People: VIP treatment for landless leader

BARELY had Madonna set foot in Australia than she broke a taboo by handling a didgeridoo, a traditional instrument that, because of its phallic connotations, only Aboriginal men are allowed to play. The promoter of Madonna's Australian tour, Michael Gudinski, gave her the fivefoot didgeridoo on her arrival at Sydney airport. She is in town for several concerts on her 'Girlie Show' tour.

'In Aboriginal culture, women do not touch or play the didgeridoo. It is tribal law that a didgeridoo is only played by men,' explained Badangthun Munmunyarrun, an Aboriginal elder.

VICTIM of Franco's revenge, or the Black Tide? Whitney Houston disappointed 18,000 fans when she called off her scheduled concert in Barcelona. She and some of her band had, friends said, fallen ill after a seafood meal following her concert in Madrid. An oil spill off the Galician coast earlier this year - billed the Black Tide - badly affected the area's seafood, which is distributed throughout Spain. Houston has promised to sing in Barcelona next month.

STARTING as he means to go on, Yasser Arafat arrived in Madrid and, although still landless, received head of state treatment for the first time. He was having talks with King Juan Carlos, the Prime Minister, Felipe Gonzalez, politicians and businessmen he hopes will invest in the newly autonomous Palestinian territories. Head of state or not, Mr Arafat's old habits die hard. Although his delegation was booked in at the luxurious Ritz Hotel, he was expected to fly out during the night to return to his base in Tunis.

THE star of Kojak, Telly Savalas, is suing Universal Studios for dollars 6.2m ( pounds 4.5m), claiming he had not received his fair share of profits from his starring role in the highly successful 1970s television series. Savalas says Universal, a subsidiary of MCA, which in turn is owned by the Japanese conglomerate Matsushita, had cheated him by cutting his share of profits from the agreed 25 per cent to 20 per cent. The lawsuit further alleges that the profit margin was cut when Universal charged expenses not related to the production, such as advertising costs, and overcharged for incidentals, such as props and paints.

THE brief but spectacular career of Antanas Mockus as head of Colombia's National University in Bogota came to an abrupt halt after he dropped his trousers in front of a group of students who were heckling him. It was sheer bad luck that a member of the audience had a video camera, and sold the tape to all the evening TV news shows. In the ensuing uproar he was forced to resign.

Mockus' successes in restoring order to Colombia's largest and most turbulent university were often overshadowed by his eccentricity and penchant for clowning. On one occasion he turned up at the presidential palace brandishing a red plastic sword, to demonstrate that he was going to fight every inch of the way for his university reforms. These included giving students and staff the right to vote for a new rector - a right they will soon be called upon to exercise.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before