The Week Ahead: Skater awaits Olympic fate

THE American skater Tonya Harding is determined to take part in the winter Olympics which open in Lillehammer, Norway, on Saturday, despite a ruling by the US Figure Skating Association that grounds exist for disciplinary proceedings against her.

Ms Harding has 30 days to reply to the association's allegations that she was involved in an attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan.

This means that the hearing may not be held until after the Olympics. Her fate therefore lies with the US Olympic Committee, which says it will decide within the next two weeks whether Ms Harding remains in the team alongside Ms Kerrigan.

Ms Harding's supporters are in aggressive mood: 'If she's not able to skate, it will show that big bullies get their way,' says Elaine Stam, president of Ms Harding's fan club.

The plenary session of the European Parliament opens today in Strasbourg and goes on until Friday. MEPs are expected to debate a proposed ban on large motorcycles, equal rights for homosexuals, measures to combat international terrorism, the setting up of a European drug-monitoring centre, sexual harassment at work, a proposed social clause in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and enlargement of the European Union.

The disgraced former Communist leader of Bulgaria, Todor Zhivkov, 82, who has had a seven-year jail term for embezzlement postponed because of his heart problems, goes back to court tomorrow on new charges of inciting racial hatred. Also charged are the former prime minister Georgi Atanasov and the former interior minister Dimitar Stoyanov. The case stems from Zhivkov's policy in the mid-1980s of forcing Bulgaria's million ethnic Turks to adopt Slavic names, and he could be sentenced to eight years in prison.

The Armenian President, Levon Ter Petrosian, visits Britain tomorrow until Friday for talks with John Major and the Foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd, on developing political and economic ties.

While in town Mr Ter Petrosian will discuss the urgent matter of funds with Jacques de Larosiere at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Mr Hurd visits South Africa from Wednesday until Friday for talks with President F W de Klerk and Nelson Mandela.

Mr Mandela makes a return visit to Robben Island on Friday to mark the fourth anniversary of his release after 27 years in prison, most of which were spent on Robben Island.

Japan celebrates Northern Territory Day today and the Prime Minister, Morihio Hosokawa, is expected to call for the return of the disputed Kurile Islands, claimed by Russia. On Thursday he heads for Washington for two days to talk to President Bill Clinton about opening up Japanese markets.

Italy bans the purchase, sale and possession of contraband cigarettes on Thursday, on pain of a hefty fine. Also on Thursday the Berlin Film Festival opens with Bernardo Bertolucci's Little Buddha. Sophia Loren is due to be awarded a Golden Bear in honour of her life's work.

Austria's President, Thomas Klestil, 61, embarks on his much publicised two-day visit to Egypt today, unaccompanied by his mistress and political adviser, Margot Loffler, 39, who is being packed off for a long holiday under pressure from the Foreign Minister, Alois Mock. The President will be back in Vienna by Thursday to attend the glittering high point of the social season, the Opera Ball.

His waltzing partner is expected to be neither Ms Loffler nor his estranged wife, Edith, 60, who last week cleared her securities and jewels from the presidential safe, but his eldest daughter Ursula, 37, an air hostess.

Brazilian congressmen vote tomorrow on a bill that could make or break plans to bring down inflation and secure a vital agreement with the International Monetary Fund. Just the sort of thing most Brazilians will be glad to put behind them once the week-long carnival begins in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick