People: Hawke promises to pick himself up

AFTER falling off the wagon into a series of embarrassing situations, Bob Hawke, Australia's former prime minister, has announced that he is giving up alcohol - again. Once legendary for his fiery temperament under the influence, Mr Hawke became a teetotaller in 1980 and remained so until his eight-year spell as prime minister ended in 1991. He began what he has called a 'mild resumption' of alcohol a year ago.

His decision has probably been influenced by press disclosures about his emotional behaviour since then. He was reported a fortnight ago to have loudly told patrons in a Canberra casino in the early hours that Paul Keating, who deposed him as prime minister, would not win Australia's next election.

Then came another report that Mr Hawke had got into a shouting match with Malcom Fraser - another former Australian leader - in front of foreign dignitaries at a reception at the Australian ambassador's residence in May after the inauguration of Nelson Mandela.

A JUDGE in the Dominican Republic claims that Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis Presley's daughter, were married there. Francisco Alvarez Perez said he wed the couple at his home in La Vega. According to reports, an official marriage record, complete with the requisite government seals, shows the two Americans were wed by Mr Alvarez on 26 May. Members of Jacko's entourage denied the reports, which did not mention whether or not Elvis was sighted.

THE setting for a Group of Seven dinner in Naples was so romantic that Italy's Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, feared fellow summiteers might succumb to amorous urges. 'The women had romantic looks in their eyes . . . and I said to somebody: 'We had better be careful or we are going to end up adding to our offspring', ' he told a news conference. But the tycoon-turned-politician added that the dinner ended so late, 'I don't think anybody had time'.'

But this year's summit prize for one-liners goes to the French Foreign Minister, Alain Juppe, Asked how he found the Italians, he riposted: 'Suntanned'.

THE chief aide and son-in-law of Nicaraguan President Violeta Chamorro said he may divorce his wife so he can run for president in 1996. Antonio Lacayo is married to the President's daughter, Cristiana.

A proposed reform would ban relatives from following a sitting president. Mr Lacayo said his wife had agreed to a divorce but 'I don't know if I'll accept because it's a little early still'.

'Some say it's better the second time around,' Cristiana said.

(Photograph omitted)

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