The World This Week

IT IS Gay Ski Week in Aspen, Colorado. This annual event to promote homosexual rights has been given an extra edge by a decision by gay campaigners to boycott the resort. The boycott stems from a state referendum in November that voted to repeal several city ordinances protecting people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and preventing the state from passing any such legislation in the future.

Homosexual campaigners regard the proposal as a carte blanche for any employer to sack or victimise gay employees purely out of prejudice. Some campaigners urged a world boycott of the Aspen slopes, but the organisers pressed ahead with the annual Gay Ski Week anyway - an event that regularly attracts thousands of people - promising it would be 'one big protest'.

A good turn-out is expected and the outcry seems to have had some effect: a judge has temporarily suspended the measure, pending a hearing.

Salvatore 'Toto' Riina, the Mafia capo di tutti capi, appears in court in Rome today, charged with ordering the murder of a rival Mafia boss, Vincenzo Puccio. It will be his first appearance since he was arrested nearly two weeks ago.

Artists and writers in Berlin lead a torchlight procession on Saturday, under the slogan 'We declare Never Again', to mark the 60th anniversary of Hitler's accession to power. This coincides with a wave of xenophobia in Central Europe, symbolised by a campaign in Austria launched today by the right-wing populist leader Jorg Haider for a referendum on stronger immigration controls.

The lower house of the Czech parliament votes for a president tomorrow for the first time. The former Czechoslovak president Vaclav Havel, nominated by the right-wing ruling coalition, is the favourite, followed by Marie Stiborova, backed by the opposition Left Bloc, and Miroslav Sladek, supported by the far-right Republican Party. Slovakia also chooses its president tomorrow. Of four candidates, two head the field: Roman Kovac, of the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia and Jozef Prokes, of the Slovak National Party. A run-off is thought likely, on Wednesday.

Heading for a different kind of clash, the Philippines President, Fidel Ramos, visits Malaysia from Wednesday until Friday to discuss with the Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamed, the Philippines' long-standing claim to the Malaysian state of Sabah. Mr Ramos promises to 'explore new approaches' to the dispute. Manila claims Sabah on behalf of the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu, which leased Sabah to Britain in the 18th century. Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, who claims to represent the heirs of the Sulu sultanate, warned that he would not recognise any deal that dropped the Philippines claim.

Russia dips its toes deeper into the chill waters of the capitalist market with the conclusion of its first shares auction on Sunday. The shares are being sold in Bolshevik, a state-owned company producing 250 tons a day of cakes and biscuits.

Britain's new ambassador to France, Sir Christopher Mallaby, will keep his toes dry when he crosses the Channel on Friday by train - the first British envoy to travel to his new post entirely by land. He will take a service engine to ride through the Channel Tunnel, which is due to open to ordinary mortals next year. Barring mishaps with leaves or snow, Sir Christopher should arrive in time to catch the international ready-to-wear women's autumn and winter fashion show, which opens on Friday.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
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: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'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
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
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
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk