People: Dan gets desperate over his comeback to 1996

Unimpressed with the 1992 campaign that ended in his defeat for re-election to the US vice-presidency, Dan Quayle takes George Bush's campaign staff to task in a new book, Standing Firm. In a chapter entitled 'How to Lose an Election', Mr Quayle says the staff ran 'the most poorly planned and executed incumbent presidential campaign in this century'.

He also has sharp comments for James Baker, the former Secretary of State, who, he writes, cared about only one thing: 'What was in it for Jim Baker?' And, he says, it was the National Security Adviser, Brent Scowcroft, not Mr Baker, who was the key player in foreign policy. Mr Quayle also provides a frank look at himself, calling one chapter 'Flaps, Gaffes - and Serious Diplomacy'.

The book, due out on 5 May, leaves little doubt that Mr Quayle feels he can do very well in a run for the top job in 1996. Recounting his election-night decision to depart gracefully, with no anger or bitterness, he writes: 'How you exit is important, especially if you're thinking of coming back.'

Like Kim Il Sung earlier this month, Saddam Hussein didn't have the great and good of the world flocking to Baghdad to help celebrate his birthday. Even the notorious stayed away. Vladimir Zhirinovsky declined an invitation from Saddam to attend celebrations of his 57th year, saying he had political obligations in Russia. Still, Iraq will party, willingly or not. Parades, football matches, music festivals and street parties were scheduled, with the biggest bash in Tikrit, Saddam's hometown.

The ongoing spat between China and Britain over Hong Kong has left Chris Patten, the colony's governor, socially isolated, according to a Peking-financed newspaper. 'Of all the governors of Hong Kong, Chris Patten is the most lonely,' the Hong Kong Commercial Daily said.

Mr Patten has most recently been left off next week's invitation lists for a luncheon at which Lu Ping, China's top official for Hong Kong, is to make a major speech, and for the ceremony to launch the first Hong Kong banknotes issued by the mainland Bank of China.

'China's stance of no dialogue with Britain remains firm' unless Mr Patten backs down on his democratic reform proposals, a Chinese official said. 'It is no surprise that the governor has not been invited' to functions hosted by business groups, added. Such groups are keen to 'take a piece of action' in China's economy.

Spanish missionary nuns have been awarded one of Spain's prestigious Prince of Asturias prizes for their 'humanity and solidarity, which are exceptional examples for modern society'. The prize was given for their efforts to protect the lives of dozens of people caught up in the recent blood-letting in Rwanda. Sister Pilar Diez Espelosin received particular mention for the harrowing accounts of the Rwandan conflict she gave by telephone to Spanish newspapers and radio stations.

(Photograph omitted)

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