People: NZ puts the boots in for Vietnam PM's visit

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The Independent Online
THE FEET of Vietnam's Prime Minister, Vo Van Kiet, had hardly touched the ground at the start of a visit to New Zealand before he was being issued with regulation gumboots. The New Zealanders, eager to boost trade with Vietnam, were showing off agricultural factories and dairy farms but Mr Vo was spared a glimpse of the country's 50 million sheep. Presumably that comes later on the Australian leg of the tour.

THE jogging President, Bill Clinton, has a lot to answer for. It is not only Americans running to the sport shops to buy designer jogging gear, but Mr Clinton's counterparts who feel the need for a daily jog in public. The latest president to be seen puffing and panting is Fidel Ramos of the Philippines. President Ramos took his jogging shorts on a visit to South Korea and at 5.45am yesterday led his bodyguards on a two-mile run at the National Museum in central Seoul.

HE MAY have wrestled Argentina's runaway inflation down to its lowest levels in decades, but the Economy Minister, Domingo Cavallo, says at home he is not trusted with money. 'My own wife empties my wallet because she says I'm a spendthrift,' the Harvard-trained economist revealed. Members of the Housewives' League consumer rights group have heaped praise upon Mr Cavallo, however, who returned the compliment: 'Women are the best economy ministers, I always say.'

THE lawyer and suspense novelist John Grisham, who served six years in the Mississippi Legislature in the 1980s, is fighting off attempts to get him to re-enter politics and run for a US Senate seat. 'I have three books to write under contract with my publisher. I have two children to raise, and a Little League team to coach,' argued the author of A Time to Kill and three other books. But the real reason he's just saying no? 'Senators are expected to shave and wear socks.'

Fall-out from the end of the Cold War has arrived in Philadelphia in the shape of Pavel Skvirshiy, a Soviet Second World War pilot. He arrived to thank the veteran US comedian, Red Skelton, 80, for donating his bomber for the Soviet war effort against the Nazis. Skelton decided to donate the bomber in 1943 at the prompting of President Roosevelt.

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