Immigrants on parade; Scottish pride; Korea's transgendered pop stars

Illustrations by Istvan Banyai

May 1

¿Se Puede?
Last year’s crop of pro- immigration marches and work boycotts, which drew as many as half a million demonstrators into the streets of L.A., Dallas, New York, and Phoenix, may become an annual rite. Activists are planning a new round, starting today, to oppose hard-line immigration measures and push for a variety of amnesty and guest-worker programs.
May 1

A Posthumous Premiere

The Anna Nicole Smith media blitz continues from beyond the grave. Illegal Aliens, an unrated, straight-to-DVD sci-fi flick starring the deceased bombshell and other scantily clad babes trying to save the planet from a terrorist space invader, opens today. The executive producer (on his way to the bank, presumably) predicts it will be Smith’s Abbey Road.

May 2

Bye Bye Blair?
With Tony Blair’s government mired in a “cash for honours” scandal and the deeply unpopular Iraq War, speculation has arisen about whether Blair will make it past today, his 10th anniversary in office, or instead heed calls to step down early and hand the reins to his likely successor, Gordon Brown.
May 3

Hoist Your Kilts!

Three hundred years after uniting with England, Scotland may move toward sovereignty if the Scottish National Party, which has led narrowly in the polls, prevails in the national parliamentary election today. The party has promised a referendum on independence.

May 11

Terrorist on Trial
From the archives:

Twilight of the Assassins (November 2006)
A tale of thwarted dreams, frustrated justice, and murder in the sky.

Luis Posada Carriles, a 78-year-old alleged by Cuba and Venezuela to be a right-wing terrorist who participated in a 1976 plane bombing that killed 73 people, stands trial today in El Paso for lying to immigration officials. Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez have called the United States hypocritical for refusing to extradite an alleged terrorist.

May 11–13

Classic Colonial
Jamestown, Virginia, the first (barely) surviving British colony in what would become the United States, celebrates its 400th anniversary this weekend with planned visits from President Bush and Queen Elizabeth II.
May 14

Riding High

Floyd Landis, the cyclist from Amish country who won last year’s Tour de France after a spectacular comeback, only to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs, faces the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency today. He could be stripped of his title and banned from racing for two years. Landis, who blames faulty lab tests, has already said he’ll sit out major events this year.

May 17

The Unification Church
The Russian Orthodox Church ends a bitter 80-year rift today when the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, founded by émigrés in New York after the Bolshevik Revolution, reunites with the mother Church in a Moscow service.
May 19

South Korea Loves Transgendered Pop Stars

Wedding bells ring today for Harisu, the born-a-he video vixen singer and actress wildly popular in South Korea, where a music producer has also assembled a “girl” band composed of post-op transgenders to cash in on the fad. Harisu and her betrothed, Micky Kung, a baby-faced rapper/dancer, plan to adopt.

May 28

Summer of Love

Famous for its feuds, rock music is experiencing a wave of reunions: The Police, who broke up after fisticuffs in 1984, reunite with a world tour that starts today, while Van Halen and Genesis have also discussed plans to head out on tour.

Also This Month

Unto the Breach
Though Britain is withdrawing many of its troops from Iraq, Prince Harry, the hard-partying second lieutenant known to his regiment as “Troop Commander Wales,” may get his wish to see combat when he deploys there, probably this month. Despite fears that he’ll make an attractive target for insurgents, he’ll join a long line of British royals who have gone to war.
Sticky Fingers

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, freshly anointed with the power to rule by decree, has announced that on May Day the state will take hold of oil fields in the Orinoco Belt (which produce about 600,000 barrels of synthetic oil a day). Barring a last- minute deal, foreign companies like Chevron, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, and BP could be out on their ears.

Watching Me Watching You

Prompted by technology that allows viewers to skip commercials, Nielsen rolls out updated television ratings this month that seek to take digital video recorders into account and measure ad viewership. Predictions that DVRs would kill off TV ads appear to be off the mark: Nielsen reports that viewers watch 40 percent of the commercials they could skip.