Pandora

TOP SPIN. The GM food innovator Monsanto showed its customary fingertip control of the media when its PR flacks heard of a story perceived as dangerous. The corporation manufactures a genetically engineered milk hormone called rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone). Farmers inject rBGH into cattle every two weeks to increase milk production. But activists have expressed concern that rBGH may increase the risk of cancer among consumers. Two Tampa-based journalists taped a segment reporting this. Monsanto pitched its side of the story - and management at WTVT, the local Fox station, made the duo rewrite the story 83 times. That's right, 83.

The Murdoch-owned WTVT then offered Steve Wilson and Jane Akre some pounds 100,000 to quit, on condition that both reporters remain silent about the incident. They refused - and the matter is now heading to court. Fascinating fact: later this year the EU moratorium on the use of rBGH is up for review.

u

BANKING TECHNOLOGY rocks! Thirty per cent of those entrusted with increasing credit-card security have forged someone else's signature in a credit- card transaction. An NCR survey at Frankfurt's European Financial Services Summit also revealed that 23 per cent of the fraud-busters had asked a friend to forge theirs. Life in plastic, it's fantastic.

u

OH, AND you've got to hand it to Barbie. Prosthetic specialists at Northern Carolina's Duke University are using the doll's legs to create artificial fingers for amputees. The legs are trimmed to fit each patient - they work successfully because the flexible joints in Barbie's legs allow the fingers to bend.

u

MINNIE DRIVER (pictured) put the hype about Martine McCutcheon into perspective at the party for An Ideal Husband this week. As the ex-EastEnder appeared at the star's table at the Waldorf Hotel, photographers pestered Driver to have her picture taken with McCutcheon. A baffled Minnie replied: "Who?"

u

MICK HUCKNALL is said to be offering his support to help the falling star Simon Le Bon rekindle his career. Lucky old Simon. It's enough to drive you to the opera - if they ever get it open again.

u

BORIS YELTSIN talks war but wants peace - in his private life, at least. He's reportedly bought a serene pounds 53m villa in Cap d'Antibes.

u

CHRISSIE HYNDE, the fiery rocker and animal rights activist, narrowly avoided questioning by the gendarmerie this week. Hynde, a driving force behind the memorial concert for her pal Linda McCartney, exploded when she arrived at Home House, a smart West End club known for the hollowed- out elephant leg in its lobby, which is used as an umbrella stand. "This is part of a dead animal," Hynde told a crowd that included George Michael, Tom Jones and Sinead O'Connor. "I'm going to bury it in Portman Square." She emptied out the umbrellas, and headed for the exit - but found her path blocked by security men. The situation was resolved after a tense 20-minute stand-off. No word from Home House about whether they'll go out on a limb with exotic furnishings in future.

u

WE INTERRUPT this column with a newsbreak. Derek Draper, of Lobbygate fame, has been fired by Talk Radio. Apparently he telephoned another show on air from Amsterdam in the company of a delightful working girl called Claudia. Has Talk Radio's boss Kelvin MacKenzie, no stranger to the sexier side of journalism, lost his sense of humour? Say it ain't so, Kelv.

u

OUR NUMBER one guy's number one chick likes to keep busy. Mother... lawyer... consort - how does Cherie find enough hours in the day? So who better to speak at the 15 May Woman Lawyer Forum organised by Blair Communications (no relation, we're assured). Blair advertises the event as a "stress- free zone". A blissful contrast to Downing Street, or what?

Contact Pandora by e-mail: pandora@ independent.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
The Baker (James Corden) struggles with Lilla Crawford’s Little Red Riding Hood

film...all the better to bamboozle us
Arts and Entertainment
English: Romantic Landscape

art
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas