People: Feminist credentials not established

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The Independent Online
Padraig Flynn, the EC Social Affairs Commissioner, apologised for not mentioning equal opportunities for women as one of his 'goals of the year'. 'If it's mea culpa for Commissioner Flynn, it's mea culpa,' he told the European parliament's human rights committee. This fulsome apology might have been better received if Mr Flynn had not poured sexist scorn on the election of Mary Robinson as Ireland's President in 1991. Mr Flynn, then a Fianna Fail minister, now the European guardian of women's rights, questioned who would cook Mrs Robinson's husband's dinner.

As Winnie Mandela's appeal against convictions for assault and kidnapping begins, one of her lawyers in the original trial two years ago, Dali Mpofu, faces expulsion from the Johannesburg Bar. He was arrested on Monday on charges of attempted fraud. Mpofu, Mrs Mandela's former lover, allegedly tried to bank 50,000 rand ( pounds 11,000) drawn illegally from an ANC account. He was fired last year, along with Mrs Mandela, from the ANC's social welfare department. Two weeks ago, at a football match in Soweto, he was beaten up by men who accused him of 'insulting the nation'.

Milan Panic, Californian businessman turned Balkan politician, has turned businessman again. Mr Panic, 63, ousted as prime minister of the rump Yugoslavia last December, has rejoined his business in the US, ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. He now says that the best thing he can do for his native land (which he originally left in 1956 with dollars 20 in his pocket) is to expand his US business to eastern Europe and the Balkans. Mr Panic, who struggled unsuccessfully in his seven months as prime minister to end the war in Bosnia, is also calling for an end to the sanctions against Serbia and for the creation of a kind of Balkan EC.

Poor Imelda Marcos has been barred by a Filipino court from fulfilling her self-appointed role as Queen of the Philippines. Mrs Marcos must seek court permission to leave the country as she awaits trial for helping her husband, President Ferdinand Marcos, steal up to dollars 5bn ( pounds 3.3bn) from the country. The court rejected her request to her go to Thailand to attend the wedding of a son of an obscure Thai prince as 'frivolous'.

Linda McCartney, touring Australia with her husband, Paul, has written to the recently re-elected Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating, to complain about his share in a pig farm. She told him that he could not be a good leader if he was also 'murdering animals.'