People: Mafia boss is kitchen Toto

PRISON cuisine has never been anything to write your censored letters home about, but the Sicilian Mafia's reputed boss of all bosses, Salvatore Riina, has it better than the ordinary inmate of Palermo's Ucciardone jail.

Toto, as he is known, cooks his own meals in a corner of his windowless cell because the authorities fear he might be poisoned if given prison food. Like other top-security prisoners, he is supplied with meat, fish, pasta, vegetables and fruit in the hope that he will escape the fate of Michele Sindona. Sindona, a Sicilian banker linked to the Mafia, died in jail in 1986 after drinking poisoned coffee.

ANOTHER Italian putting his hands to good use is Gherardo Colombo, the judge spearheading the 'Clean Hands' anti-corruption inquiry. He helped to save a woman who threatened to jump from a window of the Milan court building unless Mr Colombo agreed to see her. The judge went to the fourth- floor room and tried to persuade the woman to come down from the window, but she fell and was left hanging from the sill. With the help of a bodyguard, Mr Colombo pulled her inside to safety.

A CLOSE encounter of a different kind occurred on the remote Pacific island of Palau, which is not used to celebrities. Excitement reigned among the inhabitants when John F Kennedy Jr and Daryl Hannah arrived on a diving holiday. The son of the assassinated US president and the actress who played a mermaid in Splash enjoyed the waters and the courtesy of the island. 'People respect their need for privacy,' said a Palau Visitors' Authority representative. 'Palauans, as other islanders, are curious, but harassing and going for autographs is not a part of it.'

A Palau presidential spokesman said the star couple were not the first celebrities to visit the island. 'Lee Marvin was here to do Hell in the Pacific,' he said. That was back in 1968.

WHILE young JFK was enjoying himself with one blonde actress, his cousins were strongly denying their father's involvement with another. Congressman Joseph Kennedy, on behalf of his brothers and sisters, condemned a new television film about a purported affair between Robert Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe as 'a lie'. The film, Marilyn and Bobby: Her Final Affair, shown on a US cable network, is an account of the alleged 1962 romance between the attorney-general and the film star.

'Nothing that has appeared in the quarter century since Robert Kennedy's death has been so offensive,' the Kennedy statement said. 'The film is a lie. It is contrived to mislead the public and to malign the memory of people who were real, not fictional. For many who were Robert Kennedy's admirers, friends and family, it will cause hurt and heartache beyond measure.'

TELLING a lie, or rather just making a joke, was Bernard Tapie. The Olympique Marseille soccer chairman said 'it was just a joke' when he told a reporter for the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur that he was broke. It was, Mr Tapie said, 'what he clearly wanted to hear'. Mr Tapie said in the interview that the value of his companies had tumbled and his properties, including his yacht Phocea, were mortgaged. 'I escaped prison, not ruin. The truth is . . . I am broke.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sports Simulator / Home Cinema Installation Technician

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Simulation Tec...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Consultants - OTE up to £35,000

£15000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Franchise Operations Manager - Midlands or North West

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The position will be home based...

Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue