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The Independent Online
GUNS, SEX and religion were too good a combination to wait for. Two television film versions of the Battle of Waco are already in pre-production, despite the inconvenient fact that the siege has not yet ended (and shows no signs of doing so). Bonnie Haldeman, mother of the self-appointed Messiah of central Texas, David Koresh, has received dollars 75,000 for her help with one of the versions (to her offspring's intense annoyance, according to the FBI).

President Mobutu Sese Seko, autocratic ruler of Zaire and international jet-setter, is impervious to international disapproval. But the French government may finally have found a way of hitting him where it hurts. President Mobutu has a glittering residence at Cap Martin on the French Riviera; he is a frequent visitor. The French government, distressed by his bloody repression of Zairean would-be reformers, has banned him from the country. 'We deemed it advisable at the moment that he refrain from coming to France,' said the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Daniel Bernard.

Watch out Basil Jardanesh, Finance Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Sir Alan Walters - monetarist thorn in the side of Nigel Lawson while Mrs Thatcher's economic adviser in the 1980s - has been appointed consultant to the Jordanian government on Strategic Economic Policy Matters.

Robert Reich, Harvard economics sage turned US Labor Secretary, still finds time to correspond with the American Oxonian, the quarterly magazine for former Rhodes Scholars. His notes on the activities of the Rhodes class of 1968 include the following paragraph: 'Bill Clinton writes that Chelsea's ballet skills have reached a new level of perfection, and that Hillary remains busy. Bill notes that in early November he was elected President of the United States. Both he and Hillary spent most of the year campaigning.'

Winnie Mandela is off the hook, in a manner of speaking. The phone to the luxury Soweto mansion of the estranged wife of the ANC president, Nelson Mandela, has been cut at her husband's request. South Africa's Telekom telephone company confirmed an outstanding bill of nearly 19,000 rand ( pounds 4,300). Mrs Mandela, who is free on bail pending her appeal later this month against a 1991 conviction on charges of kidnapping and assault, separated from her husband last year.

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