The Week Ahead: Free condoms at Games

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The Independent Online
WHILE the football enthusiasts of the world are watching the Italy-Ireland match in New York on Saturday, the city's homosexual community will be kicking off the Gay Games in the Bronx with a parade of 15,000 athletes.

Half-a-million spectators are expected for the contest and cultural events which include theatre, film and a huge drag ball. Since their launch 12 years ago in San Francisco, the Gay Games have become a serious sporting event, with millions of dollars involved. Seven thousand volunteers will be at work, and 250,000 condoms will be given away.

As a gesture of support, the US government has lifted its ban on visas for people with HIV for the games. If this marks an easing of anti-gay opinion in the US, the same cannot be said for Denmark. From Wednesday, anyone in Denmark with HIV who has unprotected sex or fails to tell their partner of their disease faces prosecution and up to four years in jail.

More than 30 nations meet in Oslo today and tomorrow to sign a deal to cut emissions of toxic sulphur released by burning coal and oil. But environmentalists say the targets are inadequate and the damage from acid rain to health, crops, wildlife and historic buildings may worsen. The US will not sign; it says the curbs are incompatible with its Clean Air Act.

Italian defence lawyers are fed up with being treated like poor relations compared with the state prosecutors, who have become glamorous folk- heroes in their crusade against corruption, and start a seven-day strike today. They want judges to treat them and their clients more favourably. They complain that too much weight is given to supergrasses in Mafia cases.

Colombians vote on Sunday in the second round of presidential elections to decide between the Liberal Ernesto Samper and the Conservative Andres Pastrana. Mr Samper was fractionally ahead in the first round last month, in which only one-third of the electorate voted.

The photograph taken by Bruno Bernard in 1954 of Marilyn Monroe standing above a grate holding down her white flyaway skirt is to be auctioned in New York on Thursday and is expected to fetch pounds 3,500. And on Sunday, an auction of Elvis Presley memorabilia at the Las Vegas Hilton includes a blue-spangled jumpsuit, a stretch Mercedes and an American Express card.