Good Day for doctors, scientists, teachers, engineers and clergymen, who filled the top places in a poll taken to discover which professions are most highly respected among Americans. In the last 20 years, teachers have risen most in esteem, with 49 per cent of Americans now believing they have "very great" prestige, compared with 29 per cent in 1977. Lawyers, however, have dropped from 36 per cent to 19 per cent, though they are still ahead of union leaders, entertainers, athletes, artists and accountants.

Bad Day for improvisation, as two actors and Egypt's most famous belly dancer, Fifi Abdo, were fined almost pounds 500 each for insulting politicians. They had departed from the script in a stage play about the demolition of a high-rise block of flats, and committed "acts contrary to public norms".

Moral Day for The Netherlands, as a city spokesman said: "The Amsterdam City Council is not a pimp." He was explaining why the council has been buying up the premises of former brothels, forced out of business by new guidelines. "In no way is the city going to work with brothel owners ... to exploit a brothel," he said.