People: Short shark shock at Fiji funeral

HE WAS SAID to be a direct descendant of the shark god Dakuwaqa, so it was fitting that a school of sharks appeared suddenly in Suva Harbour on Wednesday to accompany the funeral flotilla of Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau out to sea.

The sharks surfaced during the ceremonial 21-gun salute in front of the Tovuto, which carried the president of Fiji's coffin to his home island of Taveuni, where he will be entombed in the village of Somosomo tomorrow. Hundreds of cattle and pigs will be slaughtered to feed the expected 6,000 mourners, who have also taken traditional gifts of food to the people of Taveuni.

Mourners in Suva had anticipated that sharks would appear as the flotilla left the harbour, and their appearance as escorts reaffirmed Ganilau's bloodline from Dakuwaqa. Sightings of even a single shark in Suva Harbour are rare.

FOLLOWING in the shoes of Chelsea Clinton, who danced the role of the favourite aunt in the Washington Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker, Magda Walesa will dance the title role in La Gitana when the Ballet de Nancy et de Lorraine performs in Warsaw tonight.

Magda, the 15-year-old daughter of the Polish President, Lech Walesa, will dance the role of Loretta, kidnapped at the age of 14 by Gypsies and who returns home 10 years later. The production, headed by Pierre Lacotte, the ballet company's choreographer and artistic director, will remain faithful to the style and tenor of the 19th-century ballet created by Philippe Tagloni. In 20th-century style, Lacotte will meet Magda's dad after the show.

FOR HIS 'spirit of forgiveness in the face of adversity', Reginald Denny was named the best-mannered person of 1993. The National League of Junior Cotillions, an etiquette and social training organisation for teenagers in North Carolina, bestowed the honour on Mr Denny 'because of the unforgettable compassion he showed for his assailants', who dragged him from his truck during the 1992 Los Angeles riots and bludgeoned him. Denny forgave his attackers and, at their trial, hugged their mothers.

Second to Mr Denny in the Cotillions's annual selections was George Bush, for 'honouring the office of the president with dignity'. No mention was made in the citation of a certain dinner in Japan or the cleaning bill for the prime minister's suit.

NOT ALL of the Mao clan has been happily savouring the nostalgia surrounding the 100th birthday of the Great Helmsman. One grandson, Wang Xiaozhi, told the China Daily: 'I wish I had been born into a different family. That way I would have had more freedom and no worries about what other people say.'

Mr Wang, 21, was born to Li Na, the daughter of Mao and Jiang Qing, his notorious third wife and Gang of Four leader. After three years at a vocational school, he worked for two years in a joint-venture hotel where he kept his family history a secret from his co-workers. Mr Wang resigned from the hotel this year and headed to college, where he says his work experience has proved invaluable. 'Now I understand why my mother wanted me to work first,' he said. 'Without the two years on a job, I wouldn't understand a thing.' His mother had insisted on the job, citing Mao's dictum that it was better to gain experience in society than read books.

Mr Wang plans to go into business, rather than pursue a political career, but the shadow of his grandfather remains a demanding influence on his life. 'I won't let my grandpa down,' he said.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Life and Style
fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
i100Most young people can't
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Service and Support (Financial Services, ITIL, ORC, TT)

£75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of Service and Support (Financial Ser...

Calypso Developer

£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, J2EE, JAXB, ...

Service Delivery Manager - ITIL / ServiceNow / Derivatives

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading Financial Services orga...

Senior Quantitative Developer

£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home