People: Options widen for Yeltsin with cross-border pact

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The Independent Online
RUSSIA'S leader, Boris Yeltsin, is taking no chances. If his compatriots decide they no longer want him to be President, he can run for office in Turkmenistan. He became a citizen of Turkmenistan last week when the two countries signed an agreement on dual citizenship.

Mr Yeltsin said he hoped the dual citizenship agreement, the first such pact signed within the Commonwealth of Independent States, would encourage other CIS countries to forge similar agreements. That would open up even more opportunities for him.

JAPAN'S parliament may be a millionaire's club (in yen, that is) but much of the money is in the red. And the MP with the biggest problem balancing his books is Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa.

The average MP has assets worth Y91.3m yen (pounds 557,000) and loans of about Y36.5m. Mr Hosokawa's assets, however, were worth Y98m against loans outstanding of Y930m. His debts relate to his political campaigns. No wonder he has been trying hard to win approval for reforms, some of which are designed to reduce the vast sums needed to get elected.

BURNING books is not something you'd associate with Toni Morrison, the 1993 Nobel prize-winning author. Unfortunately, a fire that tore through her home in New York State did just that. The blaze, which took more than 100 firefighters about five hours to put out, destroyed all her manuscripts from her earliest writings.

HE'S not just a pawn in their games. When Viswanathan Anand heard that the world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, was breaking away from the World Chess Federation (Fide), he thought Kasparov was simply being mercenary. Now the Indian Grandmaster is grateful to have two world titles to play for, and he could win both.

Anand, 24, ranked third in the world behind Kasparov and Karpov, is competing in a qualifying tournament in Groningen, in Holland, to find a challenger for Kasparov in 1995, and has already reached the latter stages of the official championship where he could find himself facing Anatoly Karpov for the world title in 1995.

WHEN Vaclav Klaus opened the junior world ice hockey championships in Ostrava on Sunday, he didn't realise he was skating on thin ice. The Czech Prime Minister, who is the MP from the northern mining town, was whistled off stage by more than 8,000 spectators.

The town is hurting from economic reforms that have brought rising unemployment, as traditional industries such as mining and steel production are phased out. Mr Klaus, the architect of Czech economic reform, is seen by many as responsible for the ills.

CUBA'S President, Fidel Castro, in magnanimous mood, cleared the way for his granddaughter to join her mother in the United States where she defected last week. The US civil rights activist, Jesse Jackson, said President Castro had agreed to let Alina Maria Revuelta, 16, leave Cuba if the rest of her family approved.

The girl's relatives welcomed the news and said they would have no problem with the girl joining her dissident mother, Alina Fernandez Revuelta, a former model who fled Cuba for the US last week.

'I am very pleased with this solution, I think there will be no difficulties either from the point of view of procedure or with her father or with me,' said Nati Revuelta, the girl's grandmother.

(Photograph omitted)