mother hanged as drug-runner

Singapore - Relatives and friends mourned a young Hong Kong mother hanged in Singapore yesterday for drug trafficking, despite a stay of execution over Christmas and international pleas for mercy.

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.

HK meeting off

Peking - China cancelled a meeting yesterday between its top official for Hong Kong and a visiting British minister, signalling Peking's continued anger at British democratic reforms in the colony. Alastair Goodlad, the highest-ranking Foreign Office official to visit Peking in a year marked by fierce disputes over Hong Kong, was to have met Lu Ping, director of China's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office. AP

Jo, where are you? The silent presence: He made her, she made him. Without him, Marlene Dietrich thrived; without her, Joseph von Sternberg vanished. By David Thompson

As the cinema approaches its official centenary, so too do many of its great creators. One of them, born on 29 May 1894, is Josef von Sternberg. But his name is indissolubly linked with the star he discovered, Marlene Dietrich and the six films they made together at Paramount between 1930 and 1935 - including Morocco, Shanghai Express and The Scarlet Empress - and the film he made in 1930 at Berlin's UFA studios, The Blue Angel, which unveiled Dietrich to the world.

BOOK REIVEW / Camel-trains and mandarins: 'A History of Civilizations' - Fernand Braudel: Allen Lane, 25 pounds QBY: JAN MORRIS

WHEN I think of the name Braudel I think of flying: swooping hawk-like in azure skies over the Mediterranean of the 16th century, spotting here a Venetian galley, there a Catalan privateer, a camel-train plodding towards Tunis, a gaggle of merchants disputing prices in Augsburg. It is sad to find the Saint-Exupery of historiography, in the opening chapter of A History of Civilizations, brought miserably down to earth in the controversies of Academe.

Chinese threat

China threatened yesterday to throw out all three tiers of Hong Kong's elected government when it takes over the British colony in 1997, Reuter reports from Peking.

Motorcycling: Hislop wins Macao Grand Prix

Steve Hislop, riding a Yamaha 500, set a lap record on his way to victory in the Macao Grand Prix yesterday. Hislop, from the Isle of Man, won in 1hr 20.19sec and was followed home less than five seconds later by his team-mate, Robert Dunlop, of Ballymoney in Northern Ireland. The race was marred by the death of Tung Sai- weing, of Hong Kong.

Letter: At the cutting edge of good cooking

Sir: I can heartily endorse Keith Botsford's paean to the Chinese cleaver (Weekend, 26 June). Visiting Macau on business, I braved the charnel house that is the local fish and fowl market. Fishmongers must satisfy customers as to the freshness of their produce by filleting the fish, alive, and leaving the heart visibly beating - this is accomplished with the ubiquitous weighted cleaver.

Happy Anniversary: Bligh loses Bounty

Here are some dates worth remembering in the coming week, a period of mixed fortunes for women and bad for planes.

Warning on HK

China's senior spokesman for Hong Kong has said any resumption of Sino-British talks on the colony's future will be 'impossible' if the Governor, Chris Patten, introduces his political reform proposals to the local legislature.

Hopes fade for HK talks with China

Britain and China seemed poised on the brink of new hostilities over Hong Kong last night after Chris Patten, the Governor, formally published his proposed democratic reforms.

Rioters destroy Chinese resort

PEKING (Reuter) - Hundreds of tourists fled in terror from a scenic spot in China as it was blown to pieces by bomb-throwing mobs in a 36-hour orgy of rioting and destruction, the Yangcheng Evening News reported.

Record blast moves mountain

HONG KONG (Reuter) - Chinese soldiers blew up an entire mountain with the world's biggest non-nuclear explosion yesterday, sending earthquake-like tremors through Hong Kong and Macau.

Deadlock for Patten in China

AUTUMNAL gloom descended on Peking yesterday, with fog turning the world grey and bringing a chill to the air. It must have matched Chris Patten's mood after his first fruitless session of talks with Chinese officials on the future of Hong Kong.
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