People: Fat's fun for heavy Helmut

Doing it his way, Frank Sinatra, 78, seems to have made a swift recovery after he collapsed on stage during a performance on Sunday. He was taken to hospital (above), but after a few hours, a spokeswoman said, 'he decided he wanted to leave and he left'. He had complained during his concert in Richmond, Virginia that 'it's hot in here'. While singing My Way he turned to his son, who was conducting the band, and asked for a chair. He then fell head first on the stage, but recovered consciousness before being taken to hospital. Photograph: Reuter

POOR Helmut Kohl is having a rough time just now as he swings on to the campaign trail.

He has taken the dubious step of introducing his legendary bulk as an issue. Fat is fun, Mr Kohl assured 2,000 supporters at a rally in Nienburg. 'There's nothing to be sorry about. It can actually be a lot of fun.'

This is perhaps a belated riposte to fellow flabby Bill Clinton, who joked a few weeks ago that Mr Kohl reminded him of sumo wrestlers he had seen on television.

ON that subject, the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Jabir al- Ahmad al-Jabir as-Sabah, is warning his subjects to curb their affluent way of life lest they fall prey to flabbiness. In his annual televised address marking the month of Ramadan, the Emir explained that a spot of austerity might be in order.

'The persistence of the style of luxury and overspending is not only a financial burden. Rather it is in the first place the wrecking of the balanced personality and implanting of the disease of arrogance and flabbiness.'

SAUDI ARABIA's King Fahd is, by contrast, in a free- spending mood. He telephoned the Middle East Broadcasting network based in London in mid-telethon to ask how much the charity programme had raised for Bosnia and victims of the Hebron incident. 'Five million dollars, your majesty' was the reply.

'I will double that amount, by donating dollars 5m,' replied the generous monarch. The Americans are not amused. King Fahd is having difficulty meeting his monthly payments for US arms.

THE French business daily Les Echos gave its journalists the week off and hired graduates from the elite Ecole Polytechnique to produce the newspaper. Yesterday's edition - on the august institution's 200th anniversary - contained an editorial by the former president, Valery Giscard d'Estaing (class of 1944), urging full employment and a piece by the Nobel economics laureate Maurice Allais (1931), calling for a united Europe. Among 59 distinguished contributors, only one was a woman - a sad reflection for International Women's Day.

FOR the African National Congress leader, Nelson Mandela, the priority is educating South Africa's children, and he warns parents that they could be jailed if they fail to send their children to school.

'We are going to make a law once we have built enough schools for our children to be absorbed . . . compelling parents to send their children to school,' he said.

'Any parent not carrying out that decision we will lock up,' and, he added crisply, 'they can come to me for lessons as to how one serves a prison sentence.'

ALSO learning how to serve a prison sentence is the Mafia superboss Salvatore 'Toto' Riina. He is watched by closed circuit cameras in his cell on the island of Asinara off Sardinia. Riina, who was arrested more than a year ago after 25 years on the run, cooks his own food in his cell.

The authorities are so worried someone might help him to escape, or kill him to keep his Mafia secrets safe, they allow no unauthorised vessel within a mile of the island. Riina's warder says he reads every letter his prisoner writes or receives - except those from his lawyer.

Yesterday, in Riina's home town of Corleone, his Mafia friends left a 'present' in the form of a calf's head on the doorstep of Giuseppe Cipriani, the town's mayor. The Sicilian town was immortalised in the film The Godfather. Cipriani, a member of the ex-Communist Democratic Party of the Left, is an outspoken critic of the Mafia.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Club legend Paul Scholes is scared United could disappear into 'the wilderness'
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HR Advisor - East Anglia - Field-based

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: To be considered for this position you will n...

Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, Graduate, SQL, VBA)

£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...

Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Perl, Bash, SQL)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...

C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home