coming Together: South China could be an economic powerhouse. But progress is slow
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EDITORIALS
Down to Earth: The dotcom stock plunge gives a timely warning: Beware excesses
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LETTERS
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NEWSMAP
This week's news round-up by country

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Tibet Beyond the Propaganda
Unflinching history takes all sides to task

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