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This Month...
- Check out the latest jewelry from Jewels By Christine

No argument here. The last Latin lover we heard about shrieked, "Pasta with legumes!" in his moment of supreme passion.

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Was it Kipling who said the sun never set on the British Empire? Sadly, the statement didn't quite pass the test of time, but certainly the sun never sets on the machinations of QE II, Ma Grizzly protector of Baby Chuck. The prince still wishes to become a tampon, but this is beside our present point, rather item. The latest: QE II is trying to get a bill through Parliament allowing families to subvert inquests in some cases. This move is accompanied by her behind-the-scenes campaign to make the probe of Princess Diana's death go away, and her constant plotting is making the prospect of the official British inquest taking place ever more remote.

Under British law, an inquest is required if a citizen dies overseas under circumstances that would trigger an inquiry had the death occurred at home. No one is exempt - not even a deceased member of the royal family. But now there's a palace-generated move to pass a new law giving families greater say in whether to hold an investigation. Such a chance would pave the way for QE II to permanently block any inquest into Diana's death. Squelching a fact-finding probe is reportedly the queen's number one priority. Wonder why?

Meanwhile, Ken Wharfe, one of Diana's former bodyguards, is about to go on trial for violating Britain's Official Secrets act, the no-gossiping-about-the-fabulous-royals law. Sassy Ken wrote a book called Diana: Closely Guarded Secret, in which he describes the royal wiretapping. Stop yawning. We're getting around to something here.

The possible prosecution of Wharfe is an attempt to silence him, but he's hired a top defense attorney, who is threatening to disclose "secrets" about Chuck and Cam the Man that will make QE II wish she had left well enough alone. A couple of the already leaked secrets: the unattractive prince and his babe like to make love at night on the lawn at Highgrove, but sometimes they enjoy fun in the sun, such as when he pulled down her panties and spanked her bottom in the garden one morning. This was just play; the serious whipping is done by Cam, not vice-versa.

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Good news for la belle France: Martha Stewart is reportedly buying a chateau in the Loire Valley so she can hide out from the federals. They won't so easily get her on the witness stand from there, will they? And she can keep busy teaching the local waiters to say, "Bonsoir. I'm Pierre, and I'm your server tonight."

Besides, she can set about getting the French to serve the toast and croissants hot, improve the street addresses, and develop recipes for raw escargot tartare. She can teach them to trompe l'oeil outdoor latrines, and line the river with blue and white checked umbrellas. Remember the film "Les Parapluies de Cherbourg?" She can do a sequel involving parapluies sur le Loire.

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Mirror, mirror, on the wall - oh, forget it. Many readers are furious because it's been so long since we've done a plastic surgery update, so we hit the phone, and our buddies filled us in. Last year thirteen million Americans had cosmetic surgery, and the most popular procedure was liposculpture, but a short-wave diathermy procedure gas replaced liposuction. It's safer, and, as the surgical tools are only one millimeter in size. Dr. Patrick Abergel, a Los Angeles surgeon, says, "This procedure is less aggressive and more effective than liposuction. A woman can drop four sizes in the abdomen and hips after one treatment."

Dr. Renato Calabria of Beverly Hills is performing vertical face and neck lifts these days, which are minimally invasive and leave no scars. He likes to use endoscopy with viewing instruments, as they allow him to see images of the body's internal structures through very small incisions. Sounds good to us, but don't forget the old Filipino saying, Never try to catch a falling knife.".

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Fave celeb quotes du jour: "I'm thought of as an intellectual because I wear glasses and a genius because my movies lose money. Neither is true, I assure you." - Woody Allen.

"The greatest popular musician of the twentieth century is Duke Ellington. His Mood Indigo's a masterpiece" - Dr. Phil.

"Isabel Hubert's one facial expression looks like Mrs. Potato Head." - Libby Gelman-Waxner.

"Jennifer Aniston picked up a much-deserved Emmy after seven years of pretending she's in love with David Schwimmer when she's married to brad Pitt." - Craig Killborn.

