People: Television dogs Mitterrands

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The Independent Online
FOR more than a month, Francois Mitterrand was without his best friend. Now, thanks to the power of television, the French President and his black Labrador, Atchoum, have been reunited. It's not clear who Mr Mitterrand was seeing that fateful day in September, but for some reason the dog bolted out of the gates of the Elysee Palace. Discovered wandering the streets, he was placed in a pound. And then? Cherchez la femme.

Atchoum was adopted by an unidentified woman said to have been taken with his good breeding and refined demeanour. After several attempts to locate him failed, the President and his wife, Danielle, contacted a prime-time animal programme broadcast every Saturday. The mystery woman who had taken the dog home recognised him and alerted the television station. According to radio reports, Mrs Mitterrand herself collected Atchoum, whose name is the French equivalent of the sneezing sound 'achoo'.

ALSO heading home is Murtaza Bhutto, the much- wanted younger brother of Pakistan's Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto. Mr Bhutto, according to a spokesman, will return to Pakistan on 3 November, ending 16 years of self-exile, most of it in Syria. He was elected in his absence to the Sindh provincial assembly, and has until 7 November to take the oath of office or lose his seat.

The trouble is, Mr Bhutto is wanted on charges of terrorism, including the hijacking of an airliner in 1981 in which a man was killed. Officials have said he would be arrested as soon as he stepped on to Pakistani soil.

STEPPING into the EC dispute over subsidies to the film industry, Mickey Kantor, the US Trade Representative, is putting his own money behind Hollywood. He has seen Jurassic Park three times, he confessed at a Brussels press conference. Not that he wanted to, of course. It was his 10-year-old daughter who insisted on seeing the dinosaurs-from-DNA film again and again.

The Steven Spielberg blockbuster is seen by many in Europe, particularly the French, as the epitome of American cultural imperialism, threatening other cultures unless they are allowed to subsidise their own film- makers. The issue has become a sticking point in Gatt talks.

Sir Leon Brittan, the EC Trade Commissioner, gave a diplomatic reply at the same press conference to a question about his cinema habits. He wanted to see both Jurassic Park and Germinal, the grand French adaptation of a Zola novel, on a visit to Paris, but, alas, had not had time to see either.

TAKING time out from foreign conflicts, Oriana Fallaci is fighting a personal battle against cancer. 'I've always sought adventure, and I see my illness as an adventure,' the Italian novelist and war correspondent said. 'I'm in a state of war against this 'alien', which I'm determined to defeat.'

Ms Fallaci was diagnosed last year as having breast cancer and her illness has prevented her from covering current conflicts. 'The thing you need most to cover wars, apart from a little guts, is good health,' she said. 'However, if I get better, I can't discard the possibility of setting off again.'

She is best known for her interviews with world leaders, although she missed a few. 'I'd have given a lot to have met Stalin, or Hitler, to find out what sort of men they were,' she said. 'And Jesus Christ, mamma mia] How fascinating that would have been been]'