Arts and Entertainment

Of all the subjects for a thrilling tale of espionage, war and diplomacy, ping-pong seems an unlikely contender. All the more intriguing then is the story behind a détente between America and China in 1971, which occurred seemingly out of the blue after 22 years of hostility.

France now Europe's tiger economy

EVERYTHING IN Lionel Jospin's socialist garden is rosy - or seems to be.

Sports Sponsorship: More sex please, we're sponsors

BRITISH SPORTSWOMEN need to exploit their sex appeal to make their sports more attractive to sponsors, according to government-funded research published yesterday.

Letter: Name of the game

Sir: Following Philip Patience's letter (20 August), let us agree that the game of ping pong should not be called "table tennis". But surely it would be more onomatopoeic if the spelling were reversed and it were called "gnip-gnop".

Return of the native

Bryan Cheyette hails a ping-pong champion from North Manchester who can match the best shots of Charles Dickens and Philip Roth; The Mighty Walzer by Howard Jacobson Jonathan Cape, pounds 15.99, 384pp

Ping Pong A love story

I knew I was ready to write the Great Ping-Pong Novel - its actual title is The Mighty Walzer - the moment I stopped being squeamish about the word Ping-Pong. "Still doing your Ping-Pong, Howard?" ignorant relations used to ask me, waving an imaginary bat in my direction. How I hated hearing the sport to which I was sacrificing my adolescence demeaned in that way. Ping-Pong is what you play in the basement of your Bournemouth hotel when it's too wet to go out and you don't have what it takes to inveigle someone back to your room. It's as ignominiously prattish as train-spotting, except that it's for two and so might end in a giggle. You hold the bat as though it's alien debris, swat at thin air, tread on the ball and fall about laughing. Ping-Pong. Why not just call it Ha-Ha and have done?

Police use `pit-stop' signs to slow speeding motorists

IF YOU occasionally flirt with the speed limit, then Derbyshire has its benefits. There are few more civilised places in Britain to be caught out.

Koreas finally to meet at sport

NORTH AND South Korea have embarked on their own version of the ping-pong diplomacy that helped to thaw relations between the United States and China more than 25 years ago.

TABLE TENNIS; Young served with official warning

TERRY YOUNG, the England No 4, received warnings from a Dutch umpire about his services on the first morning of the World Championships in Eindhoven yesterday.

Table Tennis: England take seven to championships

CARL PREAN and Matthew Syed will lead an England team of seven at the 45th World Table Tennis Championships starting in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, today.

Arts: A little more than you really wanted to see?

A show by six documentary photographers celebrates the intimacy of voyeurism.

Liberation Of Kosovo: Milosevic's Victims - Dispossessed prepare to uproot again

"HERE," SAID Danica Polovina. "This is where we sleep." On the door was the international symbol for table tennis, but inside the dim hall in the basement of Pristina's Youth Palace there were no tables or trestles, no nets or ping-pong balls. Instead iron beds with grey military blankets lined the bare walls. The only light came through glass bricks near the high ceilings.

Lords Reform: Dead peers to be replaced in `by-elections'

THE GOVERNMENT averted the threat of defeat over its plans for reform of the House of Lords last night when it accepted a Tory call to ensure the number of hereditary peers who stay on is maintained despite any deaths.

Obituary: Rudi Fehr

THE DEATH of the film editor Rudi Fehr removes one of the last links with the classic Hollywood studio era. Fehr joined Warner Bros in 1936 and stayed for 40 years. He returned to the editing bench in 1984 to gain an Oscar nomination for John Huston's black comedy Prizzi's Honor.

Obituary: James Broughton

MAY I add a note to Jonathan Williams's obituary of James Broughton [3 June]? writes Tom Ingram.
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