People: Japanese royals give fair warning on Pearl Harbor

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AT LEAST this time the Japanese issued advance warning, but the imperial couple's latest plans for Pearl Harbor may still raise a few eyebrows on both sides of the Pacific.

According to the Tokyo daily, Yomiuri Shimbun, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko plan to pay an unprecedented visit to Pearl Harbor during their trip to the United States in June, pausing at the USS Arizona National Memorial. There Akihito would pray for those who died during the Japanese attack in December 1941. Less controversially, the couple are also tentatively scheduled to take in a musical, a Major League baseball game and the Smithsonian Institute during their 16-day stay.

HARD as it may seem to believe, vegetarianism is sweeping the Pampas. So much so that Argentina's President Carlos Menem has had to take charge of the carnivores' counter-attack. 'Meat consumption is down 63 per cent, but eating meat is going to come back, because the green fad is on the way out,' Mr Menem announced. Cattle ranchers are mounting an 'Eat More Meat' campaign, and have financed a study to try to prove that Argentine meat does not cause cholesterol build-up.

'I get my energy from eating meat, and I will continue to eat meat,' Mr Menem said. The red-blooded President needs all the energy he can get, as he is recovering from an operation for a circulatory problem. Heart attacks are Argentina's biggest killer.

THE Australian stock exchange has shot down Paul Hogan's latest film, Lightning Jack, after it was savaged by critics in the United States. Hogan produced and wrote the script of the Adollars 30m ( pounds 15m) film, in which he plays an Aussie cowboy in the American West. He raised the budget through the novel means of selling shares in the film on the Australian stock exchange in Sydney. If the US reviews are any guide, though, Lightning Jack will be less of a Crocodile Dundee, and more of a turkey.

One critic advised Hogan's 6,000 Australian investors to form 'one huge angry posse' to demand their money back. The share price in Sydney was down by 22 cents yesterday.

CHINA'S senior leader, Deng Xiaoping, who turns 90 this year, is fit as a fiddle and keenly interested in current affairs, according to his daughter. Mr Deng appeared gaunt and frail on television last month, but his daughter emphasised his robust walks, his love of swimming and his good appetite.

When asked whether her father still likes swimming, Ms Deng Nan said: 'Father loves swimming in the sea. He never swims in a swimming pool.'