PEOPLE: Sweeping change at last emperor's tomb

Li Shuxian, the widow of Pu Yi, China's last emperor, marked Tomb- Sweeping Day among the emperor's imperial ancestors for the first time. She was joined at the Western Qing Tombs on Tuesday by Buddhist monks and curious peasants as she honoured the dead and cleaned Pu Yi's new resting place among five of the 10 Qing emperors.

Pu Yi's ashes were moved to the tomb in the Chinese Dragon Imperial Cemetery, west of Peking, in January from a public columbarium. The tomb of the final emperor of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) is marked with a white marble plaque, a mound of stones, plants and a plum tree in blossom.

Work began on an imperial tomb for Pu Yi when he ascended the throne at the age of two in 1908, but stopped when a republic was founded three years later. He spent his last years working as a gardener and writing his autobiography. When Pu Yi died in 1967, at the height of Mao's Cultural Revolution, there was no question of an imperial burial.

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He can't say he wasn't warned. When Senator Al D'Amato of New York started mocking Lance Ito, the judge in the OJ Simpson trial, on a radio show by using a fake Japanese accent, the show's presenter asked him to stop or "wind up on the front page of the Daily News". The senator plunged on, and ended up on several front pages.

Speaking in a voice that bore no resemblance to the Japanese-American judge's eloquent tones, Mr D'Amato said Judge Ito would ``never'' let the Simpson trial, now in its 11th week, end. "Judge Ito loves the limelight. He is making a disgrace of the judicial system, little Judge Ito . . . and then he's going to have a hung jury. Judge Ito will keep us from getting televised for the next year." Mr D'Amato later apologised, saying he was just making fun of the judge's ``pomposity''.

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