People: Fresh insight on HK wrangle

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The Independent Online
AT LAST, Chris Patten, Governor of Hong Kong, and Zhou Nan, China's de facto ambassador to the territory, are seeing eye-to-eye. They are still divided on democracy and the future of Hong Kong, but both men have agreed to donate their corneas after their deaths to Project Orbis, which operates a flying eye hospital.

Mr Patten and Mr Zhou, director of the Xinhua News Agency, made their pledges yesterday at Hong Kong's Kai Tak airport while touring Project Orbis's new DC-10 flying hospital. The plane, purchased in part through donations by two wealthy Hong Kong residents, begins a three-week mission to China tomorrow.

THE president of Kyrgyzstan is also promoting health. Askar Akayev, 50, plans to climb a 16,400ft peak in the Altai range next week to encourage good health and to honour the memory of Andrei Sakharov, the human-rights activist.

SHE'S not climbing mountains, but Kate Capshaw is out and about - and Steven Spielberg, her director-husband, isn't wildly happy about it. Like many women who took a few years off to start raising their children, Capshaw has returned to work - with Warren Beatty, Sean Connery and James Woods. 'Steven knows I'm completely mesmerised by Warren and Sean,' Capshaw said. 'They're as charismatic and electric in their 50s and 60s as they were in their 20s. And Jimmy is just hysterical.'

The lucky actress who co-starred with Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is now playing Beatty's girlfriend in Love Affair, Connery's wife in Just Cause and Woods's wife in Next Door.

INDIA'S legendary bandit queen, Phoolan Devi, has slipped out of the public eye and into a life of domesticity. Freed five months ago after 11 years in jail, Ms Devi disclosed her recent marriage to her sister's ex-husband. The couple are living in New Delhi, in a flat rented by the French publisher of her autobiography.

Ms Devi had been jailed without trial for robbery, kidnapping and murder. Her killing of 18 villagers to avenge the death of her lover and her own rape made her a heroine of India's poor. The bandit who rode horses with a rifle slung over her shoulders now dresses in pink and frequents beauty salons.

But she still wants her gun back. 'There are people who want me dead,' Ms Devi said - most of them relatives of her victims.

(Photograph omitted)