People: Chief's speech is seven-day wonder

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The Independent Online
Chief Mangosuthu BUTHELEZI, leader of Inkatha, was yesterday on the seventh day of a speech to the KwaZulu Legislative Assembly (a 'homeland' parliament entirely comprising members of his own party). The chief's speech began on Friday 12 March, broke for the weekend, continued the following Monday, and paused again last Friday. It resumed yesterday with the ominous announcement that 'the introductory overview was now over'. The chief would go on to 'deal in depth' with the specifics.

PRESIDENT CLINTON cancelled all engagements yesterday to remain near his father-in-law, Hugh Rodham, 82, who is in a 'serious condition' in hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas, after a stroke. Mr Rodham's daughter, Hillary, and grand- daughter, Chelsea, were also at his bedside.

President Yeltsin has arranged for his mother, Claudia, who died on Sunday, to be buried in a cemetery that is the traditional resting place for Russia's highest officials. Mrs Yeltsin will be buried at the Novodivici monastery cemetery, close to such notables as the writer Nicolai Gogol and the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

One reason why the government of Angola has always been trounced at public relations by the rebel movement, Unita, is that the rebels always have the better spokesmen abroad. The Angolan ambassador to the Court of St James does not even speak English. This will soon be changed, however. Luanda is about to appoint TONY FERNANDES to the post. He speaks excellent English and is a vigorous and persuasive propagandist. Where did he learn these skills? He used to be Unita chief foreign affairs spokesman until he defected to the government last year.

BETTY SHABAZZ, the widow of Malcolm X, prayed with Mike Tyson at the Indiana Youth Centre, the medium-security prison where the former heavyweight boxing champion is serving a six-year sentence for rape. Ms Shabazz said she had also discussed Tyson's efforts to educate himself while in jail (he has learnt to read and write and hopes to complete his high school education, the US equivalent of A- levels). 'His prayer moved me to tears,' Ms Shabazz said. 'I am as pleased and proud of his development as any mother or professor would be.'

TOM BROKAW, anchorman of NBC nightly news (salary dollars 2m a year) has politely turned down an offer from President Clinton to be the next director of the National Park Service (salary dollars 100,000 a year). Brokaw, who is interested in the environment and the great outdoors, said: 'The timing just isn't right.' The White House is now said to be considering another great environmentalist and outdoorsman (and sometime actor), Robert Redford.

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