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Flat Earth: Out of the wok . . .

MAYBE he should just give up on foreigners. On the heels of his misadventures in Germany, where the crowds were far ruder than expected, the Prime Minister of China, Li Peng, has had another slap in the face, this time from the Portuguese.

When the Governor of Macao set off for Peking, the press kit for reporters described Li as arrogant and incompetent, and referred to his role in the Tiananmen Square massacre. The Portuguese were aghast at their gaffe. It should never have been printed, they said - it was just a briefing for the governor.

In the category of Apologies That Just Made Things Worse, that rates pretty high.