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Fans remember Lopes



Published: Sun, April 28, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Fans remember Lopes

ATLANTA -- Fans of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes on Saturday mourned the loss of an artist they said profoundly influenced their lives.

Shirley Martin said she heard Friday about the death of the rapper from the Grammy-winning trio TLC, but was still in disbelief the next day.

"I don't believe that this is true," Martin, 31, said while signing a giant card for Lopes' family at an Atlanta mall.

Lopes, who made headlines with both her music and personal life, died Thursday in a vehicle crash near Jutiapa, Honduras.

The band's manager, Bill Diggins, was expected to fly to Honduras Saturday night, identify the body and return it to Atlanta today, said Rob Goldstone, publicist for Diggit Entertainment. Goldstone said the funeral probably would be held Wednesday or Thursday in Atlanta.

He said Lopes' mother and the other members of TLC -- Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas -- were devastated, but have been comforted by thousands of letters and flowers from Lopes' fans and other artists.

Chinese leader's visit

HONOLULU -- Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao, expected to become its next leader, called Saturday for the U.S.-China friendship to "last forever."

As Hu began his first official visit to the United States, leaders from Hawaii Chinese organizations waved American and Chinese flags to greet him.

Later about 50 peaceful protesters waved a banner at Hu's motorcade, demanding China remove missiles from across the Taiwan strait.

Following February talks between Chinese President Jiang Zemin and President Bush in Beijing, Hu said his visit was aimed at "strengthening the high-level contact between China and the United States, enhancing mutual understanding and pushing forward the Sino-U.S. constructive and cooperative relationship."

Hu is expected to replace Jiang as Communist Party chief this year and as China's president next spring.

"May the friendship between the Chinese and American people last forever," he said in a statement issued on arrival at Hickam Air Force Base.

Associated Press




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