Matthew Perry & Li Kequiang
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Perry, a TV star whose portrayal of Chandler Bing in the hit series Friends helped define comedy for a generation, died Oct. 28. He was 54. Perry broke into television as a child actor, taking roles in series like Charles in Charge and Growing Pains. But it was his sarcastic character in Friends that earned his first Emmy nomination as well as $1 million per episode by 2002. Yet behind the TV persona, addiction marked his life: In a 2022 New York Times interview, Perry said alcohol and drug use had cost him millions of dollars and forced him into 14 surgeries. In 2013, he opened a rehab center at his Malibu, Calif., mansion.
A Chinese politician and policy wonk who rose to second-in-command in his country, Li died Oct. 27 aged 68. Li attended Peking University and eventually earned an advanced degree in economics while training under market-oriented reformers. Filling provincial positions during his rise through the ranks of the Chinese Communist Party, Li developed a method of accurately estimating China’s economic growth by measuring figures unlikely to be fudged by apparatchiks, like railway volume and electricity consumption. As China’s vice premier from 2008 to 2013 and premier from 2013 to March 2023, Li argued for market liberalization and bureaucratic reforms. Li’s reformist agenda ultimately led to his marginalization as President Xi Jinping centralized power.
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