People: King marches for advancement

THE MAN whose beating by white policemen triggered Los Angeles riots, Rodney King, has joined the US's oldest civil rights group, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and will 'work in Los Angeles in the 'hood with us,' said the group's executive director. The Rev Benjamin

F Chavis Jr said Mr King was a 'worldwide symbol of why we need to march', an endorsement that has raised some eyebrows, in view of Mr King's roller-coaster relations with the forces of law and order.

Mr King was arrested last week for drink-driving after his truck crashed into a wall near a Los Angeles nightclub. He initially denied being behind the wheel, saying that one of his two passengers was driving, but, said police, 'he subsequently apologised for crazy driving'.

Other brushes with the law since his beating in 1991 include being arrested for trying to pick up a transvestite prostitute and being arrested after his wife said she had been injured in a domestic dispute and feared for her life. And last summer he was arrested after his car hit a pole outside a restaurant.

No charges were brought in any case, for lack of evidence .

RACE relations have been on Robert Mugabe's mind lately. The Zimbabwean President has been threatening to deport white farmers who are resisting his plans to resettle landless black Zimbabweans on their land.

'There is still white racism in this country . . . The whites think they are more God's children than others and they still look at their white skin as more precious and more divine than ours,' he told a cheering (black) crowd at the weekend. Zimbabwe's whites are feeling distinctly unhappy about all this.

Perhaps Lord Carrington, who arrives in Harare today for a two-day visit to examine projects of VSO - of which he is president - will be able to smooth things over. The former foreign secretary, who pulled off the Lancaster House agreement on Zimbabwean independence in 1979, is still regarded by all parties as something of a hero.

TALKING of delicate diplomatic missions, the US is leaning on South Korea to reconsider its refusal to allow Michael Jackson to perform in Seoul as part of his 'Dangerous' tour. The authorities said Jacko's performances would exert a negative influence on society. Some fear the tour may reflect badly on President Kim Young Sam's campaign against conspicuous consumption and corrupt lifestyles. But the US embassy in Seoul believes 'there is no reason to keep an international star like Michael Jackson out'.

THE Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping, who was 89 at the weekend, was not well enough to make his annual summer trip to the seaside.

Instead, the veteran leader stayed in Peking 'to share the happiness with family members', according to the Hong Kong daily Wen Wei Po.

WHEELER-DEALER Donald Trump, noted for naming chunks of his empire after himself, is thinking of naming his unborn daughter after the jeweller Tiffany's. 'Tiffany's is right next to Trump Tower and I used the air rights over Tiffany's . . . Tiffany has been a lucky name for me,' he said.

(Photograph omitted)