People: Marcos's body to head home after four-year wait

AFTER four years in cold storage, Ferdinand Marcos is going home to the Philippines. President Fidel Ramos has approved the return of the former dictator's remains from Hawaii in September, ending a four-year tug-of-war over the corpse. A presidential statement said the body would be flown to the city of Laoag in Ilocos Norte province on 4 or 6 September for 'simple funeral rites'.

Marcos, who was overthrown in the 1986 revolt by Mr Ramos, his cousin, and other military rebels, died in Hawaii three years later; his body has since lain in a refrigerated crypt in Honolulu awaiting burial. Corazon Aquino, who succeeded Marcos as president, refused to allow the return of his corpse because she feared it might spark unrest, thus denying his grieving widow Imelda the chance to 'fulfil a sacred duty' by reuniting Ferdinand with his mother, Josefa, whose body lies in a large refrigerator in Batac, in the Philippines.

An MP who represents Ilocos Norte in parliament, along with Ferdinand Junior, welcomed Mr Ramos's decision: 'It will establish stability, and probably we will regain our credibility in the business world.'

MOVING to the political undead, Russians think Margaret Thatcher is the foreign politician best equipped to lead their country out of its crisis, according to a television poll conducted by Itogi, a popular weekly show. Lady Thatcher got 12 per cent of the vote, followed, rather unimaginatively, by George Bush on 6 per cent and Bill Clinton and Helmut Kohl on 4 per cent. Less predictable was the fact that General Augusto Pinochet also scored 4 per cent, while Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro were each chosen by 3 per cent of viewers.

CALIFORNIA is preparing for a match made in the Guinness Book of Records, as the world's most married man plans his next wedding - to the world's most married woman.

Glynn 'Scotty' Wolfe, 85, plans to marry Linda Lou Essex, 53, as soon as she can fly to his home in the Sunshine State. Mr Wolfe has been married 27 times, Ms Essex 22 times. Both are listed in the record book as having the most monogamous marriages. However, Mr Wolfe is also listed as having died in 1991. 'That was a surprise that I'm supposed to have passed away,' Mr Wolfe said, but added: 'I've been in heaven all the time.' Ms Essex acknowledges that deciding to go for number 23 was a 'big decision and a lot of responsibility', adding that it would be difficult to leave her seven children and 17 grandchildren in Indiana.

WHO said it pays to be honest? Martina Navratilova reckons she could have made more money as a tennis player if she hadn't been open about being a lesbian. 'My sexuality definitely has cost me a lot of money, but that's OK. I'd rather be who I am and make less,' she said. 'I certainly can't complain. I've made more than my share of money playing tennis.'

A TOUPEE worn by Humphrey Bogart while filming The African Queen, The Barefoot Contessa, and Sabrina, sold for dollars 500 (pounds 335) at auction. The rug was the centerpiece of a memorabilia sale by Verita Thompson, who wrote about being Bogart's mistress for 15 years in her book Bogey and Me. Ms Thompson said she collected the memorabilia during her affair and was selling the items to clean house before she moved.

(Photograph omitted)

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