Brook Larmer

The Cronies Return

Protesters bring back powerful memories for Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri. Her father, former president Sukarno, was pushed out in 1966, in part by angry mobs.

A Reckless Harvest

The ornate three-story palace just off the main road in Ruili, a boomtown on China's southern border, is a monument to the plunder of Burma's rain forests--and to China's insatiable appetite for timber.

Diplomas For Dollars

It was the kind of news no mother wants to hear, not after staking her family's future on the education of her only child. Li Hao's 18-year-old son had failed one half of this year's college-entrance examination, so his chances of getting into a top university--and, thus, of landing a good job--were all but gone.

Mad Science

The performer known as Lifto has a problem. A longtime member of the Jim Rose Circus, he can already lift incredible amounts of weight with his penis. But he wants to take his act to the next level: bungee jumping with a cord tied to his, uh, nethers. "He had a detachment issue," says circus boss Jim Rose, "and he needs extra strength." Genetic manipulation may offer Lifto and other circus freaks their greatest hope.

The Ghosts Of S-21

The black-and-white photograph, stapled to a yellowed document deep in the archives, is evidence of a past that Khieu Ches would rather forget. The picture was taken in 1977, soon after the peasant boy, then 16, arrived at a school called S-21 in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital.

Facing A Grisly Past

The black-and-white photograph, stapled to a yellowed document deep in the archives, is evidence of a past that Khieu Ches would rather forget. The picture was taken in 1977, soon after the peasant boy--then 16--arrived at a school in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital.

Getting Out The Vote

When Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo swept into power on a wave of popular protest in January, elites in Manila and Washington breathed a sigh of relief. Here was a sober-minded leader--an economics professor, no less--who would restore stability to a country rocked by the corruption scandals of her predecessor, Joseph Estrada.

Basketball Diplomacy

China's tallest soldier never really expected to live the American Dream. But Wang Zhizhi, a 7-foot-1 basketball star from the People's Liberation Army, is making history as the first Chinese player in the NBA.

Turning On The Gas

Abdullah Syafi is the most-wanted man in Indonesia. But when the supreme field commander of the Free Aceh Movement rumbles into a jungle hideout on his motorcycle, he's dressed for peace, not war.

Olympic Dreams

They aren't kings, presidents or potentates. But when the 18 members of the International Olympic Committee's inspection committee arrive in Beijing this week, China will treat them as something even more powerful: visitors who hold the fate of the nation in their hands.

Beijing's Olympic Moment

They aren't kings, presidents or potentates. But when the 18 members of the International Olympic Committee's inspection team arrive in Beijing this week, China will treat them as if they hold the fate of the nation in their hands.

THE RETURN OF PEOPLE POWER

Just before noon on Saturday, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo arrived at the absolute center of power in the Philippines. It wasn't the palm-fringed oasis of Malacanang Palace, where presidents--including her late father--have ruled for decades.

PEOPLE POWER II

At noon on Saturday, Joseph Estrada was holed up in the palm-fringed oasis of Malacanang Palace, clinging to his last illusion of power. Real power had already slipped out of the Filipino president's grasp after a tumultuous impeachment trial.

MOMENT OF GLORY?

During Thailand's economic crisis in 1997 and 1998, financial analysts in the region jokingly described the country as the "Thaitanic." In the run-up to last Saturday's national election, political wags were using the same doomed-ship analogy when talking about the brash politician Thaksin Shinawatra.

No Guiding Light

Nobody ever said that running a young democracy was easy. But who could have known that the new crop of democratic leaders in Asia would end up looking like the cast of characters in a tragicomic soap opera?

The Big Letdown

It was a gesture worth a thousand punches. Immediately before beginning his heavyweight bout against current world champion Michael Bennett on Tuesday, two-time Olympic gold medalist Felix Savon strode over to his American rival and handed him a miniature Cuban flag.

Home At Last

It was one of those all-night gabfests when graduating students, in boozy camaraderie, bare their deepest feelings. Only this was more serious: the 11 classmates who gathered at an apartment on the Harvard Business School campus in May 1999 were wrestling with the fate of China.

Kung Fu Capitalism

The hushed silence that descends over the old courtyard inside the Shaolin Temple carries the expectation of something magical. Abbot Shi Yongxin, a rotund Buddhist monk with a shaved head and a saffron robe, nods to one of his disciples.

Feeling All The Pain

Thwack. thwack. thwaaack! The mysterious pounding is coming from behind a door at the Shaolin Temple. My two friends and I haven't met Shi Mingwu yet, but when the warrior monk opens the door, I can see that this idea of studying kung fu with a real Shaolin master is more foolhardy than I thought.

Against All Odds

In a dance studio on the outskirts of Taipei, Pi Sui lets out an otherworldly moan. The lithe 28-year-old dancer is rehearsing an experimental piece for Taiwan's upcoming Women's Festival.

Fall From Grace

For a man whose presidency has stumbled on moral issues, the Philippines' Joseph Estrada found refuge in an unlikely place last month: a Roman Catholic church.

Moment Of Truth

On Saturday night, a new Taiwan was born. As the votes in the island's momentous election were being counted, 50 years of Chinese history hung in the balance.

Victory Uncertain

Few elections have the kind of drama and intrigue that surround this week's presidential vote in Taiwan. There's the threat of invasion from China, and hope for the end of one-party rule.

Betting On Beijing

The final moments of the last and oldest Western colony in Asia will seem, to any casual observer, utterly dignified. Just before midnight on Dec. 19, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio and 2,500 guests will gather in a translucent steel-and-glass banquet hall in Macau to toast the end of nearly 450 years of Portuguese occupation.

Sex And The Film Fight

Nobody wants to be called a "moral terrorist." But it's an epithet 59-year-old Henrietta Mendez has been tagged with since 1994. As the Philippines' chief movie censor, Mendez ordered cuts in the film "Schindler's List." (Her objection, she insists, was not that the Jews herded into the gas chamber were naked--as some Philippine critics reported--but that Schindler was shown having sex with his mistress.) She was fired a year later.

The Night Heaven Fell

The Zhang family was sleeping soundly in apartment 307 of Taipei's Tunghsing Building when the first tremors nudged them awake at 1:47 a.m. last Tuesday. In seconds, the 12-story hotel and apartment complex began jerking violently back and forth, up and down, as though in the angry grip of some supernatural force.

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