Pandora: Ruff justice in Romania

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The Press Association's political editor Jon Smith – who was injured in a road accident involving No 10 staff, journalists and a Bucharest bus driver – could count himself lucky, given the reported fate of some of the city's Dracula-esque stray dogs, a 30,000-strong infestation.

Ahead of this week's Nato summit, Romanian dog-catchers cleared streets of vagrant hounds, cramming them into pens in the capital's outskirts. A bylaw championed by Black Sea animal lovers, introduced in January, prevents mass mutt-culling. The official line is that the dogs will be released when Messrs Bush, Brown and Co reach the aiport duty-free. "But don't bank on all the dogs returning," says my source with the borscht. "Expect a few Ceausescu-style endings."

Worryingly, calls yesterday to Bucharest's Administration for the Monitoring of Animals went unanswered.

Caborn pushes on with his 'big shiny ball of the North'

The sight of Sheffield's 76m-high Tinsley cooling towers is familiar to drivers on the Yorkshire leg of the M1. Distressingly, the energy company E.ON, which owns the plant, plans to blow up the towers this summer, claiming they are structurally unsound.

Richard Caborn, right, the Sheffield Central MP and former sports minister who is in charge of England's bid to host the 2018 football World Cup, has this week held talks with E.ON about replacing the towers with an enormous stainless steel football – a sculpture to rival Gateshead's Angel of the North by Antony Gormley.

Bound to be dubbed the shiny testicle of the North should it be realised, the Tinsley creation would, Caborn explains "be football shaped – a globe on three legs – and lit up at night."

His idea recognises the city's twin heritages of steel and football (Sheffield FC, esta blished in 1857, is recognised by governing body Fifa as the world's oldest club). The Angel of the North cost £1m. E.ON has pledged £500,000 towards creating a "landmark piece of art", specifying that it must have an "energy" theme.

A working group has been formed, with Sheffield City Council, which will next meet in a fortnight.

Caborn's team must submit their plans later this summer and then battle it out."He is in touch with us directly," says a spokeswoman for E.ON. "The people of Sheffield will decide."

She adds: "A team of engineers will position the explosives so the towers fall away from the M1 – but we will still have to close the motorway just in case."

Keef reveals his Shakespearean bent

The Rolling Stones pushed one another through Leicester Square on Wednesday night to the premiere of Shine a Light, the new Martin Scorsese-directed documentary shot on the band's A Bigger Bang tour. The film's sound engineers have been applauded for achieving a rare lyrical clarity.

The flick is not, of course, a big-screen debut for the Stones' coconut-impersonating guitarist Keith Richards. In part to please his grandchildren, he made a swashbuckling cameo appearance last year in the third Pirates Of The Caribbean movie – regrettably a turkey – as the father of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp).

Asked by the press pack about his future filming commitments, Keef shot back: "Gone With The Wind. And my King Lear is fantastic."

Carla's body of work to charity

When Christie's announced, before the French President's visit to Britain last week, that it was to sell a nude portrait of his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, critics accused the international auction house of staging a publicity stunt.

Maybe so. But at least it will benefit a good cause. The proceeds of the photograph, valued at $4,000 and shot in 1993 by Michel Comte, will be donated to the Sodis Reference Centre, which helps developing countries improve drinking water supplies. Fondation Kantha Bopha, the Cambodian children's hospitals, declined an initial offer by the picture's owner, Swiss snapper Gert Elfering.

"He doesn't want to profit from it all," says a Christie's spokesman. New Yorkers seeking titillation can view the image until Tuesday. Elfering's 135 celebrity photos are expected to fetch at least $2m.

Quick fix for a broken hack

Gordon Brown called the journalist Jon Smith (see bottom story and yesterday's Pandora) to apologise for the accident in which he suffered a double arm fracture. Smith was crushed when a dangerously packed press bus made an emergency stop on its way to the Nato summit. Brown told hacks he was sorry, and Downing Street transport would never again be so crammed.



* Melvyn Bragg's new novel, Remember Me, laments the suicide of his first wife, Lisa. Good thing that the bard of Cumbria was not at the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award. Prize-giver Carmen Callil, the veteran author, said she considered Bragg's confessional to be distasteful self-justification. (Callil and Lisa shared a therapist.) Callil "cannot stand" Bragg. She once dined with him and claims he incessantly talked across her to a male tablemate about cricket.

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