Milestones

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DIED. KAMATO HONGO, 116, believed to be the world's oldest person, who credited her longevity to "not moping around"; in Kagoshima, Japan. Hongo was born on Tokunoshima, a small island in the southern Amami Islands, an area known for its record-breaking centenarians. The oldest Japanese on record, who died at the age of 120 in 1986, was also from Tokunoshima. With Hongo's death, the distinction goes to Mitoyo Kawate, a 114-year-old woman in Hiroshima. Hongo had seven children, 27 grandchildren, 57 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren. She practiced teodori, a type of slow dance, and drank green tea and an occasional cup of shochu liquor. Following a hip operation at the age of 110, she became known for sleeping for two days straight — after which she would stay awake for two days.

DIED. VIGEN DERDERIAN, 74, Iranian pop music icon often called the country's Elvis Presley; in Los Angeles. The singer, known to fans by his first name alone, was discovered at the age of 23 in an Iranian nightclub by a programming boss from Radio Iran. In the 1950s and '60s Vigen became a star with a look and a sound similar to Presley's, but was forced to leave Iran after the 1979 Islamic revolution. He continued to perform in the U.S. and Europe.

DIED. FRANCO CORELLI, 82, handsome tenor considered to be one of Italy's best opera singers; in Milan. After making his debut in 1951 at the age of 30, Corelli became known for roles in Verdi's Aida and Don Carlo, Giordano's Andrea Chenier and Puccini's Turandot. His muscular build and booming voice made him an ideal romantic lead opposite sopranos such as Maria Callas. Corelli liked to hold key notes for as long as possible. Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson claimed Corelli bit her on the neck during a 1961 Boston performance of Turandot because she outlasted him in the climactic note of a duet. (He denied it.)

SWORN IN. ABDULLAH AHMAD BADAWI, 63, as Malaysia's fifth prime minister; by King Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra; at the National Palace in Kuala Lumpur. The Mr. Nice Guy of Malaysian politics, Abdullah succeeds combative predecessor Mahathir Mohamad, 77, who retired after 22 years at the country's helm. Abdullah fell out with Mahathir in 1988 when he joined a group that unsuccessfully challenged the Prime Minister's leadership of the ruling party. In 1991 the rift was healed when Mahathir named him Foreign Minister.

REJECTED. Appeal of TRUONG VAN CAM, A.K.A. NAM CAM, 56, convicted mob boss sentenced to death last June for ordering the murder of an adversary and bribing government officials; by the People's Supreme Court in Ho Chi Minh City. The original trial, a rare public acknowledgement of high-level corruption, captivated Vietnam.

SENTENCED. IYMAN FARIS, 34, Ohio truck driver, to 20 years in prison for supporting al-Qaeda and plotting to attack the Brooklyn Bridge; by a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. U.S. officials said Faris, a Kashmir-born naturalized U.S. citizen, admitted to meeting Osama bin Laden at a camp in Afghanistan in 2000 and later talked with an al-Qaeda leader in Karachi, Pakistan about severing the suspension cables of the Brooklyn Bridge. In 2003 he sent a coded message to an al-Qaeda operative that "the weather is too hot," meaning he didn't expect the plot to succeed.

Numbers

42 Number of Russian coal miners rescued after spending six days trapped underground. Mining accidents caused 68 deaths in Russia in 2002

13 Number of Chinese coal miners killed last week near Chongqing. Mining accidents in China have killed at least 4,620 this year

45 million years Age of an ankle bone belonging to a tree-climbing anthropoid discovered in Burma. French scientists announced last week that this suggests man's earliest ancestors could be from Asia rather than Africa

115 Number of U.S. troops killed during the Iraq war

117 Number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq since George W. Bush declared major combat over in May

42 Number of fatalities dropped from the World Trade Center death toll. Some people were listed erroneously; others were found to be insurance fraudsters. The final toll: 2,750

350 years Age of the world's oldest condoms — made of pig and fish intestines — on display in a Dutch exhibition entitled "100,000 Years of Sex"

25 million Number of female fetuses and babies aborted or killed in India in the last century, as estimated by the Indian Census Commissioner