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?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Software / Web Developer - ASP.NET

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company produces a wide ra...

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones