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HANNAH BEECHDIED. WALTER LINI,56, South Pacific patriot, who transformed the Anglo-French colony of the New Hebrides into the fledgling republic of Vanuatu in 1980; in Port Vila, Vanuatu. After negotiating an end to the chaotic Coconut War, a clash between the English-speaking and French-speaking residents of Vanuatu's 80 islands, Lini settled into the premiership for 11 years. But an increasingly dictatorial streak combined with an erratic diplomatic record--in quick order, he cut ties with Britain and France and accused Australia of spying--led to a 1991 no-confidence vote.DIED. SARAH KANE,28, tormented British playwright, whose nihilist dramas shocked theatergoers with their graphic violence and sex, of an apparent suicide; in London. Kane reveled in provocation during her short but high-profile career, filling her plays with eye-gouging, tongue-eating and blood-spurting. Her unlikely inspiration, she maintained, was religious: The reading I did in my formative years was the Bible, which is incredibly violent ... full of rape, mutilation, war and pestilence.SENTENCED. JOHN WILLIAM KING, 24, American self-avowed white supremacist, to death by lethal injection, for chaining a black man, James Byrd Jr., to a pickup truck and dragging him until his head and right arm were torn off; at the County Courthouse in Jasper, Texas. The laborer, whose body is covered with racist and satanic tattoos, is the first of three men to stand trial for last June's killing.RECAPTURED. PAAL ENGER,31, daring thief of Edvard Munch's eerie painting, The Scream, after a train-ticket vendor saw through his sunglasses and blond-wig disguise; in Moss, Norway. Enger, who was serving a six-year sentence for the 1994 theft, riled police by granting media interviews during his two weeks on the run.RESIGNATION ANNOUNCED.Of PAUL BEGALA, 37, long-loyal U.S. presidential adviser, after battling through the impeachment saga and other White House flare-ups; in Washington. Begala, who joined the Clinton team during the 1992 election campaign, was exiled to Texas after the Republican sweep in 1994 but rejoined the White House in 1997, just in time for the Lewinsky scandal. He aggressively defended the President, even after Clinton admitted he had lied for months about his relationship with the former intern.CHARGED. COLM MURPHY,48, Irish construction worker and alleged member of the breakaway Real Irish Republican Army faction, in connection with the brutal Omagh car bombing that claimed 29 lives; in Dundalk, Ireland. Murphy is the first to be charged in the August blast, although an extensive search initially brought in more than 40 suspects. Five of them remain in custody. EXTRADITION DENIED.Of SAMUEL SHEINBEIN, 18, American student wanted for the murder and dismemberment of Alfred Tello Jr. in Maryland, by Israel's Supreme Court; in Jerusalem. A lower court had ruled that Sheinbein's extradition would be allowed, arguing that the teen retained no close ties to Israel, even though he can technically claim Israeli citizenship through his father. But the Supreme Court said that a 1978 law prevents Israeli citizens from being extradited for trial abroad--even though that decision contradicts extradition treaties signed by Israel.By JASON TEDJASUKMANA JakartaBeing a member of the Suharto clan used to guarantee vast wealth. Now it means becoming the target of investigations into how that wealth was gained. Indonesia's attorney general is reportedly looking into the alleged involvement of Hutomo Tommy Mandala Putra, youngest son of the former president, in a land fraud that cost the treasury millions of dollars. That may explain why Suharto's second son, Bambang Trihatmodjo, 45, believed to be worth hundreds of millions, has chosen a change of scenery. Shortly after the government lifted a prohibition on his leaving the country, he and his family took up residence in a mansion in Bel Air, California. Bambang's lawyer says the businessman doesn't feel safe staying in Indonesia, where violence is on the rise. Apparently more relaxed in Bel Air, he was spotted last week at a local bowling alley. That's not the kind of place millionaires, American or Asian, tend to hang out, but Bambang may not want to flaunt his riches these days.