People: Menem Jnr has brush with Senor Plod

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The Independent Online
ARGENTINA'S President, Carlos Menem, was hoping for some peace in Punta del Este, Uruguay - a summer playground for rich Argentines - but the tranquillity was shaken by his son, Carlos Facundo Menem Yoma, 25, whose antics led to a spot of bother with police. Carlitos and a posse of his bodyguards were clapped in jail for two days after a photographer for the Argentine gossip magazine Gente accused them of beating him and stealing his camera at a discotheque.

The photographer said: 'We are not in Argentina, nor is this the 1920s. He is not Al Capone and here in Uruguay he is no one.' But Carlos Jnr said the photographer had struck him first and that his bodyguards had restrained him from hitting back. Carlos Snr admitted he was angry, but contemplated no executive action at the prospect of formal charges being filed. 'As President I didn't lift a finger . . . he will have to face the music.'

DANES are celebrating the arrival of the new court dog. Henryk, Prince of Denmark, gave his wife, Queen Margrethe, a dachshund to replace her pet dog that went missing in October while he was taking it for a walk in the woods. Celimene, an eight-week puppy that was the prince's Christmas present to his wife, made its official debut in photographs in the Danish press, portrayed sitting on the Queen's lap and trying out a palace sofa. This will be welcome news for the Queen's subjects, who turned out in their thousands to search the forests north of Copenhagen after her last dachshund, Zenobie, said to be of a shy disposition, scampered off.

THE film star Sophia Loren, who collected the 'Desert Palm Achievement Award' in Palm Springs at the weekend, is planning a comeback. La Loren, 59, announced at a film festival there: 'Not being a teenager any more, I have to select stories that are very appropriate to my age and to my character.' She is clearly determined to be remembered as something more than Alessandra Mussolini's aunt.

SENTENCED to life imprisonment for shooting the Pope, Mehmet Ali Agca has been given more than a year's remission for good behaviour. Agca, who shot the Pope in St Peter's Square in May 1981, will now be available for parole in 2004. Held in a maximum-security jail, he had already had his sentence reduced by more than two years in 1989. Agca's time behind bars has not been idly spent: his lawyers are seeking a publisher for his autobiography, I, Jesus Christ.

COLOMBIAN fans are thrilled that the goalkeeper Rene Higuita has been freed after seven months in jail for alleged involvement in a kidnapping ordered by the late Medellin drugs baron Pablo Escobar.

What the fans want to know is whether Higuita, one of Latin America's soccer superstars who plays for the Medellin side Atletico Nacional, will be allowed into the US for the World Cup finals in June.

(Photograph omitted)

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