People: Leisurely trim on Hair Force One

THE incoming commuter flight from Yuma, Arizona, was refused permission to land. The flight from Palmdale, California, had to circle above LA for 17 minutes. Two of the four runways at LA International, one of the world's busiest airports, were closed to traffic. Why? Because down there on Runway Two, inside a parked Air Force One, the President of the United States was having a haircut.

President Clinton who had gone to California to rally grass-roots support for his economic programme, delayed his take-off for Washington by about an hour to get a trim.

And as the scissors hovered round his head, planes stacked up above LA. The Federal Aviation Authority cautiously admitted that 'several' other flights were delayed and that the two runways were shut down for 56 minutes.

But the White House insisted yesterday that the incident did not betray Mr Clinton's image as the common man. On the contrary - his staff saw in it proof of his exemplary ordinariness. 'The president has to get his hair cut like everybody else has to get their hair cut,' said a spokesman.

WHAT KIND of a girl is Pippi Longstocking? To her creator, Astrid Lindgren, and to the readers of the Swedish novelist's work translated into 60 languages, Pippi Langstrump (as she was born) is a cheeky rebel. In France, however, Fifi Brin d'Acier is a polite little girl.

Ms Lindgren is threatening to withdraw the copyright on her books in France because her publisher, Hachette, persists in changing her character's character. Hachette, she says, has altered the books so as to turn the freckle-faced, orange-pigtailed wild child into a well-brought-up, respectful girl. Years after her initial complaint about erroneous translations, Ms Lingren has had enough. She says she will withdraw the copyright unless Hachette respects her rights and children's literature.

Perhaps Pippi, famous for her superhuman strength and challenges to adult values, can take on the publisher herself.

CLIENTS of Robin Weir, a Washington hair stylist, are pleased with Hillary Clinton's new, short cut and want the same look for themselves. That's the good news for Mr Weir. The bad news is that his salon's dollars 160 (pounds 100) 'Hillary' wigs were instantly outdated when the First Lady returned from a trip to New York with a layered look created by Frederic Fekkai.

The maker of the 'Hillary' wigs in 50 colours, Jacquelyn Wigs, plans to rush out a short version - shortly.