• Share
  • Read Later
HILARY ROXEDIED. JOE WILLIAMS,80, powerhouse jazz singer whose moving baritone resonated with the heart and heartbreak of the blues, after collapsing while walking home from a hospital; in Las Vegas. The Grammy-winner accompanied Count Basie's Orchestra from 1954 to 1961, often harmonizing with divas like Sarah Vaughan, and sang sporadically with the group even after his solo career took off. Despite his renown as one of jazz's top male singers, the Georgia-born crooner raised on church music in Chicago may have reached his widest audience playing Grandpa Al on TV's The Cosby Show.DIED. MICHEL CREPEAU,68, leftist French politician known for eloquent and ironic orations, one week after he collapsed in the National Assembly from a heart attack; in Paris. During his career, the loyal 51-year member of the Radical Party served as mayor of the Atlantic coastal town of La Rochelle, presided over the Environment, Commerce and Justice ministries and made a fruitless 1981 bid for the presidency.DIED. LUCIEN AIGNER,97, Hungarian-born photojournalist whose inconspicuous camera captured Albert Einstein's rumpled style in a Princeton classroom and Mussolini's unease in prewar Europe; in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Aigner was among the first to use the small 35-mm camera to capture such intimacy.NOMINATED. NANA KWAKU DUA,49, Ghanaian businessman, to be enthroned on the Golden Stool as the 16th Asantehene, or venerated king of the Ashanti people; in Kumasi, Ghana. When the 15th Asantehene, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, died in February, the Queen Mother took a month to review the hopefuls and, in the end, proposed her son as successor. The post has influence, but no legal power in the West African nation where Ashantis are one of the largest ethnic groups.CHARGED. WANG YINGZHENG,19, recent high school graduate accused of trying to subvert state power by aiding one of the founders of the Chinese Democracy Party, Qin Yongmin; in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, China. Wang traveled to Wuhan last August when Qin, a seasoned dissident who was sentenced in December to 12 years in prison, was establishing the Hubei branch of the party. The teenager was arrested more than a month ago as he was photocopying an article he had penned denouncing official corruption.CREATED. NUNAVUT,Canada's newest territory, an Inuit-dominated 2.2-million-sq-km region that now covers 20% of the nation and three time zones, after 20 years of lobbying by Inuit leaders. The 25,000 residents of this land of icy fjords, tundra and arctic isles suffer from some of Canada's highest rates of crime, substance abuse and suicide, and the national government plans to pick up 90% of the region's budget. The name of the new territory, in the Inuit language, means our land.RECORD BROKEN.By WAYNE GRETZKY, 38, consistently stunning center for the New York Rangers who has shattered more than 60 records during his career, Gordie Howe's claim to be professional ice hockey's goal-scoring champ, when Gretzky scored for the 1,072nd time; in New York. The record includes goals the Great One has netted during his 20 years in the National Hockey League as well as during the single season he played for the now-defunct World Hockey Association.AND BABY MAKES 2000: Couples hoping to have the first baby of the new millennium better get busy. This Friday, April 9 is the most promising conception date. Although he or she is no more than a note in someone's diary now, we already know much about the millennial baby. As a Capricorn, the infant is allegedly destined to be practical, ambitious and fatalistic. International time zones dictate that he or she will quite likely be a New Zealander, Fijian or Russian. Or, of course, someone whose parents are visiting those countries to conceive the millennium's first baby. COUNTRY: New Zealand
LIFE EXPECTANCY: boy: 75 years; girl: 82 years
ETHNICITY: 88% chance of being European; 12% Maori
LIKELY NAME: Matthew or Catherine
SPORTS: rugby, cricket
LOCAL HEROES: Xena, warrior princess
CAREER CHOICES: farming, wool industry

LIFE EXPECTANCY: boy: 65 years; girl: 69 years
ETHNICITY: 50% chance of being Fijian; 46% Indian
LIKELY NAME: Taken from a relative
SPORTS: rugby, soccer
LOCAL HEROES: President Sukuna
CAREER CHOICES: tourism, civil service

COUNTRY: Russia (Eastern Siberia)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: boy: 59 years; girl: 72 years
ETHNICITY: 67% chance of being Russian; 7% Chukchi
LIKELY NAME: Yuri or Irina
SPORTS: ice fishing, deer racing
LOCAL HEROES: Irina Pantaeva, model
CAREER CHOICES: reindeer herding