People: No picnic for cabinet as Yitzhak's cafe closes

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The Independent Online
ISRAEL'S most exclusive dining room is closing down. In an attempt to introduce a bit of decorum, Yitzhak Rabin, the Prime Minister, has put an end to eating and drinking at cabinet meetings. Mr Rabin had seen enough media coverage of his ministers munching away around a table covered in food and drink. 'Some people thought that all ministers do is eat cheese pastries all day,' said the Tourism Minister, Uzi Baram.

The ministers were 'stunned' on Tuesday when they arrived in the cabinet room, known as 'Yitzhak's Cafe', to find the table bare of the usual sandwiches, salads, fruit, cakes and drinks. Now, when they have 'a lot on their plates', it'll be only affairs of state.

HIS NEW job has meant nothing but trouble for Charles David. On Monday he was appointed Foreign Minister in Haiti's new army-supported government. By Wednesday the Montreal journalist's assets were frozen by the Canadian government and he was vilified in an editorial in La Presse, the newspaper he has worked for since 1971.

Mr David, the 53-year-old son of a Haitian army doctor, was named Foreign Minister by Emile Jonassaint, the little- known military man installed last week as President. A Canadian resident since 1967, Mr David was known in Montreal's large Haitian community for his critical view of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the elected president deposed by the military in 1991.

La Presse's assistant publisher, Claude Masson, who wrote the editorial denouncing denounced Mr David for joining an 'illegitimate, unelected and undemocratic government', removed him as international affairs reporter. Mr David was granted a six-month leave to pursue his new career. 'He sees his role at this time as some sort of saviour of the nation,' Mr Masson said. 'If he does come back to the newspaper, he'll be transferred to another section, maybe sports.'

SHE MAY keep wearing Diadora tennis dresses, but Jennifer Capriati won't be paid for it anymore. The Italian sportswear company is cancelling its multimillion-dollar contract with the tennis star following her arrest on a marijuana charge. Despite Capriati's decision to quit the tennis circuit to finish high school and her brush with the law for alleged shoplifting, Diadora kept up the endorsement deal. But her arrest this week was the last straw.

GETTING out of jury duty isn't always easy, but Judge John Langston of the Pulaski County Circuit Court in Arkansas thought living out of the state was an airtight excuse, and thus excused Hillary Rodham Clinton. Her name was randomly drawn from Arkansas voter rolls and she received a notice to serve. Mrs Clinton was 'grateful to be excused so she can dedicate her agenda to getting health-care reform passed', an aide said.

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