"I always thought we could be a family in the stupid, traditional, Dan Quayle, golden-retriever, grow-old-together, wear-matching-jogging-suits kind of way." - Lauren Graham.

"I won't eat chicken's feet, and I'm not big into dog. I might try blowfish, though." - Lucy Liu, re cuisines of the world.

"I'm getting some tattoo-removal surgery, cutting back on the smokes and more often than not using my indoor voice and I haven't autographed a bare breast in years. " - Tom Arnold on self improvement.

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International attention, especially in Asia, has focused on the issue of Japan and World War II reparations lately. Dai Nippon has not repaid POW slave laborers or returned purloined treasure from occupied countries. Emperor Hirohito Yamato, who in his recently published testimony, was involved in all military decisions, as well as those involving biological experiments and forced labor for POWs, was never tried as a war criminal. Why? People ask. We looked into the matter and found that General Douglas MacArthur dictated postwar policy for personal profit.

MacArthur was appointed Military Governor of Japan, but Emperor Hirohito held an ace. He knew where to find the plundered treasure amassed through an organization called Golden Lily headed by his brother, Prince Chichibu. The emperor's attitude: string me up, but the buried treasure map resides in my mind. Lose me, and you lose the gold.

MacArthur's grasp of project Golden Lily enabled him to develop a favorable attitude toward Hirohito and to work well with the new premier, a Yamato named Prince Higashi-Kuni. Although Japan dodged reparation payments by claiming to be devastated and bankrupt after the war, Sterling and Peggy Seagrave, in The Yamato Dynasty, call that assertion a sham. In a few years, Japan's "miraculous recovery" ensued, financed in secret by the Golden Lily bounty.

In their assessment of the postwar situation, the Seagraves write, "Documents show that one of the big gold-bullion accounts set up . . . was in the name of General Douglas MacArthur . . . a man deeply involved in rescuing Emperor Hirohito, and suborning witnesses at the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal. What does this suggest?"

In 1945, the U. S. Congress and the Allied nations unanimously favored a war criminal trial for Emperor Hirohito; however, MacArthur quickly convinced the politicians that communism was now the threat, especially in China. Japan needed to be an ally. If the U. S. dethroned the emperor, the Japanese would restore him as soon as possible. He merely "followed the military's orders" during World War II"

MacArthur said, creating a false impression that persists today. Like Hitler, Hirohito lacked the capacity to respect the space of other nations, and though people were led to believe he was weak and ineffectual, he ordered his commanders to continue fighting for two years after they began suggesting surrender.

The emperor did not participate in a war crimes trial, nor did he receive any punishment whatsoever, although many see his escape from justice as a terrible wrong. Those who might have been able to inform on the emperor died by various means. One, however, survived - Prince Konoe, Hirohito's brother, who called him "the major war criminal."

MacArthur, however, aided in silencing the prince. The military officers agreed that to protect the emperor, they would claim that all decisions came from them, not the government. As a result, dozens of men admitted to crimes when they were only carrying out orders, or in some cases, were innocent of any knowledge or participation.

In May 1946, the Tokyo War Crimes Trials convened. The trials initially included three hundred war criminals, but MacArthur shortened the list to twenty-eight. Not one Yamato and no one involved in Golden Lily was tried or even accused.

On MacArthur's orders, not a single piece of evidence about the biological warfare section, unit 731, was revealed to the tribunal. Liberated American POWs were forced to sign confidentiality documents drawn up by the army stating that they would not discuss what happened in the Japanese biological warfare and slave labor prisons. If they did, they faced a court martial.

MacArthur finished his stint in Japan and returned to the U. S., where he lived in a style few Americans could match. William Manchester described his seventy-foot living room in his Connecticut house and his Manhattan hotel-suite as having "the vast splendor of palaces," filled with "gifts from Japan."

Though a self-described "simple soldier," he left behind an Asian art collection worth millions when he died. The source of this wealth can be easily misunderstood, as can his gifts of gold bullion and jewels running into millions; after all, they might simply have been Hirohito's method of handling a connection necessary to the furtherance of his career, or, one could say, his continued existence.