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People: Chemical reaction

WITH his political career cut short in Italy's wide-ranging corruption scandal, Gianni De Michelis has returned to his old job - teaching organic chemistry. The loquacious former foreign minister went back to the classroom this week as a part-time lecturer at the University of Venice, where he had worked from 1964 to 1976, when he was elected a Socialist MP. Mr De Michelis had been on leave from the university and was entitled to return after losing his seat in last month's general elections.

The long-haired disco-dancing enthusiast faces prison if convicted over alleged illegal payments to the Socialist Party, diversion of Third World aid and accepting bribes.

THE WIFE of another Italian politician is getting further than a classroom away from the political scene. Anna Craxi, spouse of the disgraced former prime minister Bettino Craxi, has left Milan to reside in Tunisia, L'Europeo reports. The couple's daughter told the magazine her father would do well to follow her mother to the beach resort of Hammamet.

'Considering the way the wind is blowing, I don't know whether it makes any sense for my father to stay in Italy,' Stefania Craxi said. 'If I were in his shoes I would have been out of here some time ago.'

Mr Craxi, who is on trial on bribery charges, has said he fears for his life.

FEARING for her life, Roseanne Arnold filed for divorce and obtained a restraining order against Tom Arnold, her actor-producer husband of four years. In court papers, the star of the hit television series Roseanne said she wants to avoid 'battered-wife syndrome mentality'.

'Throughout our marriage the respondent hit me, struck me, has thrown objects at me, pinched me and verbally abused me,' she said in asking for the restraining order.

Poor Roseanne. When she married Arnold she took his surname, saying she wanted to be rid of her own - Barr - because it was the name of the parents who had abused her. Ms Arnold made the allegation after undergoing a controversial course of psychotherapy and 'recovering' early memories. Her parents, brother and sisters contend that Roseanne was never abused.

Roseanne and Tom may yet be reconciled. He says he never hit her and wants her back. They remain entwined in television and film deals, and own an Iowa restaurant, Roseanne and Tom's Big Food Diner. Fitness magazine placed the diner at the bottom of its list of celebrity- owned restaurants. Top-ranked was Robert Redford's Sundance restaurant in Utah.

SHE doesn't own a restaurant but Tonya Harding is serving meals. The ice skater distributed hot dinners on Tuesday to elderly, low-income people as part of her court sentence for conspiring to cover up a plot to attack her skating rival, Nancy Kerrigan.