People: Artful Yoko's piece of cheek

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The Independent Online
A rocket scientist she's not, but Yoko Ono is still busy conducting a 'moon shot'. The artist has been festooning Langenhagen, Germany, with 70,000 copies of a photo of a naked posterior. Over the next two weeks, the black-and-white picture is being displayed on billboards, T-shirts, postcards, umbrellas and lampposts in the Hanover suburb.

Ms Ono chose the photo as the theme for her 'Celebration of Being Human', and insists it does not matter whose derriere is on display. The exhibition, she said, is designed to make viewers wonder about the subject and to prompt thoughts of peace. Art, as part of peace, is beautiful, she added. Could it be Art's bottom, then?

He has found new friends in Jordan, but Yitzhak Rabin has lost the ashtrays in the Israeli cabinet room. The Prime Minister popped out of the regular weekly ministerial meeting twice to satisfy his nicotine habit after anti-smoking laws took effect.

The legislation bars smoking in most public places, with restaurants and workplaces having to set aside smoking areas.

State radio said the Health Minister, Ephraim Sneh, presented Mr Rabin with the new law before the cabinet session on Sunday and made it clear passive smoking was out.

Mr Rabin, who held the health portfolio until earlier this year, refused to sign the no-smoking bill in 1993. As a smoker all of his adult life - and one who never really tried to stop - he believed it would have been hypocritical.

Yasser Arafat, Mr Rabin's 'partner in peace', doesn't smoke but he may have been steaming on Wednesday. Not invited to the Israeli-Jordanian treaty-signing ceremony, he had hoped to see it on television in his Gaza headquarters. Five minutes after turning on his set, the power went out. Mr Arafat ordered . . . lunch.

The woman who signed the 1984 treaty returning Hong Kong to China in 1997 plans to be on hand for Day 1 of Chinese rule. 'I have already booked rooms so that I can be here on 1 July 1997 to witness the end of Britain's excellent stewardship and the birth of Hong Kong's future with China,' Baroness Thatcher said on her latest visit to the British colony. 'And I fully intend to continue to come regularly, well after that.'

China, you've been warned.

Poor Silvio Berlusconi, besieged from all sides and unable to sell his 27-bedroom holiday villa. The Italian Prime Minister's high profile has been blamed for members of the Saudi royal family pulling out of a deal to buy the mansion on Sardinia's Emerald Coast for dollars 40m (pounds 26m).

'They contacted us from Switzerland,' Mr Berlusconi's estate agent told Corriere della Sera. 'There was too much of a fuss and it seems there were political reasons as well.' The house is off the market, awaiting a warmer political climate.

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