Thursday 03 September 1998
BANKS AND insurance companies are very concerned with the current Disability Discrimination Act. It will force them to make "reasonable adjustments" to communicate with disabled people in suitable formats. A campaign on Classic FM gives the number of the DDA Information Line (part of the Central Office of Information) for people who want more information on the Act. Much to his surprise, a recent caller, who works for a charity for the blind, was told that the relevant document was only available as a printed text. No braille, audio cassette or diskette was on offer. Indeed no date has been set for issuing the information in any of these highly suitable formats.
A COLLEAGUE of Pandora was taken aback this week as he entered the Cabinet Office. The waiting room was empty of reading matter - not a single British paper - but for copies of the National Enquirer, an American tabloid that makes the Daily Star read like the Times Literary Supplement. A glance at the current Enquirer reveals must-read reports such as "New Hollywood Hunk Has Secret Nerd Past" and "Clean Up Mold Before It Ruins Your Health", as well as "How Bill Confessed To Heartbroken Hillary". Is there a message in the Cabinet Office's decision to offer this tripe to its official visitors?
THOSE FIRST days back from holiday can be so depressing, but let's spare a special thought for Nancy Reagan. Having just returned home to Bel Air following her carefree Thelma and Louise-style road trip with Baroness Thatcher around Martha's Vineyard and the Hamptons, not only did she return to the difficult job of caring for her Alzheimer's- afflicted husband, but she had to put down faithful old Rex, the family dog since White House days. That's according to Daily Variety, which reveals in the same article that Nancy's jolly jaunt with Maggie was taken on doctor's orders. Meanwhile, we all know how downhearted Maggie was when she got back to these shores and savaged poor William "Boy Wonder" Hague, crowing that he didn't have a hope of winning the next election. Hopefully, she's going somewhere nice for Christmas.
NEXT WEEK is National Pregnancy Week. Boots the Chemists is joining forces with Tommy's Campaign, the national pregnancy research charity, to launch an Internet site aimed at expectant fathers. Of course every New Dad wants to be in the delivery room these days, but many are consumed with doubts about the looming great event. The web site aims to answer all manner of questions, but Pandora urges caution. Medical research just published by Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, concludes that intensive surfing of the Net can induce depression, loneliness and stress. Anxious dads-to-be may be wiser to allay their fears in the traditional manner - with the lads down the pub.
FEMALE TENNIS fans have swooned for years over Andre Agassi's shaggy belly as revealed by his colourful peek-a-boo shirts. Fans at this year's US Open have noticed that Andre - never a washboard man - is looking especially full-figured. Now the reason has come out. He won a food bet with a New York restaurateur over whether he could defeat an opponent in straight sets. Having
done so, accord- ing to restaurant owner Nino Selimaj, "Agassi came in with nine friends that night, and they were all ordering the most expensive items. It was all guys... all big eaters". One day, Pandora fears, Andre just might not make it over that net.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Cheeky' Nando's under fire for apparently coming onto a customer on Twitter
- 2 Saudi Arabia mosque bombing: Two volunteer security guards hailed as heroes for stopping Isis suicide bomber reaching worshippers
- 3 Playboy model April Summers speaks out about being a victim of revenge porn
- 4 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 5 iPhone 'effective power' text: how to be safe from iOS bug that lets people crash your phone
Jay Z's Tidal could be about to lose Beyonce's music in ultimate humiliation
Royal Academy of Arts' Tim Marlow: Bronze statue of lovers embracing at St Pancras station is a lesson in 'how not to do' public art
Britain's Hardest Grafter: Petition set up as Twitter reacts to BBC 'poverty porn' series pitting low-paid workers against each other
Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
Big Brother contestant Aaron Frew removed from house for 'inappropriate behaviour' after flashing fellow contestants
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote