People: Cantona's poetry in motion

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The Independent Online
BETTER known for his sultry skills on the football pitch, Eric Cantona, the French international, is to make his debut strutting down a fashion catwalk. Designer Paco Rabane said he had picked the Manchester United player to parade at a fashion show in Paris next week.

'I chose Eric Cantona because I am impressed by his sincerity, his sensitivity and his genuineness,' Mr Rabane said. 'He is a passionate, larger-than-life, generous person who symbolises youth.' Cantona has developed a reputation for poetry on and off the pitch. A moody, brooding character, he has said he finds solace in painting woodland scenes and reading Freud.

IT WAS a honeymoon in June but the monsoon took away what romance there might have been, and protocol ruled over the weekend get-away of Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako. Since their wedding on 9 June, the couple have been caught up in ceremonial rites and banquets in the capital, unable to consummate their marriage. Custom dictates that imperial couples sleep apart before making the pilgrimage to a Shinto shrine and an imperial grave.

POP star Whitney Houston (right) was taken to a Miami Beach hospital last week after overdosing on diet pills, the New York Post reported. Houston, 29, was apparently frustrated by her failure to shed weight since giving birth to a daughter in March. At the time of her wedding last year, she weighed 100 pounds. These days she is closer to 150.

According to the newspaper, Houston was rushed to hospital after complaining of nausea, and was diagnosed as suffering from acute heart arrhythmia, apparently brought on by her diet pills.

THERE seems no limit to the ingenuity of white South Africans trying to flee the sinking ship of apartheid. Take Christiaan Barnard, the surgeon who performed the world's first human heart transplant. Dr Barnard has lately been expressing doubts about black politicians and conducting an intensive investigation of alternative homelands. He finally hit upon Greece - warm, reasonably prosperous and white - and sent off the following application for Greek citizenship: 'Since I took the Hippocratic Oath as a physician in South Africa, I have felt a strong and wonderful feeling of attraction to the country where Hippocrates was born.' Amazingly, Athens granted his wish.

AMERICAN pastor and politician Jesse Jackson spent the weekend in Cameroon, travelling by Rolls-Royce to preach at a service in the capital. The black politician arrived on Saturday with his wife and two of his five children in a special plane sent by the Cameroon government to collect him from Libya. He then spent much of the weekend in Douala with a local businessman, James Onobiono, who is a member of the central committee of Cameroon's ruling party. On Sunday, the Reverend drove 150 miles to the inland capital Yaounde in Mr Onobiono's Rolls-Royce to preach at a Presbyterian church service broadcast live by state television. The opposition said the visit was part of a campaign by President Paul Biya to reinforce ties with prominent Americans to offset the bad state of relations between Yaounde and Washington.

(Photograph omitted)

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