People: Cicciolina in tug-of-love battle with Jeff Koons

THE porn-star-turned-parliamentarian, Ilona Staller, aka Cicciolina, is playing quite a different role these days.

She has fled from the United States with her 18- month-old son after the breakdown of her marriage to the US pop artist, Jeff Koons. Ms Staller is wanted by US police after Mr Koons, who has custody of the boy, accused her of abducting their son. 'I only did what my heart told me to do,' she said. Mr Koons, who has become known for the sexually explicit works he has produced, using Cicciolina as a model, is filing for divorce.

FINALLY the big evening has arrived. Bill and Hillary Clinton, who've made a fetish out of informality at the White House, hosted the first state dinner of their 17 months as First Couple last night in honour of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan.

The 150 guests were seated in an open tent in the Rose Garden, whose turf had been taken up to make room. Thousands of tiny lights glittering in the trees and borders illuminated the scene. Just in case though, an air conditioning unit was on hand to cope with the first steamy heatwave of the Washington summer.

Not only was it a first for the Clintons: it was also the state banquet debut of the White House's new American chef, Walter S Scheib III. The usual French cuisine was replaced by all-American cuisine decreed by Mrs Clinton. 'Very simple and very fresh' is the watchword of the new culinary regime. But the evening ended with a fanfare by the old: a 25- minute recital by Mstislav Rostropovich, the retiring director of the National Symphony Orchestra, based in Washington,and perhaps the finest cellist of his generation.

ISRAEL made a mistake in executing Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Nazi death camps, and should have kept him alive in a glass cage to witness Israel's achievements, according to an Israeli official.

David Zucker, the head of the parliamentary law commission, said during a debate on Israeli military radio: 'With hindsight I think this execution has somewhat concealed the horrors of the Shoah (Holcaust).'

'We should have kept him in a glass cage so that he could see what has been achieved here in Israel. That would have been a much harder sentence on him.'

Eichmann recommended ways to improve the efficiency of the gas chambers used to kill Jews after he visited Auschwitz.

THE North Korean leadership may not be flavour of the month in the international community, but the Pyongyang post office loves them. It has issued stamps to commemorate the work of Kim Jong-Il, heir-apparent to his father, President Kim Il-Sung, or 'the supreme leader'.

The stamps are apparently to commemorate Kim junior's 30 years on the central committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea. The stamps show Kim Jong-Il 'wisely organising and leading the work of the party, the state and the army as a whole with his tireless and energetic activities', according to the state-controlled media.

(Photograph omitted)

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